A friend asked----if these solar panel technologies are as bad as oil----what do we do? The REAL left stance on utilities----home energy and water ----is return our BGE---local electric and natural gas-----to being regional ----return our BGE to being regulated----return our BGE to being public. The right wing may not want it taken public---but many are now aware of the need to keep control of our vital utilities local and regulated.
OUR BALTIMORE CITY POLS-----BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL AND MARYLAND ASSEMBLY ALL VOTE TO CONSOLIDATE OUR BGE TO EVER-LARGER CORPORATIONS AND SIT AND WATCH AS GLOBAL VEOLA ENVIRONMENT ACTS AS THE MAJOR RECEIVER OF OUTSOURCED CONTRACTS FROM EXELON.
What global Wall Street 1% Clinton/Obama did these several years of PRETENDING TO BE ENVIRONMENTAL WITH ALTERNATIVE ENERGY----it to send ALL FEDERAL AND STATE funding to build these natural gas-----wind and solar infrastructure to GLOBAL CORPORATIONS. It was deliberate---they were capturing what should have been local alternative energy platforms straight to global corporations. No way for the 99% to build that local, regulated, and public energy platform for our alternative energy.
EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THAT GLOBAL CORPORATIONS ARE NOT BUILDING ENERGY STRUCTURES FOR SERVING THE 99%----IT BUILDS THESE STRUCTURES FOR PROFITEERING, CONTROLLING POWER, AND FOR ASSURING GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUSES AND GLOBAL FACTORIES GET PRIORITY OVER ALL THESE ENERGY SOURCES
No matter how many times a global Wall Street player tells us----HERE ARE SMALL BUSINESS COMPETITORS-----they are lying. What are being called regional alternative energy businesses are simply SUBSIDIARIES OF GLOBAL ENERGY CORPORATIONS.
'But opponents like Ms. Gatrel say that giant projects like the Grain Belt Express represent an outmoded, centralized approach to delivering energy. Just as it is healthier and more sustainable to eat foods close to where they are grown, the argument goes, so, too, should electricity be consumed closer to where it is produced'.
“We believe that the East Coast has access to abundant offshore wind and that any time you talk about green or clean, you should also be talking about local,” she said. “Unnecessary long-haul transmission lines are not our country’s future.”
Fight to Keep Alternative Energy Local Stymies an Industry
By DIANE CARDWELLMARCH 23, 2016
Jeff Gatrel at his farm in northern Missouri. The Gatrels are part of a group of local landowners who oppose a plan to build high-voltage transmission lines across or near their property to get power produced from wind to the East Coast. Credit Christopher Smith for The New York Times
COWGILL, Mo. — Up and down the center of the country, winds rip across plains, ridges and plateaus, a belt of unharnessed energy capable of powering millions of customers, with enormous potential to help meet national goals to stem climate change.
And because the bulk of the demand is hundreds of miles away, companies are working to build a robust network of high-voltage transmission lines to get the power to the coasts.
If only it were that simple. In all, more than 3,100 miles of projects have yet to be built, in need of government approval.
One of the most ambitious projects, called the Grain Belt Express from a company called Clean Line Energy Partners, spent six years winning the go-ahead in three of the Midwestern states it would cross, only to hit a dead end in Missouri when state regulators voted 3 to 2 to stop the project. They were swayed by landowners like Jennifer Gatrel, who runs a midsize family cattle operation with her husband, Jeff, here in the northwestern part of the state.
She and other opponents made the usual arguments against trampling property rights through the use of eminent domain, obliterating their pastoral views and disrupting their way of life.
But they also argued something else: Why should they have to live beneath the high-voltage lines when there is plenty of wind in the East?
Now the whole project is waiting, putting the Gatrels in the middle of an emerging battle over how the nation should shift to renewable energy and meet ambitious targets in carbon reduction. The outcome will determine where and how green energy will develop over the coming decades.
Proposed Transmission Lines for Renewable Energy
Several companies are hoping to build high-voltage transmission lines to transport renewable energy from wind farms and hydroelectric plants to more populous regions of the country. One such company, Clean Line Energy Partners, has been denied permission by the Missouri Public Service Commission to run its Grain Belt Express transmission line across that state.
“We have this potential for high-quality renewables in real volume for the first time,” said James J. Hoecker, a former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who now advises the transmission industry. “The problem is, where the best renewables are, there are few customers.”
The transmission lines like Grain Belt Express, he said, would bring the electricity to where there is demand.
The push to enhance the grid has gained urgency as renewables have spread. Already, electric systems in areas like Hawaii and Germany are under strain as wind and solar power fluctuate and overload the wires. What is needed, proponents say, is a new infrastructure better suited to handle renewable energy.
Energy Department officials acknowledge as much, saying that the United States must significantly upgrade its transmission and distribution system to meet both the needs of the information economy and clean energy goals, an effort that would require an estimated $900 billion in investment by 2030.
A recent study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado, Boulder, found that with such a network, the United States could supply most of its electricity with renewables by then at costs near today’s prices and get close to meeting the goals set in the Paris agreement on climate change.
But opponents like Ms. Gatrel say that giant projects like the Grain Belt Express represent an outmoded, centralized approach to delivering energy. Just as it is healthier and more sustainable to eat foods close to where they are grown, the argument goes, so, too, should electricity be consumed closer to where it is produced.
“We believe that the East Coast has access to abundant offshore wind and that any time you talk about green or clean, you should also be talking about local,” she said. “Unnecessary long-haul transmission lines are not our country’s future.”
Wayne Wilcox at his property in Missouri, which is crossed by a power transmission lines. He says the Grain Belt Express project will bring benefits to the local area. Credit Christopher Smith for The New York Times
It isn’t just here in northwestern Missouri that construction of new power lines has met resistance, and transmission projects can live or die at the hands of state and county officials representing the local interest.
Clean Line has five projects in the works, including one that failed to gain approval in Iowa and another that ran aground in Arkansas and is awaiting federal approval under a thus-far unused provision of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. TransWest Express, a connector that the billionaire Philip Anschutz is proposing to install from the enormous wind farm he is developing on his south-central Wyoming cattle ranch to Las Vegas, is also awaiting a federal go-ahead.
But some energy officials and executives say there is a more dynamic and resilient alternative to these sprawling networks. Instead, they are promoting the development of less centralized systems that link smaller power installations, including rooftop solar, storage and electric vehicles, an approach known as distributed generation.
Conflict over those competing visions has cropped up across the country in fights over both wind and solar developments, but nowhere is that conflict starker than in Missouri’s rejection of Grain Belt.
The transmission line, which could create thousands of temporary manufacturing and construction jobs in the state, attracted strong support among some economic development officials and landowners. They saw it as a chance to bring needed revenue to local counties and school districts, as well as to provide extra income for those whose land it crosses.
