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The Guardian reports the European Union will “vastly overshoot” its Paris climate pledges unless its net emissions from coal-fired power plants are ended by 2030. Europe’s 300 coal plants still generate a quarter of the continent’s power, and if they all continue to produce power until the end of their planned operating lives, the EU will exceed its carbon emissions target by 85 percent, reports Climate Analytics.
Even worse news for European climate alarmists: Germany, Greece, Poland, other EU nations, and the United Kingdom have either committed to extending the life of existing coal plants or are planning to build new ones. “Not only would existing coal plants exceed the EU’s emissions budget, but the 11 planned and announced plants would raise EU emissions to almost twice the levels required to keep warming to the Paris agreement’s long term temperature goal,” The Guardian reports Dr. Michiel Schaeffer, science director for Climate Analytics, as saying.
In the choice between reliable energy, economic progress and shivering in the dark or sweltering in the heat weather out of fear of climate changes 100 years from now, Europe is increasingly choosing to keep the lights on with coal. A stark reversal of EU nation’s previous position I might add.
It seems, Europe’s lesson is one the leaders of South Australia had better learn soon.
A recent electric power failure in South Australia provides proof that what skeptics of renewable energy have long been saying is true: wind and solar farms can’t provide reliable baseload or peaking power.
In May 2016, the last coal-fired power station in South Australia was shuttered to meet the state’s self-imposed goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent by 2025. By July – the middle of the southern hemisphere’s winter, normally a time of low demand – the spot price of electricity tripled.
In early February, in the middle of a summer heat wave, much of South Australia experienced a power failure, and the state government instituted rolling blackouts so people could prepare for ongoing power outages.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was quick to castigate South Australia’s state government, saying its “experiment” with renewable energy showed “extraordinary complacency and reckless negligence.”
Turnbull told 5aa Radio the South Australian government “worshipped at the altar of renewable energy and failed to put in place the backup, whether it is baseload, whether it is gas peaking plants … or whether it is storage.” As a result, “They’ve failed to do the work to ensure South Australians can keep the lights and air conditioners on … The Labor government in South Australia has systematically made South Australia vulnerable and you’re seeing it again and again so you now have the least reliable energy and the most expensive energy.”