The Sankowski Solar Boom

The Sankowski Solar boom – it’s in full force:

“2013 was a banner year for clean energy and the U.S. solar industry was no exception. California, the nation’s solar standout, more than doubled its rooftop solar installations last year from 1,000 megawatts (MW) to 2,000 MW. To put this number in perspective, writesBernadette Del Chiaro of the California Solar Energy Industries Association, it took California over 30 years to build the first 1,000 MW of rooftop solar.

And California isn’t alone in its rooftop solar surge. “About 200,000 U.S. homes and businesses added rooftop solar in the past two years alone — about 3 gigawatts of power and enough to replace four or five conventionally-sized coal plants,” Bloomberg reported.”

I may have just started a serious pissing match on Twitter with a brief comment about energy independence:

“I look forward to the time when oil prices collapse under the grip of energy innovation. Hope it happens in my lifetime.”

On the one side you’ve got the hard money types who think that fiat money is worthless and that you should just buy hard commodities and hide out in a hole reading scary websites.  And on the other side you’ve got the optimists who think fiat money is just a tool of exchange that can actually help us break away from our dependence on energy through innovation.  I don’t know which side is right in the near-term, but I am not one to bet against humans and their ability to innovate.

The energy innovation boom is only just beginning.  Who will win and lose in the next 10 years is beyond my understanding, but it’s exciting to think about all the potential benefits that could arise out of a world where oil is no longer holding so many people hostage in so many ways.  I for one am hopeful that I get to experience that world.  If nothing else, at least I hope to experience it in a solar powered wheel chair.


Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering asset management, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services. He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance and Understanding the Modern Monetary System.

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8 Comments on "The Sankowski Solar Boom"

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3 years 7 months ago

Huh, so there actually are at least two solar ETFs.

Mike just needs to figure out what to name his solar startup. :o)

3 years 7 months ago

Lol! Funny thanks you

Would be great if chip solar happen soon

3 years 7 months ago

Any broad investment recommendations around this? At first blush my gut instinct is to buy a solar ETF, but if prices are steadily on the decline, this seems like a mixed picture for solar producers, higher volumes but lower margins. Perhaps businesses involved in the installation process instead? Further, what should be avoided? Traditional utilities as you said in a prior piece shouldn’t be touched as their business model evaporates, but is there any other sectors who would be negatively impacted by this movement, like oil and gas?

I’m trying to conceptualize looking at one of the indexes and then underweighting those sectors who will be hurt by the solar boom, overweighting sectors that stand to gain big, and neutral the rest. But I haven’t thought about this for long enough to fully understand how to take advantage of this energy movement.

3 years 7 months ago

and then you have people who think fiat money is about exchange and that it can help economy which may or may not help with energy efficiency depending on things like physics.

what you call them? normal people?

and my gods really? sankowski boom? he nice guy and all but this is crazy. next we have post called “cullen rising of sun”

is there nothing which has been done before you don’t claim to invent?

3 years 7 months ago

“If nothing else, at least I hope to experience it in a solar powered wheel chair.”

Hopefully, not for long: