European energy policy

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Herainestold
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Re: European energy policy

Post by Herainestold » Fri Mar 11, 2022 4:12 pm

We need something like the vaccine development project where it becomes top priority to get to net zero, with public money funding teams of experts to get there much more quickly than anybody could imagine.
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Re: European energy policy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Mar 11, 2022 7:57 pm

Herainestold wrote:
Fri Mar 11, 2022 4:12 pm
We need something like the vaccine development project where it becomes top priority to get to net zero, with public money funding teams of experts to get there much more quickly than anybody could imagine.
We do.

The covid vaccine drive is probably a much better analogy than WW2.
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Re: European energy policy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Mar 11, 2022 8:01 pm

As for upgrading rich vs. poor people's houses, we can optimise for different values of x:
- if reducing fossil fuel consumption is the primary concern, it makes sense to prioritise properties with low efficiency that are inhabited by people who spend a lot on energy. That's probably rich people in old houses.
- if we also consider humanitarian issues, such as many people's inability to afford sufficient energy to live in a comfortable home, we target whichever properties are inhabited by poor people, starting with the least efficient properties.

It would be super cool and fruity if the market could solve this, but you'd have to start pricing in the costs of fossil fuel externalities like air pollution and climate change. Sounds like a real head-scratcher.
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Re: European energy policy

Post by dyqik » Sat Mar 12, 2022 12:47 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Mar 11, 2022 8:01 pm
As for upgrading rich vs. poor people's houses, we can optimise for different values of x:
- if reducing fossil fuel consumption is the primary concern, it makes sense to prioritise properties with low efficiency that are inhabited by people who spend a lot on energy. That's probably rich people in old houses.
- if we also consider humanitarian issues, such as many people's inability to afford sufficient energy to live in a comfortable home, we target whichever properties are inhabited by poor people, starting with the least efficient properties.

It would be super cool and fruity if the market could solve this, but you'd have to start pricing in the costs of fossil fuel externalities like air pollution and climate change. Sounds like a real head-scratcher.
Here there's a percentage surcharge on energy bills that funds a statewide program to improve energy efficiency. To regular people, it provides free LED bulbs and smart efficiency extension cords, 75% of the cost of insulating and air sealing houses, and rebates on more efficient heating systems, heat pumps, etc. There's also means tested interest free loans and grants for efficiency upgrades. Plus federal tax credits on things like ground source heat pumps and efficiency improvements.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by dyqik » Sat Mar 12, 2022 1:27 am

dyqik wrote:
Sat Mar 12, 2022 12:47 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Mar 11, 2022 8:01 pm
As for upgrading rich vs. poor people's houses, we can optimise for different values of x:
- if reducing fossil fuel consumption is the primary concern, it makes sense to prioritise properties with low efficiency that are inhabited by people who spend a lot on energy. That's probably rich people in old houses.
- if we also consider humanitarian issues, such as many people's inability to afford sufficient energy to live in a comfortable home, we target whichever properties are inhabited by poor people, starting with the least efficient properties.

It would be super cool and fruity if the market could solve this, but you'd have to start pricing in the costs of fossil fuel externalities like air pollution and climate change. Sounds like a real head-scratcher.
Here there's a percentage surcharge on energy bills that funds a statewide program to improve energy efficiency. To regular people, it provides free LED bulbs and smart efficiency extension cords, 75% of the cost of insulating and air sealing houses, and rebates on more efficient heating systems, heat pumps, etc. There's also means tested interest free loans and grants for efficiency upgrades. Plus federal tax credits on things like ground source heat pumps and efficiency improvements.
Oh and rebates on energy efficient appliances.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Mar 12, 2022 2:27 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Mar 11, 2022 8:01 pm
As for upgrading rich vs. poor people's houses, we can optimise for different values of x:
- if reducing fossil fuel consumption is the primary concern, it makes sense to prioritise properties with low efficiency that are inhabited by people who spend a lot on energy. That's probably rich people in old houses.
- if we also consider humanitarian issues, such as many people's inability to afford sufficient energy to live in a comfortable home, we target whichever properties are inhabited by poor people, starting with the least efficient properties.
Indeed. You need to choose. A man cannot serve two masters and neither can a policy. One must always have priority.
It would be super cool and fruity if the market could solve this, but you'd have to start pricing in the costs of fossil fuel externalities like air pollution and climate change. Sounds like a real head-scratcher.
You mean like we have been doing for years with tax on petrol and diesel? Why should it be difficult?

