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How Political Hypocracy Kick Started The Solar Power Revolution

by GuestPoster - July 7th, 2011.
Filed under: Guest Posts. Tagged as: , , , .

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It wasn’t so long ago that it looked like the promise of renewable energy would turn out to be somewhat empty, but then the hubris and pious platitudes of politicians caught up with them and they became unlikely evangelists of this technology.

This has happened before (notably in Germany) but the most recent example is provided by the UK, the leaders of which thought that if they signed up to a binding international pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions and switch over to some specific percentage of “clean” energy, then they might somehow cut a noble and visionary (as distinct from odious and short sighted) image.

Large Solar Plant

Large Solar Power Facility - Photo by SS&SS

Needless to say, once the political grand-standing was over and the first committees formed, precisely nothing happened to deliver on these promises. At least until the new government suddenly realized that they would soon be called to account for what the previous one had signed up to.

Their solution was to make installing domestic solar panels so financially attractive that swarms of households would opt for these incentives and in a short space of time enough of the electorate would be generating solar power that they could finally tick the box and breathe a huge sigh of relief.


Did it work? Well it’s still too early to say for sure, but certainly there appears to be no shortage of folk who are not about to turn down a minimum £12,500 GBP (about $20,000 USD) government guaranteed sweetener while at the same time substantially reducing their electricity bill.

But whether or not it got the UK government out of a potentially embarrassing situation, it sure as heck sparked some real life into the hitherto lackluster domestic solar energy industry. It’s dangerous to predict the future, but there is a real chance that when we look back we might see such (albeit self-serving) government sponsored initiatives as the point when the tide really turned in favor of renewable energy.






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