Georgia Using Stimulus Bill Funds for Lamest Renewable Energy Grants Ever

  • Published on May 13th, 2009

Falling into the category of “I guess it’s better than nothing,” the state of Georgia has passed a bill that will use economic stimulus funds to provide retroactive grants to organizations that have already installed clean energy projects.

Why is this so lame? Thanks to the Georgia State Government, it’s just more of the same Republican policies that don’t work and aren’t an appropriate use of stimulative funds.

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So say you live in Athens, Georgia and want to put some solar panels on your house. Can you apply for a grant to buy the panels and get professional help installing them? “Hell no! Put up those damn solar panels yourself, buddy, and then we’ll talk about reimbursing you. Oh yeah, and you need to own a business by the way. Once you start a company and install some solar panels– get back to us.”

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How is such a grant stimulative? It only puts money back into the pockets of companies who could afford it earlier or made the effort to install clean energy systems in the first place. Who’s to say they would use the money to develop more clean energy capacity?

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think this is one of the lamest renewable energy grants ever. It rewards those companies that didn’t need a helping hand in the first place. If anything, why couldn’t the grants both reward retroactive and future projects? And why can’t they also be distributed to actual citizens rather than just companies?

Way to go Georgia! Economy stimulated!

Photo Credit: Sea of Legs on Flickr under a Creative Commons license

About the Author

Levi Novey is a conservation professional who has received a bachelor's degree in History from Tufts University and a master's degree in Conservation Social Sciences from the University of Idaho. He worked for the U.S. National Park Service for 10 years, as a park ranger in 6 national parks, as a social science researcher in 5 parks, and as the science communicator for a Natural Resource Inventory and Monitoring Network that serves 9 parks. He has authored several scholarly papers as well as several guidebooks to U.S. national parks. Levi also has taught an undergraduate Environmental Communication Skills course at the University of Idaho, won several photography contests, and regularly enjoys visits to parks, protected areas, historical sites, museums-- and just about anywhere where he can learn something new about the world. He currently lives in Peru, with his wife Alicia, and their daughter Coral.

4 comments

  • If businesses (virtually anyone can incorporate at minimal cost, just did it myself) spend their OWN MONEY up front they are less likely to spend recklessly, as in when you are spending SOMEONE ELSE'S MONEY. It's a mindset – until you're reimbursed, it's coming out of your pocket – make sure you don't do anything stupid and waste a lot of money. And yet, at the same time you know, if you do it correctly, you'll be getting at least part of your money back. Pretty smart.

  • I dont share your coments. This is actually a progressive approach. Visionary companies should be rewarded for making the first step towards renewables. This shows foot dragging companies that there is a reason to invest in renewables. The common mind set that many companies have is a "lets wait and see" one. Now that there is tangiable support to those that made the effort, others will follow suit.

    BTW having a registered business is cheaper than you think. Here in Ontario, you can start one for $60.

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