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Modern Day Europe and Energy Poverty

by Oui Mon Dec 19th, 2022 at 03:56:53 PM EST

Situation during the Covid-19 pandemic - Nov. 2021

Energy poor must not bear the cost of soaring energy prices

Rising energy prices put European households in jeopardy, particularly energy-poor and vulnerable households. While gas, electricity and carbon prices are soaring across Europe, millions of European are forced into unacceptable choices between heating or paying their rent. People on lower income living in poorly insulated homes and reliant on fossil gas for heating will suffer the most.

Frontpaged with minor edit - Frank Schnittger

Fuel for poverty: A model for the relationship between income and fuel poverty

Since the start of the energy crisis in September 2021, €705.5 billion has been allocated and earmarked across European countries to shield consumers from the rising energy costs.
Here's the breakdown:
  • €600.4 billion in the EU, of which €264 billion has been earmarked by Germany alone
  • €97 billion in the UK, after a U-turn by government that reduced the period of the energy price freeze from 2 years to 6 months
  • €8.1 billion in Norway

The current increase in wholesale energy prices in Europe has prompted governments to put in place measures to shield consumers from the direct impact of rising prices. The purpose of this dataset is to track and give a (non-exhaustive) overview of the different policies used by countries at national level to mitigate the effect of the price spike for consumers.

Energy bills are soaring in Europe. This is what countries are doing to help you pay them | EuroNews - Oct. 26, 2022 |

A rant from Dutch News website about Rutte, his party VVD and lacking leadership and decision making.

Soaring energy prices exposed the government's low-watt crisis management

Been there, done that. The Dutch energy crisis brings with it a sense of deja vu, writes Gordon Darroch.

Stop me if you've heard this one before. For weeks the government ignored the impending crisis and the experts imploring it to take preventive action. Other experts warned that we should wait and see rather than act in haste and disrupt the economy: the cure should not be worse than the disease.

As the true scale of the problem became clear, ministers vacillated and said their options were limited, that direct intervention was incompatible with a free society, or that exposing people to risk was the better option in the long run.

The energy crisis will be triggering flashbacks in anyone who has followed the Dutch pandemic response. Then as now, the government prevaricated in the face of a rapidly escalating crisis before frantically tugging levers when it realised it was about to be overwhelmed.

[As the pandemic appeared to have slowed down, the energy prices came off its lows and started to rise in the autumn of 2021]

Again the government's response was piecemeal, starting with a one-off discount on energy bills of €200 for the poorest households which rose to €800 as inflation and gas prices snowballed.

By the summer this was up to €1,300, but by now inflation had charged ahead to 13% and householders coming off fixed-rate tariffs were facing crippling energy bills of more than €5,000 a year.

Ministers dismissed the idea of a cap on energy prices, arguing it would give people a perverse incentive to consume more fuel. It still hadn't dawned on them that the choice for growing numbers of people wasn't between installing solar panels and lining the loft: it was whether to freeze or go hungry.

They also protested that it would interfere with the workings of the free market, [and preferred to wait for coordination from Brussels] apparently oblivious to how Putin has been abusing the freedom to name his own price for years. [nonsense statement]

A study in ignorance

A characteristic of both crises is that the Dutch government has an army of experienced researchers at its disposal, yet constantly manages to be ambushed by reality. `Meten is weten' - to measure is to know - is a popular Dutch axiom. Here it was more a case of `gemeten en vergeten' - measured and forgotten.


A Festive Ireland

Watching from USAmerica, I don't see any explicit public campaign in the EU for energy efficiency and energy conservation in the face of either the carbon war in Ukraine nor the resulting energy price increases.  Recently, I've come to understand that the public, on its own, has responded this way but supply chain and installation backlogs has made it difficult.

If anybody can point me in the right direction to dig deeper into this reasonable response to energy shortfalls and expenses, I'd appreciate it.

PS:  I do know about the seeming success of the Italian subsidies for solar and heat pumps before the invasion of Ukraine and also would like to know more about that.

PPS:  Of course, in USAmerica there has been almost complete silence about this way to respond to Russia's carbon war and climate change.  The only person I know who makes the connection is Timothy Snyder, the Yale historian of Eastern Europe, but he doesn't really talk about the energy tactics available.

