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Energy Matters – May 2015

Article written by Mark Becker for Danville/Alamo/Lafayette Today, May 2015.

    Traditionally, a folded, triangular American flag in a case is given to a deceased veteran’s grieving family-member during a memorial service. Perhaps a wreath or flowers are laid on a veteran’s grave, or maybe a street, building, military base, or airport is named after them. Events such as these are amongst our nation’s efforts to memorialize deceased veterans as a thank you for their service to our nation. Please take a moment of introspection to remember why we have a Memorial Day holiday.

    Estimations are that renewable energy will replace fossil fuels as the primary source of electric power by mid-century. A solar PV system installed on an average home today will have paid for itself more than ten times 20 years from now. Thirty-year product warranties are now available. Expected solar panel life can be even longer assuming the proper products are chosen. Safe and long-term financial returns are the reason why more than 246,000 California homes and businesses have “gone solar.”
    More good news for our veterans and our nation: The Department of Energy’s “Solar Ready Vets” program has increased its scope to 10 participating military bases. This program trains and readies separating military personnel for jobs in the fast growing solar PV industry.
    If you haven’t already, you may get an unsolicited phone call from the “Renewable Energy Council,” a Better Business Bureau “F” rated company. You will not get accurate or adequate information from doorknockers and spam callers. Seeking out a highly rated solar company who can provide facts and data in the consult/sales process is the best way to see what solar can do for you. Negate risk by using a NABCEP certi-fied design and project manager, American products, licensed roofers, and licensed electricians. This approach may have slightly higher initial cost, but it will always result in the lowest long-term cost of ownership due to no, or very limited, call-backs over the life of the system. Solar, done right, is an extremely reliable investment.
    Many Middle East OPEC nations are making great efforts to remain economically relevant for as long as possible. They’re con-serving their oil by installing very ambitious solar projects. As a result, they’ll have more oil to sell to nations that remain reliant on it. Even the Saudi Minister of oil has recognized that their time is limited. He said, “The Stone Age came to an end not for a lack of stones, and the oil age will end, but not for a lack of oil.”
    It would be wonderful for our energy policy to be independent of our foreign policy some day. It’s our actions that help accelerate that process.
    Some of you may have seen GoSimpleSolar’s military surplus M923A2 five-ton cargo truck; we’ve purchased her for many reasons. Remembrance: Using her for local events to memorialize our veteran’s sacrifices. Message: She runs on alternative fuel (used vegetable oil, a biofuel). American Energy Independence: We shouldn’t need imported oil. Community: She provides smiles to the kids who love to ride and sit in her. Charity: She’ll be used to support a local veteran’s organization. If you see her outside our showroom in downtown Danville, please feel free to ask for a “tour.”
    This Memorial Day, I’d like to personally memorialize friends and squadron-mates who died too young in battle or training accidents: Major Gene “Smokey” McCarthy, Captain John “Homey” Edwards, LtCol Dave “Rhino” Green, LtCol Lee “Bubba” Lenderman, Lt Tom “Riggsy” Riggs, Major Ken Johnson, Lt Chris Tanner, Major Mike Bradley, LCDR Dale “Doc” Phillips, LtCol Bob “Ramrod” Theilmann, Major John “Casper” Walsh, Major Steven Palumbo, Capt David Cross, Lt Pat Fleming, Capt William “Dome” Cronin, Capt Gary “Dilly Bop” Dillon, Capt Kevin Dolvin, Capt William Hurley, Sgt Kenneth Keller, Sgt John Kilkus, Cpl Timothy Romei, LCp1 Thomas Adams, Capt “Super Dave” Herr, Capt James Thorp, CO Albert Haddad, Cpl Kurt Benz, Lt. Colonel David Knott, Lt Steve Viser, Capt Scott Paul, Capt Bruce “Tuna” Bolton, Capt Mark Vagedes, Capt Ken Hill, Capt Steve Leslie, and Capt. Michael McGrevey.
    Of course we memorialize Danville’s own Lcpl Joshua “Chachi” Corral, MA, Operation Enduring Freedom, 2011. Rest In Peace, we’ll remember all of you.
Mark Becker is the President and business owner of GoSimpleSolar, by Semper Fidelis Construction Inc, CSLB 948715. GoSimpleSolar is one of the very few (and proud) solar PV installers utilizing both licensed roofers and licensed electricians for installation work, project managed by a solar PV NABCEP professional. For questions or comments email Mark@GoSimpleSolar.com or call 925-331-8011.

 Read the original newspaper article here.