European Union Mandates Unreasonable Renewable Energy Installations

Solar energy systems are about to be big business in Europe.  The EU has mandated that, by the year 2020, at least 16 percent of a European’s energy consumption should be from renewable sources.  They’re even willing to foot 70 percent of the bill – up to 200,000 euros.

The EU is picking up most of the tab, so what’s the problem?  For one thing, not all bureaucracies are created equal.  In Spain, acquiring the required permits is a relatively straightforward process, and takes about two weeks, all told.  But in smaller countries which are less in tune with the far Western world, the tale is considerably different.  In Bulgaria, for example, those same permits take between six months and a year to procure.

That’s not the only concern.  There are some confusing aspects of tax law that suggest investors may have to pay additional taxes.  If that wasn’t enough, the grants and bank loans within the country will require repayment within 10 years, while the value of the energy produced by those solar panels will require considerably longer to be in the black.  In short, the way things are right now, the numbers just don’t add up.  Even with the incentives, it doesn’t seem to pay for investors to put their cash into solar energy.   So who’s going to comply with the mandate?  The answer will most certainly be found in how one defines the concept of Renewable.


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