Renewable Energy Losing Its Shine in Europe
From USA Today
For British entrepreneur Timothy Porter and millions of other Europeans who get generous financial incentives for solar panels, the sun has been very lucrative.
Not only does the government pay Porter for producing solar energy he produces, at far higher than the market rate for electricity, but he can also use what he generates for himself.
“It’s fantastic,” he said, admiring the solar panel he installed on the roof of his home in the English West Midlands two years ago.
Such subsidies are widespread in Europe, where policymakers say that energy from wind and the sun will stave global temperature increases they blame on the use of fossil fuels like oil and coal. But Europe’s debt crisis has many countries worrying more about their bottom line than climate.
Governments around the world have watched Europe as it has moved to implement generous subsidy schemes like Porter’s to meet ambitious green energy goals and race towards a future free of fossil fuels.
But with skyrocketing costs, major infrastructure challenges and biting austerity measures brought on by the debt crisis, some wonder why Europe has gone through the trouble of promising so much green so soon.
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