This week the EU Commission has reported that the EU’s energy bills are much higher than the US or other major world competitor nations. They say this is causing problems for European industry.
They tell us this as if it were nothing to do with them. Surely they both knew that European energy bills are very high by world standards, and wanted them to be so as part of their green policy? The EU takes the view that global warming caused by man made CO2 is the world’s worst problem. They want Europe unilaterally to cut its CO2 output to show the rest how to do it. So why the surpise that they have succeeded in making energy dear in Europe? Why the surprise that that policy will drive business away from Europe to places where energy is cheaper?
The crowning irony is of course the fact that Germany’s high CO2 emissions are not coming down. In the US cheap shale gas is also cutting CO2 output, whilst Germany is increasing her lignite coal burn to cover for renewable windfarms that only function part time. Its not only CO2 coming out of the chimneys.
German industry is now lobbying strenuously to change policy. There are signs that the EU after 2020 may relax its CO2 controls. They are talking of putting another aim into their energy policy – of helping competitiveness by sensible prices. That would also help the hard pressed domestic consumer.
The trouble is, it is all taking so long to change. In the meantime more energy using industries will quit the EU, whilst the USA industrialises on the back of cheap gas and does better at CO2! We haven’t seen the end of the EU price rises, nor the end of the problems balancing a system with too much wind in the mix.