I have written countless articles and columns on how Green Energy Policies here in America might change our future, cure all that is wrong with our dollar, and help us pay off our entire National Debt. But instead of seeing our technology and science improve and improvise upon what we already know about producing clean, green energy from the sun, the wind, and waterfalls all over the world, we are still in infancy when it comes to green energy.
There was a reason Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the White House roof. Carter was a scientist, an explorer of new frontiers, much like Thomas Jefferson whose optic glasses and busts of Sir Francis Bacon adorn the halls of his Monticello planation. Carter understood the nuclear physics of how when the sun’s rays struck silicon cells, billions of electrons were kicked out of orbit. These free electrons he knew, could be collected and stored in a battery to be used later as electric current to power things like the White House lights, or the Christmas tree. Or his electric razor. Free energy, any questions?
Well, you got to ask, why when Reagan took office 4 years later, why did the Great Communicator have the solar panels removed? Interesting. You got to wonder if that was all his own idea.
Following the money is always a great trail to track when seeking answers to simple questions. Why take the solar panels down when they are helping our government pay for itself instead of tapping into tax dollars necessary to pay for the White House electric bill? I can only assume that Big Electric companies lobbied Reagan to take the solar panels down. Why would they do that? Perhaps they did not want people to get the idea that they could get free electricity from the sun that, if it took off, could compete with the coal-fired and nuclear–powered electric generating plants that dot the American landscape from coast to coast. Clean, Green Energy, my, my. What a threat it must have been to Big Electric.
What did the electric companies have to fear? Well, for one thing it would not be practical for an individual homeowner to construct his own coal-fired electric generating station, with whirling magnets, batteries, maintaining an electric grid of his own, why the task would be enormous. But with simple little solar panels with no moving parts to break down or maintain, a homeowner could collect and use all the electricity he would ever need with a few panels. And if need be, he could build them for little of nothing except some flux and a good soldering iron.
Germany proved it could be done, and they did it. Many years ago, Germany got the wild notion that they wanted to improve the state-owned electric company, and they wanted to get the German citizens, villages, and hamlets to do all the work. Germany gave them all a huge incentive. In a market where Germany charged a rate of 15 cents per kilowatt hour, the German government bellied up and paid their citizens and village electric coops, a stunning 55 cents per kWh! Wow! In no time, Germany, a place of minimal sun days, had panels spring up everywhere as they collected free power for their own use and sold the excess power they created back to the government-owned electric company at the whopping rate of 55 cents per kWh.
The result? The new German grid is the most modern per capita in the whole world. As time passed Germany reduced the rate of 55 cents per kWh, downward until this day where the going rate paid is similar to the rate Germany normally charges for electricity. The result? Germany got a new grid, 100% efficient. All the excess power from the sun created is now tucked back onto the German grid and sold to the whole country and neighboring countries. You can make smashing profits, too, when someone else does all the work of building the panels for the electric company.
It is unfortunate that the United States wishes to remain in the Stone Age when it comes to the electric grid. Our 100-year old grid is prone to blackouts, brownouts, and blowouts without warning. It becomes overloaded and is only about 50% efficient at this writing. It will remain that way as long as America refuses to go green. And why not go green? There is little to no incentive. There used to be tax credits to make solar panels more affordable, but they have all but vanished. Our Treasury is a mess what with bailing out companies who went trillions of dollars in the whole, remember AIG, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and Lehman Brothers, to mention just a few? The federal government and the states have no more money for green energy credits.
So what? Why can’t the energy companies give out their own rebates and incentives to individuals to produce sun energy as per the German model? They could. But they don’t want to. The electric companies (Big Brown) have effectively lobbied the state legislators across the nation to make things tough to impossible for private individuals to produce and sell back power generated by their private solar cell farms at a decent enough profit to make it worthwhile. Selling individual-generated electricity back to the grid is called NET METERING. And Big Brown don’t want no net metering around heah, fo sho. Some states might condescend to giving you half the going rate that they charge for electricity, but that is only if you jump through mountains of paperwork hoops and buy license after license, and then just maybe you can get the AVOID PRICE (about half the going rate for electricity in any given area). Some companies say slap out NO to net metered sales. They seem eat up with paranoia.
President Obama and Congress know exactly what to do to generate interest in spontaneously leaping our country into the modern age, but Big Brown says no. They want it all. And they pay the campaign contributions to the candidates of their choice. So, in following the money, America is still a nation of carpetbaggers and crooks, and the little man hasn’t got a chance in helping green up the planet. Big Brown spends more money on spin dollars to make a coal-fired plant look like a green oasis with birds and fish, oh you know the lies they tell. What they won’t tell you is that every square inch of surface water in the USA is polluted with levels of Mercury so high that many advisories on eating no more than 8 ounces of fish per month are posted as we speak and never change for the better.
It’s like man would rather lie for profit now and die young for the pollution he brings to the planet than to face the hard choices now for a better quality of life tomorrow. Funny how few humans give a damn about tomorrow. The money to be made now is too powerfully attractive to the human animal. Even over preserving a quality life for all the offspring he generated. Funny how every state congressman is for sale, too. They don’t even try to hide it anymore.
The Germans are progressive in the solar parabolic mirrors that heat up miles of extruded glass filled with a liquid salt solution. This solution becomes hot enough to create instant steam which of course powers turbines that generate megawatts of electricity, enough for a medium-sized town. Schott Solar has plants all over the globe including Albuquerque, NM that make the long glass tubing for the furnaces. The Spanish are the forerunners of solar tower furnaces that collect and focus the sun’s rays on fields of towers with generators to create steam to drive electric turbines. The Dutch are world leaders in giant wind turbine electricity production. At present they have hundreds of these giant turbines that float just below the waterline of the North Sea and are stabilized with outriggers to remain upright even in the most severe winds and storms.
A country can go green if it really wants to. I researched building a solar farm in America for over 2 years, only to discover that none of the electric companies would pay enough for your generated electricity to make such a venture worthwhile. I looked in 16 different states for laws and regulations friendly to private solar electricity production and the ability to net meter back to the grid at a price to where the electric companies would not lose money but would gain a backup new part of the grid that just might save them in periods of heavy usage leading to blackouts. But the answer was still no. Thanks but no thanks. We will just keep on trucking with the smokestack coal plants we have all come to love. These are the known money-makers, a given. And if the air is cancerous and the waterways of America are full of mercury as a result, well that is the cost of progress, right? It is a big price. I hope we can pay it on our way to bankrupt lunacy as a nation.