Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wind and Solar Tax Credits

Here we are in 2008, with Democrats in control of Congress (theoretically), and yet I don't see any real push for serious Wind and Solar Tax Credits for individuals. This really upsets me, especially since I would love to get some assistance with installing a small wind-turbine or some rooftop solar photovoltaic panels to offset energy consumption (especially foreign-sourced petrochemical-based energy!)

The United States is supposed to be such a World power, and a leader in so many areas, but we trail many countries considerably when it comes to anything that would promote green energy initiatives that would help ween consumers from utility companies. On the opposite end of the scale are countries in Europe that are making serious attempts to become energy independent (much through renewable energy - and I don't mean that losing proposition known as ethanol).

I just finished reading about how Scotland is nearly tripling their annual incentive program funding for wind/solar credits. Here's a couple quoted paragraphs that will give you a feel for what the Scottish people can look forward to (which I can only hope we eventually evolve our tax-code to include here in the USA):
Finance Secretary John Swinney today announced the Scottish Government will make available £13.5 million a year for the next three years to help householders, small businesses and local communities generate their own clean energy.
Mr Swinney said: "We recently announced our intention to introduce a statutory target to reduce Scottish emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, as part of our proposals for Scotland's first Climate Change Bill. Everyone has a part to play and the Scottish Government is providing strong leadership by tripling funding support to encourage householders, businesses and community projects to generate their own renewable energy."
80 per cent reduction by 2050! Now that is a serious target for reducing one's emissions. And, I can only imagine how this will not only improve their economy (by reducing impact of high and volatile foreign-sourced energy, as well as creating jobs to source, install, and maintain alternative energy systems on a distributed scale), but also how it will improve their National security (again, the distributed nature of power-generation vs. the USA "GRID" model makes a huge amount of sense with regards to redundancy and less-likelihood of major disruptions to our power - disruptions that can cause huge economic issues too).

OK, Washington... wake up and get with the program! Start including individuals in some serious wind and solar tax-credit programs here in the United States so we too, as both individuals and as a Country, can realize the economic improvements and National Security improvements that a decentralized electricity-generation model offers. I am ready and willing to install solar cells and/or wind generator(s) at my house, but I find the current pricing extreme (even when considering current electric and oil prices, the return on investment - ROI - period is quite long and a tax credit would sure be nice... heck, we give enough tax-credits to big oil companies and coal-fired electric plant owners... just start redirecting that to something that will deliver a true long-term payback!!).

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