It is useful to the environment that states and entities, like the European Union, should finance energy saving projects. The problem with state funding is that there are so many pigs at the trough and they eat so much money to fatten themselves, rather than to help the environment; it is as though a target to increase renewable energy has become an end in itself rather than as a means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and particulate emissions.
The United Kingdom has gone blindly on this course, financing at one stage PV installations at 40pence a kilowatt hour (then four times the price of electricity to consumers) and wind turbines at a similar massive subsidy, when there is no means of storing electricity. I am in favour of wind turbines and of PV, but they will never reduce greenhouse gases significantly until we can store electricity, simply because without storage there is no means to align production with consumption. It is rather like subsidising farmers to grow crops that will never be eaten and never be used.
The European Union has more blatant examples of financing measures and projects in the name of increasing renewable energy where the benefits are so vague or even uncertain as to whether they are financing something that constitutes and environmental benefit, as opposed to an environmental burden. Te worse examples are in the important field of increasing energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency is or should be a no brainer. Mostly it comprises insulating buildings so that when you heat the building to keep as much heat as possible inside the building and use as little heat as possible to heat the skies. The European Union has financed a number of energy efficient projects in the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Italy. They sent money to the national governments, who spent it on refurbishing buildings, but almost certainly they refurbished the wrong buildings and there are suspicions that not all of the money was properly spent.
One of the bodies of the EU is called the Court of Auditors. The EU has run its affairs in such a way that the Court of Auditors has been unable to provide a clean audit report for seventeen years in succession. When the auditors looked at the projects where EU taxpayers’ money was spent on energy efficiency projects in buildings they found that the spending was mainly of dubious energy efficiency value.
I would guess that in the case of some of these projects there were some very fatten pigs at the trough.
Essentially the environmental movement has been hi-jacked by those who establish businesses who purpose is to “trade” with the state. Generally the state is a poor businessman, and when the state buys it usually does so unwisely, as many government projects have shown.
The solution is for the state not to invest in large scale projects but enable the ordinary people to make whatever sensible energy efficiency investment they choose and to also make their own decisions for renewable energy. Subsidies should be encouragements, not bribes, and should primarily be directed at the householder, rather than the large corporations who can undertake large projects.
Big corporations can fill their bellies at the troough of public expenditure: more good will be done is ordinary people can get a bit of public expenditure sustenance, rather than have to food fed to those who are already far too fat.
Filed under: carbon emissions, climate change, energy, global warming | Tagged: climate, energy efficiency, energy efficiency in building, environment, EU, european union, greenhouse gas emissions, pigs at the trough, public expenditure, renwable energy, subsdies |