archive-es.com » ES » C » COYOT.ES

Total: 581

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • tourism | View from Elephant Hills
    limbs and clasping hands a long furry tail and a little head that turns to look at you through large lustrous eyes Like all other lemurs including the iconic ring tailed lemur the aye aye and sifakas dwarf lemurs and sportive lemurs this lemur s natural range is confined within the island of Madagascar The largest living lemur in Madagascar is the indri At seven kilograms the indri weighs as much as a healthy six month old human infant But instead of a crawling or bawling child imagine a wild primate dressed in striking black and white capable of prodigious leaps from tree to tree and endowed with an incredibly loud and mesmerising singing voice In October 2012 one month before our visit to Madagascar Madame Berthe s mouse lemur and the indri along with four other lemur species were listed among the world s 25 most endangered primate species All lemurs larger than the indri are already extinct Read the full article here Share this Email Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in forests Madagascar people rainforest restoration tourism wildlife and tagged Andasibe conservation essay forests landscape primates Ranomafana tourism wildlife on 14 August 2014 by T R Shankar Raman Subscribe by email Enter your email address Recent Posts The other invisible hand Fire and renewal in Mizoram Fieldwork In clouded leopard country with Peter Matthiessen Blowin in the wind II Kalakad three years in rainforest Recent Comments T R Shankar Raman on Kalakad three years in rainforest Vinod Iyengar on Kalakad three years in rainforest Favorite Readings on The Environment on About Me T R Shankar Raman on Blowin in the wind II Jennifer Molidor on Blowin in the wind II Archives June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 February 2015 December 2014 October 2014 September 2014

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/elephanthills/category/tourism/ (2015-09-25)
    Open archived version from archive


  • About Patrick | Miracle or Mirage?
    of BLM s compliance or lack thereof with the National Environmental Policy Act with regards to utility scale solar energy environmental impact statements and finally this summer s project a comparative analysis of U S and Spanish utility scale solar policy Patrick blogged about renewable energy policy for the UC Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative BERC a full archive of posts is available here and was the editor in chief of the blog for one year He also occasionally writes for Green Tech Media archive here Patrick is now the Executive Director of the Amargosa Conservancy a small non profit in Shoshone California which advocates for the land water and beauty of the Amargosa Region of the California desert He and his little dog Kelso live in the tiny town of Shoshone and love exploring the amazing desert right outside their back door Email him patrick amargosaconservancy org Share this Email Like this Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Search for Recent Posts The Silurian Valley spared but will it be conserved Saharan Solar Part 1 A Wild Eyed Vision To Grade or Not to Grade On visual impacts landscape and NIMBYism Spanish Solar Steep Slope inSanity Recent Comments Richard Stoffle on On visual impacts landscape and NIMBYism tom in joshua tree on On visual impacts landscape and NIMBYism Chris Clarke on On visual impacts landscape and NIMBYism F on Spanish Solar Steep Slope inSanity Anne Ardillo on Drawing a Line in the Sand In Search of Sensible Utility Scale Solar Policy On The Coyot es Network Some reasons I have been called a radical environmentalist Coyote Crossing Published on September 19 2015 by Chris Clarke On Forgetting My Field Guide Birds and Words Published on September 16 2015 by Julia Zarankin My Hit Single Are Warblers Less Important

