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Heavily Subsidized Green Energy Plant Kills Thousands Of Fish

Dead fish on the river. Contamination by pollution (Shutterstock/Nikolay Gyngazov)Dead fish on the river. Contamination by pollution (Shutterstock/Nikolay Gyngazov)

A green power plant in Britain killed thousands of fish by discharging hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic waste into an eight-mile stretch of river.

The power plant is an anaerobic digester which converts slurry from dairy herds into methane, which can then be burnt. The individual plant has been responsible for 12 other “serious pollution incidents” since 2015, according to local officials and environmentalists who spoke to The Daily Mail.

Anaerobic digesters receive special subsidies under British law called Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs). A digester built in England, Scotland or Wales gets 1.8 ROCs per megawatt of power generated This subsidy can be valued at an extra $274.84 per megawatt hour, according to calculations performed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. Conventional power in the U.K. only costs about $111.68 per megawatt hour.

The plant could also have applied for special government financing which could have allowed its owners to pocket roughly $1.21 million, according to the British government’s biogas authority.

The farmers who own the plant did not respond to requests for comment to The Daily Mail.

Earlier this year, a botched green energy subsidy scheme called the Renewable Heat Incentive cost U.K. taxpayers more than $1.4 billion, according to whistleblowers. The scheme was originally intended to cost only $40 million, but it ended up going 45 times over its initial cost projections due to loopholes.

The whistleblower claims they were able to manipulate the program to receive about $200 dollars in subsidies for every $120 they spent on green fuel, according to The Times. A report by Northern Ireland’s auditor-general acknowledged that some individuals may have reaped about $1.1 million in profits though the scheme

In October, the U.K. government gave $11 million to the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) in exchange for research that the organization reportedly never actually did. Much of the research CCCEP claimed to have published to get government money either wasn’t about global warming, was written before the organization was even founded, or written by researchers unaffiliated with CCCEP.

The government never checked CCCEP’s supposed publication lists, saying they were “taken on trust.” CCCEP tried to falsely claim credit for research it never did while attempting to get another $5.4 million of government cash.

As a result of these heavy subsidies and grants the average Brit paid an average of 54 percent more for electricity than Americans paid last year. Expensive subsidies for green energy account for roughly 7 percent of British energy bills, according to government study released last July.

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Andrew Follett
the authorAndrew Follett
I hold a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in Science and Technology Policy from George Mason University, as well as a Bachelor of Science from the College of William & Mary, where I double-majored in Government and Geology and authored two theses. I have done research for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. I have also worked as an analyst providing research and analytical support for the Department of Energy, the Office of Petroleum Reserves, NOAA, and FEMA.

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