The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
13 Points

Concentrated Solar Power

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,286 times Debate No: 6895
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (3)




Plan: The United States federal government should amend the Title V of the Federal Land Policy Management Act and Bureau of Land Management right of way regulations to replace the "fair market value" standard for rental rates of federal lands for concentrated solar power plants. The rental rate for concentrated solar power plants should be set at the same rate as livestock grazing. Will Clarify.

Contention One; Inherency
No solar plants on federal land now – The Bureau of Land Management is half-stepping on contracts for solar plants – this destroys investor confidence in the solar industry
Werner, Associated Press Writer. July 2008., accessed July 6, 2008)
BLM has yet to approve a solar project on federal land; the solar projects already built or under way in this country are on private property. Still, industry officials already impatient about the BLM's pace worried that putting a stop to new applications would allow other industries to lay claim to federal land that could go to solar. They feared it would also send the wrong signal to potential investors just as the solar industry is getting started.


Concentrated Solar Power, or CSP, works but needs land area – federal intervention is key – CSP is the only form of solar that can be cost competitive with fossil fuels
The 2000 NRC review found that a major hurdle facing CSP technologies was that they must be relatively large to be competitive, and that large installations are expensive. Parabolic troughs have demonstrated performance and reliability over 20 years of operation in California,24 and the technical feasibility of power tower systems was proven during the mid-1990's. Unless there is a significant market intervention by the Federal and/or State governments, an economically feasible project in the United States will not be possible.

Contention 2; Harms
A. The economy
The economy is collapsing now – rising energy prices, oil, and lack of investor confidence are devastating the US stock market
Faiola and Irwin 7-16-08
the stock market has fallen sharply and broader problems have emerged in financial markets, and there have been new signs of slowing global growth and economic downfall. of higher energy prices, tighter credit conditions and a still-deeper contraction in housing markets all represent significant downside risks to the outlook for growth.

Plan jumpstarts the Economy in four ways:
1. Investor Confidence
Plan spurs an economic boom by invigorating alt-energy stocks – venture capitalists see solar as the new internet stock – they perceive peak oil, rising energy prices, and impending carbon taxes and want alternatives – they'll look to solar and wind now – spurring investment leads to an economic boom
Economist 2008 ("The power and the glory," June 21, accessed on July 14, 2008
The next technology boom may well be based on alternative energy, there is growing concern that the supply of oil may soon peak as consumption continues to grow, known supplies run out and new reserves become harder to find. Americans have become intolerant of large, polluting industrial plants. That has opened up a capacity gap and an opportunity for wind and sunlight. The future price of these resources—zero—is known. That certainty has economic value as a hedge

2. Energy Grid
Blackouts are economically devastating
Smith, 08
The cost of a large-scale blackout is almost impossible to measure. The economic consequences alone can be billions of dollars. the impact can be wide ranging. Weather can blow down a single distribution feeder affecting a small region, or an ice storm can take out a major portion of a transmission grid affecting millions of people for days.


Independently, Blackouts risk reactor meltdowns which will kill hundreds of thousands
Vann 03
Nine nuclear power reactors were forced to shut down during the blackout. Had the diesel generators used to maintain essential operations at any one of these plants failed, a catastrophic nuclear meltdown would have occurred. Had a meltdown taken place at one of these plants, hundreds of thousands of people in surrounding communities would have received deadly doses of radiation without even being aware of what has happening.

Heat storage solves non-peak demand making CSP the most cost-efficient form of solar power – plan solves intermittency issues across the grid solving blackouts.
Lockwood 08
By incorporating large insulated tanks filled with molten salt, heat captured during the day can be stored and used to produce electricity when the sun is no longer shining. The molten salt and heavily insulated tanks are able to retain heat with very high efficiency, and the stored heat not only increases the total amount of electricity generated, it also adds specific operating benefits. Even after the sun has set, the solar trough with thermal energy storage provides the maximum value.

3. High Tech Jobs
High-Tech Jobs are key to US economy
Norman 08
Orange County has more than 100,000 high-tech jobs, ranking it 14th nationally among major metropolitan areas. The average salary for O.C. tech jobs is $81,000, 68% higher than the county's private-sector average of $48,000 and 7.4% of the county's private sector jobs are at high-tech firms. The tech industry has long demonstrated its ability to drive the U.S. economy.

A Healthy Solar industry creates massive amounts of high-tech labor
Fried 07
Solar energies are much more impressive job creators than the fossil fuel industry, creating 10 times the jobs. if 20 percent of our energy were to come from CSP, then 188,000 to 240,850 jobs could be created.

