While America’s Fossil Fools seek to continue America’s oil addiction, Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Initiative is setting off on a serious path toward a 21st century, renewable energy future. Last month,Masdar and the Spanish firm Sener announced the formation of Torresol Energy, a joint venture to build large-scale concentrating solar plants around the world.
The joint venture is starting off with three solar plants in Spain, valued at a 800 million Euros (or $1.2 billion). This venture is not just seeking to build solar plants, but to stake out a leading position in CSP technology to “achieve a sustainable leading position in this sector” even while “contributing to the protection of the environment for future generations.” In other words, Masdar is seeking to have a controlling position across “”the whole value chain” of renewable energy, from research and development to manufacturing silicon for solar cells to the large-scale deployment of green technology.”
One path that Torresol will be pursuing (aggressively) is the use of molten salts for a storage system to enable the plant to provide electricity during the night hours, even potentially for 365/24/7 electrical power generation.
Now, re the title and reflection:
1. That Masdar & Abu Dhabi are investing $billions into renewable energy is a tremendous thing. Their efforts to start a transformation (we hope) to a non-polluting, renewable energy future are to be applauded.
2. With each day that passes, America’s worsening addiction to oil is weakening the nation, exporting dollars (at over $1 billion/day) for current consumption, and weakening America’s ability to invest in a renewable energy future. What we might risk is that, through Torresol for example, we will find a positive in a renewable energy future but core elements of that will be own and operated by those who have been funded from our current fossil fuel addiction … and we will be exporting $billions in the future paying for electricity being made from sun hitting our soil. A path toward a prosperous renewable energy future?