Experts blame green energy policies for Europe's full-scale energy crisis: 'A warning to the US'

Experts blame green energy policies for Europe's full-scale energy crisis: 'A warning to the US'


'There's been under-investment in fossil fuels in Europe,' an analyst from research firm Rystad Energy tells FOX Business


Green energy policies in Europe designed to rapidly shift the continent away from fossil fuel dependence have contributed to soaring power prices in the region.


The European benchmark index measuring future electricity prices increased to a record $993 per megawatt hour (MWh) on Monday, days after prices in France and Germany surged 25%, according to European Energy Exchange data, compiled by Bloomberg.


By comparison, the average price of electricity in the U.S. hit $129 per MWh in June, federal data showed.


The energy crisis has forced consumers to cut back on power consumption, industrial production decreases and energy rationing across the continent.


The European Union Council (EU) scheduled an emergency meeting of EU energy ministers slated for next week in response to the market conditions.


"The skyrocketing electricity prices are now exposing, for different reasons, the limitations of our current electricity market design,"


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen remarked during a speech Monday. "It was developed under completely different circumstances and for completely different purposes. It is no longer fit for purpose."




Von der Leyen blamed the record price increases on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has upended global energy markets, but added that the crisis was evidence the bloc needed to transition further to green energy.


Von der Leyden is grossly mistaken:


In 2021, EU bureaucrats urged members not to sign long-term pipeline gas contracts with Russia, because it would show the EU as not being serious about moving away from fossil fuels.


Russia responded by selling gas only to countries with long-term gas contracts.

This caused the gas prices on the SPOT market to skyrocket in 2021


Russia refused to sell gas to SPOT market dealers, which would have lowered prices.


EU bureaucrats were pissed, because their naive scheme backfired, as did the sanctions subsequent to the invasion of Ukraine in 2022


The sanctions had made dollars and euros useless to Russia, so it insisted to be paid in rubles, which caused the ruble to become the strongest currency in the world, while the euro was caving, due to poor EU prospects.


Initially, there was much opposition, but most ended up paying in rubles, except a few, who were promptly cut off from Russian gas, such as poverty-stricken Bulgaria 


Russia ended up making much money selling oil, gas, coal, food, fertilizer, etc., at very high prices, and not buying much from Europe and others. The Russian trade surplus is estimated at $300 billion in 2022.


Russia has throttled natural gas supplies to Europe in response to the EU's sanction packages introduced following the February invasion.


However, electricity prices in Europe hit all-time highs months before the invasion.




A Reuters analysis, published in December, concluded that lower-than-expected wind power generation was a major factor sending prices higher and forcing suppliers to turn back to coal and natural gas.


Russia was the largest provider of Europe's natural gas and coal imports at the time of the invasion.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, speaks to reporters on May 30. 


"The word that comes to mind is nihilism," Michael Shellenberger, an energy expert and founder of the group Environmental Progress, told FOX Business in an interview. 


"You have people that are openly demanding to do more of the same things that actually made the crisis possible," he continued. "That's what you're seeing. They're saying, 'let's go do more unreliable energy.' It's a sign of a disturbed person that keeps engaging in irrational activities that are obviously self-destructive, and that we're seeing that behavior at a mass level."


Shellenberger added that Europe should be "a warning to the U.S. that we should not go down their path."



Over the last several years, EU policymakers have aggressively pushed for the retirement of traditional fossil fuel power plants and a large expansion of green energy alternatives including wind and solar.


The EU announced its so-called European Green Deal in 2021, outlining plans for the continent to massively reduce carbon emissions by investing more in renewables and limiting gas-powered vehicle purchases.


In Germany, the EU's largest economy, wind power alone accounted for the largest share of electricity production between 2019 and 2021. 


However, due to its heavy reliance on wind power has left the nation vulnerable when the wind produces less output than expected.


"There's been under-investment in fossil fuels in Europe," Fabian Rønningen, a senior power markets analyst at the Norwegian research firm Rystad Energy, told FOX Business in an interview. "There have been all these closures of coal power plants."




"If you have a system with a lot of solar and wind, you need backup in the system," he continued. "Until we find a better technical solution than natural gas, you need something to back it up and that is the role of coal,

gas and nuclear in Europe, for at least the next ten years."


Wind turbines produce anywhere between 25-50% of their nameplate capacity, according to the Energy Information Administration.


Solar panels produce 10 (in Germany) to 20 (in southern California) percent of nameplate capacity.


Russia's invasion of Ukraine has upended energy markets. However, price instability existed in Europe prior to the invasion. 

Depending on Russia's actions, the winter, when natural gas demand peaks, could be even more painful for Europeans, according to an analysis from research firm Wood Mackenzie published Thursday.


High prices are expected to lower natural gas demand and, if Russia continues to halt flows via the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline, total EU gas inventories could fall to just 26% by the end of the winter.


"In addition to uncertainty over gas supply from Russia, power market tightness — due to low nuclear, hydro and wind output — and the risk of electricity disruption, are putting additional stress on gas prices futures this winter," Penny Leake, a European gas analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said in a statement shared with FOX Business.


Leake added, if normal weather conditions occur, natural gas prices are expected to fall more than 35%, close to prices recorded late last month, following the winter.


Rønningen said, he does not expect large-scale power rationing or uncontrolled blackouts during the winter, but said costs will remain high for consumers.


"Looking to the winter, I think one thing that is quite clear, is it's going to be very expensive," he said.


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Comment by Jim Wiegand on September 2, 2022 at 1:33pm

Simply put......All energy policies are a rat fuck for the middle class.

Comment by James M. Talcott on September 2, 2022 at 1:16pm

It is not as if they were not warned, ROFL!


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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