“I’m wanting to make sure that my local district has the assets to be able to do what they need to do,” said Wayne Wilcox, 68, who runs a farm that has been in his family since 1884 and is a commissioner in Randolph County. “I just believe a project like this brings a lot of good to a community.”
But opponents flooded the state Public Service Commission with thousands of comments against the proposal. Among the objections was granting Clean Line eminent domain so it could profit from shipping electricity to energy-hungry regions that command higher power prices. In addition, opponents say that the lines can interrupt farming operations, pierce the country quiet with humming or popping sounds and pollute the nights with a glow.
Forging at Hubbell, a supplier of power system equipment in Centralia, Mo. Proponents of a transmission line to take wind power east say it could create temporary manufacturing and construction jobs in the state at places like Hubbell. Credit Christopher Smith for The New York Times
And although the lines are said to be safe, farmers are warned not to refuel vehicles underneath them, or if refueling is necessary, to ground equipment with heavy chains.
Michael Skelly, Clean Line’s president and founder, said that the lines would not glow, but acknowledged that most landowners wouldn’t be eager to have the towers, which could rise 150 feet, on their properties. He also said that the exceptional winds of the Great Plains could go a long way toward reducing the country’s carbon emissions, and that the company would compensate landowners for their sacrifice. And since there is no comprehensive, national transmission-building program, he said, it was up to private companies to devise business models to handle it.
“The difficult thing is that with infrastructure of any type, it has to go somewhere,” he said, adding, “To motivate investors, there has to be a possibility that they make money — otherwise, it’s not going to happen.”
The state’s five-member Public Service Commission, which rejected the proposal by one vote, concluded that its priority was Missouri, and “that any actual benefits to the general public from the project are outweighed by the burdens on affected landowners.”
One of the dissenting commissioners, Daniel Y. Hall, who is now the chairman, wrote that the majority had used an “overly narrow and parochial interpretation of the public interest” that put the state “on the wrong side of history.”
That debate is far from over. Clean Line plans to reapply, Mr. Skelly said, and Ms. Gatrel and her neighbors have vowed to continue their fight.
Last month, she stood on a windswept hill at her home, just below a flock of chickens and ducks pecking near a cold frame holding the last of a crop of lettuce. Her son, Dalton, ran a pony around a ring while her husband, who like his wife is 35 years old, worked cattle on horseback in a nearby pasture.
“I love this life,” she said. “I love this land.”
Here is just such a business pretending to be that local solar panel business simply tied to global MITSUI. Now, this partnership with a Japanese energy corporation as is happening with all infrastructure projects will replace any US citizen thinking to be a small business partner.
The left social progressive stance on solar energy is constructing a solar panel based on SIMPLICITY----it has no toxic components ---it simply captures sunlight---runs that energy inside our house with maybe a thermo-hydrologic pipeline inside walls. None of this is connected to the grid----it is SELF-SUSTAINING. Why would WE THE PEOPLE send solar energy to a global ONE GRID when we know that energy will be used for profiteering-----it will be selectively distributed especially to corporations, and the rates the 99% will pay will continue to climb no matter how much solar energy we send back to this GRID.
IT IS RIGGED FOLKS AS ALL GLOBAL WALL STREET CONSTRUCTS ARE.
So, rather than have that simple solar panel on roof construct for individual homes -----we have to have solar panels filled with SMART TECHNOLOGY which is where all the toxic chemicals and climate change gases emanate.
Of course this 'community' subsidiary is headquartered in San Fran Silicon Valley region-----these solar arrays are not the same solar arrays and rooftop panels from pre-Clinton era----the SMART GRID connection components are watch make today's platforms more toxic and climate changing. WE DO NOT WANT THESE SOLAR PLATFORMS----local means local owned---local small manufacturing-made----local citizen control.
About ForeFront Power
ForeFront Power is a leading provider of solar energy services, serving business, public sector, utility, and residential customers. Combined with the global energy expertise of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., our team provides a reliable platform for continued project development excellence.
You can now subscribe to a local solar project to lower your utility bills and enable renewable energy investment. Take advantage of off-site solar power with no upfront costs and more flexible terms.
Save on Electricity
The percentage allocation of your Community Solar array is set for your contract term, providing a buffer against energy price volatility. You pay no money down and can starting saving right away.
Community Solar is located at a nearby site in your community, eliminating space constraints and other limitations of on-premises development, all while keeping environmental benefits local. By participating in a community solar array, you are enabling local, clean power development and job creation.
As a subscriber of a local solar project, you can be a community leader, joining other local businesses and residents that want the benefits of community solar. Also by participating in a community solar array, you are enabling local, clean power development and job creation.
Beyond the benefit of electricity savings, solar energy can help your organization meet environmental goals as your installation brings more renewable energy to the grid, while also helping your state and community climb towards renewable energy targets.
We speak often about the sudden rise in incorporated businesses in 2008-2009. Just as our economy crashed and the next phase of MOVING FORWARD was started---US city infrastructure suddenly we had INCORPORATION ACROSS THE NATION. We follow those in Maryland and this is what we always find. Either these 'startups'/'local' contractors are tied to TEXAS or are foreign partners. Maryland may as well be TEXAS as global Johns Hopkins is Bush is defense and energy.
This is what is being called the alternative source for low-income people---we spoke with a Clearview Energy employee-----yet another part-time and temporary job -----selling citizens this corporation as DIVERSIFYING our state energy grid.
What did global Wall Street Clinton neo-liberals do to our low-income citizens when they DEREGULATED AND CONSOLIDATED BANKING? They created that subset of predatory lending/check cashing -----well that is what is now happening in our home energy sector----what used to be electric and natural gas-----now wind and solar ----came to all houses and businesses EQUALLY AND WITH EQUAL RATES. What these corporations are being allowed to do is DEREGULATE these equal rates creating winners and losers in receiving simple home energy.
So, here in Baltimore rather than dismantle growing corporate structure in energy---the REAL LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE STANCE----they are breaking down all regulations----allowing individual citizens to be treated differently than others in how they receive energy. On top of that-----all Federal funding geared towards low-income energy sustainability is simply lost to fraud to these ONE GRID GLOBAL ENERGY CORPORATIONS.
8 years in business
PO Box 130659
Dallas, TX 75313-0659
Find a Location
BBB File Opened: 04/12/2011
Business Started: 08/31/2008
Business Started Locally: 08/31/2008
Business Incorporated: 08/31/2006 in TX
Type of Entity
- Victor Carrington, Customer Relations Specia
- Mr. Jeremy Reed, Regulatory Affairs
- Ms. Nicole Steele, Vice President
- Energy Service Companies
Alternate Business Names
- Clearview Electric Inc.
