Here’s an article from SmartGridNews that raises an interesting and important question about the siting of renewable energy projects. Siemens is asserting that the large European governments are in the process of wasting 45 billion Euros by not properly thinking through the consequences of its siting decisions.
No one likes to waste money, especially not tens of billions of Euros. But this is tricky business for several reasons, like the opportunity cost of waiting while various forces argue the merits of different alternatives. This, btw, is exactly what the Nature Conservancy wants to do here in the U.S., i.e., take as long as required to find the perfect spot for solar panels – one that has exactly zero impact on natural systems.
In case it’s not obvious, I believe that there is a real cost to this behavior, and that making a few compromises in the name of expediting the build-up of renewables is acceptable.