The “Climate Protection Plan 2050″ is supposed to make Germany’s economy more environmentally friendly. But it is stirring resistance among Christian Democratic leaders who fear the plan endangers Germany’s prosperity and social peace. The CDU politicians claim that the plan is “basically wrong”, that it would have “a massive impact on the future competitiveness of the business location Germany” and was likely to “jeopardise the economy, prosperity and social peace in our country.” According to the plan, Germany will essentially be forced completely to decarbonise by 2050. —Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 8 July 2016
RWE has no future. Germany’s biggest power producer, founded in 1898, has acknowledged as much. RWE needs huge amounts of money very pretty soon. Especially for its nuclear phase-out. A good 10 billion euros have been reserved already. But that is hardly enough. The Initial public offering (IPO) is presumed to generate the additional resources that are required. RWE cannot afford to accumulate more debt. If the IPO goes wrong, then RWE is a case for the administrator. It would be the largest bankruptcy in German economic history. –Sebastian Balzter, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 6 July 2016
Two of Britain’s biggest energy suppliers have called for an overhaul of the “regressive” and unfair way policy and network costs are charged to consumer energy bills. Iain Conn, chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, and Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, both argued that levies added on to bills placed a disproportionate burden on the poorest customers. About 13pc of a typical household electricity bill is made up of environmental and social levies to fund green subsidies and insulation schemes, while a further 25pc of an electricity bill consists of levies to fund network infrastructure. –Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 7 July 2016
The pending exit from the European Union strengthens the argument for the development of Britain’s currently untapped shale gas resources. Britain’s energy security should be a concern whether it remains in the EU or not, though the vote to leave makes this an increasingly acute issue. Currently around half of Britain’s gas demand is met by foreign supplies – most of which is piped into the country via Europe. Immediately that gas became more costly with the Brexit verdict, as a result of the pound plummeting, because it is a dollar denominated commodity. For whatever portion of the current United Kingdom emerges from this historic phase of political upheaval, these domestic resources will have added importance strategically. –Jamie Ashcroft, Proactive Investor, 1 July 2016
The UK government Thursday said developing the shale gas industry would not impact its ambition to lower carbon emissions and said there is a “clear need” to explore the resource to better understand the potential size and impact of the industry. The shale industry, if unlocked, could create around 64,000 new jobs. The government forecasts investment into the shale industry could reach GBP33.00 billion if pursued, including the boost it would give to associated markets such as construction and engineering. —Alliance News, 7 July 2016
Germany is right to be worried about the negative effect expensive power is having on its heavy industry. It’s not a hard sell for companies to move to outsource production (and all the jobs that go with it) outside of Germany if the price of business-as-usual is too high. But exempting these big companies doesn’t do anything to address the deeper problem, namely that this eco-mania carries with it some tremendous costs that must be borne somewhere. And if industry isn’t going to shell out, that leaves smaller companies and—you guessed it—German households that are left footing that bill. —The American Interest, 7 July 2016
Süddeutsche Zeiting (SZ) reports that Bavaria’s recently upheld 10 H rule, which requires wind turbines to be set back away from residential homes a distance that is 10 times the turbine’s height, literally spells “the end for wind power” in the south German idyllic state. “At the state council offices in Bavaria in the first quarter of 2016, not a single application for a wind turbine was made in 2016.” Green Bavarian parliamentarian Martin Stümpfig reacted angrily: “This means it’s over for wind power in Bavaria.” –P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 6 July 2016
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