It’s been happening for a while now. Governments all over the world have been subsidising solar panels on roofs with inflated feed in tariffs to kick start “Green” energy but cutting the subsidies as reality bites. Here in Australia it’s been happening for a while.
You only have to google Australian feed in tarrifs cut to see what’s happening with solar in Australia….
And guess what? Bloomberg Businessweek says China Solar Makers Face ‘Suicidal’ Prices on Excess Output…yes you read that right.
“Cell prices have fallen 59 percent since Dec. 27, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Seven Chinese companies reported lower gross margins since yesterday and three said margins have moved into negative territory, an unsustainable level, said Hari Chandra Polavarapu, an analyst at Auriga USA in New York”
And there’s more. Solar isn’t that Green at all
“The residues and development of rare earth mines have created environmental biohazards and damaged people’s health….Hau Bing-wen, a 65 year-old local resident of Dalahi village, said that in 1988, large numbers of livestock died from a variety of unknown illnesses. A large number of villagers have also been suffering from nausea, dizzy spells, arthritis and migraines from drinking contaminated water and pollution.
“Many residents here lost their teeth in their early 30s,” Hau added.
According to statistics, between 1993 and 2005, the number of residents of Dalahi village dying of cancer reached 66. In 2010 alone, at least two people have died from cancer in the village, according to Liu Yehnu, a 68 year-old woman.
Every year, about 7 million metric tonnes of mining waste is released into the dam, which has become a very important production facility for the rare earth mineral producing company.
To better manage the dam, the company has set up a waste managing warehouse manned by 400 employees. The annual management fees of the warehouse are 300-500 million yuan. What is held in the dam represents waste for the iron ore mining industry, but for rare earth miners, it represents precious mineral resources.
While the dam has brought opportunities for economic development in Baotou, it has also taken its toll on the agricultural sector, which has borne the brunt of the losses. Most farmland in villages near the dam has been rendered barren because of the pollution.
According to statistics, the harvest of corn dropped to 600 kilograms per acre in 2006 from 1500 kilograms four years ago, while the wheat harvest has dwindled to 400 kg per acre from about 800-1,000 kg. Similarly, the potato harvest has decreased to 2,500 kg per acre from about 6,000-7,000 kg.
Now here’s the rub. Green subsidies have been ripping off the poor and giving more to the rich!
Bill Carmichael: Solar Panels Are A Badge Of Shame
Green subsidies work a bit like Robin Hood – but in reverse. They effectively take around £8bn from the poorest consumers in the country over the next 20 years and transfer the cash to well off people who can afford the capital costs of installing mini solar and wind power schemes.
OH the squeals of outrage this month when the Government announced a modest reform to one of the biggest green rip-offs this country has ever seen.
You may not have heard of Feed-in Tariffs (Fits), but if you are lucky enough to live in one of the posher parts of town, you’ve no doubt noticed your more well-heeled neighbours covering their roofs with solar panels.
The reason for the mad proliferation of solar panels, and to a lesser extent mini windmills, is that householders are being paid enormous subsidies to generate their own electricity.
The Fit scheme works a bit like Robin Hood – but in reverse. It effectively takes around £8bn from the poorest consumers in the country over the next 20 years and transfers the cash to well off people who can afford the capital costs of installing mini solar and wind power schemes.
The racket – for that is what it is – works like this; once householders have installed the solar panels, the power companies have to pay for the electricity they produce at a price more than six times the market rate, for a guaranteed period of 25 years.
The returns are so fantastic as to be far beyond the dreams of avarice.
Some solar panel installers were recently boasting that a £12,000 solar panel system would pay for itself in little more than ten years and produce total returns over the life of the scheme of £25,000.
Certainly, as an investment it promises to produce profits far in excess of anything the banks, building societies or stock market could offer – all entirely risk free, tax free and index linked against inflation.
Great if you can afford it. But what if you can’t? Well, tough!
Consumers, including the very poorest, are expected to pay for this outrageous handout to the wealthy by way of a hidden “green” tax on their fuel bills – about £13 a year on the average electricity bill.
Not surprisingly since the subsidy bonanza started in April last year, those lucky enough to have substantial sums in the bank have been climbing over each other to get their snouts in the trough.
Around 80,000 householders have taken advantage of the subsidies including Jude Law, Gary Neville and Mick Jagger, who have all installed solar panels on their multi-million pound homes.
Alarmed at the escalating cost, the Government has now announced the Fit subsidies are to be cut by half – hence the bleats of complaint from everyone from Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth to solar panel installation companies and the CBI. But if solar power is as cheap and efficient as the environmental groups pretend it is, then it shouldn’t need any subsidy at all.
But this isn’t just poor politics and stupid economics – it is morally wrong, too.
For a government to take money from a freezing pensioner in order to give it to someone as rich as Mick Jagger, is nothing short of wicked.
Until the subsidy is scrapped entirely having solar panels on your roof should be seen as a badge of shame.
These people aren’t “green” – just greedy.