Skip to comments.Yikes: Germany under investigation for their green-energy policies
Posted on 12/19/2013 8:29:47 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Germanys grandiose plans for an Energiewende have not been panning out too well. In the wake of the Fukushima blowout, the country embarked upon a long-term and wildly ambitious quest to get rid of coal, natural gas, and all of their nuclear power plants which means a whole lotta renewables are going to need to come online in the near future. The forcible transition has not been cheap, in more ways than one; energy prices have been ticking ever upward, and in the next decade, Germany will need to invest bigtime in new power plants, renewables projects, and infrastructure changes. Government subsidies are expected to amount to more than $32 billion in 2014 alone.
Such intense manipulation of the free market, of course, is no easy feat, and the European Union is wondering if perhaps Germany hasnt perhaps been engaging in some untoward special treatment of their politically favored industries. The WSJ explains:
EU regulators said Wednesday that they are looking into Germanys renewable-energy law, which funds investment in green energy. Under the law, nearly 2,300 heavy energy usersincluding chemical company BASF SE and steel producer ThyssenKrupp AG can avoid paying a surcharge that other consumers face. EU officials have criticized the exemptions for some companies as a subsidy that distorts competition.
The exemptions from the levy were Berlins attempt to reconcile its ambitious plans to shift power generation away from coal, natural gas and nuclear energy toward renewable sourcesthe so-called energy transformationwith the need to protect the competitiveness of its energy-hungry industrial base from rising electricity costs.
EU antitrust chief Joaquín Almunia said Wednesday the probe will focus on the exemptions effect on competition in certain sectors, including the transfer of costs to other energy users. We think this is selective treatment and this introduces discrimination, so thats the main point of the investigation, he said in Brussels.
German officials are pretty upset about the investigation, fearing that, if they are indeed forced to change their laws and recover the monetary aid granted to these companies to help them pay for Germanys relatively more expensive energy prices, the companies will lose their competitive edge on the world stage a very well-founded fear, I might add, seeing as how the chemical company BASF SE has already announced that they plan to move a lot of their production and investment to the United States, where their energy needs (hello, natural gas!) are less expensive.
The German government essentially wants to have their cake and eat it, too, on this one, and I suppose thats their choice but continually subsidizing the heck out of every which industry is one costly way to live. Germany wants to maintain a strong industrial base with plenty of jobs, but they also want to meet their energy needs almost completely with decidely more costly renewable sources as well as ban even the possibility of fracking for natural gas. The EU will have to decide if Germany is breaking whatever rules, but Germany cant be surprised that engaging in policies that make them less competitive might make them
you know, less
Hey, Euros, socialism/environmentalism sucks. Idiots.
This is not the first time the Germans have made a huge strategic blunder.
But the same kind of idiots are driving the energy policy here.
Gov Brown is going to allow fracking in the Monterry Shale.
No offshore drilling though, correct? The Greens in CA are some of the stupidest excuses for humanity there are.
I am not disagreeing with you.
BMW has been using green technology since 1992 and since then until today there interiors fall apart.I’ve seen 2 year old bimmers with headliners falling down and I have to repair them!Before 1992 BMW never had this problem so go figure.
Not sure I get your connection between headliners and green energy.
It’s called recycled garbage that is reused to create interiors for cars to save the planet.
Actually it has been allowed. What they decided is they won't ban it for now and set some basic requirements. But a study has been funded. However, the Monterey shale has technical issues as well as political.
California's next frontier: Development of the Monterey Shale