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Europe’s Renewable Energy: The Law of Unintended Consequences

“If there is a message to be gotten across to Joe Public it’s this: there’s no such thing as ‘free’ solar, wind or any other ‘clean energy’ source. Someone, somewhere always has to pay for them. And they will always cost far more than hydrocarbons – don’t believe the green hype believe the physics – due to the lack of density in wind and sun. “

Peter C. Glover — Energy Tribune — August 20, 2013

The problem with government backing winners and losers in the marketplace is that the Law of Unintended Consequences inevitably kicks in. And never so demonstrably as in ‘squaring the circle’ of energy security ‘needs’ with ludicrously ambitious environmental ‘wants’.

Not only is the hindering of fossil fuel generated power generation forcing a worrying trend in the early closure of national power plants – threatening power outages – it is also reducing the commercial viability of manufacturers in the global marketplace. From Australia to the United States to Asia, observers are increasingly noting how Europe has become the benchmark for how-not-to play the global power game.

Time and again I have had cause to point out how the European Union’s dual energy and environment policies are, fundamentally, at odds with one another. While polls have shown many Europeans approve of a switch to ‘cleaner energy’, they are now revealing a marked reluctance to pay for it.

Let’s take a quick look at the leading European players pursuing the renewable energy ‘dream’. First up: Germany. In a poll in January 2012, in the wake of the 2011 Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, 61 percent of Germans said they would be prepared to pay more for electricity generated from renewable sources.  According to a more recent poll by German pollster Forsa, however, 1 in 2 Germans are now critical of government policy specifically citing the “preferential treatment of renewable energy generators” as the chief cause of soaring energy prices.  Read full article, here….

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