With energy costs soaring and citizens complaining, the EU shifts to a more pragmatic energy policy …
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 labelled 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.
- The project has a plan, funds and a site to safely dispose of radioactive waste.
- New nuclear plants must receive construction permits before 2045.
- Investments in natural gas power plants would also be deemed green if they emissions below 270g of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt hour (kWh)
- Replace a more polluting fossil fuel plant
- Receive a construction permit by Dec. 31 2030
- 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.
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?
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.