The Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association has just published a major new peer-reviewed study, Vision to Integrate Solar in Oregon showing that large scale photovoltaic power plants are cost effective in Portland and elsewhere in Oregon, reports study author Chris Robertson at Climate Progress. Oregon could produce 20% of its electricity from 65 square miles of land. If this was all agricultural land it would be 1/4 of 1% of Oregon’s farm land. Agricultural production (e.g. grazing small animals, honey production) could be maintained on the land. Remaining market barriers to the spread of solar power will need to be addressed. These include finance, land use, improved interconnection processes, transmission and distribution upgrades, permit streamlining, and others. The report recommends that the state ensure a market price for solar power produced both at the scale of individual buildings and utilities, which will drive down costs further. It also notes that if the savings created by replacing destructive carbon emitting forms of power with solar power were properly included in assessing the cost of solar, solar power would be even more cost effective.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte