Discussing Energy Economics on the Internet

How Green is my Valley?

Posted in Renewables by Cheryl Morgan on the August 15th, 2008

Last weekend the technorati and venture capitalists of the world gathered together here in Silicon Valley to discuss business opportunities at the annual SciFoo event. One of the hot topics this year was renewable energy. Nature has a long article following on from this, which is sadly subscriber only. However, Oliver Morton has summarized some of the conclusions on this blog.

My own view on this is that what really matters is not what is technologically feasible or economically feasible, but what is politically feasible. Attempts at introducing renewable generation too often founder when faced with NIMBYist protests against the generation itself, or the transmission enhancements needed to bring that power to market. It has become abundantly clear that we humans, as a species, want electrical power, and want to save the planet, but both of those things have to come without the cost of having wind turbines and transmission lines in our own back yards.

From that point of view, I am particularly encouraged by the solar roofs program being run by SCE, in that the installations are often invisible except from the air, and are located right where the power is needed.

Update: PG&E has recently announced plans to construct an 800 MW solar plant. That’s serious generation.

2 Responses to 'How Green is my Valley?'

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  1. Oliver said,

    on August 18th, 2008 at 3:13 am

    Damn — it was meant to be free access, but something happened. Will get that fixed; free access means that nice people in the blogopshere can take note…

  2. on August 18th, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks Oli, much appreciated.

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