Today The Patriot-News reports that state and federal subsidies for renewables projects are running out, leading to uncertainty that a whole new Green Economy (promoted by environmentalists) will survive without them:
Even someone spending $80,000 on a solar photovoltaic array to electrify his home could expect to get $74,000 back within five years through federal tax credits, Pennsylvania Sunshine Grants, green power credits sold to utilities, and savings. Without incentives, it could take 40 years to break even at current electric rates.
Now many of those incentives are expiring or running out of money.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 money will no longer be flooding into the state. State and federal governments are facing huge deficits and looking for items to cut.
The Pennsylvania Sunshine Grant fund is almost out of money. Federal tax credits for many energy-efficiency projects expire Dec. 31. Tax credits for wind power run out in 2012, although solar energy credits will continue through 2016.
And the Washington Post says (Hat tip: CEI’s Christine Hall) there’s little evidence that all the “investment” made in the New Energy Economy by the Obama administration has produced many “Green” jobs:
With nearly 15 million Americans out of work and the unemployment rate hovering above 9 percent for 18 consecutive months, policymakers desperate to stoke job creation have bet heavily on green energy. The Obama administration channeled more than $90 billion from the $814 billion economic stimulus bill into clean energy technology, confident that the investment would grow into the economy’s next big thing.
The infusion of money is going to projects such as weatherizing public buildings and constructing advanced battery plants in the industrial Midwest, financing solar electric plants in the Mojave desert and training green energy workers.
But the huge federal investment has run headlong into the stubborn reality that the market for renewable energy products – and workers – remains in its infancy. The administration says that its stimulus investment has saved or created 225,000 jobs in the green energy industry, a pittance in an economy that has shed 7.5 million jobs since the recession took hold in December 2007.
The industry’s growth has been undercut by the simple economic fact that fossil fuels remain cheaper than renewables. Both Obama administration officials and green energy executives say that the business needs not just government incentives, but also rules and regulations that force people and business to turn to renewable energy.
Yeah, just what Americans want more of from the government that wants to reach out and touch your junk: more “force” and regulations. But that’s what it takes to make a “Green” economy work.