You’re dumb and you vote …

Well at least that’s what the solar lobby hope.

Democracy hits a bump in the road when the electorate realises it can vote itself the contents of the treasury. The road bumps get bigger and bigger as the Political Parties have to promise more and more welfare to get elected. We could call it a Greek spiral in honour of a spectacular example.

Solar photovoltaic panels are expensive. Your reward, if you put them on your roof, is cheaper electricity. If nothing goes wrong with any of the fixtures and fittings they will pay for themselves in fifteen years or so. Householder thinks hey I can shell out a small fortune now and in fifteen years I will start to reap a profit and instead invests in a macadamia plantation … only five to eight years to wait for the break even point. Solar runs on subsidies and regulated quotas. Without them it will simply trickle along until it really does reach the level of competitiveness we so often hear about.

Who benefits from solar?

The Renewable Energy Target is under review. The solar industry is unhappy at the prospect of having to compete on cost with fossil fuel and they are squealing. Their TV advert features one ugly hag telling you how much she would like cheaper electricity (and indirectly how much she would love you to pay for it). Vote anyone but Liberal.

One thing dumber than voting the entire populace their personal goldmine is to vote one section of industry the keys to the mint.

As an aside, just when will solar be truly competitive?

There are about 8.5 million households in Australia. If you put a 1 kW solar panel installation on each and every one you would generate 8.5 gigawatts of electricity. Subsidise each at $8,000 and the government will shell out $68 billion. By comparison the Loy Yang A coal-fired power station will knock out about twice that amount … even in the dark.