ALGF Releases Report on the Problems of Solar Energy

Aug. 20, 2018, Fairfax, Va.–Today, Americans for Limited Government Foundation released a study entitled, “Solar Power Harms Taxpayers and Consumers and Endangers the Reliability of the Grid.” The study points out the problems with solar energy from taxpayer-funded subsidies and increased costs for utility customers to grid reliability concerns.

Solar energy receives heavy federal subsidies that are far more generous than the subsidies for natural gas, coal, or even wind. In addition to federal support, states have also enacted policies to prop up solar power. State renewable energy mandates have encouraged the generation of solar energy. In dozens of states, utility companies are forced to compensate solar panel owners for the excess electricity that they supply to the grid. Those programs are funded by other utility customers.

But in the rush to increase solar power generation, some of the disadvantages of solar power are being overlooked. The intermittency of solar power is a particular problem. This intermittency necessitates the availability of ample backup power plants to ramp up when clouds obscure the sun. Solar power’s intermittency also complicates the job of grid operators to keep the grid adequately supplied with electricity.

The money spent on solar subsidies and new solar plants would be better spent on maintaining and upgrading the creaky, aging grid. After all, huge portions of the grid are at or beyond their expected service life.

“The mandates and incentives to build solar plants and install solar panels have to stop. Taxpayers are being fleeced, working class consumers are subsidizing their wealthier neighbors’ solar panels, and the reliability of the grid is being threatened,” said Richard McCarty, Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.

“The money being spent to build new solar power plants in remote locations, to connect them to the grid, and to maintain backup power plants would be much better spent on upgrading our aging grid,” said Richard Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government.


“Solar Power Harms Taxpayers and Consumers and Endangers the Reliability of the Grid,” By Richard McCarty, August 17, 2018 at

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