Solar Subsidy Sinkhole – Germany’s Solar Debacle Is A “Massive Money Pit”

The English Der Spiegel presents a blistering report on the solar energy debacle in Germany this week in a piece titled:

Solar Subsidy Sinkhole, Re-Evaluating Germany’s Blind Faith in the Sun.

The costs of subsidizing solar electricity have exceeded the 100-billion-euro mark in Germany, but poor results are jeopardizing the country’s transition to renewable energy. The government is struggling to come up with a new concept to promote the inefficient technology in the future…continue reading at Der Spiegel here.

Some bits of reality:

Solar farm operators and homeowners with solar panels on their roofs collected more than €8 billion ($10.2 billion) in subsidies in 2011, but the electricity they generated made up only about 3 percent of the total power supply, and that at unpredictable times.

Until now, Merkel had consistently touted the environmental sector’s “opportunities for exports, development, technology and jobs.” But now even members of her own staff are calling it a massive money pit.

If all commitments to pay subsidies so far are added together, Frondel adds, ‘we have already exceeded the €100 billion level.'”

Read about the entire dismal mess at Der Spiegel, see link above.

Yet, the Greens in Germany are proud of this debacle and cannot get enough of it. Green Party leader Jürgen Trittin says here at CO2 Handel (emphasis added):

‘We are experiencing a concentrated campaign against renewable energy over the recent days,’ Trittin thinks. ‘It is being led by the coal lobby at RWE and Eon, but it is also being incited by the Federal Ministry of Economics.’ Trittin said, the Feed-In Act is by far the most inexpensive way of expanding renewable energies. ‘That’s why it has been copied by over 50 countries.’ “

50 countries that are ruining their energy supply. It should be clear just how detached from reality people like Trittin are.

But with such handouts, I really ought to start thinking about having a system of my own installed on our house. If you don’t jump through the hoop, then you pay through the nose. But on the other side of the hoop, you get rewarded. So it’s stupid not jump through it.


9 responses to “Solar Subsidy Sinkhole – Germany’s Solar Debacle Is A “Massive Money Pit””

  1. R. de Haan

    No price is to high when an ideology has to be kept alive

  2. thebiggreenlie

    Ontario Canada is the leader in our country for this criminal Ponzi scheme….our once beautiful Province is being bankrupted by this SCAM!

    1. G. Dupuis

      Unfortunately, Québec province in Canada is also planning to create wind farms. I hope somebody is reading the blogs like yours to get the message. We can probably get a better deal from shale gas at a very low price compare to these renewable energies!

      What a shame.

      Thanks for your blog. I read every article to start my day.

      Papy Boomer, Chelsea

  3. DirkH

    What money flows at the moment and from whose pocket to whose…

    The annual cost per capita in Germany is about 200 EUR per person; giving a total of 15 billion Euro a year for the EEG subsidy. You pay only some of it in form of the 3.5 cent per kWh levy slapped onto the electricity prize. Assuming 2000 kWh ‘leccy usage per capita (well, that’s my use in any case), you only arrive at 70 EUR cost; but that doesn’t pay our 15 bn when we have only 80 million proles, so where does the rest come from?

    The answer is of course that only 1/3 of ‘leccy usage in Germany is private; another third is public – think street lighting – the public sector will transfer the cost of the levy on the public purse; yes, the public sector also has to pay the levy for the ‘leccy it uses – and the third third comes from industry, even though they try frantically to escape the tyranny of German ‘leccy prizes, either getting an excemption by threatening with leaving the country, like the copper affineries or aluminum smelters or cement makers do , or by building up some own ‘leccy production like VW has been doing for decades, being that old war machine they are. There are incentives for that as well, there’s a tax break for small scale high efficiency cogeneration , usually gas engines.

    So the big beast subsidizes left right and center while getting all the billions out of the pockets of the city dwellers who have no option of feeding in those troughs as well; a tenant can’t get his own cogeneration plant or put up his own solar panels.

    Well, he can do what I do and profit from that big statist sector by owning shares in German industry which supplies the state machine with the enormity of goods it needs to keep its religion alive – the semiconductors, the machinery. It’s a very complicated make-work scheme, and it needs lots and lots of parts.

    And it’s also a highly degressive form of taxation, as the small earners pay a much larger degree of their disposable income than the bigger earners; all dreamt up by a cabal of socialists and greens, the Red-Green government of Schröder 10 years ago. The Red and Green politicians should be credited with being incapable of understanding the consequences of their actions though. As usual, they have created a system that can’t deliver what it was designed to deliver but delivers something else; a common massive misallocation.

    BTW, it will get worse. Merkel has stated that cost per kWh will not exceed 3.5 cent but that was before it became known that the last quarter of 2011 saw record-breaking PV installations, so the levy is dead-certain to rise next year.

    1. DirkH

      So the ordinary prole pays in three forms:
      -through his own ‘leccy bill
      -through taxes
      -through increased prices for industrial goods.
      Giving the grand total of 200 EUR per year per man, woman and child.

      Surely beats capsizing in the med but only just.

  4. John F. Hultquist

    Relating directly to the topic – there is a wealth transfer from average folk to the well-off. At least in the USA and Great Britain, large land owners get paid for leasing out the space for wind towers and solar arrays. The better off can also afford that 3rd or 4th vehicle from the green lot and get a nice subsidy. The less-well-off that need a vehicle that actually works are not going to buy a car that won’t meet their needs. And as Dirk mentions those that own shares in the companies that profit from these government “investments” and schemes will benefit.

    Tangential to the topic of the post – either way, Earth doesn’t care.

    1. Ulrich Elkmann

      It actually sounds more like medieval feudalism than socialism, where the Inner Party is usually reduced to petty bourgeois levels.

  5. Solar Subsidy Sinkhole – Germany’s Solar Debacle Is A “Massive Money Pit” | Exergy |

    […] jQuery("#errors*").hide(); window.location= data.themeInternalUrl; } }); } – Today, 11:34 […]

  6. Rudolf Kipp

    And here goes the next one…

    Q-Cells in schwerer Finanznot
    24.01.2012, 09:02 Uhr, aktualisiert 09:51 Uhr

    Mit Q-Cells strauchelt ein weiterer Solarkonzern. Für dieses und kommendes Jahr erwartet das Unternehmen hohe Verluste. Finanzielle Schwierigkeiten bringen das Unternehmen in eine Existenz bedrohende Lage.

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