Yosemite: Just your average government project

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Just your average government project.
2800 Solar panels
Producing 12% of Yosemite’s electricity
Saving $50,000.00 per year
Cost $5.8 million in stimulus
And you wonder why the federal government is out of money and needs more debt! It will only take 116 years to recover the expense in savings. What is the life of a solar panel?
Could this kind of genius calculation explain the debt crisis?
What is the best, is our government, issue the EPA, are promoting this project on the local news!

4 Responses

  1. It’s not quite as straightforward as that, though I admit the case is compelling. Solar’s problem is that unless governments spend some money on loss making projects the companies that are currently trying to make solar work commercially on large scales through innovation won’t have any money to do further research and then we all lose out in the long run. Not through the “save the environment” argument but because fossil fuels will run out someday – so it would be better to work out how to offset that before it happens and billions of people riot in protest.

    1. Dear Nick,
      Thank you for your comment. I have thought about it and I am working on an article as a result of the points you raise. I am not arguing the validity of your points but I do think we have a significant dilemma. The approach you are outlining can appear logical if there is not a value trade off on the spending. If a government can simply create the currency and pay for such services, then such a method to spur a business would be somewhat reasonable.
      What has stimulated me to write an article is that this is the crux of the debate on almost every crisis we are facing. ON the one hand, we should do it because—-(fill in the blank) And we can pay for it because the historical economic view is that money created by the government and injected into an economy for tangible goods or value based services is not inflationary. While this has been accepted economic theory for a very long time, it may no longer be the case due to a number of more recent (the past 40 years) actions we have taken.
      The debate over whether it is a debt or revenue problem relating to the current issues is frankly moot if this historical theory is not correct. We have raised the amount of currency since 1972 from $500 billion to over $10 trillion if you use the Federal Reserve in St. Louis’ numbers – others are higher. If we broke the historical theory, due to the hyperinflation as a result of no check on our empirical calculations of value, then we are faced with a much larger and more fundamental problem.
      Then the calculation is not, let’s spend 5.8 million for solar panels cause in the long run we will help the earth, protect our children and help build a needed industry. It becomes a tradeoff between the 2800 solar panels and safety net care for 651 needy Americans…
      I am not sure which is correct but we are betting much larger odds that we think in these issues today! I guess that is what makes me so frustrated with the overall debate at the moment and the partisan politics that are being drawn into it.
      Thanks again for your comment.

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