The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
The Costs of Green Dreams IEA: Energy Woes Will Hobble Europe for 20 Years

European industries currently pay double what their American counterparts pay for electricity, and the International Energy Agency is warning that this is not a temporary phenomenon. The costs of the subsidies propping up Europe’s nascent solar and wind industries, combined with the bloc’s increasing reliance on foreign sources of energy (such as American coal), have sent electricity prices soaring over the past six years. The IEA believes this will plague Europe’s ability to compete on the global market for the next two decades. The FT reports:

In findings likely to inflame claims EU climate change policies are damaging the bloc’s manufacturers, the International Energy Agency said Europe will lose a third of its global market share of energy-intensive exports over the next two decades because energy prices will stay stubbornly higher than those in the US.

A number of EU countries have embraced green energy subsidies, shunned nuclear power and resisted the shale exploration that has fuelled a manufacturing renaissance in the US, prompting growing anger among industry leaders who say this has been a recipe for competitive ruin.

One of biggest stories of this decade is the steady erosion of the global green movement, which has almost entirely been driven by the incoherence of green policy proposals and the serial failure of signature policies. Yet the response of the mainstream green movement to critics who point these facts out is “Shut up, you evil science deniers.”

Published on January 31, 2014 8:34 am
  • rheddles

    The big story of the decade is the demonstrable inefficiency of government imposed central planning whether it’s the USSR in everything, the EU in energy or the US in healthcare. Governments don’t do things efficiently ever or well frequently..

  • Boritz

    Lucky them. They are measuring their disruptions in years rather than generations or centuries like we will be.

  • Andrew Allison

    The real story is that alternative energy is just not ready for prime time, and until it is will be much more costly than fossil fuel.
    “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
    John Adams, ‘Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,’ December 1770

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    This is a complete misunderstanding of the environmentalists, they don’t want to be successful, as being successful means all the funding, grants, and donations vanish, and they all have to go find new jobs. Every time the environmentalists are successful, like with CFC’s and holes in the ozone, or endangered species no longer endangered, you can see them scrambling for a new urgent issue to milk. This is how the whole “Global Warming” hoax came about, no matter that none of the computer models are predictive, or that data had to be manipulated to “hide the decline” in temperatures. Success is a death knell for the environmentalists.

    • bigfire

      Higher energy price and uncompetitive business climate is a feature, not a bug with environmentalism. The ultimate goal of environmentalism is the reduction of humanity back to the golden age of barely subsistence agricultural world lord over by the enlighten few (the environmentalists of course). Everything is permissible (and encourage) to achieve this goal.