Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s repeal of the Green Energy Act and balks by premiers of other Canadian provinces at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s climate agenda aren’t rearguard moves by Donald Trump wannabes. They are part of a worldwide trend rejecting renewables, rejecting climate change alarmism, and embracing coal and other fossil fuels. Renewables and the high electricity rates they ushered in drove individuals into energy poverty and led industry to flee, putting the lie to the claim that wind and solar are the fuels of the future. Wind and solar, rather, have become the fossils of the energy industry; oil, gas and coal remain the fuels of the future.
China was once the poster boy of the renewable energy industry — just a few months ago Bloomberg stated, “China’s investment in renewables is leaving the rest of the world in its wake” thanks to its subsidy-driven growth. Now China has now begun to throw in the towel by cutting subsidies to renewables, an augur of the demise of investment in its renewables sector. With the cutting of subsidies to renewables in the EU, investment last year dropped to less than half of its peak six years earlier. Japan’s investment halved in just three years.
While China is pulling back from renewables, it’s plunging into coal. According to a BBC report this week, China is boosting its reliance on coal by 25 per cent through construction of hundreds of new coal-fired generating plants. Once completed, its incremental coal capacity will be equivalent to that of the entire U.S. coal fleet. Coal aside, China this year will become the world’s largest importer of natural gas, both via pipeline (up by over 20 per cent) and by ship (up over 50 per cent). It is already the world’s largest importer of coal and oil.
Germany, another renewable-energy poster child, is following the same unwinding, cutting subsidies to wind developers while upping gas imports and local coal. To extract that coal, Germany has decided to expand an existing open-pit coal mine, Europe’s largest, by subsidizing the razing of a 12,000-year-old forest. To round out Germany’s retreat from the demands of the country’s green lobby, it is relaxing regulations that would have required automakers to produce low-CO2-emitting vehicles.
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