Crests and Ridges: The Ups and Downs of Renewable Energy Implementation in the American Southwest

July 29, 2015
Session W4A: Regional Success Stories and Futures — Room 104
2:45 pm  -  3:45 pm

“This paper synthesizes available information on the ups and downs of renewable energy development in the southwestern United States. The purpose is to understand the dynamics of financing, institutional arrangements, and the pace of solar energy implementation in a geographic region with one of the highest solar and geothermal energy potential in the world.

Specifically, precedent case studies from the American Southwest utilizing Equity-Based Arrangements, Debt-Financing, Donor-Funded Schemes, Public-Private Partnerships, Tax Subsidies, and Utility Paybacks are highlighted.

The cultural legacy and historical development of sustainable communities in this region by Native American and European settlers in harnessing the climate-appropriate natural resources to create sustainable communities is also presented. Current creative funding and policy solutions at the community, municipal and state level that contribute to the preservation of local knowledge about building materials and passive solar architecture techniques in the Southwest are finally discussed.

The paper argues for a placement of a coherent and pragmatic regime of bureaucratic and corporate mechanisms that create a balance between energy availability for the public, while generating revenue for energy, financial and government institutions.”