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Brussels Panic Over Energy Costs

September 9, 2013

By Paul Homewood




From the Telegraph:


"We face a systemic industrial massacre," said Antonio Tajani, the European industry commissioner.

Mr Tajani warned that Europe’s quixotic dash for renewables was pushing electricity costs to untenable levels, leaving Europe struggling to compete as America’s shale revolution cuts US natural gas prices by 80pc.

"I am in favour of a green agenda, but we can’t be religious about this. We need a new energy policy. We have to stop pretending, because we can’t sacrifice Europe’s industry for climate goals that are not realistic, and are not being enforced worldwide," he told The Daily Telegraph during the Ambrosetti forum of global policy-makers at Lake Como.

"The loss of competitiveness is frightening," said Paulo Savona, head of Italy’s Fondo Interbancario. "When people choose whether to invest in Europe or the US, what they think about most is the cost of energy."

A report by the American Chemistry Council said shale gas has given the US a "profound and sustained competitive advantage" in chemicals, plastics, and related industries. Consultants IHS also expect US chemical output to double by 2020, while Europe’s output will have fallen by a third. IHS said $250bn (£160bn) in extra US manufacturing will be added by shale in the next six years.

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European president Herman Van Rompuy echoed the growing sense of alarm, calling it a top EU priority to slash energy costs. "Compared to US competitors, European industry pays today twice as much for electricity, and four times as much for gas. Our companies don’t get the rewards for being more efficient," he said.

Europe’s deepening energy crisis has for now replaced debt troubles as the region’s top worry, with major implications for the Commission’s draft paper on shale expected in October. The EU’s industry and environment directorates are pitted against each other. The new legislation could in theory stop Britain, Poland, and others going ahead with fracking.

"Personally, I am in favour of shale gas in Europe because we have to do more for industry," said Mr Tajani.



It’s just a pity they did not wake up to this a few years ago.

  1. September 9, 2013 12:19 pm

    It would be different if the results of their policy weren’t 100% predictable. They did it to themselves and they have earned the consequences – up to and including total economic failure. However, I doubt that they have learned anything. Their “attempts” to help industry will only make things worse. Then, they will say they must do more of the same which will make things still worse. This is simply government doing what governments have always done.

    The best possible thing for a government to do with respect to industry and the economy is NOTHING! Anything more is equivalent to pulling up your tomato plants to see if the roots are growing: the best of intentions with a catastrophic result.

  2. cornwallwindwatch permalink
    September 9, 2013 12:34 pm

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch.

  3. September 9, 2013 1:31 pm

    Worry not, Paul – there are plenty of companies waiting in the wings to get cracking with fracking!

  4. September 9, 2013 1:46 pm

    It is incredible that so many believed policies based on junk science would have no serious consequences.

    With kind regards, Oliver K. Manuel Former NASA Principal Investigator for Apollo

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Brian H permalink
    September 22, 2013 6:07 pm

    The Invisible Hand: You WILL pay real prices.

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