Estimates show that fossil fuel subsidies average USD 400–600 billion annually worldwide while renewable energy (RE) subsidies amounted to USD 66 billion in 2010 and are predicted to rise to USD 250 billion annually by 2035. Domestic political rationales for energy subsidies include promoting innovation, job creation and economic growth, energy security, and independence. Energy subsidies may also serve social and environmental goals. Whether and to what extent subsidies are effective to achieve these goals or instead lead to market distortions is a matter of much debate and the trade effects of energy subsidies are complex.
Full-text available in .pdf