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Why don’t we buy American solar equipment, distill Southern California water?

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Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:35 am, Tue Jul 31, 2012.

I saw a new photovoltaic solar farm at Interstate 5 and Twin Cities Road, so I stopped to look it over. I talked to one of the engineers and asked him if the solar panels were manufactured in Sacramento. He said no, Korea.

When I started solar in 1974, I would never have thought we would be buying our solar from any place but America; less industry, less jobs. This isn't good for America.

And what's with Brown giving more of our water away — and the cost? I for one just don't get it. Southern California has all the water in the world — the ocean. Take the salt out of the water; we have the technology. Let them build distilleries. The cost would be a lot less. And Southern California has a lot of sunlight — solar distilleries

Gary Kries


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  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:40 am on Fri, Aug 3, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    John McDonald stated...And now you know why so many companies are sick of trying to do business in California.

    Mr McDonald...thank you! It is one reason the tax base and jobs are leaving our state. You mention China.. with good reason. The government there is business friendly. How sad is it when a communist country can out perform USA economicly. 20 years ago, they were a third world economy... now... they have magnetic levitation trains and American businesses fighting to open China branches.

  • John McDonald posted at 9:50 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    John McDonald Posts: 2

    So Cal has attempted to put in a major water distillery in Carlsbad. It is a perfect illustration of what is wrong with California. First, the development project was sued more than a dozen times by environmental groups delaying the project for years. Google "Carlsbad water plant" and read the stories for yourself. Yes, the very same environmental groups who are up here in the Delta suing claiming that So Cal wants to take our water as they do everything possible to prevent So Cal from producing their own water. The plant is now projected to cost $700M and produce water at over $2,300 per acre foot or ~7 times higher than normal bulk water costs. Desalination takes a lot of electricity. Thus, it only become cost effective when the cost of electricity is around $0.05/kWh. The only energy sources capable of achieving that cost structure is nuclear, coal, and due to advances in fracking now natural gas. Who opposes new nuclear plants, coal power, and fracking for natural gas? Solar costs around $0.30/kWh when there are no subsidies. Advances in solar show a path to $0.12/kWh, but of course we still have to have all the non-solar energy production infrastructure built for when the sun doesn't shine. Who has opposed the large heavily subsidize So Cal solar facilities due to a certain tortoise ... oh the same environmental groups. And now you know why so many companies are sick of trying to do business in California. ... Why does China produces 90%+ of the world's poly-silicon used for solar panels. Because the production of poly-silicon requires a lot of energy which China has due to it's reliance on coal. Cost effective production of poly-silicon equals cost effective production of solar panels. Obama's response to all his solar projects going bankrupt: blame the Chinese for dumping instead of building nuclear and gas plant to produce low cost poly-silicon. Folks hear this: solar panels, desalinization of water, high-tech factories require a lot of energy. Thus the lower the cost of American energy the more American jobs that will be created, the more So Cal can desalinate, and even solar power will be cheaper.

  • Walter Chang posted at 6:09 am on Wed, Aug 1, 2012.

    Walt Posts: 1187

    “Southern California has a lot of sunlight — solar distilleries”

    Gary, I think that’s the best idea yet!!


  • Peter Bellville posted at 10:09 am on Tue, Jul 31, 2012.

    gopher Posts: 26

    I agree. Tunneling and diverting water south has got to be extreemly expensive, much more so than desalination plants. We are looking at the wrong answer to the water problem and just kicking the can down the road when Northeren California will run out of water. Northern California already has water problems that will only be aggravated by the government plan to move more water south. I can't help but feel that some politcians have personal gain to be made by this plan. Besides, the state is near bankruptcy and our politicians seem to hve no other solution than to spend money on boondoggles like high speed rail and tunnels.

  • Robert Chapman posted at 9:28 am on Tue, Jul 31, 2012.

    Bob Chapman Posts: 997

    After flushing a half a BILLION taxpayer dollars down the Solyndra toilet, the Nellis Solar Power project bought Chinese manufactured solar panels at Nellis AFB in Nevada. Harry Reid brought this about with the help of his son, Rory Reid, who just happened to be a lobbyist for Suntech Solar, a Chinese company. And the Democrats have the gall to accuse anybody of "outsourcing" anything.


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