And so how many more studies do we need to tell us the obvious? There are so many studies out there that conclude renewable energy subsidies are a failure, yet you can be sure they will all be ignored by the next IPCC report, which instead will focus on some oddball quack paper by Ottmar Edenhofer.The University of Witten/Herdecke has put out a press release here. Hat tip: oekowatch.de.
According to the press release, Prof. Dr. André Schmidt has drawn a harsh conclusion on the German EEG feed-in laws for renewable energies.
In his study of the economic and ecological impacts of the EEG Feed-in Act for favouring renewable energies for the Federal Office of Research, Prof. Dr. André Schmidt, economist at the University of Witten/Herdecke, has reached a devastating conclusion: they are counter-productive! “In Europe the feed-in act does not save a single microgram of CO2, subsidises carbon power plants in foreign countries, solar module manufacturers in China, and so the German solar industry as a result gains no benefits on the market.“
Harsh words, and he has arguments behind them: “Through the EEG Act, power from solar cells has a price that is eight times higher (€ 0.34 /kwh) than conventionally produced power,“ he calculated. And he asked what do we get in return?
Carbon dioxide: When climate gases decrease because of the EEG, then the supply of of salable emission rights also goes down (if a functioning trading system indeed exists). ” The biggest polluters at home and abroad can cheaply purchase a free pass instead of thinking about filters.“
Employment: For the 48,000 German jobs (Source: Federal Association of Solar Economics for 2009) subsidies to the tune of €8.4 billion were forked out in 2008. “That comes out to €175,000 per job! When one compares this to coal mining subsidies, which are a relatively modest €75,000 per job, coal looks really good!“, Schmidt grumbles.
Competitiveness: 48% of all solar systems installed in Germany originate from China because German capacity simply cannot meet the demand. The global market share of German companies is at about 15%, and trending down: “When India and Thailand come onto the market soon, we’ll be at 8-10%. Here in Germany companies are investing too little in R&D, productivity advancement is sub-par, sales have stagnated. In 2010 there was a €4.3 billion trade deficit in solar modules.“. In Schmidt’s view, the inflated and guaranteed feed-in rates have paralyzed innovation in this industrial sector.“
In summary, the German EEG feed-in act is a flop.