Europeans backing away slowly from green-energy commitments

posted at 4:41 pm on August 14, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The eurozone might finally be technically out of the woods of their latest economic recession, but Europe is still very much riddled with deep-seated debt and employment problems that aren’t going away anytime soon and there’s still plenty of budget-cutting that needs to be done. That means that some countries are partially doing away with some of their expensive luxury items — and yes, I’m talking about Europe’s many overly-optimistic ‘green’ energy quotas and subsidies.

It’s no coincidence that the European Union’s electricity prices have been conspicuously rising as countries struggle to meet their renewables targets, and Spain has already taken stock of their budget-deficit reality by moving to cut back on some of their renewables subsidies by 10 to 20 percent. They might be poised to retract some of their subsidies even further, and Gerard Wynn writing for Reuters thinks that other countries could shortly be following suit:

Those most likely to take action are countries with more expensive schemes, programmes nearing their environmental targets or nations with higher political risk.

Energy consumers are paying more for expanding, subsidised renewable power, causing tensions over such programmes amid wider austerity measures.

As a result, almost all EU countries have reduced support to keep pace with falls in technology costs, with some having made more drastic cuts, or taken retroactive action which has jolted investors and undermined confidence. …

Even Spain appears vulnerable to further cuts, after repeated attempts to remove the state’s liability for energy sector subsidies, called the tariff deficit, as Fitch Ratings agency has reported. …

German plans to further limit renewable support are on hold pending a forthcoming election; in January, environment minister Peter Altmaier proposed to cap the renewable power charge on retail consumer bills this year and next. …

Besides Spain and Greece, there are at least three other countries which have imposed retroactive changes in renewable support – the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania, usually through new taxes or grid fees for existing projects.

They key words there being “jolted investors” and “undermined confidence,” because that’s what subsidies and special government treatment do: Artificially influence supply and demand that doesn’t reflect real-world value, often to such a degree that these magnanimously-selected “green” technologies live and die by the support they’re afforded. It’s not a method that encourages price efficiency, and it’s not a good long-term plan for spurring alternative technologies that actually could compete on their own merits while wasting time and diverting resources to less worthy projects that bureaucrats rather than consumers have deemed worthwhile. Europe’s current curtailment is a far cry from a full denunciation of those damaging and market-distorting policies, but at least it’s something.


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Curtailment means a drop in the rate of increase.

And “cap” never equals “cut”.

Liberals to the core, they never change their methods or priorities.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 14, 2013 at 4:49 PM

#ScienceSaysSo

rogerb on August 14, 2013 at 4:50 PM

The funny part is that the one of the most leftist, “greeny” states in Europe is funded by oil. We can say the same about South America, too.

Typical of the left. That’s why they hate themselves so much.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 14, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Intellectual exercise meet harsh reality.

NavyMustang on August 14, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Still waiting for the “Obama wind turbine beanie” photoshop. It would be a hoot.

Paul-Cincy on August 14, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Damn the laws of Physics and Economics… They always crush the utter delusions of the Left… always without fail every time…

mnjg on August 14, 2013 at 5:04 PM

the windmills are such an eyesore in Europe.

earlgrey133 on August 14, 2013 at 5:08 PM

the windmills are such an eyesore in Europe.

earlgrey133 on August 14, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Especially for the birds.

slickwillie2001 on August 14, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Especially for the birds.

slickwillie2001 on August 14, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Wingsore then?

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 14, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Especially for the birds.

slickwillie2001 on August 14, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Rare Bird Last Seen 22 Years Ago Reappears – Only To Be Quickly Executed By Wind Turbine

Resist We Much on August 14, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Outlaw reality. Problem solved.

RadClown on August 14, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Rare Bird Last Seen 22 Years Ago Reappears – Only To Be Quickly Executed By Wind Turbine

Resist We Much on August 14, 2013 at 5:25 PM

That bird survived global warming, but not global whirling.

Enviro-wackos are stupid.

MichaelGabriel on August 14, 2013 at 5:46 PM

As some who strongly favors ecological conservation, the political fetishes of the so-called environmental movement is deeply frustrating. How did it reach the point that this windmills are considered environmental?

thuja on August 14, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Rare Bird Last Seen 22 Years Ago Reappears – Only To Be Quickly Executed By Wind Turbine

Resist We Much on August 14, 2013 at 5:25 PM

It must have been named “Snuffy“.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 14, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Ted Kennedy -we need more green energy
Environmentists -hey cape cod is perfect for windmills
Ted Kennedy -it will block my view and are they’re ugly so you won’t do it here

That’s all you need to know about democrats and renewable energy

jaywemm on August 14, 2013 at 7:17 PM

That’s all you need to know about democrats and renewable energy

jaywemm on August 14, 2013 at 7:17 PM

No, there’s one more thing you need to know about renewable energy. It doesn’t exist, there is no such thing as renewable energy. Wish I could say the same about Democrats.

Oldnuke on August 14, 2013 at 8:04 PM

OK, reality check, pay attention LIVerals.
One wind power system estimated cost $5M per (and you get this price if you buy 50 of them). OK? Rated (peak) power 3 MW. So running at full rating generates 3 MWhrs. With me so far LIVerals?
Assume 25% usage (this is a high estimate BTW … doubt me, go examine any windfarm installation in your region and count the units running any day any time) so you have .75 MW average rating. You get 8760 hrs in a year to run. And just for jollies you sell your power competitively at 0.12/KWhr.
So running full power (half the time) you can generate $120/MWhr. At this rate your income is about $750K/yr. Payback will be over 6 years. Oh, and BTW … this doesn’t include ANY monies for MAINTENANCE, repair, servicing (you can guess how much it costs to work on something like a diesel locomotive that sits 75 meters up on a pole).
If you think these things are in any way economical (read: affordable) you have Shiite for brains.
Like I said (in a related post many weeks back) you’ll never get your investments paid back … EVER. THAT’s why it is a SCAM.
Base power from (fickle) wind power? Yea, right.

Missilengr on August 14, 2013 at 8:41 PM

Let individual communities decide.

I’m wary of attacking new technologies. I’m sure there were those that said electrical power stations were wrong somehow and remember the Westinghouse-Edison fight.

Alternative energy has its place, but it can’t run everything and compete with nuclear and fossil fuels. The market and the “system” should be allowed to figure out what, if any role alternative energy will play.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 14, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Alternative energy has its place, but it can’t run everything and compete with nuclear and fossil fuels. The market and the “system” should be allowed to figure out what, if any role alternative energy will play.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 14, 2013 at 9:54 PM

I agree. Drop the subsidies and see how long wind energy lasts.

Oldnuke on August 14, 2013 at 9:59 PM

it seems like liberal nitwits are now turning their massive mental powers to oppose fracking. That’s the next bugbear.

They never admit fault – global warming becomes climate change – they just change the subject.

virgo on August 15, 2013 at 12:02 AM