Renewable Energy World jumps the shark, saying the more big solar the better because the US likes doing things on a big scale and it will mean big profits for big developers. Wowie zowie, I mean what could go wrong with that? As for any possible problems with, say, carpeting the Mojave desert with solar power plants, they just brush that aside saying let’s deal with that after the solar is installed.
When an industry is just getting up to speed, as solar is, I’m not sure it makes sense to put up roadblocks to stifle its development. Once we know what we’re doing, maybe then we should go in and start making restrictions about where and how large farms should ideally be.
But by then of course it will be far too late. Such plans and restrictions should of course be made before not after the solar is installed. California has mandated 33% renewable energy by 2020. Big solar in deserts will thus have captive customers regardless of the cost of the power, which will certainly go higher. Plus the solar plants may be able to sell carbon credits, producing more income. This reeks of crony capitalism being done under a cover of green theology.
Renewable energy is good but the way it is being implemented in California now makes me deeply suspicious of the true motives of those involved. Maybe the cheerleading isn’t so mindless after all.
Opinion on the topic of “Disturbing trend in big solar, mindless cheerleading”
There are many different vested interests that thwart the continued development of solar energy. I don’t think there’s anyone entity that is responsible for all of it. Even though there are efforts to slow down the development of solar power for what ever the reason, solar power on the whole is pretty darn expensive. When folks can not afford to put in solar systems at home even though there may be rebates and tax breaks, the message is clear that price is really dictating acceptance by the masses.
When we look at Japan where solar energy is highly encouraged by industry and government, the technology is still pretty expensive. Even with this support, the technology is priced beyond affordability of many.
Another reason for the high price is due to China controlling about 90 of the raw materials necessary for manufacturing solar panels. When there is a huge country controlling these materials, that too is a really big disincentive for continued development of solar resources. New and innovative technologies will need to be developed to overcome the control of these products by the Chinese. The development of these technologies is a very expensive proposition for anyone to undertake. Consequently, the price of solar will continue to be expensive until better alternatives are found to allow wider acceptance and lower costs.