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Published on June 15th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Why Fossil Fuel Companies Hate Solar So Much

June 15th, 2012 by  

We’ve covered these points below (including the specific case study discussed) numerous times before, but this is another really good, short write-up of the story from Jeremy Bloom over on sister site Red, Green, and Blue, so I thought it’d be a good idea to share this one here on CleanTechnica as well to try to make the points below just a little clearer and help them reach perhaps a few more eyes. Here’s the full repost:

Why big oil hates solar energy so much (via Red Green & Blue)

It’s not just that solar energy is a competitor to big oil, coal, and gas – it’s that solar cuts into big oil’s biggest profit center. In arguing against solar, they’re always happy to tell you, “The sun doesn’t shine at night, heh heh heh.” But nighttime isn’t when extra power is…

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

  • Frangicea

    Why PPA outfits do not use PV Shingles? Guess they don’t know how!

    • what do you mean by PPA outfits? solar shingles are typically cost competitive with conventional PV, i think.

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  • Don W Mayfield

    Big oil is investing in solar.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Do you have some specific information to share?  

      Chevron is into geothermal is a major way.  They are the world’s largest geothermal player and major in Indonesia (where geothermal can easily tap into the ‘ring of fire’).

      When we see fossil fuel companies start crabbing their way into renewables then I think we see a tipping point.  Oil is going to make major, major money over the next couple of decades, coal may have a shorter future, but the world has started a move away from fossil fuels..  The smart companies will anticipate the transition and shift their capital to operations which continue their profit streams.

  • mk1313

    Corporate greed, so what else is new?

    • Hope

      You and a few thousand friends put panels on your roof and go a long way to kicking them in the bollocks. Rectifying corporate greed isn’t usually quite so simple.

      • mk1313

        Got a few tens of thousands kicking around?  I don’t.

        • At German or Australian prices tens of thousands of dollars aren’t needed for a point of use PV system.  And if you have no money to spare it is possible to lease a solar system and pay for it with savings from your electricity bill, but just how easy that is to arrange depends on your location. 

        • Bob_Wallace

          If you don’t have the money or credit rating to purchase a solar system then leasing is an option.

          It’s not as good a deal as owning, but if you don’t have the financial wherewithal to purchase then leasing is the next best thing. 

        • mk1313

          Leasing is not an option here and there is a major hurdle in getting OPG to hook you up to the system.  Apparently the system can’t handle the extra power.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Then get in contact with companies that are doing solar leasing.  Let them know about a potential market opportunity.

            And ” the system can’t handle the extra power” is bull.  What is almost certainly happening is that utility companies are avoiding moving into the modern age.  Can’t handle the extra power is like saying they can’t handle more demand.

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