State auditors say support for wind is short sighted and wasteful

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Finland's state audit bureau, SMA, has strongly criticised government support for new wind and solar energy projects as "short-sighted and wasteful," concluding that state subsidies granted to the industries so far have had "little or no impact" in "achieving the end objective of reducing national C02 emission levels." The report, which is to be studied by the Finnish parliament's economics and energy policy committee this month, will come as a blow to Finland's fledgling wind lobby, which has been campaigning for greater public support. The SMA wants future subsidies to wind and solar to be performance related and allocated on the basis of commercial potential. It also says the government should reconsider its support for wind energy and instead direct state funds to biofuel projects. These, the SMA contends, produce "16 times better results as far as air quality is concerned than wind or solar energy." The basis for future support for renewable energy must be critically evaluated, says the report. Of real concern, it continues, is the trade and energy ministry's failure to implement evaluation procedures after granting renewables subsidies to renewables. These should become an "essential priority objective," says SMA.

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