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/miracleormirage/sample-page/ (2015-09-25)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Uncategorized | Miracle or Mirage?
    in poor countries and earn tradable carbon credits which can be applied to carbon markets Since Europe has a functional carbon credit trading market European governments and countries were quick to move in the face of DESERTEC intransigence A sign along the highway at the site for the Ouarzazate CSP complex MASEN the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy was more than happy to facilitate Thus was born the Ouarzazate CSP Project a 500MW parabolic trough solar plant to be constructed just outside the desert city of Ouarzazate Morocco The project is funded by a dizzying array of entities including the World Bank the African Development Bank the EU itself the European Investment Bank the EU s central bank the German government and the French government The project is owned by ACWA Power a Saudi water and energy conglomerate backed by Saudi government money It will be executed by Acciona and SENER two Spanish civil engineering firms which have been heavily involved in European utility scale solar and wind projects as well as Grupo TSK a Spanish photovoltaic developer Not intending to be flip it s a bit surprising that Morocco actually has a fairly rigorous set of environmental review laws in place That combined with money flowing from the World Bank and African Development Bank and relatively strict CDM regulations mean that the Ouarzazate plant has had a relatively thorough environmental review process The complete set of documents can be viewed here but I ll spare you the trouble and review the particulars of the Ouarzazate CSP facility in the next post in this series You can also check out the Ouarzazate CDM certification here It should be noted that the CDM has drawn lots of fire for enabling rich countries to continue polluting while getting carbon credits on the cheap While Germany is funding this 500MW worth of solar in Morocco with a total price tag of 2 65 billion it is also adding a whopping 5 300MW of new coal fired power plants in 2013 After Fukushima a reactionary German public decided they weren t in favor of nuclear power after all and decided to close all 17 nuclear reactors in the nation which represented 22 4 of demand at the time While German deployment of solar particularly on rooftops is admirable it s just not a very sunny place And since DESERTEC s ambitious plans for shipping solar energy across the Mediterranean appear to be twisting in the wind countries like Germany apparently have little choice but to add more dirty coal to their energy mix Part 2 of this series will be coming shortly with details from my site visit to the Ouarzazate Solar facility or at least the patch of Sahara which will one day become that facility Share this Email Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged CDM DESERTEC europe MASEN Morocco Ouarzazate utility scale solar on July 10 2013 by Patrick Donnelly To Grade or Not to Grade by Patrick Donnelly Leave a reply Amongst the many site based impacts of utility scale solar facilities is the amount of terrain required to be graded and how severe such grading needs to be The classic solar facilities like those seen at Kramer Junction California required a completely clean scrape grading the entire site to a 0 grade rendering it essentially a parking lot without the asphalt Newer facilities such as the infamous Ivanpah SEGS purport to be an alternative a kinder gentler utility scale solar facility with far less grading than earlier designs But does it matter For our brief analysis here we ll take a look at three different facilities employing three different technologies all links go to BLM s Environmental Impact Statement EIS pages the Genesis Solar Energy Project the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System and the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Genesis employs parabolic trough technology the infamous Ivanpah OK I m done for this post utilizes concentrating power tower technology and Desert Sunlight is a photovoltaic plant Parabolic troughs at Plataforma Solúcar in Sevilla province Spain Genesis Solar Energy Project Genesis a 250MW nameplate capacity facility sited on 1 950 acres of Public Land is certainly the most heavy handed of the three when it comes to grading Parabolic troughs by the very nature of their technology require extremely flat land They concentrate sunlight in trough shaped mirrors focusing on a central clear glass tube which is full of a thermal transfer medium usually oil This medium is then brought to a conventional heat engine where as with almost every other form of energy production known to man except wind and photovoltaics it is used to heat water which boils into steam which spins a turbine thus generating electricity The length of the troughs and tubes and their rather sensitive alignment means that almost perfectly flat ground is required for the facilities Water diversion scheme for Genesis Solar Power Project as depicted in the EIS Genesis built in the Chuckwalla Valley outside of Desert Center CA required substantial alteration of local hydrology The entire 1 950 acre site was graded resulting in 1 000 000 cubic yards of earth being moved and substantially altering the function of 90 acres of ephemeral washes 90 acres of washes means literally hundreds or maybe even thousands of washes given their linear nature and low acreage Water from all washes crossing the site was diverted in massive engineered drainage channels which send the water across the site and downslope in concentrated waterways This causes downstream peak flow rates to increase dramatically in some cases by as much as 300 which increases downslope erosion and potentially will dry out certain areas that are no longer receiving sheet flow In order to attempt to slow down outgoing storm water NextEra proposed to utilize hydraulic energy dissapators and downstream riprap splash pads BLM and CEC were skeptical enough of the success of this plan that they required ongoing downstream monitoring for erosion and altered sediment loads and revision of mitigation plans as needed CEC photos of the aftermath of the Genesis flood courtesy of Basin and Range Watch There is some irony in the amount of time and effort spent discussing storm water diversion on this site in the EIS given what happened in Summer of 2012 A powerful desert rainstorm certainly not uncommon in the area dropped 3 5 of water on the site in less than six hours causing a massive flash flood The project which was still under construction at the time experienced about 5 million in damages as flood waters raced across the actual project site breeching the flood channels and destroying solar panels Afterwards it was found that the channels silted up to the point where they could not accept water hence the breech According to NextEra the channels and other flood control structures were not completely finished in their construction But it was certainly a potent reminder that the desert s hydrological patterns cannot be easily altered Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System An example of a concentrating solar power tower facility Gemasolar Sevilla province Spain More has been written about Ivanpah than I really care to reiterate here so I ll just give you a few links It is a concentrating solar power tower facility wherein sunlight is reflected from dispersed heliostats mirrors on modular bases to a central tall tower which contains a steam engine generating power just like at Genesis Ivanpah s unique design means that its footprint is substantially different than that of Genesis The heliostats sole function is to focus sunlight on the power tower tracking the sun throughout the day to maximize the amount of reflected light Given that there are 214 000 heliostats each individual heliostat is relatively unimportant to the overall project As such rather than grading off the entire 3 500 acre area which is covered by heliostats BrightSource is generally maintaining the hydrographic profile of the area underneath the heliostats grading and diverting water only around the power blocks which is where the power towers are located Grading would result in the moving of about 250 000 cubic yards of fill or one quarter as much as Genesis spread over an area two times as large which yields by this particular measurement a grading intensity one eighth as much as that of Genesis Additionally however there were concentring rings of heliostat access roads graded adding somewhat to the hydrological impacts of the project Detail of the heliostat access roads in concentric circles at Ivanpah Photo courtesy Jamey Stillings In the plans for reduced grading BrightSource purports