We'd have to be crazy not to want more solar power - the Sun is limitless energy and, as time and research tackle the science and technology issues, it will get a lot more efficient.
In 2005, when President Bush and a Republican Congress (you know, the people who hated both science and clean energy) authorized the solar investment tax credit, solar panel imports were a paltry $21.3 million. The credit was renewed in 2008 and last year imports of solar panels were in the range of $3 billion. Yes, that's a 'b' and not an 'm'.
People are adopting solar power but we have a set of policies that are putting that money in all the wrong places; the people putting in the home installations are mostly upper middle class and rich while our own government is trying to compete against the products people want the most. It would be kind of like if the government starting subsidizing companies to compete with Apple for iPads by trying to make them cheaper than China can. It won't work as long as we have environmental standards and a cheap labor force.
The high-profile failures of the administration trying to pick winners and losers in the clean energy market are too numerous for a link, but they responded to them not by accepting that they were pursuing the wrong technology at the wrong time, or that they should not be playing venture capitalist with taxpayer money, but contending that the Chinese were issuing low cost loans.
In other words, exactly what we were doing. But the administration has put a tariff on China over it, a protectionist scheme to try and bolster American companies artificially, and that will only get worse in May when they increase the tariffs. The result will be to cut the legs off of the solar energy movement in the US.
I did a guest op-ed with Alex Berezow of RealClearScience on Forbes to discuss the issue:
Obama's Solar Policy: If You Can't Beat the Chinese, Tax Them by Alex Berezow and Hank Campbell, Forbes March 28, 2012
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Muslim Hijab Linked To Less Negative Body Image Among Women
- Neil Tyson On The Politics Of Science Denial
- Tax And Spend Policies Could Make You Eat Healthier
- Corals: Not So Passive, They Are Nature's Tiny Engineers
- Mutating Ebola Viruses Not As Scary As Evolving Ones
- Global 'Roadmap' Shows Where To Put Roads Without Costing The Earth
- Created: Renewable Propane Using E.coli
- "Hi Josh, Like you, I have never watched Dr. O$$. I rank him somewhere between Maury Povich and..."
- "Odds are it also makes the men who are in such societies less concerned with how a woman looks..."
- "Thanks for this balanced article on 'e-cigarettes'. However it was a bit annoying to hear the author..."
- "I really wish some of you brave anon commentators would register stand and be counted. ..."
- "Great discussion. Perhaps you might want to comment on a slightly different form of mutation—when..."
- Protein in plasma may one day change transfusions
- Maternal low protein diet promotes diabetic phenotypes in offspring
- Study indicates that the hippocampus mediates cognitive decline in Huntington's disease
- Discharged patients return to the ER because 'better safe than sorry'
- NASA satellites calling here you come again, Tropical Storm Dolly