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17.8.2015

Subsidy Myth Dismanteled Once again

Is it true that only renewable energies are dependent on subsidies? The consumption of coal, oil and gas was subsidized to the amount of USD 548 billion in 2013, whereas renewable energies were only supported with one-quarter of this amount.

Once again, the business publication “Wirtschaftswoche” clears up the commonly held prejudice that renewable energies are provided with too much financial support, thus distorting the energy market. Serious calculations on the part of the International Agency Agency show a completely different picture.
“In the current year solar power facilities with a total capacity of about 57 GW will be newly installed”, the Wirtschaftswoche writes. This represents an increase of 30% from the prior-year level.
For critics this is no reason to rejoice. They claim that the additions are only made possible by billions in subsidies. The solar industry “is being drip fed like heroin addicts”, the newspaper Handelsblatt says. This reduces the innovative pressure on producers.  
Anyone who uses these arguments ignores the fact that energy in every form is being given high subsidies – in every country and at all times. If one looks at the absolute figures, one can see that fossil energies profit much more from public subsidies than solar, wind and bio-energy. The consumption of coal, oil and gas was subsidized to the amount of USD 548 billion in 2013, according to the International Energy Agency. Less than one-quarter of this amount represents funding for renewable energies, the IEA concludes.  

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