October 9, 2011

Trouble in the Green Economy

Filed under: Articles + Blogs — smeyer @ 3:43 pm

I have posted that the solar power industry has some serious problems and isn’t going to save the US economy.  Certainly the Solyndra failure should be evidence of that.  The solar industry is built on Federal incentive programs that are scheduled to end this year.  The Federal subsidies are unlikely to continue given the current budget crisis and the wider reporting of the poor performance of “Green Energy” that is now showing up in the mainstream press.

This should come as no surprise.  As an example of how it works, or actually how it doesn’t work, the industrial trade press has recently made a big deal about the new $6.25 million dollar solar installation at Groupe Schneider in Smyrna Tennessee.

Let’s see if I get this right, the folks at Groupe Schneider get 30% Federal rebate applied to this year’s taxes.  That’ s roughly $2 million of money paid by you and me to the Federal government was given to Schneider in the form of a discount off their tax bill this year. That money is gone from the private economy where you and I make choices about what we will do with our money.  $2 million in the private sector is the equivalent of 66 jobs paying a gross of $33,000  year.  Instead of doing that, it was taken and transferred to a for-profit company.  Then the electric utility company in Tennessee, that is probably owned by the citizens of  Tennessee, is required to purchase power from the solar farm and pay a rate to Groupe Schneider that is above the going rate for electricity.  So taxpayers in Tennessee get a second chance to put money into Groupe Schneider and get nothing back.

The solar project will reduce the cost of electricity to Groupe Schneider/Square D.   While Square D and Groupe Schneider employee a lot of people in the US, and hopefully the money they save will allow them to continue to do that, any profits from the solar project will be going to the French parent company.

I am fairly certain this isn’t what Americans signed up for in the Green Economy.

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