'The Associated Press compiled a list of 41 solar makers in the state, which included the top companies based on market data, and startups. In response to an AP records request, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control provided data that showed 17 of them reported waste, while the remaining did not.
The same level of federal data does not exist'.
Solar panel makers grapple with hazardous waste problem
By Jason Dearen, The Associated Press | February 11, 2013 8:48 AM ET
More from The Associated Press
Sam Hodgson/BloombergA solar panel being installed at a home in Encinitas, California.
Solar power's dirty side: hazardous waste problem
While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling with a hazardous waste problem
SAN FRANCISCO — Homeowners on the hunt for sparkling solar panels are lured by ads filled with images of pristine landscapes and bright sunshine, and words about the technology’s benefits for the environment — and the wallet.
What customers may not know is that there’s a dirtier side.
While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling with a hazardous waste problem. Fueled partly by billions in government incentives, the industry is creating millions of solar panels each year and, in the process, millions of pounds of polluted sludge and contaminated water.
To dispose of the material, the companies must transport it by truck or rail far from their own plants to waste facilities hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles away.
The fossil fuels used to transport that waste, experts say, is not typically considered in calculating solar’s carbon footprint, giving scientists and consumers who use the measurement to gauge a product’s impact on global warming the impression that solar is cleaner than it is.
After installing a solar panel, “it would take one to three months of generating electricity to pay off the energy invested in driving those hazardous waste emissions out of state,” said Dustin Mulvaney, a San Jose State University environmental studies professor who conducts carbon footprint analyses of solar, biofuel and natural gas production.
The waste from manufacturing has raised concerns within the industry, which fears that the problem, if left unchecked, could undermine solar’s green image at a time when companies are facing stiff competition from each other and from low-cost panel manufacturers from China and elsewhere.
“We want to take the lessons learned from electronics and semiconductor industries (about pollution) and get ahead of some of these problems,” said John Smirnow, vice-president for trade and competitiveness at the nearly 500-member Solar Energy Industries Association.
The increase in solar hazardous waste is directly related to the industry’s fast growth over the past five years — even with solar business moving to China rapidly, the U.S. was a net exporter of solar products by $2 billion in 2010, the last year of data available. The nation was even a net exporter to China.
New companies often send hazardous waste out of their plants because they have not yet invested in on-site treatment equipment, which allows them to recycle some waste.
Nowhere is the waste issue more evident than in California, where landmark regulations approved in the 1970s require industrial plants like solar panel makers to report the amount of hazardous materials they produce, and where they send it. California leads the consumer solar market in the U.S. — which doubled overall both in 2010 and 2011.
The Associated Press compiled a list of 41 solar makers in the state, which included the top companies based on market data, and startups. In response to an AP records request, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control provided data that showed 17 of them reported waste, while the remaining did not.
The same level of federal data does not exist.
The state records show the 17 companies, which had 44 manufacturing facilities in California, produced 46.5 million pounds of sludge and contaminated water from 2007 through the first half of 2011. Roughly 97 per cent of it was taken to hazardous waste facilities throughout the state, but more than 1.4 million pounds were transported to nine other states: Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.
Several solar energy experts said they have not calculated the industry’s total waste and were surprised at what the records showed.
Solyndra, the now-defunct solar company that received $535 million in guaranteed federal loans, reported producing about 12.5 million pounds of hazardous waste, much of it carcinogenic cadmium-contaminated water, which was sent to waste facilities from 2007 through mid-2011.
Before the company went bankrupt, leading to increased scrutiny of the solar industry and political fallout for President Barack Obama’s administration, Solyndra said it created 100 megawatts-worth of solar panels, enough to power 100,000 homes.
The records also show several other Silicon Valley solar facilities created millions of pounds of toxic waste without selling a single solar panel, while they were developing their technology or fine-tuning their production.
While much of the waste produced is considered toxic, there was no evidence it has harmed human health.
The vast majority of solar companies that generated hazardous waste in California have not been cited for waste-related pollution violations, although three had minor violations on file.
In many cases, a toxic sludge is created when metals and other toxins are removed from water used in the manufacturing process. If a company doesn’t have its own treatment equipment, then it will send contaminated water to be stored at an approved dump.
According to scientists who conduct so-called “life cycle analysis” for solar, the transport of waste is not currently being factored into the carbon footprint score, which measures the amount of greenhouse gases produced when making a product.
Life cycle analysts add up all the global warming pollution that goes into making a certain product — from the mining needed for components to the exhaust from diesel trucks used to transport waste and materials. Not factoring the hazardous waste transport into solar’s carbon footprint is an obvious oversight, analysts said.
“The greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting this waste is not insignificant,” Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney noted that shipping, for example, 6.2 million pounds of waste by heavy-duty tractor-trailer from Fremont, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay area, to a site 1,800 miles away could add 5 per cent to a particular product’s carbon footprint.
Such scores are important because they provide transparency to government and consumers into just how environmentally sustainable specific products are and lay out a choice between one company’s technology and another’s.
The roughly 20-year life of a solar panel still makes it some of the cleanest energy technology currently available. Producing solar is still significantly cleaner than fossil fuels. Energy derived from natural gas and coal-fired power plants, for example, creates more than 10 times more hazardous waste than the same energy created by a solar panel, according to Mulvaney.
The U.S. solar industry said it is reporting its waste, and sending it to approved storage facilities — thus keeping it out of the nation’s air and water. A coal-fired power plant, in contrast, sends mercury, cadmium and other toxins directly into the air, which pollutes water and land around the facility.
“Having this stuff go to … hazardous waste sites, that’s what you want to have happen,” said Adam Browning, executive director of the Vote Solar Initiative, a solar advocacy group.
Environmental advocates say the solar industry needs greater transparency, which is getting more complicated as manufacturing moves from the U.S. and Europe to less regulated places such as China and Malaysia.
The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, a watchdog group created in 1982 in response to severe environmental problems associated with the valley’s electronics industry, is now trying to keep the solar industry from making similar mistakes through a voluntary waste reporting “scorecard.” So far, only 14 of 114 companies contacted have replied. Those 14 were larger firms that comprised 51-per cent of the solar market share.
“We find the overall industry response rate to our request for environmental information to be pretty dismal for an industry that is considered ’green,”’ the group’s executive director, Sheila Davis, said in an email.
While there are no specific industry standards, Smirnow, head of the solar industry association, is spearheading a voluntary program of environmental responsibility. So far, only seven of the group’s nearly 81 manufacturers have signed the pledge.
“We want (our program) to be more demanding, but this is a young industry and right now manufacturing companies are focused on survival,” he said.