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Mar 12, 2022 2:54 am

nekomatic wrote:
Fri Mar 11, 2022 9:11 am
It's hard to know where to start with this post, but
  • 'if (capital investment x) saves money, rich people will happily pay for it' seems to contradict ample evidence otherwise
Are you misunderstaing that as meaning every rich person will happily pay? It means that there are some people who will happily pay and they are rich.
  • 'stop letting the government micro-manage things' seems to contradict 'introduce green mortgage loans' (which presumably needs government intervention, otherwise the market would already have done it)
There's no contradiction. The loans may count as managing, but would not be micro-managing. The difference is whether the government dictates how much money and exactly on what it is spent rather than having a wide range of possibiities which the homeowner chooses from.
  • 'since rich people use more energy, upgrading their housing makes a bigger difference' doesn't take into account (a) how many rich vs poor people there are or (b) the relative cost of upgrading a rich person's large house versus a poorer person's small house
[/list]
Here's how it works out. A rich person in a house worth $1,000,000 uses 1000 units. Two poor people, each in houses worth $500,000 use 400 units each. This conforms to what we are frequently told, which is that rich people not only use more but do so greater than proportionally to their wealth. If you save 10% on the rich person's house, you save 100 units, while if you save 10% on the poor people's houses you save a total of 80 units. It seems very unlikely that there is any kind of work which could overcome this effect.
But most of all, can you go into a bit more detail on 'the work' that private enterprise would do but has somehow been prevented from doing, presumably by 'government micro-management'? Just for the hard of thinking, like.
See
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Mar 10, 2022 3:36 pm
Scenario A

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Re: European energy policy

Post by nekomatic » Sat Mar 12, 2022 8:17 am

But Scenario A hasn’t happened, so it can’t be what’s holding back private enterprise from sorting this all out for us. And Scenario A (which, for the avoidance of doubt, I didn’t propose and which you are strawmanning because it never mentioned ‘dictating’ anything) is unfeasibly bureaucratic, but Green Mortgage Loans won’t need any administrative oversight to check that money is being lent on real properties, to real people, and being used for real energy efficiency improvements supplied by real companies that really do save energy use? Righto.

And your rich vs poor comparison only works with those numbers you made up, but fails with other numbers that I made up, so you haven’t proved it’s true. I think this needs a bit more work.
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Re: European energy policy

Post by Millennie Al » Sun Mar 13, 2022 12:43 am

nekomatic wrote:
Sat Mar 12, 2022 8:17 am
But Scenario A hasn’t happened, so it can’t be what’s holding back private enterprise from sorting this all out for us.
I see we have a language problem here. When you said " 'the work' that private enterprise would do" I though you meant the work it would do in the scenarios being discussed. With regard to what has already happened, see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new- ... cecd-today where we find that the feed in tariff was changed because:
The fast track review showed that the number of planned larger PV projects is much higher than originally expected. Without urgent action, the scheme would have been overwhelmed within a very short period of time. Every 5 MW large scale solar scheme would incur a cost of approximately £1.3 million per year, which means that 20 such schemes would incur an annual cost of around £26 million, money that could support PV installations for over 25,000 households.
So the government established a scheme which led to private enterprise startng to do exactly what was intended by the scheme, but to such a large extent that a stupid excuse had to be found to stop it. Note that imposing a sceanario of lots of little schemes instead of a few big ones is stupid because it removes economies of scale and makes it very much harder to monitor quality.
And Scenario A (which, for the avoidance of doubt, I didn’t propose and which you are strawmanning because it never mentioned ‘dictating’ anything) is unfeasibly bureaucratic,
Well, I suggest you read it again as it is a very proscriptive scheme which involves the government employing lots of people who decide what to do and then do it (with, of course, a long waiting list, since it's run by the government)/
but Green Mortgage Loans won’t need any administrative oversight to check that money is being lent on real properties, to real people, and being used for real energy efficiency improvements supplied by real companies that really do save energy use? Righto.
We already have mortgage loans which work perfectly well. There is no reason to suppose that greenness will make a difference. And the point of making them loans is that the government do es not need to check how good the efficiency improvements are because the people spending the money are the ones getting the benefit of the improvements, so if they choose badly they suffer the consequences. This is incontrast to how government schemes work, where the consequences of bad choices are suffered by us and not those who made the choices.
And your rich vs poor comparison only works with those numbers you made up, but fails with other numbers that I made up, so you haven’t proved it’s true. I think this needs a bit more work.
The numbers were chosen to illustrate a principle. Feel free to consider the principle without them.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by nekomatic » Sun Mar 13, 2022 8:12 am

