Renewable energy is generally unaffordable energy. It’s unreliable energy. [It's not renewable, and it's barely energy.] For years, this so called “sustainable” energy has instead been heavily-subsidised energy – the alleged energy warmists would point to in arguing that conventional fossil-fuel energy should either be banned or taxed into extinction. Sustainable only by virtue of the subsidies, and utterly unsustainable without.
A whole alleged industry on the mooch.
But the sun is now setting internationally on solar power, and all those “green jobs” Russel Norman and his cronies talked about for years are revealed as nothing more than moonshine.
It’s been an interesting time of late. Within the last few weeks, Solar Trust of America (STA), owner of the world’s largest solar plant, filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11, and nobody expects much of it, if anything, to emerge from it. STA joins a long list of companies in the solar energy sector, who’ve gone bankrupt, ducked into protection from their creditors, suspended production indefinitely or are simply circling the plughole.
Across the world, a few of the more prominent and expensive casualties are Solyndra, Solar Millennium AG, Energy Conversion Devices Inc, Q-Cells, Solon, Solar Millenium, Solarhybrid, Ener1, Range Fuels, Beacon Power Corp and there’s a whole lot of others.
What else distinguished these companies other than the word ‘solar’ in their title?
Nearly all of these companies were the beneficiaries of huge government startup grants or loan guarantees.
Ah. They were all moochers. Cronies sucking off the state tit. A very green business model indeed.
The products they made were effectively sold to consumers with a subsidy, to make them more attractive. The customers also had the benefit of some generous feed-in tariff schemes. All that money that was sunk into them has now gone and the specific green industry sector it was expected to create, is pretty much moribund.
This is the very “green industry sector” Russel and the Greens have been touting. The cheerleading for mooching has continued under James Shaw – and would undoubtedly form part of any deal with whatever Government might partner up with them.
Yet even with the subsidies these green succubi were unsuccessful, consuming more resources than they ever produced. And the wreckage is not confined to the US.
In Germany, which gets the same amount of sunshine as the US state of Alaska and where inexplicably nearly half the solar power output of the world was installed, investment experts expect not a single solar cell company to be in business in five years time, since not one of them is currently showing an operating profit, nor is expected to do so in the foreseeable future. In Germany alone, the government have to date handed out about €100 billion in subsidies to renewable energy and even there, the most fervently green country in Europe, they’ve begun to have some serious doubts. It’s a money pit. The promised green jobs haven’t appeared and unemployment in the developed nations continues to rise. On a world-wide basis, the money wasted runs into the billions of dollars.
Billions and billions and we’ve ended up with pretty much nothing. Actually, that’s not quite correct. What we will have, within a decade or two, is a clear up job that’ll make Chernobyl look like a training day. As the vast arrays of panels age, they’ll crack and contaminate the topsoil with poisonous chemical particles. Take a careful look at the picture below, because that’s what we’ll have to pay to detoxify, and make no mistake, we’ll be the ones paying, despite a few of the companies installing these panels having given undertakings to dispose of the panels at the end of their service life. The hard-nosed investor in me reckons they’ll be safely bankrupt by the time any such expensive undertakings have to be honoured.
I wonder where we will store all that contaminated topsoil? Perhaps wherever we’d planned to store nuclear waste, before we decided not to build any more nuclear plants.
So why are all these crony companies going bust? Simple: they were never profitable from day one, and were never going to be profitable thereafter. Their whole business case was based on subsidies.
[But[ subsidies …were never supposed to last forever. They were part of larger stimulus packages, which were only supposed to get those businesses up and running. If the business proposals and revenue projections were correct, all those companies should have been running profitably by now. They patently weren’t, so pretty much the same questions arise ….
The business case for the whole industry was supported by numerous studies by scientists, academia, so-called industry experts and advocates of renewable energy, all of whom said it was the clean and profitable future of energy production. Obviously, all those studies were seriously wrong and ended up costing governments billions. Has anyone got back to these “experts” and asked why the studies and their financial models were all so bad? Given how shoddy their expert advice has proven to be, is anyone asking for the money back, which we paid for this supposed expertise? In the light of how bad expert advice in this area has been, is anyone reviewing advice for similar green sectors, such as wind power? Anyone? Anywhere?
Of course not. And you can double-damn guarantee that you’ll be hearing the same bullshit business case being made by the Greens again from here to the next election, lapped up and regurtitated without research by their lamestream media colleagues. Yet,
Never in the history of the world, has such an amount of money been wasted, without any trace of financial oversight or accountability. Not only has the money been squandered, but at a time of high unemployment, the fashionable rush to create illusory green jobs, has actually destroyed jobs in the real economy. A study in Spain concluded that for every green job created by their massive renewables investment, the real economy lost 2.2 real jobs and only one in ten of those green jobs created, will be permanent. The much touted transfer of jobs from the real economy to the green economy simply never occurred either. Similar studies in Britain, Canada and Scotland have come back with equally appalling numbers.
Do we need to repeat that here?
In the UK, they’re calling the rise in this fashionable non-energy and the rocketing energy prices it creates “fuel poverty” – poorer folk pushed into extremity by the rinsing price of energy under David Cameron’s subsidies of the fashionable and carbon taxes on the reliable.
The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) latest report in July 2011, which only gives figures up to 2009, estimated that 18% of UK households were then officially classified as being in fuel poverty. The UK Citizen’s Advice Bureau, again a guesstimate circa 2009, is concerned that 5.5 million people in UK face living in freezing conditions through Winter, because of self-rationing or disconnection. Given the steep jump in domestic power prices over the last three years, the figure must now be well over 25%.
Must we really repeat that here?
Governments wasting vast amounts of taxpayer’s money on financially absurd projects is always bad but if the net effect of doing so, is to impoverish and harm their own most vulnerable citizens, then it’s unforgivable.
It would be.
- “Dr Norman says ‘‘smart, green economics’ is the way to go because the international market for sustainable products and clean energy technology is growing rapidly.’ Really? Is that right?
“Well, no. It’s not. Like virtually everything else the Ginger Whinger says, it’s not right. Not right at all. The international market for “clean energy” is bankrupt. Not just struggling. Not just a little bit bankrupt. It’s completely, wholly and abjectly bankrupt.”
Russel: 'Don’t sell the power companies—throw money my way instead'
- “Russel Norman is still talking about “a smart, green economy” as if that were an actual thing. It’s not. So why does the media not challenge Russel Norman for continuing to pretend he owns the source to some economic magic bullet?”
Smart green failure
- “Russel however continues to talk about "a smart, green economy.” But the fact is, no such thing exists—at least not in the terms he means, with bans on power producers and subsidies for so-called “green tech.” The failure of any “green stimulus to get off the ground—in Spain, in Germany, in the US—even with huge motivation and billions of dollars in subsidies is just another clue that Russel is talking nonsense…
“If Russel really does want some lessons from economics for his environmentalism [as he claims he does], he might reflect that the whole of economic activity consists in creating new values and, new goods and new resources, and moving them and transforming them to the place(s) and the state in which they are most valued… But this fact continues to elude Russel and his followers, who continue to cry wolf while remaining blind to the incredible results all around him.”
Re-designing Russel’s “green” economics
- “Renewable energy is economically unsustainable energy. Google thought they could change that. Google failed.”
Renewable energy is still unsustainable energy