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Can there be a renewables juggernaut?

by DoDo Thu Mar 12th, 2015 at 02:56:50 AM EST

It's an all too common story across the world: a government tries to boost its green credentials with a support scheme for renewables, but when it proves an unexpected success and established power companies see a serious market share threat, the nascent industry is choked to death one way or another. Stark examples include the ceiling for total wind power introduced in Austria and Hungary about a decade ago, or the end of the support scheme in Bulgaria just recently. Under the cover of austerity, the transition to renewables can be killed even when they already reached a high penetration, as demonstrated by the example of Spain's retroactive elimination of subsidies.

So is it possible to create a momentum for renewables that carries on even when facing opponents with the worst intentions?

One can argue that Denmark comes close: while Anders Fogh Rasmussen's government did manage to bring new wind power installations to a near-stop over a decade ago, that was only temporary as they found the two big utilities became supporters and off-shore wind took off. Now, looking at the latest numbers from Germany, I see something similar at work.


In Germany's case, one half of the story is that there have been repeated attempts to kill the boom for specific renewables with a major change to the federal support regime, only resulting in a stronger-than-expected boom for another renewable:

  • A 2004 revision throttled on-shore wind but allowed photovoltaics to take off.
  • A 2009 revision throttled rooftop PV but on-ground PV took off, then
  • the 2012 revision had the opposite effect.
  • Then in 2014 PV was choked for real, but now on-shore wind had a record year (4.75 GW added, almost 50% more than in previous record year 2002), benefiting from the new market premium support scheme (which actually costs more than a feed-in rate, but don't expect any priests of the Church of the Efficient Market to understand that).
  • The wind industry already expressed fear that this boom will be killed by yet another rule change. However, should that come to pass, off-shore wind is just taking off, with several projects entering or finishing construction phase.

The second, less obvious half of the story is what's happening on the power market. In the last few years, there was an ugly pattern that saw a rise in coal power production (even if much less than hoped for by the energy giants). Power companies got approval for new coal plants with the argument that they would be needed to replace nuclear before renewables could expand. Renewables, however, didn't wait with expansion, thus the rise in total coal output led to ever higher net exports. So what's the situation now?

A week ago, AG Energiebilanzen e.V., the non-profit institute compiling energy statistics for Germany's power sector, released preliminary figures for power generation by mode in 2014 (click on the diagram under "STROMMIX" if you want to see the table with the numbers). I used the numbers back to 1990 to create two diagrams. First, the absolute numbers:

Annual electricity power generation in Germany, by generation mode

Second, percentages, from which you can also see the export/import balance (the part above 100%):

Annual electricity power generation in Germany as percentage of total consumption

My takeaways:

  • The market share gain of renewables in total remains inexorable and rapid.

  • In 2014, in spite of the addition of new coal power plants, and a new record in net exports, all four fossil fuel modes (brown and anthracite coal, gas, oil) saw a decrease in total power production, and all but one (the dirtiest and most exclusively baseload: brown coal ~= lignite) even a market share reduction.

  • Traditionally, anthracite coal, and to a lesser part gas, is used to provide intermediate load (the scheduled part of load-following generation, as distinct from true peak load). Intermediate load is mostly about balancing the diurnal variation of consumption. However, demand for this has been reduced severely by PV. This has some weird consequences: for example, the operators of the Irsching gas plant in Bavaria (built in 2010 only) threaten closure because they couldn't sell a single kWh on the power market and have only produced for network stabilisation, but not enough to operate at a profit. (The operator's threat is of course a way of asking for higher support.)

Before we celebrate, 2014 coal power production is still above the 2009 lows, and with Angela Merkel's and Sigmar Gabriel's Grand Coalition government, there is no danger of legislative reaction to increasing demands for a coal exit. Still, one can hope that, even as nuclear phaseout is to continue, a major expansion of off-shore wind will start to do to brown coal what PV did to anthracite coal and gas.

Display:
In the meantime, as I wrote elsewhere, the Orbán government in Hungary had no better idea than to order an over-priced nuclear plant from Russia which may never be built, and if built would create an excess baseload capacity. As I learnt from a Fidesz-voting colleague recently, one of the selling points in pro-government media was that, even at the expected high price, Hungary could sell the excess capacity on the open market to Germany, which is supposedly facing an energy crunch due to the nuclear phaseout. Well, he was quite surprised to learn about the export surplus...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 07:06:29 AM EST
Meanwhile, the government of China is trying to ditch the coal addiction, too. While a 4% reduction until 2020 is far from an exit, it is at least a start (if fulfilled).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 07:17:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
definite rule for elimination of coal-based electrical power from our utilities (of course this is all silly, as if the electrons know where they're going) - by 2025, I think. Now, though, the administration wants to accelerate that process under a Climate-Change-reduction/mitigation policy. I believe that Oregon has similar policies.

