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Yet Another Glorious Green Policy Accomplishment

wind turbine

RWE—one of the UK’s biggest power utilities—recently announced that the country’s push into renewable energy sources is going to mean electricity bills nearly 20 percent higher for its customers. This news comes shortly after the company was given permission by the UK government to build the Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm, which with with a maximum generating capacity of a whopping 1.2 gigawatts would measure in as the world’s largest. But green energy comes at a premium, the FT reports:

[T]here is mounting concern in the power industry that the costs of [green energy] policies, combined with other measures such as the carbon floor price and big subsidies for renewable energy, will be much higher than government estimates and will have a sizeable impact on what average consumers pay for their gas and electricity.

When they are trying to sell green policies, environmentalists spew statistics about growth and efficiency. But when those policies are put into place, costs go up, jobs wither, and living standards go down. The green movement could use better leadership, and would do well to adopt smarter, more practical ideas. Promoting telework and beefing up infostructure—both policies that would decrease the need to physically move things around, thereby reducing emissions—would be two good places to start. Improving the efficiency of appliances and machines is another promising avenue.

Beyond that, more research into green tech is the best way to support basic research. The green movement today is often an alliance between people who are selling and promoting uneconomic ‘alternative’ energy schemes and greens who are willing to front for them. It’s an attempt to legislate profit for crony capitalists, green lipstick on a herd of pigs like ethanol and wind turbines.

With better tech, alternative energy can make its way on the legitimate marketplace. Until then, green policy will produce white elephant after white elephant, and public support for this nonsense will inevitably fade as the bills come due.

[Wind turbine image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • S.C. Schwarz

    I’m afraid you don’t get it: The fact that green energy projects raise energy costs is a feature not a bug. The goal is deindustrialazation and population reduction. Read Bill McKibben for example.

    • Corlyss

      “living standards go down”

      As you say, the greens’ true goal. I’m waiting for them to counsel overt war against the 3rd world’s “revolution of rising expectations,” to borrow a phrase coined by Harlan Cleveland, to prevent them from emulating the West’s tokens of prosperity.

  • Atanu Maulik

    Life in Europe is still pretty good for the masses. Europe still have quite some way to fall before people really start to feel the pain. But don’t worry it will happen. Eurozone is currently in its sixth straight quarter of recession. Another six or so will take care of this green madness.

    • Corlyss

      Lotus eaters, all.

      • Atanu Maulik

        They are fast running out of lotuses to eat.

        • Corlyss

          You know, speaking of just the US, I thought that in 1995 when the government shutdown caused a flurry of discussions about the national debt, our unfunded liabilities crisis, and the social security/medicare monster. I was wrong. Little did I know that there were grotesque budget-eating monstrosities yet to be conceived, like the prescription drug plan and now Obamacare. Instead of smartening up, both politicians and the electorate have actually gotten dumber and more irresponsible. When we throw in Europe, and their almost comedic scrambling to save themselves from their won rapacious generosity, and their incredible reluctance and inability to solve their problems, I think its a darn good thing some of us will “age out” of the stream so we don’t have to watch what will be the public policy debacle for the ages.

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