Who Should Be Getting Our Money?
How often have you heard (or read) someone say that renewable energy sources are irrelevant because they need subsidies to be competitive? I see it a lot.
Well, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), international government subsidies for electricity from renewables and biofuels added up to $57 billion dollars in 2009. Of that, $37 billion went to electricity and $20 billion to biofuels.
Sounds like a lot right? Turns out oil, coal and gas subsidies added up to $312 billion that same year and the IEA estimates that those subsidies are set to reach $660 billion by 2020 if governments around the world do not change their policy. Yet, you have to wonder why oil and gas is receiving such subsidies when you consider that of the top 5 most profitable corporations in 2011, three are oil and gas companies. Gazprom came in at number 2 with $31,9 billion dollars in profit. That works out to $3,6 million dollars in profit per hour! Exxon Mobil came in at number 2 with $30,5 billion in profits ($3,4 million in profit per hour). Royal Dutch Shell wrapped up the top five at “only” $20,1 billion in profit.