Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Clean Energy needs less regulation, not more: Liebreich

"Michael Liebreich is founder and CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance"
From some entertaining exchanges on Twitter between Malthusian Machiavellians and what they seem to be calling "Neocon Brits" I stumbled onto a commentary by Liebreich in the recently released Responsibility & Resilience: What the Environment means to Conservatives
Feed-in tariffs are nothing less than state price controls.  Renewable energy targets are indistinguishable from Soviet five year plans. Over-regulation and complex planning requirements add costs, slow down projects, reduce transparency and increase risk. Green Investment Banks are the very embodiment of state capital allocation.  Capacity payments and carbon price floors are evidence of failure in the design of markets. Don’t get me started on price caps.
We have seen the results of these approaches. Germany may have reached over 25% renewable electricity, but at what excessive cost to its household energy users? Spain reached 42%, but its retro-active policy U-turns have left its entire economy all but uninvestable. Around the world the energy industry – fossil fuels as well as clean energy – is in the grip of a pandemic of rent-seeking, subsidy-farming, inefficiency, misallocation of resources, and the inevitable picking of losers. 
The entire publication is available from the Conservative Environment Network (.pdf - quote here is from page 61)

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