The amount of money flowing into European green energy from governments and the private sector collapsed from $132 billion in 2011 to $58 billion last year.
A report, published Tuesday by a British auditing firm, blames government cutbacks of subsidies and the failure of green energy to meet reliability and cost goals as a reason for declining investment. The cutbacks largely occurred for cost reasons.
As recently as 2010, Europe made up 45 percent of the world’s investment in green energy, but that has plunged to 18 percent, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“Whenever subsidies or mandates are lowered, interrupted, or ended, then investment in renewable energy projects disappears,” Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the free market Competitive Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The same thing has happened repeatedly in the U. S. when federal tax credits for wind and solar power have lapsed. The reason is obvious: despite decades of promises that these technologies will soon be commercially viable, they still cannot compete in the market against conventional sources of electricity.”
The U.K was routinely the top place to invest in green energy due to lucrative subsidies, mandates and tax incentives during the mid-2000s, but now it has fallen to 13th place, according to the report.
These subsidies and tax incentives were enormously costly. Brits paid a whopping 54 percent more for electricity than Americans in 2014 while energy taxes cost residents roughly $6.6 billion every year. Green energy subsidies in the U.K regularly exceed spending caps and account for roughly 7 percent of British energy bills, according to a government study released last July.
Europe had a similar experience with green energy. The continent poured $1.2 trillion into the green energy industry to fight global warming, but its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and power bills just keep rising.
Between 2005, when Europe create pro-green energy policies, and 2014, residential electricity rates on the continent increased by 63 percent, according to a study published in March by The Manhattan Institute. Over the same period, residential rates in the U.S. rose by 32 percent. Germany, Spain and the U.K, which intervened the most in the energy markets, saw its electricity bills rise the fastest, according to the study.
The average European spent 26.9 cents per kilowatt-hour on electricity, while the average American only spent 10.4 cents, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis of power prices. These rising power bills hit Europe’s poor the hardest, hurting them 1.4 to four times more than they hurt the rich, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller