Friday, January 13, 2012

Monbiot on feed-in tariffs as a 'useless, middle-class subsidy'

The green deal is a useless, middle-class subsidy | George Monbiot | Environment |
"Two years ago, I warned that the feed-in tariff, a tax on energy bills which pays for people to produce their own low-carbon electricity, would be deeply regressive. To install solar electricity, for example, you would need your own roof plus £10,000 or more in cash. If you were lucky enough to possess both these assets, you would be making, at other people's expense, one of the most lucrative of all possible investments. It would give you a state-guaranteed return of 5-8%, fixed for 25 years, which was both index-linked (making a nominal return of 7-10%) and tax free.

Those who angrily denounced my analysis claimed that it could in fact be a progressive scheme, as communities of poorer people could be helped to cash in. They're still claiming it, even though the facts deserted them long ago. Today, Andrew Pendleton of Friends of the Earth insists in the Guardian that there are "countless" examples of community feed-in tariff schemes in the UK.

They're not countless; they've been counted by the energy regulator, Ofgem, in its annual report. There are 403 such schemes, as opposed to 29,265 domestic installations. "
Read the entire column at the Guardian

My fellow residents of Ontario should question whether the NDP is the least bit relevant as the party of Greenpeace, instead of the party of social justice.

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