Pressure Mounts To Come Clean On Hidden Green Taxes

Newsbytes from Dr. Benny Peiser at The GWPF:

Power companies were under mounting pressure last night to come clean about the green ‘stealth levies’ secretly added to fuel bills – and tell customers exactly how much they are paying for Britain’s climate change revolution. Consumer groups and MPs say energy suppliers should be forced to lay out on household bills how much customers are paying to subsidise green power and to end the UK’s dependence on coal, oil and gas. Energy minister Charles Hendy said: ‘I would welcome more companies including cost breakdowns on bills.’  –David Derbyshire, Daily Mail, 10 June 2011

People are having to pay more and more for climate change policies – but you won’t find any mention of them on most bills. That suits the Government because if politicians had to raise money for wind farms and other green policies by taxation, it would be incredibly unpopular. –Benny Peiser, Daily Mail, 10 June 2011

The U.K. cut subsidized rates for electricity from solar panels by as much as 71 percent, trying to avoid a proliferation of commercial solar farms that would compete with homes for the funding. The U.K. follows Spain, Germany and Italy in slashing solar tariffs to reduce costs for consumers and utilities that have to pay the higher expense of clean energy. Britain, the smallest market of the group and the latest to introduce subsidies, was the quickest to backpedal. “In terms of a solar industry that’s a generation industry at scale rather than a lifestyle choice, it’s pretty much dead,” said Mark Shorrock. –Bloomberg, 9 June 2011

 

Declaring that “science is politics in climate change; climate science is politics”, Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday urged Indian scientists to undertake more studies and publish them vigorously to prevent India and other developing countries from being “led by our noses by Western (climate) scientists who have less of a scientific agenda and more of a political agenda”. Indian Express, 9 June 2011

 

To find a remedy for New York State’s persistent fiscal problems, New Yorkers need only look down-far down. Over the period 2011 to 2020, New York State could gain $11.4 billion in economic output, 90,000 to 108,000 new jobs, and $1.4 billion in tax revenues. –Diana Furchtgott-Roth, RealClear Markets, 9 June 2011

 

 

 

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42 Responses to Pressure Mounts To Come Clean On Hidden Green Taxes

  1. Jeremy says:

    Trash collection fees are turning into a hidden green tax. Fees are $35 a month in Los Angeles, presumably to offset the sorting of recyclables. For that money (which I consider robbery), they give you two large bins for recycling and yard waste, and a smaller black one for “trash”, that’s it. The price goes up if you want more trash bins.

    The best part? The night before trash collection, when everyone has left their bins out on the street. Groups of well-equipped men with headlamps and a large truck go through every recycle bin in the neighborhood, taking every scrap of metal left in them. The city gets significantly less than they would.

    So for $35 a month, the city is giving entrepreneurial recyclers an easy shot at lots of cheap metal.

  2. paul says:

    There are certainly subsidies in the UK, but the biggest green taxes in the UK are petrol prices for transport, which are certainly not hidden. There are lots of other subsidies, hidden or otherwise for energy companies and the fossil fuel industry in the UK, and more so in the USA. I would be interested in hearing an assessment of how the different subsidies for and against add up.
    Does anyone here have this information available?

    http://mitigatingapathy.blogspot.com/

  3. vboring says:

    It is true. Renewable production standards are green energy taxes.

    In Colorado, we have restrictions on how new taxes can be enacted. Mandatory fees like the ones created through this structure are the only way the government can sneak this stuff through.

  4. Phillip Bratby says:

    The last Labour Government invented hundreds of stealth taxes (Gordon Brown Ed Balls et al). They ran out of ideas for stealth taxes and so started to hide them away in electricity bills, so the the utilities could take the blame for price rises. People are beginning to realise how they have been conned by politicians into parting with more of their money without realising it.

  5. Theo Goodwin says:

    Poor Brits! Back in 1776, the British government could not understand “No taxation without representation” and, apparently, has not learned that lesson even today. Taxation by Bureaucrat is “taxation without representation.” Could there be a democratic revolt in Britain?

