Free Markets, Free People


Crony Capitalism is phony Capitalism–example 6,981: solar subsidies

Via Hot Air is an article by Bjorn Lomborg in Slate.  It reviews the subsides of German toward “green energy” and how that has worked out for them.

Lomborg points out that when the global warming scare was at its height, Germany bought in, hook, line and sinker.  And, as is their way, decided they’d become the “photovoltaic world champion” as it switched to solar power.

How much did the German government commit to this pursuit of clean and green?  $130 billion dollars.

What happened when this tax payer funded gravy train left the station?

Germans installed 7.5 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity last year, more than double what the government had deemed “acceptable.” It is estimated that this increase alone will lead to a $260 hike in the average consumer’s annual power bill.

Because, you see, solar power is more expensive than that nasty fossil fuel generated energy.  Details, details.

Anyway the government handed out $130 billion in subsides, German’s responded and the net result was a huge drop in greenhouse gasses, namely CO2, right?  Yeah, not so much:

Moreover, this sizeable investment does remarkably little to counter global warming. Even with unrealistically generous assumptions, the unimpressive net effect is that solar power reduces Germany’s CO2 emissions by roughly 8 million metric tons—or about 1 percent – for the next 20 years. To put it another way: By the end of the century, Germany’s $130 billion solar panel subsidies will have postponed temperature increases by 23 hours.

Reality … what a slap in the face that must have been.  Suddenly, the German government gets “religion”:

According to Der Spiegel, even members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s staff are now describing the policy as a massive money pit. Philipp Rösler, Germany’s minister of economics and technology, has called the spiraling solar subsidies a “threat to the economy.”

But, as usual, the German government had to learn this the hard way. Markets, we don’t need no stinkin’ markets.  For a $130 billion dollar “investment”, Germany now gets 0.3% of its total power from solar.  Any guess why governments should steer clear of picking winners and losers?

The German government has burned $130 billion to raise the average power bill by $260 a year and delay the dreaded temperature increases by … 23 hours.

Brilliant!

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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7 Responses to Crony Capitalism is phony Capitalism–example 6,981: solar subsidies

  • Meanwhile, Germany has committed to shutting down all of it’s nuclear plants. Their replacement ? Wind power from the North Sea.
    The only upside to these experiments ? The end of cynicism. In just a few years, these “noble experiments” will officially be failures. The cynicism of these sorts of ideas will be replaced plain ordinary facts that these sort of ideas are a failure.

  • You left out the part that Germany now gets 0.3 percent of their power from this $130 investment. For a mere $43 trillion, Germany can be 100% solar.

    Meanwhile, Germany has committed to shutting down all of it’s nuclear plants. Their replacement ? Wind power from the North Sea.
    The only upside to these experiments ? The end of cynicism. In just a few years, these “noble experiments” will officially be failures. The cynicism of these sorts of ideas will be replaced plain ordinary facts that these sort of ideas are a failure.

  • You left out the part that Germany now gets 0.3 percent of their power from this $130 billion investment. For a mere $43 trillion, Germany can be 100% solar.

    Meanwhile, Germany has committed to shutting down all of it’s nuclear plants. Their replacement ? Wind power from the North Sea.
    The only upside to these experiments ? The end of cynicism. In just a few years, these “noble experiments” will officially be failures. The cynicism of these sorts of ideas will be replaced plain ordinary facts that these sort of ideas are a failure.

    • @Neo_ – added.

    • @Neo_ Sort of like we had to do with cutting the tails off animals to see if their progeny would be born without tails.

      One would think we’d have learned a little since then, but I gather not.