Dot Earth Wonders if Increased Solar Investments Would be Beneficial

Andrew Revkin at the New York Times Dot Earth blog published a blog this morning titled Should Major Emitters Focus on the Sun . Within his blog is a presentation with graphs of historical research investments in various energy technologies that shows a small share of the overall budgets being provided to solar power research. Andy's interpretation of that graph is a common one - he wonders if more
  • Anonymous

    Check out British Petroleum's (BP) take on solar.  They've pulled out of the solar market because they don't see it ever being profitable without a major technological breakthrough.  

    I believe the same can be said about wind.  Without massive government subsidies and unfavorable purchase agreements forced upon the electric utilities, no one would be investing in wind either.

    The government needs to fund basic research, that's their proper position, not skew the economics of the free market.  Remember what CA state did when they decided to meddle in the electric utility industry:  PG&E declared bankruptcy, So Cal Edison was on the brink of bankruptcy, and San Diego Gas & Electric exempted itself from the new rules by selling off all of its generating capacity then tripled their rates to consumers to cover the high price of electricity they had to buy.  

    All the new wind turbines that are being built around the country will be rusting, disabled relics in 15 to 20 years because the tax incentives only cover the cost of building new, not maintaining old ones.  The revenue from the sale of the electricity will be less than the cost of repairing/replacing them, so they will be abandoned.  Look at San Gorgonio Pass in So Cal.  It's a windmill graveyard now.