to adhere to the principles of Low Impact Design LID LID is a set of principles intended to guide development such that it minimizes its impact on water resources for instance by promoting natural flow regimes by promoting groundwater recharge and other virtuous impacts And indeed compared to a wholesale grading of all 3 500 acres they have minimized the impact of their design But the CEC BLM staff who prepared the EIS are skeptical of the project s success in this regard Even with these LID methods employed project development would likely have effects that result in reduced storm water infiltration and increased runoff And indeed the EIS reveals substantial changes to the hydrology during peak flow events a 10 year storm event would see a 3 increase in peak flow volume after construction with a 16 increase in maximum water velocity while a 100 year storm event would see a 4 5 increase in peak flow volume with a very significant 44 increase in maximum water velocity Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Desert Sunlight is a 550MW nameplate capacity photovoltaic plant sited on 4 144 acres of Public Lands also in the Chuckwalla Valley in the same vicinity as Solar Genesis Photovoltaics not requiring a heat transfer medium or other centralized energy production facilities are much more flexible in their deployment They can be mounted on steep rooftops undulating terrain or even insanely steep slopes As a result Desert Sunlight utilized what might be referred to as a selective grading system Grading schematic for Desert Sunlight from the EIS Blue shaded areas outlined in dark solid black are Type 1 those outlined in red are Type 2 and the remainder of the area within the hashed line project boundary is Type 3 Areas outlined in green are proposed stormwater retention basins Type 1 grading traditional cut and fill leveling off of the ground occurred on 31 of the site They claim that they are using an isolated cut fill and roll grading method Type 2 which they also refer to as micrograding on about 9 of the site these areas retain their basic hydrographic form And on the remainder of the site they used a novel type of grading they call disc and roll Type 3 wherein conventional farming equipment is used to mulch vegetation and compact the mulch and churned up soils into a uniformly flat surface These non conventional grading plans mean that they reduced their cut and fill amount from 1 350 000 cubic yards to 755 000 cubic yards an almost 45 reduction It should be noted that some amount of searching reveals no previous instances of disc and roll grading in any previous environmental review documents for any project of any kind nor is there any mention of this sort of grading via google searches The exact relationship between these lighter impact grading techniques and the flow of water across the project site is unclear from the EIS The majority of the heavy Type 1 grading occurs at the northwest corner of the project site the upslope side where a number of ephemeral washes come into the site These washes actually flow through the site but a series of retention basins is to be built in various locations across the site to slow down incoming water and reduce flow volumes and speeds However behind those retention basins lies the area most heavily graded which is meant to only support sheet flow not concentrated flow as occurs in a wash Downslope from this area is the portion of the site that is lightly graded where presumably the natural drainage structure will remain intact The question then is will the retention basins be enough to stop water from concentrating in the washes which flow across the site The modeling in the EIS shows nominal increases to peak flow volume and velocity less than was revealed in the Ivanpah EIS But as was revealed in the Genesis flood the desert can behave in unexpected ways Additionally the analysis as to adverse impacts to downstream riparian communities is far less rigorous in the Desert Sunlight EIS as they seem to anticipate no downstream impacts This seems highly unlikely given the still significant alteration of flow regimes that the Desert Sunlight grading plan entails The Real Question In my mind the real question is so what I ve been analyzing EIS s like those referenced above for months trying to determine if there is a significant difference in the level of on the ground impacts between them Sure Genesis is a completely clean scrape leaving nothing of the native flora or fauna or habitat intact But is Ivanpah any better Is it any better to leave the bottom 18 of plants on the ground in a vain attempt to maintain current hydrological flow patterns Or is that simply paying lip service to maintaining ecological function in a site that will be horrifically degraded for centuries to come Will Desert Sunlight s selective grading yield a site that is better able to recover in fifty years when those photovoltaic panels are so pathetically obsolete that they aren t even worth recovering for scrap I m not even really sure how to answer this question yet I m just not there yet in my research I ve heard opinions that Ivanpah might have a substantially smaller long term ecological footprint as compared with a clean scrape like Genesis I ve also heard opinions that it s really not even worth examining if one is less bad than another in terms of impact because ultimately it s like comparing a gut shot to a head shot they ll both kill you So in parting I ll leave you with a video posted by this blog s illustrious host Chris Clarke It shows Ivanpah s light on the land grading in action I ve decided that from now on I ll always refer to Ivanpah as infamous Or perhaps ignominious Share this Email Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged EIA grading slope U S utility scale solar on July 4 2013 by Patrick Donnelly On visual impacts landscape and NIMBYism by Patrick Donnelly 3 Replies Please note all links heretofore on this blog will go to English language pages unless otherwise identified Inconsistency with that might have been a pain in the butt in previous posts The Iberian Peninsula Notable are the Sierra de Cádiz encircled here and the long white Valle de Guadalquivir just to the north I d spent much of the past week meeting with and discussing utility scale solar siting policy I was ready for a break Someone I d been talking with recommended that I check out the Parque Natural de Sierra Grazalema so I did The park which has a lower level of protection than a Parque Nacional but higher than plain old public land what of it exists consists of a series of serrated limestone ridges Located in the heart of the Sierra de Cádiz it is the wettest place on the entire Iberian peninsula because of storms coming in off the Atlantic You can see why in the picture here where I ve expertly encircled them in Microsoft Paint The are the first and only elevated area that storms in the Gulf of Cádiz will hit thus dumping an entire ocean s crossing worth of moisture As you can see in this kind of junky map from the booster ish group Protermosolar much solar thermal development has been focused in the Guadalquivir Valley Also notable is the Valle de Guadalquivir the long northeast to southwest trending white area just to the north of the Sierra de Cádiz It is the area with the highest most consistent solar insolation in all of Spain as viewable in many solar insolation maps the boundary of the area of highest insolation tracks directly the northern boundary of the Guadalquivir Valley And indeed it is where the most active deployment of solar particularly thermal solar has been Anyway after a week of meetings and plant visits I really needed to partake in some activity that wasn t related to utility scale solar So I headed up to the Sierra Grazalema to play around in the mountains After taking off up a limestone ridge I found myself standing on the summit of the peak Simancón which at 1569m 5020 is amongst the higher peaks in the Sierra de Cádiz I took in the view and as I m wont to do began identifying features in the distance When low and behold what did I see but I knew it before I even knew it It s the Valle Thermosolar Plant a 100MW parabolic trough plant located outside of San José del Valle in the Cádiz Province of Andalucía It s owned by Torresol Energy who in turn is majority owned by Masdar a k a the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company which is a subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Company the official investment vehicle of the government of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates And where does their money come from Americans buying their oil Yes that s right oil profits finding their way around the world to install utility scale solar plants in the hinterland of southern Spain Valle Solar as seen from the summit