4. Competitiveness
The U.S. is behind in energy productivity
Council on Competitiveness 08
The United States Is a Global Laggard in Energy Productivity. The United States is the most energy-intensive developed region today and lags behind its OECD competitors in improving energy productivity. is an important part of production costs, the United States is losing competitive ground relative to its global competitors.

Solar key to tech competitiveness which is key to the economy
DOE 08 (
Technological leadership is necessary for economic competitiveness and to make solar electricity a significant contributor to the nation's economy would result in sound and well-conceived programs and sustained investments.

Economic downturn leads to nuclear war, so vote Pro
Mead 1992 Sir Walter Russell, New Perspectives Quarterly, p. 30 Summer)
What if the global economy collapsed? In that case, we will face a new period of international conflict: South against North, rich against poor. Russia, China, India – these countries with their billions of people and their nuclear weapons will pose a much greater danger to world order than Germany and Japan did in the '30s.

I thank anyone who chooses to debate me. It is a great way to utilize our right of peaceful assembly, to be free to speak, and to let out your mind. Good luck.


Inherency- Your inherency screws over the entirety of your advantages. Your cards prove that CSP can be used now, just not on government lands. Your only advantage is the economy whos entire link, internal link, impact stories begin with the economist 08 card that says, "The next technology boom may well be based on alternative energy, there is growing concern that the supply of oil may soon peak as consumption continues to grow, known supplies run out and new reserves become harder to find. Americans have become intolerant of large, polluting industrial plants. That has opened up a capacity gap and an opportunity for wind and sunlight. The future price of these resources—zero—is known. That certainty has economic value as a hedge". Ignore the affs power tagged card and take it for what it actually says. There is nothing in the card that says the government lands are key to theis technology boom, make the aff prove this before he accesses any of his advantages. If you look to what the status-quo has to offer, you see that CSP is already a viable option and private investors can use it now. Going by the affirmative teams card we see that this technological boom is inevitable, therefore every link, internal, impact story that he offers is inevitable in the status-quo, thus the plan is worthless.

He will come up with a card saying that, "government land usage will cause an increase in solar power use" but this is inadequate. In order to prove any of his advantage stories make him prove that it is ONLY in a world post plan we would see an increase in alternative energy that is adequate to raise the stock of alternative energy enough to "save the economy".

Energy grid- This is a DISADVANTAGE to your plan. Read the lockwood 08 card and it NEVER states that the energy can be used with the current grid.

Hence the counterplan,

The USDOE should provide all necessary funding for the transition to smart grids

A. Current power grid cant handle alternative energy
Our nation's aging power grid seems ill-equipped to handle our renewable-energy dreams. While new ways to generate power from sources such as solar and wind are coming fast and furious, getting those technologies to the market has become a challenge, says Matthew L. Wald for the New York Times. Our grid today was conceived 100 years ago to let utilities prop one another up in order to reduce blackouts and share power in smaller areas. While only 1% of our electricity comes from wind turbines, experts believe that it could soon be as much as 20%, and our grid as it stands can't handle it.

B. Smart Grid allows further integration of U.S. Alternative energy
Phil, Hall, Alternative Energy Retailer: CAN A SMART GRID HELP THE SOLAR POWER CAUSE?,, Monday, August 18, 2008.
According to Kurt E. Yeager, the only thing that is preventing a further integration of U.S. alternative energy power sources to the nation's electric grid is…the grid. Yeager, the former president and CEO of the Electric Power Research Institute, is advocating the implementation of what he calls the "smartgrid," a series of micro grids that would more efficiently serve both the national power needs and offer more opportunities for incorporating alternative solutions such as photovoltaic power.

Jobs- AGAIN, there is NO warrant to the USfg adoption of CSP on government land and its effect on jobs. every card talks about how solar power will effect jobs if expanded, but no where does it say that these government lands will have a big enough increase in jobs to save the economy.

Competitiveness- Prove that government lands are key to maintaining our world competitiveness. There are WAY too many factors to be able to prove that one little thing on government lands will solve all competitiveness. The impacts to this is imaginary, we will always be a competitive nation.

Your impact screws you over as well. You only use Mead 92 to impact the entirety of your case. All it says is "economic downturn leads to nuclear war"- "what if the GLOBAL economy collapsed". There is no way you are going to prove that you solve the world economy by merely putting solar panels on government land. Don't run the card that says the global economy is dependent on the US either because you do not solve for the entire US economy.

Your impact is also already being solved in the status-quo, look to the 900 billion dollars we are spending on a stimulus package right now that will bring our economy back to being strong.


