Energy: No answers from the Commissioner

Some time ago I was able to address a question on energy prices to Miguel Arias Cañete, described as “Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy”.  His only response was to suggest the completion of a single EU energy market, which I described as “fiddling at the margin”.

On Monday January 26th, I attended a meeting of the ITRE Committee in Brussels, and had an opportunity to question Maros Sefcovic, a Commissioner and a Vice President (no less) of the Commission. I put essentially the same question to him, but with a summary of the huge damage which energy prices are doing to European competitiveness, driving jobs and investment out of Europe altogether.

Sefcovic at first did not reply (he’d had questions from each of the political groups), but the Chairman, the excellent  Jerzy Buzek reminded him to do so.

As a more senior Commissioner, he made a better hand of the answer than Cañete – but still failed to reach the nub of the problem.  He offered four ideas:

The single market in energy: This was Cañete’s point.  Of course the market would be more efficient with (for example) more interconnectors, enabling demand to be balanced over a wider area, and eliminating “energy islands”.  But it doesn’t start to address the underlying point of very expensive generation overlaid by massive regulatory and tax costs.

“Getting the carbon price right – and completing the MSR“.  But of course what he means by “getting the carbon price right” is increased energy prices, which will make matters worse rather than better.  And the whole object of the MSR is to increase the cost of CO2 emissions – making things worse again.

Regulatory certainty: Sefcovic says that a major barrier to investment in new energy infrastructure, or in energy-intensive industries, is regulatory uncertainty.  Of course he’s absolutely right on that – and I’m constantly banging on about it myself.  But Sefcovic doesn’t explain how it’s to be done, given that each new Commissioner, and each new Chair of the European Council (and at the member state level, each new Minister) will want to make his name by introducing his pet ideas.  And regulatory certainly, while highly desirable, again does not address the issue of expensive generation.

“More efficient products”.  High energy costs will help European businesses to design energy efficient products which will give them an edge in export markets, quoth Mr. Sefcovic.  But Commissioner, we’re not talking about products for export.  We’re talking about the impact of high energy prices on steel and aluminium production, on petroleum refineries, on chemicals and glass and cement for use in the EU itself – which are currently being replaced by lower-cost imports from other countries with realistic energy costs.

So again, the term “fiddling at the margin” comes to mind.  All these ideas are worthwhile and should be pursued, but they utterly fail to address the underlying problem – that as  a matter of deliberate policy we have introduced regulations and taxes and subsidies and feed-in tariffs and capacity payments and so on, which have the effect of making energy prices hopelessly uncompetitive.

But that’s the EU for you.  Don’t expect serious answers to serious questions.

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19 Responses to Energy: No answers from the Commissioner

  1. Brin Jenkins says:

    Its all a wicked deception, honied words concealing the real intent of destroying Western wealth, the capital redistribution via carbon credits. it wasn’t broke until the EU Marxists fixed it.

    • omanuel says:

      Yes. The UN’s intent since it was formed on 24 OCT 1945 has been

      1. A one world government that
      2. Prohibits public knowledge of the energy that destroyed Hiroshima – NEUTRON REPULSION in cores of atoms, planets, stars and galaxies heavier than 150 amu (atomic mass units)

      After using Occam’s razor to shave off seventy years of growth from Big Brother’s chin, the UN was correctly identified yesterday as the father of:

      a.) The Standard Climate Model
      b.) The Standard Nuclear Model
      c.) “Big Bang Cosmology,” and
      d.) The Standard Solar Model

    • omanuel says:

      Big Brother’s Great Social Experiment failed to hide the fountain of energy in the core of the Sun that made and sustains every atom, life and world in the solar system [1], and

      Big Brother was correctly identified [2] after a shave with Occam’s razor.

      1. “Big Brother’s Great Social Experiment (1945-2015)”

      Click to access Social_Experiment.pdf

      2. “Big Brother Shaven with Occam’s Razor and Identified”

  2. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Sefcovic..two jobs, two salaries……2 Mercs?

    Interconnectors…cable power loss! (Ohms Law). Imported metals for pylons and cable components. Possibly complete cable also?
    CO2….a persistent fraud.
    Regulation..and on and on and on. Like Fracking Regs (HoC) yesterday.
    Efficient products…expensive/unreliable products more like. Too much complexity.

    The thing is that all this is about subsidies. Nothing happens without that carrot. Trouble is when the subsidies roll out very little happens anyway. And where it does happen is largely dumb – windmills.

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Colin this raises another thought, Ohms law states that if we pass 1amp through a 1 ohm resistance, it drops 1 volt, this is also 1 watt of energy permanently lost as heat to the atmosphere.

      Now we have informed them, could this heat loss panic planet savers into yet another Global Warming frenzy?

