January 7, 2017

911 – My Tiny House has been Stolen

The tiny house movement never expected this:- instead of them stealing from his home, Lawrence Thomas returned to the street where he had parked his 95 square foot house in Hermiston Oregon, to discover thieves had actually made off with his entire home.

The custom-made tiny building was stolen after Thomas parked it in Hermiston while passing through the area.  Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan said his office took a report of the theft on Jan. 1 and is investigating.

Thomas said most of his possessions were in the house, including important documents like his birth certificate, and sentimental items that can’t be replaced.

“I really like the idea of a tiny house,” he said. “You save money, and you don’t have a mortgage. My idea was to buy a plot of land and then make the tiny house as off-grid as possible. You can enjoy a higher quality of life without having to spend all your money on rent.”

Thomas estimates the house’s value at about $25,000.

“My house was small — even for a tiny house,” he said. The 95 square-foot structure was 17 feet long by 7.5 feet wide. Thomas lived in it with his two dogs.

“I’m trying to get the word out so that if anyone sees it, they can report it and maybe I can get it back,” he said.

Because of a snowstorm in the Blue Mountains, Thomas, who was moving from Seattle to Las Vegas, stopped at the One Stop Mart outside of Hermiston in late December. He was driving an SUV and hauling his house, where he’d been living for the last four months.

Unable to drive in the bad weather, he parked up at a truck stop on Interstate 84. He spent the night there and realized the next morning that he couldn’t take the house with him in the snow. He said he talked to the manager at the truck stop, who said he could leave the house there until he came back to pick it up.

“She was very helpful, and asked me to pull the tiny house in front of the shop so she could see it,” he said. “And because she said cameras were facing it.”

The two exchanged information, and Thomas continued on to Las Vegas. Then, on New Year’s Eve, he found out the house was gone — and the surveillance cameras he was told would be on his house were in fact facing another direction.

“The manager said they’re going to try to find it,” he said. “They found out the cameras were not pointing that way. The house was locked down and dead-bolted, but someone used bolt cutters and took the house.”

Thomas is now living in Las Vegas with a friend. He spent about 6 months building the house.



Read More »

Grid is over for least-developed nations

The cost of solar equipment is declining at ever-steeper rates, threatening a meltdown in Utility companies share prices and catalysing new projects and driving growth in developing countries.

That’s among the key findings from this year’s Climatescope, an analysis of 58 emerging markets in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.  Conducted by the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, it reports investment in utility-scale solar in the Climatescope nations spiked 43 per cent to $71.8bn in 2015.  The countries covered include China, India, Egypt, Pakistan, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

The report stresses that the 58 countries “are not waiting to get started on adding renewable capacity – between them, they added 69.8 GW of new wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable power generating capacity in 2015 – the same as total installed capacity in Australia today”.

China accounted for the majority of activity in Climatescope countries, but smaller nations also played important roles. By comparison, wealthier OECD countries built 59.2 GW last year. Climatescope also found that cheap solar, innovative business models and a new breed of entrepreneurs are revolutionizing how energy access issues are addressed in least developed nations.

“New players focused on off-grid or mini-grid solutions are challenging the assumption that only an expanded hub-and-spoke power grid can meet the needs of the world’s 1.2bn with inadequate access to power. A slew of these start-ups are privately-funded and between them had raised over $450m cumulatively through year-2015.”

And the report highlights how private investors, lenders, and development finance institutions in OECD countries accounted for nearly half of all capital to the Climatescope countries, with the exception of China, where virtually all capital was provided locally.

This is up from the roughly one third of capital provided in 2012. But the report also notes that some Climatescope countries with the highest rates of clean energy penetration are beginning to encounter integration challenges. “Some have seen projects completed before sufficient transmission could be built. Others have not prioritized clean electrons from wind or solar projects in their grids over those from coal-fired plants.”

But the writing is on the wall for fossil fuel companies (and share prices) – with the report noting that “tenders held for power-delivery contracts have highlighted that photovoltaics can now compete against and beat fossil-fuelled projects on price in some nations”.

Read More »


Join the global off-grid community

Register for a better experiencE on this site!