  6. kwik says:

    Dont worry. It is official now. The Greenies are complete lunatics;
    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2011/06/journal-nature-suggests-billions-of.html

  7. Don Keiller says:

    What really riles is that here in the UK (and the rest of Europe) we pay tax on tax!
    That’s right. Our fuel is subject to Fuel Tax, then the total cost after addition of Fuel Tax is taxed again at 20%. The result is petrol costing in excess of $10/gallon.
    It’s called V.A.T. (Value added Tax) and a fair proportion goes to the European Union E.U.) . An organisation so corrupt that its own Auditors have refused to sign off on its budget for at least the last 10 years!

    Needless to say the E.U. is all in favour of Green Taxes and carbon trading.

  8. James Evans says:

    Phillip Bratby:

    “They ran out of ideas for stealth taxes and so started to hide them away in electricity bills, so the the utilities could take the blame for price rises.”

    I would love to see a simple, numerical description of all this. How much are we individually paying for all these sneaky wheezes in the UK? There’s plenty of comment about this around at the moment (as in the Daily Mail piece) – but I haven’t yet seen a clear description of exactly how much each of these extra charges to the utility companies are, and exactly how much of it is showing up on my bill.

  9. James Sexton says:

    Whuuuuttt??? People are waking up to the idea that climatology is political and that it is nothing more than a power/money grab? Will wonders never cease? :-) It comes in fits and starts, but, we’re winning. Watch for even more desperate wailing and gnashing of the teeth by our totalitarian misanthropist friends. The bells are starting to toll.

  10. richard verney says:

    It is good to see the Daily Mail running with this story. I think that it would be beneficial for people to know how much they are paying for the subsidisation of this green folly. If the UK has another winter like the last two, and if people are struggling to pay thier fuel bills, it will really bring home how much this is costing.

    I am sure that it is not entirely clear to the public why the public should be subsidising these capital costs. A levy is not impossed when the power company builds a new gas fire (or coal fire) station so why should the public subsidise the building of a wind farm? This especially so, since we are repeatedly told that wimd (and solar) is free energy (at least once the farm is built). It is usual for companies to invest in capital structure necessary to run their business and they receive payback in the long run by increased efficiency or by being able to continue to provide the service.

    I suspect that If the power companies itemise their bills detailing the green subsidy there will be many people who refuse to pay that part of their bill. That would be interesting.

  11. Tom in Florida says:

    I posted this on another similar thread but it goes better here:

    Just as a comparison for those around the world, this is my electric service charge for 4-20-11 to 5-19-11.
    Usage was 731 kwh
    New charges (Rate: RS-1 RESIDENTIAL SERVICE ) (U S dollars)
    Electric service amount 69.47**
    On call credit 9.50 CR
    Storm charge 0.84
    Gross receipts tax 1.56
    Franchise charge 3.93
    Actual electric charges 66.30

    The On Call Credit works this way (from the FPL website):
    “You allow us to cycle off select equipment for brief periods of time in exchange for a monthly credit.
    This usually happens just 3-4 times a year – when it’s absolutely necessary. We simply require your permission to install an energy management device that may occasionally control this equipment. We typically do not activate this program during nights, weekends or holidays. It is normally implemented in early to late afternoons during the summer. It helps control electrical demand during peak periods or emergency situations
    We give you a direct credit on your electric bill every month regardless of whether On Call® is activated or not
    You can cancel the program at any time, without obligation or penalty
    You always get to keep the existing credits you’ve earned”
    I have the on call device on my electric water heater only.

    The Franchise Charge is the cost of the electric company, FPL, to lease right of ways from the local government in order to deliver power.

    The Storm Charge is to offset the extra expense of rebuilding the power grid that was destroyed in this area by the hurricanes in 2004 & 2005. It also goes to build a contingency fund for future hurricanes.

    I would like to see other bills to compare the taxes charged and price per kwh with those taxes included.

