Back to top Jump to featured resources
filed under Energy

The Irrationality of Complicated Subsidies

| Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 1, 2010 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/irrationality-complicated-subsidies/

But assuming we can agree that there’s good reason to subsidize solar power, as well as other forms of low-carbon electricity (including nuclear), you have to ask — is this hodge-podge of loan guarantees, federal funds and ratepayer support an efficient way to do so? Wouldn’t it be better to enact a steep carbon tax, and then let all forms of energy compete? Should a friend of mine who lives in upscale Los Altos and put a $35,000 solar system on his roof be subsidized by the rest of us? Is this going to lead us to a sustainable energy future, one in which we can collectively make smart choices? I don’t know. But somehow I think not.

A great argument for a feed-in tariff as well.

Tags: / / / /

About John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power. More

Contact John   |   View all articles by John Farrell