The Solar Advantage: Cash Flow

The Solar Advantage: Cash FlowDenying the vast opportunities in reducing emissions is much like saying, in 1980, that the internet is a fad. 

The general trend is a warming world. The snow in Atlanta and a bitter winter in Chicago are not a signs that ‘warming’ is wrong, but that the changes in our upper atmosphere has unpredictable results.

What the trend toward a warming planet means is still under hot debate, but that we cannot continue to use resources without worrying about their over-use or disposal is not. For some, ‘warming’ is a grand event: the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank, has published a report that extolls the benefits of global warming. For an organization that first denied climate change, then denied that people had anything to do with it (as opposed to trees exhaling), the new embrace is unexpected.

If we want to deliver a planet to our grandchildren that is as bountiful as our current one, we have to get smarter about how we use everything. Believing that we can afford to ignore the potential for growth in innovations that reduce carbon is a prescription for business — and economic — failure. Oxymoron-ish as it may sound, becoming more resource efficient is work, and the work creates technologies, jobs and thus... growth. 

In this issue we feature the changes going on in Solar energy, particularly solar financing. As solar becomes a larger percentage of our energy generation, the benefits of a technology with long term positive cash flow begins to outweigh the disadvantages of not looking like a dot.com startup that will succeed or fail in months. For large funds, solar can hedge against long term pension obligations. What’s needed is a transparent accounting of both costs and technology: a gap which NREL is looking to close.

So while solar helps mitigate global warming, solar provides lots of great benefits in case it’s all a big hoax. 

A. Tana Kantor

In this issue:

  • Solar Securitization: Monetizing Cash Flow
  • The Intersection of Faith & Finance: Evaluating Fossil Fuel Stocks and Mission
  • Locus Energy: The Google Analytics of Solar
  • Utility Pricing: The Future of Energy Pricing
  • Sol: A Company Lighting the Darkness on Highways and Parking lots
  • The Grid of Me: Independent Energy Districts
  • Quotes: 37 on Change
  • Solar Timeline: From Burning Ants to Solar Furnaces