Europeans getting pretty upset about their “necessarily skyrocketing” electricity prices
posted at 2:41 pm on October 18, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
Of course, the direct “necessarily skyrocketing” quote comes from our own farsighted president back when he was still just a candidate, but I feel that it applies quite aptly to the pickle in which Europeans are currently finding themselves; after all, the road down which they are now so laboriously traveling is uncomfortably similar to the path that the Obama administration is actively pushing the United States to take.
We’ve been covering several European countries’ slow but sure retrenchment from their years and years of heavy subsidization of so-called green energies and lofty quota goals, and rest assured that that reality check has been continuing unabated in the face of excessive electricity costs and stubbornly massive debt and deficit problems. In Germany, emphasis mine:
The leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) said on Friday a new government must move quickly to rein in rising energy costs in order to safeguard the competitiveness of German industry.
Speaking a day after the SPD leadership agreed to enter formal coalition negotiations with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, Gabriel called Germany’s renewable energy law (EEG) an impediment to a successful exit from nuclear power.
“The EEG was a wonderful law when we wanted to support new technologies to make them competitive. Today, in its current form, it is the biggest obstacle for the energy shift,” Gabriel said in a speech at a union event in Hanover.
“We need to ensure that renewable energy is affordable. And we need to put an end to the idea that we can pull out of nuclear and coal simultaneously. This won’t work.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her governing conservative party already moved to set caps on taxpayer subsidies for renewable energies last week to cushion the upcoming shock of a big price surge on people’s power bills, and the fact that this is coming from the country’s liberal party is quite the testament to how deeply unpopular and costly all of the formerly unquestionable green mandates have become.
And just across the Atlantic, Brits are about to feel the heat (er, the cold?) from the combined consequences of rising natural gas prices as well as the choice not to frack their own resources, via the Guardian:
British Gas has turned a consumer and political backlash over a 10% increase in energy bills into a public relations disaster after trying to head off criticism of the price hike by using social media.
Nearly 16,000 Twitter comments – most of them vitriolic – rained down on Britain’s biggest power provider in a few hours after it invited questions from customers. One online expert described the company’s attempt to ease public anger over the new tariffs as one of the biggest PR own goals he had ever seen. …
“My Nan’s just been on the phone (no twitter) Should she burn the garden table or the chairs first to keep warm?” wrote one Twitter user. “Have you started an affiliate scheme with a funeral directors?” said another with reference to the number of elderly people who die in cold winters.
The hashtag “AskBG” was the top trend on UK Twitter within an hour of British Gas launching its chat; scores of tweets contained the words “greed” and “death”.
Welcome to the future.