Mini-Editorial | A very curious article that is worth looking into. Germany cutting solar subsidies? Why? The article explains.
In light of the apprehension about nuclear energy following Japan’s meltdown, and now the unflattering situations of both Germany and the US (with its solar industry’s lingering dark cloud of bumbled Solyndra investments), the outlook for new energy developments seems to have taken a blow.
Lomborg concludes with stating governments must focus more on R&D before stressing production. Yet considering another recent Project Syndicate article, it must be pondered how these setbacks will influence public pressure (Political Will?) to request continued R&D in a time of global economic uncertainty.
COPENHAGEN – 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.Illustration by Newsart
Germany once prided itself on being the “photovoltaic world champion”, doling out generous subsidies – totaling more than $130 billion, according to research from Germany’s Ruhr University – to citizens to invest in solar energy. But now the German government is vowing to cut the subsidies sooner than planned, and to phase out support over the next five years. What went wrong?
There is a fundamental problem with subsidizing inefficient green technology: it is affordable only if it is done in tiny, tokenistic amounts. Using the government’s generous subsidies, Germans installed 7.5 gigawatts of photovoltaic (PV) 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
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