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Shedding Light on Solar

Recorded on June 20, 2011

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

The head of a major solar energy company recently admitted that solar power hasn't caught on simply because it costs too much. Estimates vary, but it costs at least four times as much to generate electricity from solar power compared to fossil fuels.

Another solar manufacturer says government subsidies actually slow down progress. By paying people to adopt immature technology, the subsidies suppress innovation that someday might make solar energy affordable.

For now the upfront costs of solar cells are too high for most people. Some claim the investment pays off with lower costs after ten years or so—maybe 20—but most of us can't afford to take that chance.

We hear lots of hype about alternative energy, but the truth is that when it becomes affordable people will want it. Meantime government should not try to force it on us.

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.