Inconvenient Truths
What Europe Gets Wrong About Energy Security

European reliance on Russian natural gas is in large part a self-inflicted wound.

Published on: June 3, 2014
Gal Luft and Anne Korin are co-directors of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and co-authors of Petropoly: The Collapse of America's Energy Security Paradigm.
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  • ShadrachSmith

    Vote for Greens, and they will distort energy prices till nothing works anymore. This is a painfully simple situation. Demagoguery works, and the best demagogues aren’t always working in the nation’s best interest.

    Thus it has always been.

  • S.C. Schwarz

    In a hundred years or so, when the collapse of the west is complete and being studied by Chinese historians, I believe it will be the triumph of green ideology which will be given primary credit for the collapse. Has any other civilization in history ever voluntarily destroyed itself like this?

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  • john

    Interesting. Every power generation source except PV is a mature technology. They are about as efficient as they will ever be. But if you look at PV the cost per MWh is still dropping like a stone thrown off a cliff. Where will it end up? Who knows. But you can bet that it will be lower than natural gas in the next five years.

    • LarryD

      Pretend the price of solar cells is zero. Assume an efficiency 20% at the cell level. Now, how much does it cost to build and maintain a 250 MW *average output* (not nameplate output) in, say, Germany. Include the cost of the baseload generator necessary for when it’s cloudy.

      Then you’ll understand why PV in never going to be other than a niche product.

  • George Purcell

    Back in the 1980s the Reagan administration begged western Europe not to build these pipelines. They were, of course, lambasted as stupid old cold warriors for this position.

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  • Prediction: Western Europe (and hence Brussels) will respond, instead, by accepting and finding ways to justify its dependence on Russia and accommodation of Russian interests.

    Basis: Post-Ukraine actions make it clear that Europe has no appetite for sanctions, and the commercial class in France and Germany wants issues with Russia to go away. The Left will not abandon their Green ideology, and some of their funding trail probably still leads to the Kremlin. Their natural opponents are the nationalist right, who are also very accommodating of Russia as an open flouter of their intra-national “near enemy’s” ideological justifications for rule. We’re also seeing reports of a funding trail from Russia that leads to at least some of those hard-right parties. Challenge: assemble an effective political coalition in the face of opposition from the Left, Right, and commercial classes. Nope. Hence my prediction.

    The authors are operating at the wrong level of organization in their analysis. They need to move lower, and analyze specific nations in Europe and its near-neighborhood with means and motive to change the game.

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