Green energy: Still short of puff


Pretty, but coal is still cheaper

EUROPEAN climate policy has spent vast amounts of public money, sent power utilities to the brink and done little to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, an impressive display of multi-pronged incompetence. But might all that money at least have built a robust, world-beating European renewables industry?Not yet. European makers of solar panels have been largely wiped out by a combination of the financial crisis and competition from cheaper Chinese rivals. Q-Cells of Germany, once the world’s largest solar manufacturer, went bust in 2012. SolarWorld, Germany’s largest remaining maker, begged successfully for investors’ patience to avoid bankruptcy late last year. The EU, like America, is bringing anti-dumping complaints against Chinese firms, but even if these were to succeed it is clear that the future of solar-panel manufacturing lies beyond Europe.Besides barely-green biomass, geographically limited hydropower and unproven tidal power, that leaves wind turbines as the best hope for European green energy. The picture is brighter than for solar. But Prokon, a German wind-park developer that offered…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/business/21597920-europes-wind-turbine-makers-are-pleading-more-political-support-still-short-puff?fsrc=rss|bus

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