Saturday, March 29, 2014

Renewables in Ohio too successful, so GOP wants to freeze progress

Liberace used to say, "Too much of a good thing is wonderful!"  Well, apparently not in Ohio.  State House and Senate Republicans are moving to "freeze" renewable energy mandates passed nearly unanimously in 2008 in a story first reported by The Columbus Dispatch.

The article states, "This is the latest attempt by House and Senate Republicans to respond to the concerns of utilities and business groups that say parts of a 2008 energy law have unreasonably high costs."  In a stroke of complete non sequitur, Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina even references Solyndra (can you believe it!) in trying to make a case for freezing progress on renewable energy goals.  Solyndra was a case of direct investment by the Federal Government into a start up company.  The mandate in Ohio is a requirement for utilities to adopt renewable energy IF it meets certain goals in cost and performance, SO THAT THE CONSUMER IS PROTECTED.  Contact info for Keith Faber is at this link here if you care to call him, write him or visit him and let him know your thoughts on the subject.

While you can read through this article and try to make sense of the "reasons" for freezing progress in adoption of renewable energy, the truth is there is little sense and this is very clearly a protectionist move by incumbent utilities whose business plans and grid profitability are under direct threat of the rapidly increasing adoption of renewables.  The industry term for this event is the utility death spiral, and as sure as the day is long, it is coming.  While some utilities / IPPs are innovating their way towards success in the age of renewables (case in point is AES who is pioneering the way on grid storage), others choose to funnel would-be R&D dollars to lobbyists to try and preserve their archaic business plans with politicians.

While I urge those passionate about the issue to contact their friends and family in Ohio to speak up on the issues, truth is there is little that can be done to stop wide progress to the way our society consumes and generates electricity, even if politics (temporarily) suspend progress.  The reality is that very motivated and smart people are working very hard to completely renovate the way energy moves through our homes and businesses, and the changes are going to come sooner than everyone realizes.  If you live in the sunbelt, then it wont be long before solar panels on the roof coupled with storage in your home, as planned by little known companies such as Tesla and Solar City, means you simply will not need a grid connection.  Couple this with passive solar design and efficiency electrical appliances and you won't need any energy connection.  On that day I guess I'll put my old electric bills in the garage with my Kodak film camera and hamburger land line phone.

Links to consider:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Register for the BDR Fun Run 2014 on April 27!

As we climb out of the winter slumber here in Orange County, April also represents the time to reconnect around the annual Brian D. Robertson Memorial Fun Run, happening this year on April 27 at Bolsa Chica State Beach.  This is the 3rd year OCR has supported this event and worked to preserve the memory and legacy of solar power pioneer, husband and father Brian Robertson.

We certainly hope you can join all the OCR and BDR faithful for a fun run 5k or kid friendly 1 mile on Sunday, April, 27.  Click on this link here or the link below to be taken directly to the registration page at  The day schedule is posted below:

Event schedule and times:
10:00am - Bib Pick-Up & Late Registration
11:00am - Kids 1Mile Fun Run/Walk Start
11:30am - 5K Run/Walk Start
12:30pm Awards Celebration & Official Race End
1:00pm Earth Day Park / Race Clean-Up

Please email us if you have any questions or visit the race website at for more information.  For any Eastcoasters who read our blog, there is PA based BDR Fun Run as well in Washington Crossing, PA on April 6th also.  See you there!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A little bit of perspective

For all those potential green tech entrepreneurs, thinkers, tinkerers, you don't have to be broke in your twenties with no wife / husband or kids to give your idea a try.  Use the experience and wisdom of your years to reach results faster with less time and energy.  The graphic below reminds us that these major (and hip) institutions had some, how do we say, more seasoned founders.

Just remember, you can be your own Dick Proenneke!