Subsidy Suckers: Britain’s Solar Industry Wallowing in Massive Subsidies, While Power Prices Rocket

The wind and solar industries exist for one reason, and one reason only: massive subsidies.

There’s a reason that holidaying Sun-seekers rarely put Britain on their bucket list. Dismally short days during bitter winters suggest that the UK would be one of the last places anyone would contemplate any serious reliance on solar power. And yet, thanks to £millions in subsidies, solar power in Britain is a thing.

Of course, those subsidies are picked up by taxpayers and power consumers who are facing rocketing power bills, without any hope of respite. And, of course, when the sun drops over the horizon, power consumers are forced to look elsewhere to keep the lights on and boil the kettle.

With the costs mounting, the extent of taxpayer largess has probably been milked for all it’s worth. But, as usual, the mere mention that subsidies might be cut sends rent seekers rabid.

Critics blame solar farms for high electricity bills as it emerges owners earn more money from taxpayer-funded handouts than selling energy
Daily Mail
Colin Fernandez
13 May 2019

  • Ten of UK’s biggest solar farms pocketed £3million plus in eco subsidies last year
  • Total cost of providing subsidies to renewables market is estimated at £7billion
  • The plants were encouraged to get off the ground with generous handouts

Britain’s biggest solar farms get more money in taxpayer subsidies than they make from selling the electricity they produce.

The plants were encouraged to get off the ground with generous handouts, funded from ‘green taxes’ on fuel bills.

Now many of them make the majority of their cash from the subsidies.

Some farms have been snapped up by private firms, venture capitalists and pension funds which realise they are guaranteed money-spinners, in part because of the Government-backed handouts.

Britain’s biggest solar farms get more money in taxpayer
subsidies than they make from selling the electricity they produce

 

But critics say the system, which often guarantees the handouts for 15 or 20 years, has been way too generous and skewed the energy market – leading to bigger household electricity bills.

Dr John Constable, director of charity Renewable Energy Foundation, which publishes data on the energy sector, said: ‘The legacy entitlements are costing consumers dearly and will continue to do so for many years to come.

‘In order to remain internationally competitive, the UK needs to scrape every barnacle off the hull of the economy – retrospective cuts to renewables subsidies cannot be ruled out.’

Ten of the UK’s biggest solar farms pocketed £3million or more each in eco subsidies in 2017/18, statistics from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) reveal.

The total cost of providing subsidies to the renewables market is estimated at around £7billion – of which about £1billion filters through to solar energy.

Treasury officials ended new subsidies to solar farms in 2014 but existing farms are still guaranteed generous handouts until the end of their contracts.

The biggest beneficiary in 2017/18 was Bradenstoke Solar Park, near Chippenham, Wiltshire. The 213-acre site was given a handout of £4.2million, but generated electricity worth about £2.6million. The nation’s largest installation, Shotwick Solar Park, in Deeside, North Wales, was handed a £3.9million subsidy – but churned out £2.57million in power. Owl’s Hatch, in Herne Bay, Kent, got about £1.5million more in subsidies than it made in electricity.

After subsidies were scrapped, the building of new solar farms spent several years in the doldrums. But now several subsidy-free projects are in the pipeline.

The Sunnica Energy farm wants to create two sites across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire and generate 500MW of electricity, making it the UK’s biggest solar farm. Leonie Greene, of the Solar Trade Association, said it was ‘ridiculous’ to remove existing subsidies to farms. ‘We need solar power more than ever and support for solar among the public is at a record high of 89 per cent,’ she said.

‘If we were to retrospectively change the basis on which people had invested in solar… it would shatter the confidence of investors in the UK and the Government will know that’s a ridiculous idea.’
Daily Mail

Leonie Greene reckons that it was ‘ridiculous’ to remove existing subsidies to solar. Now, why on earth would that be?

In one breath, rent seekers like Leonie tell us that wind and solar are already competitive with coal, gas and nuclear. In the next, though, they start howling like banshees at the merest hint that subsidies might be cut. Speaks volumes, don’t you think?

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  2. Peter Pronczak says:

    STT’s 1st sentence says it all with the money makers well pushed by partners (David) Blood & (Al) Gore with their carbon trading.

    It’s not just Brexit that makes Britain a crazy mixed up place (among the many) but under Teresa May China was contracted to finish building a nuclear plant and build another.
    Yet they are the leading NATO country out to destroy China’s different economic system. Huh? And military intelligence is said to be a contradiction in terms.
    Maybe it’s something to do with the Westminster system of democracy with the City of London Corporation’s Remembrancer’s right of veto in parliament of anything against the City’s interests. Seems a might confusing. But the City’s last Mayor, being in the running for new PM, will probably sort of sort it out in someone’s best interests.

    For those who don’t know our AU Prime Minister ‘ScoMo’ (anyone with a nickname here is on the up & up. Not.) in the last pre-election debate said, “Subsidies push prices up.” But that was only about health care, hence one among the above many.

    Then there’s too many mouths to feed and solar arrays take more productive farmland away. Talk about the chicken and egg; pollies are only doing what voters want, aren’t they?
    The old Goon’s Show in real life satire.

  3. Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

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