Secrets? What Secrets?
In a country that’s benefited so immensely from the creativity, innovation and prosperity-generating power of the free enterprise system, it’s shocking to see how corporate welfare and corporate cronyism have eclipsing genuine capitalism as one dominant driver of the U.S. economy. And few industries are more vested in that corrupt caricature of “capitalism” than the American renewable energy sector, with solar power leading the way.
Solar has been on the government dole, big-time, since the 1970s, after oil shocks politicized energy policymaking to a degree rarely before seen. And it’s effectively been a ward of the state ever since, with more recent energy crises, and the upwelling of climate alarmism, breathing new life into a technology that’s often been portrayed as a panacea but hasn’t delivered on that promise.
Not only are today’s solar players still feeding at the federal trough, thanks to research support and a range of direct and indirect subsidies, local, state and federal. But Big Sun’s political pals have found creative new ways to guarantee it an unearned market share, through renewable energy production mandates and government purchasing programs.
As they have since the ’70, Solar power advocates continue to herald this technology’s coming of age. Reports routinely now appear announcing that solar finally is cost-competitive with conventional rivals and on the verge of major market breakthroughs. Yet industry insiders and political allies still seem reluctant to prove their market viability by going without the favorable treatment – suggesting that solar isn’t really as self-sustaining as suggested.
If the long-promised solar revolution finally has arrived, solar players should be willing to shed their protective shield and compete for customers and market share on a level playing field. A reluctance to do so suggests that solar power either still isn’t what it says it is, or it wants to continue padding profits and gaining unfair market share through cronyism, handouts and special treatment.