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I came across this on the internet: On 8 April, 2010, five high-tech companies signed EU grant agreements with the Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Lithuania at the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics of the Vilnius University in Visoriai.  Together with foreign investors, these companies are setting up research and development centers for medicine, biopharmaceuticals and solar energy technologies. This is exactly what we at Energy Smart, Estonia have been lobbying our Estonian government to do for the past two years.  No one has yet put up a solar park in the Baltics. We still have the opportunity to be the first, but our government seems to be locked into supporting oil shale or nuclear as the only viable solutions to Estonia’s energy needs. Even with what is happening in Japan, our government thinks nuclear and oil shale is still the way to go. Eesti Energia has had a banner year of profits this past year. Why do they need any more support? If the Estonian tax payer really was aware of the many hidden costs involved with supporting EE and oil shale, solar would be considered a bargain by comparisson.  Our Estonian government is hell bent on backing dinosaur fossil fuels, instead of investing in a real future –which, by any intelligent assessment, is solar. The only thing more polluting than burning oil shale is burning Polish coal. Nuclear fuels are getting as scarce and expensive as everything else, and only an idiot would claim nuclear would save the rate payer money. At least solar costs are all up front. You never need to worry about the cost of raw material and the life of a solar park is 40 years -as opposed to 15 years for a wind turbine. Solar needs no high tech maintenance and if one panel dosen’t work, the whole project dosen’t stop as it does with wind. When a panel dosen’t work you lose 200W, when a turbine stops, you lose a mega watt. Our energy company has made so much money recently I am hoping they might start taking our solar project as seriously as they now take wind. Five years ago Eesti Energia was fighting the wind lobby.The main problem with solar is it can not easily be monopolized. Everyone can become an energy producer and feed into the energy grid, power to the people!  If our energy company continues to earn these record profits perhaps I won’t need to wait much longer for them to upgrade my meter box, at least to European standards.   Maybe our future electric bills might even come down instead of always going up? Eesti Energia is an Estonian company, working for the good of the Estonian people. Why should only EE shareholders reap the benefiits of profits? We could at least go 50-50 with the gains thereby getting some kind of a break on our energy bills. UAB Baltic Solar Solutions and UAB Baltic Solar Energy in Lithuania secured 14.9 million and 9.5 million litas of EU support, each respectively, for the setting up of a silicon power cells production research and development center. Our government could have lobbied the same for Tallinn Technical which already has several solar cell patents. How can anyone claim Estonia can not afford solar? Can we afford not to? Energy Smart met with our Economics Minister, Juhan Parts, last year. He told us to first put up our 100kW park to prove it works. Then we can talk. Our little 100kW solar park needs to be a proof of concept project for our Economics Minister while in Lithuania they are already putting up a research center, covering 10,000 sq. m, for solar power and digital optical storage technologies! "The bulk of technologies and products developed in these new Visoriai projects (through collaboration with the Lithuania academia) will be exported. The anticipated investments will significantly encourage involvement of business in Lithuania and serve as an example to be followed by other integrated research, studys and business centers", says Mr. Saulius Arelis, the director for VITP development UAB ViaSolis has secured 14.3 million litas EU support for the implementation of innovative photoelectric module production line. UAB Baltic Solar Solutions and UAB Baltic Solar Energy have secured 14.9 million and 9.5 million litas of EU support, each respectively, for the setting up of a silicon power cells production research and development center. EU funds will allow establishing a competitive world-level research and development centre for solar energy technologies in Visoriai.  By 2012, total investments into the center would amount to LTL 150 million. In 2015, the estimated turnover from the solar cells developed in the center will reach LTL 415 million, while exports will account for more than 95%. Aggregate turnover of the companies in the solar energy technology cluster is forecast to reach LTL 1.6 billion in Lithuania in 2016-2018. Likewise, 500 new jobs are planned to be created in this sector by 2016-2018.“ What is happening here in Estonia? The Greens are under attack today for daring to suggest or for supporting something other than nuclear or oil shale. The Estonian population is conned into believing alternative energy is too costly. Look at Japan and ask yourself, what is the alternative? Thanks to our environmental agency, KIK, and our Alternative Energy Agency, KENA we at Energy Smart are managing to do at least something. We have already started building the first solar park in the Baltics, but we should be developing a greater competitive stragedy for the future, much like Lithuania is doing, already.    Viido Polikarpus This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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