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Some renewable-energy subsidies are stupidly, insanely expensive, says emissions trader

The price of carbon permits makes them useless. Governments have issued too many permits, and also put in competing programs to reduce CO2 emissions. The collective Green Gravy train is fracturing and now even frustrated carbon traders are pointing out that parts of the save-the-world-program make no sense.

Tough to Keep the World From Warming When Carbon Is This Cheap

“Some of the renewable-energy subsidies are stupidly, insanely expensive per ton of carbon dioxide saved,” said Louis Redshaw, who has his own emissions-trading company, Redshaw Advisors Ltd. in London, and was previously head of carbon at Barclays Plc. “Politicians are not only failing to deliver a comprehensive carbon price for the economy, they are busy undermining them where they exist.”

 The price of carbon is destined to achieve its true value — nothing. The only reason it hasn’t done that already is thanks to governments changing the rules to keep it alive.

Carbon Price, 2006-2016, EU

Carbon trading is still a big merry-go-round even if it’s going nowhere:

 Today, there are 38 countries, cities, states and provinces using pricing systems in an attempt to put a lid on greenhouse gases, according to the World Bank.

(If you feel the urge to short markets like this, check out CoolFutures. See my post on the process of setting up the worlds first hedge fund aiming to pop this climate bubble.)

It’s a managed market, put on for show, and no government has the will to make the price high enough to work:

The problem is that the permits are selling at a slower and slower rate. The surplus of allowances is becoming so large in systems run by Europe, California and Quebec — which together account for more than 90 percent of global trading — that by 2022 it could cover the emissions spewing from every car on Earth for a full year, according to estimates by the London environmental group Sandbag Climate Campaign CIC and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

In California’s market, all 23 million allowances sold in an auction in 2014. In May, 7.3 million permits found buyers, only 11 percent of what was put up for sale.

The cross-competing subsides are destroying the carbon market:

“When you put in place all these other mandates [like gasoline carbon intensity, wind power, and solar energy subsidies] , there is little work left for carbon markets,” said Meredith Fowlie, an economist and research associate at the University of California at Berkeley department of agriculture and resource economics.

But that’s the thing — the people who wanted a free market in carbon didn’t know what a free market was. All the mascot projects (like machines which “farm” the wind) can’t compete in a real free market. The point of the fake free market in carbon appears to be to subsidize financial houses, appease green activists, and to wear as a fashionable cloak. Judged by those criteria, the carbon market has been a success. The thing it hasn’t done is cool the world, but that was never the point.

9 out of 10 based on 50 ratings

26 comments to Some renewable-energy subsidies are stupidly, insanely expensive, says emissions trader

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Since it was a 100% government program, it was INTENDED to fail. That way they can say “See, free markets don’t work.” We have to take full control and shutdown any industry that emits carbon [sic].” That is the only way we can save the world from Global Warming Climate Change Climate Deniers Consumerism … [Translation: Capitalism].”

    They don’t mean well and never did. How can I tell? They keep doing and saying the same thing and getting the same results. Hence, it is the result they are after and not what they say they are after.


    • #

      Einstein’s definition of insanity – “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”


      • #
        Lionell Griffith

        That’s just it, they don’t expect different results. The results are exactly what they really do want: failure that can be used as an excuse to do more of the same in ever increasing amounts. Its worse than Three Card Monty. There are no cards and they expose themselves for what they are with every failed project. It is in plain sight but no one, at least not many, are able to see what is happening right in front of them.

        The typical conclusion appears to be that “they” must know what they are doing so who am I to judge otherwise. This is why I say that we don’t need better people in government, we need better ideas in the people. The rest would take care of itself.

        As it is, we have a race to the bottom with the first group falling into the abyss to be called the “winner”. Black is white, freedom is slavery, poverty is wealth, and the truth is what the government tells you it is.


  • #
    James Murphy

    A carbon trader complaining that they cannot compete because there are so many snouts in the trough.

    It would be high farce, and exceedingly funny, if it wasn’t taxpayer funded.


