ABQ’s big solar “deal”: subsidies on top of subsidies

The recently announced plan by a solar cell manufacturing company to spend $1 billion on a new manufacturing facility in Albuquerque is a big deal for the City and State of New Mexico.

This is obviously the exact type of project both Gov. Lujan Grisham and President Biden wish to see. Ironically, the facility was announced just days after Biden was in town to celebrate a wind turbine manufacturer that received subsidies under his Inflation Reduction Act.

Of course New Mexico is one of many states that ALSO mandates solar or at least “renewables.” New Mexico is one of 10 that plan to phase out fossil fuels entirely and a total of 30 have “renewable” mandates.

But wait, there’s more! With New Mexico’s recent deal to bring a solar manufacturing facility to town there will be up to $600 million in additional “economic development” subsidies. We don’t know the exact makeup of the subsidy scheme, but it is going to be big.

Aside from the subsidies themselves, this layering of subsidies hides the overall cost of the subsidies and makes it exceedingly difficult to determine the real cost of various subsidies. The chart below does that for 2016 although it is notable that wind and solar provide a tiny fraction of American electricity overall (see second pie chart below).

Energy subsidies in the United States - Wikipedia

About the U.S. Electricity System and its Impact on the Environment | US EPA