As I mentioned on The Panelist
Not too long ago, the Feds decided that they wouldn't be accepting new (the
already-submitted applications remained in play) applications for solar power
plants. These solar power plants are being proposed in desert areas across the
Southwest and West as ways to provide renewable energy.
The reason for
the halt to new applications? The government wants to study the environmental
impact. (But the environmental impact of offshore drilling is already widely
known, so we'll just go ahead with that. Because it doesn't matter whether the
impact is harmful. We just have to know what it is.)
made that solar power was likely to die out -- before it really had a chance.
Conspiracy theorists wondered if Big Oil was secretly behind the decision. And
there was a general outcry from several groups. So the Bush Administration
decided to reverse course. And new solar plant applications are being accepted
again. (First Solar -- FSLR -- is solidly up
right now, BTW.)
But this may not be enough to get the
solar power into the realm of the cost-efficient. In order to help stimulate
development in renewable energy, including solar power, investment tax credits
have been in the offing. Morgan Stanley (MS) and Google (GOOG) are just two of
the companies that have fronted money for solar power. And these are the
investments that are making solar power viable as we work on developing the
technology to make solar power truly competitive. Here is what the Green Wombat reports about the status of these
Congress has failed several times in recent months to extend
the tax credit, which expires at the end of the year. If only solar energy execs
and their supporters in Washington could exert the same influence on
recalcitrant Republicans as they have on the BLM.
even though solar power plants are back on, it may not be enough to keep the
ball rolling. We're perfectly happy to maintain the status quo on tax breaks and
subsidies for Big Oil, so why are we having so much trouble doing the same for
solar power? In the long run, renewable energy will benefit us more.
Disclosure: I do not invest in any of the companies
above.ThePanelist.com is a
website that analyzes ethical investments.