You are here: home   Issues   High Tension   Bigger isn't always better
Topic: Energy     Department: Letters

Bigger isn't always better

Document Actions

The Bureau of Land Management's Ray Brady says "there is no way a state like California is going to meet its goal of generating 33 percent of its electricity from renewable sources without utility-scale projects (HCN, 2/7/2011)."

From my experience, this just isn't true, and I'm getting tired of seeing it become a mantra. Since 2001, I've generated about 46 percent of my electricity from rooftop solar panels. Soon the system will have paid for itself. If every residential unit in the state made this affordable investment -- when I had the system installed I was making under $30,000 a year -- plus warehouses, malls and big-box stores, why shouldn't we expect to generate 50 percent of our electricity without utility-scale projects? All we need are the right incentives and the political will to stand up to the utilities. Plus, the opportunities for utility-scale projects on disturbed lands are enormous.

By conserving electricity and generating solar power, my net electricity use has decreased by about 60 percent. Imagine if everyone in California did this! It isn't hard or expensive and doesn't require the development of pristine desert. However, it also doesn't make the utilities money.

Gregory Reis
Lee Vining, California

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. Why I am a Tea Party member |
  3. The privatization of public campground management | All the info you need to decide whether you love o...
  4. The Latest: Interior commits to restoring bison on select lands | The “odd ungulate out” gets a tentative win.
  5. Efficiency lessons from Germany |
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  3. What's killing the Yukon's salmon? | An ecological mystery in Alaska has scientists and...
  4. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
  5. North Dakota wrestles with radioactive oilfield waste | Regulators look at raising the limit for radiation...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
More from Energy
On booms and their remains A North Dakota photographer returns home to examine changes to the landscape.
Efficiency lessons from Germany
The Latest: Mining battle update at Utah’s Tavaputs Plateau State supreme court gives green light to tar sands permits.
All Energy
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone