The sun-baked desert of the American southwest is the most obvious place for a large solar energy infrastructure, says Jon Christensen, executive director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. "We need alternative energy sources badly, and to really take advantage of them we need to be able to move electricity around far more readily than we can now. The western power grid is a fragmented hodgepodge. It needs to be much better integrated. And that is going to require major power lines across the West. Trade-offs will have to be made. ..."