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Investing in Military Solar Power

U.S. Military Turning to Flower Power?

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted April 7, 2015

flowerpowerrThis is AWESOME... and slap yourself silly at the same time!

First with the awesome!

The military is going green! No. Not a new form of camo.

Starting this summer, they're rolling out a series of war games and practice humanitarian missions where soldiers and command centers will simulate attacks on water and fuel delivery lines, using new technology that allows them to quickly set up and utilize solar and wind for power sources, instead of fuel-burning generators.

While I thought it's something they would have already been on top of, it's a relief that they're officially taking portability and sustainability to the battle field.

I'm not saying that as a solar loving hippie, either. Hippies smell of patchouli and failure.

I'm saying this because a group that doesn't need to rely on diesel to keep the lights on, water pumping, and communications rolling is much more mobile and can penetrate areas too risky and remote before.

As it stands now, delivering fuel to a base in, say Afghanistan, is one of the most dangerous and costly missions our troops face. According to the European Security And Defense Union, for every one gallon delivered to NATO forces, it takes five to get it there.

Part of that being the transportation. Delivering fuel requires... lots of fuel. The other part is that fuel and water convoys are extremely popular targets. And if you take out or ignite just one tanker, ALL of that fuel in the tanker is going to be lost.

Not even to mention the thousands upon thousands of U.S. soldiers that have died simply froflowerpowerm defending such attacks.

With solar panels, if you shoot one panel, one little chip might be gone, but the rest remain 100% functional and are still able to generate power.

So there is a massive potential to save lives and keep communications and lights functional.

Where it gets even cooler is that the power generators themselves aren't anything like you see on rooftop homes. They're not big and boxy. They're not overly heavy.

In fact, they're simple, stand alone units that set up easily, expand on their own, and require just a single person to operate. Plus, unlike delivering fuel hundreds – or thousands – of miles away, these units can be delivered via a high-altitude aircraft and a parachute.

So solar's about to save lives!

On an investment angle, you might notice a few other major developments that got a real push into the mainstream after military incorporation. The computer, Internet, nuclear power, and television show M.A.S.H. come to mind.

But more on making money from the already BOOMING solar industry another time.

On with the laughable.

The program is being led by NATO... which is an organization that strikes as much fear into the hearts and minds of terrorists as a parent that believes a five minute time-out is punishment enough for setting your sister's Barbie on fire and throwing your grandmother's teeth into the garbage disposal.

Making it even harder to hold a straight face are the names of the companies being contracted for supplying the portable solar plants.

Try as hard as I might, I just can't picture a big bad military grunt built like Arnold in Predator screaming to his version of Carl Weathers to “Get to the Smartflower!”

choppah

Yep. That's one of the companies. Smartflower. Manly.

Even worse, while a brilliant design and very size efficient, the generators are modeled after actual flowers, with the panels opening like – and referred to as – petals.

… like a beautiful lotus blossom.

Now you can't invest in this solar lotus blossom, but you can still pick up shares of some of the heavier hitters in the solar space – and make some decent coin in the process. I suggest checking out the following:

  • First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR)
  • SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR)
  • SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE)
  • SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY)
  • Vivint Solar (NYSE: VSLR)

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