Spain's Dreamy Solar Plans Are Not For The U.S.

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Spain is the biggest solar energy plant builder in the world now, Bloomberg reports. To become the global leader, Spain provides crazy subsidies which hose the general public at large.

This is not a plan of action the U.S. should follow. There’s a lot of chatter about how Germany and Spain, and even China are becoming leaders in solar energy while the U.S. lags behind. That’s not a real concern.

The U.S. still develops great solar technology. With the added pressure of trying to get it competitive with the cost of coal fired electricity, U.S. solar companies are more motivated to produce a killer product. When they finally produce at scale solar power that can beat coal, then that will be implemented at a large. It will also be sold around the world.

Anyone that would want to advocate a plan like this in the U.S. would advocate a widespread resentment of solar power. The public is already leery of the solar subsidies given out in the U.S. Making them greater and increasing the price of electricty would only infuriate people further.

Here’s the plan according to Bloomberg:

The government promotes clean fuels by letting generators charge as much as 10 times more for power from the sun or wind than from burning coal. The premium, added to bills of homes and businesses, has spawned a solar-investment boom by utilities, from Florida’s FPL Group Inc. to Electricite de France SA.

As a result, developers now plan enough solar thermal projects to generate the power of nine new atomic reactors, or 14,000 megawatts if all get built, Spain’s industry ministry said. That’s the biggest project pipeline, beating sun-blessed Australia and the U.S., where Congress increased aid this year for alternative energy, an Emerging Energy Research study said.

“Who wouldn’t want to enter a business that’s paid many times more than the market rate, and where the customer is guaranteed for life?” said Gabriel Calzada, an economist and professor at Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid.

Spanish law forces distributors to buy all clean energy produced in the first 25 years of a plant’s life and resell it to consumers. With little oil and lots of sun, Spain is betting the sacrifice will pay off as fossil fuels get more expensive and need costly emission permits under global-warming treaties.

40-two per cent of power bills, or 95 euros ($127) for every Spaniard, will cover subsidized clean energy in 2009, the ministry estimates.

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