My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Alternative Energy and Residential Solar Power - The Social Network

Monday, January 10, 2011

Alternative Energy and Residential Solar Power - The Social Network

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.

Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 5451

Same thing can be said for the Sun.

The Americans have decided to carpe diem and take advantage of its abundant, eternal (or at least till I die!) sunshine and stick a couple of them on the White House and other Administrative agencies as stated in my blog article entitled “Alternative Energy and the President - Three Days of the Condor”.

Hopefully it will still be in the sky as even Telecom Provider T-Mobile is taking some stock in it, building a test site powered completely by the Sun as stated in the article “T-Mobile Cell Site Now powered by the Sun”, published September 16, 2010, 11:22am PDT By Katie Fehrenbacher, Cleantech - GigaOM.

So is it not time that the embattled Senator James Robertson, Minister of Energy and Mining, seek to take on the recommendation of Senator Phillip Paulwell, Opposition Senator on Telecoms and ICT spoken in the article “'Follow my blueprint' - Paulwel pushed for breakup of JPS Monopoly”, published Friday April 30 2010, Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Also as stated in the article “Paulwell calls for number portability”, published, Wednesday April 21, 2010, Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner?

A New Jersey company, Petra Solar, signed an agreement back in July 2009 that allowed them to partner up with local Power Utility Company to place Solar Panels on utility poles as stated in the article “N.J. Solar Panels on utility poles to use AT&T”, published July 21, 2010 8:19 AM PDT, CNET News - Green Tech.

The panels generate electricity, which is sold directly to the Electricity grid. Petra Solar keeps track of the units of Energy the utility pole mounted Solar Panels generate using M2M (Machine-to-Machine Communications) over Telecom Provider AT&T Network. More evidence of the increasing importance of M2M to Telecom Providers in the future as explained in my blog article entitled “AT&T, NFC and M@M - Cashless Society and the Internet of Things

As usual, California, the home state  of Silicon Valley, is forefront leader in this concept implemented back in the 90’s where excess power generated by Alternative Energy installations i.e. Solar Panels, wind turbines, on any homeowner’s premises, can be a source of either a reduced bill or actual cash revenue from the Power Utility Company. SunRun is an example of a California, San Francisco based company that also has another unique business model that can be replicated in Jamaica.

The company installs solar panels and wind turbines and instead of having customer pay for the installation, they instead receive monthly bills, like a regular Power Utility Company as stated in the article “SunRun bags money to finance residential solar”, published October 27, 2010 8:47 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

Obviously, a large number of households would have to be signed on to achieve the economy-of-scale necessary to make this project feasible. Again, billing here is achieved with smart meters connected over M2M via a Telecom Provider.

So it is not surprising to learn that the Americans, in their push to get themselves in gear for an Alternative Energy future, are also making a bit of money from the whole thing.

After all, that is what drives human desire, right?

This was my speculation in my article on Administrator Kirk’s Geezam blog entitled “The American Race towards Alternative Energy”, as Energy Sector Liberalization is desperately needed in Jamaica to give people a stronger incentive to go Alternative Energy and off the grid.

Not to mention the fact that it would encourage entrepreneurship in the small Clean Energy sector, with investors pushing into supplying small communities with power as opposed to just selling and installing Solar panels and water heaters.

Benefits again to Telecom Providers here in Jamaica as it would create M2M traffic on their Networks. An entrepreneur could even make it into a game among the residents living in the community, with competitions as to who can use the least amount of power in a given thirty (30) day billing cycle, The Social Network (2010) Style.

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