Subsidies for alternative energy have been the subject of much debate in recent weeks. Too many critics of solar and wind energy generation base their arguments on a false – even fatuous – premise, i.e. that their efficacy and value are to be qualified because the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. Thus, neither can be our sole source of power.
Of course, they can’t, nor does anyone expect them to. This is a standard to which we do not hold any of our other technologies. Even nuclear plants are regularly “down” for maintenance, refueling and occasional operational inspections and concerns.
No one is suggesting we terminate all nuclear, coal and gas plants in favor of 100 percent reliance on solar or wind. We should continue to rely on a mix of technologies that maximize the environmental and economic potential of each.
To exclude from that mix solar and wind, sources both free and limitless, because neither could by itself satisfy all our needs would be foolish. Both deserve as much subsidy as fossil fuels have enjoyed for decades, perhaps more, because each is in its infancy. As supplemental sources, they are invaluable.