Monday, June 4, 2007

The Dawn of Big Solar?

Utility-scale solar farms seem to be making the news more and more. Just yesterday, Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) announced that it has begin delivering solar modules to City Solar AG for the construction of 7 different large-scale solar farms in Spain and Germany totaling a solar capacity of 31 MW in all.

An article in Business 2.0 provides a great overview on the state of large-scale solar, the major players, and the evolving economics and technologies that make it increasingly attractive.

But query if such solar farms nullify one of the main advantages of renewable energy--that of an off-grid and autonomous source of distributed power. Utility-scale power just puts electricity production back in the hands of big companies (which are the only ones that can afford the huge capital outlay of a large-scale solar farm), increasing their political clout because they control such a vital resource, and setting them down the path of Big Oil and Big Coal...would love to hear thoughts of anyone out there...

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