Commercialization and Subsidies in PV

posted May 4, 2012, 6:10 PM by Steven B. Reeves   [ updated Jun 6, 2012, 10:44 PM by Richard Phillips ]
Photovoltaics (PV) is following the same path to commercialization as other traditional energy sources spurred by federal incentives, according to the new independent research report released by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville - "Assessment of Incentives and Employment Impacts of Solar Industry Deployment". In fact, according to the report, diffusion of PV technology in the energy markets is very similar to the paths that many American industries have traveled to become mainstream. The report finds that traditional fuels have been subsidized for decades – some like coal and oil for a century – and followed similar growth trajectories toward majority adoption. Like oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear, and all other traditional energy sources, the Baker Center finds, PV has received support from the federal government to promote its usage in order to drive our economy. Every significant energy resource deployed in the US today has had approximately 30 years of innovation and early adoption before beginning rapid growth that brought about mainstream adoption. Federal level subsides occurred during the Carter, Bush Jr. and Obama administrations, and are set to continued until 12/31/2016 (among other incentives, a tax credit of 30% of total expenditures on installing PV for individuals and companies).