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/miracleormirage/category/uncategorized/ (2015-09-25)
    Open archived version from archive

  • To Grade or Not to Grade… | Miracle or Mirage?
    courtesy Jamey Stillings In the plans for reduced grading BrightSource purports to adhere to the principles of Low Impact Design LID LID is a set of principles intended to guide development such that it minimizes its impact on water resources for instance by promoting natural flow regimes by promoting groundwater recharge and other virtuous impacts And indeed compared to a wholesale grading of all 3 500 acres they have minimized the impact of their design But the CEC BLM staff who prepared the EIS are skeptical of the project s success in this regard Even with these LID methods employed project development would likely have effects that result in reduced storm water infiltration and increased runoff And indeed the EIS reveals substantial changes to the hydrology during peak flow events a 10 year storm event would see a 3 increase in peak flow volume after construction with a 16 increase in maximum water velocity while a 100 year storm event would see a 4 5 increase in peak flow volume with a very significant 44 increase in maximum water velocity Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Desert Sunlight is a 550MW nameplate capacity photovoltaic plant sited on 4 144 acres of Public Lands also in the Chuckwalla Valley in the same vicinity as Solar Genesis Photovoltaics not requiring a heat transfer medium or other centralized energy production facilities are much more flexible in their deployment They can be mounted on steep rooftops undulating terrain or even insanely steep slopes As a result Desert Sunlight utilized what might be referred to as a selective grading system Grading schematic for Desert Sunlight from the EIS Blue shaded areas outlined in dark solid black are Type 1 those outlined in red are Type 2 and the remainder of the area within the hashed line project boundary is Type 3 Areas outlined in green are proposed stormwater retention basins Type 1 grading traditional cut and fill leveling off of the ground occurred on 31 of the site They claim that they are using an isolated cut fill and roll grading method Type 2 which they also refer to as micrograding on about 9 of the site these areas retain their basic hydrographic form And on the remainder of the site they used a novel type of grading they call disc and roll Type 3 wherein conventional farming equipment is used to mulch vegetation and compact the mulch and churned up soils into a uniformly flat surface These non conventional grading plans mean that they reduced their cut and fill amount from 1 350 000 cubic yards to 755 000 cubic yards an almost 45 reduction It should be noted that some amount of searching reveals no previous instances of disc and roll grading in any previous environmental review documents for any project of any kind nor is there any mention of this sort of grading via google searches The exact relationship between these lighter impact grading techniques and the flow of water across the project site

