Europe Must Secure Cleaner and Cheaper Energy for Global Competitiveness

December 12, 2013

Shale Gas Blog ImageThe future energy security of Europe seems as gloomy as its current economic problems. While the need for affordable energy is mandatory for ensuring a flourishing economic climate, government think tanks across Europe have failed to outline a plan to source Europe’s future energy needs thus far. The ones who wheel the economic prosperity, manufacturers and their government partners, as well as various consumer groups are becoming concerned regarding securing the European common market’s future energy needs.

Take the United Kingdom’s case, for example. The British public opinion was in favor of clean energy, and they got it at an unsustainable cost. According to Stanley Reed, the New York Times columnist, Britain couldn’t secure a deal to establish any new nuclear power station for over the last two decades. On the other hand, Spain, who advocated strongly about moving to clean energy once, is abandoning plans for its own wind and solar power projects across the country.

The greenhouse gas emission permit cost went down considerably during the last few years in Europe. Hence, utility providers and manufacturers are no longer considering investing in clear energy technologies as it is rather economical for them to pay for the greenhouse gas permits. European Governments seem more concerned about maintaining the competitiveness of their local companies in the international market rather than focusing on producing clean energy.

As far as cleaner energy goes, things are going slightly better across the Atlantic—here in the United States. The Obama administration’s Clean Energy Bill has created the regulatory pressure for companies to invest in shale gas revolution, a cheaper, abundant and cleaner technology to extract energy from fossil fuel compared to conventional techniques. “Manufacturers are looking at U.S. energy prices with envy and, if they can, they are making investments in North America,” says Corin Taylor, an analyst working for the British business group, Institute of Directors. As many European countries rushed to install inefficient windmills, they are lagging behind the United States in developing the game-changing shale reserves.

While natural gas has become cheaper compared to coal in the North American energy market, Europe is dragging its economy with the older coal based energy solutions at the real cost of the environment. The difference in natural gas prices in Europe and the US is logical as this disparity is based on regional market dynamics. While the United States and Canada are utilizing domestic shale gas, Europe is importing natural gas, and paying the price premium. This disparity in cleaner and cheaper energy price is expected to sustain in the near future as the European member states are developing shale gas reservoirs at a slower pace compared to North America. As long as European policy makers don’t come up with a plan to minimize this divergence in technology and price, Europe’s energy problems will continue.




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