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As We See It

Don‘t our climate and limited natural resources demand more innovation?

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Las Vegas has succeeded immeasurably in finding innovative ways to harness and capitalize on human desire. From that came a sprawling community that demands water-sucking lawns in the desert while cooling off in air-conditioned homes and stocking up on caseloads of bottled water ... then driving to the nearest gas station to buy more gas and more bottled water. (Our gluttony extends far beyond the Strip.)

So it was kind of surprising and maybe even refreshing to see such an enthusiastic welcome given to SolarCity, an Elon Musk-conceived, California-based solar company providing solar photovoltaic systems to homes and businesses.

The company received $1.2 million from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s $10 million Catalyst Fund to come here. What made its arrival newsworthy was not only that it displaced the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce—moving into the Chamber’s Town Square offices—but that it gave business leaders a chance to tout economic diversification, and Gov. Brian Sandoval and Sen. Maj. Leader Harry Reid a chance for a photo op in the wake of the SB 123 passage, requiring NV Energy to phase out coal with renewable energy.

More surprising still is that, given our special needs here in Southern Nevada, there hasn’t been more enthusiasm all along. Regardless of anyone’s views on solar energy, its cost and practicality, it seems that our limited resources could lead to crazy explorations of innovative technology.

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Kristen Peterson

Kristen Peterson joined the Las Vegas Sun in 1998 as a general assignment reporter. In 2003, she turned her focus ...

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