Why is it right for Americans to provide low-cost loans to its solar panel manufacturers, but when China does it, it is an illegal subsidy and demands tariffs in response?

Solar-CollageWhy is it right for Americans to provide low-cost loans to its solar panel manufacturers, but when China does it, it is an illegal subsidy and demands tariffs in response?

The answer to that also addresses a fundamental science policy question: Why do Americans insist on subsidizing solar panels no one wants to buy?

Solar power will hopefully be the energy of the future. Enough sunlight reaches Earth in a single hour to power the planet for an entire year. However, significant hurdles, such as efficiency, storage and transmission, have held it back for the last 50 years. Breakthroughs are just around the corner, it has been said for decades, so many venture capitalists stopped buying that dream long ago. But with more scientific research, substantial technological breakthroughs will occur in the not-too-distant future.

No, really. They will.

That’s why, on the surface, President Obama’s support for solar power was sensible, but a closer examination of its implementation reveals contradictory and self-defeating policies.

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Source: Alex B. Berezow and Hank Campbell | Forbes