RUSH: San Francisco Chronicle, there may be a business there. "SolarCity Gets $1 Billion Federal Housing Contract." This is from September 8th, last week: "The federal government on Wednesday tapped San Mateo's SolarCity for the largest residential solar project in history, a $1 billion effort to install panels at 124 U.S. military bases during the next five years. SolarCity will place solar systems on as many as 160,000 military housing buildings, base warehouses and administrative buildings. The first installations, at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, are already under way. 'The scale of this is absolutely massive,' said Lyndon Rive, SolarCity's chief executive officer. 'It's equal to all the solar the country's installed in the last 30 years.'"
Well, I would think, my gosh, I got a little tea business, imagine what would happen if I could get a billion-dollar grant? Think about that. I wouldn't have to be worried about shipping costs. I wouldn't have to worry about revving up on big promotion days, buying a bunch of extra servers and so forth to handle the load. I wouldn't have to worry about business things at all. I wouldn't have to worry about Solyndra because the government shut them down. I'd have to know I'm next, by the way.
You know, the Solyndra guys have to be asking, "What the hell did we do wrong here? You gave us 523 million bucks, and now our CEO's house is being raided. You invite us into meetings. You, Obama, come out, you tout us as the future, now you've shut us down and you give this clown here a billion dollars. The military, you actually want to help the military?" I thought we were cutting the military budget. "The military is America's largest consumer of energy and has set a goal of getting 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025." So they're actually forcing the military to do this. That's what this is. But there is a business there. Ha. Billion-dollar federal housing contract, solar panels, military bases. Easy.
RUSH: Tony in Edmonds, Washington. Great to have you on the EIB-Network, sir, hello.
CALLER: Ah, hi, Rush. I heard you talk about this billion-dollar contract to these yahoos and --
RUSH: It's Solar City down there in San Mateo.
CALLER: Well, it's just ludicrous. I'm an architect and I deal with this market. My profession has drunk the Kool-Aid on the "sustainable" malarkey to the utmost and that's all these guys do these days is talk "sustainable." I ran the numbers on solar collectors. There's a little program here in Magnolia, Seattle, that you can buy a solar collector for a thousand bucks that will generate a .34 kilowatt per hour. You calc that out --
RUSH: Which will run what? What will that run?
CALLER: That will run... Well, 0.3 kilowatts. It will spin your meter back 0.3 kilowatts per hour.
RUSH: Yeah, but what will it run, a lightbulb? What will it run?
CALLER: Well, I'm not sure. I mean, a kilowatt, you know, if you take a 60-watt lightbulb, it takes 60 watts I guess per hour to run that lightbulb, is how it works.
RUSH: Okay. Well, you're an architect; you would know.
CALLER: Well, so this thing is 0.3 kilowatts. You calc it out and you assume say in Seattle you get 260 days of sunlight for eight hours a day, and that's a very generous assumption. Probably it's more like 180 and maybe six hours per day, I don't know, but use that number of 260 days at ten hours of sunlight a day and you calc it out and you get essentially 16 years payback to earn a thousand dollars a ten cents a kilowatt-hour.
RUSH: Yeah. Look, we're talking marketing terms here anyway. There is no such thing as "renewal," there's no such thing as "sustainable," there's no such thing as "clean," in terms of energy. Is there? You're an architect.
CALLER: Well, no, there isn't.
RUSH: What renews?
CALLER: Well, right.
RUSH: Maybe reverse osmosis with water. What renews?
CALLER: Well, supposedly sunlight just shines down and you collect the energy, but you gotta clean these panels. You know how your windshield gets dirty just sitting out in the road for a couple of days.
RUSH: Why does it take a $1 billion grant from the government to some company to be able to harness that? It doesn't work is the point.