Economics, Energy and the Environment

Leave solar-worship to the pagans…

It’s much less expensive that way.

“Give me a few billion dollars, and I’ll give you a buggy-whip industry, at least, for a while.” That basically summarizes what the government has been doing with regard to wind and solar power. Pump enough money and mandates into just about anything and you can erect the facade of a market, at least until you run out of other people’s money.

This article by Paul Chesser describes the ongoing collapse of the solar power sector as First Solar, the largest solar power company, lays off half its employees.

As Chesser points out (emphasis mine):

The company, like the entire solar industry, has survived on government grants and guarantees. Besides AVSR1 [Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One ], for example, the DOE partially guaranteed $1.46 billion in borrowing for its Desert Sunlight Solar Farm west of Blythe, Calif. And $967 million in DOE loans covered First Solar’s Agua Caliente Solar project in Yuma County, Ariz. Also, the U.S. Export-Import Bank backed $455.7 million in loans to First Solar for projects in Canada. Add millions of dollars more in manufacturing tax credits, state and local incentives, plus mandates to force utilities to buy renewable power, and you’ve got an industry that is wholly dependent on taxpayers, not on its own technology’s capabilities.

Well said, Paul.

4 thoughts on “Leave solar-worship to the pagans…

  1. First Solar did not lay off half of their employees. They layed off half of the employees at a single R&D location. The one layed off were all doing research on a technology that First Solar decided would not be profitable in the near term.

    Greater depth of research appears to be needed here…

  2. Sorry To spoil your delusions!

    Renewable energy tops nuclear power in the UShttp://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/07/renewable-power-booms-in-developing-world-as-it-tops-nuclear-in-the-us.ars

    SCE Buys 20 Years of Solar Power for Less than Natural Gashttp://cleantechnica.com/2011/02/01/sce-buys-20-years-of-solar-power-for-less-than-natural-gas/

    Increasing Wind Energy in Germany Pricing Out Natural Gas Plantshttp://cleantechnica.com/2011/12/20/increasing-wind-energy-in-germany-pricing-out-natural-gas-plants/

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