Spanish government admits its green strategy economic disaster

May 30, 2010

By Stephen Murgatroyd
Columnist
Troy Media

Dr. Stephen Murgatroyd
Dr. Stephen Murgatroyd

EDMONTON, AB, May 30, 2010, Troy Media/ – It’s not easy being green.

A leaked Spanish government review of its strategy into renewable energy sources admitted that it has been an unmitigated economic disaster. For every green job created, according to the review, 2.2 jobs in other industries were lost, the direct result of the rising costs of energy. Spanish firms pay 17 per cent more than the EU average for power and Spanish citizens five per cent more.

Since 2004, energy subsidies for renewable energy have increased fivefold. In fact, the subsidy for renewable exceeds the costs of energy production for the whole of Spain and is larger than the sums spent on Spanish research and development by both the public and private sector. Between 2000 and 2008 the total subsidy spent and committed (NPV adjusted by 4 per cent) to these three renewable sources (solar, wind and hydro) amounts to 28,671 million euros (US $36 billion).

A whiff of fraud

Despite accounting for 53 per cent of the additional costs of electricity in Spain, solar power produces just 11 per cent of the power generated in the country. The sector sector – which has been the subject of fraud allegations – has only become highly profitable thanks to the subsidies. In fact, the government documents admit that its regulators lost control of the sector and the industry ran riot, creating a “solar energy bubble” in 2008 which they hope to burst sometime in 2010. The guarantee of a 25-year feed in tariff has also triggered a new thermal bubble.

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The consequences of the Spanish experiment in green energy were documented a year ago by Spanish economist Dr. Gabriel Calzada, Professor at Juan Carlos University in Madrid, who was widely derided for his views and analysis. Now the Spanish government’s own bureaucracy is suggesting that the “green economy” strategy must be abandoned, lest the experiment risk Spain becoming the next Greece.

As the Kerry-Lieberman Bill begins its tortuous journey through the US Senate, these revelations will provide powerful ammunition for those who can see through the green “moonshine” and understand the real transfer of money that it will involve. Industry and citizens will pay more for energy so that a select group of individuals can secure profits in the name of “saving the planet”.

Roughly speaking, U.S. energy use (at 2005 levels) adds to atmospheric CO2 at a rate of about one part per million (ppm) every three years. So after 100 years, U.S. energy use would add about 33 ppm of CO2 to the atmosphere. Atmospheric CO2 has increased by over 35 ppm since 1995 without producing any measurable warming, according to Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia (yes, that Phil Jones!). The climate change strategy being adopted by the US, which closely matches that of Spain, is not really about “saving the planet”, but is about transferring wealth.

$3,100 per year for a family of four

The Brookings Institution estimates that, between 2012 and 2050, mandatory CO2 emission reductions will increase energy costs in the US by US$9 trillion, which works out to a cost of about US$3,100 per year for a family of four. These funds would be taken from the family pocket and put into the pockets of green energy investors, like Al Gore, whose venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins , has invested more than a billion dollars in dozens of companies that are Kerry-Lieberman dependent.

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Solar, wind, hydro and other forms of renewable energy are not necessarily a bad thing – they will provide increase security to the US in terms of energy supply (the real Obama agenda here) – but they come at a cost, as Spain has found. Given the financial challenges the US is facing – a deficit of US$1.17 trillion, a growing debt load (estimated to be US$14.5 trillion), unfunded liabilities of an additional US$60 trillion, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac  liabilities of US$5 trillion as well as the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – a green strategy makes little sense. Nothing would be lost by quietly letting the Kerry-Lieberman bill die a natural death.