Newsbytes – fleeing the green dream

Chemical Industry Threatens To Exit Britain Over Green Energy Costs –15% of Germans get electricity disconnected every year

Via Dr. Benny Peiser at The GWPF

High energy costs have emerged as the top concern of British chemical and pharmaceutical companies, according to the sector’s main trade association. Green policies such as the introduction of a carbon price floor – designed to encourage low-carbon forms of electricity generation, including nuclear power – have also hit the industry. Last November, the government offered compensation to heavy energy users to mitigate the effects of the carbon price floor and the EU emissions trading system on electricity costs. But the Chemical Industries Association said it was not enough.“They’ve got to shield the industry, or it will just go elsewhere,” said Alan Eastwood, the association’s economics adviser. –Guy Chazan, Financial Times, 1 May 2012

 

Electricity prices are rising in Germany – and citizen with a low-income are suffering particularly. 10 to 15 percent of Germans are now struggling to pay their energy bills. 600,000 households have the electricity turned off every year. –Handelsblatt, 30 April 2012

Many people in Germany are no longer able to pay their electricity bills. And energy prices continue to climb – rapidly. The president of the VdK social association Ulrike Masche, accuses the German federal government “of having neglected the social dimension of the energy transformation”. Over 10 years ago Germany enacted the Renewable Energy Feed-In Act (EEG) which requires power companies to pay small producers of renewable energy exorbitant rates for their green power. The power companies in turn simply pass the higher prices on to their customers. Electricity prices rose 10% in 2011 alone! – - Pierre Gossselin NoTricks Zone

IF there is to be a new beginning in global energy, the golden age is unlikely to be powered directly by the wind or sun. Despite high hopes for renewables, the figures show the world to be on the cusp of another fossil fuel boom. During the past decade, almost 50 per cent of new global electricity demand was met by coal, and many countries, including India, where 25 per cent of the population still has no access to electricity, have announced plans to rapidly increase construction of coal-fired power plants. The rush to coal and gas has been accelerated by a new crisis in the nuclear industry following the Fukushima disaster in Japan. –Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 28 April 2012

China’s coal imports from the United States are rising despite record production of the country’s main fuel, experts say. Although its coal output more than doubled in the past decade to over 3.5 billion tons, China has also become the world’s biggest coal buyer with imports of 182.4 million tons last year. The United States had a small piece of that huge market with exports to China of 5.5 million tons in 2011, according to Department of Energy (DOE) data. But China’s energy demand is driving predictions of greater growth for U.S. exports to come. –Michael Lelyveld, Radio Free Asia, 30 April 2012

Fracking operations could be brought to the Formby countryside (near Liverpool) as mining firms eye up shale oil deposits beneath the old oilfield. Scottish company Aurora Petroleum are set to explore the site for conventional oil in the coming weeks. However, Aurora revealed there was potential for fracking there in the future, with the area thought to possess shale oil reserves. –Joe Thomas, Formby Times, 1 May 2012

Moral reasoning is often used to intensify partisan loyalty. In that respect, it can actually harm public discourse. In this essay, I examine the problem of moral reasoning and offer three proposals for mitigating its damaging effects. –Arnold Kling, The American, 26 April 2012

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25 thoughts on “Newsbytes – fleeing the green dream

  1. “But the Chemical Industries Association said it was not enough.“They’ve got to shield the industry, or it will just go elsewhere,” said Alan Eastwood, the association’s economics adviser”

    Isn’t that the whole point? To get rid of carbon producers so that our government can claim the credit for reducing the UK’s carbon emissions? This totally ignores the fact that these companies can simply go overseas and keep producing even more carbon at lower cost… So the overall global emissions will keep increasing, which is what the alarmists “CLAIM” to be against.

    In actual fact, the alarmists are implementing a communist redistribution of wealth and de-indusrialisation of the Western economies. This fact shows that even the alarmist’s themselves do not really believe that CO2 is leading to the destruction of our planet, for if they did believe this, they would not be agreeing to the re-location of these industries overseas, but they would be opposed to them existing at all anywhere.

