Green dreams are giving way to hard economic realities

Turns out we can’t afford a Green future, and the world is waking up to the fact that Green politics are simply not … sustainable.  And more amazingly still, more and more of the MSM are getting off the Global Warming and Green merry-go-round.

As country after country abandons, curtails or reneges on once-generous support for renewable energy, Europe is beginning to realise that its green energy strategy is dying on the vine. Green dreams are giving way to hard economic realities.

Slowly but gradually, Europe is awakening to a green energy crisis, an economic and political debacle that is entirely self-inflicted.

The mainstream media, which used to encourage the renewables push enthusiastically, is beginning to sober up too. With more and more cracks beginning to appear, many newspapers are returning to their proper role as the fourth estate, exposing the pitfalls of Europe’s green-energy gamble and opening their pages for thorough analysis and debate. Today, European media is full of news and commentary about the problems of an ill-conceived strategy that is becoming increasingly shaky and divisive.

A study by British public relations consultancy CCGroup analysed 138 articles about renewables published during July last year in the five most widely circulated British national newspapers: The Sun, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, which enjoy a combined daily circulation of about 6.5 million.

“The analysis revealed a number of trends in the reporting of renewable energy news,” the study found. “First and foremost, the temperature of the media’s sentiment toward the renewables industry is cold. More than 51 per cent of the 138 articles analysed were either negative or very negative toward the industry.”

More than 80 per cent of the articles appeared in broadsheet titles The Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, the report says, “but 55 per cent of these articles were either negative or very negative about the industry”.

I suspect our MSM will take some time to follow the trend, as they are so heavily invested in anything that can take Teflon John down a few pegs.  And they wouldn’t altogether be unhappy to be reporting on a Green-led coalition government either.

It’s like waking up the morning after a great party, and it’s time to clean up and go to work.  Reality has come knocking on the door of Green pipe dreams.

EU members states have spent about €600 billion ($882bn) on renewable energy projects since 2005, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Germany’s green energy transition alone may cost consumers up to €1 trillion by 2030, the German government recently warned.

These hundreds of billions are being paid by ordinary families and small and medium-sized businesses in what is undoubtedly one of the biggest wealth transfers from poor to rich in modern European history. Rising energy bills are dampening consumers’ spending, a poisonous development for a Continent struggling with a severe economic and financial crisis.

The German Association of Energy Consumers estimates that up to 800,000 Germans have had their power cut off because they couldn’t pay the country’s rising electricity bills; among them, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported last October, are 200,000 long-term unemployed.

Don’t you just love it?  The greener the energy gets, the less affordable it becomes.  In terms of generation, in terms of subsidies and in terms of consumer pricing.

I don’t even have to spin this.  The cold hard realities of Green energy are setting in all over the world.

Two weeks ago, the Czech government decided to end all subsidies for new renewable energy projects at the end of this year. “The reason for this law amendment is the rising financial burden for electricity consumers,” Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok said. “It threatens the competitiveness of our industry and raises consumers’ uncertainty about power prices.” In recent years, almost all EU member states also have begun the process of rolling back and cutting green subsidies.

Spain is a particularly cautionary tale. By failing to control the cost of guaranteed subsidies, the country has been saddled with €126bn of obligations to renewable-energy investors.

There are about 10-15% of the population that are just complete dreamers.  They want “Green”.  They want “sustainable”.  They want “renewable”.  But all of that only worked by forcing others, the ones with the money, to pay for it.

Sure, it sounded like a great idea.  Only ogres like me have had to courage to swim upstream for all these years telling people it was insane and would come to tears.

Welcome to the morning after.  Smell the coffee, and start cleaning up the mess that Green meddling has left.

Europe’s strategy was founded on two fears: first, that global warming was an urgent threat that needed to be prevented imminently and at all costs; and second, that the world was running out of fossil fuels, which meant oil and gas would become ever more expensive. Both conjectures, however, turned out to be wrong.

The result of a fear-driven gamble with the Continent’s industrial future is a costly shambles that threatens to undercut Europe’s economic and political position in a world that is sensibly refusing to follow its lead.

Germany’s green energy strategy is likely to change significantly after federal elections on September 22; Merkel has promised voters to drastically curtail the €20bn burden they have to pay renewable energy investors every year should she win.

Australians would be well advised to watch this green train wreck very closely if they wish to avoid a repeat of the fiasco that is unfolding in Europe.

And Kiwis too.



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  • baw

    Any country can go green. And they can do it cost effectively.

    All they need to do is build more hydro dams. Invest in cleaner fuels such as Fracked natural gas. Invest in energy efficiency and build nuclear reactors.

    All of these technologies have been proven to work and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Ok natural gas is not as clean as the others but better than coal). And all of these technologies are cheaper than building wind turbines.

    But when you go to your local greenies they don’t want the hydro dams because of land loss etc. Fracking and nuclear energy is just seen as bad and evil respectively. And while energy efficiency is great both green and not green know it will never solve our energy.

    May I also add that simply going green very fast will mean that current generation assets are not fully utilised for their captial value (i.e. a coal plant is shut down before it is ready to be closed).

    • I was just going to say something similar.

      Best sources of “clean” energy en-mass are hydro dams, natural gas plants and the later generation nuclear reactors.

      Take a look at this Generation IV reactor design (most commercial reactors are Gen II or IIIs)

      Take your pick, build one for low volume (Auckland) and one for very high volume (New York, London, Tokyo or Paris).

