Some think of Ivanpah as a renewable milestone. Mojave elder Reverend Ron Van Fleet finds it an obstacle to performing rituals at a sacred site within the solar plant’s enclosure. The residents of Boulevard were more successful fighting against encroaching industrial scale wind and solar plants. Environmentalists are concerned about the negative impacts sites have on threatened species like the desert tortoise, . These are the kind of problems that led to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). Only now an industry coalition opposes DRECP limitations to renewable growth.
The transition to renewable energy is coming faster than most people realize. The technological advances that make it the adoption of larger amounts of intermittent energy possible are also needed to reinvigorate North America’s aging grid. Though there is still much resistance from corporations and governments with vested interests, the future of the fossil fuel sector lies in finding ways to fit into a more environmentally sensitive economy. The struggle to avoid Climate Change is not over. There are still many battles ahead, but the outcome has been decided. The next big issue is social license.