RIP WattNext

RIP        wattnext_logo_color

It was is a good great idea–electric cars and solar electricity. Thanks to a visionary and very savvy salesman, Elon Musk, and patient investors like Warren Buffet, the technology is going mainstream. The WattNext founding team can take pride in knowing they might have been early, but not crazy.

The timing wasn’t quite right, and maybe the place wasn’t the most fertile for the experiment. The money just didn’t come to grow the business, so the partners have moved on. John Nelson, Lou Arasi, Bill Ferree and Taylor Johnson, you gave it a shot.

Thanks to all who ventured along and put in electric car charging stations. No doubt you got some strange looks. But you weren’t crazy either, and now with literally dozens of plug-in car models here or on the way very soon, you’re clearly the community visionaries. Special thanks to Helda Rodriguez of NovaCharge, Ken Laroe of First Green Bank, Al Chiodi of Windhorse Café and many others. Continue reading

EROI — Irresistible Force

EROI is the irresistible force that will let renewables kill fossil fuel.

You don’t look far in researching the viability of renewable energy before running into a claim that it takes as much energy to build a renewable energy system—like PV solar on your house—as the system will produce, meaning EROI is zero. Far from the truth, and like so much misinformation floating on the internet, it’s another myth that slows the transition away from fossil fuels.

Of course energy is required to manufacture and install solar equipment. But how much? And how does that compare with what will be produced from sunlight over the life of the equipment? How much CO2 producing combustion will you avoid? Continue reading

LEC

Solar electricity is lower cost, especially for a company that saves on taxes with the depreciation deduction on its equipment. Levelized energy cost (LEC) or levelized cost of energy (LCOE) is the best measure for comparing energy options. For solar electricity, your price per kilowatt-hour (LEC) is fixed the day you sign the contract to install the system. Continue reading