Europe’s cash-strapped governments can no longer afford to prop up renewable technologies, or fund the environmental gravy train that developing countries have been hoping to climb aboard. As the economy slumps, subsidies for costly clean energy are being scrapped, and the EU is diverting €80 billion intended to develop renewables into cheap ‘low carbon’ shale gas, as a horrified Guardian reports.
Of course, this is hardly surprising, given that natural gas promises an economic golden age – while renewable energies like wind, wave, and solar power are wildly unviable. Without subsidies – which were eliminated in January – the Spanish renewable energy market has ceased to exist. Similarly, Germany has put an end to its solar industry, which was in the process of turning electricity into a “luxury good” (see Solar Power Has Been Totally Eclipsed By Gas).
The green-energy revolution was always a boondoggle from the start, in which taxpayers money was lavished on green jobs. So we can thank the shale gas revolution for overthrowing the green agenda.
Of course, global warming alarmists are up in arms, because switching to gas will make it impossible for Europe to meet its binding targets for emissions reduction. However financial expediency means that adapting to climate change – that is if humans even have a measurable, or worrisome, impact on global temperature – is now the order of the day rather than preventing it.
With China and India rejecting a new climate treaty, countries like Canada, US, and Japan, are opting out of a new Kyoto protocol. It cannot be long before the EU follows suit.
This more pragmatic approach can also be seen in the UK, which is running out of time to build new generating capacity. A new generation of coal-fired power stations will be built without curbs on emissions, in its Draft Energy Bill – provided they merely “trial” a carbon capture and storage system.
Meanwhile, following a discordant UN climate conference in Bonn, climate change is slipping off the agenda of the Rio+20 summit. The European Parliament is not bothering to send any members. Those poor countries still demanding that the rich countries pay them a fortune to cut greenhouse gas emissions better not hold their breath.