Upshot is another definite boost for renewables out here. California is headed toward a real carbon market, which becomes a regional boost due to their economic impact.

We are headed toward another, higher benchmark in renewable energy production out here. That, plus the actual decrease in demand due to conservation efforts, has made power integration a very important topic. Two recent developments in that direction:

  1. I think that I already reported some months ago about the success of the BPA (Bonneville Power Authority, our dominant electrical-power supplier and dispatch service) in development of technical and procedural solutions to regulation of demand/supply in the northwest. It took them about one year of internal struggle and focused activity to accomplish it.

  2. Klickitat County PUD has developed and promoted a plan for pumped storage above the John Day Dam on the Columbia River. They now have all of the players on board, and actual development should be started within the next couple of years.


paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 01:18:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks dodo. another useful report.

Paul Gipe
by pgipe (pgipe(at)igc.org) on Tue Mar 10th, 2015 at 02:03:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In France (75% nuclear), the nuclear industry (and no doubt elements of the deep state) does its utmost to contain rollout of renewables and specially wind.

The pushback comes in the form of efficient propaganda that has given inland wind a dirty name among even a large swathe of ecologically-minded people. Among people I know for their ecological opinions and lifestyle AND opposition to nuclear, the mention of wind brings out even violent opposition: it's big industry, it's big money, it's capitalists sucking up big subsidies, it's ugly, it's noisy, it's bad for your health.

I'm working with a local group on the energy transition, hoping to get a mix of renewables in local production (we can use sun, wind, and water ie river flow), and first we have to counter this. When opponents (more NIMBYist) organize meetings, along comes some front org for nukes and provides anti-renewables talking points.

Meanwhile, when Ségolène Royale's Energy Transition law (that supports slow nuclear phaseout and increase in renewables) is discussed in the Senate, a PS senator puts up (and gets voted with no trouble) an amendment fixing the distance for inland windmills at at least 1000 metres from any dwelling. This rules out getting on for 85% of France, and makes local windfarm projects impossible. OK, the Senate doesn't have the last word, but the support for nukes, as much among PS as UMP, is evident.

From the senator's speech: "I've been under a windmill, the noise is infernal." "In England the distance from any dwelling is 1,500 metres, in the US 2,000 metres."

Anyone got any up-to-date information on the latter two?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 08:30:11 AM EST
The idea of the US fixing any distance in metres is ridiculous....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 10:00:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I can ascertain, in England there is no fixed distance between windmills and residential dwellings. Wind farm development applications of >50MW are handled at national level, smaller farms at local planning authority level. Each authority may fix its own rules on distance, or simply treat each application ad hoc. The sort of distances that seem to be required go from 350m to 800m, with 500m being generally considered sufficient.

1,500 metres has been called for (particularly by opponents) in certain cases, but it is not a rule.

Scottish planning policy says: "A separation distance of up to 2km between areas of search and the edge of cities, towns and villages is recommended"

but that is a recommendation that doesn't concern individual dwellings.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 11:57:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are a number of domestic-scale windmills near where I live.

They received planning permission, and were built - in an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, no less, with plenty of weather to keep them running.

But they don't seem to last. Small-scale wind doesn't give as much of a return as passive solar or rooftop PVs.

There are quite a few houses with PVs now. And some large PV schemes.

But they don't always last, either.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Mar 10th, 2015 at 05:42:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the latter one is a case of illegal planning permission. One thing our local group is fighting against is the tendency for private-sector initiatives to attempt to co-opt local authorities for hush-hush operations, which local elected officials can be tempted by because they know there'll be opposition to renewables projects among their voters. Keeping it all under wraps inevitably ends up by energising the opposition, who can quite reasonably complain that technocrats and private interests are imposing renewables on the population. The wedge-issue effect is potent.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 10th, 2015 at 06:43:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can understand people having issues with windmills. I don't necessarily agree, but I can understand it.

I'm baffled why anyone would want to dismantle a giant PV farm when they didn't even notice it being built.

