November 18, 2016 at 1:06 pm #5180
New Energy Poverty
The Legality of Wasteful Energy Spending
Energy Poverty is commonly discussed as a major problem in developing nations where electricity service is scarce or unavailable. The correlation between Energy and Prosperity is well understood and well documented, yet in the G20 a New Energy Poverty is emerging in nations with growing unemployment, poor safety-nets and rising energy cost.
During the past sixty-years, scientists and engineers have routinely been forced to take a back seat to sponsors of Wind, Solar, Fossil Fuels, Uranium Nuclear Power Plants, and other finance-driven energy sponsors whose solutions hardly qualified as our strategic best next-steps in energy.
As a direct consequence, many G7 countries live in the shadow of a New Energy Poverty created by five-year-term politicians authorizing many 25-year financial procurement contracts totaling billions of dollars in inappropriate part-time energy spending.
See examples of Part-time vs Full-time Energy solutions at our Energy Policy Page.
Policies defending this new scarcity; like the promotion of energy conservation, are quickly called to the forefront in defense of mismanagement. What are the other corrections that might be called upon to correct scarcity and build in its place an abundant energy landscape? See TE-Mature Policy on our TE Maturity Models page.
Examples of New Energy Poverty are found in the U.K. where Energy Poverty now kills 24,000 people every winter; Spain reports 4,200 deaths each year. People turn their heat down to low because they can’t afford it and they die in the night. The highest at-risk groups include rural citizens, children, the elderly and the poor.
Germany and Ontario, Canada, where Wind and Solar spending has created near 100% increases in electricity costs in the last ten-years, experience this new Energy Poverty now as well (Bourbeau, 2016). In Germany, fully 800,000 Germans have had their power cut off because they can no longer afford it. (Clemente, 2014)(HUTZLER, 2014)
[caption id="attachment_5423" align="aligncenter" width="923"] Fraser Institute 2015[/caption]
The case for legal accountability in politically-driven or financially-motivated energy spending decisions; like decisions to invest billions in 25-year part-time energy infrastructure contracts, is just beginning. A small handful of benefactors won lucrative lending contracts and generation contracts at the very great expense of society – but defenders of energy poverty are certain to be out in full-force as well. (Kerr, 2016)
Carbon taxes too, will make power generation less profitable for many power generators. This meant that the Alberta Government in Canada had to move in 2016 to change PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) to ensure that its power continued in the face of shrinking financial rewards now. By the present rules, power generators have the option to terminate Alberta’s power if profitability drops. Alberta had two choices – to make this change, or to pay the Federal Government’s New Carbon Tax on behalf of its power generators.
Similar to Tax Avoidance clean-up discussions in most countries, the streamlining of legal processes needed to correct the Energy Contracts that led us to a New Energy Poverty, is an important first step in ensuring that our countries can reset and realize renewed spending power once again.
Edward Tilley is the author of Transition Economics, which discusses solutions to this New Energy Poverty global problem …
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