The wind of fortune has swept into Arfons, a village in the Tarn region of southwestern France, whose budget has rocketed fivefold in the past three years from 400,000 euros to 2.3 million euros (£1.94 million) – or 12,169 euros per person.
A serious debate about the appropriate level of US energy subsidies should begin with the facts, rather than with misperceptions. It should also focus first on the goals of such incentives, before jumping to the details of this tax credit vs. that one. What do we want these measures to achieve? If it's simply the promotion of energy production, then the current incentive system looks too heavily skewed in favor of renewables. If it's jobs, then we should be realistic about how many can be added by such a capital-intensive sector. If it's the promotion of both energy security and innovation, then at least parts of the current system look directionally right, though I'd argue that we'd benefit from spending more on renewable energy R&D and less on the deployment of mature-but-expensive technologies like wind. However, if emissions and climate change are our primary concerns, then these incentives are not a terribly effective way to address them. My own expectation is that regardless of whether the wind tax credit is extended for another year, most of the tax incentives that the EIA assessed here will eventually be swept away by tax reform focused on reducing corporate tax rates to improve US competitiveness, while eliminating loopholes to make the changes revenue-neutral.
A new study released this month finds that a number of African countries would greatly benefit from the implementation of feed-in tariffs to promote the growth of renewables – largely because the policy leads to more distributed generation.
Fossil-fuel subsidies are a growing fiscal burden that encourage wasteful consumption. See which countries have the largest subsidies around the world.
Nations are weighing phaseout of fossil fuel subsidies, a growing fiscal burden that ratchets up carbon dioxide emissions by encouraging wasteful oil, natural gas, and coal consumption. The largest subsidies are in developing countries, which spend more than $400 billion annually shielding their populations from high fuel prices. But oil industry tax breaks and other government measures in developed nations also subsidize fossil fuels, to the tune of $45 billion to $75 billion per year.
Click on the link for the interactive global map...
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