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Mon Dec 19th, 2022 at 07:53:50 PM EST
by Cat on Mon Dec 19th, 2022 at 11:09:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A carbon war is a war to continue using fossil fuels, one of Russia's main exports.  A carbon war is also, by definition, a climate war because it is a war to continue releasing carbon into the atmosphere and thus worsening climate change leading to climate chaos.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Tue Dec 20th, 2022 at 07:18:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who are the combatants, or adversaries?
Who has been injured and killed?
Is this war "lawful"? Which violations of whose domestic or international laws and sovereignty provoked this war?
by Cat on Tue Dec 20th, 2022 at 07:40:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 19th, 2022 at 11:06:36 PM EST
Dutch gas reserves fallen by more than 10 percent since October

A spokesperson for the company added that gas consumption has been 30 percent higher since the beginning of this month, which has resulted in significant consequences for Gasunie's gas reserves in Groningen and Rotterdam; the Netherlands has had to tap into its reserves this week, and while storage facilities were 93 percent full in mid-October, the volume has since fallen by over 10 percent. 

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 19th, 2022 at 11:07:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Headline: New energy project to turn your back to Russia

Sometimes I wonder: who is fooling whom? This power cable through the Black Sea, construction time 10 years or so, has a capacity of 1 GW. Russian gas exports had a capacity of 200 GW

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 19th, 2022 at 11:11:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The EU27 agreed that all countries would safe at least 15% gas from August. For now, that works. The average is even at 20%. Finland is at the forefront. Of the large gas consuming countries, the Netherlands saves relatively the most; followed by Germany.

EU slashed gas consumption by 20% in August-November: Eurostat | EurActiv |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 20th, 2022 at 05:26:45 PM EST

Evolution of the NL electricity production mix. Major changes. Since 2015, coal has been lowered by factor 4, and solar PV 15x higher. The contribution of wind energy is almost 3x higher.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 20th, 2022 at 05:44:56 PM EST

Just on @NPORadio1 [National Radio]: global coal consumption is reaching a record high this year. Coal use in Asia in particular is growing: already 80% of total world consumption. The IEA expects global coal consumption to fall sharply from 2025 onwards.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 20th, 2022 at 06:16:38 PM EST
Global coal demand is set to rise in 2022 amid the upheaval of the energy crisis | IEA |

Fossil fuel prices have risen substantially in 2022, with natural gas showing the sharpest increase. This has prompted a wave of fuel switching away from gas, pushing up demand for more price-competitive options, including coal in some regions. Nonetheless, higher coal prices, strong deployment of renewables and energy efficiency, and weakening global economic growth are tempering the increase in overall coal demand this year.

In China, which accounts for 53% of global coal consumption, prolonged and stringent Covid-19 lockdowns have weighed heavily on economic activity, undermining coal demand. At the same time, droughts and heat waves in China this summer accelerated coal burning to meet a surge in power demand for air conditioning.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 20th, 2022 at 06:17:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My comment: Manchin Bound by Coal and Anti-Climate Regulation

West Virginians Are Disappointed in Joe Manchin | Sierra Club - Oct. 21, 2021 |

"There is simply no rational explanation for what he's doing on the Build Back Better plan than lining his own pockets."

Manchin, who chairs the Senate energy and natural resources committee, is a well-known coal baron, owning millions of dollars in coal company stocks through Enersystems, Inc., a business he founded and passed on to his son, which earned him about half a million in dividends just last year.

He's received tens of thousands of campaign dollars from Exxon lobbyists, and he's the only Senate Democrat who's also an alumnus of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, the notorious Koch brothers group of legislators dedicated to uplifting the worst elements of capitalism and destroying the climate with impunity. 

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 20th, 2022 at 09:40:21 PM EST
IEA: Russia's war in Ukraine won't save fossil fuels

Oil, gas and coal

Many oil and gas trade groups and allies in Congress have argued the Russian conflict warrants a ramp-up of U.S. production, pointing in part to worries about higher energy costs for consumers.

Mike Sommers, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, said in a recent statement that American policymakers "should be doing everything in their power to produce more energy here in America," after Saudi Arabia, Russia and other oil-exporting nations decided to reduce production.

