Colorado Romney backer says solar doesn’t work

editors-blog-entry3Mitt Romney was in Colorado a couple of days ago campaigning and, perhaps not surprisingly given the oil and gas drilling boom underway in parts of this state, he put himself in front of an oil drill – and took aim at the Obama Administration’s support for renewable energy and green jobs.

To the applause and whoops of an adoring drill baby drill crowd, Romney poked fun at Colorado’s 51,000 green jobs – a total that accounts for a small but respectable 2.3 percent of total employment in the Rocky Mountain State. He egged on the crowd with a, “Have you seen those jobs anywhere?” a set up to which, according to a story in the Denver Post, the supporters on hand shouted a gleeful, “No!”

To be sure, 12 states have more green jobs than Colorado. But this fact actually underscores just how significant, rather than insignificant, the booming green economy is in America, which, according to a Brookings Institution study, accounts for nearly 3 million jobs nationwide.

dia-solar-entrance1In fact, Romney’s predictable comments on energy – it sure would be interesting to pin Gov. Romney down on his position on federal subsidies for electric cars, wouldn’t it? – were pretty run of the mill and not especially eyebrow raising.

‘Let’s start drilling again’
However comments by a Republican County Chairman, Erich Feigel, who sweepingly dismissed renewable energy, provided an example of more extreme, if also unfortunately predictable, fare from the Republican anti-renewable energy crowd.

Here is Feigel’s comment, courtesy of the Denver Post, which was on hand to record the Romney campaign stop:

“Let’s start drilling again. Stop this nonsense with windmills and solar power. It doesn’t work.”

Hmmm . . .

Last time I checked, the 26 solar panels on our perfect-for-solar Aurora, Colo. rooftop located about 40 miles away from the Fort Lupton drilling site where Romney and Feigel were waxing poetic about the alleged failings of renewable energy were cranking out nearly 40 kWh of clean, green, local, home grown electricity per day.

14,000+ kWh of home solar energy
In the approximately two years we’ve had our 5.59 kW solar system, we’ve generated more than 15,000 kWh of electricity while consuming 7,000 of those kWh and banking the other 8,000 kWh for use for a future electric car.

Those 8,000 extra kWh hours equal about 28,000 miles of solar-charged driving in a clean, green, locally powered electric car such as Nissan LEAF or a Ford Focus Electric. They’re also worth about $4,300 dollars worth of solar “gasoline” using 25 mpg and $3.80 per gallon as the baselines. Finally, they’re absolutely priceless in terms of their ability to deliver total home electric and complete car fueling independence.

But, hey, our example must just be a mirage because, according to Mr. Feigel, “solar power doesn’t work.”

solartankstelle-switzerland18 billion kWh of solar
Tell that to the country of Germany, which produced 18 billion kWh of electricity with solar last year, or tell that to the hundreds of thousands of American homeowners who’ve installed rooftop solar – including more than a few die-hard political conservatives. Or tell that to the increasing number of Americans powering 100 percent of their home electric use and 100 percent of their annual electric miles in an electric car with home-grown, American-produced solar.

We figured we’d try to set Mr. Feigel straight regarding his incorrect claims about renewable energy and show him that, yes, solar power works for millions of people around the world, including hundreds of thousands of Americans.

And we figured the best way to do this is to show Erich how solar power works for us, all of us.

So, we’re tweeting Erich a link to this blog post, which, as you can see, includes a picture of the solar system that’s currently providing about 200 percent of our yearly electric use and which will someday power both our home and two electric cars, as well as several other pictures that clearly show solar does indeed work.

planetsolar-hongkongTweet the solar skeptics
We’re asking you to join in too: Send Erich a short e-mail, or tweet him, or, if you dare, friend him on Facebook and tell him how solar is working for you, and for all of us, in a big way. If you want, you can also send him a link to a picture that illustrates how solar works for you and/or for the rest of us as well.

If you prefer, you’re welcome to send us a short e-mail — editor(at) — and a picture that shows Mr. Feigel that solar really does work for you – and for all of us. We’ll publish your comments and pictures in a future entry and we’ll tweet Mr. Feigel the link.

We don’t expect Erich to change his mind. But we can show him there are lots of folks who, by their everyday solar-powered existence, defy the false claim that solar doesn’t work.

Here’s the info you need to contact Erich Feigel, Chairman of the Broomfield County (Colorado) Republicans to tell him solar works! –>


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