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Solar Energy la

Published on November 25th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

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Los Angeles Unveils World's Largest Solar Plan

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November 25th, 2008 by  

la

San Francisco is usually designated the green capital of California, but now Los Angeles solar is trying to take the City by the Bay’s crown with the world’s largest solar plan. Yesterday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a long-range plan to gather enough solar power to meet 10 percent of LA’s energy needs by 2020. This will be a major upgrade for the city, which currently derives less than 1 percent of its energy from solar power.

The ambitious plan requires enough solar panels to produce 1,280 MW of power. Villaraigosa’s plan will require the use of both public and private facilities to generate power— and will cost LA residents approximately 2 dollars a month once it is completed.

The majority of the plan’s power (500 MW) will come from private facilities in the Mojave Desert, while 380 MW of power will come from small programs.

Despite the good intentions behind the solar plan, critics worry that the measure will increase the price of solar energy. However, pricing may even out with coal when a carbon tax is passed in the United States.

Photo Credit: Fareastgizmos.com

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



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  • Edward

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrian_Business_Cycle_Theory

    Not a bad elaboration for wikipedia actually.

  • Edward

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrian_Business_Cycle_Theory

    Not a bad elaboration for wikipedia actually.

  • Edward

    Well I’m glad I bookmarked this.

    I can see you are trying to find a contradiction in my views. Unfortunately, you are going to need to go a heck of a lot deeper than that. I’m an anarcho-capitalist. I believe the necessity of the state is a myth perpetuated by the few who benefit from its existence. So yes, those “public” “services” are something I object to. And yes, I object to government funding of nuclear power too. That doesn’t mean nuclear power isn’t our likely best option though, because you are not considering the fact that the entire energy industry landscape is warped with government interference.

    As per the credit crunch; if you think it is a function of short sighted investors you are sadly mistaken. There are many superficial reasons for it happening, but the underlying reason is the same as it was for every other fluctuation in the business cycle – fractional reserve banking and central banking. Although technically with a fiat currency we are basically no-reserve banking. Look up the Austrian theory of the business cycle. They had this shit explained a very long time ago. Even predicted this crisis. And the Great Depression.

  • Edward

    Well I’m glad I bookmarked this.

    I can see you are trying to find a contradiction in my views. Unfortunately, you are going to need to go a heck of a lot deeper than that. I’m an anarcho-capitalist. I believe the necessity of the state is a myth perpetuated by the few who benefit from its existence. So yes, those “public” “services” are something I object to. And yes, I object to government funding of nuclear power too. That doesn’t mean nuclear power isn’t our likely best option though, because you are not considering the fact that the entire energy industry landscape is warped with government interference.

    As per the credit crunch; if you think it is a function of short sighted investors you are sadly mistaken. There are many superficial reasons for it happening, but the underlying reason is the same as it was for every other fluctuation in the business cycle – fractional reserve banking and central banking. Although technically with a fiat currency we are basically no-reserve banking. Look up the Austrian theory of the business cycle. They had this shit explained a very long time ago. Even predicted this crisis. And the Great Depression.

  • Edward

    Well I’m glad I bookmarked this.

    I can see you are trying to find a contradiction in my views. Unfortunately, you are going to need to go a heck of a lot deeper than that. I’m an anarcho-capitalist. I believe the necessity of the state is a myth perpetuated by the few who benefit from its existence. So yes, those “public” “services” are something I object to. And yes, I object to government funding of nuclear power too. That doesn’t mean nuclear power isn’t our likely best option though, because you are not considering the fact that the entire energy industry landscape is warped with government interference.

    As per the credit crunch; if you think it is a function of short sighted investors you are sadly mistaken. There are many superficial reasons for it happening, but the underlying reason is the same as it was for every other fluctuation in the business cycle – fractional reserve banking and central banking. Although technically with a fiat currency we are basically no-reserve banking. Look up the Austrian theory of the business cycle. They had this shit explained a very long time ago. Even predicted this crisis. And the Great Depression.

  • Rif

    @Edward

    The US nuclear industry has received lots of subsidiaries ever since 1950’ies, otherwise no nuclear plants would have been built. That makes nuclear power a “socialist” energy source as well.

    BTW US has a lot of totally socialist programs: Public schools, police, fire fighters, libraries, roads, etc.

    It is all part of living in a society. A responsible government will set taxes to promote and direct the behavior of businesses and individual persons for the benefit of the country.

    Without rules and oversight on the market businesses has a tendency to aim for their own short term profits even when it causes long term costs for society, see the recent credit crunch.

  • Rif

    @Edward

    The US nuclear industry has received lots of subsidiaries ever since 1950’ies, otherwise no nuclear plants would have been built. That makes nuclear power a “socialist” energy source as well.

    BTW US has a lot of totally socialist programs: Public schools, police, fire fighters, libraries, roads, etc.

    It is all part of living in a society. A responsible government will set taxes to promote and direct the behavior of businesses and individual persons for the benefit of the country.

    Without rules and oversight on the market businesses has a tendency to aim for their own short term profits even when it causes long term costs for society, see the recent credit crunch.

  • Edward

    Sorry, 1922 rather. You can read the entire thing online here:

    http://www.mises.org/books/socialism/contents.aspx

    Well worth it.

  • Edward

    Sorry, 1922 rather. You can read the entire thing online here:

    http://www.mises.org/books/socialism/contents.aspx

    Well worth it.

  • Edward

    Again, it doesn’t matter how good the government’s intentions are. Economic central planning fails with absolute certainty. This was proved in 1920 by Ludwig von Mises in his paper ‘Socialism’, and further elaborated by Hayek in ‘The Road to Serfdom’, for which he won the Nobel Prize.

