EU Nations Begin Anti-Green Divestment & Rollback

Green blobPoland’s thriving wind energy industry has warned that it faces bankruptcies, rapid divestment and an end to growth under a bill that threatens executives with prison. Proposals submitted to parliament by the ultraconservative rightwing administration will tighten regulations to the point of killing off the industry, critics have said.  The bill will make it illegal to build turbines within 2km of other buildings or forests — a measure campaigners said would rule out 99 per cent of land — and quadruple the rate of tax payable on existing turbines — making most unprofitable. –Henry Foy and Pilita Clark, Financial Times, 18 April 2016

The draft reform bill of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) submitted by the German government on Thursday massively curtails the green energy transition, the Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) has warned. Five years after Fukushima and only a few months after the Paris climate change agreement, the German government is threatening a massive rollback in climate change policy. According to the BEE, tens of thousands of jobs, especially in the wind and solar industry, are facing disaster. —Solar Server News, 18 April 2016

Norway is planning to end its green energy subsidy scheme by 2021 and aims to increase competition in building power lines to other countries, the government said on Friday. —Reuters, 15 April 2016

Across Europe, the cost of electricity has been rising, thanks to a well-intentioned but mistaken plunge into “renewable energy.” And what’s happening in the EU portends a troubling lesson for the United States. Simply put, green energy is proving to be an expensive failure. Yes, green energy works when heavily subsidized by the taxpayer. But Europe’s taxpayers can no longer afford the experiment. What did our European friends get for their exercise in green energy exploration? Power shortages, job loss, and the bankruptcy of major green energy giants like Spain’s Abengoa, which received more than $2 billion in loan subsidies from the Obama Administration. In fact, Spain is now confronting $27 billion in debt from failed wind and solar projects, thanks to a program estimated to have eliminated at least two jobs for every “green” job it created. –Terry Jarrett, Breitbart, 14 April 2016

Developing countries are turning towards fossil fuels to meet the energy ­demands of their citizens, the IREA says. There are 2300 new coal plants with 1400GW of capacity planned worldwide. Australia sees its future importing millions of solar panels and batteries from China to deliver the Turnbull government’s solar and storage revolution. Meanwhile, the Middle Kingdom is planning to keep burning coal and to ship electricity to Germany, where the renewable revolution has made power so expensive it may soon be cheaper to get it from half a world away, from coal. –Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 16 April 2016

Their basic argument is as follows: climate change policies will reduce the trajectory of energy demand, and high-cost projects will thus be at risk, meaning [fossil fuel] companies will lose money or at least their shares will underperform. The reality is that high-cost projects are most at risk from low-cost projects, followed by slow demand (economic weakness), and climate change policies a distant third, at best. Indeed, from 2010 to 2014, global coal consumption increased by twice as much as wind and solar combined, and the rise of cheap natural gas in the U.S., along with the recent economic slowdown in China, are the main sources of the woes of the coal industry. –Michael Lynch, Forbes, 17 April 2016

Electric vehicles in Hong Kong may indirectly be the cause of almost 20 percent more carbon dioxide emissions than gasoline-fueled motors, undermining the city’s efforts to get ‘green’ cars on the road, according to Sanford C. Bernstein. That’s because Hong Kong relies on coal for more than half its power generation, according to Neil Beveridge, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Bernstein. “Electric vehicles only make sense in countries where the carbon intensity of electricity generation is low,” Beveridge wrote in a report published Wednesday. “In Hong Kong, and more broadly China, electric vehicles are increasing rather than reducing pollution, with taxpayers effectively being asked to subsidize this.” —Aibing Guo, Bloomberg, 14 April 2016