The Spanish government is challenging a decision by its main electricity provider to shut down two coal-fired power plants. An attitude that contravenes the Paris Agreement on climate change. Spain’s Energy Minister Álvaro Nadal fears that closing power plants will create power cuts. —EurActiv, 24 November 2017
A court in western Germany says an ancient forest near the Belgian border can be chopped down to make way for a coal strip mine. Hambach forest has become a focus of environmental protests against the expansion of a vast mine that supplies much of the coal used in nearby power plants. The coal, a light brown variety called lignite, is considered one of the most polluting forms of fossil fuel. —Associated Press, 25 November 2017
For a very long time, Angela Merkel successfully appealed to the post-war German longing for consensus. She hugged potential rivals in her motherly embrace. The rise of Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) makes this much more difficult. Germany’s consumers have to pay huge bills because of their government’s determination to go green. In the current revolt against the elites in the West, few issues more divide the many from the few than energy prices and the bogus religion which is forcing them up. Strange that this issue should give the right its chance. — Charles Moore, The Spectator, 26 November 2017
Regarding your editorial “Germany’s Green Energy Meltdown” (Nov. 18): I am sitting within two miles (straight down) of enough natural gas to fuel the entire U.S. for well over 100 years. We here in western Pennsylvania would be more than happy to liquefy and export some of our excesses to help lower Germany’s energy costs. Truly a win-win proposition. Let’s roll. –Richard J. Krauland, The Wall Street Journal, 21 November 2017
Finally, the UK Treasury has intervened to curb the subsidies that can be extracted from households and businesses. At a time of squeezed incomes and simmering anger about energy bills, a pause is sensible. Ever-rising subsidies sit uncomfortably with government policies that are publicly committed to capping the charges that retail electricity suppliers can impose on the public. Britain has created a statist electricity market in a fit of absence of mind, which imposes significant costs on households and businesses. There is no simple way to change this. Hence the imperative need to chisel away at costs. –-Jonathan Ford, Financial Times, 26 November 2017
The latest release of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook (2017), and the UK government’s Autumn Budget (2017) are reciprocally illuminating. The global context revealed in the WEO’s data, but not in its commentary, explains in part the Budget’s retrenchment on renewable electricity subsidies. The stern reluctance of the Budget to increase spending on renewables reveals the WEO’s upbeat headline message to be less than firmly connected to reality. –John Constable, GWPF Energy, 25 November 2017
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