Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Europe
Once a booming industry thanks to sky-high oil prices, the feel-good trend, carbon reduction and subsidies, the financial crisis has pushed investors to give up on green energies, and like the dot-com bubble of 2000, some analysts say it's about to burst. ..."I think economic reality will kill the green industry," said Mr. Buckee, who now lives in Britain and lectures on climate change. Solar energy isn't alone in its woes. Wind, biomass, biofuel and other "clean-tech" companies are getting pasted too as the financial crisis sends investors fleeing from technology names, dries up credit and freezes the IPO market.
An Industry Ministry official said the energy watchdog would check how many wind and solar power plants were installed in time to receive full subsidies before official aid was cut. "There are some signs that there may be fraud in the installation and functioning of wind and solar parks," the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.
The likes of wind farms and other similar ventures have always been seen as more of a headline grabber in the UK rather than a real alternative for the future. The authorities have given minimal tax incentives for companies to get involved and there have even been complications with getting them connected to the national grid. All in all the alternative energy market has been launched and re-launched on many occasions but it is just not working.
This video (Part 2 of 2) was produced by the Independence and Democracy Group. The video addresses the misguided EU energy policy which promotes renewables and the direct and hidden costs of this policy. For more information, visit www.OutofControl.eu.org , www.InDemGroup.org and www.UKIP.org . Out of control Part I: duration 8 minutes 57 seconds Out of control Part II: duration 8 minutes 00 seconds
This video (Part 1 of 2) was produced by the Independence and Democracy Group. The video addresses the misguided EU energy policy which promotes renewables and the direct and hidden costs of this policy. For more information, visit www.InDemGroup.org or www.UKIP.org . Out of control Part I: duration 8 minutes 57 seconds Out of control Part II: duration 8 minutes 00 seconds
Gradually, the message is beginning to sink in. With wind farms already growing in unpopularity, people are now waking up to the gigantic scale of the rip-off being perpetrated. As more and more people begin to understand this, it should only be a matter of time before the whole programme crashes and burns. But, there is one minor problem ... wind energy is an EU-supported obsession. To stop the scam, we have to confront the EU. Is there a politician brave enough to do this?
The Westminster government has been accused of putting the development of green energy at risk, by shelving plans to subsidise projects in the Scottish islands. It means companies setting up renewable energy schemes in Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles face paying up to 40 per cent of their annual turnover on crippling transmission charges. The government had planned to bring in a "cap" on the charges to make sure the renewables industry was not put off from developing in these key locations.
The reaction of environmentalists to these developments shows how apparently strong principles can be set aside in favour of certain right-on technologies. Try to sink one 15,000 tonne oil platform in the North Sea (as Shell attempted with the Brent Spar platform in 1995) and Greenpeace will vilify you, but announce a plan to plant 7,000 concrete and steel pylons - each weighing 2,000 tonnes - on the seabed and you will be an eco-hero.
Germany was replaced by the United States as the world's No.1 market for newly installed wind turbines last year due to falling subsidies, the German wind energy federation BWE said on Tuesday. While new installation of wind turbines worldwide rose about 31 percent overall to 20,076 megawatt (MW), new installations in Germany slumped 25 percent to 1,667 MW last year, the association said in a statement.
Only George Orwell could have invented - and named - the British Government's Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) that came into operation yesterday. It is the latest in a long line of measures intended to ease the conscience of the rich while keeping the poor miserable, in this case spectacularly so. ...The British Government has been persuaded by the wind turbine manufacturers to commit a third of its annual renewables subsidy to this uniquely inefficient energy source, advertising over hill and dale the cabinet's horror of making a decision on nuclear power. ...If all these fancy subsidies and market manipulations were withdrawn tomorrow and government action confined to energy-saving regulation, I am convinced the world would be a cheaper and a safer place, and the poor would not be threatened with starvation. Just now, for reasons not all of which are "green", commodity prices are soaring. Leave them. Send food parcels to the starving, but let demand evoke supply and stop curbing trade. The marketplace is never perfect, but in this matter it could not be worse than government action. Playing these games has so far made a few people very rich at the cost of the taxpayer. Now the cost is in famine and starvation. This is no longer a game.
The wind energy industry needs to invest up to €6bn over the next decade for the Government to reach its target of generating a third of the country's power from renewable sources, according to head of the wind energy lobby group. Speaking at yesterday's launch of the Irish Wind Energy Association's (IWEA) guidelines on best practice for on-shore wind projects in Ireland, the body's chief executive Michael Walsh said: "With over 1,000 megawatts of wind power already connected on the island of Ireland, the wind energy has already invested over €1bn in generation capacity."
Worldwide opposition to wind power has now reached a crescendo and governments have been forced to respond with new planning regulations which impose the technology, often against huge objection. Public distaste for wind turbines revolves around landscape impact and concerns about noise and loss of tranquillity, but technical objections are of greater concern. ...The power industry concedes that wind turbines would not be built without unprecedented consumer-sourced subsidy or massive tax breaks. It is time for the threat posed by intermittent renewables, not least in requiring CO2-emitting coal-fired spinning reserve, to be investigated independently, without political interference.