  2. Ken Hall says:
    May 1, 2012 at 7:43 am
    “Isn’t that the whole point? To get rid of carbon producers so that our government can claim the credit for reducing the UK’s carbon emissions? This totally ignores the fact that these companies can simply go overseas and keep producing even more carbon at lower cost… ”

    Please don’t say that. They’re not producing carbon.

  3. And the Euro just appreciated 0.34% against the Canadian dollar (who is running this forex craziness), betting against the currency of the best run economy in the world. And how did we become the best run? We kicked out the Liberals (our liberals are left of US Democrats) – they were poised to invest heavily into the new green economy- they ran an “orange”(?) campaign which was to blast our economy into prosperity on the back of green energy – modelled I believe after UK, Germany and Spain. Fortunately they chose a dufus for party leader at the time. I fear there won’t be any Republican rescue. Can’t you guys find another Reagan somewhere.

  4. The entire plan of “good intentions” by the green muppets is backfiring in a huge way. Instead of hamstringing the fossil fuel industry, they’ve provided it with the means for even greater profits. Utilities have simply passed costs on to the consumer for new low-CO2 mechanisms and rebates. I would imagine that none of them has lost money in doing this. Instead, they would have taken advantage to increase profits. This means that the coal industry has also been able to raise prices. And the green-jacked politicians have gone along with it gladly in their bid to save the world. Once again, capitalism is taking advantage of Darwin’s theory in out-manouevring communist interlopers.

  5. UK Government policy would appear to be to reduce CO2 emissions by
    1) promoting “Fuel Poverty”, so that the elderly die of hypothermia- also useful in taking pressure off state pensions,
    2) use of the fuel “escalator” a tax which increases petrol and diesel prices above the rate of inflation. More £££ to the Government and keeps the hoi polloi off the roads.
    3) raise commercial energy costs to drive those dirty manufacturing industries out, so that we can become a nation of quaint, low carbon shopkeepers. Not sure what the fringe benefit is here!

  6. So the government has to pay huge sums to offset the very prices they put in place. And those taxes come from individuals and industries that are likewise burdened by the high energy costs.Won’t be long before this economic model collapses.

  7. Why is Obama selling dirty coal to China on the one hand and shutting down the Keystone pipeline on the other?

    On a positive note, Antarctica is almost carbon-free (from an economic standpoint) and would make a great role model for European countries that have not yet destroyed their economies. Start with 2 km of ice …/s

  8. Dear Chemical Industries Association members,
    Please accept our offer to welcome you and move your manufacturing to Canada.
    Regards,
    Canada

  9. Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says: “Electricity costs are not a significant factor for modern business. Try wages then taxes then rent etc”

    Unless your definition of “modern business” is a mom-and-pop outfit that exists only to sell shoes made in China, your grandiose generalization is false. It depends on the business. I worked for a manufacturing plant that moved out of California after their city extablished a surtax on electric bills. I’d call that significant.

  10. Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says:
    May 1, 2012 at 9:18 am
    “Electricity costs are not a significant factor for modern business. Try wages then taxes then rent etc”

    I guess a “modern business” in your book is not a steel mill, a copper or aluminum smelter, and not chemical industry. And not google, Apple, facebook either. Nor a car factory – hey have quite a lot robots running on electricity instead of wages. But a guy sitting in front of a single computer connected to the internet, offloading all heavy computing to data centres outside of Europe.

    Have I narrowed down your definition appropriately?

  11. “–15% of Germans get electricity disconnected every year”

    Lie number 1. The article itself only claims, without any source, that 15% is threatened. 600.000 Household disconnected would be 1 to 2 % of all households.

    “The power companies in turn simply pass the higher prices on to their customers.”

    Lie number 2. In Germany there was an oligopoly of four large power companies. Due to the large number of new small renewable energy suppliers, competition in the markets has improved a lot. This has let to price reductions that are larger than the additional costs paid to subsidise renewable energy. It cut into the near-monopoly profits of the utilities.

    Such posts on simple themes are good to judge the reliability of a blog.

