EU Energy Costs: Renewables High, Nuclear Low

EU Energy Costs: Renewables High, Nuclear Low
EU Energy Costs: Renewables High, Nuclear Low

European countries pay a wide variety of prices and taxes for electricity.  This graph is somewhat confusing because it separates the overall costs into two elements, the costs of production (mostly fuel) and taxes.  Thus, while Denmark has average prices, consumers pay a huge tax, mostly to support its sizable complement of windmills.  The overall cost to consumers is not read on either axis, then but is measured by how far the country has advanced along the slope of a 45-degree line (not shown) running between the axes.  (The data point showing the European average is just an illustration and not a point on the graph).

Thus, Denmark and Cyprus pay about the same highest price for electricity but for different reasons.  Denmark must support it's windmills but Cyprus, as an island, must import all its fossil fuels.  Malta and Ireland pay the same high import costs but still have average prices because they are not subsidizing.  Italy and Germany are starting to go down the same high-tax route because they have closed down nuclear reactors and are going down the same renewable route.

The winners here are France, Sweden and Finland, all of which rely heavily on nuclear (Sweden and Finland have large hydro complements as well.). Most of the other countries are bunched in a pack.  For some strange reason, with this evidence sitting right in front of them, the European Union bureaucracy, sitting in Brussels, is trying to force European countries away from nuclear and into the high-tax, high-subsidy renewable route.  Lithuania got 70 percent of its electricity from one reactor but was forced to give it up to join the EU in 2009.

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