THE energy company behind a controversial, multi-million pound wind farm proposal has denied it would pull the plug on the plans if it missed a Government subsidy deadline. Airtricity has claimed the Bagot's Park site, near Abbots Bromley, would still be an economically viable project even if subsidies are cut for onshore wind farms built after 2010. Project manager Alex Fornall said the site "ticks all the right boxes" for a successful renewable energy scheme. ...Councillor Fox said: "If they are claiming Bagot's Park Wind Farm is viable without subsidy, then it is reasonable to conclude any subsidy paid out will just increase their profit margin."
In 1996, Denmark went on to hit industrial producers with a $15 per tonne carbon tax, initially neutralized by cuts in payroll taxes. What happened? By 1998, manufacturers started shutting their doors due to high energy prices, and overall Danish carbon tax revenues started to fall along with manufacturing jobs. At the same time, the cost of government programs rose significantly. The government's solution incredibly was to - wait for it - subsidize electricity to select manufacturers and raise income taxes by lowering the income threshold on the country's top marginal rate. By 2001, with economic growth hovering at one- seventh-of-one-percent, Danes making over CAD$50,000 paid 59 per cent of their income in taxes and had to cope with record electricity prices. The entire debacle led to a change of government that year, with the incoming government promising a tax freeze, followed by a tax reduction - including those taxes on energy.
Ireland on Friday announced a government-backed guaranteed price for offshore wind power in a bid to boost the development of renewable energy. Under the government's feed-in tariff scheme, offshore wind power that is produced will get a support price of 1403 euros ($202.9) per megawatt hour. The move follows a similar initiative for onshore wind farm generation. Ireland's energy minister Eamon Ryan said the support price was "in line with what other countries are offering". "Now, investors can be confident when they invest in offshore wind," Ryan said in a statement. "Without it (a support price) we would not be able to attract any investment into Ireland."
It is six years since I first referred here to "the great wind scam" - the bonanza enjoyed by the developers of wind turbines, thanks to the hidden subsidy we all give them through our electricity bills. Under the Government's Renewables Obligation, they receive twice as much for such electricity as they produce as the owners of conventional power stations: a 100 per cent top-up which makes our wind energy the most heavily subsidised commodity in history.
Household electricity bills are being used to subsidise massive profits for wind turbine companies. The Government has overseen a scheme which sees almost £10-a-year added to every consumer's bill to help promote renewable energy - but despite this few companies have built new wind farms and many households are still getting their power from coal burning generators. Northumberland wind farm campaigners last night said the expensive subsidies for energy companies were the real reason behind the dozens of turbines planned for the North-East. More than £580m-a-year is paid out at present and this is set to rise to more than £1.3bn by 2010 as household bills rise.
Scottish and Southern Energy has acquired Ireland's leading renewable energy giant Airtricity in a deal worth E1.46 billion. While the buyout deal is the latest in a string of 'green' corporate investments, the financial viability of the acquisition is yet to be tested, and alternative renewable resources and underlying uncertainties in the UK's energy markets could threaten wind power strategies. ...However, the financial implications of wind power expansion plans are not yet clear. The landscape of the European energy markets is changing rapidly and it is possible that wind power could be replaced by competing technologies and fuels. An obvious threat to wind power investments will be the decision on new nuclear plant builds. Wind power could also be undermined by extensive investments in alternative renewable energy sources. Furthermore, while the price and allocation of carbon permits under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme is a major driver behind wind power investments, if prices were to collapse as they did in 2007, this could spell trouble for investors and shareholders alike.
The large subsidies paid by electricity users to fund the drive towards wind power are generating profits for existing wind farm owners - without producing many new turbines. A huge expansion of wind energy is needed to meet the government's climate change targets, and the amount of subsidy paid to renewable power generators through consumers' electricity bills will rise from more than £600m a year to £3bn a year by 2020. Most customers are unaware of this, as it does not appear on bills. But the format of the subsidy system, known as the renewables obligation (RO), combined with bottlenecks in the planning system, mean these cash injections are enriching the operators of existing wind farms well beyond their expectations. The proportion of electricity coming from renewable sources has scarcely budged in recent years - it rose from 4.2 per cent in 2005 to 4.6 per cent in 2006, the latest year for which government figures are available ...
The large subsidies paid by British electricity consumers to fund the drive towards wind power are generating sizeable profits for existing wind farm owners without producing many new turbines. The UK needs a massive expansion of wind energy to meet government climate change targets, and the amount of subsidy paid to renewable electricity generators through consumers' electricity bills will rise from more than £600m ($1.2bn, €800m) a year to £3bn a year by 2020. But the format of the subsidy system, known as the renewables obligation (RO), combined with bottlenecks in the planning system, mean these cash injections are simply enriching the operators of existing wind farms well beyond their expectations. "The RO is a very expensive way of providing support for renewables," said Andrew Wright, managing director of markets at Ofgem, the electricity regulator.