Recommended Reading: Solar Industry May Soon Face a Shortage of Skilled Labor

Recommended blog post:  The Solar Industry May Soon Face a Shortage of Skilled Labor, written by Comly Wilson, published on

November 26, 2012  “The growth of the solar industry may soon face the reality of not having enough skilled workers to satisfy demand, suggests a recent report by The Solar Foundation and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Despite a dragging economy overall, installed solar capacity has increased dramatically in the past few years.

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Use Your Smart Phone Wisely for Mobile Payments!

Don't Be Foolish with Mobile P

Don’t be Foolish with Mobile Payments

The commercials make it look so easy and convenient to transfer money, pay bills or get in some shopping when you find a few free moments on a busy day with mobile payments.  Certainly, smart phones and tablets are great for stranded travelers needing to find different transportation or hotels.

What the commercials don’t show, however, is how badly you can get ripped off if you aren’t careful about the applications you download or if you don’t spend the necessary time and money for security.

The use of “smart phones” and “tablets” for mobile payments grew dramatically in 2011, with projections of over 62 million smart mobile devices in use by the end of 2011.

Analysts project that by 2014, there will be a $633 billion mobile payments market with 490 million users worldwide.*  If you’re one of the growing numbers of people using mobile payments or doing mobile banking, make sure you do so wisely.

(Note: the author of this post’s background includes working for network and internet security specialists, as well as experience in online financial services for one of the nation’s largest banks.)  Continue reading

Emergency Preparedness: Never Too Early or Too Late to Plan


Large Hurricane Getting Ready to Hit Land

With Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy hitting much of the east coast a couple of weeks ago, followed last week by a strong Nor’ Easter that hit most of the same areas, it’s a good time to remember that all homes and autos should have an emergency kit.

In the western parts of the country, many areas experienced (and some still are dealing with) wildfires. And, no matter where one lives, floods, earthquakes, and/or tornadoes unfortunately also are real possibilities.

Here is a list of things, many taken from and, which has lists of what an emergency preparedness kit should include, as well as pointers to prepare for and deal with for hurricanes, earthquakes. and tornadoes. (Other pages discuss everything from floods  to wildfires to landslides and hurricanes.)

As we were preparing for Sandy, we noted (as we did last year when wrote about hurricane preparedness), FEMA and many state emergency management agencies are adding solar flashlights, emergency lights and solar chargers to the list of things that can help.  While it’s true that you can’t always depend on the sun, it’s also true that you won’t always be able to depend on gasoline for generators, as far too many people have learned over the past couple of weeks. Continue reading

Recommended Article: Solar Industry Grows 13.2 Percent, Adds Jobs

The Solar Industry Continues to Grow, Adding over 13,000 New American Jobs, Most via Small Businesses

While the solar industry has had its share of problems in the last year, overall the industry grew 13.2 percent and added many jobs to the US Economy mostly through small American businesses. The average rate of job US job growth was 2.3 percent during the same time period.

It also useful to remember that it’s most companies with problems were large ones that made serious strategical errors and other unwise financial decisions.

The breakdown in new jobs is pretty evenly split across “Red” and “Blue” states, although many states in the US heartland are the ones offering the most Green Energy incentive programs right now.

Bottom Line: DESPITE the huge missteps of some big players, the solar industry grew between 13.2 percent September 2011 and September 2012, adding over 13,000 new jobs to the US economy. This is the number of “New Jobs” after the losses incurred by the large companies that ran into trouble. Continue reading