Misguided solar subsidies favoured the wealthy

Further confirmation that subsidies in general are counter productive and in the case of solar panels in Australia were misguided:

From ABC News:

A new report has found the Federal Government’s billion-dollar subsidies for solar energy favoured the wealthy and barely reduced Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Over the past decade, successive federal governments have provided generous subsidies to households installing solar roof-top panels.

But the cost effectiveness and fairness of the solar voltaic rebate program is being questioned. Andrew Macintosh, the associate director of the Australian National University’s Centre for Climate Law and Policy, has reviewed the program. He says it has barely reduced Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, and it has favoured the rich. “What we found was that the cost of the program was very high,” he said. “It cost the government about $1.1 billion. For that we got about a six-fold increase in solar generation, but still solar constituted only 0.1 per cent of total generation, so a relatively small technology in the overall grid,” he said.

“We’ve been handing out a lot of subsidies for solar systems, but the most people who pick up these subsidies tend to be from wealthier households … and as a result we’re basically providing middle and upper class welfare.”

In June last year the Federal Government cancelled the program at short notice.


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