When you wrote
Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Mar 11, 2022 1:44 am
If you really want progress, you have to stop letting the government micro-manage things and let private enterprise do the work. (…) If the upgrades genuinely save money, then rich people will happily pay for them
I took this to mean that the change we’ve been discussing in the thread, i.e. a large reduction in gas use, would happen if only government would stop meddling and let the market handle it. No need for an energy policy, in fact ‘energy policy’ has been the problem: if we need it, people will pay for it.

If that’s not what you think, what do you think European energy policy should be?

PS if ‘green mortgage loans’ don’t actually differ from mortgages, why the red tape of having them be paid back through energy bills?
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Re: European energy policy

Post by bjn » Sun Mar 13, 2022 10:01 am

nekomatic wrote:
Sun Mar 13, 2022 8:12 am
When you wrote
Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Mar 11, 2022 1:44 am
If you really want progress, you have to stop letting the government micro-manage things and let private enterprise do the work. (…) If the upgrades genuinely save money, then rich people will happily pay for them
I took this to mean that the change we’ve been discussing in the thread, i.e. a large reduction in gas use, would happen if only government would stop meddling and let the market handle it. No need for an energy policy, in fact ‘energy policy’ has been the problem: if we need it, people will pay for it.

If that’s not what you think, what do you think European energy policy should be?

PS if ‘green mortgage loans’ don’t actually differ from mortgages, why the red tape of having them be paid back through energy bills?
What happens if the needed changes are more expensive than the status quo? Markets don’t work in such circumstances because there is no price signal. Which is why we have gas boilers still being installed in new builds and not heat pumps.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Mar 14, 2022 1:17 am

nekomatic wrote:
Sun Mar 13, 2022 8:12 am
When you wrote
Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Mar 11, 2022 1:44 am
If you really want progress, you have to stop letting the government micro-manage things and let private enterprise do the work. (…) If the upgrades genuinely save money, then rich people will happily pay for them
I took this to mean that the change we’ve been discussing in the thread, i.e. a large reduction in gas use, would happen if only government would stop meddling and let the market handle it. No need for an energy policy, in fact ‘energy policy’ has been the problem: if we need it, people will pay for it.
No. That is a silly position. You seem to not understand the term "micro-manage". It does not mean "manage". Management is where you take decisions appropriate for your level, and delegate details to people under you. Micro-management is where you try to take decisions yourself
which should be delegated. For example, from Road fuel consumption and the UK motor vehicle fleet we find:
In 2001 when petrol vehicles formed 79 per cent of the fleet (Chart 1), a reduction in excise duty was
introduced for vehicles with lower emissions of carbon dioxide. Diesel vehicles therefore became
cheaper because they tend to be more efficient than their petrol equivalents, meaning they emit less
carbon dioxide. The immediate impact was felt in a 38 per cent increase in the number of new diesel
registrations in 2002 4 (Chart 2).
This could have been micro-managed by allocating quotas to each manufacturer (or even dealership), but instead a fairly high-level change was made. Of course, as so often happens with goverment policy, it turned out that thus was the wrong thing to do:
These policies combined to encourage motorists to scrap their old car or van in favour of purchasing
a new one, and to choose a diesel-fuelled engine when doing so. However, it has since become
known that diesel engines emit nitrogen dioxide and particulates more heavily than petrol engines.
The announcement in the Autumn 2017 Budget that diesel vehicles that did not meet new emissions
testing criteria would be taxed more heavily was followed by a sharp fall in new registrations of diesel
vehicles, down by nearly one-fifth in 2017 and nearly one-third in 2018 (Chart 2).
I particularly like the phrasing "it has since become known".
If that’s not what you think, what do you think European energy policy should be?
If the goal is to reduce use of gas, tax gas. If you ultimately want to eliminate its use, adopt something like the Fuel Price Escalator - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_Price_Escalator
PS if ‘green mortgage loans’ don’t actually differ from mortgages, why the red tape of having them be paid back through energy bills?
To ensure that the savings result in lower consumption. If people get an ordinary loan to finance energy saving, they may use some of the saving to pay for more energy consumption, but by making the loan payment increase the apparent price of their energy, it will make this less likely.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Mar 14, 2022 1:20 pm

Complaining about red tape perhaps makes sense in peacetime.

