June 16, 2020

Another European country reveals the crippling cost of green energy

Another European country reveals the crippling cost of green energy

Last week it was Germany. Now it is the United Kingdom. It seems that expensive “green energy” policies are taking the world by storm. 

According to a new report from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, consumers in the UK are paying more and more for an inefficient, fragile electricity system through a charge on their bills called the Balancing Services Use of System (BSUoS). 

The Balancing Services Use of System charge is there to pay for the cost of “balancing” the electricity system to keep it running smoothly at all times. Why do the British think this necessary? There are costs involved in making sure that power is allocated to customers when they actually need it.  

This task becomes much more difficult when you have a lot of green energy. Why is this? As we all know, the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow according to the needs of the energy market. You can’t just switch wind and solar energy generation on and off. 

So when there is a dip in energy demand - as there is when a global pandemic is keeping people at home – you can’t just adjust your generators down or up, because you can’t control whether or not they are generating when they are wind turbines or solar panels.  

What are the cost implications?

In 2002, the annual BSUoS cost, passed on to the consumer, was £367 million. Over the next decade and a half there was a significant increase in renewable energy generation and, in 2019, the BSUoS was close to £1.5 billion.

And who pays this?

In this regard the BSUoS is just like Ontario's Global Adjustment fee, and Germany’s green surcharge: it places the additional cost of renewable energy onto the consumer.  

The more jurisdictions implement “green energy” strategies, the more we see just how harmful this approach is to the consumer. 

All over the world, economies are being plagued by inefficient energy sources - and the charges to consumers which sustain them - and all to the end that politicians can pat each other on the back when they meet at one global summit or another. In other words, green energy is green “virtue-signalling”.

Imagine how these charges will continue to rise as the goal of ‘net zero emissions by 2050’ gains momentum, and politicians frantically try to meet yet another imaginary target, like the emissions reductions promises in the Paris Climate Accord. The costs of trying to reach impossible-to-meet emission targets is already hitting – the tougher net zero by 2050 target means they will just hit harder as we continue to move closer to the date (more on the 2050 debate in Canada in my next post).   

Apart from water behind dams – and you do run out of water bodies well before you’ve met your energy needs - renewable energy cannot be efficiently stored or turned off and on. It can only be sustained by additional charges on consumer bills. 

Trying to expand the renewable opportunity is being shown again and again to be extraordinarily expensive – making energy less and less affordable. 

Perhaps it’s time for a new approach – one that focuses on the customer, and affordability.  

Whatever approach we do take, it is definitely time for politicians to stop making empty promises that will do nothing besides cost people money.