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/miracleormirage/2013/07/04/to-grade-or-not-to-grade/ (2015-09-25)
    Open archived version from archive

  • On visual impacts, landscape, and NIMBYism | Miracle or Mirage?
    impalatable to the point where arguments are rarely made about visual impacts of projects in America In Europe however things are different NIMBYs still hold lots of sway in British energy politics In Spain there has been a large academic focus on conceptions of landscape and how landscape planning and integrity are compromised by the dispersion of solar energy developments Profesora Maria José Prados enlase en Español of the Universidad de Sevilla has written extensively on this topic including a prominent article in the highly influential journal Energy Policy which somebody may have posted a PDF of here and which that same somebody would highly recommend you reading if you re interested in understanding the utility scale solar scene in Spain I m planning on writing a whole post about Spanish academics work on landscape integrity and renewable energy but it is worth noting that it is a variation on the NIMBY argument their issue with the way that utility scale solar has been deployed is that it has been in an unplanned fashion causing dispersed impacts on the landscape which then shapes how people view the landscape around them and perhaps how they treat it This PDF of a power point in English from Doctora Marina Frolova at the Universidad de Granada gives another good look at what Spanish academics refer to as landscape integrity Americans might scoff at such NIMBY sounding concerns And yet with some degree of fanfare film director Robert Lundahl debuted his anticipated documentary Who Are My People a film which explores the conflict between Native Americans in the California desert and large scale renewables which they say are destroying their culture And most Americans probably wouldn t dispute that Native Americans have a valid position to take regarding the desecration of land that is holy to them And yet isn t this another form of NIMBY My point is in denegrating the concerns of the British or the Kennedys as just NIMBY ism but exalting the arguments of Native Americans as a valid concern for their spiritual birthright we are both valorizing and essentializing Native Americans and their connection to the earth while implying that Western Culture has no legitimate claim to a spiritual connection with place This is exactly what the Spanish are getting at landscape concerns aren t NIMBY ism they are about a Spanish territorial identity an identity forged of a relationship to the land dating back millenia which is being rapidly changed by renewable energy deployment And perhaps in their own crude privileged gauche way this is what the Kennedys are getting at that they have a spiritual or otherwise important psychological connection to the views from Hyannis Port and that wind mills in the distance are a legitimate concern of theirs Standing at the top of Simancón I reacted to the sight of a utility scale solar plant the same way I reacted upon seeing the Mojave Generating Station from the top of the Dead Mountains in the California

