Capital Intensive Clean Tech and Micro-Financed Green Solutions: A Comparison


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David Goodman, Ph.D., speaking at the Deep Green Business and Deep Sustainability conference at Maharishi University of Management. 6 July 2013

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Capital Intensive Clean Tech and Micro-Financed Green Solutions: A Comparison

  1. 1. David Goodman, PhD
  2. 2. Use permitted by Creative Commons – GNU Free Documentation License
  3. 3. There are many perspectives on creating a more sustainable world, from large scale wind farms and solar installations, to low footprint permaculture designs. Knowledge is the basis for our activity and it is structured in consciousness. Contacting the simplest state of consciousness at the source of thought purifies thinking and action. The level of our consciousness determines how we interact with others and the natural environment. Higher consciousness means action in accord with all the laws of nature and is thus naturally and spontaneously life affirming and supporting.
  4. 4. Same economic system although pushback occurs  High capital intensive clean tech  Requires enormous capital  Out of reach for most  Conforms to economic norms and top down control and economies of scale  Follows limitations related to inconsistent supply  Best example: large wind farms where farmers are disempowered and paid little economic rent Challenge to economic system moving towards biodiversity and self sufficiency  Permaculture “compost” concept micro financed  Low entry barrier, but requires personal and community commitment  Requires an understanding of systems and knowledge of how to design and execute an ecological design program  Hands-on and intensive  Practical?
  5. 5.  Steady strong wind: Power is generated as the cube of wind speed so more is better  Large blade sweeps: Power is generated as the square of blade size so more is better  Wind and sun are not constantly and consistently available and so either superior storage is required or a mixture of both wind and solar (and on-grid backup) is suggested  Utilities will (reluctantly) offer net metering, often at avoided cost, except for Feed-in-tariff programs such as in Ontario and in Germany
  6. 6.  May or may not be in best economic interest of utility  Marginal cost of building one new facility is so high that it is in best interest of power companies to incentivize power saving and net metering  Utilities are either regulated monopolies with political power, or actual government enterprises; engaged citizens can challenge utility policies working with regulatory bodies  Utilities are in the business of selling electricity and laws are generally supportive of their unique position in society  ROI in clean tech (analog) not like huge multiples in digital investments, at least not yet
  7. 7.  Agriculturally based design system that is a contraction of permanent agriculture and permanent culture that understands and makes use of the interdependence and relationships in the “life-shed”  Aims to create ecologically sound systems that are self-sustaining and involves erosion control, organic cultivation, and the built environment  Is this for everyone? Should it be?
  8. 8. Rainwater collection Nontoxic materials Permaculture in South Africa
  9. 9. Large Scale Wind Project Example
  10. 10. Manufacturer Enecom Model Enercom 101-135 m Capacity 3,000kW 3MW Height 135meters 442ft Rotor Diameter per turbine 101meters 331ft Swept area per turbine 8,011.85 m2 86,239 ft2 Power Curve Data Wind Speed m/s mph kW m/s kW 0 0 0.0 13 3050 1 2.2 0.0 14 3050 2 4.4 0.0 15 3050 3 6.7 37.0 16 3050 4 8.9 118.0 17 3050 5 11.2 258.0 18 3050 6 13 479.0 19 3050 7 15.6 790.0 20 3050 8 17.9 1200.0 21 3050 9 20 1710.0 22 3050 10 22.3 2340.0 23 3050 11 24.6 2867.0 24 3050 12 26.8 3034.0 25 3050
  11. 11. 0.0 500.0 1000.0 1500.0 2000.0 2500.0 3000.0 3500.0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 mph kW Power Curve Graph--- kW from mph wind (Note how steep it is)
  12. 12.  One family is challenged to finance a small turbine or even solar systems  Banks need to provide mortgages for retrofits  What are their concerns?  Group of families must create a legal cooperative utility and fight laws that protect utilities  Example: Abundance Eco-village
  13. 13.   4KW Grid-Tie with Battery backup ($2.42 per watt!)  Item#: 4000w-pv-kit  Availability: Usually ships in 3-4 business days  Regular price: $12,000.00  Sale price: $9,686.00
  14. 14.  DM Solar DG House.ret
  15. 15.  Solar power is becoming more cost effective but financing is still an issue  Wind power is not practical in most urban areas  Wind for grid electricity only works with big wind and big turbines  FIT programs help but are rare  Semi-rural wind can work, especially for co-ops
