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February 05, 2011

Power Is In Our Hands: What you can do to promote distributed generation of solar electricity

Posted In economics & Industrial solar & public lands issues & rooftop solar & subsidies & transmission | By Janine Blaeloch

Pass this information along to your friends and networks, so we can get our message spread far and wide and get renewable energy policy turned toward a real solution to the climate crisis.

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January 11, 2011

Federal Government Betting On The Wrong Solar Horse

Posted In economics & Industrial solar & public lands issues & rooftop solar & subsidies & transmission | By Bill Powers

The United States is wasting billions of dollars of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) cash grants and loan guarantees on very large, high-cost, high-environmental-impact, transmission-dependent desert solar thermal power plants that will be obsolete before they generate a single kilowatt-hour of electricity.

A solar strategy that would have been stateof-the-art in the 1990s, prior to the advent of low-cost solar photovoltaic (PV) power, is now being executed. This is a victory for the broad government, utility, and environmental organization support that solar thermal technology has gained over the last few decades. It is also a victory for the lobbying power of this coalition over economic common sense. Solar thermal has lost the cost-effectiveness race to solar PV. The federal government has not yet absorbed the significance of this important development.

[First published in the National Gas And Electric Journal. Reprinted with permission of the author.]

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September 10, 2010

Distributed Solar PV: Why It Should Be The Centerpiece Of U.S. Solar Energy Policy

Posted In economics & rooftop solar | By Bill Powers and Sheila Bowers

There is a widely held misconception that point-of-use distributed rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) is too expensive, too slow to implement, and inadequate to meet our renewable energy needs, and that remote utility-scale solar power plants should be the centerpiece of our nation’s solar energy policy. The California Energy Commission has said in staff assessments of various utility-scale solar power projects that,  although such projects will cause substantial and unmitigable harm to the environment, regulations normally restricting these impacts should be overridden in light of the urgency of reducing greenhouse gases and meeting California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Yet distributed PV can achieve the same objective without the environmental harm and at lower cost.

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