Letter: Spain feels the pain of subsidies

IN YOUR article "Troubled waters for renewables industry" (Business, 7 November), the author writes: "With a number of countries all vying for a slice of the highly lucrative renewables pie...".

This could mislead the reader. A business that needs very large subsidies (ROCs in the UK) may be lucrative to its officers and shareholders, but is ruinous for the country. A good example is Spain, which like Greece has a public debt and a budget deficit that threaten the stability of the euro.

Madrid subsidises renewable energy to the tune of 5 billion a year, and must keep doing it for the next two decades at least. Economists agree that this will cost jobs in other sectors.

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It would be shortsighted of Scotland to think that England is paying the bill. In fact, the financial burden is slowly being transferred to electricity consumers, Scots included. Their bills are likely to rise by 100 per cent, as in Denmark.

Mark Duchamp, Pedreguer, Spain