Ronald Bailey: Europe Nixes Solar Power Subsidies

The Washington Post is reporting today that many European countries are dramatically cutting solar subsidies to the solar power generation industry. Why?

Because governments are going broke. As the Post explains:

Across Europe, governments are slashing public spending to cut their deficits, and green-energy subsidies are a target, too, even as solar power accelerates in the United States, helped by sympathetic federal policies and an increase in subsidies that came as part of the federal stimulus program.

German policymakers indicated last week that they planned to cut once-generous subsidies as much as 29 percent by the end of the month, on top of a 15 percent cut in January, although some details were still being negotiated after protests from the solar industry. Britain and Italy have made similar moves, and in January, Spain abandoned its subsidies altogether, prompting outrage from the solar industry. …

“Everybody knows we can’t go the way we’ve been going,” said Miranda Schreurs, the director of the Environmental Policy Research Center at the Free University of Berlin and a government adviser. “It’ll break the bank.”

The Post notes that solar photovoltaic installations generate just a bit over 3 percent of Germany’s electricity. How much do German consumers pay for the privilege of using electricity generated by subsidized solar power?

The subsidies for renewable energy cost German consumers about $14 a month for a family of four. Companies that generate renewable energy get a guaranteed above-market rate for 20 years.

Just for comparison, the average price that a consumer pays for a kilowatt-hour of electricity in Germany is 36 cents. The Energy Information Administration reports that the average price in the U.S. is 9.8 cents per kilowatt-hour.


One response to “Ronald Bailey: Europe Nixes Solar Power Subsidies

  1. Silberstein, Jek

    Germany paying more than THREE TIMES what we pay for electricity, on average? “No Vonder ve lost der Var(–just kidding…)!”, any non-Green German might exclaim. With most Eurozone nations broke, they should stop the subsidies, and as they do, those energies that Do “work” can come back, like coal & oil. Plus all the Eurozone nations are going forward (usually Against the wishes of those who elected them) with the govenmental-portion of the fascist, EU-Super-state, which will EAT more of their taxes and consume more of their freedoms, plus they can’t be protected, having “No-go” neighborhoods/cities(–the solution is MANY MORE,–tens of millions, of Handguns, so the potential Terrorists could be killed if the EU citizen got lucky). It would be more effective, still, if every woman that wished to, in the EU, carried a revolver in her purse,–Terrorists currently don’t look to women to stop them from their spread of Evil, so women carrying handguns would keep EU streets stealthly safe, themselves empowered.

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