It seems that when talking about the topic of government funding, Solar and Wind companies tend to compete to be the “favorite.”
In ‘Solar v. wind: which gets more government love?’ by Ucilia Wang, Wang states that “solar gets more loan guarantees, wind projects get more cash grants, which offset 30 percent of a project’s cost.” The loan guarantee program, which is also referred to as Section 1705 program is said to be in favor of Solar projects that include large Solar farms that are set to rise in sunny regions of Southern California and other southwestern states. Wang noted that “the latest loan guarantee offerings for solar bring the total amount offered by the Department of Energy for solar projects to about $10.06 billion, which is spread among 10 solar farms with a total generation capacity of more than 23 GW.
In comparison, only three wind farms totaling 925 MW have collectively been offered $1.52 billion from the same program.” Although, wind projects have continued to draw more money from the cash grant program than solar. Wang discovered that “as of May 5 this year, 295 wind power plants had received a total of $5.61 billion.
On the solar side, 2184 projects had gotten $936 million. California enjoyed the biggest share in solar: $277.4 million for 329 projects. Texas, long-reigning as the wind capital of the country, grabbed $1.4 billion for 19 projects.”
Wang also states that wind project developers are better at receiving grants because they have been in business longer than solar powered companies and are able to put together projects faster. But, according to Wang, “solar projects that have received loan guarantee offers, those that use mirrors to concentrate sunlight for producing steam to run electricity generators have gotten more money than ones using solar panels, which is a far more common technology in the marketplace.” And the latest data from the U.S Energy Information Administration states, “renewable electricity accounted for 10 percent of the nation’s electricity production in 2009, and wind made up 17 percent of that.”