Thursday, 9 May 2013

Price fixing and energy saving subsidies

Suppose the government wanted to encourage the take-up of wood pellet burners. To do so, it introduces a 50% subsidy on purchase cost. Good news all round, you would have thought; manufacturers sell more boilers, householders buy more and the government reduces the nation's CO2 output. Except, of course, it doesn't work like that and never has done. 

What actually happens is that the manufacturers and retailers of the boilers in the subsidised nations double their price. The government subsidy then goes directly to the retailers. Householders see no great price advantage and don't buy, and the government ends up spending a lot of money with no real reduction in CO2.

Take a look at then take a look on eBay UK. Most of this kit is built not in China but in Eastern Europe; it fully meets CE standards and certification and can be installed in the UK without problem. And it's half the price of the same stuff sold domestically.

What's true for solar thermal above is also true for solar PV, except that most solar PV is made in China. Good news for Euro governments intent on increasing PV take-up at minimum cost to the taxpayer, one would have thought. But no. As Der Spiegel reveals, the reaction of the EU is to impose swingeing tariffs on Chinese PV to protect overpriced Euro manufacturers, fat margins and bloated profits. Yet again money is going straight from taxpayers pockets to fatcat corporate investors, revealing again the green-scam for what it is; a business opportunity for the big boys. It's got nothing to do with CO2. 


Barnacle Bill said...

Once again Raedwald you reveal what a mega rip off the EU is for us ordinary proles.
The trouble is that this cosy dipping of their sticky hands in our pockets conspiracy between Big Business & our political elites will survive even if we exit the EU.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"...a business opportunity for the big boys. It's got nothing to do with CO2"


And up here our beautiful hills are being covered* in sodding windmills, which on investigation turn out to be a money-for-old-rope opportunity for London bankers and foreign landowners.

* And I mean covered; if you think it's bad in England, you haven't driven up the M74 recently.

Greg Tingey said...

And, it is such a pity, as PV prices are continuing to drop.
The EU attempt to block won't work, of course - these things no longer do in the age of the internet - you just buy on-line, circumventing the corporate bully-boys ....

Similarly makerbots are going to shaft the manufacturing corporations in the next 20 years ....

Nigel said...

Thank you for the link, I have bookmarked it. I know that where there is a subsidy there is theft from the public purse, it is a given. I collect gems such as your post today to help me to not become a part of the conspiracy and deprive the conspirators of income.

Anonymous said...

What did you expect ?
In the real world it is called "corporate welfare benefit"
But since the government, all government, is about filling the pockets of their friends with tax pounds/dollars/yen/etc..
Soon, all too soon, your fridge/washer/cooker will turn itself off at the order of the electricity supplier when demand is so high they cannot provide the energy.