So-called "clean and renewable energy" makes investors poorer
PRESIDENT-elect Barack Obama has vowed to promote clean and renewable energy, reiterating this week that his presidency will mark a new chapter in America's leadership on climate change.
But the nation's power companies suddenly are struggling to turn that promise into reality.
"Funding has stalled," says Ezra Green, chief executive of Clear Skies Solar. The New York company recently cancelled plans to build a one-megawatt solar plant in California's Mojave Desert, unable to get financing even though a California utility agreed to buy all the output.
"We've cancelled the solar-panel order," Mr Green says. . . .
There seems to be a simple explanation for why these investments have become less attractive, as the price of gasoline has fallen the returns to investing in these alternative forms of energy has fallen. I don't expect the media to draw this obvious connection, but the point is that having the government make investments in areas that are not profitable makes us poorer.