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The EU Is Racing To Redefine “Green” As Energy Prices Soar

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With energy costs soaring and citizens complaining, the EU shifts to a more pragmatic energy policy...

EU's New Green Definition 

The EU Drafts a New Definition of Green that includes nuclear and natural gas.

The European Union has drawn up plans to label some natural gas and nuclear energy projects as "green" investments after a year-long battle between governments over which investments are truly climate-friendly.

The European Commission is expected to propose rules in January deciding whether gas and nuclear projects will be included in the EU "sustainable finance taxonomy".

Gas and nuclear power generation would be labeled green on the grounds that they are "transitional" activities - defined as those that are not fully sustainable, but which have emissions below industry average and do not lock in polluting assets.

Two Nuclear Green Requirements

  1. The project has a plan, funds and a site to safely dispose of radioactive waste.
  2.  New nuclear plants must receive construction permits before 2045.

Natural Gas Green Requirements

  1. Investments in natural gas power plants would also be deemed green if they emissions below 270g of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt hour (kWh)
  2. Replace a more polluting fossil fuel plant
  3. Receive a construction permit by Dec. 31 2030 
  4. Plan to switch to low-carbon gases by the end of 2035 

Point number 4 is interesting. To be classified as green, they only have to "plan" not "do" switch to low-carbon gasses. 

Low carbon gasses are defined as biogas, bio methane, or hydrogen produced via electrolysis by using renewable-generated electricity. 

Since methane is methane, a plan to switch to low-bio methane costs nothing (no plant retooling needed). Doing is another matter. But maybe it's a lot easier in 2035. 

Do Something!

Previously, the EU proposed a 100g CO2e/kWh emissions limit, based on climate fearmongering and steps needed to avoid disastrous climate change.

That went out the window when citizens stated moaning about the cost of electricity and heating.

French president Macron did not want another "Yellow Vest Movement" energy protest on his hands ahead of French elections in April. 

France derives about 70% of its electricity from nuclear energy, due to a long-standing policy based on energy security. France aims reduce this to 50% by 2035.

Any bets on that?

Practical and Environmental Sense

The new policy makes for both practical and environmental sense in contrast to the ridiculous path Angela Merkel took Germany.

Merkel gave into the Greens and agreed to phase out nuclear. As a result, Germany became more dependent on coal. That makes no environmental sense whatsoever. 

Solar and wind are not exactly reliable as Spain found out, and its citizens are bitching the loudest. 

Mothballing plants that have decades more useful life also makes no practical sense. 

A cold winter and soaring prices knocked some sense into the EU. Inflation trumped green ideology.

In the US, Biden hasn't learned his lesson yet. Elizabeth Warren and AOC still set green policy.

By Zerohedge.com 

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on January 03 2022 said:
    Coming in the aftermath of the energy crisis which is still embroiling the European Union (EU), this is an admission by the EU Secretariat that energy transition can’t succeed without major contributions from natural gas and nuclear energy. It is equally an admission that the EU’s hasty acceleration of energy transition at the expense of fossil fuels was a huge blunder.

    It is possible that the EU Secretariat is coming to realize at last that renewables on their own aren’t capable of satisfying global demand for electricity and energy because of their intermittent nature, namely inability to generate wind electricity when the wind is still or solar electricity when the weather is cloudy.

    While the process of global energy transition will continue to move forward, a total energy transition is an illusion. Equally the notion of net-zero emissions is a myth. It will never be achieved in 2050 or 2100 or ever.

    Those who call for the ditching of fossil fuels including the hapless IEA must be living on a different planet and should, therefore, be left to continue living there.

    Oil and gas will continue to run the global economy throughout the 21st century and probably far beyond.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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