Renewable corruption

The October 24, 2008 edition of Spanish financial newspaper “Expansión” reports that the Ministry of Industry is investigating fraudulent practices in renewable energy subsidies.

What a surprise. How naive can the Ministry be?

The desire to promote renewable energy at all cost, almost obsessively, has drawn governments to offer juicy subsidies on any attempt to research or produce energy from new sources. It is all framed, of course, in the human-caused climate change dogma, which ought to make humans change our habits.

How to implement such change? By pouring loads of public money in subsidies for private companies, to make new businesses with energy sources (wind, solar, bio-fuels) which will supposedly help the planet.

There are two basic problems with such policy:

  1. It is nonsense to think that those energy sources can represent a significant percentage of the needed energy, taking into account current existing technology.
  2. It is also nonsense to think that public money will promote private initiative. It only promotes corruption.

Fraud in subsidies applications was to be expected: First of all, companies see subsidies as an additional source of income, not as aid. Secondly, those energy sources are not profitable on their own (with current technology). For this reason, serious companies, which could develop conscientious and productive work, are not going to apply for those subsidies.

However, the government must spend that money for several reasons:

  • The subsidies have been budgeted following the climate change dogma, and the dogma brings votes; the dogma must be financed.
  • Politicians like to portray themselves before the public as defenders of the planet, and they like to say they put a lot of money into it.
  • Money for those subsidies is in the budget, and the budget must never go unspent. It must be spent even if not needed, or else that manager will see his or her budget reduced, and along with it his/her relevance.

Weasel-companies are always willing to take advantage of that money that must be spent even if no real useful project exists for it. All that’s required is to justify before the Ministry of Industry a few action plans that fit in with the dogma, or that fit in with the subsidies’ manager pocket, and the subsidy is easy to obtain.

The end result: guaranteed fraud on the people paying their taxes with their work. Lots of public money have gone into private hands with no benefit at all for the general public.

If the Government intends to curb fraud and to do something for the planet, they should implement a decent energy policy, eliminating subsidies programs which are nothing but a catalyst for corruption, prioritizing nuclear energy again, and promoting respect for the environment (rather than “fighting climate change”).

Without dismantling the subsidies system, energy will be only be spent along the way to keep up a system of renewable and renewed corruption.

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