Time to dust off the vinyl, fire up the turntable, and put on the Youngbloods… “Come on people now, smile on your brother. Everybody get together, try to love one another right now…”
It’s nice when groups who normally oppose each other find some common ground, don’t you think? (HT to Cluster and Mitch on that score) Well, in Georgia, of all places, the Atlanta Tea Party and the Sierra Club have decided to get in bed together and have a veritable love-fest. Says Tea Party spokesman Debbie Dooley:
“Some people may have done a double take on July 11 when they saw me and fellow members of the Atlanta Tea Party celebrating next to the Sierra Club as it was announced that Georgia’s largest energy provider will invest in a huge increase in solar power. Why was the Tea Party rallying with groups across the aisle like the Sierra Club?
It’s time for a new party. I’m calling it the Green Tea Coalition.”
Can I get a holy crap? C’mon, say it with me… HOLY CRAP! And what happened in Georgia is not just a weird, one-off thing, either. The Wisconsin Libertarian party is likewise teaming up with the local clean energy group, RENEW, to endorse a proposal to allow the state’s electricity customers to lease solar panels and other small renewable energy generators. The reason, of course, is that rooftop solar is very rapidly approaching grid parity with fossil fuel generation. In fact, it already has in a growing number of regions.
One could certainly argue that there’s a bit of irony in tea party groups endorsing solar power (just a bit), given how much government money has been invested in stimulating the market to reach this point (the German government in particular deserves a lot of credit in that regard). Considering that, you’d think they’d look a little friendlier at the concept of “dancing with who brung ya”. But hey, no sense in spoiling the party right now. Grab your partner and have another cup of green tea.
One final point: manufacturing costs have gotten so low that these days the only barrier to making solar power widely available at grid parity prices (or lower) is the soft costs involved – the costs of financing, licensing, and installation. And as Dave Roberts explains, the utility companies are getting ready to fight tooth and nail against further encroachment. Why? Because distributed power generation will destroy their business model. That last link is a must read, by the way. It will help you understand why your local utility, and likewise the fossil fuel companies who supply them, are likely to complain loudly, vociferously, and at length at any attempt to integrate distributed power of any ilk.