Distributed Solar Power, Analyzed

Date: 14 Dec 2010 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Yesterday we discussed the spread of solar carports in California, highlighting the Milpitas School District’s 14 distributed solar PV arrays.  According to a news story, the district anticipates savings of $12 million over 25 years from the projects, which were … Read More

Perverse Policy Makes Distributed Renewables More Expensive

Date: 9 Dec 2010 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

We’ve talked previously about the perversity of using tax credits to incentivize renewable energy production, increasing transaction costs and reducing participation in renewable energy development.  But there are other perversities in U.S. state and utility renewable energy policies, especially with … Read More

How Renewable Incentives Affect Project Ownership

Date: 6 Dec 2010 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In less than a month, solar energy projects will see the stimulus-funded cash grant in lieu of the 30 percent tax credit expire.  The change back to tax-credit-financed projects provides a revealing look at the disadvantages of energy incentives based … Read More

The Irrationality of Complicated Subsidies

Date: 1 Nov 2010 | posted in: Energy | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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.

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