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Monday, November 18, 2013With energy inextricably linked to economic growth, many countries subsidize energy costs in varying forms and magnitude. Understanding the impact of energy subsidies—and how the impacts might change in the evolving global energy landscape—is necessary if decision makers are to successfully navigate the complex world of energy policy. Tax subsidies are found when taxes on the consumption of energy are too low, that is to say when the production price does not account for the full social cost.
To estimate the environmental implications of energy subsides, Clements tests the impact of raising energy prices to levels that would eliminate subsidies for petroleum products, natural gas, and coal. Removing these subsidies is expected to affect consumer prices by increasing production costs and raising energy prices. A comprehensive reform plan with clear long-term objectives, assessment of the impact of reforms, and consultation with stakeholders. A far-reaching communications strategy that informs the public of the size of subsidies and the benefits of reform, in addition to strengthening transparency in subsidy reporting. Appropriately phased and sequenced price increases that permit households and enterprises time to adjust and governments to build social safety nets. Improvements in the efficiency of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to reduce their fiscal burden by improving information disclosure on their costs, setting performance targets and incentives, and introducing competition where appropriate. Targeted efforts that would protect the poor from potential cost increases, including targeted cash transfers and other programs such as job training.
The energy subsidy policy challenge is not going to disappear anytime soon.  As long as energy is so strongly linked with economic and geopolitical success, governments will have an incentive to subsidize its usage and distribution.
The Cabineta€™s decision on increasing energy prices will likely raise costs, which will be reflected on FY16 financial statements, the company said in a statement to the Saudi bourse - Tadawul. The worldwide market for PV storage is forecast to grow rapidly to reach $19 billion in 2017, from less than $200 million in 2012, according to a new report entitled a€?The Role of Energy Storage in the PV Industrya€™ from IMS Research, now part of IHS.
Following the introduction of an energy storage subsidy in Germany, global installations of PV storage systems are forecast to grow by more than 100 percent a year on average over the next five years, to reach almost 7 gigawatts (GW) in 2017 and worth $19 billion.
Although the rates are not confirmed yet, the proposed subsidy will reduce the average 20-year cost of a PV system with storage to 10 percent less than a system without it. Previously, the high cost of batteries had more than offset the savings created by increased self-consumption, and PV systems without storage offered a more attractive return. While Germany is forecast to remain one of the largest markets for PV storage, energy storage solutions will also be deployed in a wide range of other regions, the report found. As the first country to introduce a subsidy for PV storage, Germany will inspire other countries to follow suit, if the scheme proves successful, IHS expects. Storage is also predicted to be used in larger systems, in order to improve the integration of PV into the grid, increase the financial return of PV systems and meet the increasingly demanding connection requirements that some countries are imposing on intermittent electricity sources like PV. By now, we’re all aware of the threat to the well-being of life on this planet posed by our massive use of fossil fuels and the various ways we might attempt to reduce the rate of CO2 increase in our atmosphere. The case for divestment generally flows along these lines; By making investment in fossil fuels seem unethical, investors will gradually move away from fossil fuels into other investments, leaving behind a smaller, but hardcore cohort of fossil fuel investors. Resulting (in theory) in a gradual decline in the total global investment in fossil fuels, thereby lowering consumption and CO2 additions to the atmosphere. Interestingly, Solaris (a hybridized tobacco plant) is being grown and processed into biofuel to power South African Airways (SAA) jets.
In 2014, the total global fossil fuel subsidy amounted to $548 billion dollars according to the IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development) although it was projected to hit $600 billion before the oil price crash began in September. Yes, removing those subsidies would do much to lower our carbon emissions as many oil and gas wells, pipelines, refineries and port facilities would suddenly become hugely uneconomic. We don’t recognize them for the white elephants they are, because they are obscured by mountains of cash. The fossil fuel industry will spin this for decades, trying to get the world to come to contretemps on the *exact dollar amount* of fossil fuel damage to the environment.
And know that there are powerful lobby groups dedicated to keeping a carbon tax from ever seeing the light of day.