      Our National Grid losses run at 28%, This is fine when electricity is cheap, so cheap, we were promised in the early 50’s, it would be free, just not be worth metering domestic users! Those were the times when our grid was designed. Windmills Generators make a complete nonsense of National Grid economics.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        Its simple stuff Brin, but since we the ordinary folk are subsidising – its no matter. Neither wind nor solar energy is cheap with subsidies plus whole life support. Not sure what the transmission cable resistance/km is. Birds get warm feet?

        You saw/know the little diagram halfway down the page here: (solar top/ocean bottom…money in the middle)

        Think that explains why nobody wants to talk about Solar…..the whole system is wildly complex. Too many variables ! Too many different opinions from those qualified(?).

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        Many will argue for perpetual motion machines, some are elegant and complicated, but we know its a waste of time as they can never ever work!

        Much the same with Climate Changes, keep it complicated and you can always fall back on another ill founded theory.

  3. Jane Davies says:

    I listen to you Roger and read your blog and just shake my head….words fail me…. for once. I just look forward to the day when the whole EU shambles falls on it’s own sword and disappears down the toilet of rules, regulations and tariffs, oh yes, they will kick and scream all the way down and drown in their own subsidies…… but then the silence will so sweet! The history books can then ask “What were they thinking, that this would work?!”

    • Terry Knight says:

      I do agree with you Jane, but would point out that it’s honourable people who fall on their swords, which hardly characterises the EU. No, I think that what they’re doing is committing unintentional economic suicide and I just hope that the UK will have at least departed the EU by the time the energy crisis becomes a tragedy for Europe. It will hit us hard enough, but if we’ve managed to establish trade deals with the rest of the world before that happens, maybe the impact will be lessened.

      • Jane Davies says:

        “I do agree with you Jane, but would point out that it’s honourable people who fall on their swords,”
        This is true Terry….but I had clicked ‘post comment’ before that thought popped into my head!

  4. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Protest/March/Camp out… anybody ?

    NOTE: Recent research has shown that geothermal energy could provide up to 20% of the UK’s current electricity demand, and a vast amount of heating.

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Colin The Eden Project is close by me, this is also the Venue where the Marxist Common Purpose Guidance Committee have their monthly meetings.

      I used to be a big fan, but now have big doubts about them. The Visitor Centre is at the top of the basin that was an old clay pit, every day they use electricity pumping millions of gals of water out. Now with a water problem, I wrote suggesting a green alternative. Use Windmills to pump water, water at their altitude this is an energy resource that could provide power on its way downhill to the sea . It could also run a funicular rail down to the Bio Domes from the reception, saving the tractor pulled land train its fuel. I never had any response at all from them.

      I haven’t been for a few years since they decided a Wind Turbine was a good idea?

  5. Absolute madness mr Helmer, as you say. Do you have any breakdown of these figures specific to Britain’s situation. For the FSB to look at?

  6. omanuel says:

    The secret 1945 decision to hide the source of energy in cores of uranium atoms that destroyed Hiroshima . . .

    evolved into 2015 actions to hide the “fountain of energy” in the core of the Sun that made and sustains all of the atoms, lives and worlds in the solar system.

    Robert K. Wilcox recently described this as “the greatest secret of the universe.”

    See: Solar energy,” Advances in Astronomy (submitted for on-line review, 6 JAN 2015):

    Click to access Solar_Energy_For_Review.pdf

  7. Val Gibbons says:

    I should like all the UK’s party leaders to be familiar with these facts and to be asked to respond to them, honestly. Why, oh why, is it impossible for other parties to see the rottenness within the EU, and the impossibility of the whole plan becoming feasible? My own MP, who is, she claims, a Eurosceptic, shares Mr. Cameron’s forlorn hope that we shall be able to persuade Brussels to the UK’s way of thinking; she is otherwise a very sensible and, I believe, honest woman.

    • Jane Davies says:

      I’m puzzled too Val as to why they cannot see the disaster around the corner. I mean these are intelligent people are they not? I just have to think some are delusional and the rest have to toe the party line regardless to maintain their position all the while feathering their own nests for when the s**t finally hits the fan.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        I was discussing this with my wife this morning, We feel very few folk are aware consequences, and that it is a deliberate policy of National and Cultural destruction.

        Most people just go along with it knowing they will be deselected and lose future employment by being difficult, they hope forelonly it may be alright! Just following orders!

    • omanuel says:

      FEAR is probably the most powerful emotion and easily overwhelms logic.

      FEAR of nuclear annihilation in 1945 is the root of today’s social insanity.

  8. Pingback: “The smuggest, most supercilious man I know” | Roger Helmer MEP

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