Renewable Energy Gets One-Tenth Government Support As Nuclear Power Did When Beginning


photo: USFWS Mountain Prairie/CC BY

The conventional environmental wisdom (not unwarranted) on energy subsidies is that fossil fuels got way more government support in their infancy than renewable energy is getting today. A new report, highlighted by the New York Times last week, attempts to put some hard numbers on that.

It's not an easy task, considering the time period involved, differing lengths and type of subsidy, et cetera. But the analysis, done by DBL Investors, largely bears out the conventional wisdom.Nuclear power received subsidies of "more than 1 percent" of the federal budget for the 15 years immediately following World War 2. Oil and gas subsidies for the first 15 years of their existence received about 0.5% of the total federal budget. Renewable energy has received about 0.1% of the budget. The report does not give a figure for support of the coal industry.

Currently, on a global basis, fossil fuels subsides 12 times those that renewable energy gets.

Read more: Comparing Subsidies for Fossil Fuels and Renewables, and the original report: What Would Jefferson Do? The historical role of federal subsidies in shaping America's energy future
More on Energy Subsidies
US Energy Subsidies by the Numbers (Infographic)
Worldwide, Fossil Fuels Get 12 Times the Subsidies as Clean Energy

Tags: Economics | Natural Gas | Nuclear Power | Oil | Renewable Energy

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