25 February 2016, Renew Economy, Graph of the Day: The myth about energy subsidies. Ever hear the story about why renewable energy can’t compete without a subsidy? You hear it all the time from the fossil fuel industry. And the response from renewables? Take away fossil fuel subsidies, and they’d be glad to compete on level terms. This graph below, displayed today by David Hochschild, a commissioner with the California Energy Commission, at the Energy Productivity Summer Study in Sydney, illustrates why the fossil fuel and nuclear industries don’t want that to happen. Studies by the International Energy Agency point out that global subsidies for fossil fuels outstrip those for renewable energy nearly 10-fold. The International Monetary Fund said if climate and environmental costs were included, then the fossil fuel subsides increased another 10 times to nearly $5 trillion a year.
This graph, that Hochschild sourced from DBL Investors, shows the accumulated energy subsidies in the US under federal programs. Oil and gas dominate, followed by nuclear. Federal renewable energy subsidies, in the form of investment and tax credits, are a small fraction. “The fossil fuel industry hates to talk about that,” Hochschild told RenewEconomy in an interview after his presentation. “There is a myth around subsidies, but there is no such thing as an unsubsidised unit of energy.” Read More here