Ask any global warming fanatic what the worst thing in the world today is, the one thing that is driving global warming, and chances are that they’ll say its coal fired power stations. Their solution to this so-called menace is carbon emissions trading – effectively a “carbon tax” on the end consumer – to penalise coal and oil and drive the move to clean, renewable energy. Sure, its making electricity dearer and dearer, hitting the most vulnerable in society hardest, but the money raised from carbon emissions trading is going to fund all those windmills and solar power plants that will save the planet, right?
Well, not quite. As German newspapers have revealed this week, the German government is diverting hundreds of millions of Euros raised from the carbon tax to fund the construction of new coal-fired power plants to supply desperately needed electricity now that nuclear is being phased out. As a website quoting the Berliner Zeitung reported:
The German government wants to encourage the construction of new coal and gas power plants with millions of euros from a fund for promoting clean energy and combating climate change.
Annual funding for the new plants could total more than €160 million per year between 2013 and 2014 alone, the Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Over the next decade, then, hundreds and hundreds of millions of euros raised from the carbon trading scheme will be used to help Germany build new coal fired power plants, which is particularly ironic as coal is one of the cheapest sources of power, and doesn’t actually require any subsidies. This utter farce is being justified on the grounds that this will help make the new coal plants more efficient, now that nuclear power is being phased out, following the Fukishima scare in Japan.
Even better, Der Spiegel reports that the planned switch-off of nuclear is already running into problems with many of the reactors already shut down will be needed this winter as freezing cold weather is again predicted to strike. As the report notes:
. . . amid concerns that supply shortages this winter could result in temporary blackouts, Germany’s Federal Network Agency on Tuesday indicated that one of the seven reactors shut down in the immediate wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan could be restarted this winter to fill the gap.
So, let’s put this all in perspective: a tax designed to discourage using coal to generate electricity is being used to fund new coal-fired power stations. The nuclear plants which could provide electricity have been closed down for no good reason, but in light of global warming’s increasingly Arctic winters they’ll need to be started up again. Is this making sense to anyone out there? Anyone at all?