“The Great Green Energy Crack-Up”

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“The government — which our president cited as his environmental role model in his last presidential bid — sought to buy support with outrageous subsidies, in the form of power purchases, to anyone who put a solar panel on his roof in sunny Seville.  The government spent much more than it took in, sold bonds it couldn’t back, and pretty soon your portfolio is going to pay the price.  (I’m not so bullish on the notion that the president is going to be touting Spain and solar power this time around).  The United Kingdom followed suit, but instead required that electric utilities pay the price, which is far more expensive than their coal (or gas) power.  As occurred in Spain, people know a good handout when they see one and, just last month, there were over 15,000 new installations.  Nevermind that the U.K. is one of the cloudiest nations on earth — we’re talking Prince Charles here.  At the same time, consumers got an extra bill to support wind farms that, because of the inconstancy of the wind, operate at 25% of their capacity (figure from the British Wind Energy Association) or 8% (according to E.on, a large operator of UK wind farms).  Guess what?  Electricity prices have gone through the roof.  The average U.K. household bill is a tad under $200 per month, and so the thermostat goes down.  It’s pretty chilly there for much of the year, and a cold house has consequences.  A study just came out today on the health costs of what they call “fuel poverty”, commissioned by the Energy and Climate Change Secretary (don’t we need one of  those?), Chris Huhne.  Bottom line:   the chill from green taxes is now killing more Brits per year than car crashes.”

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