The affirmative attempt to find new ways to continue our consumption patterns is only another verse of same old same old. 1ac focus was not concerned with over-consumption, but only in finding better ways to consume. As long as policies continue to placate corporations with short term quick fixes, true solutions to the energy and environmental problems will never be discovered. This becomes our argument that values can change policies but policies do not change values. Policies that cater to the corporations and the marketplace for solutions are too far away from a true reduction in our human impact on the earths biosphere. Our argument is that the there are a multitude of problems that are interconnected, and just attempting to address one of these singular problems is ineffective when the attempted solution never escapes the dominant ideological ways of thinking and perceiving our place in the biosphere. Each of us as individuals play the role of the trunk on the web of environmental problems. All of the impacts discussed in the 1ac can be traced back to our desire to consume. We are not deep ecology or some environmental movement, our argument is that only we/us as individuals can offer concrete solutions by consuming less. It is not a question of acting, but one of not acting, of not consuming.
Learning how to not consume has widespread effects on all of the diverse areas of the environmental mega-crisis. We contend that unless we deal with our consumption patterns, wars are inevitable.

And we dismiss the affirmative solvency as idealistic and not focused on the key areas of human consumption that must be address if we are going to stave off the coming environmental destruction. The affirmative use of the state to address the environmental and energy problems is ineffective. The state serves the interests of the corporations which means money will always continue to be elevated over environmental health. Putting your hopes in the state to solve environmental problems should be avoided, the state will not solve.

And the use of the state also effects true change, which is individuals reducing their consumption. We will contend that policy action by the state acquiesces individual change. The affirmative caters to individual consumption by trying to figure out how to allow individuals the ability to consume.

Now is the key time to change the tide of overconsumption.

The alternative of individual action is only way

Your focus on alternative energy can never access a reduction in consumption. The move to increase alternative energy requires increased consumption on the frontside to create the technology needed to have alternative energy. The lack of focus on consumption allows the affirmative to increase short term energy use.

The alternative is to examine your own life-place, and attempt to reduce personal consumption in your everyday life. The alternative gives you 100% solvency of reducing consumption while the affirmative only reifies the notion that consumption is a way of life and must continue. We control uniqueness on this debate, we have been waiting for government protection action to be effective, but this is empirically flawed.
Debate Round No. 1


Unable to finish. Hope to debate again though, my apologies.


No worries
Debate Round No. 2


Got districts coming up. Fun stuff.


fresnoinvasion forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by fresnoinvasion 8 years ago
The debate is as real world as the aff makes it. If you are at least mildly coherent you can answer the Ks, I think they are all ridiculous. Policy debate also contains framework in which the round should be evaluated on, the aff can merely present framework that excludes Ks then you can debate why Ks are bad or good for debate. Every on case argument I made was absolutely real-world and in the end I was not going to go for the K, if they aff knew how to argue it which im sure he would have been...

The debaters that use the most facts and logic are the ones that win. Every policy debater doesnt become a lawmaker. I don't care if you don't like policy debate but if you actually read/watched one you would see that the same arguments of logic are made than in any other type of debate.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
Picism, I didn't think the Policy Debate format was as screwed up as the LD format, but I'm learning. The idea, I guess, is to train emerging lawyers to understand that facts and logic don't count, but rather manipulating the technicalities of the format. It becomes like a role playing computer game. If you don't want the general audience to judge your debates, I suggest that you don't post them. It was a wretched incoherent debate.
Posted by Epicism 8 years ago
Roy: Its policy format. They dont build power grids, they keep them stable when blackouts occur using heat storage to keep energy flowing even in times on blackouts. I give a site that states prices are rising and the other states CSP will make them fall. And my opponent was quite organized due to the format we are using. If you don't do CX debate don't burden yourself to comment please.
Posted by fresnoinvasion 8 years ago
It is his plan for policy debate. The part after "plan" is what is actually being debated.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
An incoherent debate. How did each of the arguments presented by Pro relate to the resolution? What will obviating market rates for solar plants on Federal lands do to help build a power grid? Pro doesn't say. Pro cites rising energy prices and then gives a reference that says energy prices are falling. Con was also disorganized and didn't hold Pro accountable for incoherence, but the burden was on Pro to make a case. Con's negation was adequate.
Posted by Epicism 8 years ago
Sorry I'm not able to finish this round now. I'll concede. We should try again some other time
Posted by fresnoinvasion 8 years ago
this is fine
Posted by Epicism 8 years ago
Would you like a 5 round or this good enough?
Posted by Epicism 8 years ago
Ill answer in a bit. Sorry the 1ac has to be crap lol 8000 words arent enough for a real CX debate.
Posted by fresnoinvasion 8 years ago
Nvm, i changed my mind when reading your case..
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by fresnoinvasion 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 8 years ago
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