  12. David L. Hagen says:

    EPA is replacing the “rule of law” with the “rule by bureaucrats.” See: AEP: EPA rules could cost billions; 6,000 MW of coal-fired generation retirements

    The cost of AEP’s compliance plan could range from $6 billion to $8 billion in capital investment through the end of the decade. . . . because of the unrealistic compliance timelines in the EPA proposals, we will have to prematurely shut down nearly 25 percent of our current coal-fueled generating capacity, cut hundreds of good power plant jobs, and invest billions of dollars in capital to retire, retrofit and replace coal-fueled power plants. The sudden increase in electricity rates and impacts on state economies will be significant at a time when people and states are still struggling.” . . .
    The proposed timelines for compliance aren’t adequate for construction of significant retrofits or replacement generation, so many coal-fueled plants would be prematurely retired or idled in just a few years. AEP’s compliance plan alone would abruptly cut generation capacity in the Midwest by more than 5,400 MW. Depending on the year, another 1,500 MW to 5,200 MW of AEP generation would be idled or curtailed for extended periods as pollution control equipment is installed,”

    That’s out of “our” pocketbook, just when we need to invest into new productive business to employ more people, not lay more people who have jobs.

  13. ferd berple says:

    The UK can simply take the Spanish solution. Invest heavily in green technology and thereby bankrupt your economy. Germany and France will be forced to bail you out to prevent the collapse of the Euro.

    Who in the UK would not relish the though of Germany and France having to pay hundreds of billions of euro’s to pay off the UK’s debts?

  14. Dr T G Watkins says:

    Maybe Christopher Booker could do a piece in the Sunday Telegraph analysing all our hidden UK ‘taxes’
    Philip Bratby, as usual, is spot on with his comments

  15. Phillip Bratby says:

    James Evans: That’s the beauty of it as far as the Government is concerned. It’s fiendishly difficult to find out how much we are being fleeced. There are so many bits of tax and it depends on ROC rates and targets and how much the wind blows and how many offshore wind farms open etc etc. Go to http://www.ref.org.uk/ and follow the links.

  16. PhilJourdan says:

    @Jeremy

    The night before trash collection, when everyone has left their bins out on the street. Groups of well-equipped men with headlamps and a large truck go through every recycle bin in the neighborhood, taking every scrap of metal left in them.

    The law of unintended consquenses. I do not live in CA, but help out with a family fund raiser out in Imperial Valley once a year. There, we sell sodas (along with a BBQ Dinner). And the cans? Never a problem. Before they can hit the can, the homeless have already scooped them up for the tax refunde they offer!

    In Va (where I do live), we do have recycling. But not the scavenging. But then we do not have taxes on containers (yet).

  17. paul says:

    Theo:
    “Back in 1776, the British government could not understand “No taxation without representation”

    Interestingly, the Boston Tea Party occurred AFTER taxation on tea had been cut!!!

    We in the UK are paying higher taxes partly because of the actions of US banks.
    That said, in the UK we have representation and want all the things taxes pay for but don’t want to pay the tax, so vote for people who promise low taxes and not to cut spending.

  18. 3x2 says:

    Phillip Bratby says: June 10, 2011 at 9:49 am

    That’s the beauty of it as far as the Government is concerned. It’s fiendishly difficult to find out how much we are being fleeced.

    The real beauty is that, even if you could calculate the size of the robbery, you will never work out where the money went.

    As with the whole “Khmer Vert” movement, there is no way they could ever achieve their goals via the ballot box.
    Everything must be hidden. The (UK) population would be going “Arab Spring” right now if they knew the details of the “green” robbery.

  19. Duncan says:

    ferd berple says:
    June 10, 2011 at 9:37 am
    The UK can simply take the Spanish solution. Invest heavily in green technology and thereby bankrupt your economy. Germany and France will be forced to bail you out to prevent the collapse of the Euro.

    Who in the UK would not relish the though of Germany and France having to pay hundreds of billions of euro’s to pay off the UK’s debts?

