O c t o b e r  2 0 1 1 — Volume 19, Issue 10
The GENI-us Letter

International Energy Agency Warns Of Ballooning World Fossil Fuel Subsidy

Dear GENI Friend,

Having worked in the renewable energy field for 25 years, it’s exciting to see the growth of solar and wind projects around the world.  These energy sectors have seen 30%-50% increases each year – which means a doubling every 2 years of installed capacity.  But it’s important to remember the competition if renewables are going to capture market share beyond 12% of the total electricity production in the world today.

US Federal Subsidies 2002-2008First, the playing field is not level.  During our event last year on “Energy and Water Sustainability in Southern California” Craig Lewis of the www.Clean-Coalition.org presented a compelling case for Feed-in-Tariffs to accelerate the uptake of clean technologies.  He shared the graph of U.S. Federal subsidies in the energy sector from 2002 – 2008.  The sobering reality is that coal, oil, and gas received 250% more support than for renewables.

Since fossil fuels provide for most of today’s energy needs, their advocates argue this is fair.  Yet subsidies and tax breaks usually are created to enable new industries to get established and then sunset over time.  The fossil fuel industry is a century old and now makes record profits.

Second, in a condition of record budget deficits, can we afford this financial support to fossil fuels?  These continuing subsidies are upside-down in a world that’s working to reduce carbon emissions and increase clean energy production.

«Salutation», the International Energy Agency broadens the argument to all nations, saying that business-as-usual will drive these subsidies to $600 billion a year in 2020.  This must change – or we’ll end up where we are headed (old Chinese proverb).   All nations are culpable -- and all must become part of the solution.  We need your help.  Share these graphs with your media; send them to your leaders. Tell them that energy funding is up-side down.  Take a stand for your country, for common sense -- for our common future.

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In partnership for the planet,

Peter Meisen
Peter Meisen


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Updated: 2011/03/16

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