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Forum Post: BP to exit solar business after 40 years – So much for the ‘Beyond Petroleum’ bs

Posted 12 years ago on Dec. 24, 2011, 6:19 p.m. EST by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

BP will close the chapter on more than 40 years of history after deciding to shut down its solar business, once regarded as one of its flagship alternative energy divisions.

“The continuing global economic challenges have significantly impacted the solar industry, making it difficult to sustain long-term returns for the company,” wrote Mike Petrucci, chief executive of BP Solar, in an internal email to staff last week.

“Over the last six months we have realised that we simply can’t make any money from solar,” a spokesman confirmed. Why? Because Solar is putting Big Oil out of business!

“It has become a commoditised business. You cannot be a specialist anymore,” he added.

A New Economic Paradigm

The distributed nature of renewable energies necessitates collaborative rather than hierarchical command and control mechanisms. This new lateral energy regime establishes the organizational model for the countless economic activities that multiply from it. A more distributed and collaborative industrial revolution, in turn, invariably leads to a more distributed sharing of the wealth generated.

The oil business is one of the largest industries in the world. It’s also the most costly enterprise for collecting, processing, and distributing energy ever conceived. Virtually all of the other critical industries that emerged from the oil culture and feed off of the fossil fuel spigot — modern finance, automotive, power and utilities, and telecommunications — were, in one way or another, similarly predisposed to bigness in order to achieve their own economies of scale. And, like the oil industry, they require huge sums of capital to operate and are organized in a centralized fashion.

Three of the four largest companies in the world today are oil companies — Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, and BP. Underneath these giant energy companies are five hundred global companies representing every sector and industry — with a combined revenue of $22.5 trillion, which is the equivalent of one-third of the world’s $62 trillion GDP — that are inseparably connected to and dependent on fossil fuels for their very survival.



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[-] 1 points by bill1102inf2 (357) 12 years ago

it sucks because LFTRs are better

[-] 1 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 12 years ago


[-] 1 points by GoldmanSex (9) from New York City, NY 12 years ago

Read Hermann Scheer. He xplained the solar revolution.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

Screw solar. Its all about Tesla. The amount of destruction of the earth to get teh minerals for solar is unreal. The sand is the easy part, the REs are another story.

[-] 0 points by FreedomIn2012 (-36) from Hempstead, NY 12 years ago

But that part never comes out in the media...

[-] 0 points by earnyours (124) 12 years ago

No shit Sherlock, they're oil and gas companies. Medtronics is inseparable from healthcare too you dolt. Energy is a huge business, gosh, you noticed, huh? Have you also noticed how about everything in modern life needs energy? And no shit is takes scale. Really, you think some hippy co-opt is going to drill 10k feet under the earth for oil? "A more distributed and collaborative industrial revolution...:" blah blah blah, would simply make us poorer.

BP can do what it pleases. If solar is a great idea, someone else can organize a company to take advantage of it.

[-] 1 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 12 years ago

No shit; so if they are oil & gas companies then why brand themselves as 'Beyond Petroleum' really that ad campaign? BP can't do as it pleases in the United States, they are responsible to the States for their Charters; and I'd like to see their's revoked! BTW we don't need to drill.

[-] 0 points by FreedomIn2012 (-36) from Hempstead, NY 12 years ago

So your solution is to import more oil from the Middle East?

[-] 1 points by dcosts (69) from St Petersburg, FL 12 years ago

Nope; all energy must be home grown:)

[-] 0 points by earnyours (124) 12 years ago

To get leftists off their back. Wow, that's tough to figure out, huh.

[-] 1 points by ScrewyL (809) 12 years ago

What you are missing, is that it takes scale to centralize energy distribution. It does NOT take scale to decentralize it through solar self-sufficiency.

Even some hippies can slap together solar panels and golf cart batteries.

[-] 0 points by earnyours (124) 12 years ago

Here's a secret: solar doesn't work very well. Maybe one day it will, but for now it doesn't. If you put solar on your house, even in a sunny location, you'll never recover the upfront costs of installation. Sorry, but it produces negative returns (even after the federal subsidies). Solar also isn't capable of powering industrial enterprises such as a steal mill or aluminum refinery; it just takes too much energy.

We use oil and gas a for really good reason: they're excellent sources of energy. When something better comes along, we'll move over and use that.

[-] 1 points by ScrewyL (809) 12 years ago

If you put solar on your house, even in a sunny location, you'll never recover the upfront costs of installation.

The cost of a solar panel setup which can generate 900 kWh is about $8,000 - $9,000. Where I live, with my typical electricity bills, it would take approximately 3 years to recuperate that cost.

There are some new solar panels which produce 50% more power at half the cost as well, so very soon it will even be a no-brainer.

[-] 0 points by FreedomIn2012 (-36) from Hempstead, NY 12 years ago

Solar also generates a great deal of heat, which contributes to warming. Since most solar panels are fairly inefficient, what isn't converted to electricity, becomes additional heat.

[-] 0 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 12 years ago

BP can do what it pleases because it writes the law. At least they used to until OWS showed up. Cue the hippy shit in 3,2,1...

[-] 0 points by NewEnglandPatriot (916) from Dartmouth, MA 12 years ago

And don't let the acronym fool you - BP is British Petroleum, their misleading slogan is "Beyond Petroleum" It gets you to "trust" them. They are all doing it. Oil and gas are their business. The oil & gas companies use the "Federal Incentives" to milk more money, do very little in its implementation. They use PR and in "support" advertise for the Gulf Coast. It makes them "look better" like they did something good, at the end , they remind you BP. Oh they aren't so bad, lets go to one of their stations.....

[-] 0 points by earnyours (124) 12 years ago

No, it's an attempt to get left-wingers off their back. They understand the impact of politics on their business. They're just playing the game that's been set up for them. No shit, oil and gas is their business. And I'm glad they are. I like energy.