      It is all there. Sadly the nuclear industry got hobbled three times by Level 7 disasters (all to human error, two of those them due to crap design and the other (Three Mile Island) lesser so in design flaws) and the following hype meaning we are miles behind to where we should be for reliable and clean power

      • baw

        For New Zealand I don’t think we have the population big enough to really support nuclear energy.

        And for 4 weeks every 2 years we have to replace their energy while the reactor is being refueled.

        I also worry about brand damage if something bad were to happen. The public can be so fickle. Would you drink Fonteria milk if it came from the Ukraine?

        I agree with you about molten salt reactors. I suspect the chinese will produce ones for the market long before the americans.

        • peterwn

          Nuclear power used to be on the 15 year planning horizon in NZ, and thank goodness it did not happen at the time – quite apart from technology, project and management expertise at that time was not up to it. Windpower in the NZ context is a good stop-gap until NZ is ready for nuke power. Both wind and nuclear power can leverage off the existing ‘fleet’ of hydro stations. The hydro stations smooth out the wrinkles of wind generation which greatly assists the economics of wind power. Similarly nuclear stations can be used to charge up the hydro lakes prior to the two yearly nuclear shutdown. A big gripe I have with thermal and nuclear stations is the 30 or so year lifecycle. For example, New Plymouth gas fired station is history, and Huntley nearly history. I would like to see a nuke design that will last 1000 or so years – no worries if generators, switchgear, transformers, control equipment, etc are periodically replaced – just as long as the basic structure has a very long life.

    • philbest

      Absolutely; and the reason for “Green” opposition to these things is that their underlying wish is to “destroy global capitalism”. As Patrick Moore was loudly told when at a Greenpeace conference in 1986, he suggested holding a “victory celebration” for all the regulatory changes that had been achieved, and all the very real improvements in environmental indicators in the first world.

    • BAM

      The main reason the green opposed nuclear power was not because of the pollution or danger.
      But because nuclear power provides cheap power and cheap power means growth which means more consumption.

      This is why they push the power down option.

  • Col

    baw and Ben spot on, bring back the veggie garden.

  • frank

    The US invests in fracking and lowers its net CO2 emissions and the EU spends billions on solar and windfarm follies and barely changes net CO2 emissions.

    Ill Wind Blows for German Offshore Industry

  • cows4me

    In years to come some author will write a children’s fairy tale about the green revolution. These future children shall laugh and giggle at how stupid the people were and so they should.

    • philbest

      I hope so. It wasn’t long before Russia stopped giggling about the Commie era, all the archives and teaching material was purged again once the Putin era started.

  • Macca

    Hey Wussell, how’s them thar 100,000 gween jobs coming along? You know the ones, the centre piece of your per-election policies that the media won’t hold you to account on! Fuck off back to Aussie and finish ruining their economy that yer socialist mates have nearly trashed!

  • conwaycaptain

    Over many years I have watched as the Greenies and their allies come up with sail assisted power ships that will REVOLUTIONISED the shipping industry. How many of these are there??
    However the engine manufacturers, ship designers. paint manufacturers have come up with innovative designs etc that have cut fuel consumption etc to approx. USD 11 per slot per day.
    Now we hear that the wind industry in the UK has to be backed up by mega million/billions of stand by power and that the owners of the land where wind turbines are based are being paid millions.
    Going back to ships in 1972 I was 2/O of the Port Chalmers that carried approx 15,000 tonnes of lamb and she burnt 110MT of fuel per day. Now we have the Maersk McKinney Moller with 19K of boxes burns 150TPD

    • philbest

      This is a b—-y good point, and it is duplicated all through the global economy, that is, the real cost of transport has steadily fallen, regardless of the rise and rise in the price of crude oil.

      Even real car running costs have fallen, because the price of crude oil is not the total price of petrol, and the price of petrol is not the total cost of running a car. In fact the real “lowest cost option” is far lower now than it has ever been. An already-depreciated econobox now offers far cheaper motoring from years 10 to 20 of its serviceable life, than the equivalent of 30 years ago.

  • philbest

    “…..Don’t you just love it? The greener the energy gets, the less affordable it becomes……”

    Public transport is like this too. Every rider kilometer traveled costs the taxpayer about 50 cents, whereas every person kilometer traveled on roads by people in cars, costs the taxpayer less than one cent.

    It has been calculated that if all travel was by public transport, it would cost more than total GDP.

  • Whafe

    This to me is almost the same ideology as organic fruit and veges….

    There is a mere few percent of the population that can afford organic fruit and veges…

    Trust me, the export volumes of organic are dropping like stones. No one can afford to pay for the reduction in yields etc etc that need to extract higher prices…

    Key is to eat more vegetables and fruit…

    Bring on a Nuclear power station, a nice tidy gen IV type = clean and sustainable

  • BR

    I despise the greens and everything they stand for. The environmental concerns are nothing but a front contrived to garner the support of suckers. The bastards are evil personified. They don’t really care about the environment, they are more concerned with promoting hard left policies that will ultimately destroy the civil society and private property rights, and therefore all the benefits that everyone has come to take for granted.


  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    One network news poll has Greens going strong at 17%…..what say you?

    • Hazards001

      pass me a razor blade!

    • AnonWgtn

      Bullshit !

  • kehua

    Terrific Post should be compulsory reading for every MP and Secondary School Pupil.

  • AnonWgtn

    New Zealand can reduce the billions earned by Cows and their products.
    This country is full of natural resources – Coal, Oil, Natural Gas and even Gold.
    All we have to do is invest without Greenpeace and Australian Socialist Workers Party members interference.