"Oil and natural gas will continue to play a leading role in the global energy mix well into the future, making continued investment in new production essential to addressing the current energy crisis and avoiding future scenarios where demand outstrips supply," said Frank Macchiarola, a senior vice president at API, in a statement this week.

Macchiarola said the industry "shares the goal of a lower carbon future" and is working on options such as hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization and storage.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has said the United States should "ensure independence and security for ourselves and our allies" with permitting changes that would allow for greater production of fossil fuels and other energy resources (Energywire, Oct. 6).
Coal groups have argued the crisis should spark a reevaluation of their resource, meanwhile.

"Where is the recognitiën that the energy status quo has been turned on its head over the last year?" wrote Count on Coal, a group affiliated with the National Mining Association, in a newsletter Wednesday.

In Europe, countries like Germany decided to bring coal plants back into service in response to the energy crisis, the group noted. But in the United States, a similar approach is "glaringly absent," Count on Coal said.

Emily Arthun, CEO of the American Coal Council, responded to questions about IEA's report by placing blame on clean energy advocates.

"The energy crisis over the past year was triggered by a rush to go green accelerated by various political motivations without building out a proper infrastructure and insuring an economic reliable source of energy," she said in a statement.

"In addition, investment in technology for the clean use of coal needs to be advanced at a pace equal to that of green energy to give the world affordable reliable options," Arthun added.

But in its new outlook, IEA held fast to its conclusions -- first unveiled last year -- that exploration for new fossil fuel supplies should end if the world hopes to get on a net-zero pathway (Energywire, May 19, 2021).

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 20th, 2022 at 09:41:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From my war diary ...

Enduring American Energy Leadership

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 20th, 2022 at 09:43:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 20th, 2022 at 09:44:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just bought a month's worth of energy and got the bill ...

Electricity 358 kWh - € 254.48
Gas 135 m3 - € 564.53

Gov't compensation € 190.--

Just a bit above my budget ... for sure.

[was a temporary dwelling 138m2 - now back in my own house]

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 22nd, 2022 at 10:44:07 AM EST
Most likely not sufficient to offset global warming ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 22nd, 2022 at 09:17:18 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 22nd, 2022 at 09:18:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Dec 24th, 2022 at 09:44:56 PM EST
Two observations

Helmer, We are in Europe's second Hundred Years War

and at the end of the first year of Europe's second Thirty Years War. What we have to look forward to next year is an armistice on the Ukrainian battlefield, but not an end to the war....Like the European princelings and principates who fought each other to standstill and penury the last time around, none of them has long to look forward to, and certainly no victory-in-Europe parade. ...
Punchline, Old dogs can learn new tricks
by Cat on Sun Dec 25th, 2022 at 02:30:43 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 29th, 2022 at 02:45:07 PM EST

Andrew Tate Is Charged With Human Trafficking and Rape in Romania

Andrew Tate news live: Influencer held for 30 more days in Romania jail | The Independent |

Prosecutors say they found six women sexually exploited by suspects

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Dec 31st, 2022 at 06:07:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a thing here in the US called "rolling coal" in which your standard Tex Inbred deliberately generates as much exhaust as possible from his penis-proxy pickup.  Machismo and conspicuous consumption of petroleum products have always gone hand in hand.
by rifek on Mon Jan 2nd, 2023 at 06:47:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch homes and businesses are fully equipped for central heating with Gasunie consortium natural gas for many years to come ... not anymore. Many households shut down central heater in lieu of local heating for a few hours with an electrical source.  Thus the fossil fuel consortium made a sound deal eons ago to deliver Russian gas (Gazprom) in good partnership to cover the transition period to renewables by 2030. Deals were made with UK, Belgium, Norway and Germany. The Biden Blitzkrieg across Europe in the shades of Brussels caused Europe to look again at its great benefactor. History will be harsh. War in Europe is for fools.

European energy compensation in 2022 amounts to €500 billion, wasted as emissions through the O&G lobby chimney to replenish EU stocks with Texas cartel priced LNG and CIF delivery. Forced by Brussels to keep smiling because it is all for our freedom. Slaughter in Ukraine.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 12th, 2023 at 02:28:48 PM EST

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