Do It Yourself Solar Energy
Solar power has been used for thousands of years, but the early uses were mostly passive. The ancient Greeks and Romans were the first people credited with taking advantage of the power of the sun simply by building their homes to face the sun to provide them with light and heat. And, of course, many people still do this today. Fast forward many centuries to 1861, when the first steam engine powered by the sun was invented, but the high cost to run it made it prohibitively expensive to use. Albert Einstein was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his research on the photoelectric effect, which was key to generating electricity through solar cells. And in 1953, Bell Labs developed the first solar cell capable of generating an electric current. Still, not much was done with all this research and study until 1973, when the Arab oil embargo finally woke up the world to its dependence on oil and the fact that oil is not limitless and will eventually be fully expended. It was then...
The type of individual investing in solar power just described is obviously at the low end. The higher end is investing in solar companies themselves. Many solar companies are now owned by fairly large companies, including Chevron, Mitsubishi, and Sharp. It has become a big business. But smaller companies are also in the business of installing solar power capabilities, and you can still invest in small start-ups that are springing up practically every day. found companies like Borrego through their communities, because they're actively looking for alternative investments. We're near Silicon Valley, and entrepreneurs here are always coming up with new products for instance, better chips that make collecting solar energy more efficient than ever before. These entrepreneurs are just like the stereotypical start-up in a garage, and they're pretty phenomenal. Some of them will likely go public at some point, but right now, they're private placements and small LLCs that people are investing...
We have had direct experience with most investment types, both traditional and alternative, including water rights, gas rights, oil rights, solar-powered homes, mobile homes, storage facilities, private loans to consumers and businesses, precious metals, and even cow and horse trailers. In the chapters that follow, we share stories both positive and negative from our own experience and that of others. We tell real stories from real people, some of whom had only a little cash to invest but were still able to grow their wealth by making investments that they researched and understood. This book will help you invest in areas where you see potential, and it will give you the financial freedom of having a great many investment choices and not having to depend on a third party's recommendations.
I was also swayed by Salomon Smith Barney's Jack Grub-man (possessor, incidentally, of a master's degree in mathematics from Columbia) and other analysts, who ritualistically sprinkled their strong buys over the object of my affections. In fact, most brokerage houses in early 2000 rated WCOM a strong buy, and those that didn't had it as a buy. It required no great perspicacity to notice that at the time, almost no stock ever received a sell, much less a strong sell, and that even holds were sparingly bestowed. Maybe, I thought, only environmental companies that manufactured solar-powered flashlights qualified for these latter ratings. Accustomed to grade inflation and to movie, book, and restaurant review inflation, I wasn't taken in by the uniformly positive ratings. Still, just as you can be moved by a television commercial whose saccharine dialogue you are simultaneously ridiculing, part of me gave credence to all those strong buys.
On top of that, gold is becoming more and more essential to industrial use, e.g. satellite parts, wind and solar power, the computer industry, or laser technology, due to its unique characteristics. Even if the quantities are only marginal, they multiply to sizeable magnitudes.
Oil and gas service and exploration companies benefited from the U.S. need for more energy supplies. But investment opportunities didn't stop there. As oil and gas supplies became costly and problematic, alternative energy sources gained national attention. The debate was rekindled on solar power and exciting new technologies, such as fuel cells. As traditional sources of energy (sweet crude) became more expensive, alternate sources became more economical. Investors who anticipated the new interest in alternative energy sought companies that would logically benefit. A good example of this is Evergreen Solar, Inc. (ESLR). The firm's stock rose from 2.50 in September 2004 to 8 by September 2005 just a scant 12 months later. With an impressive 220 percent gain, proactive investors sang Here Comes the Sun without getting burned.
So why are we in another oil crisis, without any popular widespread renewable energy alternatives to fossil fuels Politics is one answer. The major parties and everyone in between (or on their extreme margins), along with industry and environmental groups, differ on the desirability of alternatives. For instance, nuclear alternatives to fossil fuels in the U.S. vanished after the accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania in 1979. Other nations France and Canada, for example have depended on nuclear power for decades. The province of Ontario has three such plants on the shores of Lake Huron in sight of the state of Michigan and is considering building a new one the first in North America since Three Mile Island. The high upfront costs of these alternative renewable energy technologies may present an even bigger obstacle than politics. Existing financial incentives have been no match for the huge price tag on developing alternative energy sources paired with the...
This chapter focuses predominately on natural gas and its increasingly important role in economies around the world. No other fuel source has the near-term potential to supply the increased demand generated by the Internet and its related communication technologies. Other energy sources, such as wind and solar power, are becoming increasingly competitive, but together all the so-called alternative energy technologies supply only 8 percent of U.S. demand.3 Many of these alternative technologies are and will continue to be hope for the future, but the boom years for natural gas have already started and afford an investor looking for above-average growth potential a potentially fertile hunting ground.
Asking the local utility companies to perform an energy audit can pinpoint ways for you to reduce expenses. New technology is making the use of solar energy and hydronics systems extremely attractive. The rapidly increasing costs for water and sewer services in many areas of the country have made the installation of individual submeters cost effective for allocating and recouping the cost from each tenant based on her actual usage. The best way to achieve conservation of resources at your properties is to make your tenants directly responsible for their cost. This not only saves you money but also has many positive societal benefits
Getting Started With Solar
Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.