Green Energy Is Causing Power Shortages In Europe During An Awful Winter

February 9th, 2017
Wind turbine seen through bushes in winter (Shutterstock/Nerijus Juras)

Over-reliance on green energy and freezing winter weather triggered serious power shortages across Europe.

European Union nations, including Greece and Hungary, hoarded power due to the cold winter weather. That hoarding triggered shortages that cut off electricity to tens of thousands of homes and sent power prices soaring to record levels.

Temperatures across southern Europe are expected to drop below freezing again next week. The continent has been unable to meet electricity demand, as green energy tends to go offline in the cold. Solar power, for example, tends to produce less energy in the winter because the days are shorter.

“What I see in the Balkans is clear evidence that everybody first secures its own consumption and only then, if they’re in a position to do so, they’ll help the others,’’ Andras Totth, the deputy CEO of the Hungarian utility MVM, told Bloomberg.

Europe has increasingly invested in green energy in recent years, which has created big problems preventing blackouts during the winter.

 

The average European spent 26.9 cents per kilowatt-hour on electricity during the last full year of data, while the average American only spent 10.4 cents, according to an analysis of government data previously published by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

 Even EU nations where power is relatively cheap pay a lot more for power than any U.S. state. Great Britain, for example, pays an average of 54 percent more for electricity than Americans paid last year. Much of the expense comes from subsidies for green energy, which account for roughly 7 percent of British energy bills, according to government study released last July.

Power prices are so absurdly high on the continent that cutbacks have already been made. Denmark’s new government pledged to reduce the amount of money it spends on “green” energy by 67 percent in December, and Germany plans to abandon the construction of new wind power plants by 2019.

Green energy subsidies and mandates have greatly increased the price of electricity throughout Germany, especially, which has some of the continent’s highest power prices. The German government has mandated that the nuclear reactors be replaced with wind or solar power, but the estimated cost of doing so is over $1.1 trillion.

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Andrew Follett

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