- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Subsidies can delay progress

Government subsidies for “green” technology may slow its development, a Carnegie Mellon University expert has pointed out.

That is just one more reason for taxpayers to object to sending billions of their dollars to the solar, wind power and other “alternative” energy industries.

“Green” advocates are upset the state of Pennsylvania is phasing out subsidies for home and business owners who install solar energy equipment. Since 2008, the program has handed out about $100 million.

But M. Granger Morgan, head of the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, questions whether the subsidies make sense.

Photovoltaic systems generating electricity from sunlight are far more expensive in Pennsylvania than use of conventional fuels or wind power, Morgan told The Associated Press.

He pointed out another concern, noting that improving photovoltaic technology is important. But to “subsidize the daylights out of the existing industry” may not be the best way to do that, he added.

Morgan is right. Incentives to develop new, improved products are lessened greatly if government is willing to pay for existing technology. Phasing out subsidies actually may result in better, more affordable solar power technology in the future.