Wednesday, November 22, 2006

SUNSHINE DAYDREAM

According to APF, China will join Australia among the ranks of countries building huge, 100+ megawatt, solar power stations. The cost? $765 M, which sounds relatively cheap to me. I can't imagine it would take long to recoup that in saved petrodollars.

Meanwhile, the U.S. does nothing. Even acknowledging that maybe we don't want direct, multi-billion dollar allocations from Ted "Bridge to Nowhere" Stevens and others to develop these schemes, what about tax breaks and incentives for private sector R&D into solar? What about "aid" in the form of low-interest loans? I'm not a policy-maker, but there are options.

Actually, we've done something: in 2002, President Bush "installed 'building-integrated photovoltaics' or BI-PV solar electric generators at the White House for personal safety and national security." I guess that means the Administration believes in the technology.

It's the "personal safety" of their financial portfolios that's throwing them, I guess.

6 Comments:

Blogger DED said...

Individual states are taking the lead, with California leading them. Some states are offering tax credits to people who install solar panels or wind turbines. And with electric rates climbing higher, it makes a ROI come that much sooner.

Manufacturing some of our own energy is on our list of large scale home improvement projects. We're trying to get our home as energy efficient as possible first.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Individual states are taking the lead

That's good. Glad to hear that. Let's see, though, if the Feds take any measures, either directly or via absence of policy, to cut them off at the heels for drying the oil spigot.

12:10 PM  
Blogger DED said...

I don't think that'll be the case. Only state revenues are affected. And the fed gov't hasn't done anything about states demanding more fuel efficient cars, despite protests from the auto industry.

Speaking of the auto industry, I've got a news item that supports your end of the argument in your "Buy My Overpriced Piece of Crap Post..." I'll try to post it later.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I don't think that'll be the case. Only state revenues are affected.

I was thinking of adding conditions to Federal block grants, as with the various industry/lobbyist-influenced conditions for funding on roads, infrastructure.

Something on the line of states must collect such-and-such percentage of state energy-based tax revenue from a schedule of representative fields. So a state that offers tax incentives to companies offering solar R&D, may see their funding for roads cut since they're not offering similar incentives to petroleum or natural gas companies, etc.

Obviously I'm making this up as I go, but you can see the possibilities.

I hope I'm wrong.

2:04 PM  
Blogger DED said...

Ok, I see what you're saying and right now I'm going to say that you're wrong. :)

I don't believe that there's been a significant enough impact on oil companies by the alternative energy field for them to consider these initiatives as anything more than grand gestures. ExxonMobil still had record profits last quarter.

Granted, that if they felt threatened, the oil companies might indeed lobby DC along the lines that you suggested. But if/when that time comes, I hope the states are far enough along that they can tell the federal gov't to go fuck itself. :)

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I'm going to say that you're wrong

Take a number. Line forms to the right.

I don't believe that there's been a significant enough impact on oil companies by the alternative energy field for them to consider these initiatives as anything more than grand gestures.

That's probably true at this point. I agree.

3:00 PM  

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