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Why is Solar Energy a Political Issue?

Capitol Hill

 

More affordable energy independent of foreign oil? Where do I sign up? A look at how solar energy is a big political issue.

Solar energy seems like a no brainer. By harnessing the power of the sun we can create affordable energy. In doing so, the solar industry can also create thousands of environmentally friendly jobs for Americans. So why does it seem that solar energy is always a political issue? Let’s look at some major points:

Government subsidies

Subsidies, or financial assistance is paid to the solar energy industry to boost the success of this particular sector. Because the government funds many solar energy initiatives they may have a say in how a particular company or sector runs their operations.

Environmentalism as an issue

The environment, and how to prevent/stop global warming is a hot button issue – especially on the campaign trail. While Republicans and Democrats both see the importance in protecting the environment, many specific political leaders may disagree on how to best do this. The result is a heated environmental debate that can slow solar energy progress.

Tax Breaks

Currently, there are several tax breaks for homes and businesses investing in solar energy. Still, each tax break must go through the proper legislative channels. Because of the lag in the economy, many lawmakers are hesitant to renew many tax breaks – including those in the solar energy sector.

Controversy

You may not think of solar energy as being a controversial renewable source. Remember Solyndra? When President Obama financially backed the massive solar company and they quickly claimed bankruptcy it was a political and PR disaster. Controversy – especially political controversy – can erupt anywhere.

While many tax payers and lawmakers agree that solar power is a clear choice for renewable energy there is a fair amount of political red tape that must be taken into account. If you truly believe in the power of solar energy you can write to your local representative and ask them to support any pro-solar energy legislation that reaches their table.

Support solar today!