  • #

    Don’t you all get sick and tired of these people constantly using the word CARBON as a catch all phrase , is it laziness , is it stupidity or is it because it gives them more ability to tax and regulate everything that moves , what about that carbon fibre fishing rod I own , or those sausages I left on the Barbie all night because the rain came down to ruin yet another so called barbecue summer here in the UK , aren’t there more important issues to deal with in the world right now , such as current events in America , where apparently the lives of one particular minority amongst our carbon based life form seem to matter more than others


    • #
      Geoff Sherrington

      It is excess “carbon” in the skin that creates the dark pigment. Perhaps we should tax that “carbon” also.


  • #

    They should have a global warning on energy and use plain packaging like they do with tobacco. Instead of allowing anyone to use energy from CO2, only grown ups or over 18’s should be allowed to buy energy.

    We can learn a lot from the tobacco advertising laws in Australia with respect to energy advertising. For example, the tobacco advertising laws prohibit listing additives and other ingredients on the packet that might allow the consumer to make and educated choice so that energy advertising could also place a ban on listing any ingredients in the energy like for example listing ingredients like Carbon Monoxide or sulfur dioxide on packets of energy.

    Putting scary pictures on packets of energy would be ok, like pictures of glaciers melting and polar bears drowning would be ok.


    • #

      Do packets of tobacco list ingredients?????……for example, This tobacco contains 5% insecticide and 10% herbicide????….NO, the ingredients list is completely removed according to plain packaging laws for tobacco in Australia and so scary pictures is all you need ……

      For example, i am allergic to even small traces of nuclear energy. Using the tobacco plain packaging laws as an example, it would be illegal to list ingredients on packets of energy for example, saying ‘This energy may contains traces of nuclear power.


      • #

        If this ‘plain packaging’ protocol is followed and ingredient list is removed completely from the packet of energy, and all that remains is a picture of a polar bear drowning for example, then charging a massive tax on individual packets of energy is possible.

        The plain tobacco packaging laws in australia prove that by removing the list of ingredients on packets of tobacco that list for example all the additives and other ingredients that are added to the nicotine/tobacco you can charge as much tax as you like.

        People are not interested
        in what additives and other ingredients are actually in the tobacco they are smoking, the scary pictures is all they are interested in.

        Others here are quite right in observing that people are simply not scared of the word “Carbon Dioxide” any more and resent having to pay a tax on it. Even if that tax is only a quarter of One percent.

        Get rid of the ingredients list on energy packaging, including any mention of the ingredient CO2, and stick to plain packaging and scary pictures if people are to pay a huge tax on energy without complaint.


      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        If you were not being sarcastic, think about this. The natural does of ‘nuclear energy’ is two orders of magnitude or so more than you are likely to meet from anthropogenic sources in your lifetime. Are you therefore eternally in an allergy condition?


      • #
        Another Ian

        “For example, i am allergic to even small traces of nuclear energy.”

        And you handle your nutritional potassium requirements how?


  • #

    the global warming/climate change “crisis” is a farce. How do I know? I study observations- -what really happened to the climate vs the predictions made by computer programs. There are simply no instances where observations are even close to the catastrophic predictions. All the “canaries” cited as leading indicators have failed; both satellite and balloon data indicate global tempts have been very nearly flat for 19 years. Weather related incidents such as hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and floods are flat to declining while the ocean is rising at the same 6 to 8 inch/century rate as it has for many centuries. Only ocean warming is up and that’s primarily due to the naturally-occurring El Nino (20 over the past 60 years) now rapidly declining towards a cooling trend. Where, then, the crisis? It exists only in the spectacularly-failed computer projections and in the hearts and souls of those who would achieve power or profit from its continuation.
    Someone- – -anyone- – -please dispute any of the above- – –


  • #

    It’s all in the last paragraph Jo.

    The point of the free market in “carbon” ……

    This global warming phenomenon shows conclusively that modern society’s education system has failed.

    It has failed in that despite the huge allocation of public/taxpayer cash, the result is that the new educated elite are unable to exercise their free will and break out of the paradigm of group_think.

