Sure, sure, rich folks and people willing to spend tens of thousands can gain access to solar power, and, it would be great if companies could develop cost effective solar for home use. I’ve long advocated for this exact thing. But, it is nowhere near as of yet, and can barely survive without subsidies
Just two years ago, SolarCity and other rooftop solar providers were Wall Street darlings, and prospects for growth were flying high, as enthusiasm for solar power was seemingly boundless.
After all, they had built a better mousetrap, allowing the masses to install environmentally minded solar power systems at little or no cost to them and to reduce their electricity bills at the same time.
But in two years, the landscape has drastically shifted.
Nevada recently rolled back the generous support it gave rooftop solar systems; 20 other states are rethinking their policies, as well. And despite the extension of an important federal tax credit last year, losses by rooftop solar companies have accelerated.
SolarCity, the nation’s largest provider of rooftop systems, is but the most visible of a cluster of companies, built with the aid of government subsidies and utility incentives, now facing deep uncertainties, despite unflagging consumer interest and surging growth in renewable energy.
And right there, in black and white, is the problem: to repeat, without subsidies, it can barely survive. The current model is based on these subsidies, mostly originating from taxpayer funds. Take them away, and the system collapses. They are too reliant on government rules, regulations, and whims. It’s all based on a crony/government capitalism system, rather than a system based on consumer demand.
One day solar will get there. That day is not now.