Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Honda Announces They Will Build New Tech Solar Panels

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Japanese company, Honda, announced they will begin production of a revolutionary new type of solar energy panel, the first factory will be built in Japan, of course, and sold only to Japanese first, of course. The Japanese always take care of home base first before reaching outwards. I explain why Japanese companies can afford to have many ventures and try new things.

From Yahoo:
Honda Motor Co. said on Monday it plans to start mass-producing solar cells in 2007, eyeing growing demand for environmentally friendly energy sources.

Japan's third-biggest automaker said in a statement it would build a new factory for solar cells on the site of a car plant in Kumamoto prefecture, on the southwestern Japanese island of Kyushu.

The company aims to generate annual sales of 5 billion to 8 billion yen ($40 million to $70 million) from solar cells once the factory's output reaches full annual capacity of 27.5 megawatts, enough to power about 8,000 households.
Japan has to import much of its energy that isn't water power or nuclear power. So the government and the business consortium that runs Japan have a very strong self interest in making Japan as self sufficient vis a vis energy use as possible.

Why are all the Japanese corporations expanding and doing so much research? Let's visit Honda's world-wide research facilities. Honda's research facilities are in three major countries: the USA, Japan and Germany. Note the symmetry here. The USA defeated, temporarily, the Japanese and German empires and then, in a power struggle with the Russian empire, we rebuilt the rival empires and militarily secured them virtually for free. Instead of ending this over the years, we extended this fatally as all empires tend to do. When we "defeated" the Russian empire by bankrupting it with the help of bin Laden, we didn't immediately retract our own military obligations and resize ourselves so we could devote those wasted trillions for military occupations and instead, invest it all in business research projects, we handed the keys to the future to our former military rivals, Germany and Japan.

Germany has had to cope with absorbing the mess of East Germany which has been a huge financial drag on them but at least they don't have to invest vast sums in a military system. Japan has no such problem being unified in all ways possible.

The Japanese, since they process much of the American red ink, have been able to keep interest rates way below world levels. The super cheap loans plus direct government grants, give the Japanese companies room to experiment and play around with future technology. So they happily build robots and rockets, for example. Meanwhile, our businesses are collapsing, contracting and squeezing themselves to death, paying back loans at a ruinous rate vis a vis the rivals in Japan who have it extremely easy.

These super cheap loans aren't accessible to us. They exist only for Japanese nationals. This is because Japan actually has people running it who think preserving the protecting Japan is their number one priority! There is no way they will allow Japanese workers to become fatally discontented! This would mean riots in Tokyo and other things and could bring down the business/government duolopoly.
Honda has brought the world a myriad of leading-edge technologies, such as the CVCC (Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion), the first automobile engine to meet US Clean Air Act requirements. More recently, we led the world in bringing to market a fuel cell vehicle, the FCX.
Our ongoing efforts in research and development play a central role in helping us to create original, innovative products that meet both the expectations of our customers and the needs of society. The Wako Research Center focuses on fundamental research in such fields as electronics, biotechnology and new materials. Four facilities share the initiative in developing new products for tomorrow, with a focus on increased durability, reliability, and performance. The Asaka R&D Center handles motorcycle R&D; the Wako R&D Center is primarily responsible for automotive design development; the Tochigi R&D Center handles automobile R&D; and the Asaka Higashi R&D Center oversees power product R&D.
Note the directions Honda is moving in! They spend a lot on research so they can get patents and lock in control over future use of technology! Meanwhile, America tries to milk money from whatever we have left in our eternal fire sales. Company after company is trying desperately to raise stock value in the short run by cutting funds to research. Or farming research out to China or India.

As Americans get degrees in fields ripe for research, they can't find work here in America unless they hire themselves out to foreign competing companies. This means they end up with divided loyalties as our country fritters away its social base. Instead of protecting our shores, they must work at opening up our markets even more to foreign domination. As we give up being the inventors and become mere consumers, we lose in many ways down the line.

A dear friend of mine just earned his first patent for IBM this month. Congratulations, Van! He didn't get a degree in "Inventions" but we knew as he attended classes at the tech institute that he was a genius for figuring out ways of doing processes. We encouraged him to roam about freely, his tinkering we tried to reward. Verbally, we told him over and over that being able to see something new is a special talent and it was annoying, watching him try to build a career at first.

But then, when he got a temporary job at IBM, they began to relax the controls over him and allowed him to roam more and more and in less than five years, here he is, creating stuff! And I see many patents in his future. He is working for a company that is struggling to keep their research and development alive. It is very hard for them. Our government is handing out money for research but it is often for military stuff and can't be shared with anyone so it is like inventing inside a cave under a dragon's mountain.

Namely, only when the dragon emerges to kill do you get to see it.

Young inventors need to see each other and the work being done around the world. They need to chat, to look at blueprints (sic---now it is strictly CAD data!) and to muck around since creativity is very elusive, you need the right amount of sunshine and water and soil to get those blossoms to bloom.

Honda has announced they are developing robots to use at home. They have a light weight, inexpensive private jet ready for sale in the near future. They have so many things and what do we have?

General Motors.

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