And here is the catch for homeowners wanting individual roof solar-----the GREEN CREDITS supposedly making it affordable are tied with global solar corporations maintaining control of panels and energy for ONE GRID. It's our house---it is their solar panel -----and as this article states selling these homes creates all new law----and guess what? The 99% are again the LOSERS.
This connection of our solar energy to ONE GRID is what makes these policies RIGHT WING-----NOT ENVIRONMENTAL-----HARMFUL TO CITIZENS AND ENVIRONMENT. It is not the solar panel -----it is the PUBLIC POLICY.
IT IS EASIER TO JUST GET RID OF ALL GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS AND PLAYERS.
These ALTERNATIVE ENERGY policies were never meant to be GREEN-----think who those 'labor and justice' organization 5% players were that sold all this ONE GRID as GREEN to allow global Wall Street Clinton/Obama neo-liberals to POSE LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE.
Selling a House with Solar Panels is Not for the Faint of Heart
By Stuart Kaplow on May 21, 2017 Posted in Energy, Environmental, Solar Panel
There are more than a Million houses in the U.S. with solar panels installed on the roof and that number is increasing. It can be difficult if not dangerous to fail to properly address rooftop solar panels at the time of sale of a house.
Among the most often made inquiries to this law firm arise from the failure to properly transfer installed solar panels.
We assist real estate owners and those acquiring property in positively leveraging the constraints and finding advantages in matters involving solar panels, often including new approaches and possibilities in this emergent arena.
But contract forms for the sale and purchase of a house are often provided by a local board of realtors and today those forms do not adequately address the new and only now evolving issues arising from a sale with rooftop solar panels.
There is no one homogenized solar panel ‘deal’ and the business terms including ‘who owns the panels’ varies from one transaction type to another, and in most instances these installations are governed by varying state laws. But commonly, residential solar panel leases provide language similar to, ..
You agree that the solar panel system is the Company’s personal property under the Uniform Commercial Code. You understand and agree that this is a lease and not a sale agreement. The Company owns the solar panel system for all purposes.
Obviously this creates issues when selling a house with solar panels on the roof that belong to someone else. It is common that residential solar panel leases provide language similar to,
If you sell your home you can transfer this lease and the monthly payments.
The person buying your home can sign a transfer agreement assuming all of your rights and obligations under this lease by qualifying in one of three ways: (1) the home buyer has a FICO score of 650 or greater; (2) the home buyer is paying cash for your home; or (3) if the home buyer does not qualify under (1) or (2), if the home buyer qualifies for a mortgage to purchase your home and the home buyer pays us a $250 credit exception fee.
Or, if you are moving to a new home in the same utility district, then where permitted by the local utility, the system can be moved to your new home. You will need to pay all costs associated with relocating the system, ..
Timing also needs to be considered when entering into a contract to sell a house,
You agree to give the Company at least 15 days but not more than 90 days prior written notice if you want someone to assume your lease obligations.
Many of the companies engaged in this business (.. but not all) file a UCC-1 financing statement in the real estate records that puts third parties on notice to their rights in the system. That fixture filing is in most states a lien or encumbrance against the system. But because in many residential transactions, title companies do not search the UCC-1 indexes (.. that are primarily used for business purposes), solar leases are regularly missed.
However, the express language of solar system leases cannot be missed,
EXCEPT AS SET FORTH IN THIS LEASE, YOU WILL NOT SUBLEASE, ASSIGN, SELL, PLEDGE OR IN ANY OTHER WAY TRANSFER YOUR INTEREST IN THE SYSTEM OR THIS LEASE WITHOUT OUR PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.
That accepted, as suggested by the solar lease language above, there are options and fertile, enabling and desirable business terms that can add significant value to the real estate. The solar lease, as well as any power purchase agreement need to be considered in light of federal and state law (including tax laws) that stimulate new possibilities including create profit.
Shockingly, this is not only a residential problem. This firm regularly receives inquiries arising from commercial real estate transactions that have not adequately addressed matters of solar panels, PPAs, tax credits and the like.
Selling a house with solar panels is not for the faint of heart. There can be real legal jeopardy and significant dollar liability for those failing to address the issues associated with solar panels. It we can assist you in positively leveraging the constraints and finding advantages in matters of transactions involving solar panels do not hesitate to give Stuart Kaplow a call.
This is how we know MOTHER JONES is no longer a left social progressive journal----it like all other global Wall Street media always shout AFTER PLATFORMS ARE BUILT about how bad they are. Those tied to public policy on energy and environment KNEW THESE OBAMA/CLINTON NEO-LIBERAL POLICIES ON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY were bad back in 2009. Why is MOTHER JONES stating the obvious NOW? Same reason global Wall Street media will tell us all about the massive US Treasury and municipal bond fraud AFTER THE COMING ECONOMIC CRASH. This is how we know a media outlet is FAR-RIGHT WING WALL STREET.
We knew while Maryland's Governor O'Malley was touting these alternative energy platforms that they were very, very, very bad for 99% WE THE PEOPLE. But Maryland media----Maryland 'labor and justice' organizations created by global Johns Hopkins and the O'Malley political machine comes out every time to PRETEND ALL THIS IS LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE.
O'MALLEY-----RAWLINGS-BLAKE-----HOGAN-----PUGH-------BEN JEALOUS-----MAGGIE MCINTOSH----ALL THE SAME GLOBAL WALL STREET 5% POLS AND PLAYERS.
The Problem With Rooftop Solar That Nobody Is Talking About
Where does the green energy from your panels really go?
Tim McDonnellJanuary/February 2016 issue
A couple of years ago, Steven Weissman, an energy lawyer at the University of California-Berkeley, started to shop around for solar panels for his house. It seemed like an environmental no-brainer. For zero down, leading residential provider SolarCity would install panels on his roof. The company would own the equipment, and he’d buy the power it produces for less than he had been paying his electric utility. Save money, fight climate change. Sounds like a deal.
But while reading the contract, Weissman discovered the fine print that helps make that deal possible: SolarCity would also retain ownership of his system’s renewable energy credits. It’s the kind of detail your average solar customer wouldn’t notice or maybe care about. But to Weissman, it was an unexpected letdown.
To understand his hang-up, you need a bit of Electricity 101. If you have solar panels on your roof, the electrons they produce flow across the electric grid like water, following a path of least resistance. As they whiz around, electrons are impossible to track and look identical, whether they’re coming from solar panels, a coal plant, or whatever. But there is value in keeping tabs on the renewable ones, so energy wonks came up with renewable energy credits (RECs), a tradable financial instrument that corresponds to a certain amount of energy produced by a certain renewable source like solar or wind.
