Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Policy Dart Board: Solar? Wind? Both?

Should New York be installing solar panels or wind turbines on their bridges and skyscrapers? Maybe both - policymakers are studying studies <ahem>.

When will they make up their minds?

Here are a couple of relevant stories:

Mapping Sun’s Potential to Power New York
MIREYA NAVARRO | NY Times | June 16, 2011

Two-thirds of New York’s buildings are suitable for solar panels, which together could meet half of the city’s power demand at peak times, the city found.

Going back a couple of years we find this story about Wind power:

[NY City]: Bloomberg Offers Windmill Power Plan
Michael Barbara | NY Times | Aug 19 2008

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is seeking to put wind turbines on New York City’s bridges and skyscrapers and in its waters as part of a push to develop renewable energy.

"... eyeing the generally windy coast off Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island for turbines that could generate 10 percent of the city’s electricity needs within 10 years."

It will be interesting to see how the budgets for these initiatives evolve. Speaking of Public Policy, I've got some serious homework to do over the next few weeks. In mid-July I will be the Moderator for this PV session during Semicon West :

PV Public Policy: Working with Federal, State and Local Government

"This session provides a comprehensive overview of current U.S. government initiatives in support of PV on the federal, state and local levels. Participants will hear from government officials and industry stakeholders, on specific approaches to help pave the way for solar energy success in the U.S. "

While it will be nice to participate in this discussion and hear some "specific approaches" my studies suggest that "policy" is all over the map and needs a lot of work to make solar energy or for that matter any alt-energy solution, a (large) success in the U.S. . Sure, there will continue to be uptake and the industry is going to grow for the foreseeable future but are we really enjoying success?

What questions would you be asking these people if you were the Moderator of this session? Do you think the strategies will be clear and the economics well understood?

1 comment:

  1. I deal with the manufacturing side of things, which is far removed from what retail customers actually see. But a friend of a friend recently installed panels, so I jumped at the chance to find out more.
    solar power company in Bristol