the response is 'Very expensively, and not very well.'
Europe used subsidies and mandates to promote renewables. Feed-in
tariffs were enacted in most nations, providing a payment to homeowners
and businesses for electricity fed into the grid from solar or wind
facilities. Governments paid a fixed subsidy of four to ten times the
wholesale electricity price, guaranteed for up to twenty years, for
The results of Europe’s green energy measures have been bizarre. Feed-in tariffs in Germany stimulated more than one million rooftop solar installations. But Germany is not exactly the sun belt. The latitude of central Germany is the same as Calgary, Canada. As a result, German solar installations generate electricity at less than ten percent of rated output. Over one million solar installations provide only six percent of Germany’s electricity and one percent of the nation’s energy. For this solar miracle, German citizens are obligated to pay over $400 billion in current and future payments to solar providers through higher electricity rates.
Europe has created an energy system where everyone loses. Consumers,
industry, traditional power plants, and even renewable energy companies
are now losing. Even though wholesale electricity prices are falling,
consumer electricity prices have doubled over the last ten years due to
large subsidy payments to renewable companies. Nations with the largest
percentage of renewable energy
also have the highest electricity prices. Citizens of Spain pay 23
eurocents per kilowatt-hour, three times the U.S. price, and citizens of
Germany and Denmark pay more than 25 eurocents per kilowatt-hour, four
times the U.S. price.
And there's more. What a bloody waste.