“Solar subsidies are a placebo which is giving the general public a sense of security about our energy future and is robbing the motivation of those entrepreneurs that could actually address our energy problems.”
“In the near term, perhaps our bigger concern than climate change is anthropogenic energy policy.”
In a recent Economist on-line debate, the affirmative motion “This house believes that subsidizing renewable energy is a good way to wean the world off fossil fuels” was surprisingly defeated.
In his closing remarks, the moderator softened his strident opposition to the negative case, even admitting that “subsidizing renewable energy, is wasteful and perhaps inadequate [to address
Beyond the Climate Debate
The debate, indeed, reopened the question whether anthropogenic greenhouse-gas forcing was a serious planetary environmental concern. But such focus short-changed what I think is the more important question for the Economist.…
[Ed. note: David Bergeron is president of SunDanzer Development, Inc., a solar energy company located in Tucson. His earlier posts at MasterResource are Free-Market Solar: The Real Opportunity and Economic/Environmental Assessment of Grid-Tiered Photovoltaics: Arizona Lessons for the U.S.]
“The economic case for grid-tied PV is indeed quite hopeless, and the sooner we stop the misguided subsidies the sooner we can focus on actually addressing our legitimate energy and environmental concerns.”
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently published an excellent report on the projected cost of electricity generated by different technologies: coal, natural gas, nuclear, and various others, including renewables.
Levelized Cost of Energy
Their Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) calculation combines upfront cost with recurring cost to estimate the average cost of power produced by these technologies. Here is the EIA cost datafor coal, natural gas, and solar PV.…