270. KUNSTLER IS WRONG ABOUT PHOENIX AND LAS VEGAS
When he's not regaling us with in-depth chronicles of his hip replacement, Jim Kunstler is busy reasoning with curse words and telling us that Phoenix is "fucked". Here's some standard fare:
I have maintained that we will see cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas virtually depopulated in the next fifty years as all their artificial means to support human settlement grow scarce. Imagine Phoenix without cheap air conditioning.SourceHe must have said this a hundred times already, but it's still just as retarded as the first time he said it.
Phoenix and Las Vegas are the last places which will have air-conditioning problems. How do I know this? Because the western desert is the U.S.'s Saudi Arabia of solar energy. Conditions are ideal for generating large power flows from solar energy, and it just so happens that those power flows will be available at the same time air conditioning demand is highest. It's a no-brainer, and investors are already breaking ground:
But as oil, natural gas and electricity costs soar, companies are racing to build commercial solar thermal plants that are the size of conventional power plants.
Utah-based International Automated Systems Inc. on Thursday signed an agreement to install a $150 million, 100-megawatt power plant for Solar Renewable Energy in Nevada.
And North Carolina-based Solargenix, in which Spanish building and services company Acciona SA is buying a 55 percent stake, will break ground over the weekend on a 64 MW, $100 million solar thermal plant called Nevada Solar One. The company said it will be the first U.S. commercial solar thermal plant, coming on line in 2007.
Currently, all the types of solar energy provide only about 1 percent of U.S. power. One hurdle is price. Solar thermal at present costs about 12 to 15 cents per kilowatt hour, Westerholt said, compared with natural gas power which costs 10 cents per KWH.
But as production grows, solar companies expect costs to slip to 8 cents per KHW in five years.
SCHOTT will provide components for at least one 50 MW plant per year in the U.S. Southwest deserts every year until 2010, said Westerholt.Source
-- by JD