Europe’s Green Mega-Flop

turbinesHundreds of wind turbines in the Netherlands are operating at a loss and are in danger of being demolished. The main cause is the very low energy prices, which mean that the maintaining the turbines cost more than what the generated energy bring in, the Financieele Dagblad reports based on own research. Subsidies for generating wind energy are in many cases no longer cost-effective. Smaller, older windmills in particular are running at a loss, but even newer mills are struggling to be profitable with insufficient subsidies. –Janene Pieters, NL Times, 15 April 2016

Due to the low energy prices wind turbines are making losses on a large scale. The maintenance costs are higher than the benefits of the energy generated. Windmills are now being demolished according to a survey by Financieele Dagblad. According to estimates Association of Private Wind Turbine Operators (Pawex) ‘potentially 500 to 750 megawatts’ are making a loss or are at risk of doing so. That is a quarter of the power generated by onshore wind energy in the Netherlands. –Carel Grol, Financieele Dagblad, 13 April 2016

The amount of household solar power capacity installed in the past two months has plummeted by three quarters following the government’s cuts to subsidies, according to new figures. The size of the drop-off will dismay green campaigners who want take up on clean energy sources to accelerate. The cuts were announced just days after energy secretary Amber Rudd helped agree the historic Paris climate deal, and have bankrupted several solar companies. The government says the changes were necessary to protect bill payers, as the solar incentives are levied on household energy bills. — Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, 8 April 2016

A British government scheme costing energy firms 3 billion pounds to help people save money on their bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions has not provided value for money, a parliamentary watchdog said. —Reuters, 13 April 2016

Germany’s 16-year-old Energiewende, or energy transformation, already has wrecked the country’s energy market in its quest to wean the economy off fossil fuels and nuclear power. All of this—the job losses, the unreliable power supply, the astonishing amounts of spending that could top ‚Ǩ1 trillion over the coming decades, and the rising coal emissions to boot—amounts to one of the more monumental blunders of modern governance. Berlin likes to think of itself as a green-energy example to the rest of the world. It sure is. –Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 14 April 2016

Indian lenders are becoming increasingly reluctant to finance solar-power projects by foreign companies as bankruptcy looms for SunEdison Inc. in the US, creditors familiar with the matter said. That’s a threat to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of a roughly $100 billion expansion of solar power, aided by foreign investment, a target he set for energy security and to curb fossil-fuel pollution. Indian bankers are sensitive to heightened risk as they grapple with the nation’s worst bad-debt pile up in more than a decade after infrastructure investments soured. –Anindya Upadhyay and Anto Antony, Live Mint, 13 April 2016

Solar cannot survive without government subsidies. Take away the punch bowl and the sector collapses. Solar cannot compete with fossil fuels. It is not clean, nor is it renewable. –Will Ebiefung, Seeking Alpha, 3 April 2016