It's not as if it spoiled their view, or changed the value of their property, or it makes a noise, or lights up in the dark, or gangs of rogue PV panels go stalking the landscape at full moon forcing people to vote Green at gunpoint.

There was a public consultation in the village hall before the farm was built. I very much doubt that Wilts Council failed to hammer the usual notices to the usual telegraph poles, or that this was the evil work of a single rogue planning officer.

Basically this is being attacked on a technicality. It's possible the appeal will succeed, but I guess that depends in part on what happens at the next election.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Mar 10th, 2015 at 09:08:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the Important People who own the Valuable Properties don't read notices tacked to telephone poles, and probably don't know that the village hall exists.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Mar 10th, 2015 at 11:10:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
has a commission called EFSEC (Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council) that rules the process per a State law from the '70s that is revised occasionally to keep up with developments. Their plan and site reviews are quite comprehensive, and they have knowledgeable staff. Siting has many aspects, including migratory-bird routes, but the approved plans are very ad hoc.

I don't believe that there is a specific set-off for wind turbines from residences, though folks in our neighborhood used to talk about 1.5 - 2 tower height distances (analogous to how we talk about buffers for various activities in the forest). The reality, though, is that the wind turbines around here are developed in groups and sited on farmland (usually) where structures are distant - but farming activities often come closer than 1 tower height.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 12:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nobody in my area thinks that wind turbines are noisy -probably because they are almost all large, post-2006 models. I find the old high-revolution units at Altamount Pass in CA to be noisy and scary, but I don't think that many such will be part of any future developments.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 01:01:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would suggest the senator go stand near a fuel pulverizer at a coal-fired plant.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 02:24:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Better yet, jump in.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 03:01:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's big industry, it's big money, it's capitalists sucking up big subsidies, it's ugly, it's noisy, it's bad for your health.

I can't really speak for other types of renewables, but for wind power at least, fossil power and nuclear power are much, much worse on each and every one of those points.

Ugly? I can't speak for anyone else, but to me a field of modern wind turbines is actually kind of attractive in a statuesque, foresty kind of way, and I've never in my life seen an "nice" looking coal burner or nuke.

Noisy?  I've walked around under a set of large wind turbines.  Yeah, they make some noise. The whine of the gear boxes is not pleasant. Over time it can get on your nerves. I've also spent time in and around a number of different fossil-powered plants, from gas and coal fired steam turbines, to combined-cycle units, to quick-start gas turbines. Trust me, the noise of a wind turbine is not even in the same league.

And bad for your health?  Puhleaze...

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?

by budr on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 02:49:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is the noise of windmills compared with other, less deadly, sources of noise, such as cars or trains.


by Katrin on Sun Mar 8th, 2015 at 02:54:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I can now make out, there is no US federal rule on setback (ie distance between windmill and dwelling). It's not just a state matter, but county or municipality that decides, ad hoc.

My impression is that the French disinformation has mixed up feet and metres. 2,000 feet = 600 metres. That distance isn't even a rule in the US, but it is sometimes used. And, as the NASA knows (but in this case the shoe would be on the other foot), screwing up between feet and metres is an easy mistake to make...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 03:15:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Setback is generally handled on the county level.  Sometimes (like in New York State and Washington state) there is a state permit process that is expensive and complicated, but serves as an alternative if a county enacts overly restrictive rules.

There are lot's of places (mostly in Texas) with zero zoning or even permit requirements.  You can just put anything you want wherever you want.  In this cases, you only have to comply with federal laws, like the endangered species act.  

Other places have extremely strict rules with crazy setbacks of 1 mile or more.  In those cases, there generally aren't any wind turbines in operation.  Those big setbacks effectively serve as a ban on utility scale turbines.  You can see the in various counties in New York, Washington, and Wisconsin. (AND Bayern!)  They are generally the result of an active anti-wind community that holds political sway with the county council (OR the local Seehofer.) The objective rationale for such rules are typically infra-sound and "wind turbine syndrome".

Most reasonable locations have setbacks of 1 or maybe 1.1 times fall-down height (Unplanned Rapid Disassembly Event) from roads and power lines and something like 1000 feet or maybe a bit more (1/4 mile is common) to either a non-participating property line or a residence (property line being moe restrictive).  Sound ordinances are all over the board, but range from 35dBA to 45dBA, either measured at a residence or at a property line.  Badly written ordinances have requirements for infra-sound.

