While there is massive outrage amongst some politicians against the giveaways to support renewable energy, there is very little discussion on the massive subsidies given to the fossil fuel sector.
Note: Globally, more than half a trillion dollars is given away to support the various fossil fuel industries, which are already mature and profitable. This, while alternative energy, which is a developing industry, competes with an established, century-old infrastructure initially developed to facilitate fossil fuel-based power generation.
IISD Detailed Reports on Subsidies
Reports from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) have examined, in detail, the massive subsidies given to the oil & gas sector by both poor and rich countries.
Globally, subsidies for fossil fuels may be on the order of US$ 600 billion per year, of which the Global Sustainable Initiative (GSI) estimates about US$ 100 billion is provided to producers. Nobody knows the real number, however, because there is no international framework for regularly monitoring fossil-fuel subsidies.
The GSI’s third report in the series Fossil Fuels – At What Cost? identifies and estimates support for oil and gas production in Norway. This detailed analysis identifies nine subsidies, six of which totaled around NOK 25.5 billion (US$ 4 billion) in 2009. These subsidies include a tax reimbursement for exploration expenses, accelerated deductions on investments, research and development grants, the provision of seismic investigations by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the provision of infrastructure and facilities by Gassco, and special treatment of the Snøhvit field in Northern Norway.
The GSI’s second report in the series Fossil Fuels – At What Cost? identifies and determines the value and impact of oil production subsidies in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador. This detailed analysis is the first of its kind in Canada and allows appropriate comparisons of subsidies with other countries. It finds 63 subsidies at the federal and provincial level, amounting to C$ 2.84 billion in 2008.
The GSI’s first report in the series Fossil Fuels – At What Cost? studies the subsidies provided to fossil-fuel producers in Indonesia. It identifies three subsidies totaling US$ 1.8 billion in 2008. This is a lower-bound figure for Indonesia, as at least seven other potential subsidies were identified but could not be assessed or quantified based on available information.
You can read more about U.S. subsidies for fossil fuels here.
Fossil Fuel Subsidies: $600 Billion a Year! originally appeared in Green Chip Stocks. Green Chip Review is a free 2x-per-week newsletter, is the first advisory to focus exclusively on investments in alternative and renewable energies.