    People have a wonderful capacity to feel comfortable in a group, even though from the outside that group may more closely resemble a bunch of lemmings heading for the proverbial cliff edge.

    The best news for me recently has been the very uplifting Brexit where a majority made a bold decision to free themselves from the clutches of the controlling elites.



  • #

    “The price of carbon is destined to achieve its true value — nothing.”
    Are we sure the OXIDE price will not go negative? If Solar/Extra solar warming has changed to cooling. Then the CO2 may go back into the oceans, back into the life cycle, and continue into man made sequestration like landfill, food storage, fuel storage, grave yards, building frames, fuel used off planet such as satellite positioning etc. So why would it not run low and thus be sought after? I expect it will be something that we need to aquire rather than get rid of during global cooling.


  • #
    Graham Richards

    How about some pictures of abattoirs and methods of slaughtering sheep,pigs & cattle on packs of meat & sausages.

    Pictures of Halal methods of slaughter may really get some action!


  • #

    The thing it [carbon market] hasn’t done is cool the world, but that was never the point.

    … let alone a possibility.

    Instead, it epitomises Green malevolence and political greed at its best, always the blunt club designed to impoverish the West, incarcerate the developing World, and furnish the World Bank with funds to bank roll the UN 2030 global ‘administration’.

    The changing times we live in are those that embody the sound of the fracturing elastic, that overstretched, over-reaching corruption, the disconnection of unsustainable political ambition from the social inertia associated with intelligent self-awareness (ie. You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. Abraham Lincoln).

    Stealing energy to manufacture Monopoly money out of thin air in order to save the planet? Really?


  • #
    Eugene WR Gallun

    “The price of carbon is destined to achieve its true value — nothing.”

    Wish I’d said that.

    Eugene WR Gallun


  • #

    Bjorn Lomborg’s latest update claims that the fra-dulent Paris COP 21 agreement will cost one hundred TRILLION $ and reduce global temps by 0.17 C by 2100.
    IOW 100 TRILLION $ will be wasted for no measurable difference at all. Why isn’t this fra-d exposed by journalists all around the globe?
    Remember Harry Markopolis exposed the Madoff Ponzi scheme fra-d but couldn’t get the US SEC to take any interest. He worked hard for another 9 years before he was vindicated. He told the US Congress that he was convinced of Madoff’s fra-d after looking at the data for ONLY 5 MINUTES. Unbelievable.
    Of course the CAGW mitigation fra-d infects the entire world and makes Madoff’s crime look like a fleabite. When will they wake up? Here’s Lomborg link.


  • #

    Whenever something is stupidly, insanely expensive there’s likely to be a someone who can profit from it. In a zero-sum game everything lost and apparently wasted by the suckers ends up in the pockets of the smart operators.


    • #

      That’s the whole point David.

      That money is never, repeat never wasted.

      Some one, or two, got the loot.


  • #

    I have a better chance of getting a return on the Indulgences bought from a church than these crooked carbon contracts.


  • #

    We can equate this to the stupidly high taxes on cigarettes.
    The higher the retail cost, the more illegal imports and black market sales.
    I understand the black market is booming, while legal retail sales are falling.
    The government is using the fall in retail sales as “proof” that their “strategy” is successful in reducing smoking.


  • #

    There’s something in this I find really odd.

    When you know the truth about (a) Trading in CO2 credits, hence Carbon Cap and Trade, (b) anything to do with any form of renewable power, and (c) coal fired power, it seems strange to me that none of that is being even mentioned at all, anywhere, by anybody.

    I just know that there are others who also know just as much as I do about it, but not one person, anywhere is letting on about the real truth of those things.

    It almost makes me skeptical of anything about any and every subject that politicians and journalists rabbit on about.

    I mean, it’s no secret surely. You’d think a journalist, somewhere would stumble on it, investigate it, find experts to explain it, and then take it to his or her editor, who then, having what would amount to a monumental scoop, then puts the lid right on top of it.

    Surely they’re not all $toopid.



  • #

    […] JoNova – carbon traders are complaining that over-issuing of carbon permits, a lack of political will to […]