Jay N. Strong: Solar subsidies

April 28, 2013 

Solar subsidies

In his April 22 Point of View piece, Aaron Nelson says the North Carolina renewable energy standard is working but leaves out the economics of solar power.

The pro-solar website, SolarBuzz, claims a single kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar power costs more than 25 cents to produce.

This price must compete with the cost of conventional power generation, which is generally increasing, but still is as low as 4 to 5 cents per kWh.

The actual electricity rates include these costs plus overhead, transmission and a return on capital, which comes to 10.8 cents per kWh.

In order to make solar power attractive, a small amount of our taxes and monthly electricity bills are donated to solar power operators as tax credits, rebates or subsidies.

Bottom line, solar power is not possible without government-imposed mandates and subsidies amounting to tens of millions of dollars each year and paid by everyone.

The fact that 840 jobs will be created for a few months to install a few solar farms using non-American-made solar panels is little consolation.

North Carolina is a sunny state and apparently has the wealth to afford to subsidize the solar industry at the expense of our mental hospitals, teachers, schools, universities and jobs.

Jay N. Strong

Chapel Hill

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