1) At Last: Britain Signals End Of Solar Subsidies – The Daily Telegraph, 28 August 2015 Britain’s solar boom is over after ministers announced they would offer virtually no subsidies for people to install panels on their homes. In a surprise move, ministers on Thursday said that they plan to slash the amount of money given to families who put solar panels on their homes. Under the new proposals, the amount paid to homeowners under the “feed-in tariff” from next year will fall by nearly 90 per cent. Critics say the scheme, which was heavily pushed by energy firms, enables wealthy families to rake in subsidies paid for by many who are already struggling with their energy bills. –Peter Dominiczak
2) Solar Panels No Longer Viable As Britain Plans To Cull Subsidies By 87% – The Daily Telegraph, 27 August 2015 Householders planning to install solar panels will receive 87pc less in subsidy payments as ministers attempt to halt a £1.5bn overspend on renewable energy. The Government consultation published today follows the recent axing of a £540 million taxpayer-funded scheme, the Green Deal, which gave out loans and cash for energy-efficient home improvements. Now feed-in-tariff payments on domestic solar panels will also be cut. The move came after Amber Rudd, energy secretary, said “Government support has driven down the cost of renewable energy significantly” and that renewable energy should “survive without subsidies” due to falling costs. –Kate Palmer
3) US Green Energy Subsidies ‘Unfair and Ineffective’, Study Finds – The Australian, 12 August 2015 A University of California study has slammed the fairness, efficiency and effectiveness of billions of dollars of so-called green energy subsidies provided by the US government. The US federal government has paid $US18.1 billion in tax credits since 2006 aimed at encouraging American households to install energy-efficient windows, air conditioning schemes, rooftop solar in their homes and buy electric and other hybrid vehicles. The study has found the bottom 60 per cent US households by income received about 10 per cent of the value of the four main ‘green energy’ tax credits available, while the top 20 per cent (those with annual incomes above $US75,000) extracted 60 per cent of the benefit. “The most extreme [example] is the program aimed at electric vehicles, where the top income quintile received about 90 per cent of all credits,” concluded Severin Borenstien and Lucas Davis, from the University of California, Berkeley. –Adam Creighton
4) The Distributional Effects of US. Clean Energy Tax Credits – University of California, Berkely, August 2015 Since 2006, U.S. households have received more than $18 billion in federal income tax credits for weatherizing their homes, installing solar panels, buying hybrid and electric vehicles, and other “clean energy” investments. We use tax return data to examine the socioeconomic characteristics of program recipients. We find that these tax expenditures have gone predominantly to higher-income Americans. The bottom three income quintiles have received about 10% of all credits, while the top quintile has received about 60%. The most extreme is the program aimed at electric vehicles, where we find that the top income quintile has received about 90% of all credits. By comparing to previous work on the distributional consequences of pricing greenhouse gas emissions, we conclude that tax credits are likely to be much less attractive on distributional grounds than market mechanisms to reduce GHGs.
5) Obama Administration Wins Case Against India’s Solar Subsidies – Press Trust of India, 28 August 2015 India has lost another case against the US at World Trade Organisation as the body ruled that India’s domestic content requirements under its solar power programme were inconsistent with the international norms. Last year, the US dragged India to WTO on country’s solar mission plan. The US alleged that India’s programme appears to discriminate against the US solar equipment by requiring solar energy producers to use locally manufactured cells and by offering subsidies to those developers who use domestic equipment.
6) Rupert Murdoch Links Regulations, ‘Endless Climate Alarmist Nonsense’ To Financial Turmoil – CNN, 27 August 2015 Media mogul Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter Wednesday night to weigh in on the recent volatility in global financial markets, calling small business “the only hope for growth” while decrying the regulatory obstacles standing in its way – and pointing a finger at climate change “alarmist nonsense.” –David Wright