Solar Energy Needs Government Subsidies

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted July 5, 2011


UPDATED: Visit our resource page for updated information on investing in the solar sector.


Solar projects have been burning up this summer.

Loan guarantee programs and government subsidies have allowed for things like First Solar’s three California projects, NRG’s Project Amp, and Arizona’s Sempra Generation.

But this solar rush could end early if Congress fails to extend the loan guarantee and subsidy programs.

The renewable grant program, which provides government subsidies to many solar projects, is set to expire at the end of 2011.

The Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program runs out even earlier, on September 30.

And Congress has been looking to cut government spending in order to aid the national economy.

Cuts may begin here.

The problem is, while it would save the government quite a bit in loans, it would also end many jobs that have been created through the solar industry.

The solar industry has been booming under the government money, and thousands of new jobs have been provided, jobs that would end right along with the projects if the cuts occur.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has named solar and offshore wind energy as the most expensive power sources, according to the Courier Post.

But solar prices have been falling as the government funding allows for more technology research and creates larger demand.

Congress may also fail to pass a national standard on renewable energy.

Though individual states have set their own standards for renewables, a nationwide standard would greatly increase demand, as all states would be required to increase renewable energy production.

But perhaps Congress will surprise us all with a national standard.

An increase in demand would allow for research to decrease prices even more.

And the number of jobs created would skyrocket.

That’s all for now,


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