By selling the RECs instead of keeping them for yourself, you could just be helping the utility meet a goal it was already mandated to meet.Because RECs have value—ranging from under a penny to a buck or two for each hour’s worth of electricity your roof produces, depending on the state, companies like SolarCity can sell them and thus help justify giving you the solar panels for little to nothing. The biggest buyers of RECs are power companies looking to satisfy state-mandated clean-energy requirements, known as renewable portfolio standards. In effect, the power company pays for the right to claim the climate benefits of the panels on your roof.
It sounds like an esoteric distinction, but it matters: By selling the RECs instead of keeping them for yourself, you could just be helping the utility meet a goal it was already mandated to meet—thus helping excuse it from building more solar capacity itself. In other words, your direct net contribution to reducing greenhouse gas pollution is nil.
SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive argues that his REC-less customers are still part of the climate solution by creating the RECs in the first place. “By you installing solar, whether you own the REC or not, every kilowatt-hour [of electricity] you produce is clean,” he said. But the half-dozen energy economists and lawyers I spoke to—from universities, think tanks, REC brokers, and the federal government—said that solar leasing companies’ marketing can be misleading. “A lot of individuals buy green power because they want to know that the power they’re buying wouldn’t be there unless they bought it,” says Jennifer Martin, executive director of the Center for Resource Solutions, a nonprofit firm that certifies RECs’ authenticity. But if that’s what you think, and you don’t hold onto the RECs, “you’re not getting what you’re paying for.”
Politicians who see solar on their constituents’ rooftops are “going to be encouraged to dream big,” says one expert on renewables.So does that mean you should skip the panels altogether? Hardly. There are still many good reasons to go solar, including the possibility to save money on your electric bill. Meanwhile, the more people who adopt solar panels, the more the price drops, as panel manufacturers and installers get more efficient. This is already happening, as the cost of solar has plummeted 73 percent since 2006 and could soon be equal to or less than the cost of other electricity in many states. Industry insiders have a rule of thumb that every time production of panels doubles, solar prices drop 20 percent.
Then there’s the powerful “Prius effect,” wherein the conspicuous use of a green product like an electric vehicle or solar panels prompts neighbors to follow suit. That growing customer base can be a source of pressure on governors and state legislators to ramp up their climate ambitions. Politicians who see solar on their constituents’ rooftops are “going to be encouraged to dream big,” said Nathanael Greene, director of renewable-energy policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council. California, the country’s leading solar state, recently boosted its renewable portfolio standards to one of the most ambitious in the country, requiring utilities to get half of their power from renewables by 2030. By 2045, Hawaiian utilities will get 100 percent of their energy from renewables, in accordance with a law passed last summer.
Those factors were enough to tip Weissman in favor of installing panels. While he still thinks it’s misleading to market solar leases as providing green energy if they don’t include RECs, he ultimately decided to sign on the dotted line.
“I think if you have the ability to do so, you should be part of the conversation,” he said, “part of the effort to move us away from fossil fuels.”
And this is what we knew would happen as well------there is no profit for global solar corporations in installing solar panels on houses----building massive floating solar platforms globally----that's what OBAMA/CLINTON/O'MALLEY GLOBAL WALL STREET NEO-LIBERALS worked toward.
Now, the solar industry is so captured by global corporations ----laws passed giving them the power of infrastructure access---Federal and state funding all directed at these global SOLAR CORPORATIONS and then these corporations decide it is not profitable to offer home roof solar.
HOME ROOF SOLAR WAS THE LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE STANCE ON SOLAR---AND GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS DELIBERATELY BLOCKED THAT REAL GREEN POLICY.
Utilities wage campaign against rooftop solar
By Joby Warrick March 7, 2015
Three years ago, the nation’s top utility executives gathered at a Colorado resort to hear warnings about a grave new threat to operators of America’s electric grid: not superstorms or cyberattacks, but rooftop solar panels.
SolarCraft workers install solar panels on the roof of a home in San Rafael, Calif. According to a report by the Solar Foundation, the solar industry employs more workers than the coal-mining industry. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)If demand for residential solar continued to soar, traditional utilities could soon face serious problems, from “declining retail sales” and a “loss of customers” to “potential obsolescence,” according to a presentation prepared for the group. “Industry must prepare an action plan to address the challenges,” it said.
The warning, delivered to a private meeting of the utility industry’s main trade association, became a call to arms for electricity providers in nearly every corner of the nation. Three years later, the industry and its fossil-fuel supporters are waging a determined campaign to stop a home-solar insurgency that is rattling the boardrooms of the country’s government-regulated electric monopolies.
The campaign’s first phase—an industry push for state laws raising prices for solar customers—failed spectacularly in legislatures around the country, due in part to surprisingly strong support for solar energy from conservatives and evangelicals in traditionally “red states.” But more recently, the battle has shifted to public utility commissions, where industry backers have mounted a more successful push for fee hikes that could put solar panels out of reach for many potential customers.
In a closely watched case last month, an Arizona utility voted to impose a monthly surcharge of about $50 for “net metering,” a common practice that allows solar customers to earn credit for the surplus electricity they provide to the electric grid. Net metering makes home solar affordable by sharply lowering electric bills to offset the $10,000 to $30,000 cost of rooftop panels.
A Wisconsin utilities commission approved a similar surcharge for solar users last year, and a New Mexico regulator also is considering raising fees. In some states, industry officials have enlisted the help of minority groups in arguing that solar panels hurt the poor by driving up electricity rates for everyone else.
Utility companies take on solar power View Graphic “The utilities are fighting tooth and nail,” said Scott Peterson, director of the Checks and Balances Project, a Virginia nonprofit that investigates lobbyists’ ties to regulatory agencies. Peterson, who has tracked the industry’s two-year legislative fight, said the pivot to public utility commissions moves the battle to friendlier terrain for utilities. The commissions, usually made up of political appointees, “have enormous power, and no one really watches them,” Peterson said.
Industry officials say they support their customers’ right to generate electricity on their own property, but they say rooftop solar’s new popularity is creating a serious cost imbalance. While homeowners with solar panels usually see dramatic reductions in their electric bills, they still rely on the grid for electricity at night and on cloudy days. The utility collects less revenue, even though the infrastructure costs — from expensive power plants to transmission lines and maintenance crews — remain the same.
Ultimately, someone pays those costs, said David K. Owens, an executive vice president for Edison Electric Institute, the trade association that represents the nation’s investor-owned utilities.
“It’s not about profits; it’s about protecting customers,” said Owens, said. “There are unreasonable cost shifts that do occur [with solar]. There is a grid that everyone relies on, and you have to pay for that grid and pay for that infrastructure.”
