Subsidies For Green Energy Disappearing Around The Globe

The problem with industries propped up by taxpayer dollars is that eventually you tend to run out of other people’s money.

Germany is pulling the plug on solar energy:

One of the world’s biggest green-energy public-policy experiments is coming to a bitter end in Germany, with important lessons for policymakers elsewhere.

What went wrong?

Unfortunately, Germany – like most of the world – is not as sunny as the Sahara. And, while sunlight is free, panels and installation are not. Solar power is at least four times more costly than energy produced by fossil fuels. It also has the distinct disadvantage of not working at night, when much electricity is consumed.

In the Netherlands, they can’t afford wind subsidies any more:

The nation known for its iconic windmills is throwing in the towel on offshore wind power, as Dutch officials have determined the Netherlands can no longer afford large-scale subsidies for expensive wind turbines that cannot produce electricity at economically competitive prices.

The decision is a powerful blow against renewable power advocates who have long asserted Holland proves renewable power can be practical and economical.

Here in America wind subsidies are on their way out too given that Congress is refusing to renew subsidies for the industry. Last year Congress let some ethanol subsidies expire as well, which has resulted in ethanol plants being shut down, and we’re all familiar with the high-profile collapse of the solar industry in America despite billions spent on government loans and subsidies.

All of this was predicted by critics of such subsidies years ago. These industries, for which there is little or no actual market demand, last almost exactly as long as their special political favors do. The idea of powering cities from wind and sun, not to mention powering cars with corn, is nice in concept. I don’t have any objection to any of these things per se.

The problem is that the energy products offered by these industries just aren’t competitive. Coal and oil and natural gas are cheaper and more reliable. Maybe one day there will be some new technological innovation that makes solar or wind power feasible in a free market (I suspect that being able to store large quantities of power reliably would probably do the trick), but maybe that day will never come.

What we know doesn’t work is the government spending endless sums of tax dollars on trying to force these industries on the market.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Wayne

    Good.  It couldn’t happen soon enough here.

  • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

    This was far from unpredictable.

  • Jamermorrow

     Many bubbles are being propped up by government spending. Once we can’t borrow anymore money these bubbles will pop.

  • ndoldman

    it has been said before tax the things you want more of, to limit that. and subsidise what you want less of and that gets limited by not building a strong entity,

  • sbark

    oohhhh so thats why 18 oil and gas refineries have shut down in the past 2 yrs……….

  • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

    Green=a scheme

  • WOOF

    Just another climate whore.
    “Lomborg is not a climate scientist or economist and has published little
    or no peer-reviewed research on environmental or climate policy. His
    extensive and extensively documented[2],[3] errors and misrepresentations, which are aimed at a lay audience, “follow a general pattern”[2] of minimizing the need to cut carbon emissions.”

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Bjorn_Lomborg

    • 2hotel9

       See? Logic and intelligence does not enter into anything you spew, woofie, just your sick a$$ed anti-human religion.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      If you believed that you would STFU because you spew too much carbon for one living being.

      Carbon is a trace element in the atmosphere. Look up the words “trace element”.

    • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bikebubba

      Woof, your argument is a good example of the “appeal to authority” fallacy.  Yes, the “tribe” of standard theory climatologists will release politically motivated reports like this.  Now, how about some data that demonstrate Lomborg to be incorrect in his assertions?

  • 2hotel9

    Basic human intelligence and common sense win out in the end. But look at the billions of dollars and millions of lives wasted in the process.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      It’s all a ruse to collect unlimited cash flow into government coffers. Remember when HG Wells ran the original War of the Worlds radio broadcast and people all across America thought it was real and panicked. Nothing has changed. People have a herd mentality and will stampede the second they fear something. Our leftwingers are the emotional ones prone to gut reaction and will scatter like lemmings just because they can

  • 11B40

    Greetings:

    And now, if only those god-awful ugly wind turbines would disappear along with the subsides. How that amount of ugly can be erected on God’s green earth without anyone protesting simply amazes me. California’s Altamont Pass, the site of one of The Rolling Stones’ more interesting concerts, now looks like an out-take from some misbegotten “War of the Worlds” movie.  Tear ‘em all down, bury them, and put a good-looking nuclear power plant over the top of them.

  • borborygmi

    Subsidies For Green Energy Disappearing Around The Globe” 

      Rob’s friends join him for a circle jer……..circle  Joy, Joy, Happy Dance………It is still a disturbing sight.

    • 2hotel9

       We get it, boob, you hate America, you hate petroleum, you hate coal, you hate nuclear and hydro electric generation. We. Get. It. Stupid. C*nt.

      Wind power is an utter failure. Solar power is a joke. That is why you support pissing away American citizens tax dollars on them.

    • $8194357

      Conflicted feelings borb?

      Obama mocks GOP on gas price issue
      Posted on February 23, 2012 by Cowboy Byte
      President Obama said today that only a long-term energy strategy can help bring down gas prices, and criticized Republicans for seeking to turn higher prices at the pump into an election year issue.Obama also predicted that Republicans’ forthcoming “three-point plan for $2 gas” will boil down to one approach: “Step one is to drill, step two is to drill, and step three is to keep on drilling.” Obama called it “a bumper sticker,” and “not a strategy to solve our energy challenge.”

        What where they howling about with “Oil Men” in the White House? $2.00 a gallon gas right? And now they “criticize” Conservitives for using gas prices as a political topic..I really don’t like these folks much..

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