So far, there are no (known) powerful fossil fuel lobby groups dedicated to preventing renewable energy from receiving the same annual subsidy levels as the fossil fuel industry. Imagine how hypocritical the fossil fuel industry would look if it attempted to block renewable energy subsidies set to the same level as fossil fuel subsidies. Even discounting the global externality cost of fossil fuel (which some commentators have placed at up to $2 trillion per year) the global, annual $548 billion fossil fuel subsidy promotes an unfair marketplace advantage. My opinion is that renewable energy will win hands down and that we will exceed our clean air goals over time — and stop global warming in its tracks. Not only that, but we will create hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs and accrue other benefits during the transition to renewable energy. Investors will simply migrate from fossil fuel energy stock, to renewable energy stock, within the same energy company or group of energy companies. At the advent of scheduled airline transportation nearly a century ago, the smart railway companies bought existing airlines (or created their own airlines) and kept their traditional investors and gained new ones. Likewise, smart oil and gas companies, should now buy existing renewable energy companies (or create their own renewable energy companies) and keep their traditional investors and gain new ones. A problem I have with this argument is that this $500 billion is not a monolithic subsidy that’s applied uniformly. At least the word is out now that fossil fuels get 4x – 6x the subsidies (depending upon which study) that renewable energy gets.
No matter how good electric cars are, it’s difficult to compete against massive subsidies like that. March 25, 2014 By Rupert Redesdale Leave a Comment The idea that companies need to be bribed to even consider the idea of saving money has become imbedded in the corporate culture, argues Energy Managers Association CEO Lord Redesdale. The availability of finance for energy efficiency will be crucial to companies trying to lower their energy bills. Compulsory energy efficiency audits enshrined until the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) due in 2015 will certainly focus the minds of company directors on what measures are available. However it is funded, with or without subsidy – and I suspect the latter – energy efficiency is going to become not just a greenwash item but a real business priority. Filed Under: Energy Management About Rupert RedesdaleLord Redesdale took his seat in the House of Lords in 1991 where he worked in a variety of roles (including Energy Spokesman for the Lib Dems) until he left to form ADBA in 2009. We will never share your email address and you can easily unsubscribe from every email we send you. It is estimated that total energy subsidies globally may add up to a staggering $2 trillion, larger than the GDP of most nations.
Benedict Clements, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) official, presented on these exact issues at the Center on Global Energy Policy on November 18. These “pre-tax” subsidies total $492 billion worldwide.  Nearly half of this lost revenue subsidizes petroleum products. These post-tax subsidies are four times larger than pre-tax subsidies, totaling ~$2 trillion.  Almost a third of these dollars go toward subsidies for coal. He concludes that this reform would reduce global carbon emissions by 4.5 billion tons and generate significant health benefits by reducing local pollution emitted by power plants in the form of SO2. In isolation, the removal of these subsidies could result in a de facto regressive tax regime. Germany will account for nearly 70 percent of storage installed in residential PV systems worldwide in 2013.However, opportunities also will exist in other regions and applications in the future and Germanya€™s share of the global market naturally will fall as a result. IHS predicts that the subsidy will promote rapid growth in the German residential sector, and result in almost 2 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of effective storage capacity being installed during the next five years.
Germany was the pioneer of the FiT for PV systems and along with Japan initially drove the PV marketa€™s development.
Utility-scale PV systems with storage are forecast to grow to more than 2GW annually by 2017 according to the report, with Asia and the Americas dominating this market. Over time, fewer people wanted their names or fund associated with the tobacco industry — so that the tobacco industry is now a shadow of its former self.

They expect all flights to be fully powered by tobacco biofuel within a few years, cutting their CO2 emissions in half. Long before any agreement is reached we will be as lobsters in a pot due to global warming. We will also lower healthcare spending, agricultural damage, and lower damage to steel and concrete infrastructure from acid rain. At several financial institutions the availability of subsidy is required before a project is even considered. Companies that have a balance sheet that can sustain investment will look to the demand side as a means of cutting bottom line costs; but this does not aid companies with restrained capital investment budgets. Clements is co-author of a recent IMF report that details the consequences of energy subsidies. Benedict argues that these increased costs will, over the long-term, reallocate resources to less energy and capital intensive activities. Maria Vagliasindi, a World Bank economist, authored Implementing Energy Subsidy Reforms, a 2012 report that described lessons learned from 20 developing nations that attempted to implement energy subsidy reforms.  Vagliasindi has found that net energy importers such as Armenia, Jordan, India, Chile, Peru, and Turkey have had the most success with their phase-out of subsidies.
In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript! The idea that companies would need to be bribed to save money has become almost imbedded in the corporate culture. If a board of a company does not spend time understanding its energy costs and saving opportunities, are its directors meeting their fiduciary duties under the Companies Act? Subsidies may also widen the gap between the rich and the poor, with the richest 20 percent of households in low-and middle-income countries consuming the most energy and accruing 40 percent of the actual benefits from the energy subsidies. The work of Clements and Vagliasindi illustrate the complexity of energy subsidy reform in any country.  Many countries, including the Untied States, are grappling with this challenge and are attempting to determine the economic costs and benefits of reform. This has always been the thorny knot investment committees have hitherto been unable to grasp. In practice, when a year’s fund had been allocated, those considering installing would wait for the next round of subsidy – delaying efficiency. The recent problems with FIT on photo voltaic panels provide a variation of this theme. Energy servicing and contracting models are coming back into fashion with many ESCOs looking to invest in the area. When directors feel they could and will be questioned by shareholders over lack of energy reduction measures or plans, the issue will become a much higher priority. The fact that in most companies the simplest way of increasing its profit margin is to reduce energy costs has not been recognised. Performance contracting has a chequered history but there is a new impetus and legislative push, both nationally and at the European level, to develop this marketplace.
Rapidly increasing energy costs and the lack of government support to fund subsidies models are the two key factors which will ensure the energy efficiency marketplace will largely be subsidy free over the next decade. This caused a massive surge in the number of installations fuelled by financiers investing in product just to claim the subsidy.
Furthermore battle-scared ESCOs have largely learnt the lessons of the past and are delivering more solid products. Consequentially the government was forced to drastically reduce the subsidy leading to a market crash.
Although large numbers of panels were installed initially, the boom-bust nature of the market has damaged the short to medium prospects of that industry.

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