There are often rules related to shadow flicker, and also to wake shadow.  Shadow flicker is usually defined by hour/year that a residence has flicker.  It can range from about 3 hours to about 30 hours.  Wind shadow is usually ignored.  Riverside county in CA has what I consider to be one of the better zoning laws, especially regarding wakes (downwind loss of energy). They require a 10 (I think- maybe it's only 5) Rotor Diameter separation from a non-participating land owner in the downwind direction.

In most cases serious restrictions have zero to do with citizen protection and much to do with utility protection.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Mar 9th, 2015 at 02:23:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. I'm hoping that the senator will reply to tell us where he got the information that "the Americans have just decided to fix setback at 2,000 metres".

He did mention "some German länder" where setback is at 1,500 metres. As far as I've been able to see, that's indeed Bayern. Do you know of any others?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 9th, 2015 at 02:34:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I know (i can ask my repowering Guru), the restrictive special setback law is only in Bayern, and only to prevent most installations. Setback is 10x turbine height, or some 2 km.

I'll let Mothers Against Turbines explain it best:

Fighting Big Wind

I understand there's been positive buildout in Hesse and Baden Würtemberg, so they can't have such restrictive restrictions. In NRW, the coal lobby has put in place some minor restrictions, but they have no wind anyway. The rest of 'Schland?  Wind is saving the poor lands asses.

But your Senator is simply very wrong about amurka; with some small exceptions in "densely" populated rural areas. And remember, some restrictions are to prevent upwind projects from stealing too much wind from downwind projects/landowners.

Along with Elvis, rational discussion about energy has long left the building.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Mar 9th, 2015 at 04:50:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This reminds me of another recent story from Germany, connected to a British anti-wind evergreen: military radars. Wind power development is limited near military airports in Germany, too, even if not to the British extent. But even that may now be reduced with a system that allows airport operators to shut down nearby wind turbines for the short periods of time they would be disturbing.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 04:44:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bremen's airport is fully surrounded by modern wind turbines, plus some older ones, in every direction. Some right at the airport borders. Since 15 years. Without problems. Zero.

Well, one time during very high winds some Frieslanders were able to sneak in and attack the coffee shop undetected.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Mar 9th, 2015 at 02:29:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sent a mail to the senator to ask for the source of his information.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 8th, 2015 at 08:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Three weeks later, no reply. Not that I'm surprised.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 30th, 2015 at 05:14:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The senator committed suicide with a shotgun.

French senator found dead in apparent suicide ahead of 'Chinese weddings' trial - France - RFI

Jean Germain, the former mayor of Tours and current Socialist party senator for Indre-et-Loire, was found dead Tuesday after failing to appear in court in a corruption case related to a Chinese wedding package offered in his city, police have confirmed to the AFP news agency.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 8th, 2015 at 01:55:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am sure there is a long list of politicians you should politely request an answer from.
by Katrin on Wed Apr 8th, 2015 at 02:20:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
paul spencer and randy have already answered this but my two cents is that the senator is either an idiot, a shill, or a liar. he could be all those.

the statement is pure BS on several levels. it relies on the fact that no one will ever check the details. who in france will seek out the answer for the US? no one, because as noted, there is none.

as i note in my new book on this phenomena, it is the power of the statement--as in the "big lie" not whether it is true or not.

so while randy and i and others like us run around trying to pin down the truth, they throw out another lie, thus keeping us running around in circles. who was it said, a lie travels around the world while the truth is still trying to put its pants on.

paul gipe

Paul Gipe

by pgipe (pgipe(at)igc.org) on Tue Mar 10th, 2015 at 02:10:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep. Next, this plays out at lower levels than the Sénat. One of the local mayors here, who is hysterically anti-wind, copies these senatorial lies into his municipal newsletter and adds another -- believe it or not, England has now banned onshore windmills completely (!).

The problem being, as you rightly say, that they get out there first and we are playing catch-up.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 10th, 2015 at 02:23:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is encouraging to see that, no matter how hard utilities try to stick to the high (and higher-still) carbon route and block renewables, the way keeps getting around the obstacles.

It makes me giddy to think what would happen if we had a solid directive EU-wide to really favour renewables, rather than making mouth-noises but cleaving to bizniz as usual for the most part.

It is also discouraging to see how dirty the great majority of Germany's energy supply still is, even though its adoption of PV has been canny and exemplary.

