Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Can Markets Deal with the Government Sponsored Green Energy Blight?

Global investment in clean energy dropped to its lowest since the depths of the financial crisis three years ago as the U.S. and European nations cut support for wind and solar projects, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.

...Spain suspended subsidies to new renewable-energy projects in January, while Germany and Britain have curtailed support to solar power. In the U.S., a Treasury grant program offering as much as 30 percent of development and construction costs for renewable-energy plants expired on Dec. 31, while the Production Tax Credit, which grants an incentive worth 2.2 cents a kilowatt-hour of wind power, is due to end this December. _Bloomberg
The green preference for intermittent unreliables such as big wind and big solar, cannot hide the inability of these wasteful enterprises to compete on a level playing field. In the end, market forces will tell.
Solar manufacturers have been hurt by the global recession, an influx of Chinese panels and declining subsidy programs in Europe. Germany, the world's largest market for solar power, announced in February that it would cut solar subsidies by 30 percent.

"It is clear the European market has deteriorated to the extent that our operations there are no longer economically sustainable, and maintaining those operations is not in the best long-term interest of our stakeholders," First Solar Chairman and CEO Mike Ahearn said in a statement. _AP
First Solar was another of the Obama favourites. Over a dozen Obama green energy picks are struggling for survival, after their politically connected backers picked their bones for personal profits, before passing the massive losses on to the taxpayer.
The production tax credit for wind power, for example, was created in 1992, and is now set to expire at the end of this year.

...Recent attempts in Congress to renew the wind power tax credit have been defeated. Government support for renewable energy has become increasingly contentious in the US as a result of growing opposition in the Republican party.

The collapse of Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer that went into bankruptcy last year after borrowing $527m from the government, has been seized on by Republicans as an emblematic example of the mistakes made by Mr Obama’s administration.

Pressure on public spending created by the size of the budget deficit is also constraining the funds available for subsidies.
Big green energy schemes cannot survive without massive and ruinously expensive government subsidies. Big wind and big solar are intermittent unreliable sources of energy, which are favoured by greens, but represent disaster to power grid management and quality of service for power utilities.
It's a grim prospect for any solar company based in North America or Europe that is battling fierce competition from China, even when such companies are doing much of their production overseas. Yesterday, SunPower announced it was closing one of its two plants in the Philippines. That leaves the company, headquartered in San Jose, with two plants, one in the Philippines and one in Malaysia. The plant it’s shuttering is the oldest of the three, and the decision to close it is connected with SunPower's effort to focus on production of higher-efficiency solar cells.

Four years ago, when the industry was abuzz with talk of a "photovoltaic Moore's law," SunPower and First Solar, based in Tempe, Ariz., were considered the star performers among U.S. PV manufacturers. _IEEEGreenblog
Opportunistic parasites are flocking to green government subsidies in the US and Europe before they expire. The inevitable bankruptcies and vast rusting fields of idle giant wind turbines and solar farms will provide long term testimonies to the folly of opposing underlying market forces in the name of a lefty-Luddite dieoff.orgiast green faux environmentalism.

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