In “The Poverty of Renewables”, Bjorn Lomborg challenges the often repeated claim that expanded use of so-called renewable energy will enhance the living standards of the world’s poorest people.
Lomborg counters this by noting that people living at the lowest income levels spend a greater proportion of their wealth on energy. Therefore, diverting billions of dollars from productive activities into “green” energy subsidies and handouts while mandating the use of this more expensive energy does not help the poor: it exacerbates their struggle.
For instance, Lomborg points out that a meager 2.8 percent increase in the use of renewable electricity sources in the United Kingdom since 2005 contributed to a 50 percent increase in electricity prices. Similarly, in the past five years the cost of heating a home in the U.K. increased by 63 percent; 17 percent of households now spend more than 10 percent of their income on energy.
As Lomborg shows, advocates of “renewables” aren’t helping poor people. By using government force to prop up substandard industries with taxpayer money and making energy more expensive, they are trampling on the rights of all of us.