Go ahead, call me an isolationist. But when I read the headline this morning about a Spanish company building an enormous PV factory
in New Mexico, I choked on my (Columbian) coffee. I immediately recalled some of the more backward ideas in Barack Obama's State of the Union address--his assertion that we need nuclear power and clean coal to solve our energy woes.
Apparently, Spain doesn't agree. So what's going on? Why New Mexico? Why now?
I did some sleuthing around. Apparently, the New Mexico utilities company, PNM, is building five solar power plants. And they're going to need lots and lots and lots of solar panels.
So where do they turn? To a mature company with the wherewithal (and financial backing) to create the factory infrastructure they need. You see Europe is decades ahead of us in the manufacture of clean energy such as PV. Like the Bush-Cheney oil men who preceded him, Obama apparently doesn't put much stock in the promise of renewables. But then, his bets so far haven't paid off too well.
The Spanish probably like the fact that Obama isn't paying much attention to their area of expertise. They won't have to compete with any big federal subsidies for manufacture of renewable energy the way they might in Europe, but at the same time they can take advantage of New Mexico's state subsidies, and get treated with red carpet perks.
The company, it should be noted, will create about 300 jobs. Maybe New Mexico's democratic governor, Bill Richardson, is just doing the smart thing. Instead of waiting around for our federal government to stop chasing its own energy tail and pissing away our taxes on dead end wars in the Middle East, he's cutting deals with whoever can help his state achieve energy independence. Maybe New Mexico's success will embarass the White House into doing the right thing. We all have the audacity to hope, right?
Posted: 1/29/2010 8:56:37 AM by
Matt Power | with 0 comments