John reported here a few days ago that Britain was scaling back wind power, and it looks like much of the rest of Europe is following. The Global Warming Policy Foundation gives a nice roundup today, starting with Denmark, which is postponing additional offshore wind for almost ten years:
It was the first country ever to venture into offshore wind power. Now, Denmark is scaring off potential investors by abandoning some of the policies that once helped make it an international poster child for green energy.
The center-right government of Lars Loekke Rasmussen wants to scrap an electricity tax that has helped subsidize wind turbines since 1998. The administration says its decision follows a complaint from the European Union that such subsidies favor domestic businesses. But Denmark’s Wind Energy Association, which estimates the change would lead to a massive drop in new capacity, warns the development is dangerous.
Jan Serup Hylleberg, the chief executive officer of the Wind Association, says investors are struggling to interpret the latest signals from Denmark. “Political uncertainty is poison,” he said. “It’s more of a headache to investors than predicting how the wind will blow.”
Angela Merkel has put the brakes on Germany’s rollout of renewable energy following extensive talks with the country’s state leaders.
The rapid expansion of green energy as part of the Energiewende programme has driven electricity costs up and placed a strain on the grid in Europe’s largest economy. Last year, renewables provided one-third of the total electricity in Germany, with 3.5GW of new onshore wind capacity installed.
New restrictions will cap onshore wind power at 2.8GW per year. Solar PV will also have a limit of 600MW imposed upon it.
Germany’s economic ministry backs the energy cuts, claiming that clean energy rollout needs to be slowed in order to accommodate improvements to the national grid.
Some critics fear that the cuts will lead to job losses in the green energy sector and inhibit Germany’s ability to meet its long-term energy goals.
I’m sure they need the energy subsidy funds for unexpected refugee resettlement costs instead.