Tag Archives: subsidies

Fossil fuel subsidies 6% of world GDP: more than all govt health care spending in world

End fossil fuel subsidies and cut CO2 emissions by 20%, also removing any need for renewable energy subsidies.

Fossil fuels subsidised by $10m a minute, says IMF: ‘Shocking’ revelation finds $5.3tn subsidy estimate for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments,

300x251 Subsidies as percent of global GDP, in How Large Are Global Energy Subsidies?, by David Coady, Ian Parry, Louis Sears, and Baoping Shang, 1 May 2015 Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (£3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF calls the revelation “shocking” and says the figure is an “extremely robust” estimate of the true cost of fossil fuels. The $5.3tn subsidy estimated for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments.

The vast sum is largely due to polluters not paying the costs imposed on governments by the burning of coal, oil and gas. These include Continue reading

Fossil fuels get five times the subsidies of renewable solar and wind

Fossil fuels get more than $70 billion dollars a year in U.S. government subsidies (tax breaks and direct spending), while solar and wind get only about $12 billion, so fossil fuels got more than five times as much, while nuclear got ten times as much (especially in Georgia). Even corn ethanol, that sounded-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time boondoggle, gets more subsidies than solar and wind put together.

That’s without even going into the externalities such as healthcare costs due to polution, environmental destruction through mountaintop removal for coal, tar sands oil drilling, and fracking for natural gas, and wars for oil and uranium.

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Already: Solar grid parity without subsidies in India and Italy

Solar power is going so well worldwide that Deutsche Bank has just increased its projections for global demand, noting that India and Italy have already in 2013 reached grid parity without subsidies with other sources of energy, and it expects the rest of the world to follow as early as 2014. The big winner is rooftop solar. Is Georgia paying attention?

Becky Beetz wrote for Global PV 26 February 2013, Deutsche Bank: Sustainable solar market expected in 2014,

Buoyed by bullish demand forecasts, and increasing utilization rates and pricing, Deutsche Bank forecasts a solar market transition from subsidized to sustainable in 2014. Italy REC solar photovoltaic plant

The German bank has raised its 2013 global solar demand forecast to 30 GW — representing a 20% year-on-year increase — on the back of suggestions of strong demand in markets including India, the U.S., China (around 7 to 10 GW), the U.K. (around 1 to 2 GW), Germany and Italy (around 2 GW).

Rooftop installations are, in particular, expected to be a main focus, says Deutsche Bank. A trend for projects being planned with either “minimal/no incentives” has also been observed, despite the belief that solar policy outlooks are improving, particularly in the U.S., China and India, and “other emerging markets”.

More analysis by Jeff Spross in ThinkProgress 3 March 2013, Solar Report Stunner: Unsubsidized ‘Grid Parity Has Been Reached In India’, Italy–With More Countries Coming in 2014.

As Renew Economy also points out, this is the third report in the past month

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Georgia Power hikes prices for gas and nuclear, then complains about solar

Back in February, Georgia Power's natural gas Plant McDonough Georgia Power argued that a free market in solar power would cause price increases. Yet they already increased prices for natural gas and for nuclear plants that won’t produce electricity for years, if ever, and are already massively overbudget and behind schedule. Why should we believe them about solar when it’s their archaic projects they already are deploying that already have increased customer prices?

In February, Greg Roberts of Georgia Power argued,

Another reason is that the customers of Georgia Power, Georgia’s Georgia Power is the snail in the way of solar power in Georgia EMC’s and Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia are paying for the poles and wires to transmit power, and the back-up generation to cover the electricity needs when the sun isn’t shining. These costs will have to be recovered from other customers not getting the privileged deal from the developer, raising everyone else’s rates.

While there are already numerous federal and state tax and other incentives for solar development in Georgia, it is still much more costly than the service provided by utilities. But what if third-party solar developers could get other electric customers in Georgia to foot the bill? That would be the result of this legislation.

It’s like asking Sally’s Café to pay the electric bill of Joe’s Cafe across the street, thus allowing Joe to undercut Sally’s prices.

Georgia Power well knows they could take a percentage of any power transmitted through their lines, so that wires and poles and backup generation argument is ludicrous. And as far as subsidies, how about this one, Georgia Power, Get the Facts, Investing in Georgia’s Energy Future:

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Gov. Deal: the ugly on energy

Gov. Nathan Deal said he’s a free-enterprise person and doesn’t want to subsidize renewable energy, but he maybe doesn’t know that the state of Georgia subsidizes Georgia Power’s new nuclear plants through an indirect tax, and that fossil fuels are far more subsidized than renewable energy. That plus the chickens.

Continuing Gov. Deal: the good, the ugly, and the bad on prisons, quoting again from David Rodock’s interview with Gov. Nathan Deal in today’s VDT.

The Ugly

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Georgia officials are getting it about solar

Chuck Eaton, Georgia Public Service Commissioner, moderating a panel of Georgia’s Policy Makers at Southern Solar Summit said
Solar is great for diversity, independence, research, and business.
He said that until recently he had discounted solar, but now he had seen it. Continue reading

Big oil tax subsidies: $9 billion / year —API

After last night’s Valdosta City Council meeting, someone told me he thought all renewable energy sources required subsidies, and that was the problem. Well, I think the real problem is the much larger subsidies to big oil.

Dan Froomkin wrote in huffpo How The Oil Lobby Greases Washington’s Wheels:

Despite astronomical profits during what have been lean years for most everyone else, the oil and gas industry continues to benefit from massive, multi-billion dollar taxpayer subsidies. Opinion polling shows the American public overwhelmingly wants those subsidies eliminated.
That’s at least $4 billion a year to big oil while Congress debates cutting Social Security and Medicare and maybe shutting down the government. According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), Continue reading

The politics of climate change denial

Why do some people deny the overwhelming science of climate change in a time when the evidence and analysis is so thorough and so conclusive that no reputable scientific organization in the world doubts any longer that humans are changing the climate of the whole planet for the worse: because it threatens their political and economic beliefs. Naomi Klein: Why Climate Change Is So Threatening to Right-Wing Ideologues:
And the reason is that climate change is now seen as an identity issue on the right. People are defining themselves, like they’re against abortion, they don’t believe in climate change. It’s part of who they are.
It’s like denying the earth goes around the sun. Why would they identify with such a silly thing? Because of what actually dealing with climate change would mean: Continue reading

12 times more subsidies: fossil fuels vs. clean energy

Money & Company reports on 30 Nov 2010 that Clean energy gets fewer subsidies, less investment than fossil fuels, report says:
Energy from fossil fuel gets 12 times more in subsidies worldwide than sustainable energy, says a new report from the USC Marshall School of Business.
Corporate welfare for polluters.
“Inertia in the form of myopia, misperception, and dulled motivation, at the economy, firm, and consumer levels creates resistance to change and constrains solution-seeking to incremental improvements of known technologies rather than disruptive breakthrough innovations needed,” they wrote in their executive summary.
Hm, that sounds familiar.


Subsidize Solar, not Coal or Biomass

The WSJ article about economic problems of biomass plants goes on to suggest the government subsidize biomass more. Clean Technica suggests a better idea: If solar got the same subsidies as fossil fuels, solar would be cheaper than current grid power everywhere in the U.S. Each taxpayer has spent about $521 towards coal over the past five years and only $7.24 towards solar. How about we reverse that?

Solar needs no fuel, no truck deliveries, and no emissions.