Conservation vs. Clean Energy

An interesting article ran in the Chicago Tribune this morning. To cherry-pick:
Unlike offshore drilling and other oil and gas ventures in which developers and environmentalists are obvious adversaries, renewable energy is increasingly pitting two kinds of green advocates against each other as the nation seeks alternative sources in the face of record oil prices and global warming...
In making the shift to renewable energy - for instance, in capturing and delivering the immense solar capacity of the Mojave Desert - a new type of infrastructure will have to be built: the energy has to make it from the solar field to the living room, obviously. This fact is routinely annoying to conservationists, who would see their beloved wild spaces,or their communities, untouched by drilling equipment, wind turbines, or power lines.

The article tails off at the end, and doesn't really ask the probing questions one would like. How will conservation concerns affect the national energy debate? What is better: installing solar panels on buildings, where deliverability (meaning the energy transport infrastructure) is higher, or installing solar panels in the desert, where open skies bring more energy?

Still, this reviewer finds the article's impetus pretty important. How "green" are we going to be?

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