The subsidized photovoltaic industry has exploded in the mostly cloudy Czech Republic. Within a year, the amount of electricity produced by solar panels has increased by a whole order of magnitude. As a result, the leading power utility, ČEZ, estimates that it may have to raise the price of electricity by a whopping 20 or 30 percent starting from January 2011.
Today, everybody in the Czech politics realizes that the subsidized "renewable" energy was a huge mistake and a looming tumor inside the economy that has to liquidated as soon as possible; otherwise we are going to pay dearly. Be sure that almost no Czech citizen is eager to pay an extra 20-30% for the electricity and politicians are well aware of this sentiment.
However, it hasn't always been the case. Just one or two years ago, pretty much every Parliamentary party in Czechia - with the proud exception of ODS, the Civic Democratic Party (the main current right-wing coalition party founded by President Klaus) - was endorsing the growth of the "new industry". Even though ODS was recently split in its relationship to Klaus, the whole club actually managed to support Klaus' opinions about the "renewable sources of energy" in all critical moments.
By the way, while Czechia is thinking about the ways to save its economy from the promised green subsidies, Science Magazine wonders how flying saucers may save the Earth from global warming. ;-)
But ODS was beaten, the bills passed, and the contracts have already been signed and the green would-be entrepreneurs have already been guaranteed a huge and easy profit from trying to bring us to some real trouble. Or have they? Mr Pavel Bárta has written an interesting article at virtually.cz and I translate his text in its entirety.
A new tax to beat the green thieves
By Pavel Bárta
The support for the renewable sources is a robbery. It's the same kind of robbery as the purchase of overpriced swirling water baths for the military. The electricity provided by these sources may be produced elsewhere and in a cheaper way. When we include the consumed raw materials, energy, the expenses to liquidate the facilities, the secondary investments, and the operating costs that are needed to stabilize the power grid, only green ignorants or creative Greek administrators could be talking about environmental benefits of such an investment.
In the recent years, this robbery took place to such an extent that its impact on the target donkey, who is no one else than the energy consumer, was not too visible. Mass production of the "pinwheels" could only be stopped because of the cursed slogan, NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard)! However, as some progress occurred in the development of the solar panels, photovoltaic cells have broken into our back yards. First, they differ from the "pinwheels" because they don't overhang the landscape so flagrantly; second, their support is set to completely nonsensical values.
Because this robbery is legal and its disgraceful profitability is guaranteed by one of the green religious bills, it is very difficult to take the loot away from the solar hustlers. The government, which - as it is usual - has only realized the problem when it was pretty late, began to search for various possibilities - especially those based on the tax system - how the solar insanity may be stopped. Politicians are speaking about a special, solar, higher rate for the income tax. However, the photovoltaic hustlers have legally guaranteed tax breaks. Others are speaking about a state intervention into the electricity prices via a subsidy - which only means that the solar priests will be paid from the same pockets but by a different method.
If we want to find a genuine way how to terminate the sunstroke, we may use another kind of tax - a real estate tax that will be imposed on every owner of the (temporary) structure or building dedicated to the production of the solar energy via photovoltaic cells. From a budgetary viewpoint, this tax would be an income of the government and it will be used to pay for the difference between the prices of non-solar "power" electricity and the government-guaranteed price for the photovoltaic energy. The tax should be at least large enough to make the whole operation budget-neutral. There is a danger that once the solar wizards go bankrupt, the fields will have to be cleaned by the State Environmental Fund. But the price will still be very low for the big blunder that this business has been.