A Call for Solar Energy Production By HARVEY SHERBACK

Friday December 24, 2004

In a world where we war over oil, the development and implementation of solar electricity is the true path to peace. We are in a race with the polluters and our world is the prize!  

Because I believe in taking action, I have written the following letter to the Public Utilities Commission. My letter calls for a massive deployment of solar electric roof shingles and panels across the rooftops of California.  

This is a very good time to help set the PUC and PG&E on the true path to energy abundance.  

If you support the views expressed below, please copy and sign the letter below or write your own letter to the PUC and let them know how you feel. 



California Public Utilities Commission 

Michael R. Peevey 

San Francisco Office 

505 Van Ness Avenue 

San Francisco, California 



Fax: (415) 703-1758 

Tel: (415) 703-2782 


Dear Michael R. Peevey and The California Public Utilities Commission, 


The tragic events which took place on Sept. 11, 2001 have dramatically changed our perception of true homeland security. We have learned that the decentralization of power is the correct path to limited vulnerability. This lesson comes at a terrible cost. 

We are told that we must be prepared for any possible emergency including terrorist attacks against us and our infrastructure. Unfortunately, we are only as strong as the weakest link in our system. 

The current model being used for the production and distribution of electricity is one of our major weaknesses. We have a tendency to centralize both the production and distribution of power. Our continuing experience with brownouts and blackouts, especially during times of great demand, is an example of the kind of problem we now face.  

Brownouts and blackouts are usually associated with weather problems such as heat spells. On these super-hot days, everybody turns their air conditioners on. This puts a great strain on our power grid. Grid operators such as PG&E are forced to find and buy out-of-state electricity. 

We are then vulnerable to the whims of the energy marketplace. It is not just the high price we pay during times of crises, there are also serious questions as to the quality of the electricity we are purchasing. 

The key to our energy security is a massive deployment of solar electric roof shingles and panels across the rooftops of California. This would provide thousands of new jobs while creating an abundance of clean, reliable solar electricity. 

Solar electric roof shingles and panels create no exhaust, no noise, and no chemical reactions. The only moving parts are the atoms. 

In sunny California, both residential and commercial buildings will become providers as well as consumers of solar electricity. The production and distribution of electricity will be decentralized.  

At this time, The California Public Utility Commission (PUC) is responsible for proposing legislation that promotes net-net billing. Net-net billing allows the owners of residential and commercial buildings that have solar electric rooftop installations to zero out their monthly bills, nothing more. The production of any excess solar electricity for sale to the local utility is discouraged. 

At the same time, German utilities, working with local environmental groups and legislators, now pay a hefty premium for clean solar electricity over fuels that create green house gasses.  

Germany is currently, after Japan, the world leader in the installation of both residential and commercial photovoltaic rooftop systems. Their utilities offer a variety of generous rebate programs. They also encourage the production and sale of excess solar electricity. This helps the owners of photovoltaic systems recoup their investment in a shorter amount of time. 

The current model used by German utilities for the production and distribution of solar electricity is available on the web at http://sales.nordex-online.com/General/NXX-8-EEG-en.pdf. 

A new report delivered to Congress on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004 focuses on federal research indicating that emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat trapping gases are the only likely explanation for global warming over the past three decades. The United States is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. 

In delivering the report to Congress, The Assistant Secretary Of Commerce For Oceans And Atmosphere and The Director Of Government Climate Research, James Mahoney said that it reflects “the best possible scientific information” on climate change. 

The report can be found on line at www.climatescience.gov. 

On Feb. 27, 2003 The California Public Utilities Commission issued an order designed to encourage distribution generation. See “Order Instituting Rulemaking into Distributed Generation,” Rulemaking No. 99-10-025, Decision No. 03-02-068. (Cal. PUC Feb. 27, 2003).  

We who live and work in California call on the Public Utility Commission and Michael R. Peevey its chairman to restructure our electric utility system, based on the German Renewable Energy Law (EEG), so as to take full advantage of the immediate and long range benefits of solar electricity. 

California can once again become the world’s leader in the production and installation of solar electric roof shingles and panels. Our future’s bright, bring on the light!  

Let’s get solar!