Tuesday, March 04, 2008
The Irony of Solar Power
Some of you might remember that I drive a classic Prius (second year). I'm all for clean energy, or saving energy for that matter. Last year I seriously thought about investing in a solar company freshly opened in my town (which by the way, has recently been crowned Los Idiotas by my talented friend Zelda), until it turned out they only do installations. The solar panels used in sunny California are made by a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor, SunPower. SunPower was in the news recently. The CEO was featured in San Jose Mercury News Business section in an interview about how well the company is doing and all that. This renewed my interest in this wonderful plentiful renewable energy. SunPower makes solar panels that are installed on commercial or residential buildings. The uniform looking, stylish black panels sit on the roof, convert solar energy into electricity. The initial investment could be high, but the energy is clean, there is no harmful by product, and you get to have a PG&E bill a fraction of what you pay now. Sounds like a perfect win-win situation. One of the main materials used in solar cells is silicon. SunPower has recently signed not one but two deals to import silicon from -- guess who: Saudi Arabia Read more about it here. Using the logic of this VP of Communications at SunPower, Saudi's know Americans will do anything for energy, they know how to do business (aka, manipulate) these silly Americans, then we should go on and keep them happy. Cause they'll get what they want (US dollars), and we'll get what we think we want (clean energy?). World peace. Let's not even think about all the sand in Sahara desert and all those folks that can use a few dollars there.