EU, Japan Electricity Prices Soar, US Steady
The chart above, which circulated at the meeting of 27 European leaders last week, has apparently convinced many of them that the quest for "green energy" is imposing unacceptable costs on the Continent,.
The graph shows electrical prices in Japan, the US and the European Union over the last eight years. Japan's costs have climbed 20 percent since 2005 and Europe's have risen 40 percent. Meanwhile, electrical costs in the United States have actually declined about 5 percent over the same period.
Europe's costs seem t0o have risen when it began trying to switch to renewable energy with the imposition of carbon trading. Japan's costs obviously spiked after it closed all its nuclear reactors in response to the Fukushima accident. Germany's move away from nuclear after Fukushima, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have made that much difference. Meanwhile, the development of cheap natural gas through fracking in the US has brought down electrical prices.
“The naive faith of policy makers that Europe's main competitors would follow this shift from cheap fossil fuels to expensive green energy has gone up in smoke," writes Benny Peiser in the Financial Post. "In reality, most nations are completely unimpressed by Europe's approach. Europe, the Washington Post recently warned, "has become a green-energy basket case. Instead of a model for the world to emulate, Europe has become a model of what not to do."