Phasing out Russian gas and (hopefully) oil isn't a peacetime manoeuvre. It's being done in response to Russian military aggression against Ukraine. It's probably therefore not reasonable to expect such a policy, if it is to succeed, to rest 100% on the kinds of laissez-faire economic gestures that have masqueraded as responses to the climate emergency thus far.

Wars are not fought by taxes and cheap credit alone - those are tools used to further governmental objectives, generally achieved by governments themselves actually doing things (e.g. employing people, training people, buying stuff, developing stuff, using stuff). The red tape is normally recognised as essential to allow governments to take action quickly and relatively safely (from their own civilians perspective at least). Few folks want to completely privatise the military.

Stopping buying from a particular supplier is the easy bit. The hard part is preventing impacts on one's civilians. Making gas unaffordable would be very, very unpopular, and possibly even risky: if heating takes up most of an ordinary consumer's disposable income we're looking at annual recessions, as well as the deaths which are maybe not so interesting after covid adjusted our tolerance for such things. Governments hate recessions, even (especially) the ones who don't care about poor people dying.

We all know that stimulus is the way to avoid recession. We all know that decarbonisation is long overdue. We all know that any new energy infrastructure should be focused on low-carbon technology. We all know that heat pumps are worthless in badly insulated houses. We all know that most petrostates are dodgy as f.ck and it'd be better to get out of bed with them. We all know that governments can act quickly and transformatively when they want to.

So the test for governments is whether the additional pressure of the Russia crisis can get them to agree to do stuff that everyone knows is necessary and that they already agreed to do 5 years ago. It makes the economic case a bit more obvious for the hard of thinking. It brings the deadline from *waves hands* the future to this autumn. And it focuses the moral dimension on pretty much everyone who's currently alive, rather than just those of us unfortunate enough to be young.

So, a few causes for optimism - not least that outside rogue states like the UK most vested interests in Russian energy specifically have already been vanquished. If governments across the north still want to support fossil capitalists after all this then f.ck the lot of them.
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Re: European energy policy

Post by dyqik » Mon Mar 14, 2022 1:47 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Mar 14, 2022 1:20 pm
We all know that heat pumps are worthless in badly insulated houses.
This is largely false in the UK. Air source heat pumps average around 300-350% COP in the UK winter, meaning that even in a badly insulated house running entirely on electricity produced by burning gas, they are better than just burning gas locally in a boiler.

Obviously insulation makes all of that better, as it reduces demand. And installing a heat pump may not be the most cost effective efficiency improvement. But they are largely independent efficiency improvements.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Mar 14, 2022 3:44 pm

dyqik wrote:
Mon Mar 14, 2022 1:47 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Mar 14, 2022 1:20 pm
We all know that heat pumps are worthless in badly insulated houses.
This is largely false in the UK. Air source heat pumps average around 300-350% COP in the UK winter, meaning that even in a badly insulated house running entirely on electricity produced by burning gas, they are better than just burning gas locally in a boiler.

Obviously insulation makes all of that better, as it reduces demand. And installing a heat pump may not be the most cost effective efficiency improvement. But they are largely independent efficiency improvements.
My understanding (via Ivan on here) was that they're not able to achieve high temperatures when it's cold outside without decent insulation - efficiency is important, but I don't know if many people would be excited to efficiently heat their house to 15°C all winter. Though I suppose that'd still be an improvement if you have to top-up with other sources.

But obviously I'd be delighted if my understanding is incorrect, and one of the objections to heat pumps turns out to be less important.

ETA pages like this https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/advice/a ... heat-pumps reckon it's important to be well insulated and airtight, for instance.
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Re: European energy policy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Mar 14, 2022 3:50 pm

That said, it's not a big deal. There's no huge shortage of insulation or glazing, they're simple enough to (train people to) fit, and provide benefits even if there's a bottleneck to retrofitting the pump itself.

The need for home efficiency improvements to make heat pumps worthwhile is, in other words, yet another reason to get the f.ck on with mass insulation, rather than yet another excuse to do nothing.
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Re: European energy policy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Mar 14, 2022 3:51 pm

Wonder what tactics Insulate Britain will come up with now that protesting is illegal.
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Re: European energy policy

Post by dyqik » Mon Mar 14, 2022 4:06 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Mar 14, 2022 3:44 pm
dyqik wrote:
Mon Mar 14, 2022 1:47 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Mar 14, 2022 1:20 pm
We all know that heat pumps are worthless in badly insulated houses.
This is largely false in the UK. Air source heat pumps average around 300-350% COP in the UK winter, meaning that even in a badly insulated house running entirely on electricity produced by burning gas, they are better than just burning gas locally in a boiler.