    Ah but we’re not in the Euro are we? So they’d absolutely let us sweat it out on our own. The Germans have never forgiven us for beating them and the French have never forgiven us for saving them. Cads the lot of em!

  20. GeorgeGr says:

    When people are trying to avoid freezing to death turning the heater up a notch, they are paying their hard earned money to “mitigate global warming” ohh the irony…

  21. David L. Hagen says:

    How do we put this to a vote?
    NERA: EPA rules could cost $17.8bn per year

    According to a recent study released by New York-based National Economic Research Associates Inc. (NERA), the Clean Air Transport Rule and the Utility MACT rule could cost power companies an extra $17.8 billion per year. . . . The NERA report concluded that new costs would lead to a 13 percent drop in coal-fired generation and a 26 percent increase in natural gas generation. Electricity prices would rise by an average of 11.5 percent across the country.

  22. Martin Brumby says:

    @paul says: June 10, 2011 at 8:34 am
    “There are lots of other subsidies, hidden or otherwise for energy companies and the fossil fuel industry in the UK”

    Huh??

    Name one!

  23. TerryS says:

    The following link is a breakdown, by British Gas, of the cost of electricity to the consumer in the UK
    http://www.britishgas.co.uk/images/projectone/cost_of_fuel_electricity.jpg
    It shows that “Government obligation to help the environment” has increased electricity prices by nearly 14% as of March 2nd 2011

  24. mike g says:

    @Tom in Florida
    You live in a closet, or what? 731 KWh won’t run an air conditioner all month where I live. More like 1800 KWh just for the AC on a “good cents” home.

  25. Tom in Florida says:

    mike g says:
    June 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm
    “@Tom in Florida
    You live in a closet, or what? 731 KWh won’t run an air conditioner all month where I live. More like 1800 KWh just for the AC on a “good cents” home.”

    I live in a modest sized home near the Gulf of Mexico with a nice sea breeze most days. My thermostat is set at 83F and I open windows at night to let the breezes in. But then I am a true warmer, I like it warm and toasty. Normally I do not use my a/c until around 10 AM and on days when my wife and I are not home the windows are open and the a/c off.

  26. Gary D. says:

    @ Tom in Florida

    Your expenses don’t add up.
    Actual electric charges 66.30
    On call credit 9.50 CR
    Storm charge 0.84
    Gross receipts tax 1.56
    Franchise charge 3.93
    Total 63.13
    Electric service amount 69.47**

    Your bill is 69.47 but the charges add up to 63.13. What else are they charging you?

  27. Hoser says:

    Our district is categorizing expeditures as ‘regulatory compliance’ if they are primarily caused by government mandates. The goal is to inform our rate-payers so they can help themselves by pushing back on the state and federal requirements that are growing. New requirements are often very high cost for little additional benefit. The state of California is pushing new requirements for us that are well beyond the federal standards. As a result, we are forced to spend many millions of dollars in the next few years to deal with just this one issue. Our small population of less than 30,000 rate payers should not have to pay to jump over a new hurdle that recently was adequate, and to meet the new standard that is not supported by current science. Well, that’s California for you. The regulators add burdens, assuming taxpayers are an endless source of new revenue. We are forced to pass it along. Putting this regulatory compliance cost information right in the bill is a good step forward in fighting back.

    By the way Tom in Florida: My thermostat is set to 90, and I usually can’t run the AC except for a few hours from 3pm until maybe 6pm or my electric bills will triple. Time of use metering might make it impossible to use my AC at all (well, except when I don’t need it). These are man made regulatory costs deliberately imposed to force us to accept more government control. Climate hysteria is necessary to justify these measures, and they are only needed because of climate responses. Destroy that justification and the rest falls apart.

  28. banjo says:

    It will be possible to calculate the number of senior citizens killed each winter by fuel price increases,and how much of that is directly attributable to carbon tax.
    We then have a figure for how many old,cold and poor the environmentalists kill (cull?) every year.
    Best not to hold our breaths,I suspect we wont get the chance to accuse the green party of murdering the disadvantaged.

