Friday, 17 June 2011

The Danish led Climate-Industrial complex tries to stop the shale gas revolution in Europe

"Vestas and other big players in Danish industry will not leave the climate conference empty handed".

The US-led shale gas revolution - ending Europe´s dangerous dependance on Russian energy - should be welcomed by both industry and consumers in Europe. Poland is leading the way, and there is growing interest in shale gas in several other European countries, as well.

This promising development is however facing strong opposition from the Danish led climate-industrial complex, which has joined forces with Russia´s Gazprom and a number of enviro-fundamentalist NGO´s. The climate-industrial lobby, promoting the interests of  heavily subsidised wind energy companies, is scared stiff  by the succes of  the U.S. shale gas industry, and is using all its lobbying power in order to kill the budding European shale gas revolution. The power of the climate-industrial lobby must not be underestamated; its tentacles have reached into the heart of the EU:

EU´s Climate Commissioner, Danish Connie Hedegaard is the de facto leader of the complex, actively lobbying for the wind power industry in the Commission, other EU and international bodies and on the governmental level in the members states.

Hedegaard was actively promoting the interests of Danish wind energy giant Vestas already when she, as Danish climate change minister, was planning the failed Copenhagen climate conference in 2009. According to this Danish news report she then promised that "Vestas and other big players in Danish industry will not leave the climate conference empty handed". 

As we all know, the climate conference failed badly, and Vestas left empty handed.

But now it´s payback time for the Commissioner:  

On January 14, Ms. Hedegaard met with the CEO of  the Vestas Wind Systems in Copenhagen.
The  meeting with Mr. Engel was mentioned on Ms. Hedegaards agenda page, but it has later been removed. One wonders why?

Fortunately a record of the meeting is still to be found elsewhere in the EU web jungle:
Mrs Connie HEDEGAARD in Denmark: meets with Mr Ditlev ENGEL, CEO of Vestas Wind Systems

It is not difficult to imagine what Mr. Engel had on his mind when he met the Commissioner: what could the EU do in order to help his loss making wind turbine empire? Nobody knows what Ms. Hedegaard may have promised, but she has certainly done her best in order to give the Danish company a helping hand:
 Here is a picture from the Vestas website showing the Commissioner promoting Vestas in China:

Vestas, the world leader in wind energy – today received Connie Hedegaard, the European Union Commissioner for Climate Action, at its Tianjin factory complex, located in the Tianjin Economic Development Area (TEDA).
This is how Hedegaard is planning to prevent Poland and other European countries from entering the shale gas revolution:

The EU's climate chief is seeking to extend the bloc's renewable energy targets, in a move apparently designed to protect the green energy sector from an intensifying attack by the gas industry.
This is the first time the European commission has raised the issue of mandatory targets beyond 2020, when the current commitment – to generate 20% of energy from renewable sources – expires.
An extension would boost the renewable energy industry in the face of lobbying efforts by the gas industry, which is trying to rebrand gas as a cheaper "green" alternative to renewables.
In its attempts to push this line, the gas industry has held a series of high-level meetings with senior figures in the European commission and the European parliament, as well as with the governments of member states.
Connie Hedegaard, the climate change commissioner in Brussels, is concerned at the lobbying, and is determined to maintain Europe's lead in developing renewable energy and clean technology. "We should be looking to avoid a lock-in to fossil fuels," she said. "We should be discussing a renewable energy target for 2030. We need to have ambitious targets. It would be one way to send a long-term price signal for renewable energy – that renewable energy is not just going to stop growing after 2020."
In an interview with the Guardian, Hedegaard declined to put a clear figure on what the renewable energy target should be beyond 2020. But others have suggested that it could be cost-effective to opt for a target of 40% by 2030.
The push to extend the target is likely to be resisted by some member states who fought hard against the 2020 targets when they were unveiled in early 2007. Poland is known to be concerned that its heavy reliance on coal should not attract penalties, and Italy has a history of opposing climate targets.An official in the department of Günther Oettinger, the EU commissioner for energy, said no targets were yet needed beyond 2020. He is also against raising the current emissions-cutting target from 20% by 2020 to 30%, as some member states – including the UK, France and Germany – have proposed.

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA),  lead by another former Danish journalist, Christian Kjær is now intensifying its lobbying on behalf of  Vestas and the other wind industry companies. Kjær´s latest effort was this "debate " in Brussels on June 15:

A 45% renewable energy target for 2030 would create the future policy-stability the green energy sector the needs, was one of the main messages emerging from last night’s public debate on EU energy policy post-2020.
New energy policies must be drawn-up today, and not in 2020 when the current targets expire, Josche Muth, Secretary General of the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) said at the debate organised by the European Wind Energy Association.

Ms. Hedegaard was apparently too busy elsewhere propagating windmills, so she sent a representative, another Dane, to bring the anti-shale gas message to the "debate":

renewable energy could face a threat from cheap gas supplies unless policy-makers fix renewable energy targets beyond 2020. Niels Ladefoged, from Connie Hedegaard’s, European Commissioner for Climate Action, cabinet, warned that there are enough fossil fuels in the ground to heat up the planet beyond levels that nature can sustain.


The Climate-Industrial lobby is masquerading as a partner in the (dubious) fight against global warming. The real purpose of its lobbying is to safeguard the taxpayer financed subsidies, without which the wind power companies would not make any profits at all. Poland, the US and all other sane forces must prevent the Climate-Industrial lobby from succeeding in its efforts to prevent the shale gas revolution from becoming reality in Europe. Energy security and shale gas will feature high on the agenda of the Polish EU presidency, due to begin on July 1. One must hope that the Poles - hopefully with the support of the US - will be able to stave off  the attacks of the wind power "mafia", which, if succesful, would leave Europe dangerously dependent on Russian gas deliveries.

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