December 15, 2016

WaPo Lauds “Booming” Solar Industry (But it’s Because of Government Subsidies)


The Washington Post headline looks like a win for the Environmentalist Left: “The U.S. solar industry is booming — and it isn’t afraid of Trump.”

Read the story, though, and you’ll see what the Environmentalist Left doesn’t want you to know: solar is dependent on government subsidies.

More from The Washington Post:

One reason for the boom likely involved uncertainty over the future of the federal solar investment tax credit, which was slated to terminate at the beginning of 2017. With this in mind, many solar companies planned to push through as many projects as possible in 2016. At the end of 2015, the tax credit ended up receiving an unexpected extension, which has now given companies the freedom to allow some of these projects to spill over from the end of 2016 into 2017.

The Post even notes that a decline in residential solar – buried in the ninth paragraph of the story – is due to a decline in government subsidies:

On the other hand, residential solar fell by 10 percent from the previous quarter, an outcome Kimbis says is likely due to a variety of factors. For one thing, several states have made notable policy changes that may have affected their markets in significant ways. Nevada, for instance, decided to cut its net metering rates at the end of 2015 — this is a practice that allows solar customers to sell excess electricity they generate to their local utilities at a retail, rather than wholesale, rate. (The state later restored retail-rate net metering for its existing solar customers.)

And, despite the election of Trump, “clean” energy advocates are optimistic because – you guessed it – the subsidies are scheduled to continue:

Provided there are no unexpected changes to the federal tax credit for solar, many experts predict that the industry will continue to expand, driven mainly by market forces and individual state policies.

One thing is clear from The Washington Post article: the Environmentalist Left’s preferred forms of energy cannot survive without federal government subsidies.