Mother Earth Living

The Good Life

All things Mother Earth Living

Add to My MSN

The Future of Solar Power: Few Subsidies, But Four New Federal Projects

10/22/2010 12:00:00 AM

Tags: solar power, renewable energy

As much as we all love alternative energy, it can’t compete with cheap, subsidized coal and oil without government help. So many Natural Home readers want solar panels, but even with tax rebates and incentives, solar’s high cost discourages them. Economics force us to rely on coal, which is affordable because our tax dollars support it. Coal supplies more than 60 percent of the United States’ electricity and receives, along with other fossil fuels, $72 billion in federal subsidies each year. Solar receives $1 billion. In the past five years, your tax dollars have contributed an average of $521.73 toward fossil fuel subsidies but only $7.24 toward solar. 

As the recession continues, many states—including California, Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania—are suspending or cutting their clean-energy rebate programs. Growing demand for limited funds has also forced state governments to slash the rebates they can offer each individual. In Arizona, for example, a 5-kilowatt home photovoltaic system that would have received $15,000 in January will soon receive $8,750.  

First Solar solar panels 
Without additional federal subsidies, the future of solar power is anything but bright. Photo Courtesy First Solar. 

History shows that without major subsidies, coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power never would have survived in the energy market. Those aren’t so likely in today’s hamstrung Congress, but the Obama administration is lending a hand. Within the last month, President Obama’s administration announced plans to re-install the White House solar panels (a largely symbolic gesture, but, cool beans…) and signed a lease to build four large-scale solar projects on government-owned land—including the first in Nevada. 

Dubbed the Silver State Solar Project, Nevada’s first federal solar farm will be located on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property 40 miles south of Las Vegas. Operated by First Solar, it will power 15,000 homes. Silver State and the three new solar projects in southern California are expected to generate up to 1200 megawatts of solar power. 

We may all be able to afford solar after all. 



Related Content

Going Solar at Home with Solar Leasing

My home is going nearly 100 percent solar thanks to a local solar leasing program.

Off-the-Grid Living: “We Would Never Go Back to Energy Dependence”

These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.

Cash for Caulkers Part 2: Home Star Rebates for Water Heaters, Heating and Cooling Systems

When the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 passes (as expected) this summer, be prepared by lear...

New American Solar Energy Society Director Promises to Get Aggressive

Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, ha...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

MY COMMUNITY
no image
HarvestRight
8/21/2014 5:22:39 PM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 10:03:07 AM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 9:59:22 AM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 9:30:07 AM
no image
melisastarr
8/19/2014 12:57:22 PM
no image
Peggy McMahan
8/18/2014 11:29:51 AM
no image
lorina21
8/17/2014 10:16:45 PM
no image
lorina21
8/17/2014 10:15:23 PM


Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.