Sunday, December 19, 2010

 

5-megawatt demonstration project in Hawaii leads to 200-megawatt solar thermal project--for China


by Larry Geller

Sopogy, a leading Hawaii technology company, has scored big with its arrangement  with  China’s Yu Hao Long Corp to work on what Pacific Business News reports will be China’s largest solar installation. On Hawaii, Sopogy is working with the same company on a 5-megawatt demonstration project.

Good for them. Once again, the agreement highlights how far behind we are in Hawaii.

Why can’t I read one day that Sopogy is putting in a big bunch of megawatts in Hawaii?

I don’t expect there to be many manufacturing jobs here in middle of the Pacific Ocean. While the news article did not say where the solar generators will be made, of course it will be in China itself.

Just as Hoku Scientific generated Mainland jobs, so it appears that Sopogy will be a boon to China.

That’s as it should be. Hawaii is not the place for much manufacturing. What I find frustrating is that we have such a great need for alternative sources of energy but we seem resistant to use even the homegrown technologies that we have. In other words, we should already be using these technologies ourselves. That brings some jobs with it, but more important, it holds out the hope of better energy independence.

We’ve got sun, wind and waves, how come we’re still burning oil and coal (yes, coal) for electricity? How come? Where are those off-shore wave generators that could provide relatively continuous power? Why don’t we have a better feed-in tariff to encourage people to produce and sell renewable energy to an independent power grid?




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