  29. Robertvdl says:

    Norwegian Ambassador to U.S. speaks on climate change in Bozeman
    [03.06.2011, 06:09am, Fri. GMT]
    Norwegian drivers pay $12 per gallon for gasoline due to carbon emission taxes. Norway takes a very strong stance on reducing their contribution to global climate change. The Norwegian Ambassador to the United States spoke in Bozeman on the issue Thursday. The conversation focused on making green initiatives economically viable. Nobel Prize recipient and University of Montana Climate Scientist Steve Running acknowledged a bit of poor timing. His talk centering on Montana drying up from climate change came at the same time as Montana’s widespread flooding. But he urged the audience to look at long term trends, not the weather variables of one year to another.
    “As amazing as this year has been so far, it tells me nothing about climate,” Running said.

    There was talk of science, but also talk of economics–talk coming from a conservative. American Action Forum President Douglas Holtz-Eakin has worked in two Whitehouses and was a leader in John McCain’s presidential campaign.

    He believes current policies around green energy need serious tinkering to be successful.

    “We certainly don’t want to continue to do what we’re doing with green energy, which is a hodge-podge of subsidies and tax credits that don’t make any economic sense,” he said.

    He advocated putting a tax on carbon, which he says would provide better incentive for people to buy green. He said republicans should support that as a core piece of their philosophy.

    “Conservatives are willing to do the hard things in the present for the preservation of freedoms and enhancement of securities in the future. That’s the nature of what we’ve always said we believe in,” Holtz-Eakin said.

    http://www.norwaynews.com/en/~view.php?72Ua554lJ64833w285Fkh844UR3887QN76DCi353N9x8

  30. Gary D. says:

    @Tom in Florida

    I have to ask if you work for FPL and are promoting On Call – because in the fine print it says

    This program is subject to modification or cancellation at any time without notice. *Savings may vary depending on the options you choose. **Central heating units must accompany another qualifying appliance. ***During system emergencies (e.g. extreme weather conditions and capacity shortages as determined by FPL), On Call may be activated for extended periods of time which may exceed your enrollment agreement. However, if for any reason, you are not satisfied with the program, you may cancel at any time by just giving us a call. ****Customers that discontinue participating in the program must wait one year to re-enroll. *****Credits can’t exceed 40% of the non-fuel energy charge.

    Your post says “I have the on call device on my electric water heater only.” but the fine print states central heating units must accompany other appliances.

    You say you get a $9.50 credit, but the fine print says credits can’t exceed 40% of the non-fuel energy charge. I don’t see what your non-fuel energy charge is, is it at least $23.75?

    I’ll give FPL credit, at least it is better than California, where they force similar conditions on your electricity consumption without paying you, but still, electricity is too important a commodity to sell away your rights for so little.

  31. Tom in Florida says:

    Gary D. says:
    June 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm
    “@Tom in Florida
    I have to ask if you work for FPL and are promoting On Call ”

    You gave me a good chuckle with that one. No I do not work for FPL. I only included the explanation about the On Call for those who may not know what the charge meant on the bill. I have not actually read the fine print myself but it is rare that it is used and the device is only attached to the line that supplies the water heater. I have had my a/c unit replaced since then and there was no other connection to it for that purpose.
    The breakdown of the “electric service amount” of $69.47 is as follows: (cut and pasted from bill)
    “The electric service amount includes the following charges:
    Customer charge: $5.90 per month
    Fuel: $28.87
    (First 1000 kWh at $0.039500)
    (Over 1000 kWh at $0.049500)
    Non-fuel: $34.70
    (First 1000 kWh at $0.047480)
    (Over 1000 kWh at $0.057480)”

    No other motives here, just curious about the comparison to others around the world on pricing and taxes.

  32. Tom in Florida says:

    Gary D. says:
    June 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm
    “@ Tom in Florida
    Your expenses don’t add up.
    Actual electric charges 66.30
    On call credit 9.50 CR
    Storm charge 0.84
    Gross receipts tax 1.56
    Franchise charge 3.93
    Total 63.13
    Electric service amount 69.47**
    Your bill is 69.47 but the charges add up to 63.13. What else are they charging you?”

