Spain scuttles clean-energy subsidies; promptly watches the industry go down like a sinking ship
Here’s the message that Spain’s green-subsidy policies sent out to the world: ‘Hey, if you’ve got an idea for a green-energy project that you don’t think can compete on its own merits and turn a profit in the free market, come on over to Spain and we’ll hook you up with some sweet subsidies!’ Ergo, it should hardly come as a surprise that fiscal emergency has forced Spain to put an indefinite hold on the subsidies, and the clean-energy companies are immediately flocking to greener pastures.That's beautifully written. I'm a huge fan of getting off oil. I think our future economy will be based on nuclear power once aging hippies get out of the way (and I'm a big fan Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors). Electric cars will provide around the town transportation. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will provide gas-and-go transportation solutions. It's clean, it's sustainable and it can all be done right here in the U.S. Here's the key: to get off oil, alternative solutions need to be viable in the free market. A heavily subsidized system is unsustainable, as Spain has neatly proved for us.
Yikes. Didn’t really think that one through, did you, Spain? Germany is often heralded as a world leader in clean energy development, but in 2009, Spain’s clean-energy consumer bill rose to 6 billion euros, ahead of Germany’s 5.6 billion bill — except that Germany’s economy is almost four times bigger than Spain’s. They rushed headfirst into that one, and with top-down large-scale policymaking like that, it isn’t happenstance that their unemployment rate is currently sitting at a miserable 24 percent.
Environmentalists may argue that our worldwide fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure isn’t sustainable in the long term — even though the evidence for imminent climate-change and peak-oil crises are extremely dodgy, at best — but fiscal insolvency is demonstrably unsustainable in the long term. While some of the eurozone members’ clean-energy ‘investments’ may not be the root cause of their present crisis, they are wildly indicative of the type of no-holds-barred, feel-good spending binges that have brought them down this road. Europe just keeps on proffering examples of precisely what governments shouldn’t do, but alas, will the United States ever listen?