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What if solar got the same amount of subsidies as coal or oil?

Avatar for Dave Llorens
Published on 10/07/2010 in
Updated 10/07/2010

Dave made the infographic below. Sickening how much progress we could be making on renewable energy across the country if we just reshuffled our priorities:

Last modified: October 7, 2010

8 thoughts on “What if solar got the same amount of subsidies as coal or oil?

  1. Avatar for Sandra Sandra says:

    This is one of many issues that SHOULD result in bipartisan outrage and subsequent change. The only problem is that the over-subsidized Coal lobby has the money and power to fight change through actions that are still very effective on easily-bought politicians on both sides of the aisle.

  2. Avatar for Mat Cegiela Mat Cegiela says:

    If the war in Iraq had nothing to do with oil then it has been a complete and total waste of life, time and money. Lots. Of borrowed. Money.

    The infographic is a little rosy but the point is true. Solar is a premium source of energy because it’s pure. It’s worth it to a lot of people and it doesn’t have to be cheaper. It just has to come close.

  3. Avatar for Matt Matt says:

    So TimBitts, you don’t think that the war has anything to do with national security? Has nothing to do with 9-11 and stopping an enemy before it happens again? It’s all about oil huh? You should be careful with you broad statement that include the military as a whole.

  4. Avatar for TimBitts TimBitts says:

    The war in Iraq was a war about oil, about securing America’s military dominance, so no one can challenge our military supremacy.

    All for oil.

    In other words, the war in Iraq was a subsidy for the oil business.

    The American military is a security guard business, to protect access to oil.

    The war in Iraq will cost $2 trillion dollars. That money would not have been spent, if there was no war. And there would have been no war, if there was no oil there. Simple as that. Everyone knows this.

    So what does this mean? Any calculation of subsidies to oil must include military interventions, to fight over oil.

    The war in Iraq was a giant subsidy for oil. A $2 trillion dollar subsidy.

    Prove me wrong, by logic, if you can.

  5. Avatar for Ben Harack Ben Harack says:

    The claims made in this graphic are incorrect. Solar is more expensive than coal. Transitioning to solar would be more expensive than going to coal (or almost any other energy technology for that matter). Solar photovoltaics are making great progress, but they are still very expensive. Solar thermal shows more potential, but even it is not beating coal yet. The fact that coal creates 40% of the world’s electricity is not accidental. It is really cheap.
    This graphic cites the total subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. This includes oil and natural gas as well, two giant industries that receive huge tax breaks to encourage domestic development.
    The details show us that solar has great potential, but that does not mean that this graphic is an accurate representation of what is actually going on.
    At Vision of Earth we wrote a response to this graphic, which people can find if they want at our site:

  6. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

    Hey guys, we’re working on the tweet button but the facebook comments are all loaded up! Thanks for the kind words.

  7. Avatar for Franziska Franziska says:

    Hi Dan,
    I am from Germany living in Texas and I was surprised that one of the most powerful nations in the world is ignoring the potential of solar energy.. Going green, using solar and alternative energy, recycling (btw one of the strongest markets in Germany, our government makes billions by reselling recycled material) is our future and needs to be subsidized. I believe that the people need to make the switch to alternative energy and sooner than later the government will have to follow and finally the industry is forced to shift.

    P.S. I didn´t see a tweet button, would like to support your blog ☆

  8. Avatar for stan dickie stan dickie says:

    post a connection to facebook so we can pass it on

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