Nearly 174,000 people work in the solar industry compared with close to 80,000 in the coal industry. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Whether home-solar systems add significant costs to electric grids is the subject of intense debate. A Louisiana study last month concluded that solar roofs had resulted in cost shifts of more than $2 million that must be borne by Louisiana customers who lack solar panels. That study was immediately disputed by clean energy groups that pointed to extensive ties between the report’s authors and the fossil-fuel lobby.
Other studies commissioned by state regulators in Nevada and Mississippi found that any costs are generally outweighed by benefits. For one thing, researchers found, the excess energy generated by solar panels helps reduce the strain on electric grids on summer days when demand soars and utilities are forced to buy additional power at high rates. Other experts note that the shift to solar energy is helping states meet new federal requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also producing thousands of new jobs. The residential solar industry currently employs about 174,000 people nationwide, or twice as many as the number of coal miners.
“Independent studies show that distributed solar benefits all ratepayers by preventing the need to build new, expensive power plants or transmission lines,” said Matthew Kasper, a fellow at the Energy & Policy Institute, a pro-solar think tank. “Utilities make their money by building big, new infrastructure projects and then sending ratepayers the bill, which is exactly why utilities want to eliminate solar.”
We think the hundreds of billions of dollars to industrial solar platforms is the same expense.
Solar-panel costs plunge
Residential solar panels have been widely available since the 1970s, but advances in the past decade have transformed home solar energy in many areas from an expensive novelty to a cost-competitive alternative to traditional power.
The average price of photovoltaic cells has plummeted 60 percent since 2010, thanks to lower production costs and more-efficient designs. Solar’s share of global energy production is climbing steadily, and a study last week by researchers from Cambridge University concluded that photovoltaics will soon be able to out-compete fossil fuels, even if oil prices drop to as low as $10 a barrel.
In the United States, utilities have embraced solar projects of their own making, building large solar farms that produce nearly 60 percent of the electricity that comes from the sun’s rays.
“We are pro-solar,” said Edison’s Owens. “We are putting in more solar than any other industry.”
But the arrival of cheaper solar technology has also brought an unexpected challenge to the industry’s bottom line: As millions of residential and business customers opt for solar, revenue for utilities is beginning to decline. Industry-sponsored studies have warned the trend could eventually lead to a radical restructure of energy markets, similar to earlier upheavals with phone-company monopolies.
“One can imagine a day when battery-storage technology or micro turbines could allow customers to be electric grid independent,” said a 2013 Edison study. “To put this into perspective, who would have believed 10 years ago that traditional wire line telephone customers could economically ‘cut the cord’?”
Support from conservatives
The utility industry’s playbook for slowing the growth of residential solar is laid out in a few frames of the computer slide show presented at an Edison-sponsored retreat in September 2012, in a lakeside resort hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. Despite a bland title—“Facing the Challenges of a Distribution System in Transition”—the Edison document portrays solar systems as a serious, long-term threat to the survival of traditional electricity providers.
Throughout the country, it noted, lawmakers and regulatory agencies were “promoting policies that are accelerating this transition — subsidies are growing.” The document, provided to The Washington Post by the Energy & Policy Institute, called for a campaign of “focused outreach” targeting key groups that could influence the debate: state legislatures, regulatory agencies and sympathetic consumer-advocacy groups.
Two-and-a-half years later, evidence of the “action plan” envisioned by Edison officials can be seen in states across the country. Legislation to make net metering illegal or more costly has been introduced in nearly two dozen state houses since 2013. Some of the proposals were virtual copies of model legislation drafted two years ago by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a nonprofit organization with financial ties to billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch.
Most of the bills that have been considered so far have been either rejected or vetoed, with the most-striking defeats coming in Republican strongholds, such as Indiana and Utah. There, anti-solar legislation came under a surprisingly fierce attack from free-market conservatives and even evangelical groups, many of which have installed solar panels on their churches.
“Conservatives support solar — they support it even more than progressives do,” said Bryan Miller, co-chairman of the Alliance for Solar Choice and a vice president of public policy for Sunrun, a California solar provider. “It’s about competition in its most basic form. The idea that you should be forced to buy power from a state-sponsored monopoly and not have an option is about the least conservative thing you can imagine.”
Where legislatures failed to deliver, power companies have sought help from regulatory agencies, chiefly the public utility commissions that set rates and fees that can be charged by electricity providers. Here, the results have been more encouraging for power companies.
Last month’s decision to slap monthly surcharges on solar customers in south-central Arizona was hailed as a breakthrough for the utilities in a state that has turned back several similar attempts in the past two years. The Tempe, Ariz., Salt River Project, one of Arizona’s largest utilities, approved the new fee despite furious opposition from solar users, including about 500 people who packed the commission’s hearing room for the Feb. 26 vote.
Solar companies already have filed suit to stop a similar fee increase approved last year by Wisconsin commissioners, and others are watching closely to see if New Mexico’s Public Service Co. will adopt a proposal to impose a monthly surcharge of up to $35 on solar customers there.
Regulators in each of the three states have cited fairness as the reason for the proposed increases. But solar advocates say the real injustice is the ability of electric monopolies to destroy a competitor that offers potential benefits both to consumers and to society.
“It’s really about utilities’ fear that solar customers are taking away demand,” said Angela Navarro, an energy expert with the Southern Environmental Law Center. “These customers are installing solar at their own cost and providing a valuable resource: additional electricity for the grid at the times when the utilities need it most. And it’s all carbon-free.”
HERE IS OUR OLD FRIEND THE GLOBAL 1% ELON MUSK----he must be connected to every Obama and Clinton neo-liberal technology deal these several years. If alternative energy is local---if the businesses and manufacturing servicing and making the solar panels is local----if the alternative energy is regulated with oversight ---
CITIZENS HAVE VOICE AND PROTECTION AND SOLAR WOULD REALLY BE GREEN.
Here in Baltimore, our Baltimore City Council and Maryland Assembly pols are told by global Wall Street Baltimore Development and global Johns Hopkins which alternative energy global corporation the HOPKIN'S ENDOWNMENT and hedge fund is invested ---and that is the wind, solar, fracking corporation brought to Baltimore. Then these same global Wall Street pols in Baltimore do a little INSIDER TRADING investment for themselves----AND VOILA---WE HAVE BALTIMORE'S PUBLIC POLICY ON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY WITH 99% OF CITIZENS AS LOSERS.
Customers tell horror stories of solar company that gets $422M in tax dollars
By Tori Richards / February 26, 2014 / News / 443
Part 1 of 11 in the series SolarCity
By Tori Richards | Watchdog.org
SUPER STOCK? CEO Elon Musk at the NASDAQ stock exchange brings SolarCity public in 2012.
We all get them — telemarketing callers pushing home solar-energy systems that will save us from rising electric bills.
