October 31, 2002
Business and Governments Embracing Renewables
Dear GENI friend,
Change is often difficult, as we get comfortable with the way things are. Change is constantly occurring around us, and is really a universal principle. The change within the energy business takes years, as huge investments remain in the fossil and nuclear sectors mines, transportation systems, processing, distribution, power production and waste treatment.
Yet, interest in renewable energy by major corporations and governments is growing, with several top corporations and municipalities taking a lead role. Today, the biggest names in solar are Shell, BP (British Petroleum), Sharp and Kyocera. These firms, known for oil, gas and electronics, are investing heavily in what they see as growth technologies in coming years.
Some environmentalists still attack these giants by saying it's all "sizzle over substance." Well, the solar portion of their business may be small in comparison, but several firms are betting $500 million. By any measure, this commitment is substantial. Anything you can do (as a shareholder or consumer) to encourage this corporate activity would be helpful.
Just as important, there are now local, state and national governments that are making renewable pledges and offering tax incentives to renewable energy developers. San Francisco and Los Angeles are building solar rooftops on city facilities. California offers a 50% rebate for residential customers and the state has set a 20% renewable portfolio target by 2017.
We don't need to stop there. The attached final paragraph states that just 9% of Nevada's desert covered in solar thermal systems could power all the electricity needs of the US! Recall, the U.S. is one quarter of the global market so there is no limit to solar's potential. Michael Powers, a GENI Board member has brought together Astropower and Home Depot making the installation of solar PV consumer friendly. Our work is making a difference and again, I thank you for your support.
In partnership for the planet,
p.s. We all live within several government jurisdictions. Send these reports to your mayor and governor, and ask them to consider similar pledges to develop local renewable energy resources.
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