Financial Post, Brady Yauch
Germany, the model for Ontario’s wind and solar developments, now regrets its spending spree
Germany – the country on which Ontario modelled its approach to renewable energy development – has a $412-billion lesson for Ontario. That’s the amount the country has spent on subsidies in support of solar and wind energy, among other renewables, over the past 20 years, all in the push to wean the country off fossil fuel and nuclear generation.
On the surface – and according to many news sites – the program has been a success, and not just because of the 378,000 people renewables now employ.
By the end of 2012 (the most recent year for data), wind and solar provided about 13% of all German electricity consumption. Adding in hydro and biomass, renewables provided more than 23%. And in May, headline writers around the world proudly trumpeted that renewable energy provided 75% of the country’s total electricity consumption.
But scratch a bit below the surface and an entirely different picture emerges – one with households being pushed into “energy poverty” as renewable subsidies lead to soaring power bills, handouts to the country’s big businesses and exporters so they can avoid paying for those subsidies and a systematic bankrupting of traditional utilities. As for that one day in May when headlines celebrated that 75% of power generation came from renewables, well, it was a Sunday when demand for power is at its lowest level. Read article