Germany’s flagship political newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has an online report on an EU internal memo that bubbled up to public attention.
An EU Commission internal strategy paper “calls for an end to subsidies for solar and wind energy by EU countries and that this should be done as soon as possible”. EU Energy Commissar Günther Oettinger wants to officially present the paper in Brussels. This, writes the FAZ, will provide the German government with cover for its plan to cut its own subsidies for solar energy by 30%.
Despite all the symbolism and lip service by Merkel’s coalition government in support of wind and solar energy, its actions tell a different story. They don’t want them any more!
Also according to the paper, the price of photovoltaic systems have dropped 48% over the last five years. So it’s strange how that now solar energy is approaching affordability, the US government now wants to slap massive tariffs on Chinese imports and make the price totally unaffordable again.
The consumer has had to bear the high price of subsidized solar energy in the EU. The FAZ writes:
…the strong expansion of solar and wind power has caused the costs for consumers, and in some cases for taxpayers, to rise quickly. Because of the bad economic situation, energy costs for many people is often too high. The prices of energy source such as sun and wind thus should be left to the market forces as quickly as possible.”
Even with the generous subsidies, solar energy in Germany has still failed as most of Germany’s solar module manufacturing has been crushed by foreign competition in Asia, shedding thousands of jobs. Eliminating subsidies altogether would be a certain death blow.
The Commission also calls for a uniform support system of other alternative energy sources, and criticizes Europe’s patchwork of different support programs for renewable energy. This has led to the inefficient use – for example massive solar systems being constructed in northern Germany where the sun hardly shines and windmills are built where the wind hardly blows.
Whatever happens, one thing is certain: Europe is beginning to realize that green energies aren’t what they were once made out to be.