John Sutter has a disturbing column ("Nevada's Perplexing War on Solar") on CNN about the politics of solar energy in Nevada. Apparently a company named Solar City has reduced activity because the state has allowed utility companies pricing policies that undermine the investments of homeowners in solar equipment. This has led to layoffs of some employees of solar power businesses, and suddenly higher electric bills for some homeowners who had invested in solar.
Sutter goes on to argue that the country cannot afford this sort of thing as it faces the eventual likelihood of having to abandon use of fossil fuels and go completely to renewable energy in a few decades. Of course, it’s possible to argue that other ideas, like smaller nuclear fission plants, or even nuclear fusion, will be in the mix someday (Taylor Wilson’s ideas – and Taylor works in or near Reno, Nov. 7 posting).
It’s also disturbing because it shows that the state may not be taking seriously the topic of security for the grid itself.
It’s just possible that my own future plans could see living near Las Vegas or Reno someday – lower cost of living, with quick access to Los Angeles and San Francisco (and Silicon Valley) when needed. So this can be an important issue for me down the road.