Thursday, January 3, 2013

Europe’s dirty secret: The Coal renaissance

The Economist opines that Europe's dirty secret is the growing market share of coal-fired generation.
It's one of a number of dirty secrets; another is much of Europe's reductions in targets based on 1990 emissions came before the reduction targets were set (late in 1997); another that much of the reduction in emissions really came from exporting the manufacturing emissions offshore; and yet another would seem to be exposed in the conclusion to the article in the Economist.
Apparently European energy policies are driving European energy investment out of Europe.

Europe’s dirty secret: The unwelcome renaissance | The Economist:
Faced with such uncertainties, businesses are doing what you would expect: going elsewhere. Jesse Scott, the head of environment policy at EURELECTRIC, an association of electricity producers, asked European energy utilities which also have an international portfolio where they were expecting to invest over the next few years; 85% replied “outside Europe”.
If policies work as intended, electricity from renewables will gradually take a larger share of overall generation, and Europe will end up with a much greener form of energy. But at the moment, EU energy policy is boosting usage of the most polluting fuel, increasing carbon emissions, damaging the creditworthiness of utilities and diverting investment into energy projects elsewhere. The EU’s climate commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, likes to claim that in energy and emissions Europe is “leading by example”. Uh-oh.
Europe’s dirty secret: The unwelcome renaissance | The Economist:

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