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CO2 Concentrations Nearing 400ppm

The latest reading from the Mauna Loa observatory shows March at 397.34ppm.

As April is generally the highest reading of the year and is always higher than March, indication are that it will reach 400ppm either this year or next.

The important point is that acceleration is continuing — there is no place to go but up.

Here is the latest chart from

co2 nears 400

Be afraid. Be very afraid. -js



Solar Champions Meet Tuesday, April 16

from 5:45-7pm at Satisfied, 301 W. Broughton (second floor). In addition to the postcard campaign locally to warn owners of commercial and industrial buildings that a 50% first year depreciation bonus ends Dec. 31, I’m putting together a script for a national whiteboard animation that Solar Champions of Savannah will make available free to any solar organization or installer in the country. The first pass will be discussed at the meeting. We can get it out there by Earth Day — but your views are important. Make the effort to join us. — js

Solar Momentum is Picking Up

For the month ending April 7, Yahoo reports that searches for solar panels increased by 36 percent from the month prior.
It also found that searches on the cost of the panels are up a whopping 335 percent from the same period a year ago. (That’s not a typo!!)

Users in New York, Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Washington DC are heavily performing searches on the website, but Los Angeles tops the list of cities showing interest in solar panels by far. It has 25 percent more searches than the rest of the
metro areas tracked by Yahoo combined.

Can Solar Cell Efficiency top 30%?

There are some innovations in solar cells coming out of the lab that have the potential to raise efficiences of solar panels to over 30%, but without any signficant increase in costs. I suspect this game changer will start seeing some pilot projects
as early as next year — and, as they say, “we’re off to the races”. Don’t be a bystander – be part of the action.

Let’s start building momentum for solar this year

The next meeting of Solar  Champions will be held from 5:45-7pm Tuesday, Mar 19 at Satisfied, 301 E. Broughton, in the spacious 2nd floor area. Management likes us – and we return the favor. Food is good, service is pleasant. We should have drawings from Sav Tech on hand for our major educational project — with the hope that a prototype will be ready by Earth Day. I’ll have more postcards available — these warn commercial property owners that a special first year 50% bonus depreciation expires at the end of this year. Lots to talk about.  Call me if you have any questions: 912-233-4288 or email



Solar Champions Next Meeting Feb. 19

We had a very lively group at the January meeting. A number of good ideas. While there were some good things about the Flip Flop Tki Bar – the noise level was too high. So for the next meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 5:45-7pm we are going to try Satisfied, 301 West Broughton – meeting space is on the second floor.

I’ve been talking to Lester Wiggins of Savannah Tech about an interactive display that will show how siting, panel angle, and shadows affect solar generated eletricity. I should have some sketches and really need your input.

As you probably don’t know, the 50% f irst year bonus depreciation for commercial solar installations was renewed through Dec. 31, 2013. That may well be the last renewal given the mood of Congress. I prepared a postcard notice to send to builders, developers, architects and should have them at the meeting. We need to identify companies and decision makers. The combination of lowered cost of solar panels, 30% federal tax credit, 5-year accelerated depreciation, and streamlined installation with the first-year bonus means that many installations will pay for themselves in as little as 5 years, with free electricity for the next 20.

All this and an update on the efforts in the Legislature to bring more solar to Georgia

Make a note in your calendar and come join us.

Explaining Power Purchase Agreements

As a bill has been re-introduced to allow solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) is now beginning to wnd its way through the Georgia Legislature, there is some misunderstanding of what a PPA means. I hope the following helps clarify the issue:

A solar company works with a  home owner who has sufficient unobstructed roof space for a solar installtion and makes the following offer: we will install, maintain and service a solar system at no cost to you. We will enter into a long-term supply contract and we will guarantee that you will pay less than the utility charges for electricity. Our system is integrated with the utility grid, so that you will not be without power on cloudy days or at night (except for a utility power outage). You save money. You have more long-term predictable costs for electricity. You cut electricity consumption from the utility leading to a lower carbon footprint. We  benefit from current tax credits.  — js