There has been a fashion in the United Kingdom of covering large swathes of good farmland with electricity producing photovoltaic solar panels. This fashion has arisen because the government has given ridiculously high subsidies for PV installations. The government gave such high subsidies because the government set itself renewable energy targets instead of carbon reduction targets.
The subsidies benefitted farmers and landowners who got large amounts of money for relatively small amounts of investment. Thee money was collected from energy users, not a bad thing in that energy users do pollute and should pay for their pollution, but subsidising these solar farms does not pay for pollution caused by energy use, it merely enriches an already wealthy section of society.
The problem with renewable energy targets is threefold
1. they fail to recognise that renewable energy is only useful if it is used. PV is only electricity producing in daytime and is relatively unpredictable, and the electricity generated cannot be stored to be used at a later date, if demand is not there.
2.they fail to look at the carbon emission effect of renewable energy, hence they subsidise wood burning and tree cutting
3. they give an appearance of an energy policy, whereas they are nothing of the kind, covering only a tiny amount of the energy a nation needs.
Ultimately none of this is new. If you allow a government to put its hand in your pocket it will inevitably remove much of it and place it in less deserving pockets than yours.
Filed under: climate change | Tagged: carbon reduction targets, clean energy, dirty energy, energy policy, photovoltaic solar panels, pv, PV installations, renewable energy, renewable targets, solar farms, subsidy of renewables |