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Putting money where the mouth is … a(nother) solar edition …

July 6th, 2013 · No Comments

At the Georgetown University climate speech, President Obama gave a tip-of-the-hat to the fossil fuel “disinvestment” campaign by commenting “invest, divest”.

Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution. (Applause.) Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices. (Applause.) Invest. Divest.Remind folks there’s no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth.

Today, I took an action in line with the President’s call by investing  in solar power via .  This investment is far from my first in solar, as my home makes clear. Today’s move was a bit different and has more meaning for me because there is far more behind this than simply choosing to “invest”.

For the past 15 or so years, much of my professional life has been involved participating in efforts to help move the U.S. military toward a smarter approach to energy issues.  This has involved work on  issues like Fully-Burdened Cost of Fuel, helping run (pro bono) a DOD-funded energy lecture series, giving presentations, writing articles (many without my name on them), participating in seminars and wargames, advising government offices (sigh, essentially also pro bono), and … well, a wide range of interactions, work, etc …  I have been investing — my time, my passion, my intellectual contributions — along with many others in seeking to move the U.S. military toward more sensible energy policies and practices.  My investment portfolio (sadly, not Koch-like, but still a “portfolio”) has not reflected this work and this investment.  At least, not until a few hours ago.

And email from Billy Parish, founder of Mosaic, sparked a change to the equation. Mosaic is crowd-sourcing solar projects — giving people a chance to invest their money in putting up solar panels $25 at a time. Billy’s email announced their latest project: putting up 12.27 megawatts of solar panels at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Burlington
County, New Jersey (McGuire Air Force Base, Fort Dix and Naval Air Station Lakehurst)
.  Part of the larger move to make U.S. military bases more resilient by having on-base power production and cleaner through energy efficiency and renewable energy, the solar panels will be installed on 537 homes and supply an estimated 30 percent of home energy requirements. (Note that it is unclear whether the Mosaic-funded project is part of or in addition to the January 2013 announced plans to put solar on 1500 of 2200 United Communities homes at Joint Base McGuire.)

Thanks to Mosaic and the ability to invest $25 at a time (thus, my $100 counts as four times???), when it comes to renewable energy and the U.S. military, I’ve put my money where my mouth has been for over a decade.

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Tags: Energy · solar · Solar Energy