03 January 2013

Europe Exhausting Herself Running From Energy Boogeymen

Cross-posted from Al Fin Energy

Europe's high energy costs are driving increasing numbers of industries and large employers overseas. Most of Europe's high energy costs are caused by Europe's reflexive flight from inexpensive energy of the hydrocarbon and nuclear varieties.
High energy costs are emerging as an issue in Europe that is prompting debate, including questioning of the Continent’s clean energy initiatives. Over the past few years, Europe has spent tens of billions of euros in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

“We embarked on a big transition to a low-carbon economy without taking into account the cost and without factoring in the competitive impact,” says Fabien Roques, head of European power and carbon at the energy consulting firm IHS CERA in Paris. “I think there will be a critical review of some of these policies in the next few years.” _NewYorkTimes
Carbon dioxide is boogeyman #1 for the European greens who control much of the continent's energy policy. But Europe's ineffectual attempts to reduce carbon emissions amount to suicidal self-flagellation and self-strangulation. It is all grand theatre, with the end result being self righteous self-immolation.

Boogeyman #2 is nuclear power. Germany is the poster boy of sacrificial self-castration in this regard.
The changes have been rapid. Nuclear power supplies 17 percent of the country’s energy needs, down from 23, while renewables have climbed from 20 to 25 percent in just months.

...Despite technological advances, wind, solar, hydro and other green energy sources still remain an unprofitable investment in a fair market. The way to encourage their exploitation is through a set of feed-in tariffs, a policy where energy companies are forced to buy electricity from green generators at a price set by the government (which is usually legislated to remain the same for two decades).

The German government has passed the cost of the payment from the energy companies to the consumer... This week, energy companies announced that the charge would go up by 47 percent for next year. The average Germany household will now pay €250 a year to sponsor green energy producers, four times more than in 2009. _RT
But green energy is expensive and unreliable. Which means that big industries whose profit margins depend upon the use of inexpensive energy, must move overseas -- and take their good paying jobs with them.
On Dec. 19, Voestalpine, an Austrian maker of high-quality steel for the auto industry, announced that it would build a plant in North America that would employ natural gas to reduce iron ore to a kind of raw iron that would then be used in the company's European blast furnaces.

...Energy-intensive industries like chemicals and steel are, if not closing European plants outright, looking toward places like the United States that have lower energy costs as they pursue new investments.

BASF, the German chemical giant, has been outspoken about the consequences of energy costs for competitiveness and is building a new plant in Louisiana.

“We Europeans are currently paying up to four or five times more for natural gas than the Americans,” Harald Schwager, a member of the executive board at BASF, said last month. “Energy efficiency alone will not allow us to compensate for this. Of course, that means increased competition for all the European manufacturing sites.” _NYT
Europeans have unwittingly handed their futures over to saboteurs in high places. Green government officials and their advisors are pushing European economies over a cliff, for the sake of faux environmental fear mongering. They are running from the energy boogeymen, and in the process are destroying the economic futures of their people.

Europeans are no longer living in a democracy, but are being controlled by a non-representative quasi-feudal system known as the European Union, based in Brussels. And the EU is essentially in thrall to the faux environmental power interests.

With such suicidal leadership, it is no wonder that demographic projections show most European populations rapidly withering away.

The future of Europe rests in the hands of her people, although Europeans have not been noted historically for understanding that fact -- except for the popular uprisings against communist governments in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

And there is very little time.

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Blogger Matt M said...

In moving out of Europe to Asia, Africa or South America - Industry moves from a relative clean and regulated environment to a dirty unregulated one.

When regulators cause industry to move out of Europe - it greatly increases polution and hurts the planet.

Thursday, 03 January, 2013  
Blogger al fin said...

Matt: Most of the industries in question are moving to places like the US where natural gas is cheap, and oil & electricity are more affordable.

I don't think you can call the US an unregulated environment.

Thursday, 03 January, 2013  
Blogger kurt9 said...

Actually, I think U.S. environmental regulation is more strict than Europe's with regards to real pollution (Sulfides, Lead, etc.). Europe did not phase out Leaded gasoline until the late 90's (we did during the 70's) and it is well-known that cars sold into the European market do not meet U.S. EPA standards, again for real pollutants, not this CO2 global warming BS. Also, the diesel cars in Europe pollute like crazy.

A lot of the environmental movement in the U.S. today is driven more by ideology rather than real pollution problems. But the European "environmentalists" are driven by even more bogosity than their U.S. counterparts.

BTW, the greenies never did identify or do anything the single worst environmental problem to affect the developed world by the 1970's, which was environmental Lead. The problems with Lead were identified mostly by happenstance and Leaded gasoline was initially phased out simply because it damaged catalytic converters that were initially installed on cars in 1974. It was after Leaded gasoline was banned for new cars in the 1970's that people began to figure out that Lead causes cognitive impairment to those exposed to it (Leaded gasoline, Lead-containing paint, etc.).

Friday, 04 January, 2013  

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