published Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Taxpayer-funded solar panels

It's hard to blame individuals or businesses when they accept offers of government money for costly projects.

So we don't really fault a local pet hospital that accepted some government money to install a 40-kilowatt solar power system.

But we do question the wisdom of government providing such funding in the first place.

An article in the Times Free Press reported that the cost of the solar setup to the facility, Riverview Animal Hospital, was about $200,000.

But, the article noted, "With the help of local, state and federal grants, that cost was reduced to about $65,000 out of pocket for the business."

But of course, that didn't make the $135,000 difference between the real cost and the final cost to the business simply disappear. Any part of that $135,000 difference which was funded by government was simply shifted onto taxpayers.

Environmental activists often complain about subsidies to traditional energy sources such as oil, and that is a legitimate criticism.

But the solution to that problem isn't to add more subsidies for alternative energy projects such as solar panels and windmills. It's to halt subsidies altogether and let energy producers compete for customers on a level playing field.

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nucanuck said...

Tax payer funded solar helps build an industry for the country's future. Tax payer funded wars drain the country's investment potential. Tax payer funded ethanol helps drive up the price of food. Tax payer funded bank bailouts allowed over-levered banks to stay in business when they should have gone the way of the doo doo bird.

Complaining about efforts to develope alternative energy, when the US is so addicted to imported oil, should be considered subversive anti-American activity.

September 4, 2011 at 12:41 a.m.
conservative said...

"Environmental activists often complain about subsidies to traditional energy sources such as oil". Yes they do, however, they are dishonest to put it mildly. Oil companies do get tax breaks just like every other compay in business but they do not get taxpayer dollars (subsidies) to produce or market crude oil products. Ethanol does receive subsidies (60 cent a gallon), so LIEberals came came up with this charge to try and put oil in the same bad light. Furtheremore, these LIEberals want and get taxpayer dollars (subsidies) for solar and wind which hides their true cost. A level playing field would only destroy their cause.

September 4, 2011 at 5:04 p.m.
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