  • Edward

    Again, it doesn’t matter how good the government’s intentions are. Economic central planning fails with absolute certainty. This was proved in 1920 by Ludwig von Mises in his paper ‘Socialism’, and further elaborated by Hayek in ‘The Road to Serfdom’, for which he won the Nobel Prize.

  • http://globalpatriot.com Global Patriot

    Government intervention in free markets is always a touchy subject, but when done for the benefit of the people (as opposed to the corporations as happened with biofuels) and is limited to an initial phase designed to accelerate the pace of change, much good can come from it.

    Waiting until economics take hold has been proven, time and time again, to be a losing proposition in a world where 90% of the wealth is controlled by 5% of the people – they will always act in their own best interest, never in the public’s.

  • http://globalpatriot.com Global Patriot

    Government intervention in free markets is always a touchy subject, but when done for the benefit of the people (as opposed to the corporations as happened with biofuels) and is limited to an initial phase designed to accelerate the pace of change, much good can come from it.

    Waiting until economics take hold has been proven, time and time again, to be a losing proposition in a world where 90% of the wealth is controlled by 5% of the people – they will always act in their own best interest, never in the public’s.

  • Edward

    I’m not a fan of coal. Inadequate property rights mean that not the all the costs are represented by the price. On the other hand, coal was extremely important in the past in providing the cheap energy necessary to vastly increase the quality of life for billions of people.

    Solar will never replace coal. It is far too expensive, low density, and unreliable. The only serious alternative to fossil fuels is nuclear power.

    And with regards to “creating jobs” by government subsidies, that is a fallacy. Not only are you not considering where the government gets its money – by removing wealth from the productive economy, but the price mechanism is central to allocating resources and should not be tampered with. Just one example of how that turns out is the subsidising of biofuels which led to corn being diverted from the mouths of the poor to the gas tanks of the rich. Since the government is not subject to profit and loss feedback, its resource allocation has absolutely no reason to complement the aggregate priorities and values of actors in the economy.

  • Edward

    I’m not a fan of coal. Inadequate property rights mean that not the all the costs are represented by the price. On the other hand, coal was extremely important in the past in providing the cheap energy necessary to vastly increase the quality of life for billions of people.

    Solar will never replace coal. It is far too expensive, low density, and unreliable. The only serious alternative to fossil fuels is nuclear power.

    And with regards to “creating jobs” by government subsidies, that is a fallacy. Not only are you not considering where the government gets its money – by removing wealth from the productive economy, but the price mechanism is central to allocating resources and should not be tampered with. Just one example of how that turns out is the subsidising of biofuels which led to corn being diverted from the mouths of the poor to the gas tanks of the rich. Since the government is not subject to profit and loss feedback, its resource allocation has absolutely no reason to complement the aggregate priorities and values of actors in the economy.

  • Joseph

    The grid is the problem. We should be looking to the whole grow/shop/eat local craze. Local, and by that I mean in/around your residence, power production is the only sure way to limit cost, encourage fair and healthy competition, and decrease demand. Use less, spend less. The grid will always be needed for cities and larger buildings with limited space; but the future should de-centralize power production, paving the way for the plug-in car.

  • Joseph

    The grid is the problem. We should be looking to the whole grow/shop/eat local craze. Local, and by that I mean in/around your residence, power production is the only sure way to limit cost, encourage fair and healthy competition, and decrease demand. Use less, spend less. The grid will always be needed for cities and larger buildings with limited space; but the future should de-centralize power production, paving the way for the plug-in car.

  • indeed

    Clearly we DO need government regulation and involvement in markets. Unregulated market insanity is costing us a trillion dollars to clean up at the moment, or perhaps you don’t follow the financial news.

    Coal is NOT cheaper when you factor in the costs to human health and the pollution of our water and food.

  • indeed

    Clearly we DO need government regulation and involvement in markets. Unregulated market insanity is costing us a trillion dollars to clean up at the moment, or perhaps you don’t follow the financial news.

    Coal is NOT cheaper when you factor in the costs to human health and the pollution of our water and food.

  • Futureboy

    Solar is the future. you fred flintstones can keep digging in your rock farms while the rest of the world moves on.

    Goodluck with that, and your blacklung.

  • Futureboy

    Solar is the future. you fred flintstones can keep digging in your rock farms while the rest of the world moves on.

    Goodluck with that, and your blacklung.

  • The Countess

    @edward : ya, examples like germany where they now get 20% of their energy from solar power and have developed new industry and jobs, and have boosted the development of cheaper and better solorpower solutions, most of which you will be seeing on roofs near you in the next 5 years.

    sometimes goverment stimulation is needed because capatisims is pretty bad at looking after the commen good on its own if it doesnt make its money back in the first year.

  • The Countess

    @edward : ya, examples like germany where they now get 20% of their energy from solar power and have developed new industry and jobs, and have boosted the development of cheaper and better solorpower solutions, most of which you will be seeing on roofs near you in the next 5 years.

    sometimes goverment stimulation is needed because capatisims is pretty bad at looking after the commen good on its own if it doesnt make its money back in the first year.

  • Edward

    Not only is coal more than 10 times cheaper, but you really think that using government coercion to manipulate market prices is a good idea? There’s a million and one examples of how that turns out.

  • Edward

    Not only is coal more than 10 times cheaper, but you really think that using government coercion to manipulate market prices is a good idea? There’s a million and one examples of how that turns out.

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