With the breakthroughs coming in battery tech (due mostly to the input from EV manufacturers like Tesla) and the ones coming with PV rooftiles, spray-on window glazing, thinner and more productive flexi-film and whatnot, I think it's not too early to call it a juggernaut, but a juggernaut struggling to get into second gear after a difficult uphill start.

Of course the mass worthy of the word juggernaut makes the momentum eventually massive, however that same mass is making it harder to overcome the inertia of the status quo, robustly maintained with near-total bureaucratic, governmental and mediatic capture.

Probably as many lies were told us about how PV/tidal/wind would never 'work' as were told about how nuclear would be too cheap to meter, or that coal could be burned cleanly.

Home PV and the internet are emerging to be the social game-changers of the millennium, the modern parallels to the steam engine, radio, telephony and TV rollouts in the preceding century.

 

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 10:27:20 AM EST
In the early 1990s when the World Wide Web was just getting started, there was  a period of time where the utilities had more fiber installed in the US than the telecom companies. There was open speculation about the integration of telecom and energy then, with only a glimmer of "smart meters" on the horizon.

Today, some energy utilities are looking at the grid as a two-way street as people install solar on their roofs and, within a few years, have local storage in the form of electric vehicles or grid connected batteries.  Energy demand becomes information on a second by second market and utilities are beginning to think of themselves as a platform and a service rather than a commodity.  Just like telecom.


Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 08:35:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...utilities are beginning to think of themselves as a platform and a service rather than a commodity.

Perforce.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 8th, 2015 at 09:47:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One thing we can glean from the results of all the changes to the EEG which DoDo documents...

the appetite for continual new investment in renewables from the financial "community" (hah) is steady, growing, and is one driving force behind the changes. One sector gets shut down, the financial pressure for profit from "clean tech" finds another way to get deals done.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Mar 9th, 2015 at 03:36:14 AM EST
PS. Danke DoDo, nice diary/discussion.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Mar 9th, 2015 at 03:37:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry for near-spamming the blog with this piece, but it really deserves more exposure, imho.

Syriza Can Show `Another Energy is Possible' | Global Research

The transition to renewable energy in Greece will require commitments of capital. But when measured against the financial, health-related and ecological costs of continuing with fossil fuels, renewable energy is the best possible social investment. For a more specific quantification, we can consider the cost of the public sector's annual electricity bill, which can then be calculated over 20 years based on recent trends. This cost can be then compared to the cost of major solar PV deployment in those facilities. The price of globally sourced PV, along with installation and maintenance costs are today such that PV systems can pay for themselves within 5 years after which time the electricity supply to these facilities will be virtually free. There is every likelihood that the electricity costs to sustain the public sector - including schools, hospitals, and other government buildings - will actually fall quite dramatically over a 20-year period.

Capital could also be sourced from a variety of sources. In 2012 the PPC made a pre-tax profit of €276-million. A `reclaimed' PPC would provide the option of redirecting capital to renewables. Another option is for PPC to issue bonds against its future revenues. These can be issued domestically rather than internationally and provide a tried and trusted mechanism for financing public services.

Another possibility is a carbon tax. There are numerous options for designing a carbon tax, such as imposing it on major industrial emitters in Greece, or through a charge on petrol. Greece consumed an average of 343,000 barrels of crude oil per day in 2011, of which almost half (46%) was used for transportation. According to the IEA (2009 data) compared with other OECD Europe countries, Greece has a relatively low tax on gasoline and diesel. A small carbon tax of a few cents on a liter of petrol would generate significant revenue that could in turn be dedicated to investment in renewable energy.



'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Mar 10th, 2015 at 09:52:19 PM EST
It is likely that when Greece defaults, German renewables ventures will enjoy the privilege to taking Greece by storm. They will have capital.

Governing is too restricted to change the world. Wouldn't anyone have a taste for a private enterprise with an (relatively) old-fashioned social benevolence agenda? Sure, rip-off profits will always be a big bait. But if you - a disgusted capitalist - would be willing to put money where your heart is...

by das monde on Wed Mar 11th, 2015 at 12:12:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Renewable energy has interesting political uses. USA is supporting renewable energy production in Caribbean to limit the influence of Venezuela which is supplying cheap to Caribbean countries.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/09/us-usa-caribbean-idUSKBN0N021820150409

by Jute on Fri Apr 10th, 2015 at 12:35:37 PM EST


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