At the end of October, backed by a $1 billion federal loan guarantee and cool technology, Brightsource Energy announced the creation of the world’s biggest solar power plant in the Mojave Desert, the 330 megawatt Ivanpah. The plant will, according to Brightsource, “create more than 1,000 local union jobs at the peak of construction.”
Technology-centric productivity gains inevitably lead to more growth, more wealth, and more employment.
Engineers love to do the seemingly impossible. Plus they sure can build and do incredible things – from monster machines like the Deepwater Horizon (which 99.9% of the time worked amazingly fine) or a Boeing 777 to exquisite machines like the Mars Rover or the iPad.
Think of storing and moving electrons the same way we already do the electronic pulses of data across the Internet. This is big.
A billion-dollar energy facility destroyed. The "fail safe" safety technology fails. Billions in clean-up costs. Finger-pointing. Confusion. Tantrum-like calls to shut 'em all down. A rethinking of federal oversight. A president weighs in, and next up a high-level presidential commission.
The late comedian George Carlin would surely have had some fun with both the name, and the fallout, from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokul volcano.