Thursday, February 27, 2014

Much ado about water

I've been noticing that when I travel outside of the state recently, everyone seems to be asking me about the water situation in California.  I constantly hear, "What is deal with water out there?" or, "What is CA doing to do about this terrible drought?" or "Have you started drinking sea water yet!?!?!?"

I have to admit, I didn't know there was a problem.  In fact, I'm still not sure if there is a problem.  I keep hearing there is a problem but if there was a real problem then I have to believe the price of water would go up.  Supply and demand, right?  So, I went back and looked at my water bills for the last two years, and I am paying the exact same $/gal that I paid in 2012.  Funny enough, cost of trash pickup went up 3%, but water has stayed exactly... the ... same.

This all got me thinking about the annual water report for Orange County published by MWDOC.  The most recent is at this link.  Right in the front of the report is the breakout below for residential use.  The first time I saw that nearly 60% of all water usage in Orange County is for landscaping I nearly fell out of my chair.  

So, the point of this post is simple.  Orange County residents on average use 60% of their water for their landscaping.  That is crazy.  So as we all wait for the rainstorm to roll in this weekend, please make sure your sprinklers are off.  Also, if we are in a water crisis, my opinion to the powers that be is to try economics, raise the price of water.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

DOE Solar Decathlon 2015 coming back to Irvine

Its official, Orange County knows how to party. And by party I mean host the bi-annual DOE Solar Decathlon.. like a boss. 2013 was the first year the event was held outside of the National mall in Washington DC, and from the looks of this announcement from DOE last week, they liked what they saw.

OC Renewables is proud to start spreading the news that the 2015 DOE Solar Decathlon will be coming back to the Great Park in Irvine, Orange County, CA.  DOE has also released the list of participating schools, which is reproduced below.  Congrats to all of these teams and I think I speak for everyone at OCR when we say that we look forward to the event!

Congrats to:
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • California State University, Sacramento
  • Clemson University
  • Crowder College and Drury University
  • Lansing Community College and Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • New York City College of Technology
  • Oregon Institute of Technology and Portland State University
  • Stanford University
  • State University of New York at Alfred College of Technology and Alfred University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • University of Florida, National University of Singapore, and Santa Fe College
  • The University of Texas at Austin and Technische Universitaet Muenchen
  • University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Irvine; Saddleback College; Chapman University; and Irvine Valley College
  • Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University
  • West Virginia University and University of Roma Tor Vergata
  • Western New England University, Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, and Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana
  • Yale University

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Jeremy Grantham's recent GMO letter is very optimistic on renewables

Jeremy Grantham is a very well know investment strategist, economist, fund manager, all around idea man when it comes to big global trends.  Last year he gave a riviting interview with Charlie Rose on everything from the National debt to the promise of renewables.  The video can be watched below.

He latest newsletter just published and is hosted at this link.  In it, he remains bullish about the outlook for renewable energy in our society and even has some nice things to say about Tesla's product.  I always enjoy reading his insights and I hope you will too!