E-Waste Economics Essay

4131 WordsMay 3, 201517 Pages
e-waste: an economic dilemma Table of Contents Thesis 3 Abstract 3 Introduction 3 Background 4 Why Hasn’t “Energiewende” Worked as Planned? 6 An Alternative Energy and Environmental Plan 8 A View That Subsidies Targeted towards Renewables was the Correct Approach 10 Conclusion 11 References 12 Thesis German subsidies to renewable energy, primarily solar photovoltaic, have been expensive and inefficient and have done little to reduce carbon emissions in Germany or secure its energy future. Abstract German subsidies to the solar photovoltaic and wind energy industries have been costly to German households and a drag to economic growth causing, as a consequence, growing political opposition. The German green energy policy, called “Energiewende”, faced further headwinds in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan as German public opinion pushed for an accelerated exit from the country’s nuclear power generated electricity. Germany is now faced with stepping back from this aggressive energy transformation plan so as to ensure the lights stay on. This retrenchment means more reliance on fossil fuels which creates challenges to Germany’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050. The aggressive renewable transition and the framework of subsidies to achieve the end goal has resulted in higher energy costs for consumers, less predictable supply of energy that creates havoc for the industrial base and the unintended consequence of not meeting the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals as Germany is building new coal-fired power plants. The ‘shale-gas revolution’ in North America is having an impact on coal prices making coal more attractive than natural gas in Europe. This paper will provide an analysis of why the subsidies did not transform Germany’s energy usage

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