energy efficiency, sustainability, green buildings, solar, hybrid cars and alternate fuels.

"A society built on green design, sustainable energy and closed loop systems, a civilization afloat on a cloud of efficient, non-toxic, recyclable technology." ~~Alex Nikolai Steffan


Solar Power - Sometimes New Is Old

Late in September, when President Clinton came to Florida for photo-ops with our Governor Crist, it was a great day for good-looking, grey-haired politicians and a greater day for Florida's solar investment.

Florida Power and Light had just announced the construction of a Florida power plant which will have an initial capacity of ten megawatts sometime in 2011. This will provide electricity for an estimated 184,000 south Florida homes. (Florida Power and Light is reported to have a 25,000 megawatt peak.)

Yes, this will reduce nearly 11 million tons of carbon dioxide over the next twenty or so years and yes, it's good that Florida Power and Light has committed to this construction.

But, the important thing, whether it's gasoline or electricity, whether it's Chevron or Florida Power and Light, is that big corporations retain the same business model whether it's oil from the ground or energy from the sun. Them: producers. Us: paying consumers.

Otherwise, everything in their universe goes out of whack. If we recycle french fry grease or nurture pond scum to fuel our vehicles or if we charge our batteries and heat our bath water from our rooftop solar array, then who will pay Chevron's CEO David J O'Reilly's $8.80M compensation package? (clarification, according to only $1.55M is actually salary.) Or who will pay Florida Power and Light's President, Armando Olivera's 2006 salary of $551,221 with a total compensation of over $3.1M?

The point is not CEO's salary, but the
enormous, self-preservation efforts taken by corporations to maintain the status quo. This ensures that we continue to pay at the pump and receive an electric bill no matter what the generating source. A few environmental folks are struggling to reconfigure the status quo, but I feel that we consumers will continue supporting the existing business model in their absence of convenient choices to do anything else.



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