  12. jorgekafkazar says:
    May 1, 2012 at 10:20 am

    and

    DirkH says:
    May 1, 2012 at 11:10 am

    thank you

    Arnold Ring (@ArnoldRing) says:
    May 1, 2012 at 9:18 am

    My job will go to a place of cheap electricity the moment the UK power supply becomes other than guaranteed 24/7 available and reasonably competitive. We (remotely) support factories around the world 24/7; if we can not provide competitively priced RELIABLE electricity there are plenty of countries that can; and they tend to be friendly to business and encourage hard clever work.
    Yes our wage bill is high (in the UK due to tax and regulation the burden on the company is 2 to 3 times the actual salary paid); but our electricity bill is an easy to avoid variable; that will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
    How bad is energy cost ? Well we see companies scraping 1/2% savings on their energy bills; and spending £thousands to £100thousands to do so; and I am NOT talking energy intensive industry either (aluminium smelting has already left the UK as the energy cost is too high)

  13. “The power companies in turn simply pass the higher prices on to their customers.”

    How can this not be obvious to EVERYONE?!? They do know that unicorns are not real? Don’t they…

  14. Welcome to Canada, lots of nukes, hydro, coal, oil and gas and a Conservative (a real conservative Conservative) Federal government. David Suzuki may talk, but the rest of the country walks, AGW is dead here except in the fantasy world of kooky Suzuki. Ontario tried the “green revolution” and just like every other revolution suffered the consequences, in this case economic suicide and lots of red number – so just don’t go there.
    By the way, the cousins down South have tons of oil, coal and gas too and despite their insane politics they have cheap power and are pro-business. If Canada is too cold try the US, except maybe California they’re kooky too.

  15. Victor Venema says: May 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    “–15% of Germans get electricity disconnected every year”
    Lie number 1. The article itself only claims, without any source, that 15% is threatened. 600.000 Household disconnected would be 1 to 2 % of all households.” …”Such posts on simple themes are good to judge the reliability of a blog.”

    You might want to read the article again. The statement was:
    “10 to 15 percent of Germans are now struggling to pay their energy bills.
    600,000 households have the electricity turned off every year. “

  16. Interesting (lack of) logic being displayed by proponents of so-called
    green energy and transportation. Germany’s railroads run mostly
    on electricity (efficient), but require steady and reliable supply,
    something that wind and solar are not known for. Questionable
    electricity supply for signaling, etc., is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Electric bicycles and cars also need large amounts of electricity,
    probably all at the same time (Mon-Fri early morning), something
    that wind/solar are not likely to support.

    To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, the problem with green energy
    is sooner or later you run out of someone else’s electricity…

  17. Wow! I can make electricity with my Honda Generator at less than the $0.36 / kW-hr the Germans are paying… using fuel at retail too. Golly. As natural gas here is running about 20 CENTS per Gallon Of Gasoline Equivalent (Thank You Fracking!) wholesale, any chemical industry in the UK would be daft to stay there an not move here (or better yet to places like Qatar with even more ample natural gas and better tax posture).

    (Contrary to popular belief, “petro” chemicals need not be made from Petro-leum and are most often made from natural gas in the USA. Though oil, coal, and even garbage can be used.)

    I can only hope that the EU commits Economic Green Suicide quickly so that the USA will see the light without needing to feel the heat (or lack of it..) first.

  18. lets spin some carbon… Any big producer of carbon dioxide should be looking at the real value of the gas they release into the atmosphere…. they should be seeing this release as a charitable donation. One ton of CO2 will produce how many tons of carrots,the value of which is? Currently they are helping to feed the world’s population with little compensation. With the wholesale price of carrots at 17 cents per pound, one ton of CO2 produces several thousand dollars worth of carrots. The big producers need some creative bookeeping to bring to governments attention the value they are providing to the less fortunate of the world.

  19. The part on electricity prices in Germany was illuminating. At first I wondered if it was really accurate, but it seems to basically fit not only http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_pricing but http://www.energy.eu/#domestic as well.

    Looking at the latter, apparently even countries of small or moderate size right beside each other in Europe have drastically different prices, even on industrial electricity costs. I can see I would have much to learn before really understanding what on Earth is all going on there, but I’m guessing huge tariffs, legal restrictions, different (very high?) tax rates, and/or more must be involved since technologically it would not be that hard to transmit electricity over such distances in manners which otherwise in theory ought to be breaking down such extreme price differences. For instance, even industrial electricity in Germany costs around 170% to 180% (Nov 2011) of the price of it in France, even though those countries are just roughly comparable size to Texas while sharing a border.

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