Greening and de-industrialisation

This is a very quick post, but I could not help but comment on this snippet I saw on Watts Up With That. The snippet refers to a full article that can be found at the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which is a translation of an article from a German newspaper (a long explanation of source, sorry). Below are some key quotes from the article, which are all referring to the ‘green’ energy policies adopted in Germany:

Today it is obvious that Merkel has promised too much. Energy prices in Germany are increasing dramatically – by 57 percent in just the past ten years – and not least because the state is one of the biggest drivers of cost. Taxes and duties on electricity prices have now risen to 23.7 billion Euros p.a. – an increase of just over 1,000 percent within 15 years. The levies on electricity look more like a special energy tax, which is higher than the revenue from tobacco and motor vehicle taxes combined. [and]

German industry, in particular, is suffering from high electricity prices. Most affected are the chemical, metal and paper industries. In the aluminium industry, the electricity costs amount to about 40 percent of total costs.

All industries complain; some companies have already closed down: the aluminium smelter Voerdal in the Lower Rhine town of Voerde recently filed for bankruptcy because of high energy prices. The U.S. chemical giant Dow Chemical currently operates 17 plants with more than 5,000 employees in Germany. “Because of the green energy transition I get increasingly critical questions from our corporate headquarters in the US about whether energy supply in Germany is still possible at competitive prices,” said Germany boss Ralf Brinkmann. [and]

“The de-industrialization has already begun,” Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger has warned in an interview with the Handelsblatt. Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, President of the Steel Trade Association, complains: “The levels of industrial electricity prices are higher here than in most other countries.” [and]

It is really not complicated. If you increase the cost of energy, the more intensive the energy user, the more likely they will decamp to another location. Of course, this means no net decrease in the amount of carbon dioxide, as this is just a displacement of activity. It just means that one country’s de-industrialisation is another’s industrialisation.

The question is; is this what we want for New Zealand? The cost is pain for both business and households. More to the point, even where there is the possibility of potentially less expensive ‘green’ energy, fanatics such as the Green Party still seek to block the alternatives. The timing is perfect but the outcome is laughable. Just after I read the German article, I found this on the Climate Conversation Group, in reference to a proposed Meridian hydro electric project in New Zealand:

On the surface, this is an example of the extreme green position. Don’t touch the earth, don’t change it for any reason, never mind the benefits. Never mind that we have no other resources (there’s just the one planet, you know), but we can’t use these resources, because we’ll kill a few snails.

The Green Party is crowing about this victory, which is fair enough, but it says all rivers should be protected. This is wrong. The Mokihinui might have special qualities that deserve protection, but it would be anti-human to deny access to all rivers.

The Greens have campaigned against the use of the river for ‘renewable’ energy, in order to protect wildlife. At the same time they support the massively expensive use of wind and solar energy. What do they really want? The answer, in the end, is de-industrialisation. They never say it, but it can be the only outcome of their policy and approach. We can see the results in Germany. It takes time to start the de-industrialisation, but once started, it is hard to reverse. After all, once the companies are gone, are they likely to come back? The skills and knowledge to compete in the sector are lost, and hard to revive.

It really is time to wake up to the damage that so-called green energy policy will do. De-industrialisation can be the only outcome of an expensive energy policy, and this is what the Green Party, and their supporters, are pressing for in New Zealand.

Note: I have not looked at the economics of the case of the hydro-project, but am guessing that it would provide cheaper energy than wind/solar. However, readers should be cautious that this is no more than a guess. I would review the case but am short of time, and am guessing that the Climate Conversation Group were aware of the background for their post.


One response to “Greening and de-industrialisation

  1. Maurice@TheMount

    The sooner the GREEN PARTY BOONDOGGLE…..the CARBON put to bed for good…the better off we will all be.

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