Remember the statements that “wind energy is free” or “wind energy is cheaper than say coal or nuclear energy”. This week the mask has slipped. Aspiravi (a Belgian developer and manager of wind, biomass and biogas projects) threatens to tear down their wind turbines when they get more than 10 years old , because they will not get subsidies after this time for them anymore.
They claim that it was agreed they would receive green certificates for 20 years (the expected life time of a windmill), but at the end of last year this was reduced to 10 years. They claim that energy is cheap (tell that to those who can’t afford it anymore) and exploitation costs are high. Therefor some of the projects will not be profitable anymore. It is not clear which turbines they exactly mean. Existing contracts were not affected by the new policy, so I guess they mean only the new projects since the end of last year that will not be profitable within 10 years.
The Minister was not amused. She said that the certificates have the goal to compensate for the investment done in the projects, not for financing profits after this. Once the investment cost is recuperated, continue subsidizing the project is not a responsible thing to do.
Let us look at the cold reality again. This little nasty pop-up can be found on the Aspivari homepage. It says [translated from Dutch]:
Go like the wind
Your savings have the wind from behind
Invest and win three times
Those who invest in wind energy projects of Aspiravi, win three times
One time in pure local energy, one time in a sustainable environment for your (grand)children, one time in an expected yearly return of 4 to 6%
No bank or saving account can do this.
Become shareholder of “Aspiravi Samen” and invest with us.
Aspiravi. Go like the wind.
So this is what they mean with “profitable”. They are advertising that their product is far better than any savings accounts. When I read this I can imagine why they have a problem with a limitation on subsidies. It eats away their high profit rate.
They are forgetting where the money actually comes from. It is from the taxpayers and consumers. It is basically just a redistribution of money, from the taxpayers and consumers to those who do invest in green energy.