I continue to be surprised by the bad and shallow analysis of renewable energy subsidies done by the mainstream media.
Most of it is due to bad research and lack of investigative and unbiased journalism. And many writers with little or no background in energy or cleantech, sensationalize an issue by taking a report from some biased think tank and presenting it as an unbiased analysis. Here is one example from a website ironically called Reason.com.
What the writer is saying is that Germany is spending massive amounts of subsidies to get a very little amount of power. Now here's what he missed:
1) He is not comparing the subsidies for solar with the subsidies of fossil fuels. Does he know that Fossil Fuel Subsidies globally amount to $550 billion a year, which is many times more than that given to Solar, Wind and other forms of renewable energy? .Even a developed country like Norway gives 5 times more subsidies to fossil fuels than renewable energy
2) He says that 18 billion euros is the cost of solar energy over 20 years . He conveniently forgets/does not know the basic concept of time value of money.
3) He does not consider the costs on health, pollution, mining deaths and other social costs of fossil fuel-based electricity. He forgets to mention the BP Oil Spill and the Fukushima Disaster.
4) He says it is cheaper to do energy efficiency than solar energy, a fact that is already well known. But will energy efficiency alone solve our global warming problems. Nobody doubts the fact that energy efficiency is cheaper, but you need cleaner power generation as well.
Mainstream media is woefully inadequate at presenting the problems we are faced with, particularly when it comes to a topic as complex and vilified as climate change. Taking a report and presenting it without a balanced opinion just makes it worse.
Read more on Pros and Cons of Renewable Energy here