Thursday, December 4, 2008

Would You Pay More For Solar Power?

The Israeli Ministry of Finance should be applauded for sticking to its guns and wanting an energy policy that generates revenues and not dishes out subsidies. It's not that I have anything against alternative energies, after all I support the ultimate alternative energy, nuclear power. It's just that if these technologies are so wonderful why do they cost more and demand government subsidies to get them up and running? If they were so good couldn't the private sector fund these projects entirely and make all the profits? Oh profits, you mean there aren't any?

According to the report in Globes, the Ministry of National Infrastructures director general Hezi Kugler spoke at a conference and said: "The Ministry of Finance wants us to stop and assess the economic gain that alternative energies are likely to generate. Surveys in other places show that the public is willing to pay 20-30% more for alternative energy. We can supply energy from the resource that we have here (the sun) and increase our energy security. These are the right considerations. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Finance is doing everything it can to stop this going before the cabinet because they know there won't be a single minister who will vote against it."

Clearly the Finance Ministry is unreasonable in wanting to 'assess the economic gain that alternative energies are likely to generate.' Mr.Kugler , give me a break. First of all, you tell me who would be happy to pay an extra 20-30% for their energy? I wouldn't be happy to part with that money, and I don't know many others who would be doing cartwheels to pay a lot more either. Second, do you actually have the nerve to see it as being unreasonable that the Ministry ofFinance wants to see if there will be any actual economic benefit from this whole project?

The Finance Ministry deserves a lot of credit on this issue in protecting the Israeli taxpayer from being burned by the alternative energy hype.

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