in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

One energy analyst is challenging the commonly held belief that European nations' renewable energy policies are more progressive than those in place in the U.S.

"Whisper it quietly," says Jonathan Lane, head of consulting for power utilities at research firm GlobalData. "The U.S. has a more progressive renewable support policy than Europe. In the U.S., the major federal support scheme for renewables - the production tax credit - provides a tax break for renewable generators of $0.022/kWh for 10 years."

In many European countries, renewable energy subsidies are loaded onto customers’ electricity bills - usually through a tax, or sometimes via an electricity retailer obligation - a policy Lane calls “perverse.”

“Whilst this approach confers the advantage of keeping tax subsidies out of the electricity sector, with the competitive market setting the price for consumers, the reality is that it is government intervention pushing prices upwards,” he explains.

In fact, Lane says Europe should actually look to the U.S. as an example for successful energy policy.

“As energy prices become more politically charged across the world, Europe should take a look at the U.S,” he says. “The problem with Europe’s policy is growing fuel poverty. Electricity and gas prices increase rapidly against a recessionary backdrop, with little or no wage growth and high food and road fuel inflation.

"This can’t be considered fair, and the complaints are getting louder," Lane says. "The reason that governments subsidize renewable generation is a social good - aimed at reducing carbon emissions and reducing fossil-fuel import dependency - and it makes far more sense for these goals to be delivered via general taxation. Under the U.S. system, those most able to pay for renewables do so. Under the European system, those least able to afford it pay.”



Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Suzlon Facility Lends Key Assist In Developing 'The Wind Technicians Of Tomorrow'

The turbine manufacturer’s Elgin, Ill.-based training facility is the culmination of a program that puts a new twist on a proven method of instruction.


Having Their Say: CanWEA Clarifies True Source Of Canadian Wind Success

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) takes issue with a recent report summary regarding various renewable energy policies in North America.


FWS Issues Landmark Eagle Take Permit: What Does It Mean For Wind Projects?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) recent decision has far-ranging implications for operating wind farms, as well as for those under development.


'Significant' Opportunity Exists Within Wind Energy's O&M Services Market

An increasing number of wind turbines are nearing the end of their warranty period, creating significant revenue-generating opportunities within the wind turbine operations and maintenance (O&M) sector.


Cape Wind Obtains DOE Loan Guarantee To Support Offshore Wind Project Construction

The proposed 468 MW offshore wind farm located off the coast of Nantucket Sound received a key assist that should help in financing the U.S.’ first utility-scale wind farm.

Renewable NRG_id1934