Obviously insulation makes all of that better, as it reduces demand. And installing a heat pump may not be the most cost effective efficiency improvement. But they are largely independent efficiency improvements.
My understanding (via Ivan on here) was that they're not able to achieve high temperatures when it's cold outside without decent insulation - efficiency is important, but I don't know if many people would be excited to efficiently heat their house to 15°C all winter. Though I suppose that'd still be an improvement if you have to top-up with other sources.

But obviously I'd be delighted if my understanding is incorrect, and one of the objections to heat pumps turns out to be less important.

ETA pages like this https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/advice/a ... heat-pumps reckon it's important to be well insulated and airtight, for instance.
Heat pumps are available in a range of sizes, from small mini-split units to 5 ton* central units. Inverter driven systems retain their efficiency over a wide range of output powers. The sizing of a heat pump to the property does need to take into account the insulation level of the property, and the property does need to have sufficient electrical power. Here the insulation level is included in a J-load calculation before installation.

As an example, our 3-ton air-to-air central heat pump was perfectly capable of heating our 1400 sq ft house with an unconditioned and uninsulated basement and 1962 single pane double-hung (sash) wooden windows with cracked panes and missing putty, at a bit below freezing, on a 30A 240V circuit (i.e. less than an electric range, and actually running around 20A). We had had wall insulation blown in between the vinyl siding over plywood sheathing and the drywall, good loft insulation, and some air-sealing done. I saw was, because we've got new windows now.

Insulating first is important because otherwise you need an oversized heat pump, which will cost more, and will not operate as well as it could once you do add insulation. It's usually cheaper to install a smaller heat pump and insulation than to install a larger heat pump and run it for a bit.

*A ton is a measure of AC cooling power, and is how heat pumps are sold here, as the AC power requirements are generally higher than the heating requirements. A ton of cooling is equal to the cooling power from melting a short ton of ice per day.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by nekomatic » Mon Mar 14, 2022 4:22 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Mar 14, 2022 1:20 pm
Making gas unaffordable would be very, very unpopular
No but it's the only thing we can do, otherwise we might run the risk of micromanaging something and then where would we be? I'm sure people will understand as they freeze, some of them to death, and if they don't then we just need to patiently explain to them again how markets work, only a bit louder :roll:

It's compulsory to get an energy assessment when you sell or let a property in the UK, so the minimum non-micromanaging action we need to actually make change happen here is probably something like introduce a tax on letting income / house sales strongly linked to energy performance, so that there's an almost irresistible incentive on landlords and vendors to get their properties properly insulated and/or efficiently heated before they can let or sell. To avoid this reducing the supply of property for rent it needs to show a net benefit for landlords who take advantage of it, and to avoid the energy assessments being falsified there probably needs to be much stronger audit and enforcement of that system than I imagine there currently is.

Also I'm aware I'm doing the British thing of answering a question about Europe with something that only addresses the UK, but since the housing market varies so much between countries I expect any European policy will need to consist of a set of highly tailored policies for individual countries, but with the same aim of significantly cutting gas use without unsustainable impact on the poorest. And without, God forbid, micromanaging.
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Re: European energy policy

Post by Millennie Al » Tue Mar 15, 2022 4:09 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Mar 14, 2022 1:20 pm
Complaining about red tape perhaps makes sense in peacetime.
Red tape is expensive in peacetime but fatal in war.
Phasing out Russian gas and (hopefully) oil isn't a peacetime manoeuvre. It's being done in response to Russian military aggression against Ukraine. It's probably therefore not reasonable to expect such a policy, if it is to succeed, to rest 100% on the kinds of laissez-faire economic gestures that have masqueraded as responses to the climate emergency thus far.

