We’ve said numerous times that the switch to clean energy will involve fossil fuels for a long time to come.
And — surprise! — Big Oil has been fighting for oil and gas to stay in the European Union’s clean energy portfolio.
BP (NYSE:BP), Statiol (NYSE:STO), Shell (NYSE:RDS.A), and Total (NYSE:TOT) were among the names lobbying for a reduction in renewable energy subsidies, binding carbon regulations, and renewable production targets.
Much like the U.S., the EU has been sponsoring new installations of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.
However, coalitions of oil and gas companies and energy utilities assert that natural gas is a much better way to make quick emissions cuts, and should be considered indispensable to the EU’s clean power plans.
Natural gas emits about half as much carbon dioxide as coal, and even though that still accounts for 10-times more than solar power and 45-times more than wind, it may still be a better option for now.
Why? The cost is much lower; natural gas is in a glut like oil, and renewable technologies, especially when paired with government subsidies, are not nearly as cost-effective.
Ultimately, the lobbying was successful in the end…
As of last year, the European Commission outlawed clean energy subsidies after 2017 and cut nation-wide renewable energy production targets after 2020.
The European Wind Energy Association and the European Photovoltaic Industry Association were once in talks to make an officially toned-down version of the renewable energy targets, cutting the original amount by 30%.
While this change never made it far in legislation, the possibility of a renewables-gas mixed alliance still remains.
To continue reading…
Until next time,
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