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Investment In Onshore Wind & Solar Power Dries Up

December 29, 2016

By Paul Homewood




How often have we been told that wind and solar power can now compete on equal terms with fossil fuel?

Of course, this did not stop renewable lobbyists from whingeing when the government announced last year that subsidies for onshore wind and solar power would be phased out this year.





It turns out that, since those subsidies were withdrawn in April, building of new capacity has plunged, especially of solar farms.

Clearly, despite the hype, wind and solar power cannot survive without generous subsidies.

  1. Hivemind permalink
    December 29, 2016 11:05 am

    Who’d a thunk it !

  2. Joe Public permalink
    December 29, 2016 11:24 am

    The situation demonstrates just how generous the early subsidy schemes were. Their finite pots were depleted more-rapidly than expected.

  3. Max Sawyer permalink
    December 29, 2016 12:15 pm

    I would welcome comments from those more knowledgeable about energy economics than I am, but my gut feeling is that in a properly competitive energy market (unlike the UK’s) subsidies (ie a tax on consumers) are unnecessary.

  4. December 29, 2016 12:39 pm

    They also get guaranteed priority of sales to the National Grid which forces other generators to switch on and off at short notice, at their own expense.

  5. December 29, 2016 3:14 pm

    What is really noticeable is the peak in capacity additions in the first quarter of nearly every year. This reflects is the rush to completion before the subsidies are cut at the end of March.

    It would be interesting to know how many renewable companies have gone out of business in the last year. Endurance has gone bust and I know several small local renewable energy developers/agents who have folded.

  6. It doesn't add up... permalink
    December 29, 2016 3:54 pm

    This version of the data on solar shows that commercial operations are now right out of the picture: we’re left with small vanity installations on private premises.

  7. December 29, 2016 3:57 pm

    BBCbusiness has a chronic problem, they have too close a relationship with GreenDream PR people they get enamoured and are unable o challenge them properly
    Yesterday’s early morning biz slot on R4Today
    A bloke banging on about how
    – popularism is terrible
    – and business is bad cos they just chase profits
    ..and we are never ging to solve global warming that way”
    That was @JimWoodsUK of @theCrowd
    former Marxist banker, Yo Sushi manager now GreenPR pusher full background
    He mentioned that Sainsbury’s signed up to.his schemes.

    • December 29, 2016 4:09 pm

      Then there was the Trump oil slot on BBC world service. Basically 30 mins of free advertising for solar.dream.
      Including the normal fallacy : First moaning about cuts in subsidies
      Yet a few minutes later quoting fantastic supply prices from solar eg $22-30/MWh which if true would mean they don’t need subsidies.

      Trump vs Obama Standoff On Energy
      BBC WS Business-Matters
      #1 first half : Massive romanticsm about solar
      The US woman journo Nicole Childers (Marketplace Morning Report and Tech Report) seems to act as an activist
      First moaning about cuts in solar.
      Yet a few minutes later quoting fantastic suply prices from solar eg $22-30/MWh
      she claims thats better.than gas,
      (but NO solar/wind supply for a few minites then cut out so you can’t compare
      the apples of solar/wind on off
      with the oranges of reliables which you pay for when you want it and turn off when you don’t.
      … that is much more valuable to you)

      #2 went onto oil and used the sandwich trick : they first had the activist speak
      Then a fair 1on1 with the oil biz guy
      who pointed out that Bill Clinton also put in ‘PERMANENT’ oil drill bans which then GBush just rescinded.
      .. then back to Nicole Childers who made.big scares about fracking without the oil guy being allowed to contest.

  8. The Old Man permalink
    December 29, 2016 4:37 pm

    The Windmills are a maintenance headache, and a life cycle costing disaster even if you got the capital and the wind for “Free”. Anyone who’s ever maintained mechanical machinery of this nature could tell that without a study…

    • Gerry, England permalink
      December 30, 2016 11:41 am

      An interesting read. While putting the windmills at sea may get a 10% increase in the modest output of these things – and avoid some of the planning problems – it puts them in a nasty salt laden environment and a more expensive location for maintenance. You might well get 5% return on your green bonds but I have steered well clear of them in case you can’t get out quick enough when the collapse comes as reality bites.

      I also note in the linked piece the moan from the renewable cheerleader that innovation has failed to come to the rescue. Sounds rather familiar across the whole swathe of renewables as we wait for that great leap in battery tech to allow a full recharge in 5 mins and huge capacity.

  9. Nigel S permalink
    December 30, 2016 9:51 am

    Might be time to look at ‘Cool Futures’ hedge fund although it may be too late. I suspect the subsidy farmers’ collapse will be quite rapid. Let’s hope it’s less disastrous than the Soviet Union’s.

  10. Empty Nose permalink
    December 31, 2016 11:02 pm

    Great blog.
    Wind farms make ppl sick.
    They charge you more for electricity so you are poorer and less free.
    Contracts and subsidies are an excuse for politicians to deliberately transfer your tax dollars and public funds to their friends via corporations.
    Search for information about the Rothschild’s and the Rockefeller’s. These ppl are pure evil.

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