One of our favorite cartoonists is Gary Larson, who for many years drew “The Far Side“.

And one of our favorite Far Side cartoons was one in which he depicts a flock of ducks walking on the ground in a”V” formation.  One of the ducks in the back of this walking group looks up and sees a flock of ducks flying in a v-formation.    This duck exclaims, to no-one in particular, “Saaay, look what they’re doing!”.  We couldn’t find the actual image of this cartoon, but you get the idea.  We know you do.

This “flying” flock, obviously, is progressing much more quickly and efficiently towards their goal, and is using the power of the flock more effectively – and in general they’re behaving in a way which has much, much higher benefit and is taking advantage of the inherent capacity given to them by nature.


We got that feeling today when we read this story about how China’s government is stimulating the solar industry there.

That article is one of many.  Here’s another.  That one, from Reuters, has this to say:

“Beijing’s bid to boost the solar energy sector could draw more than $10 billion in private funding for projects and put China on track to become a leading market for solar equipment in the next three years.

China’s government said in March it will offer to pay 20 yuan ($2.90) per watt of solar systems fixed to roofs and which have a capacity of more than 50 kilowatt peak (kwp).

The subsidy, which could cover half the cost of installing the system, was popular among developers, attracting applications equivalent to the building of 1 gigawatt of solar power.

One GW, or 1 billion watts, is enough electricity to power a million homes.

China is expected to raise its 2020 solar power generation target more than fivefold to at least 10 GW. With incentives, analysts expect over 2 GW in new solar capacity will be installed as early as 2011, up from just over 100 MW in 2008.”

These incentives have stimulated research and development as well as implementation of solar projects in China.  So you can see why we’re interested: more projects = more project managers.

So the question is this: is your country walking or flying?