BRUSSELS–The chief executives of 10 energy companies accounting for half of Europe’s electricity production capacity issued a joint call Friday to end subsidies to wind and solar power, saying the mechanisms have led to whopping bills for households and businesses and could cause continent-wide blackouts. ……
The informal group, which includes utilities such as Germany’s E.ON AG (EOAN.XE), France’s GDF Suez SA (GSZ.FR) and Italy’s Eni SpA (E), blamed the trend on policies introduced at the turn of the century, when most European governments sought to promote renewable energy.
The criticism from Europe’s commercial power producers isn’t new. The industry has long been critical of the continent’s shift to renewable energy because it threatens their core nuclear and coal-based power production. Europe’s economic woes, however, have sharpened the debate, as companies and private citizens alike complain about the rising cost of power…..
“We’ve failed on all accounts: Europe is threatened by a blackout like in New York few years ago, prices are shooting up higher, and our carbon emissions keep increasing,” said GDF Suez CEO Gerard Mestrallet ahead of the news conference……
Under the subsidy mechanisms, wind and solar power producers benefit from priority access to the grid and enjoy guaranteed prices. In France, for instance, even as wholesale prices hover around EUR40 ($54) a megawatt, windmill electricity goes at a minimum of EUR83 a megawatt, regardless of demand. The difference is charged to customers. ….
Members of the CEO group said the subsidy mechanisms became deeply flawed in 2008, when the financial crisis hit and many European countries descended into economic recession. Although demand for electricity stalled or fell in some countries, pushing down wholesale electricity prices, investors kept plowing money into new wind and solar power capacity thanks to the guaranteed tariffs for renewables.
Meanwhile, electricity prices continued rising. On average, after-tax power prices rose 17% for households and 21% for businesses in Europe over the past four years, according to Eurostat data. ….
“The importance of renewables has become a threat to the continent’s supply safety,” Colette Lewiner, an energy analyst at Capgemini consultancy, warned in a report released this week. “There could indeed be a blackout.”
Well, it isn’t like the Europeans weren’t told. Imagine the horrid economy the US has. Understand that it has been worse in Europe. And, then realize the electricity rates continuing to rise while cheap energy providers had to shut down.
The European embrace of renewables has been a triple hit to the people of Europe. The renewable energy caused a further loss of jobs during the recession, raised prices on people who couldn’t afford it, and constrained Europe’s ability to grow out of the recession because of the cost of energy for the industries and businesses. All of that to accomplish grid instability, and as people noted, the original aim, to reduce CO2 emissions, has failed miserably.
Well played, alarmists, you lunatics.
Every bit of that occurring was predicted by various skeptics.
Unfortunately, the people profiting by this lunacy are many of the same people in positions of authority and power. I fear that even a greater catastrophe has to occur before this lunacy ends.
I pray that this winter will not be too harsh for our friends across the pond.