A Golden Age For Solar? Why The Media Circus is a Distraction

With the world's largest solar bridge under construction, an old mine becoming the world's largest solar power plant, and tumbling solar prices creating huge opportunities to expand deployment, there is a strange disconnect between the naysayers who claim a clean energy economy is pie-in-the-sky, and the real world where that economy is already taking shape. Clint Wilder weighs into the fray over at Renewable Energy World, arguing that despite the media circus surrounding Solyndra, we are entering a "golden age" for solar power:

A case can definitely be made. In the past two years, solar PV cell prices have plummeted by more than half, and total installation costs by about 30 percent. Solar deployment in the U.S., from residential rooftops to utility-scale PV power plants, has soared. Grid-connected PV grew 69 percent (over 2010) in the second quarter to 314 megawatts. Six states installed at least 10 MW in the quarter; that's more than all but three states added in 2007 for the entire year.

I have no argument with Wilder on the facts. But his question as to why this is a partisan issue, and why certain political interests are shooting down clean energy, deserves an answer. Why must it be war? He asks.

I believe it is because the fossil fuel lobby, and the friends of coal and oil, are beginning to get decidedly nervous.

And that makes me happy.

Tags: Economics | Renewable Energy | Solar Power | United States

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