Anti-wind and anti-solar folks (yes, there are a few out there — mostly tied to the fossil fuel industry) love to bring up renewable energy subsidies. However, there are so many reasons why they really shouldn’t be eager to do so. For example, fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies dwarf renewable energy subsidies.
Additionally, many indirect subsidies never even get counted in most subsidy analyses — such as the tremendous extent to which we subsidize oil through our military and the tremendous health externalities not included in the price of fossil fuels (neither of which are included in the price of fossil fuels).
But there’s another point which gets even less attention. Here’s a reader comment that I thought was worth a repost:
Yes, we have supported oil, wind and solar with subsidies. Look how that’s played out.
Oil, in 1946, was $18.89 a barrel (2012/current dollars) and in 2012 it’s running about $100 a barrel. (More than a 5x increase.)
Support for oil might have kept prices from rising further, but it has not made oil cheaper.
Support for wind and solar have made them much cheaper. Our investments are returning massive dividends.
Wind has gone down to 1/6th its early price, solar to 1/100th, and oil has risen by more than 5x. Exactly how has that oil subsidy worked out for us?
Image Credits: Climate Progress
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.