A recent article in the Globe & Mail (Gwyn Morgan, April 30th , admittedly an energy patch guy) cites the numerous, expensive government policy initiatives in Europe and North America which have been scaled back or dropped due to ineffective results. Note this is about results, not the substitution notion. Whether in Spain or Germany, the USA or Ontario; grants, feed-in-tariffs, local content rules and other subsidies all have failed as yet to significantly drive more sustained rates of substitution, more permanent jobs and almost certainly ensured higher costs of electricity for both residential and business users.
Did governments try too hard to drive jobs as well as get their green merit badge, all at the same time, only to distort an important technology shift and perhaps in fact slow the uptake in sustainable electricity resources? If we’re to convert to electrically powered vehicles to drastically reduce dependence on the internal combustion engine (and get back to breathable air) the price of electricity has to make that conversion feasible. We are market driven animals after all. And we still demand the conversion to sustainable energy sources in North America and abroad. It can be done with intelligent government policy not bandwagon thinking in developed and developing jurisdictions. As it’s a long term conversion project, the policies and programs have to make sense through periods of both economic adversity and prosperity in order to allow continuity of planning. Not easy but doable.