Arizona’s solar future: “Dabble or dominate?”

Posted by Trish Riley, June 13, 2009

GoGreenNation: Going solar means fresh, clean energy and lots of jobs to put it into place. Terrific news if Arizona is able to get these solar plans into action, but it’s clear that the same problems we’re seeing in Florida and at the Federal level threaten this progress – a lack of understanding of the real need and benefits of renewable energy are being clouded by the traditional terms that focus on money, instead of prioritizing our environmental need for emission-free power and lower costs for consumers. Get the word out: Transitioning to solar will put old technologies to rest but it will also generate new jobs and a vibrant economy. Time to say goodbye to dirty power! >>>

By Osha Gray Davidson

“Dabble or dominate,” those are the choices facing Arizona, says Barry Broome. “We’ve relied on growth and consumption for too long,” he adds, “and it’s time to change.”

…Currently president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), Broome has spent 18 years as an economic development specialist for cities and states and has a long list of achievements in growing economies and creating jobs. In 2001, for example, he was named Michigan’s Economic Developer of the Year.

Broome just knows a good thing when he sees it — and he’s tired of seeing it slip away.
In an April interview with the Phoenix Sun, Peter Green, the head of Advent Solar, talked about how quickly the window of opportunity is closing for states wanting to attract solar manufacturers.

…what is likely to be the bill’s greatest hurdle[:] Crisis mentality.

Arizona’s economic problems are dire and some legislators may be focused so narrowly on the short term hurdle caused by cutting state revenues (taxes) and miss the far larger mid-term payback from job growth. It would be a shame…hell…it would be a tragedy if such short-sightedness allowed this “golden opportunity” as Senator Leff rightly called it, to slip away.

Barry Broome of GPEC is cautiously optimistic about the bill’s chances.

“The greatest threat to this bill,” he says, “is lack of information.” If legislators get all the facts about the bill, he believes they’ll vote for it.

Arizona’s solar future: “Dabble or dominate?” | The Phoenix Sun.

Thanks for a great story, Osha!