Thursday, 12 September 2013

Europe's leading energy companies want to put brakes on the building of new wind farms and solar panels

Europe's leading energy companies are warning that the European Union's climate change policy is destroying Europe's competitiveness. On Tuesday nine leading energy companies - GDF Suez, Eni, Enel, E.ON, RWE, GasTerra, Iberdrola, Gas Natural and Vattenfall - presented a package  of proposals to the European Parliament:
The proposals, which call for “ambitious but realistic” targets, were designed to sway the ongoing debate in Brussels concerning new climate change goals for 2030.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Gérard Mestrallet, chief executive of GDF Suez, said: “We have to reduce the speed at which Europe is building new wind farms and solar panels. At the moment, it is not sustainable.”
Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, voiced his agreement.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph at the Ambrosetti forum of global policy-makers at Lake Como, he said: “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.”

Mr Tajani also warned that Europe's idealistic race for renewables was driving the cost of electricity out of the realm of affordability.
The vast expense of energy is leaving Europe struggling to compete against the US, he argued.

The price of natural gas in the US has plummeted by 80% as the shale revolution pushes forward, leaving Europe lagging behind in the industry competition stakes.

It is, of course, excellent that a person like Antonio Tajani understands the problem, but knowing the strength of the climate change and wind&solar lobbies, it is highly unlikely that very much will change to the better in Brussels.

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