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/miracleormirage/2013/06/29/on-visual-impacts-landscape-and-nimbyism/ (2015-09-25)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Spanish Solar Steep Slope inSanity! | Miracle or Mirage?
    Power Project as depicted in the EIS The alternative is to dramatically alter the native hydrology as occurred with the Genesis Solar Power Project a 250MW parabolic trough project sited near Desert Center CA Link to the EIS from BLM info from CEC info from NREL In order to properly set up the troughs they needed to grade the entire 1 950 acre site to a 1 or less grade requiring the movement of over a million cubic yards of fill picture a 1500 mile long convoy of standard sized dump trucks But this of course dramatically altered the local hydrology to prevent a catastrophic flood they had to build massive water diversion ditches a schematic of which can be seen here And still during construction Genesis experienced what can only be described as a catastrophic flood Spain s environmental review process on the other hand is much more rudimentary One of the things I m focusing on this summer is getting my hands on Spanish EIS s for utility scale solar plants here to compare the way they assess impacts and how that may inform whether or not a plant gets built Clearly impacts to hydrology were not thoroughly considered with these facilities All the pictures come from a paper by Prof Matías Mérida at the University of Málaga in which he develops a typology of impacts from photovoltaic plants I ll write more about his typology in a future post You can see the original Spanish version here PDF with pictures or a crudely Google Translate translated English version here PDF no pictures Even so Google Translate still seems like magic to me Unfortunately I do not have a good source yet for which specific solar facilities these shots come from in Spain I m currently in correspondence with Prof Mérida about it and will update this post when I find out Still just gaze in wonder and be grateful that this is one particular problem that utility scale solar watchers in the U S don t have to contend with Share this Email Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Blog and tagged design EIA grading slope spain utility scale solar on June 25 2013 by Patrick Donnelly Post navigation A Fascinating Visit to Europe s Biggest Utility Scale Solar Research Facility Plataforma Solar de Almería On visual impacts landscape and NIMBYism One thought on Spanish Solar Steep Slope inSanity F June 27 2013 at 7 38 pm Errr uhh even just looking at the bottom image without referring to anything else Holy cow Leave a Reply Cancel reply Search for Recent Posts The Silurian Valley spared but will it be conserved Saharan Solar Part 1 A Wild Eyed Vision To Grade or Not to Grade On visual impacts landscape and NIMBYism Spanish Solar Steep Slope inSanity Recent Comments Richard Stoffle on On visual impacts landscape and NIMBYism tom in joshua tree on On visual impacts landscape and NIMBYism Chris Clarke on On visual impacts

