RMI Outlet, Rocky Mountain Institute’s blog, explores topics critical to RMI’s mission to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.
Plug Into New Ideas
By now the financial, political, and emotional fallout from the recent Solyndra bankruptcy filing is running at full tilt. Print, online, and social media channels are filled with the appropriate questions about what happened -- who’s responsible, who’s accountable, and who’s going to pay for it? (Originally published on Greentechmedia.com)
With all the talk about Solyndra’s bankruptcy, the message that the solar industry is struggling to effectively compete at scale with cheaper electricity sources such as coal is being made loud and clear. So while solar photovoltaic module costs have decreased significantly in the past decade, high installation costs caused by a complex tangle of utility interconnection requirements, financing expectations and permitting codes is a big reason why installed solar PV remains an expensive energy option.
The U.S. enjoys some of the most affordable and reliable electricity in the world. This has largely been enabled by the electricity grid (the largest man-made machine in the human history), which provides power to our schools, hospitals and homes.
The importance of electricity in our modern world cannot be overstated. Electricity not only animates the storehouses of human knowledge, it also enables communications and control, and delivers energy precisely to billions of devices that drive our economy—from the stock market to hospitals. Yet, as crucial and ubiquitous as it has already become, electricity is poised for a profound leap in importance. This clean, precise, and flexible energy carrier can help us conquer one of the most important challenges of our time: drastically reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Each year, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting gathers heads of state, business leaders, and nonprofit directors from around the world to share their commitments to action—a concrete plan to address an urgent global issue. In concept, these commitments can help organizations develop the partnerships needed to get these ideas off the ground. So far, they are off to a good start: Since 2005, CGI members have made nearly 2,000 commitments which have improved the lives of nearly 300 million people in more than 180 countries.