I've been wondering the same thing. I joined because I have a keen
interest in PV and in starting a business installing and servicing
residential and small business PV systems. What I've seen have been
postings about solar cookers, a lot about the extras needed for the
film event in Austin, and just *one* posting about a real PV
system. Anyone in the Houston area who has looked knows that there
is virtually nothing happening here. The only brick and mortar
business in the area that claims to be in the business turned out to
be a joke when I dropped in on them a few months ago.
I've been interested in alternative energy for about 35 years. When
I first developed the interest it was the days of The Whole Earth
Catalog but virtually nothing was being manufactured and nothing was
available off the shelf, so it was a field mostly for those
independently wealthy hobbyist/engineers who could afford to tinker
in it. I got busy with other things and stopped paying attention.
This past summer my interest was rekindled by $400/mo electricity
bills. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that *everything*
needed for PV installations is not only now available off the shelf,
it is a mature field with multiple manufacturers of all the
components and a track record that makes PV eminently viable. And
yet deployment, despite highly touted demonstration sites, is
The fact that PV power is still marginally more expensive than
utility power is irrelevant in my opinion. This market can be
opened up now because there are enough people like me to make it
happen -- people who don't care whether PV will save money in
accounting terms but who dream of sitting on the patio, Bacardi and
Coke in hand, giggling as we watch the electric meter run backward.
At any cost even approximately in the ballpark I want freedom from
relentless utility bills, relentless rate increases, relentless
nickle-and-diming through schemes such as the "fuel adjustment." I
want to know that no matter what I paid for the PV system, all the
future shenanigans of the utility companies will be irrelevant to me.
I'm in the 290/1960 area and very serious about getting into the PV
systems business. I have a house and yard with considerable
southern sky exposure and I have the technical background
appropriate to set up my own PV system. What I lack at the moment
is funds, but even that could change without outside help because my
primary business has substantial peaks as well as troughs.
I also have a friend in the mortgage business. I'm trying to prod
him to interest his company in developing expertise in the specialty
of Energy Efficient Mortgages.
I'd like to hear from others who are bored to tears by solar cookers
and solar water heaters and would like to *do* something about real,
One way or another I'm going to do this, and I'm going to end up in
this business. I'd like to hear from others who are similarly
driven and who would like to see hreg mean something more than a BBQ
or political debating club.
Reply to solar at tjunker dot com
--- In email@example.com
, "Richard D. Kelley" <rdkelley@p...>
> When I looked at the hreg website there was mention of projects
> such as solar powered Air conditioning and Solar lawn mowers.
> Or is this only a political site? Does anyone share any ideas
> about the practical applications of solar panel or wind? Or
> should I just read my Home Power magazine.
> Thank you,
> Richard D. Kelley, PMP
> Certified Project Manger
> (281) 933 - 3958