Wednesday, April 23, 2008

An extra European fact of the day 

Tyler Cowen notes that Italy's largest electric utility is converting a power plant from oil to coal, in spite of Europe's stated intentions on reducing greenhouse gases. I forwarded that post to a student of mine in the energy industry, who notes:
I believe it was last year the German government passed a law decommissioning all nuclear facilities by 2020. As of today, roughly 30% of the German grid is supplied by nuclear generation. The other alternative to coal is natural gas but the problem there is the Germans, and virtually all of Europe, doesn�t feel comfortable becoming more dependable to the only supplier of gas in the region. That being Mother Russia herself. With the EU ETS getting over its honeymoon phase with serious haircutting to carbon allocations, this should cause some volatility in the carbon and power markets. Exciting times�
He's right about Germany. And decommissioning is expensive.

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