Thank you for your wise and historical perspective on the closing of Access Tucson. It is a blow to the citizens of this community.
Advanced batteries like Tesla, Enphase and JuiceBox Energy are making will change everything. The price is dropping as fast and Solar panels did and computer chips under Moore's Law. Power to the people is now very possible. Micro GRIDs of neighbor to neighbor will make it even more robust.
Will 2015 be remembered as the year that solar and batteries became a reasonably priced alternative to reliance on the grid? The cost of solar has come down so much that, when combined with energy efficiency, energy management (like switching power consumption to hours with solar gain) and batteries, it is now feasible for this off-grid energy to cost in the range of utility costs. By 2020, it will be cheaper to go off grid than to stay on it.
This is largely because most utilities are not endorsing the new paradigm but are fighting it.
It is only financially good for them to fight solar in the short term. In the long run, they will suffer for it, and may well go out of business as the new paradigm overwhelms their opposition.
The utilities cannot be ignorant about the coming load defection revolution. Maybe willful blindness and a hope their ACC will save them is driving their resistance?
Well said, desertrat . There was an article quite a few months ago - not sure whether it was in the Weekly or online - that compared the electric company to the industry that used to make buggy whips. As cars became popular, people weren't buying buggy whips any more, and they sought protection by politicians. Similar events when scriveners were no longer needed due to the advent of photocopiers. This is what happens with capitalism - technology progresses, and new industries take the place of old ones.
The day will come - not sure whether it will be in two or three years (probably more) or fifty years (probably less) - when we no longer need the electrical grid, and that day will come sooner in the Sunbelt than it will elsewhere in this country. The combination of solar power and smaller, more efficient batteries will eventually become universal. In the meantime, electric companies, I recommend one word to the electric companies - diversify. You can make this transition smoothly, or you can be dragged into the future, kicking and screaming.
Get batteries if you can afford them, you may just be glad you did. (You're gonna need a lot to run A/C in Tucson, FYI; maybe you should insulate the house first/instead).
Batteries = Off Grid. No TEP, no APS, no ACC.
They screw with you, you 'move' and have the electric disconnected.
Give the guys in suits the finger, you're American, do it with pride!
Great article!! oh for the days when utilities were actually "public utilities" and they functioned to provide service to the public in return for a monopoly in a certain geographic area. Their only purpose was to serve ratepayers. Only an enlightened public that holds them responsible and votes can reverse the current short-term profit making and political pay-back reaction to changes that are inevitable.
We need much more people power and solar power in Arizona, not coal power or co-opted power. Tell everyone you know, as well as the elected officials in Arizona, that it is time to understand the terrible human health and environmental impacts of coal and coal ash in our environment. And it is time to do something phenomenal about our climate that is heating up here and dryng up our water supplies. We CAN make sane and sensible choices for our future survival on this beautiful Planet Earth that is our home. Let's replace those elected officials who value money over human survival and elect people who make sane decisions. But we cannot wait longer. The time is now!!!
This kind of attack on solar energy is a lingering blast from the past, a last gasp of the fossils, think Neanderthal, and is nationwide. And the more we expose it, as is done so well by the whistleblower and in this oped, the more it will slink back into it's cave, its proper place in our modern American energy picture. Dr. Harvard Ayers, Climate Voices US
"It's because the utilities make a lot more money from old, polluting power plants than they do from solar."
And where do those utilities plan to GET that "lot more money from old, polluting power plants...?" Out of YOUR back pocket, that's where. The utilities have had YOU captured (as customers) from the first time you paid the electric bill at your rented or owned apartment or house. Now they've used some of that extra money from your electric bill to PURCHASE favor from the corporation commissioners.
Great job, Nancy, setting for the simply but elegant truth about legal (and possibly some illegal) corruption at the Arizona Corporation Commission.
What makes you say that? It's not true.
"Directed at helping boys and young men of color, My Brother's Keeper is a challenge to communities to ensure that all youth can achieve their full potential."
So are you saying that men that lack color ALL achieve their full potential? Or is it just that nobody cares?
It sounds more like a co dependent program than anything else.
Where can we see the documented results? Chicago? Nope. Detroit? Uh uh. How about DC? No way.
What we need are more jobs than employees. Why can't liberals understand that?
Income fixes many things. Morals does the rest.
I am glad these programs are helping , and I'm not happy with the budget cuts , however if you look at the other side of TUSD these programs will fail because of the truth is Sanchez and TUSD leadership don't care. I have read the letters written about the district and I know what they have done to me and my son. read it for yourself https://www.change.org/p/tucson-unified-sc…. I have challenged TW to write my story , lets see if they will leave my comment up for everyone to see
Sounds like a great program. There is no academic skill more critical than the ability to read.
Reveal yourself, "A ConcernedTucsonon". Only cowards hide behind their messages.
What, precisely, should we be doing on Earth Day to move alternatives forward? I'm all for it, but need some specific direction, other than simply protesting. Is there literature to distribute, a booth to staff with information about alternatives, etc.? Many well-intentioned people are very busy - I have a business to run, and have just lost my husband. If given some very detailed, specific actions to commit to, I believe many - certainly I - would step up. Please give us that information...thanks!
I have some questions on this piece. Mr. Jordan has indicated that we have no choice but to pursue radical solutions to climate change, but seems to also want to exclude big industry from participating in these solutions. I wonder what we will accomplish if we bar the groups who are arguably the largest contributors to climate change. While grassroots organizations do great work to help conserve and restore our natural resources, they are by their nature, limited in resources themselves, and more radical solutions may be attainable by pressuring (hence including) industry to make changes in their practices. These companies track their waste, not by the pound, but by the ton. If we can include them in sustainable practices, we can reduce landfill waste, air emissions, water quality degradation, and more, by much larger amounts than by pressuring small, home-grown companies, whose contribution to pollution and climate change is negligible by comparison. Should big industry do more to reduce their footprint? Yes, always yes. Will they do so if excluded from environmental organizations and events? Unlikely. I say they should be involved with these organizations so that the community at large can hold them responsible for reducing their emissions, waste, and climate change contribution. I'd like to know what Mr. Jordon thinks of this stance.
I also question the criticism of the southern Arizona environmental management society. They do have such industry members, but they also participate in highway cleanup events, grants to local schools for environmental projects, and support hight education through scholarships to students pursuing environmental degrees here in Tucson, which seems, to me, very in line with grassroots efforts this article advocates for. I don't understand, outside of their membership, what offends Mr. Jordon about this organization.
Excellent article. Thanks, James. Sadly, it is no longer shocking to hear a manufacturer of killing machines brag how the company will profit from the coming resource wars resulting from climate scorching. War is a good business for the few that the many have to shut down. Conversion from war to peacetime manufacturing. Conversion from fossil and nuclear to sustainable.
Thanks to James and TW for pointing this out. Again. I quit going to Earth Day celebrations a long time ago after Exxon and others began to co-opt them. But I have never forgotten the original intent of the Earth Day. We need to keep calling out the corporations and individuals that collectively work to push the planet over the brink just so they can have more money to live out their last days in comfort. And I include the politicians who pimp these services in that group as well.
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