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For the white -- getting a lot of heat over the loans it has made to the ill fated solar companies saloon drug.
Emails now show it was already -- risky proposition but many say the government.
Well they should even be subsidizing any energy company -- recently spoke with former president of shell oil company John -- Meister about.
Just good to see you again and but this have a -- -- and some other things and I know we've always talked in the past about.
-- -- you were a former oil guy but you were also a lot of other things to.
And I believe what you're with one of the companies in which you were an executive where you talk about how much energy you use.
And so what energy -- supposed to oil is really my my questions for you today.
And this whole business about so Linder.
And it is has brought to the head the question about subsidizing.
-- -- Anderson as far back as the 1970s and Jimmy -- it seems like we've had something in the tax code.
To subsidize solar.
Is it right to do that do they need that to get up to at some point where they -- stand on her own two feet.
Or they ever ever going to be able to get off some sort of government subsidy.
Well you know -- -- has yet to climb up the maturity curve in the technology.
To really move the product into mass production where it produces power.
It does produce energy -- what about power power is the use of energy and so we haven't really nailed the science yet.
I'm a big supporter of the government's role in subsidizing technological research.
Because there really is no commercial use for solar yet.
It has to be subsidize -- -- gonna use any of it.
But the reason we haven't yet achieved the scientific breakthroughs.
Is we haven't found the right materials yet so we've tried silicon.
We're trying thin film.
But neither product gets you to the level of efficiency.
Which enables you to commercialize this where people would be willing to pay for it yet but you know what the argument is that the president says if we don't do this.
We're gonna fall behind China is subsidized in there -- were industry and they're making the products so cheap that part of the holes so wondrous story was.
That they couldn't compete because of the lower prices from China.
China is subsidizing.
Their companies to make products that are inferior.
To the rest of the market supply of energy.
Because they want to create jobs and they want to build a reputation.
But the real work that's going on in the solar industry which I'm totally support above.
Is the kind of research and development to find the right materials that will produce energy at a higher rate of efficiency.
So yes there's a lot of solar panels going on across the country that it may be made in China.
But they are not going to be the kind of panels that people will want to buy a second time around yeah.
Because they're so inefficient -- our use our you say -- don't want don't will be put words in your about that.
Instead of still writing checks -- solar companies.
Maybe we should be spending.
The -- R&D money on university science laboratories to figure out how to create -- energy.
Tom I've been saying that all over the country the real issue for solar.
Is the nano technology.
Or the materials science research that is going to find the right combination.
And solar energy.
That will produce power at rates of efficiency in the thirty to 40% efficiency range or higher as time goes on.
From silicon based photovoltaic cells is not worth purchasing.
And people only purchase -- because the taxpayers are helping the bias via sale they were thin film 151617%.
People don't really want to -- they'll buy it because it's subsidized.
That's the big industry China is chasing.
But it's not a sustainable industry it's frankly not something that this country would -- -- leave him we lead in the great sciences and things that really work.
So let's get on with the research and development and and move that as fast as we can plug are you saying that even as this as we grope around -- or some new form of energy other than fossil fuels.
Did sound like you and your.
You're not writing off solar -- doesn't sound like you're too optimistic about that -- that maybe there's some other invention is still -- -- com.
I think we're ten to twenty years away before we can crack the material science that will yield efficiencies.
And then you start to compete with coal and you start to compete with natural gas and -- as you get closer to 50%.
You could take over the energy market place but that's the kind of efficiency levels we should be striving for and I think America will lead.
The industry the solar industry on the basis of the science that underlies the kind of products that will be.
In the future not it's not today and it's not tomorrow.
Let me get let me get your reaction before we go I wanna be as as a former oil executive a lot of people say well you know we're subsidizing the solar industry job but -- also subsidizing that.
That oil industry by giving no oil companies all kinds of tax breaks for depletion allowances and so forth.
What's your take on the well if you compare the unit.
Cost of the subsidy to the taxpayers.
It's about 25 cents a megawatt -- subsidy for coal.
A less than a dollar for natural gas it's over twenty dollars Tom for solar.
And and then the rate keeps going up because the money keeps being spent for -- products so let's put -- relativity test on this.
The kind of subsidy for coal and oil and gas have been historic.
Because the price of oil and coal and gas have been fluctuating and we want to keep people producing when prices are low that's what the subsidies really for.
We produce whether prices are low -- otherwise would -- in.
And and so that's been in the in the good of society I'm in favor of subsidies for solar and wind.
But it's it should be intended to get the product to a much more mature technology level -- Period Christine there's always start -- might just thank you very much.
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