This is an opinion column by a Footprint writer.
by Adam Wilson
Good news! A new solar power tower is being constructed in California. Expected to be completed in 2013, the solar plant will produce an estimated 392 MW of electricity, which is about equal to the total amount of solar power installed in the U.S. in 2009, according to the article. This article at Gizmag goes into greater detail about the plant in question, but largely glosses over its other main point, the fact that internet-giant Google is investing $168 million in the project. This is why I love Google. They are a progressive company that has invested a lot in making the internet more open and accessible, as well as in other ventures such as clean energy. The problem is the fact that corporations are the ones who have to, and are indeed expected to by conservatives and libertarians, invest in the green energy sector. This is problematic because clearly they are not doing enough of it. It is much more lucrative for corporations to produce and deal in fossil fuels, because our government subsidizes oil, coal, natural gas, etc. Changing our energy usage to renewable energy is as simple as reducing, and eventually ending, subsidies for oil and other fossil fuel companies, and subsidizing the production of solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, and wind energy. For a more in-depth look at this, check out this website. While there may be problems with this, it needs to be discussed, along with other solutions such as direct government spending on renewable energy infrastructure.