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.
In a remote corner of the Mojave Desert, 15 miles from Las Vegas, stands the expansive Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. Occupying 5 square miles, the facility seems to swallow up a stunning expanse of desert including animals, plants and now, spiritual and cultural resources.
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.
Originally Broadcast on Cortes Community Radio, CKTZ, 89.5 FM
Audio from Thursday, August 7. The first part of that program was about a First Nations burial ground on Grace Islet in BC. The podcast below, “Protector of the Sacred Sites,” ran from 9:12 – 9:30. It revolves around the clash between solar projects and Native American Sacred sites in Southern California.
America’s solar industry is celebrating its most stellar year. The amount of capacity number of installations have grown from a mere 45 MW, in 2003, to 4,751 MW in 2013. As Rhone Resch, President and CEO of Solar Energy Industrieys Association (SEIA) puts it, solar energy is now mainstream. More than half of those installations was from ere utility scale solar projects that probably would not have come into being were not for the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO). Continue reading The Loan Programs Office’s Accomplishment→