Monday, December 15, 2008

Solar on the Ground

A nice example of what can call solar's policy slump appeared in the Baltimore Sun over the weekend. It's about a possible increase in tax credits for solar installations in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Note the very small numbers involved in the tax credits: "The tax credit would be for 50 percent of the cost of a system or $2,500, whichever is less," although the actual cost of an installation can be $30,000. The program's virtue in tough economic times is that almost no one uses it: "The current solar panel tax credit cost the county a little more than $11,000 in the past 18 months."

US solar is a patchwork of local efforts, and those continuing now have to compete head to head with "gap" payments to the staff of convalescent hospitals and the like. Nothing is more obvious than the need for a policy of national scope.

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