Chris Schuring: Legislation

This past week there was some activity in the legal world of energy. A bill for permitting, a ruling for net metering, a Chinese Tariff and I am sure a few that I missed. The point is this, there will always be fluctuations in the process, and there will always be hurdles in business. When I was on the track team I ran the hurdles, not very well, but I ran them anyway. Even once I ran around the hurdle and the referee did not see me and I place second. Now I do not recommend running around them but I do recommend running and jumping at the right time. Else you will end up licking the dirt while everyone else pass you on the track of life.

So when you jump it is also a good recommendation to land in a state of grace on your feet and keeping in step. All of this means that one must keep a positive outlook as to the possible results. When we look at the entire negative view point we miss opportunities that would otherwise be over the next hurdle. I am blessed or as some have seen insane about opportunity, it is around every corner and at the beginning of every race, we just has to open our minds and receive. I know this was supposed to be about legislation, but how boring is that. The number of blogs and news reports on the issue will make your mind go numb in quick order. So I want to talk about how we view the effect of the rulings in our business not the ruling itself, sorry, no real news here.

On the tariff issue I think that when we look at the global picture, we are after all in a global economy, we can view this as an opportunity for developing technology and developing regions to bring their best game to the court. India for instance has a burgeoning solar module market, so let get busy with the India connection and see what that creates. New markets, new projects, new relationships and certainly new products to evaluate for investment and project ROI improvements. The ability for the tariff to shake us up and get out of complacent view of sources for products could reward us with a great new source, think about for a moment. Who have you talked to over the years that now may be a great connection for a new sources of product, give them a call, or email.

Additionally the tariff will make you look at your vendor relationships closer and each party can make improvements the add value, value add should be one of the things we strive to include in our business. I know at the end of the day it is all about the bottom line, IRR and all that. The investment community will not look to shave their returns and the developers still want the return on land values and rate schedules, so look at value add as a sources of investment balance. Maybe it will include labor saving measure, not reduction; I would never say the reduction word when it comes to labor. I think this is the time for more projects and larger projects; leverage is the word of the day. If you can do more and create more and leverage more than your overall investment may fair better. And yes there will have to be some give and take at the table, but isn’t that true in all business? Oh stop whining and get busy, show the rest of the crybabies that business can still get done and with a profit.

One other thing this may create is a great stage for M&A upwards and sideways a consolidation should take place and that consolidation will create leverage, leverage creates opportunity and that means business get done. A consolidation in the install base, the fiscal base (it would be nice to have a few actual investors and few less wannabes clogging up the pipeline with brokers and worthless projects that don’t exist) and the supply chain. Don’t worry there will be an expansion after the consolidation, there always is in every industry and I am not an economics major, I just see things my way so that makes me right. Unless you can convince me different I will be correct, if you can’t then keep trying some day you will catch me, keep running.

Like I tell people; the problem with human kind is that we keep reproducing and keep watching TV and needing computer and lights and factories and the list goes on and on, so that means we need more power. More power, give it all she’s got, so the saying goes. As we look at bringing developing nations to the grid and we develop new technologies that need power we will need better solutions and more innovation. I mean really, they have electric cigarettes now, they have to be plugged in, the need power not to mention the debate over electric cars. That will be for another day, don’t get me started on that issue I like horsepower and big block noisy engines that shake the ground, 700 hp should be the norm in my book.

So where does all this lead, it leads to opportunity lots of opportunity. It is time to get better, share more, add value, reduce costs, look for new ways, review the old ways and overall get out on the track and run, run like you mean it, keep your head up and your feet moving. There will always be hurdles, there will always be others in the race and there will always be politicians that think they have an answer for and industry and a work force they have no clue about or have ever even been close to, so run on and from time to time remember the race is a relay, pass the baton and smile the bugs need a place to rest too.

Chris Schuring