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Krugman writes: "Like a number of commentators, I've been struck by how people on the right know, just know, that Obamacare has been a dismal failure."

Paul Krugman. (photo: NYT)
Paul Krugman. (photo: NYT)


Solar and Wind Energy Consumption Tripled Under Obama

By Paul Krugman, The New York Times

15 July 15

 

ike a number of commentators, I’ve been struck by how people on the right know, just know, that Obamacare has been a dismal failure. More than 15 million Americans have gained coverage, costs are well below predictions, and employment growth has accelerated since the “job-killing” law went into effect — but they know none of that, because all they hear from their preferred information sources is tales of disaster.

Some things I’ve been reading lately remind me that there’s another major Obama initiative that is the subject of similar delusions: the promotion of green energy. Everyone on the right knows that the stimulus-linked efforts to promote solar and wind were a bust — Solyndra! Solyndra! Benghazi! — and in general they still seem to regard renewables as hippie-dippy stuff that will never go anywhere.

So it comes as something of a shock when you look at the actual data, and discover that solar and wind energy consumption has tripled under Obama.

Data covering solar and wind energy adoption. (photo: Energy Information Administration)
Data covering solar and wind energy adoption. (photo: Energy Information Administration)



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+32 # Bruce Gruber 2015-07-15 09:26
Much of that same crowd also knows with equal fervor that Obama is a dictator, jesus will rise again, the earth is 6000 years old, human caused climate change is a hoax, intellectuals think they are superior, the donald is a businessman, and that they are looking forward to eternity in heaven with a fairy godfather (but he is definitely neither dark skinned or gay).
Public education may struggle with underfunding and inconsistency, but it seems to beat home certainty by a mile.
 
 
-24 # Texas Aggie 2015-07-15 09:29
I would suspect that a lot of the increase had nothing to do with Obama. The only way the government was involved was through tax credits and grants for installing clean energy, and those were state initiatives by and large, not federal government.
 
 
+32 # cenglish10 2015-07-15 09:48
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/federal-solar-energy-grants-homeowners-8171.html

This lists some federal grants. Federal means Obama administration. There are various ways that solar power can be paid for through the government, which encourages people to swing the bat at a new technology. State grants are good too. It all works together.
 
 
+7 # ericlipps 2015-07-15 13:52
"Suspecting" is not the same as knowing.
 
 
0 # Jump Off Joe 2015-07-16 19:42
About 15 years ago, I got Oregon State grants and tax credits to have an 3000 watt PV system installed on my roof. Total system cost back then, including labor, was m/l $30,000. My cost was only $6,800.

About five years ago, I had another 3000 watt system installed. System cost this time (prices are always falling, thank dog!) was just over $20,000. The Feds paid $6,000, in the form of tax credits. Oregon paid another $12,000, meaning my entire cost was only $2,000(!)

About SIXTEEEN years ago, I investigated a 1000 watt system, with me doing all the labor, pulling all the permits, etc. system cost? $11,000! I opted out-too damn much money! (Not to mention I probably woulda fallen off the roof and/or electrocuted myself)

I believe these tax credit/grant programs are the main reason that PV has taken off, and why the cost continues to drop. I'm told that, in some areas, PV is at or below parity with fossil fuel powered electricity. Too cool!
And, while it's true that most the impetus has come from the states (well, some of the more progressive states-some states actually PENALIZE people who go solar!), The federal subsidies (30% of the cost) did appear during Obama's presidency.

Proving Obombya is not ALL bad.
 
 
+28 # jsonix 2015-07-15 10:16
The fact that this administration, unlike the previous one, PROMOTED alternative energy sources and enlivened the conversation about solar and wind energy, while at the same time denigrating coal and keeping the blanket on Keystone, the path to the dirtiest energy ever, says they are on the right side of the equation.
 
 
0 # lfeuille 2015-07-15 13:48
Quoting jsonix:
The fact that this administration, unlike the previous one, PROMOTED alternative energy sources and enlivened the conversation about solar and wind energy, while at the same time denigrating coal and keeping the blanket on Keystone, the path to the dirtiest energy ever, side of the equation.


Nope. They are sitting on the fence. They have chosen the right side. They have open the Artic and Atlantic to drilling. The have promoted fracking. Though natural gas produces less green house gas when burned, the process of extracting it is carbon intensive and also pollutes local water supplies. And they have not shut down KXL once and for all.
 
 
+9 # Bruce Gruber 2015-07-15 13:18
The Congress could replace "depletion" allowances on extraction energy resources with "investment" tax credits for installing solar, wind and other passive energy sources on individual consumer property and crediting consumer/produc ers with 'partnership' credits toward consumption costs. Expedite the shift to renewables, create thousands of jobs, and work to clean CO2 from the air.
 
 
+9 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-07-15 17:06
Jimmy Carter put solar on the roof of the White House. Ronald Reagan had it removed. THAT should tell you something about the two parties.
 
 
+3 # thekidde 2015-07-16 07:39
Ronald Reagan was the worst contemporary President.
 
 
+5 # Lgfoot 2015-07-16 11:10
Even Raygun was not as bad as President Cheney.
 

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