  16. 16.  We need to rethink community…  Runoff that causes flooding is due to non- systems thinking  One tree can… forests/tree-facts/  We should think big and plant 1 billion trees
  17. 17.  When cost of capital is high decisions are short term and occur when economy is heating up…  Capital is available because return is high but decisions are weighted to quick paybacks  If future is so discounted, how can decisions be made for long term sustainability, e.g. Seven Generation thinking?  Present value of 10 million dollars in 100 years @ different interest rates…
  18. 18. Interest Rate Yearly compounding Future Value How far in future (years) Cost of Capital Present Value $ 10,000,000 100 1% ($3,697,112.12) 2% ($1,380,329.67) 3% ($520,328.40) 4% ($198,000.40) 5% ($76,044.90) 6% ($29,472.26) 7% ($11,524.50) 8% ($4,545.95) 9% ($1,808.63) 10% ($725.66) 11% ($293.56) 12% ($119.73) 13% ($49.22) 14% ($20.39) 15% ($8.52) 16% ($3.58) 17% ($1.52) 18% ($0.65) 19% ($0.28) 20% ($0.12) Let’s not even think seven generations How about 100 years? Cost of capital and sustainability.xlsx
  19. 19.  That is consciousness, the first and final frontier  Expanded awareness can take care of current needs while providing the basis for future needs; spontaneous right action in accord with Natural Law characterizes higher states of consciousness  With higher collective consciousness the total costs are calculated, i.e. no externalized costs such as negative externalities  With higher consciousness there are no unpaid positive externalities, such as a benefit to the world that is unpaid
  20. 20. The many approaches are all valid as long as there are no negative externalities; however unseen and unintended consequences will always occur when awareness is not grounded in the home of all the laws of nature, pure consciousness, unbounded awareness, the Absolute, which is easily experienced through Transcendental Meditation. The bottom line is we need enlightened individuals to create an enlightened world.
  21. 21.  Capital intensive clean tech versus people intensive Permaculture solutions  Is there a third solution, more quantum with large multiples?  Let’s start the conversation; there are many solutions at different levels of operation  Let’s be practical  Let’s teach systems and calculate total costs  Let our democracy be responsive to everyone, not a servant to corporate greed  Let’s raise consciousness from its source in the Unified field of all the laws of nature, the light of pure consciousness, the will of God and liberate Creative Intelligence
  22. 22. Triple bottom line Short term bottom line  Radical transparency  Mass collaboration  No secrets  Systems thinking and empowerment driven  Towards Seven Generation thinking  Sustainable  Upsets status quo  Proprietary  Competitive, paranoid  Tilting the playing field regardless of ethics or environmental consequences  Bottom line and “shareholder wealth maximization” used as modus operandi
  23. 23.  Environmental Determinism: we are ruled by nature  Possiblism (free will): we can control nature  Ecological/Systems Perspective: we are interdependent
  24. 24. 1. So-called clean technologies can generate low carbon electricity, which is essential in a time of dangerous global warming and dwindling fossil fuel resources. 2. Permaculture solutions, which are based on ecological design, systems perspective, community, water, soil, and built environment interdependence are holistic in nature, but require serious change in lifestyle for many.
  25. 25. Transcendental Consciousness is the experience of pure awareness, the simplest state of consciousness beyond thought, but the source of thought, which is easily experienced in Transcendental Meditation. This conscious contact attunes one’s awareness with that cosmic intelligence which is at the basis of the universe; it guides everything without a mistake.
  26. 26. Impulses within the transcendental field: The liveliness of the transcendental field is like a lamp at the door illuminating the silence and the dynamism from silence. The knower gains insight into the known.
  27. 27. Wholeness moving within itself: In unity consciousness the knower, remaining in unbounded awareness, perceives the truth and ultimate reality of any perception. The environment is perceived in terms of one’s unbounded awareness. “I am that. Thou art that. All this is that.” This is real in unity consciousness. In unity consciousness, Supreme knowledge is total knowledge, perfection. This is life in fulfillment. This is true sustainability.
  28. 28. The purpose of creation is the expansion of happiness and we are all here to enjoy and radiate happiness everywhere. - Maharishi
  29. 29. “Life is here to enjoy. Tell everyone — nobody has to suffer anymore.” — Maharishi