I caught the tweet on this from David Roberts of Grist yesterday, but didn’t feel like doing a long post on my Android. He’s really psyched!
Over the last year or so, Republicans have woven a tale of collapse and futility around clean energy. Each setback for the industry, each bankruptcy or refinancing, is met with open glee, plastered all over Fox News for weeks on end. In the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney said to Obama, “you don’t just the pick the winners and losers — you pick the losers.”
I can’t recall ever seeing a major political party rooting for the failure of a growing American industry like this. Is there any precedent? I guess asymmetrical polarization has brought us to uncharted territory.
There’s a difference between “rooting” and “highlighting”, Dave. Also, we expect it to fail, because all Obama did was pump money to campaign contributors without wondering whether this business will have a reasonable chance of succeeding. And he used taxpayer money. I wonder if he put any of his own money into these businesses?
It seems that DOE’s bet on Ivanpah did exactly what it was supposed to do: help BrightSource demonstrate the viability and market value of its product. Now the company has had two bits of good news.
First, yesterday it secured more than $80 million in new private equity financing, bringing its total to $615 million. In a press release, the company says the additional money comes via “Alstom and VantagePoint Capital Partners. Additional investors include DFJ, DBL Investors, Goldman Sachs, Chevron Technology Ventures, CalSTRS and BP Ventures among others.” (Thanks, Chevron!)
And second, later in the day the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously approved two of BrightSource’s new contracts with Southern California Edison. That brings its total CPUC-approved contracts to 10, three with Southern California Edison and seven with PG&E.
So, the good news is that they…..got more money to attempt to make the company viable and some government approvals? Perhaps in Liberal World that is good news, but, good news would be that the company is actually providing viable, consistent power at an affordable price while making a profit. Oh, and let’s take a flashback
BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah solar power project will soon be a humming city with 24-hour lighting, a wastewater processing facility and a gas-fired power plant. To make room, BrightSource has mowed down a swath of desert plants, displaced dozens of animal species and relocated scores of imperiled desert tortoises, a move that some experts say could kill up to a third of them.
I asked the questions then “why do they need a gas-fired power plant? Are they admitting that solar as it stands today can’t even provide power for the solar plant? Oh, and don’t you love how green energy actually seems to destroy the environment?” Ivanpah can’t even seem to provide power for itself, much less consumers.
Enviros also sued to stop Ivanpah, because it would destroy the desert. Back to Dave
Solar thermal with storage is still expensive. On a per-MWh basis, even solar PV beats it. But it has the great advantage of being zero-carbon power that is not intermittent, unlike wind and solar PV.
Hmm. So, it is crazy expensive, which means consumers would see their electricity bills skyrocket, but it is puts out zero carbon! Hooray!!!!!1!!!!!!