Debunking FIT Myths
As noted elsewhere, there are a number of myths about Feed-in Tariffs (FITs), many proffered by the opponents of renewable energy–and some argued by environmentalists influenced neoliberal economic theory. Many talented authors have tackled these myths in explaining why FITs work so well and why FITs are more equitable than other renewable energy policies.
Reading the press or comments these days in French or English, the tone about Germany’s energy policies is a mix of the gleeful (of the “schadenfreude” kind) and the contemptuous. Germany was naive (to trust Putin), mercantilist / corrupt (its elite selling their soul or themselves for the “cheap gas” that its industry craves), or in thrall to the perverse ideology of the “commie greens” (who pushed to close nuclear and promote useless renewables). While it is clear that the current situation, with Russia wilfully reducing gas volumes to Europe, hits Germany quite hard, and will impose harsh choices on its industry and population this year, how much of the above criticism makes sense?
Vattenfall and BASF have been getting a lot of coverage for the first power generated at the HKZ offshore wind farm, with headlines like: Subsidy-Free Offshore Wind Power Starts Flowing into Dutch Grid. This is doubly annoying, as HKZ is actually not subsidy-free, and what it is “free” of is not a subsidy.
The study thus basically further documents the real reason for the shift from feed-in tariffs to auctions: it wasn’t about price, as lots of people assume; the goal was to give policymakers a way to control, and hence limit, the amount built annually.
Is one of the most powerful books on the renewable energy revolution in decades. It’s a chronicle of the remarkable transformation underway in the world’s fourth-largest industrial economy.
Volkmar Lauber and Staffan Jacobsson
This chapter in The Triple Challenge for Europe focuses on the German Energiewende which was designed as a long-term strategy in support of a transition to sustainability in energy supply. It was also a response to the challenge of globalization in that it aimed to improve Germany’s competitive position by stimulating the development of new capital goods industries and reducing fossil-fuel imports. Hence, Energiewende is a way to meet the triple challenge in the field of energy. During its first decades, it was successful in enabling the deployment of a range of new technologies, the formation of innovative capital goods…