Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Another failure for social engineering?

The Germans seem to be giving up on solar energy, or, at least, be backing off from their generous government subsidies. According to Bjørn Lomborg, Financial Post, “even members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s staff are now describing the policy as a massive money pit.”

The German government reportedly is vowing to cut its $130-billion in solar energy subsidies sooner than planned and to phase out support over the next five years. According to Lomborg:

despite the massive investment, solar power accounts for only about 0.3% of Germany’s total energy. This is one of the key reasons why Germans now pay the second-highest price for electricity in the developed world (exceeded only by Denmark, which aims to be the ‘world wind-energy champion’).”

Moreover, Lomborg explains, here, that  those who defend Germany’s solar subsidies also claim they create “green jobs.” But, he says, “each job created by green-energy policies costs an average of $175,000—considerably more than job creation elsewhere in the economy, such as infrastructure or health care.”

Once more we find evidence that Ontario’s Dalton McGuinty has saddled us with a losing energy strategy. Just as in Germany’s case, Ontario’s experiment with subsidizing inefficient green technology is doomed to failure. It’s little more than poorly conceived social engineering.

Escalating electricity rates in Ontario are a product of propaganda from climate change activism, not real market forces.

What Ontario residents pay for electricity has much more to do with the social policies of the McGuinty government than with energy markets. As such, electricity rates should be subsidized from the provinces general revenues so all residents can share in the costs of the social policies of this government.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

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