POLITICAL: Some ‘solar” people get $X subsidy; the Gooferment has to steal 2X!


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Profit Opportunity: The Government Has Solar’s Back By Christian Hill

Yesterday, I talked about the tremendous year the solar industry had in 2010. While the S&P was up nearly 20%, some companies saw gains as high as 80% and 120%.

And for the first time ever, the industry installed over 1 gigawatt of capacity.

Solar has a lot of momentum going into 2011.

And that tailwind is being reinforced by the government.

For the past few years, they have been giving the industry all the help they can in the form of tax credits, grants, and incentives. These totaled $2.5 billion last year. That was four times the 2009 amount.

One example is the Treasury Grant Program (TGP). It lets the owner of a commercial solar project take a 30% cash grant instead of a tax credit.

The TGP was set to expire at the end of last year.

But the government wasn’t about to let all the momentum the solar industry has built up slip away.

So they extended the TGP for another year.

The government is aware that this is about jobs too. Job growth for solar companies is forecast to be 26% over the next 12 months. That compares to 2% for the overall economy.

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SO let me understand this: the Gooferment robs Peter to subsidize Paul and that makes it a great investment?

I don’t think the author understands the value proposition.

To give some people, wearing “solar” on their t-shirts, a subsidy of X, the Gooferment has to steal 2 times X from other people.

And I like “solar” if by that you mean I can get electricity cheaper.

Maybe with the subsidy, maybe solar is “cheaper”. But it’s not a “fair calculation”. The Gooferment’s bug thumb is on the “butcher’s scale” influencing the calculation.

The Gooferment should have NO role in an “energy policy”. (Other than to prevent force or fraud. Ensuring a free and fiar marketplace.)


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