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The eco-dream of renewable energy is turning into a nightmare as the true cost of subsidizing solar and wind generation becomes clear.

The UK is the latest government to slash solar subsidies for large-scale projects, from 30p per KWh to 8.5p.  In USD at today’s currency rates that’s a reduction from $0.49 to $0.14.  Already large-scale producers are complaining they will not be able to continue ‘investing’ in solar projects.  And by investing they mean sucking the life from the economy and taxpayers.

….Howard Johns, chairman of the industry body the Solar Trade Association, said the review of solar subsidies was even more damaging to the sector than had been anticipated. He said: “Given that just a week ago the UK Government launched its own ‘Carbon Plan’ outlining how it will become the greenest government ever, this review is a complete disaster for the solar industry and comes at a time when we should be focusing on building renewables and harnessing the power of our natural resources.

Big Solar is fighting the cuts by using community FiT schemes as cover, but it doesn’t matter.  Unaffordable is unaffordable, no matter how sympathetic the cause.  Renewable subsidies drive up energy costs and destroy jobs in the economies that pursue the green dream – first Spain, nowthe UK have discovered this inconvenient truth in studies:

…3.7 jobs were lost for every one created [in renewables] in the UK as a whole and that political leaders needed to engage in “honest debate” about the issue

The UK is late to the party, FranceSpainGermany and Italy have all slashed FiT subsidies to stop the rot of rising energy costs before the damage becomes too great to undo.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s Liberal government continues to offer solar and wind subsidies at far higher rates than any of the Eurozone nations offered before they were forced by economic realities to cut the rates by as much as 70%.  There’s a reason even Texan oil giants are moving their green energy scams north of the border.

  • Guaranteed 20-year contract price per kWh for solar panels (ground level): 64.2 cents/kWh
  • Guaranteed 20-year contract price per kWh for solar panels (roof-top):80.2 cents/kWh
  • Guaranteed 20-year contract price per kWh for wind turbines: 13.5 cents/kWh

(link to microFIT rates, pdf)

Dalton McGuinty’s Green Energy Act is already destroying jobs as energy costs rise and theopposition has targeted the province’s impossible green energy math as an election issue.

Sooner or later reality will catch up to Ontario, just as it has in Europe.  It can’t happen too soon.

The Daily Bayonet, 19 March 2011