Toby Barlow on Wed, 27 Feb 2002 02:02:01 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Re: the development of a solar infrastructure

I'm glad you read the site but surprised that you did
not notice that solar bonds are not a one size fits
all proposition, each region designs their own bond,
combining solar, wind, and conservation in the manner
most appropriate for that particular region. Which
seems to be exactly what you're asking for. And
because it's a local initiative movement, if they
happen to be located in a big hole, then they
certainly are free to not pursue the solar option.

As to the environmental impact of solar cell
production, yes, all modern production has it's
industrial side effects and controls have to be put in
place. Luckily, with solar, the industry is new and
therefore can be openly monitored as it develops. But
I'll take the hazards of silicon chip production over
uranium tailings, ecosystems destroyed by damming, or
the greenhouse gas producing alternatives out there
now. Since we aren't about to elect a Luddite reform
movement, we will continue to have energy production,
so why wouldn't you pursue the cleanest technology

And while they are energy bonds, we are calling them
solar bonds because "energy bonds" doesn't sound very
descriptive or interesting and solar/conservation/wind
is something of a mouthful.

In any case, I am pretty disappointed with nettime
network as a whole. I was led to believe that it is a
forum for discussing tactics and politics. And while I
have had a somewhat engaging input from one person, it
was largely discouraging (reminding me of the
apocryphal tale that Che Guevera's mother once said to
him "If the left had to form a firing squad it would
be a circle"). I was looking for ways to take the idea
further, input on how the net could disseminate
successful regional politics to wider forums. Maybe
it's the idea's fault. Or my fault for not presenting
it properly. But it's easier to blame nettime. 

The good news is that San Diego, The University of
California, Sebastapol, Boulder, Washington State, and
a few other places have expressed interest in Solar
Bonds, and, also in the footsteps of the San Francisco
model, there was the following report:


“The CPA’s has devised a feasible plan for Los Angeles
 Colleges to Solar”

                          – Says Greenpeace

LOS ANGELES– On Friday, the California Power Authority
(CPA) submitted its Energy Resource Investment Plan
“Clean Growth: Clean Energy for California’s economic
Future” to the state legislature. Greenpeace
congratulates the CPA for submitting such a strong
plan to the legislature. In particular, we are pleased
that it allows institutions like the Los Angeles
Community Colleges access to low cost financing
program in order to go solar.

The Energy Resource Investment Plan details a strategy
to prevent future energy crises by meeting
California’s energy supply shortfalls through energy
efficiency, conservation and renewable generation.

In total, the CPA will generate $5 billion in revenue
bond financing that will leverage over $12 billion in
clean energy investment by 2007.

“This is the largest clean energy investment plan in
history,” said Danny Kennedy, Coordinator for
Greenpeace’s Clean Energy Now! Campaign, “ The CPA
plans to meet the majority of projected energy demand
with conservation and energy efficiency measures that
will spawn the equivalent of 5 big coal-fired power
plants being supplanted by wind, biomass and solar
energy. This is largely non-polluting and is the same
as taking one million cars off the road in the next 20
years, greatly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.”

The CPA’s Energy resource plan acknowledges two major
strengths that the support of a government agency can
provide: the agency can act as a public broker and
lead the path for other institutions to go solar, and
it can provide bulk procurement when buying for
schools, prisons and other public buildings. The plan
also projects that by installing photovoltaic cells on
buildings all over sunny
California, there is up to 2400 MW of untapped,
cost-effective solar power on state facilities. 

“Now we want the Los Angeles Community College
District to negotiate with the CPA low cost financing
for solar installations in schools,” said Kristin
Casper, Campaigner for Greenpeace’s Clean
Energy Now! Campaign, ”This is the Los Angeles
Community College Districts chance to make their
campuses a model of the  clean energy future that
students, faculty and citizens around the state want
to see. The Board of Trustees have no excuse but to
vote YES on solar.”

Wednesday, the Board of Trustee of the Community
Colleges will vote on a proposal to install enough
solar panels to produce electricity to supply the
power needs of twenty five percent of all new campus
buildings being built, as part of their billion dollar
renovations program. The Governor’s office, The Los
Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), students,
faculty and Greenpeace are all advising the school
that this plan is feasible and cost effective.

CONTACT:     Alisa Arnett, Greenpeace media at (415)
407-9293  or Danny Kennedy, Climate Campaign
Coordinator at (510) 912- 3949.

--- bc <> wrote:
> Toby Barlow replies;
> >Wow, what a trip. Please, before I waste any more
> of
> >your time, LOOK AT THE SITE, solar bonds are energy
> >bonds, bundling conservation and, in some cases,
> wind
> >to make the economies work. The math is very tight,
> >that's why the comptroller of San Francisco
> endorsed
> >Prop B.
> >
> >As to the powers that be, well, bring 'em on.
> >
> >The "mining of raw materials" issue you bring up is
> >enormously irrelevant. You're going to compare
> >silicon, the second most common element on earth,
> to
> >uranium?
> >
> >As for the regions, last time I checked there was
> sun
> >everywhere. Germany has a lot more solar than we do
> >and they're located farther north in a cloudy
> climate.
> >And they're pretty damn smart when it comes to
> >allocating their technological resources.
> >
> >Again, check out the site. Goodnight.
> >
>   i did check out the site, the positions are
>   still relevant, solar is not the same word
>   as energy, the sun is not everywhere in
>   the same intensity, nor wind, and the mining
>   of raw materials (and silicon for that matter)
>   are very toxic processes (go visit a semi-
>   conductor plant without a bunnysuit and a
>   breather and see you in the morgue) and no
>   universal solar value/return exists the same
>   everywhere, these are facts. having done
>   solar calculations for building designs in a
>   specific climate and knowing it is site- and
>   region-specific, it is hard to dismiss this
>   and take the utopian view of one solar panel
>   works the same as another, anywhere in
>   the world. regional maps (& actual statistics
>   about specific areas) would show where solar
>   and wind are and are not viable alternatives.
>   that was/is the point. thus, the importance
>   of reframing common issues in common terms,
>   such as 'energy'. but, you're on the ground, on
>   a balletbox issue in SF, and good luck to you.
>   hope it works out in the larger sense, voting
>   for minds to consider these issues in more detail.
> bc

Toby Barlow
250 Texas St. SF CA 94107
(415) 385-6679 cell
(415) 863-4069 home
(415) 733-0783 work

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