From a reader:
Loved the article, but what I loved even more was the e-mail you received in response; the one that mentioned that we would be well on the way to a future of clean solar power, on par with Europe and Japan, if not for Reagan’s short-sightedness.
Here in Arizona, one of the largest utilities in the state has contracted with one of those European leaders in solar power (Abengoa Solar Inc) to build a billion dollar, 3 square mile large solar facility called Solana. After all if solar power, especially solar thermal, is going to work anywhere you would think it would be here in Phoenix where we have plenty of empty desert and just too much sun.
The problem is that the solar facility is only viable with the 30% investment tax credit and it won’t be built if Congress doesn’t extend it. Also power generated by Solana is going to 50% more than electricity from conventional sources- that’s even after the tax credit. The backers of the plan say the higher cost is justified because they expect a future cap-and-trade carbon regime. So to make the plant viable it will take higher rates, government subsidies, and regulatory regime only seen during war time.
What a winner