Library filed under Impact on Economy from Europe
Germany will threaten jobs and hamper growth if it persists with expanding renewable energy at the current pace, a chemical lobby said. Continuing with uncapped subsidies to renewable developers and removing aid for companies that use a lot of energy risks 211 billion euros ($285 billion) in gross domestic product and 1.3 million jobs by 2030.
The chief executive of the energy giant Scottish & Southern Energy said on Thursday night it was time for a national debate about the country’s green agenda after unveiling an 8.2 per cent price rise for customers. ...Gillian Guy, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, added: “This price rise will be a blow for stretched budgets. The hike comes at a time when some working households are turning to food banks to feed their families as they struggle to cope with the rising cost of living.
Years of disastrous policies, coupled with the economic crisis, have recast renewable energy in Spain. Once touted as the embodiment of progress, wealth and sustainability, the industry is now seen as an unwanted and costly extravagance. ...In essence, the decree aims to stop an unsustainable annual growth of the tariff deficit, which over the years has built up a cumulative debt of about €26 billion, or $35 billion. In an embarrassing admission, the government said last month that despite past consumer price increases for power and attempts at reform, the tariff deficit this year would reach €2.5 billion to €3 billion.
On wind farms – seen by many as an expensive blight on the countryside, subsidised by the taxpayer to burnish the image of politicians who live nowhere near them – the PM is equally diplomatic. “Recently, I opened the London Array and it’s good that Britain is leading the way in this technology. But as I say, you shouldn’t keep the subsidies for any longer than is necessary.”
The German chancellor's experiment to wean Europe's biggest economy off nuclear and fossil fuels and push it into renewables is at risk because generous subsidies have proved so popular with investors in green power that the country is straining under the cost. ...The offshore wind industry, in particular, is clamouring for continued support as its expansion has proven more costly than expected.
"There is no evidence that I have seen that suggests that wind farms will ever provide the reliable, controllable energy that is required by our society, however many there might be. It is a basic Christian truth that we all have a duty and a responsibility to care for and exercise wise stewardship over God's creation, which has been entrusted to us.
The Daily Telegraph last month disclosed that Mr Paterson, the Environment Secretary, had compiled a study about how turbines impact the rural economy. ...As a result of the intervention by Mr Davey, the study will now look at the impact of all renewable energy sources on the rural economy, including fracking.
Germany's drive to increase renewable energy sources has created the biggest discrepancy between consumer and producer power prices in 15 years, turning the cost of electricity into a political battleground before the Sept. 22 national election. Because of taxes and charges that subsidize the country's 550 billion-euro ($734 billion) plan to expand solar and wind power, residential bills are more than twice the amount that utilities pay to deliver the electricity.
"We need a drastic policy shift. They haven't paid any attention to costs. These are now huge." German electricity costs are ratcheting up faster than elsewhere in Europe, and are now twice US levels. Households and the "Mittlestand" backbone of the economy are carrying the burden, paying cross-subsidies to exempted sectors of heavy industry. "Spiralling energy costs will soon drive us into the wall. It has become dangerous."
The Middleton Burn Action Group, fighting planned wind farms near Belford, conducted a survey for the second year in a row asking tourists whether those proposed turbines would impact on their likelihood of returning. Whereas last year 64% of respondents said turbines would adversely effect their choice of North Northumberland as a holiday destination, that figure increased to 76.9% in 2013.
Instead, the country has a ruinously expensive green dream, priced at €700bn (£590bn) from now until the late 2030s by environment minister Peter Altmaier if costs are slashed - and €1 trillion if they are not. The Germans are surely the most romantic nation on earth.
The cottage was valued at £130,000, but after two years she was still unable to find a buyer. In June, when a woman withdrew an offer, she received an email explaining the decision, which reads: "Having spoken to Planning again, re the wind turbines, as 475 metres from the house is close, they have confirmed there will be a ‘whooshing' noise and flicker. ...My solicitor has contacted me this morning and said best avoid it and look for somewhere else."
Impact assessments carried out by the wind park developer state that up to a third of all visitors could be deterred from holidaying in the area during the three year construction phase. And once the wind farm is built and in operation, 14 per cent of visitors say the loss of view would prevent them from returning.
This year, German consumers will be forced to pay €20 billion ($26 billion) for electricity from solar, wind and biogas plants -- electricity with a market price of just over €3 billion. Even the figure of €20 billion is disputable if you include all the unintended costs and collateral damage associated with the project. Solar panels and wind turbines at times generate huge amounts of electricity, and sometimes none at all. Depending on the weather and the time of day, the country can face absurd states of energy surplus or deficit.
Ministers are pushing an Energy Bill through Parliament that will introduce billions of pounds of long-term subsidies for low-carbon power sources such as wind farms and nuclear reactors. But the green technologies are not commercially viable to build without the subsidies, which will be paid for through levies on energy consumers' bills.
So attractive are the incentives, or feed-in tariffs, that the rapid expansion of renewable power has driven up the surcharges which fund them and are paid for by consumers. The charge rose by 47 percent this year alone. Both households and industry are feeling the pain and exporters complain that the energy shift has driven up power prices so much that their competitiveness is being eroded.
The Daily Telegraph has learnt a new Government row over wind farms is blocking a report that could provide official confirmation that the controversial turbines can harm rural areas. ...Chris Heaton-Harris, the Conservative MP for Daventry, said: "There is growing concern over the level of property blight that wind turbines cause. "These are the experts in the industry and they should be listened to."
Sir Donald Miller, former chairman of both the South of Scotland Electricity Board and of ScottishPower, has described the SNP's current energy policy on producing 100 per cent of Scotland's needs from renewables as "disastrous".
"While I fully appreciate the need for sustainable and renewable energy projects, they should not be allowed to compromise the viability and sustainability of parts of the county that are dependent on jobs and revenue from tourism. Another serious issue for concern is that Mayo County Council, as the planning authority, is not allowed to adjudicate on any of these proposals, and no individual or community has the right of appeal.
Because the Centrica turbines off the coast of Skegness are made in Denmark, workers from the region are being flown in daily to work on them. The demand has meant that Scandinavian Airlines will begin a six day a week service between Copenhagen and Humberside Airport in October.