The sea change that occurred yesterday in the elections has the solar industry abuzz in speculation and trepidation. There is much analysis and a lot more guess work at play, but the political developments should focus the mind on what can be done. The first clue is what the lame duck Congress will try to do. We already know that cap and trade is a nonstarter, but some remnants of an energy bill may be pushed forward before the new Congress convenes in January. Many solar industry analysts are watching for a particular piece of legislation known as the Treasury Grant program.
Posts Tagged ‘energy bill’
The death of the energy bill has left a lot of people pointing fingers at each other, and a lot of people wondering if we cannot now take action on climate change, then when—and by whom? A Washington Post article today identifies some very unhappy House Democrats who went out on limb last year to support the energy bill and combat climate change. They now understandably feel hung out to dry. I think that the New York Times columnist Paul Krugman best summarizes the events of the last few days: “Greed, aided by cowardice has triumphed.”
Ever since Barack Obama was inaugurated as president, the air in Washington has been thick with expectation for a coherent energy policy. When Obama announced early in his administration that energy was one of three critical priorities—along with health care and education— hopes were high that this country was on a leadership path in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gasses. We are still waiting and chances are not good that we will soon any significant breakthroughs any time soon.
The march to solar energy is on – and the United States has a lot to do to catch up with some other countries that are leading the way. Although there are those would like to think that the desire to reduce one’s carbon footprint is sufficient to convince Americans to go solar, the experience in other countries shows that only cold hard cash, and not the sun’s rays, will convince consumers to leave their fossil fuel lives behind. This opinion piece discusses various government incentive programs available to consumers in the United States who are contemplating placing solar panels on their roofs.
Paul Brandus, a White House correspondent, came to SolarTown today to talk about reporting on green issues from the White House. Mr. Brandus covers all issues at the White House, but takes a particular interest in green issues, as Brandus is also the editor in chief of the Green Energy Brief and hosts a syndicated radio show on green issues. Brandus related that President Obama has identified three priorities for his administration: health care, education and energy. Obama has vowed to double renewable energy by 2012, a relatively modest goal, since the baseline in the United States is very low, according to Brandus.