Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The death knell for solar and wind power in America?

The only reason why building energy efficient homes and offices, and putting up solar panels and wind turbines is even remotely cost-effective is because of huge tax incentives provided by the federal government. Without these incentives, the solar and wind industries (and the green building industry) will essentially die on the vine in the US. (The thought is that these industries will--some day soon--be more than self-sufficient, but not until prices go down through economy of scale.) The incentives are sheduled to expire at the end of this year. After some wrangling in Congress, it appears that there will be no extension or renewal. The Democrats want to pass one. The Republicans are blocking it, because they want it tied to extensions of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. By letting the renewable energy tax incentives expire, we're basically giving foreign oil suppliers an even tighter headlock over our country and economy. Think about that every time someone says "Drill, baby, drill."