Archive for the ‘solar energy’ Category

The heated debate over solar power

Clearly, a bill to encourage the use of solar power is now the hottest item in the state Capitol.

SB 401, sponsored by state Sen. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, originally had been shunted by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to the Senate Natural Resources Committee, where it was to be studied to death.

So on Thursday, an impatient Carter — opposed by Georgia Power, electrical membership corporations, and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce — brought SB 401 to the Senate committee that oversees utility legislation, where many think the measure ought to have been brought in the first place. Carter attempted to attach his bill to another piece of legislation intended to allow paranoid homeowners to opt out of wireless metering systems.

The concept offered by Carter is complicated, but my AJC colleague Kristina Torres has this explanation:

The most controversial aspect of Senate Bill 401 would allow outside companies to install, own and maintain alternative energy systems, in return for customers …

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Government investment in new energy? Look at the Pentagon, not Solyndra

What with half a billion dollars in federal cash flushed down the California toilets of the Solyndra solar panel company, the nation has been presented with a nearly irresistible opportunity to scoff at government investment in alternative energy.

If you must, scoff at the means — not the end. It can be done right, and in fact is being done right. Here in Georgia, among other places.

Two days before Solyndra executives were forced to make a perp walk into a U.S. House committee room, where they took their Fifth Amendment pledges of silence, Pew Charitable Trusts issued a detailed report on the Pentagon’s effort to wean U.S. forces from foreign oil.

The paper shows us a Department of Defense that is already one of the largest sources of venture capital in the world when it comes to solar energy, wind, geothermal and biomass fuel. As of last year, the Pentagon was the sponsor of 450 separate projects. The U.S. Army alone plans to spend $7.1 billion on energy development and …

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