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/miracleormirage/2013/06/25/spanish-solar-steep-slope-insanity/ (2015-09-25)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Drawing a Line in the Sand: In Search of Sensible Utility-Scale Solar Policy | Miracle or Mirage?
    impacts Screen capture from Google Earth of Platforma Solúcar a complex of solar thermal projects near Sevilla Andalucía Spain For my research summer I have been awarded a Haas Scholars Research Fellowship from the University of California Berkeley to investigate policy making processes and implementation of utility scale solar projects in the United States Spain and Morocco My goal is to conduct a comparative analysis of Spanish and U S policy finding what similarities exist and to extract some lessons learned from the Spanish experience as their deployment of utility scale solar has been several years ahead that in the United States To read my abstract you can click here PDF In this space I ll be regularly posting portions of my field notes This could be photos or descriptions from site visits to facilities in Spain Morocco and California snippets from interviews with policy makers or community members particularly interesting tidbits from Environmental Impact Statements or solar enabling legislation or really anything else that comes down the pike as my investigations unfold With my work this summer I hope to draw a line in the sand Utility scale solar if deployed in the correct way could be a key facet of humanity s response to the negative climate impacts of our energy consumption However as it currently stands it appears in many ways to be a utility scale boondoggle sucking down government subsidies and fundamentally altering local environments while ultimately showing negligible benefits to overall energy production patterns Sensible policy reforms could promote sensible utility scale solar deployment And so we re off I m writing this post from a small apartment where I m currently staying in Sevilla in the south of Spain I ll spend this week trying to track down EIS s and talking to people in the towns near the Solúcar Platform depicted above Please feel free to contact me either through this blog or via email donnellyshores AT berkeley DOT edu I d love to hear from others who share my interest and passion in this topic Until then Saludos Share this Email Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Blog and tagged Berkeley EIA energy policy policy solar energy spain U S utility scale solar on June 17 2013 by Patrick Donnelly Post navigation Hear That 3 thoughts on Drawing a Line in the Sand In Search of Sensible Utility Scale Solar Policy Amber June 17 2013 at 11 39 pm The top most photo doesn t have a caption Where is it Thanks Patrick Donnelly Shores Post author June 18 2013 at 6 41 am Hi Amber yeah this site doesn t allow captions for header photos It s the header for the whole blog It s a view of the Platforma Solúcar the same facility from the google earth screen capture Specifically these are the PS 10 and PS 20 solar power tower facilities This is shot I took last summer from a hill coming west from Sanlúcar la

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/miracleormirage/2013/06/17/drawing-a-lin/ (2015-09-25)
    Open archived version from archive

  • December | 2014 | Miracle or Mirage?
    Tree indeed most people had never heard of the Silurian Valley before the solar proposal gained national prominence Instead BLM recognized the landscape values inherent in the Silurian Valley listing amongst its reasons for rejecting the application the undisturbed nature of the area There are some places that should simply be left as they are open undeveloped largely governed by non human ecosystem processes Salt Creek Springs a rare and precious water resource in the Silurian Valley which could have been impacted by the proposed solar development The Silurian Valley is a part of the Amargosa River Watershed and these undisturbed areas are also key to the local economy in the Amargosa Region Since the decline of the mining industry in the area tourism has come to define economic opportunity here Tourists come for the wide open views to experience the surreal sense of distance and scale that comes from traversing an enormous valley like the Silurian The industrialization of these areas would mean doom for the economy of the Amargosa Basin who wants to go on a long road trip to visit an industrialized energy production zone The sparing of the Silurian Valley also presents us with an opportunity A key portion of the DRECP is the designation of National Conservation Lands fulfilling a mandate first established in the 1976 Federal Lands Policy and Management Act FLPMA designated the California Desert Conservation Area but left specific designation of conservation lands for some time in the future That time is now The Silurian Valley with Dumont Dunes and the Ibex Hills in the distance Lands worth of perpetual conservation BLM has recognized the Silurian Valley as an inappropriate place for industrial development The next step is to designate the Valley as National Conservation Land and then manage that land for conservation purposes There has been much rancor over the proposed National Conservation Lands included in the DRECP and many questions as to their management and the durability of such a designation These questions are valid and the conservation community needs to push the REAT to ensure that the final DRECP has strong protections for lands so designated But right now in the DRECP is the first step toward perpetual protection for the Silurian Valley and other wild lands like it in the California desert Share this Email Like this Like Loading This entry was posted in Uncategorized on December 5 2014 by Patrick Donnelly Search for Recent Posts The Silurian Valley spared but will it be conserved Saharan Solar Part 1 A Wild Eyed Vision To Grade or Not to Grade On visual impacts landscape and NIMBYism Spanish Solar Steep Slope inSanity Recent Comments Richard Stoffle on On visual impacts landscape and NIMBYism tom in joshua tree on On visual impacts landscape and NIMBYism Chris Clarke on On visual impacts landscape and NIMBYism F on Spanish Solar Steep Slope inSanity Anne Ardillo on Drawing a Line in the Sand In Search of Sensible Utility Scale Solar Policy On The Coyot

    Original URL path: http://coyot.es/miracleormirage/2014/12/ (2015-09-25)
    Open archived version from archive