Most of us generally hang up. But in 2012, Jeff Leeds, who lives in the Northern California town of Half Moon Bay, listened. His 3,100-square-foot home features 91 incandescent bucket lights, a 180-gallon fish tank, three large refrigerator-freezers and a huge entertainment system. His electric bill was averaging $350 per month.
The sales pitch Leeds was hearing on the phone sounded ideal: Lease a system from SolarCity, the nation’s second-largest solar electrical contractor, for a low monthly fee and reap the rewards of cheap electricity.
“For a $600 fee up front, I would pay $182 a month for the next 20 years,” Leeds said. “They have a performance guarantee. If I don’t make enough electricity, they said, ‘No problem, don’t worry, we will write you a check.’ I thought, ‘I’m covered.’”
A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES: Jeffrey Leeds is reminded of SolarCity every time he looks at his house.
Tacked on to that would be what the company called a small bill from the local utility company allowing the customer to use the grid and to cover the use of any electricity Leeds drew from the utility rather than from his SolarCity solar panels.
Now, 15 months later, the local utility company has raised its rates and instead of a lower bill, Leeds is pushing $500 a month with no way out for the next two decades. And he has the eyesore of solar panels that cover most of his roof.
“As a customer, you have no say,” Leeds said. “With a solar lease, you are putting the stuff on your roof. You have a signed contract with the devil and you are stuck with the stuff.”
SolarCity looked into Leeds’ case after receiving a call from Watchdog.org and offered this comment: “Mr. Leeds’ system did produce less than we guaranteed last year so he will be compensated for that under his performance guarantee.”
Was Leeds’ case an aberration?
SolarCity has generated a high number of cases of shoddy installation, said Gerald Chapman, building inspector manager for San Mateo County, which includes Half Moon Bay.
“SolarCity seems to be the biggest offender,” Chapman told Watchdog.org.
By contrast, he said, SolarCity’s small business competitors — he called them “the little guy” — “wants to do it right.”
“We pride ourselves on installation quality, but if we do make a mistake, we make it right,” countered Jonathan Bass, SolarCity’s vice president of communications. “We are rated A-plus by the Better Business Bureau, the highest rating they provide. Our work has been inspected and approved by more U.S. building departments than any other solar provider.”
Who is SolarCity?
The Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus package created an open trough of cash subsidies, leading to an explosion of solar-energy companies. Some of those — Solyndra is the most prominent example — went bust spectacularly. But such high-profile failures and reports of widespread abuse have done little to dampen entrepreneurial enthusiasm.
With rebates, tax breaks and the steady climb of electric rates, more and more Americans have been signing on for solar. But retail solar technology remains expensive — upward of $20,000 per home.
That’s where SolarCity comes in.
Founded in California in 2006 by Elon Musk — PayPal and SpaceX founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, creators of the luxury electric car — SolarCity leverages a unique business model to make solar more affordable. It leases systems to homeowners, typically for a 20-year period.
SolarCity has accepted more than $11 million in federal stimulus funds to make its business run. But the real public support appears elsewhere. Because SolarCity technically owns the energy systems it installs, SolarCity — not the homeowner — earns the federal tax break intended as an incentive to go solar. So far the company has earned $411 million in such tax breaks. The company also may earn additional income on state subsidies.
If that lease is a financial boon to SolarCity, it may prove problematic for SolarCity consumers. No matter how rapidly solar technology evolves, the SolarCity lease ties each homeowner to technology that is cutting edge only at the signing of the 20-year contract.
“Our approach is to install systems to the highest engineering standards,” SolarCity says on its web site. “SolarCity has assembled one of the most experienced clean-energy project design and installation teams in the world.”
The marketing has paid off. SolarCity claims some 90,000 customers in 14 states, and says it signs a new customer every five minutes. The company says its customers include Home Depot, Walmart and the U.S. government.
SolarCity vs. inspectors
Yet consumer-oriented sites like Yelp and the Better Business Bureau , the organization that rates SolarCity an A+, feature criticism from unhappy customers whose complaints follow a similar theme — shoddy installation, poor customer service and hidden fees. Many of the postings have an almost panic-stricken tone as the consumers plead for some sort of resolution to their nightmarish scenario.
More often than not, the negative comments attract the attention of SolarCity officials, who post resolutions to the various problems. Many of the consumers complain that they have spent months trying to remedy faulty installation, only to receive either continuous boilerplate responses from customer service or no response at all.
One California man got a front-row seat at the conflict between SolarCity installers and municipal building inspectors who are sent to sign off on the system before it is allowed to operate.
“The city came out during installation and an inspector gave them the codes and requirements,” said the consumer, who asked not to be identified. “The city guy told them exactly what he wanted and what was necessary, and they still put in the wrong breakers and the wrong wiring. The inspector came back out and looked at it and said, ‘You guys put the wrong breakers on — I told you guys what I needed for the code.’”
The consumer said nearly three weeks went by with no word from SolarCity. He finally called and talked to a manager who said the system had a design problem.
“I said, ‘What do the designs have to do with the breakers? Why not have the right design from the get-go?’” he said.
In all, he claimed, it took four months to finish.
Four months was blazing fast compared to the experience of San Diego lawyer Andrew Athanassious. He first talked to SolarCity in June 2013, eager to get a system installed on his massive home before a large September 2013 utility rate hike. Despite a contract, Athanassious said SolarCity later told him his roof was “not the right material” and he’d have to pay an additional $7,500.
Athanassious is no building contractor, but he said SolarCity’s installers should have known what they were getting into.
“It’s obvious what kind of roof I have. It’s clay tile. It’s not like you could think it’s anything else,” he said.
That was on Aug. 1. Athanssious said SolarCity virtually ignored him for the next two months. He finally agreed to split the cost of the system with SolarCity because they were still the lowest-priced contractor and because finding another solar company would take too much time. SolarCity finally installed the system in October. Unlike Leeds, subsequent electricity costs haven’t been a problem. Athanassious’ utility bill was $410 per month and now it’s zero. He pays SolarCity $357 per month for a lease, saving about $50 a month.
SolarCity responded: “Mr. Athanassious’ system did require a roof upgrade, and we sourced it for him at the lowest cost.”
But Athanssious has problems that remain. During installation, contractors rewired his swimming pool heater incorrectly when they were working on the home’s electric panel. They still haven’t fixed that, he said. And SolarCity has started tacking on $15 per month to Athanassious’ bill because he refuses to pay via direct deposit, a surcharge hidden in the contract.
Other consumers have been hit with the $15 fee as well, and they’ve complained on Yelp and to the Better Business Bureau.
“When I signed up, I was led to believe that they had online bill paying,” Athanassious said. “When I called them, they said they don’t have online payment capability.”
