When The Party’s Over


All “good” things must come to an end, eventually.

Built on a fat pile of subsidies filched from unwitting taxpayers and power consumers – and forced on customers by Stalinist edicts so outrageous that they would’ve surprised George Orwell with their reach and audacity – wind power is all set to get the boot in Europe.

But the fan scamming leeches that have grown fat on the – seemingly endless – pile of cash purloined from power punters aren’t happy about it.

Of course, if there was any substance to the rubbish tossed up by their spin doctors about being competitive with base-load generators and a perfect substitute for coal-fired plants, then they wouldn’t need 5 year plans, mandatory targets or even so much as a sniff of subsidy.

Power punters would have beaten a path to wind weasels’ doors and wind power would have been lapped up with relish.  But there simply isn’t a shred of meat on the bones of what’s being pitched up daily by history’s most successful charlatans.

The Europeans are screaming enough is enough and are all set to pull the plug on the massive subsidies they’ve squandered on wind power – which has – predictably – resulted in howls of protests from the likes of struggling Danish fan maker, Vestas.  Here’s lefty rag The Age’s take on the end of the party.

EU move to drop mandatory renewable energy target for 2030 irks wind, solar industries
The Age
24 January 2014

Wind and solar power producers said they’re at risk of losing investment after the European Union’s executive arm scrapped proposals for a mandatory target on renewable energy use in 2030.

The European Commission yesterday said the 28-nation bloc should get 27 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2030, up from 20 per cent at the end of this decade. Unlike the current goal, the new one won’t be split into national targets.

“It’s very weak,” Jacopo Moccia, head of political affairs for the European Wind Energy Association, said in an interview today. “It was a communications gimmick rather than a real target. How do we determine the EU has met its target if it has no obligations on member states? It’s hard to imagine the EU will take itself to court and fine itself.”

The EU is wrestling with how to reduce pollutants blamed for global warming while keeping a lid on electricity bills that sometimes are double U.S. levels. Companies including Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Alstom SA, Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA and Acciona SA lobbied for binding renewables targets, while the U.K. led a push against them to allow more space for carbon capture and nuclear power.

The commission’s proposal starts the debate among member nations about energy policy to 2030. It also called for a 40 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by then, double the current aim to cut 20 per cent by 2020. EU heads of government are due to discuss the program in Brussels in March.

UN endorsement

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged European leaders to adopt the commission’s plan in time for his climate summit in New York in September. He’s trying to spur emissions pledges that would be enshrined in a new UN climate change plan in Paris at the end of 2015. “The EU has set the standard that all need to follow,” Ban said in Davos, Switzerland.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said in a letter to Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in December that a renewables target would cost British consumers 9 billion pounds ($A17 billion) a year by 2030. The commission’s proposal would allow technologies such as nuclear power, carbon capture and storage and energy efficiency to be used in order to meet the EU’s overall goal on carbon.

“If you set rigid inflexible targets, that’s likely to lead to greater costs,” U.K. Energy Secretary Ed Davey told reporters in London yesterday. “You should be allowed to choose whichever low-carbon technology you wanted.”

Industry disappointed

Still, the decision is a disappointment to renewable energy developers, which expanded rapidly in the last decade on the back of the bloc’s target for the technology. The share of renewable energy used in transport, heating and power generation reached to 12.7 per cent in 2011 from 8.5 per cent in 2005, according to statistics included in yesterday’s proposals.

Germany, France, Spain, Britain and Italy all have trimmed renewable energy subsidies in recent years after a boom in installations translated into more costly power for consumers. Investment in renewables in Europe fell 41 per cent to $US57.8 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“It’s a setback, and it’s going to slow what I think is increasingly inevitable: the eventual supremacy of renewables,” Jeremy Leggett, chairman of the London-based installer Solar Century Holdings Ltd., said today by phone. “Most renewable technology costs are systemically going down while costs of most incumbent fossil fuels are rising.”


Modeling by the commission shows that renewables would have to rise to close to a 27 per cent share in order for its 2030 carbon target to be met, according to Davey and the European Photovoltaic Industry Association. That makes the 27-per cent goal “a non-target,” said Moccia from the wind association.

“The commission’s proposal for 2030 sadly is a lame duck,” Frauke Thies, policy director for the photovoltaic association, said yesterday in a statement. “We are now looking at the European Council to make this supposedly binding target meaningful, by turning it into real national binding targets.”

While the renewable energy target would be binding across the EU, the commission said that “it would not be translated into national targets through EU legislation.” Instead, countries would be expected to lay out national energy plans that ensure “strong investor certainty.”

Vestas view

“The white paper provides the basis for a long-term commitment in Europe, but of course we would like to see the national regulations as well,” Vestas Wind Systems A/S Chief Executive Officer Anders Runevad said yesterday in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “The next big step is to get national level targets.”

Davey said Britain and other nations will probably “publish ranges” of where they expect renewables to reach, “without having to commit.”

“It is difficult to see how the commission can enforce this EU-wide binding target if the targets set by individual member states in their national energy plans are not also binding,” Mike Landy, a policy analyst at the Renewable Energy Association, a U.K. lobby group, said today in an e-mail.

Britain, which is the leading market for offshore wind power, may suffer slower investment because of the absence of specific targets on renewables for 2030, said Maf Smith, deputy chief executive of the RenewableUK lobby group.

Investment cuts

Already, Scottish Power Ltd. dropped plans for an offshore wind plant in December, saying it wasn’t financially viable, and RWE AG abandoned another venture a month before. SSE Plc today indicated it has concerns about the investment climate in the U.K. and that it’s reviewing its strategy.

“The result of that is lower confidence in the market,” Smith said. “It will mean the costs fall less quickly if these companies can’t press ahead, and an increase in finance costs because investors will see increased uncertainty about this future market.”

While the U.K. opposed binding renewables goals, other countries wanted them. Environment and energy ministers from eight nations, including Germany, France and Italy, wrote to EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger and EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard earlier this month calling for a binding 2030 target.

“We have to ensure that no matter how we do it, it will be predictable for investors,” Danish Climate Minister Martin Lidegaard said today in an interview in Davos. “The reason why it’s important to have a binding target is that we can’t adjust our infrastructure in our market if we don’t know how much renewables there are going to be.”

The discussion on renewables was the biggest challenge in devising the 2030 package, Hedegaard said yesterday in an interview in Brussels.

“It was very important to send a strong signal to the renewables industry in Europe that has created so many jobs in recent years, that we still want a strong focus on renewables,” Hedegaard said. “It was one of the controversial issues, but there was a strong backing.”
The Age

This couldn’t be happening to a “nicer” bunch of lads.


Oi, come back here you. Those massive subsidies
and ludicrous targets were meant to last forever!

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

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