Stopping buying from a particular supplier is the easy bit.
Yes, as you could just buy from a different supplier.
The hard part is preventing impacts on one's civilians. Making gas unaffordable would be very, very unpopular, and possibly even risky: if heating takes up most of an ordinary consumer's disposable income we're looking at annual recessions, as well as the deaths which are maybe not so interesting after covid adjusted our tolerance for such things. Governments hate recessions, even (especially) the ones who don't care about poor people dying.
However, you have only two alternatives to reduce (and, presumably, ultimately eliminate) the use of gas: make it unaffordable, so people stop using it, or ban it, so people stop using it. It doesn't matter which you choose, the people end up either cold or using something else.
We all know that stimulus is the way to avoid recession. We all know that decarbonisation is long overdue. We all know that any new energy infrastructure should be focused on low-carbon technology. We all know that heat pumps are worthless in badly insulated houses. We all know that most petrostates are dodgy as f.ck and it'd be better to get out of bed with them. We all know that governments can act quickly and transformatively when they want to.
Governments can act, but they are spectacularly bad at achieving their stated goals. The closer their involvement the worse it gets.

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Re: European energy policy

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Mar 15, 2022 8:04 am

Man addicted to heroin decides to take fentanyl instead: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... -addiction

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Re: European energy policy

Post by discovolante » Tue Mar 15, 2022 8:52 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Mar 15, 2022 8:04 am
Man addicted to heroin decides to take fentanyl instead: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... -addiction
Not enough vomit emojis in the world to respond to that article.
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Re: European energy policy

Post by Grumble » Wed Mar 16, 2022 6:57 am

discovolante wrote:
Tue Mar 15, 2022 8:52 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Mar 15, 2022 8:04 am
Man addicted to heroin decides to take fentanyl instead: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... -addiction
Not enough vomit emojis in the world to respond to that article.
Some Prime Ministers head to Ukraine to show support to a literally embattled leader. Ours goes crawling to a regime who have just beheaded more than 50 people in one go.
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Re: European energy policy

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Mar 22, 2022 3:12 pm

The PIGS are coordinating their demands in advance of EU Council meeting later this week: Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece demand immediate action at EU level
António Costa [PM of PT] said that the “core issue” of energy requires strategic responses from the EU but also “short-term”, to face the rise in prices, and he hoped that a decision would be taken.

“Obviously, a European-wide response is needed, just as it was only possible to respond to the challenge of Covid at European level. And that is why this meeting was very important, so that we can jointly align these four countries on a concrete proposal, which we will continue to work on with our colleagues, so that the next European Council on 24 and 25 March does not let it be one more that we ask the Commission for studies, let it no longer be one where we set guidelines, but one where we can adopt concrete decisions that are immediately applicable”, he declared.
Specifically, they're proposing an energy price cap:
António Costa defended that these decisions must essentially involve “the establishment of a maximum reference price for gas, thus avoiding contamination of the electricity price by the indiscriminate rise in the price of gas, and through a technical mechanism that allows paying the differential between the reference price and the price that currently exists on the market”.
Note that these countries are simultaneously poor and bearing the brunt of climate impacts on the continent. Spain and Portugal are starting the year with ~90% of the territory in severe drought.

Nevertheless they're not necessarily at the forefront of the renewable rollout, which an EU-wide strategy could remedy. Does it really make sense to have 53GW of solar in Germany, and only 1GW in Portugal (the EU's sunniest country)? Let's redistribute some capital already.
We have the right to a clean, healthy, sustainable environment.

IvanV
Dorkwood
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Re: European energy policy

Post by IvanV » Tue Mar 22, 2022 8:27 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Mar 22, 2022 3:12 pm
The PIGS are coordinating their demands in advance of EU Council meeting later this week
...
Specifically, they're proposing an energy price cap:
....
Nevertheless they're not necessarily at the forefront of the renewable rollout, which an EU-wide strategy could remedy. Does it really make sense to have 53GW of solar in Germany, and only 1GW in Portugal (the EU's sunniest country)? Let's redistribute some capital already.
Let's just tell those foreigners, we'll only buy their gas if they carry on selling it at the old price. We'll make them.

It would indeed have been much more sensible for Germany to pay for the installation of PV cells in places where the sun shone a lot more, and build transmission cables. They'd have got a lot more electricity for their money. If they could have got the transmission cables built. Italy would have been a better bet, because they would probably have been more receptive to the cables, if they could get them across Austria or Switzerland. But Spain/Portugal is difficult because France is in the way. France likes to export electricity, not import it, and so has been very slow to allow increased cross-border cables to Spain. Almost continuous national park, that border, conveniently. And the Germans, like most other Member States, tend to prefer to pay subsidies to their own, even if foreigners could give them far better value for their subsidies. The European Commission occasionally mentions that really there ought to be a single European market in subsidised European electricity, but has had considerable difficulty getting any interest in the idea.

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