My letter to German Life Magazine

Dear German Life Editor,

Your article about solar and wind energy in Germany (February/March 2012) misinforms your readers because it leaves out important information. Like the United States, the German government is forcing taxpayers and electricity ratepayers to subsidize this industry. Der Spiegel recently reported that solar subsidies have topped 1 billion euros. Another report found that German law forces utilities to buy wind generated electricity for 300 percent of the cost of conventional electricity and, of course, these subsidies are passed on to German consumers who pay higher rates.  Contrary to your article, the German government is cutting back on these unsustainable subsidies.

Obviously, giant corporations on both sides of the Atlantic, such as Siemens and General Electric, are getting in on the action.  The subsidies provide huge profits with little or no risk.  A recent New York Times article calls it “a gold rush of subsidies…” The Times tells the story of one giant solar project in the California desert: “Taxpayers and ratepayers are providing subsidies worth almost as much as the entire $1.6 billion cost of the project.”  The Times calls it a “gold rush,” I call it crony capitalism at its worst.

Michael Sanera

Raleigh, North Carolina

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