Library filed under Energy Policy from Europe
The senior executives from ten utilities in Europe have recommended that the end subsidies for renewable energy if it wants to regain its competitiveness. The companies argue subsidies for solar and wind energy are driving up prices for consumers and market distorting. E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen said that " renewable " subsidies are reaching a level which is totally unbearable. This industry is the biggest kid on the block now, not a child any longer."
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.
In June, energy regulator Ofgem said that risks to security of electricity supply - the danger of the lights not being kept on - had increased due to the UK's shortage of power stations and new wind farms. It also warned that the risk of electricity customer disconnections would "appreciably increase".
The coalition is heading for a fresh dispute over green energy after a call by Downing Street to water down climate commitments as part of efforts to keep power bills down. ...But any attempt to water down or end the Eco, which is set to run until 2015, will meet stiff opposition from the Liberal Democrats
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.”
Michael Limburg, vice-president of the European Institute for Climate and Energy, told CNN that the government's energy targets are "completely unfeasible." The rapid transition to renewables is economically "insane," arguing that wind farms will cost at least 13 times more than traditional coal plants.
There is enough credible evidence and enough of an opposition to end a policy of support for industrial wind energy. Yet still we see wind farms popping up all around the country. Isn't it about time that we looked at all the evidence cumulatively? Isn't it about time that we just chalked it up as a loss and tried something else?
In June, Ofgem warned that the risk of blackouts in 2015 had risen to one in four, if energy demand continued at its current level. Uncertainty around the amount of available electricity in 2015 and 2016 meant that it was "prudent" to consider keeping mothballed plants in reserve, it said. GDF Suez, the energy company that has mothballed its Teesside gas power station, has estimated that keeping plants on standby could cost between £90 million and £120 million per year.
Lieberknecht's call is the most vocal yet within the CDU to end incentives ...It indicates that all aspects of the subsidy system are up for review after Sept. 22 elections. Politicians from all parties have urged action to bring down consumer power bills following a boom in solar and wind generation.
Last year, wind, solar and other nonfossil-fuel sources provided 22 percent of the power for Germany, but the country increased its carbon emissions over 2011 as oil- and coal-burning power plants had to close gaps in the evolving system ...Germany's power grid has been strained by new wind and solar projects on land, compelling the government to invest up to $27 billion over the next decade to build roughly 1,700 miles of high-capacity power lines and to upgrade lines.
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."
Wind-power advocates used to uphold Germany as the super-country of the future, and it still is, if you are in favour of wind generation for its own sake. The amount of German electric power supplied by wind is approaching 10 per cent of national demand, even as big North Sea projects meet with unexpected technical and environmental delays. The German government has guaranteed a high, fixed, long-term feed-in tariff for renewable energy projects, including wind turbines.
Mr Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, accused Conservatives of attempting to "destroy" the UK's renewables industry. He singled out Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, warning that he is trying to "cull" wind turbines.
Harvey acknowledges the enormous costs at which renewables innovation has been achieved in Germany, writing that escalating costs of the Energiewende "need to be controlled" ...But he also obfuscates many inconvenient facts, particularly those that suggest that current problems facing the Energiewende represent more than temporary setbacks.
The chief executive of Geneva's public utility resigned after six years in the position on Thursday amid a scandal over tens of millions of francs invested in wind energy without producing any electricity. ...With Geneva parliamentary and government elections coming up next month the issue threatens to become a political football.
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.
Europe's deepening energy crisis has for now replaced debt troubles as the region's top worry, with major implications for the Commission's draft paper on shale expected in October. The EU's industry and environment directorates are pitted against each other. The new legislation could in theory stop Britain, Poland, and others going ahead with fracking.
It is only gradually becoming apparent how the renewable energy subsidies redistribute money from the poor to the more affluent, like when someone living in small rental apartment subsidizes a homeowner's roof-mounted solar panels through his electricity bill. The SPD, which sees itself as the party of the working class, long ignored this regressive aspect of the system.