Renewable energy has for years been hailed as the predominant solution to California’s energy dilemma, a sentiment that more recently has been supported by public policy as well. But while there’s no question that sustainable energy is exciting, if Spain’s experience is any example, misplaced government mandates, aggressive special interests and taxpayer-funded subsidies for the clean power industry would cost us dearly.
Spain is often held up as the role model for renewable energy development. The Spanish government has been generous with subsidies for clean power in the form of grants and direct low-interest loans — $1.6 billion for the solar industry alone in 2008. The result has been that it’s basically subsidized companies’ losses and the true costs of renewable energy development has not been passed on to the consumer. Now the Spanish government is warning that its clean power policies could result in significant end user cost increases for electricity — for many years to come.
You can read the full post at earth2tech.com
As I keep telling people, solar power IS NOT free energy from the sun.
It comes at a significant cost.
This may surprise some of you, but solar panels do not grow on trees.
They are manufactured in factories. They take lots of energy to make. LOTS of energy.
Some really nasty byproducts, like silicon tetrachloride, are produced along the way.
And just remember this, the next time some snake oil merchant like the ACTU's Sharan Burrow glibly promises you a future where all the real jobs destroyed by an emissions trading scheme and renewable energy targets have magically been replaced with make-believe green jobs that don't exist anywhere except in her imagination - in Spain each of these green "jobs" cost taxpayers' around a million dollars each in government subsidies.
But for every so-called green job created, as found by research conducted at the King Juan Carlos University, just over two jobs in the real economy vanished.
Oh, and then the market crashed because of oversupply followed by falling demand and many of these pretend "jobs" vanished as well.
So they've ended up with the usual outcome of green economics - they got less for more!