Solar Energy: Economics, Government and Technology
Posted on March 27, 2008 Comments (10)
They’ll be installed in Europe. In Asia. And maybe even in America too, one day. Why not now? Because AES wants to sow its solar seeds in only those countries that offer the most “attractive tariffs.” That eliminates the US from the list of potentials, immediately. And it gives countries like Germany, Spain, Italy and South Korea the clear advantage. They all have can’t-beat national incentives for solar developers.
It’s one of the sad facts of Washington’s incoherent clean energy policy these days. How can a country lure in clean energy projects when there are far more appealing offers elsewhere?
Government actions impact economic decisions. It will likely take more than 10 years to have good data on what government investments pay off in the energy sector. But I would say it is a pretty good bet to invest in technology such as: solar, geothermal, wind… Countries that create global centers of excellence in these areas are likely to benefit greatly. The only question I think is that many countries are smart enough to see the benefits and so likely many countries will try.
Any time many actors pursue the same economic strategy there is the risk that the payoff is diluted with so many others having done the same thing. Still the reason so many countries have adopted the strategy of developing centers of excellence in science, engineering and technology is that it is such a good idea. The USA has a problem in that we are spending more than we produce on luxuries today so there is much less available to invest compared to other countries (and compared to 40 years ago).
Related: Global Installed Capacity of Wind Power – Invest in Science for a Strong Economy – Science, Engineering and the Future of the American Economy – China challenges scientific research dominance of USA, Europe and Japan – Green Energy in Canada