October 26, 2010
Innovation Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has highlighted an area where the EU is missing out compared to other countries – particularly the USA. It need not do so, for it actually needs to address it through a different emphasis.
Firstly, the EU should seriously consider removing the ridiculous subsidies to Biomass-burning Power Stations, which we read about across the EU and which are built by a variety of energy companies. These subsidies also include massively expensive incineration plants that countries like Ireland, Croatia, the UK or Italy cannot afford.
It is iniquitous on the one hand that subsidising companies which do not need subsidising only for these same companies to use these massive subsidies to fill shareholders’ pockets. (Remember this has been around before, as the EU has already made it known that this is not acceptable for companies such as ALCOA in the issue reported on in Sicily or for the others that may be heard have similar equal issues elsewhere – where these subsidies end up in shareholders’ pockets as magnificent dividends! (If this was not the case then consider the issue of why so many of these facilities get sold off even before they are working.)
What Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is seemingly saying is that this wasted money could be better spent on bio-refineries and the developments we now see with those that are seriously looking at changing the perception of dealing with converting biomass from sustainable sources (such as Non Food and Waste and Macroalgae). They are currently being followed and engineered by pioneering companies that never get the credence that is due to them. All that happens is the mega-big companies grasp the issue head on, gaining these huge subsidies at the others’ loss.
If it wants to address this issue fully and square on, the EU (and those that can make the decisions, like EU Innovation Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and others, right up to Mr. Barroso) should take note.