Spain Fried By Solar Power

Posted on Wed 10/20/2010 by

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Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

Spain shows Australia’s Greens the consequences of the mad green power policies they recommend:

Solar investors … were lured by a 2007 law passed by the government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero that guaranteed producers a so-called solar tariff of as much as 44 cents per kilowatt-hour for their electricity for 25 years—more than 10 times the 2007 average wholesale price of about 4 cents per kilowatt-hour paid to mainstream energy suppliers….

Now … more than 50,000 other Spanish solar entrepreneurs face financial disaster as the policy makers contemplate cutting the price guarantees that attracted their investment in the first place…

Zapatero introduced the subsidies three years ago as part of an effort to cut his country’s dependence on fossil fuels. At the time, he promised that the investment in renewable energy would create manufacturing jobs and that Spain could sell its panels to nations seeking to reduce carbon emissions.

Yet by failing to control the program’s cost, Zapatero saddled Spain with at least 126 billion euros of obligations to renewable-energy investors. The spending didn’t achieve the government’s aim of creating green jobs, because Spanish investors imported most of their panels from overseas when domestic manufacturers couldn’t meet short-term demand.

Spain stands as a lesson to other aspiring green-energy nations, including China and the U.S., by showing how difficult it is to build an alternative energy industry even with billions of euros in subsidies, says Ramon de la Sota, a private investor in Spanish photovoltaic panels and a former General Electric Co. executive…

Power from the most-efficient photovoltaic plants costs utilities about $275 per megawatt-hour to produce compared with about $60 for a coal-fired plant, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

An earlier Spanish study has calculated the cost of this green madness:

The study calculates that since 2000 Spain spent €571,138 ($1.03 million) to create each “green job”, including subsidies of more than €1 million ($1.8 million) per wind industry job… The study calculates that the programs creating those jobs also resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy, or 2.2 jobs destroyed for every “green job” created….

Think the NSW Government, for one, might learn this lesson before it squanders yet more millions?

SCHEMES that pay households to produce power using rooftop solar panels are costing about 25 times as much to cut greenhouse gases as a nationwide ETS…

In a confidential submission obtained by The Australian, the National Generators Forum has told the NSW government that its scheme is costing between $520 and $640 to reduce each tonne of carbon dioxide – compared with the $23 per tonne proposed in the emissions trading scheme shelved by Kevin Rudd.

The submission states that although the scheme will create green jobs, each job created will cost between $130,000 and $700,000….

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

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Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and is a regular commentator on Channel 9′s Today show and ABC TV’s Insiders. He will be heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of new radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.