Saturday, August 15, 2009


In the environmental arena where the growing demand for energy results in public leadership examining the trade-offs certain strategies present, it is difficult when the energy creation strategy environmentalists accept, needs a energy delivery technology they (along with land-owners in this case) don’t accept.

This always receding-goal-post form of argument has created a clogged system where even good ideas can be derailed unnecessarily, and it is when the skill of public leadership is most sought, but rarely found.

This scenario is outlined in this story from the San Francisco Chronicle.

An excerpt.

“A new state report tries to tackle one of the touchiest issues in California's effort to expand renewable power, suggesting possible routes for new transmission lines to carry electricity from wind farms and solar plants.

“Power lines often generate intense opposition from environmentalists and landowners. But without new lines, the solar power plants and wind farms planned throughout California won't be able to ship their electricity to the towns and cities that need it.

“So several state agencies, electrical utilities, renewable power developers and environmental groups have joined together to figure out where to put new lines, hoping to prevent public fights. The effort, called the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative, released its latest report this week.

“The report examines where transmission lines are needed most, will cost the least and will cause the least harm to the environment. It doesn't recommend exact routes, nor does it specify how many lines must be built.

“Instead, it presents options, suggesting broad pathways for lines that can link planned renewable power projects to the grid. Most of the proposed lines are in the Southern California desert, while one stretches to the Oregon border.”