The Price Of Green Dreams: Energy Woes Will Hobble Europe For 20 Years

  • Date: 31/01/14
  • Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest

One of biggest stories of this decade is the steady erosion of the global green movement, which has almost entirely been driven by the incoherence of green policy proposals and the serial failure of signature policies. Yet the response of the mainstream green movement to critics who point these facts out is “Shut up, you evil science deniers.”

European industries currently pay double what their American counterparts pay for electricity, and the International Energy Agency is warning that this is not a temporary phenomenon. The costs of the subsidies propping up Europe’s nascent solar and wind industries, combined with the bloc’s increasing reliance on foreign sources of energy (such as American coal), have sent electricity prices soaring over the past six years. The IEA believes this will plague Europe’s ability to compete on the global market for the next two decades. The FT reports:

In findings likely to inflame claims EU climate change policies are damaging the bloc’s manufacturers, the International Energy Agency said Europe will lose a third of its global market share of energy-intensive exports over the next two decades because energy prices will stay stubbornly higher than those in the US.

A number of EU countries have embraced green energy subsidies, shunned nuclear power and resisted the shale exploration that has fuelled a manufacturing renaissance in the US, prompting growing anger among industry leaders who say this has been a recipe for competitive ruin.

Full story