US energy debate heats up as Solar Impulse plans trip

“US energy debate heats up as Solar Impulse plans trip”
Published April 20, 2016 |

“In many ways Phoenix, Arizona, would be a natural stop for a high-tech solar airplane like Solar Impulse because the sun influences many aspects of life in the desert city. But temperatures are rising in the state over disagreements on how to manage the growth of solar power.

Phoenix is one of four options for the next Solar Impulse landing. The others are Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver. It would be a repeat visit for the Solar Impulse team, which stopped there while crossing the United States in 2013.

“The opportunity to be able to bring our airplane to the US, to do this flight across America, [is] something we’ve been dreaming about since the beginning of the project,” Solar Impulse’s co-founder André Borschberg told a group of graduating Arizona State University engineering students then.

“Today, more than ever, the world needs pioneers,” his partner and co-founder Bertrand Piccard added. “The world has a lot of challenges to solve: it’s technical and non-technical; it’s about fighting poverty; it’s about human rights; it’s about financial crises; it’s about globalization. But, of course, it is a lot about energy, sustainability, technologies – clean technologies – that the future needs to be a brighter world.”

Arizona’s capital city finds itself at the forefront of renewable energy issues, be they technical or political.

The Arizona Renewable Energy Standard calls for utilities to generate 15% of their overall energy production through renewable sources by 2025. It also advocates for an aggressive push toward distributed generation, like solar panels on rooftops…”

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