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So Much For Green Jobs

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Boom_70, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member


    Flanked by a cadre of local political leaders, Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose used a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a solar power company last week to talk up the promise of the green economy.
    Mr. Reed called the opening of the new headquarters of SolFocus, which produces large, free-standing solar panels, an “enormously important” development for the city’s economy.

    “Clean technology is the next wave of innovation that Silicon Valley needs to capture,” the mayor said, noting that the San Jose City Council had committed to increasing the number of “green jobs” in the city to 25,000 by 2022. San Jose currently has 4,350 such jobs, according to city officials.

    But SolFocus assembles its solar panels in China, and the new San Jose headquarters employs just 90 people.
  2. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    I remember solar panels on houses in the late 1970s. If they were worth a shit, wouldn't everyone have them now?
  3. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    A lot of people eat food that's bad for them, even food we knew was bad for them in the '70s.

    No points.
  4. PeterGibbons

    PeterGibbons Member

    We did a story a couple of months ago about one of the area community colleges putting in solar panels that that would power its community center. The cost of the solar panels would take just over 10 years to pay off what they would be saving on their electric bills. The problem was the average life of the solar panels was only 10 years. So it's pretty much a wash, they may even end up in the red.
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    A lot of energy-efficient stuff works, and are great, but most of us can't afford them.
  6. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    We had one in the 70s. I remember taking it out with a foul ball. Oops.

    My sister and her husband have recently installed them on their house. $40k. They plan on living there through retirement, so they'll eventually recoup the money, but holy crap. (No idea where they were made, though.)

    Practically everyone in Greece has a solar water heater on their roof. I asked about them; they got huge tax credits or something like that. Massive government help. Of course, that government is in serious trouble now.
  7. Pancamo

    Pancamo Active Member

    I received a mailer the other day from a company called Sungevity that leases the panels. Not sure of the pricing but the monthly rental would need to be cheaper than the monthly electric and gas bills to justify making a change.
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Because the market is complicated.
  9. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Are you advocating the return of protectionism? Because that would seem to be the most realistic way to solve this dynamic.
  10. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    Actually, the market isn't complicated at all. If they are worth the cost and make you come out ahead, people would buy them. If they aren't and don't, people won't.
  11. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Perhaps in a modified form. If the USA is going to invest in green energy with the idea of creating jobs they certainly should be here in America.
  12. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    I've seen manufacturers promoting the idea that they're impact resistant now to the point where they can withstand hailstorms. One would think that would be sufficient to take on the odd foul ball.

    The cost/benefit analysis is pretty much what dissuaded me from doing this on my house. The things better last longer than 10 years if I'm going to make that investment. And to make them really worthwhile, they better take me completely off the power grid. I'm not sure they're quite there yet on either count.

    Here's another I've kicked around: Get neighborhoods to install solar farms on their vacant lots, use the power to offset individual power bills and if there's a surplus, other things, like maintenance and security costs or HOA dues. Some farmers are doing it to reduce or eliminate electricity costs. They're pricey to build, but significant portions can be done with grants from DOE and USDA.
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