Our Reaction to the Times’ Sunday Dialogue: Incentives on Energy
A recent letter in The New York Times argued that large subsidies for renewable energy are not justified. Here are our thoughts on this matter…
To the Editor,
According to a new solar power survey released just days ago (11/1/11), nine out of 10 Americans think it is important for the United States to develop and use solar power. This overwhelmingly widespread support includes Federal investment in solar and spans the political spectrum. Americans understand that solar energy works today, not as Mr. Weinstein suggests “at some time in the future.”
Throughout our history, every energy resource in America has received Federal support, including oil, nuclear, natural gas, and coal. The fact that renewable energy receives such support is not unique. The solar industry is the fastest growing sector in the U.S. economy, growing 70 percent since 2010 and generating over 100,000 solar jobs in all 50 states. Solar has grown at a rate of 6.8 percent a year, significantly higher than the 2 percent net job loss in fossil fuel power generation. The solar industry is putting the subsidies received to good use, creating jobs, growing our economy and combating climate change! Over the next 12 months, nearly half of the solar firms expect to increase their workforce by 24 percent, representing nearly 24,000 net new jobs by August 2012. Solar power in the U.S. now exceeds 3,100 megawatts, enough to power more than 630,000 American homes. That isn’t tomorrow’s energy, it is today’s.
I don’t know about Mr. Weinstein, but I want to give my children a clean environment in which to flourish. If solar offers me that opportunity at an affordable rate I’m going to support it wholeheartedly.
Mr Weinstein is correct that solar has an important role to play in the future, but that role is to ensure that we actually have one.
Co-founder and president of EcoOutfitters.net