Sunday, February 17, 2008

Solar is slowly making its way into Texas

I read an article on the plane this weekend about Heliovolt's new solar manufacturing plant in Austin. The Austin-born thin-film photovoltaic company is going to be the first manufacturer to produce photovoltaics in Texas.

In another sign that solar is making it's way eastward its stronghold in silicon valley, startup solar-thermal company Ausra is starting an office in Texas, and looking to hire an executive, according to a job posting on the Berkeley Institute of the Environment webpage (find it here).

With the cost of solar electricity dropping each year, growing demand for electricity, and a public/regulatory environment that makes development of coal-powered plants less desireable than alternatives, Texas is in a great place to soak up a lot of solar business in the next few years.

And with the ERCOT North and West transmission zones congested almost to capacity with wind power, solar is looking better every day.

My prediction: Look for a boom in Texas solar, starting in late 2009 (right around when a lot of you will be graduating). My recommendation: start tailoring your resume to take advantage of the next energy boom, right here in Texas...

1 comment:

JR Ewing said...

If Chavez really wanted to affect the world oil market, he would cut production, instead of "boycotting" Exxon.

Boycotting a certain country or entity will only cause short term logistics problems, since theoritically, as soon as the boycott starts, oil stops going to the refinery. However, the Venezuelan fields will still be producing oil that must be refined. The Venezuelan oil will go to another refinery and displace the oil that was being refined there before, which will be put on the worlwide market.

The Exxon refinery will be needing more oil to refine, so it will acquire the amount it lost from Venezuela on the same open world market.

The severity of the supply disruption will depend time frame of the purchasing contracts. The shorter term they are, or if there is a force majeur clause, the easier it will be to resupply the Exxon refinery.

If Chavez really wanted wreak havoc on world oil markets, he would decrease production levels, physically removing an amount of oil from the market. This, however, would have a negative effect on the Venezuelan economy, and since they are currently going through times of economic harship, would not help his socialist ambitions.