    I think the descriptions of charges may not be clear. The electric service amount charges are $69.47 and are the sum of three charges: a customer charge, fuel charge and a non-fuel charge. The amount I actually have to pay is described as “Actual electric charges”. That is $66.30 after the On Call credit and other charges are applied to the electric service amount charge.

  33. Pete H says:

    It would appear that at long last the UK MSN are finally waking up to the scam! Both the Daily Mail and The Telegraph have editorials on the costs of the insanity. The old BBC keeps plugging the CAGW though. Yesterday was amusing with a report on the current drought there, proceeded by the weather report showing showers all over the UK! The drought report was accompanied by the usual bunch of faceless people claiming more droughts due to “Climate Change”, with no one allowed to challenge them.

  34. Mike Rea says:

    I dislike the Daily (hate)Mail and all it represents, but was delighted to see that it was the paper that chose to start this reversal of opinion. It does claim to speak for ‘real England’ and on this, there is a chance that if they do continue to provide evidence of how much this heavily indebted government is spending to try to stop global temps ever changing again, there may be enough ire to change things.

  35. Martin Brumby says:

    @TerryS says: June 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks for link. But it would be very interesting how much more “Greenie” stealth taxation is lurking in some of the other slices of the pie chart.
    “Wholesale Electricity” and “Delivery to your home” must also include their own sacrifices to the Great God Gaia!

    The Government (and the previous bunch of incompetents and crooks) have been exceptionally careful to hide how much money they are stealing from you. I find it amazing that the energy companies, repeatedly castigated by the very politicians who have set this juggernaut in motion, don’t make it more transparent how much money people are paying.

    We do know that the Government’s own estimate of the cost of the Climate Change Act 2008 is £18.4 Billion every year until 2050. That money has to come from somewhere.

  36. richard verney says:

    IF UK PLC was being run as a company, I have little doubt that the board of directors would have placed the Climate Change Act on hold for the length of this Parliament. Given (1) the size of the deficit and the need to address the same; and (2) the fact that warming has stalled (may be only temporarily) since 1998 such that we have been given more time to act; and (3) the small size of UK emissions, it makes no difference to global temperatures what the UK does or does not do; even a total decarbonisation of the economy will have no measurable downward movement on temperatures. Any sane board would have not increased spending on oversaes aid and halted expenditure on Climate Change and directed the money saved into reducing the deficit. At the start oif the next Parliament (5 years time), the matter would be reviewed once more. If global temperatures are stil salled at this time, it may be an easy decision to continue with the ‘on hold’ policy.

    Unfortunately, the UK is not governed by those who are capable of running a successful and profitablke business and instead is run by people with little or no business experience and whose judgment is clouded by ideology (and in some instances by self interest).

  37. John Marshall says:

    Recycle valuable metals yourself. 600Kg of steel got me £165 a few weeks ago. Copper, brass and alumimium gets even more per Kg. Do not let LA waste your money.

  38. John Page says:

    Hard hitting pieces from UK heavyweights today in The Daily Telegraph and widely read tabloid Daily Mail, summarised here with links.
    http://thepurplescorpion.blogspot.com/2011/06/balls-and-greenballs.html

  39. Eve says:

    Electricity Bill from Ontario, Canada. April 6/11 to May9/11
    Metered usage=639.73 kWh
    Adjusted Usage=639.73×1.02-699kWh
    WInter On Peak (till May 1) 127.47 kWh@9.9 cents=12.62
    Winter Mid Peak 98.91 kWh@8.1 cents=8.01
    Winter Off-Peak 370.38 kWh@5.1 cents=18.89
    Summer On Peak (after May 1) 8.16 kWh@10.7 cents-=.87
    Summer Mid Peak 10.14 kWh@8.9 cents =.90
    Summer Off-Peak 83.52 kWh@5,9 cents=4.93
    Total Electricity= 46.22
    Delivery=61.98
    Regulatory Charges=4.99
    Debt Retirement Charge=4.48
    HST=15.30
    Total $132.97