Stefano Chioetto of Denver has his system installed last February. A building inspector discovered that the installed inverter was incompatible with the utility grid and the system would not operate. For the next 50 days, Chioetto checked with SolarCity on the progress of a replacement part. He said he was given only vague answers like,
“We are doing our best and are committed to fixing your system ASAP,” according to his Better Business Bureau complaint.
“They found out that the inverter they actually needed was very expensive and they had to shop around and had no idea where to find it to fit in their budget,” Chioetto told Watchdog.org, saying he discovered this from an outside solar energy expert that he contacted.
Meanwhile, the summer months had arrived and Chioetto was annoyed that he couldn’t use his panels. After he complained to the BBB, the problem was fixed almost immediately — two months after the building inspector’s discovery.
But now he has a new problem. Chioetto lives in a townhome and shares a roof with his neighbor, who has decided to get solar panels of his own. He discovered that SolarCity installed the panels about 18 inches onto the neighbor’s side of the roof even though the dividing wall is clearly visible even from the ground, both men said.
“It’s very obvious that it’s going over a foot and a half,” said the neighbor, who did not want to be named. “You can absolutely see the property line without going on the roof.”
SolarCity admitted that was a problem.
“Mr. Chioetto had a grid parameter that is unusual in a residential site, and we ultimately found a compatible inverter that could support it, and we are redesigning his system to appease his neighbor and still offer him the same performance,” SolarCity said in its emailed statement.
The neighbor decided against using SolarCity because it kept changing terms of the contract by continuing to reduce the amount of electricity that would be produced. Meanwhile, he says, SolarCity hasn’t fixed the encroachment.
“They said they are researching modules that are smaller, and it’s back-ordered until May,” the neighbor said. “I don’t know if I believe that.”
If the US did not have global technology economy----we would not need all these toxic chemicals----certainly not for ALTERNATIVE GREEN ENERGY. Global online technology corporations have a goal of killing our jobs----killing our environment----killing our freedom, privacy, liberty----
SO WHY ARE WE THE PEOPLE ALLOWING FOR MOVING FORWARD? LET'S JUST GET RID OF THESE GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS AND PLAYERS.
Sep 5 2014, 2:51 pm ET
Rare Earth: Afghanistan Sits on $1 Trillion in Minerals
Despite being one of the poorest nations in the world, Afghanistan may be sitting on one of the richest troves of minerals in the world, valued at nearly $1 trillion, scientists say.
Afghanistan, a country nearly the size of Texas, is loaded with minerals deposited by the violent collision of the Indian subcontinent with Asia. The U.S. Geological Survey began inspecting what mineral resources Afghanistan had after U.S.-led forces drove the Taliban from power in the country in 2004.
In 2006, U.S. researchers flew airborne missions to conduct magnetic, gravity and hyperspectral surveys over Afghanistan. [Infographic: Facts About Rare Earth Minerals]
The aerial surveys determined that Afghanistan may hold 60 million tons of copper, 2.2 billion tons of iron ore, 1.4 million tons of rare earth elements such as lanthanum, cerium and neodymium, and lodes of aluminum, gold, silver, zinc, mercury and lithium. For instance, the Khanneshin carbonatite deposit in Afghanistan's Helmand province is valued at $89 billion, full as it is with rare earth elements.
"Afghanistan is a country that is very, very rich in mineral resources," geologist Jack Medlin, program manager of the USGS Afghanistan project, told LiveScience. The scientists' work was detailed in the Aug. 15 issue of the journal Science.
In 2010, the USGS data attracted the attention of the U.S. Department of Defense's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, which is entrusted with rebuilding Afghanistan. The task force valued Afghanistan's mineral resources at $908 billion, while the Afghan government's estimate is $3 trillion.
Over the past four years, USGS and TFBSO have embarked on dozens of excursions to confirm the aerial findings, resulting in what are essentially treasure maps for mining companies.
The Afghan government has already signed a 30-year, $3 billion contract with the China Metallurgical Group, a state-owned mining enterprise based in Beijing, to exploit the Mes Aynak copper deposit, and awarded mining rights for the country's biggest iron deposit to a group of Indian state-run and private companies
There we go----national energy grid goes global ------these investors are simply part of ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE GLOBAL 1%----Now UK citizens have absolutely no sovereign rights to their own energy grid as UK is Trans Atlantic Trade Pact-----the US version of TPP.
National Grid sells majority stake in UK gas infrastructure to Chinese and Qatari state investors
The network supplies 11 million homes with energy through 82,000 miles of pipeline – its sale will reignite concerns over foreign ownership of critical infrastructure
- Ben Chapman
- Thursday 8 December 2016 13:02 GMT
Theresa May had said earlier this year that such deals with foreign investors would face tighter regulation ReutersNational Grid has agreed to sell a majority stake in the UK’s gas pipe network to a team of investors, including the Chinese and Qatari states.
The UK's power network operator confirmed it is offloading the 61 per cent shareholding to a consortium led by Australian investment bank Macquarie in a deal that values the unit at around £13.8bn.
The division controls an important part of the country's infrastructure, which delivers gas to 11 million homes through 82,000 miles of pipeline, and its sale will reignite concerns about the ownership of critical national assets by foreign investors.
In August Theresa May said such deals would face tighter regulation as she gave the green light to the French and Chinese-funded Hinkley Point nuclear reactor.
National Grid said it would distribute a £150m voluntary payment to benefit British energy customers, while some £4bn of the proceeds will be returned to the company’s shareholders.
It will keep 31 per cent of the business but said it could potentially sell another 14 per cent stake to the consortium under the terms of the deal.
The sale, which is set to complete before the end of March next year, comes as part of a move to rebalance National Grid's business towards higher growth areas and create extra value for shareholders.
Dave Prentis, Unison union general secretary, said: “The experience of Thames Water customers when Macquarie was running the show should have been a red flag to ministers and regulators as how unsuitable this company is to be in charge of the UK's gas supply.
Hinkley Point nuclear power station gets the green light
”Macquarie has poor form already – in building up huge company debt, repatriating massive dividends to the southern hemisphere and charging customers more for a much poorer service.
“The company has already proved it can’t be trusted with the nation’s water supply, but now it is to be in charge of gas pipes to millions of homes and businesses.
“The Government has said it wants to invest in UK infrastructure, yet these are not terribly encouraging first steps. It suggests ministers have not given much thought to an industrial strategy, not do they seem to have much desire to retain key parts of the nation’s infrastructure in UK hands.”
John Pettigrew, chief executive of National Grid, said the deal “represents an important milestone in the evolution of National Grid and is a good outcome for our customers, employees, and shareholders”.