Monday, August 8, 2011

BrightSource Energy on the run in Israel? Can Israeli environmentalists stop giant solar farms from being built in the Negev Desert?

I came across a very interesting post over at Green Prophet, a blog dealing with renewable energy and other issues, in the middle east, with news from
all the countries of the region, including Israel. Link to the article below.

New Study Shows Negev Solar Farm is a Death Knell for Wildlife

Study Slams Plans for Negev Solar Farms

Most people are probably unaware of the fact that BrightSource is an Israeli/
American company and that it spent many years toiling away in the desert
there; no, not 40 years, perfecting its’ technology, and making the Grand Plans to make it big in America.

So I found it this post to be fascinating. By the way, I am trying to locate the study from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and hope to get further word on that soon. In the meantime, we go with what we have.

There is plenty of information in those 2 links and quotes by Doron Rotem, resident expert at the parks authority and writer of the report, to get the sense of the direction that the official government agency would like events to go forth. From my reading, the parks authority would like to save the Negev Desert and its’ animal species, and go in the direction of distributed power generation or rooftop solar, as the answer to the country’s renewable energy
power needs.

Man, would I love to feast my eyes on that study.

The money quote from the top article above:
“It now appears that the environmentalists in Israel may be winning out on efforts to build giant solar array farms in the Negev and Arava regions. A recent study conducted by Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority (NPA) indicates that building such projects could be fatal to thousands of wild animals that live in the fragile ecosystem of these desert regions.”

Folks, you have no idea how long I have waited to read such a quote, that
environmentalists somewhere, somehow were winning against the renewable energy industrialists!

Somewhere in this big news from Israel, there must be a lesson that can be applied somehow here in the struggle to save our southwestern desert ecosystems from the ravages of renewable energy industrialization.

One obvious glaring difference between their story and ours appears to be the
government siding with the environmentalists. Boy, here it is the exact opposite-
from Sheriff Kenny Salazar approving anything ass long as it has “renewable energy”  written somewhere to returning Governor Jerry Brown vowing to crush
opposition to the desert solar projects
- here in the United States of Amerika,
the B.S.’er’s seem to have everything going their way.

So stay tuned, I hope to obtain a copy of the report and provide more details when available.

Lastly, wasn’t it refreshing to see a government caring about the animals it is
charged to protect? The contrast between the Israeli Park Authority’s concern and the legalistic hair splitting over here by BLM, Interior, Fish and Wildlife, all designed to allow for the take of endangered species- take which in simple
plain english means you kill them, you bulldoze for example the desert tortoise or mojave ground squirrel burrows, you crush them under the weight of one of these:
021311mnptrip 095

to create this:
021311mnptrip 009

the difference is like night and day.

If anyone out there in the blogosphere knows how to grab this report, please let us know.

It just might make a little bit of a difference here in the states, as we attempt to salvage the remaining pristine desert that is left.


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