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A Solar-Powered Pissing Contest – Who Wins?

Maybe it’s just me. But it seems like you can’t crack open a clean tech blog these days without uncovering a post on The World’s Most Super Duperest Solar Project Ever. In the last month alone we’ve seen everyone from China to Los Angeles rolling out big budget solar plans.

All I can say is, finally! But I must admit, it’s feels like some global pissing contest as to who can roll out the biggest one first.

Made in China

China’s pollution problems have affected everything from the 2008 Olympics to Batman.  The Dark Knight survived,  but there is still much concern about China, environmentally speaking. And while I don’t think they are quite out of hot water just yet, their massive 166 Megawatt solar power plant in Yunnan gives me hope. The project is expected to cost $1.3 billion and scheduled to start operation in 2010.

The Golden State

If you watch things like 90210 (the original or version 2.0), you’d believe California is nothing but sun, beaches and palm trees. But those of us north of Santa Barbara know better! Okay, it is kinda sunny. And that same sun that gives us our tasty wines is also helping farmers go green. Woo hoo!

Nobody Walks in LA

As a defector from Los Angeles county, I was pleased when I heard that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had plans to gather enough solar power to meet 10-percent of LA’s energy needs by 2020. Yah, LA is trying to give us San Francisco hippies a run for our money!

Good. John McCain Good!

Arizona’s Global Solar Energy features a ground-mounted solar array consisting of 6,600 thin-film solar cells. The facility will generate more than 1.1 million Kilowatt-hours,  providing about 25% of the facility’s electricity needs, offsetting 30,000 tons of CO2 over its expected 25-year lifetime. And it’s 100-percent Palin free!

Prison Break

The Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, NY is constructing a solar module factory with the help of $55 Million from Spire Corp. I guess license plates are passé. I want to say “cool” but I can’t help but flashback to scenes from Oz that ended in death, or ever worse – sodomy.

So, who wins? Well, I think we all do. As long as countries, states and communities continue to push forward, how can we not?

Further reading: Israel’s Largest Solar Farm Now Online and Florida Breaks Ground on World’s First Hybrid Solar Plant

Photo: © Sai.chan | Dreamstime.comandau_tiger0 on Flickr under Creative Commons

 
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Written By

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.

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