  40. paul says:

    TerryS
    Sorry for not getting back earlier. Here is an article on energy subsidies for nuclear:

    http://www.sustainableplant.com/2011/04/nuclear-power-subsidies-the-gift-that-keeps-on-taking/
    http://scotland.wwf.org.uk/wwf_articles.cfm?unewsid=4931

    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:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2010/11/clean-energy-gets-less-subsidies-investment-than-fossil-fuels-says-report.html

    On top of these externalities, in the article from Nordex’s Ralf Sigrist the author argues, “The Environmental Law Institute has calculated $70 billion in subsidies for fossil fuels in the period of 2002-2008, in the form of tax breaks, direct spending and even health care costs, like the treatment of black lung disease for coal miners. If those subsidies were to vanish, shock waves would surely shake the nation out of its energy apathy, and we would understand the value of a kilowatt-hour. Renewable alternatives like wind would suddenly look like a bargain deal.”

    http://www.windpowerengineering.com/clean-energy-standard/heavily-subsidized-fossil-fuels-lead-to-uneven-energy-pricing-models/

    Finally, from 2010, an excellent OECD report calculates and assesses a wide range of different subsidies:

    http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/55/5/45575666.pdf

  41. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From paul on June 13, 2011 at 4:19 am:

    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:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2010/11/clean-energy-gets-less-subsidies-investment-than-fossil-fuels-says-report.html

    Who made that report? (bold added)

    That discrepancy, as well as other barriers including high clean-tech start-up costs and low prices for products, keep green investment from booming, according to a group of MBA students from the school.

    Certainly makes said report look less authoritative, and adds to what I’ve been hearing for years about the MBA being a highly-oversold degree, it’s better to hire those with real-world experience.

    For that “12 times” figure with actual numbers I recommend this 2010 Bloomberg article:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-29/fossil-fuel-subsidies-are-12-times-support-for-renewables-study-shows.html

    Governments last year gave $43 billion to $46 billion of support to renewable energy through tax credits, guaranteed electricity prices known as feed-in tariffs and alternative energy credits, the London-based research group said today in a statement. That compares with the $557 billion that the International Energy Agency last month said was spent to subsidize fossil fuels in 2008.

    Let’s add in some numbers from a 2010 article on a renewable energy site:
    http://www.renewablepowernews.com/archives/1413

    The promising proclamation on the growth of alternative energy, is yet not paving its way through. Only around 7 percent of the world’s total energy is provided via renewable energy. This does controversially mean that non-renewable energy sources like nuclear or fossil fuel represent 93 percent of the global supply of energy.

    Moreover, nuclear energy represents around 6 percent of the world’s energy supply. (…)

    (…) Nowadays, fossil fuels (Oil, Natural gas and Coal) stands for nearly 350 quadrillions BTUs or 88% of the total supply of energy. (…)

    To note it, there’s obviously some rounding issue there keeping the numbers from adding up exactly, but 88% and 7% are close enough for this.

    So to put it in the proper perspective of subsidies per energy produced:
    $557 billion/88 = $6.33 billion per percent of global energy production for fossil fuels.
    Going with the average, $44.5 billion/7 = $6.36 billion per percent of global energy production for renewables.
    Thus renewables and fossil fuels are receiving about the same amount of subsides for the energy produced, not the “12 times!” that’s been claimed by looking only at the dollar amounts without considering actual amounts of energy produced.

    There are distortions in there that should be noted, such as “renewables” that don’t receive subsidies such as firewood and dung, which means the well-noted renewables such as wind and solar actually receive higher per-item subsidies. And among the often-mentioned “tax breaks for fossil fuels” are equipment depreciation and other things that are not exclusive to fossil fuel producers and are claimed by businesses in general, which should properly be subtracted from figures of “fossil fuel subsidies.”

    Ah, where’s Smokey when you need him? He loves smashing bogus Green claims like you’ve provided!

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