It is almost April and we have snow on the ground! Where is this global warming when you need it. I am anxious to start my garden. I just received my utility bill and updated my utility spreadsheet. Like the previous bills for this year this bill is higher than last year’s bill. The primary reason is that there was a higher number of heating degree days this year. Snow on the ground at the end of March drives home that point.
I continue to be interested in solar panel projects. Anthony Watts updated his solar panel project post with new info in the FAQ. It is a nice, comprehensive post but it did not provide me with any new information. The difference between his project and mine is the available sunlight. His location gets a lot more sunlight. According to the Wunderground Solar Calculator I can expect about $850 of solar savings per year. This leaves me with a 15+ year payback. I need this payback to be cut in half and some sort of energy storage to get me interested.
Spring Time in Ohio
Here is an article my favorite podcast, Planet Money, had on Norway Has Advice For Libya. This advice is appropriate for any state that is looking at expanding drilling such as Ohio.
Perhaps, even more amazing is what the Norwegians decided to do with the money they made off the oil. Initially, they decided that the citizens of Norway wouldn’t see any of it. They choose not to spend it on schools, roads or sports stadiums. Instead, in the beginning, they reinvested almost all the money they got back into the developing the oil industry ”” into drilling new wells, doing new explorations and developing new technologies.
Today all that money is in a savings fund called the Government Pension Fund Global, and the Norwegian government only gets to spend the interest that fund makes. The size of the fund right now is about $547 billion dollars.
Tom Blumer wrote a related article on Watchdog.org, Blumer: Kasich’s tax could affect OH job growth. It looks like if Ohio can develop the oil well service business, Ohio unemployment problems in south eastern Ohio could dramatically improve for many years. If Ohio can develop a viable long term industry, Ohio might be able to put together a trust fund like they have in Texas that provides capital improvements on state universities and slows down the growth in college tuition expenses.