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Solar power’s dark future

Spain is looking for ways to cut its energy expenses as liabilities loom from Greece’s debt crisis.  Since Europe has a common currency, they’re all in this together.  To slash costs, Spain is about to undo its commitment to solar power.

It’s hard to imagine what could be a plainer statement of the down side of solar energy than  this: When the government gets under so much fiscal water that it has to cut subsidies, solar power takes a hit.

There’s more to the story, however.  Subsidy farming is democracy’s most profitable business partly because its opportunities for flim flams are boundless given that government auditors are watching over other people’s money and not their own.  It was recently reported, for example, that solar producers surreptitiously ran diesel generators to spin the meter and get the government check.  How blind were the auditors?  They producers even ran the diesels at night, apparently for years, before being caught.

In the real economy where people spend their own money, they insist on getting what they’ve paid for.  In the subsidy economy, it really doesn’t matter.  The goal is not to provide something of real value that people are willing to pay for but to activate a government itch which can be relieved only by giving away money.  So what are the chances that nothing like this is happening in America where subsidies are a way of life for the green gadget economy?

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