Monday, 24 December 2012

Brave Poland continues its fight against the European Unions's senseless global warming "flagship" policy

Poland is to be congratulated for continuing its brave fight against the European Union's senseless carbon-trading system and global warming policy.This and the fact that Poland also intends to replace old coal plants with massive new ones (a wise policy) appears particularly to anger the "green" Germans. Der Spiegel has published a critical article on the Polish energy and global warming policy:

On Monday, coal-dependent Poland continued its virtually solitary opposition to a widely-supported -- and badly needed -- short-term fix for Europe's carbon-trading system, the continent's flagship policy in the fight against global warming. Such obstreperousness, however, has not led to Poland's being internationally ostracized. On the contrary, even as the country helped block Europe's ability to present a unified front at the recent climate change conference in Doha, Poland was chosen to host the next conference in 2013.
It is a decision which seems destined to make next year's conference, aimed at fashioning a global pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, just as unsuccessful as in years past.
The pessimism is born of Poland's ongoing addiction to coal -- and of the government's own interest in the status quo. Recently, Tusk told a press conference that "energy is the key to politics." And in Poland, there is little difference between the two. Despite communism having crumbled almost two-and-a-half decades ago, much of the energy industry in Poland remains under government control. Though many of the largest energy companies have been ostensibly privatized, the Polish treasury often retains a significant stake.
"There is a vested interest in maintaining the current power system, so the renewable energy system is too dispersed to benefit the right players in the system," said Michael LaBelle, a professor at Central European University in Budapest who teaches energy policy. "They are coal-aholics, that's the best term to use, it's horrible but it's true."
Poland is the 10th largest consumer of coal in the world and produces 92 percent of its electricity from coal, according to the World Coal Association. And despite EU targets for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, Poland is pressing forward with plans replace old coal plants with massive new ones.
That doesn't mesh well with Europe's CO2 emissions reduction plans. As Europe's emissions trading system grows and becomes more comprehensive, carbon should get more expensive. But Poland has responded by both fighting against making fixes to the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) -- which has been crippled by chronically low prices for emissions certificates -- and against more ambitious goals for reducing carbon emissions. Warsaw has also pushed to get extra pollution allowances for new and existing plants.

Instead of criticizing Poland for its decision to invest in new coal energy technology, Germans should look at what is happening in their own "green dreamworld":

EON SE, the worst-performing stock in Germany’s benchmark DAX index (DAX) for the first year since the company was formed in 2000, has ripped up earnings forecasts as a surfeit of electricity from wind turbines and solar panels makes its fleet of gas-fired plants unprofitable. In contrast, RWE AG (RWE) has gained 16 percent because EON’s closest rival has more cheap-to-run coal stations better able to compete with renewables.
RWE, Europe’s biggest air polluter, started to operate a new 2,200-megawatt coal-fired power plant near Cologne in August. One of EON’s newest gas-fired power plants, Irsching 5 in Bavaria, has operated for less than 1,600 hours so far this year, compared with 4,000 hours a year earlier, according to EON, and may be temporarily closed. Irsching’s older unit 3 has only operated for 87 hours.
That has consequences not only for Germany’s two biggest utilities but also for the environment.
“Germany is currently switching from nuclear to coal, and from gas to coal -- about the worst thing that could be done from a climate change perspective,” Dieter Helm, an energy policy professor at the University of Oxford, said by e-mail. “Its current energy policy is not going to reduce its real emissions.”
The news article by Bloomberg cited aboce is full of nonsense - like calling energy company RWE "Europe's biggest air polluter" - but the warmist Oxford professor is right when he says that Germany's energy policy is not going to reduce its "emissions". Instead it seems to be leading to more investment in coal-fired energy production - which is not at all a bad thing, but it is a pity that the senseless subsidies to wind turbines and solar panels are destroying well functioning gas-fired plants. At the same time these subsidies are leading to a steep rise in energy costs for ordinary consumers.
And all this madness will not reduce any "real emissions"! And when it comes to use of coal energy, Germans should be the last ones to criticize Poland !

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