ABC News just ran a story, “Clean Energy: Why Is China Ahead of the U.S.?” It describes how NatSolar’s new solar panel technology was rebuffed in the U.S., but CEO Chuck Provini was flown in and welcomed by China and given a deal to create green jobs over there.
It seems energy production from any source has to overcome enormous legal barriers in this country. Here’s just one hurdle mentioned in the long article.
“. . .he [Provini] also worked with a major Washington, D.C., law firm and was told that a $750,000 application fee was necessary just to apply for a specific federal program.”
With big oil, coal, nuclear, solar and windpower facing legal hassles, we may have a low powered future in which we depend on whatever solar panels and turbines we can install in our private backyards for reliable energy.
The April, 2010 issue of ARRL’s QST magazine featured the vital role ham radio played during Haiti’s earthquake. An online article, “Amateur Radio Operators Provide Communications Support in Haiti” describes the ham support of doctors in Project Medishare.
Seismic scientists agree that California is in for a big quake perhaps sooner than later. The Haiti experience is instructive to anyone preparing for interruptions of utilities such as water, power and telephone service.
If landline phone service is knocked out, cell phone systems will likely be overloaded or knocked out because of landline network connections.
Ham radio doesn’t require learning Morse Code anymore. Passing a test on basic electronics, radio theory, and operating rules and regulations may be a small price to pay for uninterrupted communications (and no phone bill).