This is our final blog entry of the year, actually of the decade. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who could have predicted the various fits and starts of the renewable energy market, let alone the explosive growth towards the end of the decade for the solar industry. But my prediction is that we are poised for continuous substantial growth at least through the next six years. As we bid farewell to the decade, I could not help but think about the beginning of this decade and the predictions of doom and gloom as the Y2K threat loomed large. I admit that as this decade started, I was not a solar enthusiast as I am today. When it is below zero outside, even on a clear day, you do not think about solar energy–although you should. Just ask the folks in Ontario.
Archive for December, 2009
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that global warming can be explained only by human malfeasance, naysayers continue to posit self-serving explanations for climate change. A provocative editorial entitled the “Copenhagen Climate Scam Conference” in the conservative Washington Examiner boldly states that the “case for global warming is based on junk science.” Or take Sarah Palin’s editorial in the Washington Post today that “But while we recognize the occurrence of these natural, cyclical environmental trends, we can’t say with assurance that man’s activities cause weather changes.” Does the lobster thrown into a pot of cold water on the stove need to commission yet another study before it is convinced that something is awry as the water temperature around it is getting uncomfortably hot?
OK, the residential solar market did not exactly explode in 2009 as many had hoped in 2008 when the price of oil was approaching $150 a barrel. The world economic crisis, lack of financing, cheap oil, constrained governmental budgets all contributed to a less than lackluster year as measured by the expectations that were set in a rosier time a year earlier. Nevertheless, there are some bright spots and probably the brightest of them all is that as prices for solar panels have come down, and the landscape for economic incentives has stabilized, the solar industry has hit mainstream and more importantly, Main Street.