I lost money on a solar investment but I’m not sad

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Solar panels have powered our summer cottage since the 1970´s, the modern ones are much more efficient though.

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The price of  the First Solar Inc shares has gone down, a lot. You don’t need to know much about investments to understand that -44,56% doesn’t look very good.Some people save for a house or a car. As a student, I’m lucky to be able to save at all and it will be a while before I have saved enough for a house or an electric car, so I though investing in renewables would be best for some of my savings right now. If I would sell the shares I bought today, I would have lost almost half of what I invested.

Is this bad? No, it’s actually great news! For my personal finances perhaps yes, it is bad, but the investment made wasn’t too big, so I’ll survive. For the rest of the world, the answer is no, it is not bad at all! First Solar is an American company and the reason they do poorly is not that demand for solar power has decreased, on the contrary. Demand is on the rise, because globally prices for solar panels keep getting lower and lower! Prices have decreased by 30% just this year!

The mistake I did, was choosing to invest in the wrong solar company, the one who sells solar panels at ‘the old’ more expensive prices. Additionally, Trump became president which could be catastrophic for American solar cell companies. However, since the technology has improved so much solar power isn’t necessary dependent on any political subsidies. Go home Trump, you can’t fight the power of the market in America!

I don’t regret investing in American solar power, I want to contribute to showing the Americans that the market wants clean energy. Solar might be a risky investment but if you want to contribute to a better world, I recommend it anyways.  I see it as donating to charity with the possibility of winning more money! This isn’t the most conventional investment strategy, but I generally think no-one should make any investments without considering moral implications. That money does  better things to the world like this, than at a savings account or spent on travelling.

I have not only invested in solar shares, I’m a consumer too. I buy solar-electricity from the Helsinki energy company Helen. Almost 20% of the energy I used in the past year, has been from solar power. Remember, this is in one of the northernmost cities in the world!! That truly shows the possibilities solar power has globally. If you live in Helsinki, get solar electricity for your house or flat here. If you live elsewhere, use new eco-friendly search engine Ecosia too look up solar power-plants in your region.

The globally lower prices of solar power is so great news that I can’t even be sad over my loss! In fact, the payback time for the best solar panels in sunny locations is as low as 2 years! Price competitive, clean energy: finally you are here! I’ve been waiting for you!

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Production of solar power plant in Helsinki that produces my electricity, built in 2014.

Do you really believe climate change is bad? Hot weather is just nice

“Just look at how sketchy all the organisations are who insist climate change is not real and is not man-made…”, an awesome person said to me. What an excellent point! The people spreading word that man made climate change is made up are rarely established scientific communities like universities. They’re more likely some organisation founded two years ago and sponsored by Shell or BP…If you’re not really interested in learning about all the sciency stuff to convince you about climate change: just take a brief look at these sketchy organisations, that should tell you that man made climate change is probably real. And that unfortunately means that partly, you and I are responsible for it.

I’ve been living with the assumption that man-made climate change “might exist”, until I was about 15, “probably exists” until like 19 and “shiit, we´re quite fucked” since that until now that I’m 22. I mean we are so fucked already, oh my god. But it’s not too late. At least not if people would stop saying hot weather is just nice. Hot weather is awesome as long as it doesn’t kill plants and animals, make storms, rise sea levels, triggers famine, disrupt local weathers so that some places become even colder and kills coral reefs. I want to dive and snorkel, damn it! Hot weather and climate change are two quite different things.

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I love hot weather. A hot climate is quite a different. That’s just a huge risk.

It wasn’t until that “shit, we´re fucked” notion kicked into my head that I decided to try to do something about it. So what did I do? My electricity at home is solar and wind only. I want the energy companies to build more solar and wind, so I increase demand for them. Building more waterpower in Finland would destroy beautiful nature and fish habitats. If I had a house, and not a flat, I’d probably produce my own energy with solar, wind and heat pumpswhich probably is the most efficient way of heating.

Man made climate change has been a known phenomenon since the 1970s but big (evil) fossil fuels companies who were among the first to discover the effect decided not to tell the public (I wonder why…).I’m waking up every  morning to the news of different Environmental News pages on Facebook and Twitter which all are written on the assumption that human made climate change is happening. That assumption can be backed up by 97% of scientists. The science hasn’t been this certain and widely known as it is now for a large part of many people’s lives, it’s a quite new thing for many. But even grandparents habits can be changed! My recently retired grandmother just told me that she has become a fantastic recycler! So proud!!

The things you need to change to already start making a difference are really easy and small. You don’t need to do much research or invest huge amounts of time in this if you start following these few tips.

5 things that you personally can do to make us less fucked:

1. Cut down on meat consumption. If you really love beef, just save it for birthdays and make it special. Check this out for yummy veggie recipes.

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2. LED LED LED lightbulbs! Never buy any other type of lightbulbs because compared to LED everything else is energy draining rubbish. This is so easy to do.

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3. Cycles, hybrid cars and trains. Cycling above all ♥︎. If you’re rich enough go for a hybrid car and skip the diesel SUV! There are so many cool hybrids! My personal flying vs train rule: as long as it takes less than 12h (a.k.a one night train) I’ll chose trains over flying. Would a similar rule work in your schedule perhaps? Give the idea a though at least.Cars etc

4. Wind and solar electricity! Most energy providers can sell you wind and solar electricity. In Helsinki: Helen, Fortum etc. My energy bill went from ca 12 euro per month to about 13 euro per month. I’m sure you have 1 euro to spare. Give your energy provider a call.

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5. Recycle metal, plastic, glass, paper, cardboard and bio waste. This saves quite much energy and the biowaste becomes biofuels. If you don’t have these bins close and you don’t own a car the glass and metal can mostly be easily transported on a bike or a bus. Try asking your housing company if they could provide recycling bins.

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Sounds pretty simple, right? So give it a go, and try convincing your parents and grandparents to give it a go too! This is a really good starting kit to do your bit to make us less fucked and you can change most of those things already today.

There is of course so many other things you can do, but I think, that if you do these few things you are already doing something about the problem.