Azara Blog: Government solar power grants allegedly halved in number

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Date published: 2008/05/10

The BBC says:

The number of government grants made to people who want to fit solar panels or other green energy systems to their homes has halved, the BBC has learned.

It comes after the low carbon buildings programme cut the maximum grant on offer from £7,500 to £2,500.

The Renewable Energy Association, which says the programme is failing, has accused ministers of complacency.

But the government says uptake went up considerably last month after the need for planning permission was removed.

Needless to say the BBC completely fails to ask the important question, namely should there be any grants at all? Solar power, in its current guise, is not a particularly "green" technology for Britain. Handing out government grants to middle class people who want to pretend that they are saving the world, when they are not, is not a particularly good use of government money. Worse, it means that these people are externalising the cost of their preferred method of energy consumption onto the rest of the country. One thing the world should be doing is moving away from subsidising energy consumption (certainly by middle class, i.e. rich, people), either directly via government grants or indirectly via a lack of a tax on carbon emissions.

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