In this article I discuss what may be an essential ingredient in the transition from non-renewable to renewable energy resources: federal subsidies. In the first section of the article, the economic justification for federal subsidies to solar energy are discussed. In the second section, the current federal solar program is outlined. Next, the appropriate types of federal subsidy programs are presented. Finally, a methodology for striking the proper balance among these subsidy types is offered, and a concluding comparison is made between the current federal solar program and an optimal program.