CO2 Emissions Reduction, Renewables and Recession

EU CO2 emissions have fallen by 17% since 2008. Does this vindicate the energy policy mandating 20% of total energy from renewables by 2020? For member countries, a comparison of the per capita wind + solar installed capacity in 2014 with the CO2 reduction in each country 2008-2014 has no correlation (R2 = 0.01). At face value, installing wind and solar devices appears to make no difference to CO2 emissions reduction.

What does correlate with CO2 reduction in member countries is economic growth. A group of seven countries have had negative aggregate growth since 2008 (Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Finland, Ireland, Greece and Spain). These are the countries, stuck in depression, that have the highest degree of emissions reduction.

In contrast, the countries with strongest growth have barely reduced their emissions at all. A comparison of economic growth and CO2 reduction has R2=0.42.  In terms of CO2 reduction (i.e. lack of it), Poland, Norway and Germany are the dirty men of Europe. And for example, the UK has lower per capita CO2 emissions than Norway and Germany and has reduced emissions appreciably more since 2008 (Figure 1).

Understanding what lies behind emissions reduction has proven to be a rather complex subject to tackle which threw up a number of surprises en route. One surprise that caught my eye early on was that Germany has barely cut emissions at all. Despite all the massive hype behind their Energiewende, the Germans are the dirty men of Europe. Another surprise was to learn that Denmark and Finland have economies as feeble as the PIIGS. We need a new acronym – Roger came up with DIPFIGS.

A good starting point for this discussion is to take a look at CO2 emissions trends for Europe (Figure 1).

Figure 1 CO2 emissions trends for European countries, including Norway and Switzerland. The heavy black line shows the mean (sigma emissions / sigma population). Note that 2000 to 2008, the mean emissions trend was essentially flat. Since 2008, mean emissions have begun to fall slowly. Data are from the BP statistical Review 2015. BP are reporting emissions from the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas and exclude other sources.

You are not supposed to be able to read all the trends from this chart, but a few key observations are possible. The first is that an East European country like Romania has about one quarter the per capita emissions of West European countries like Belgium and Holland. Clearly, if you start high you have a better chance of cutting emissions than if you start low. All East European countries are concentrated towards the bottom of the pile.

It is curious that Holland and Belgium lie so much higher than everyone else. I’m guessing that this has to do with the  low countries’ import hubs for oil and gas and attendant refining industries. In this regard Holland and Belgium may accrue CO2 emissions for products consumed in other countries. By the same token, squeaky Green Norway has much higher emissions than one may have guessed and this may be linked to that country’s oil and gas industry. And this establishes an important principle which is that CO2 emissions embedded in traded goods are not accounted for. One of the easiest ways to reduce emissions is to shut down your heavy industry and to have cars and ships built in Japan and S Korea instead. Countries with positive trade balances, like Germany, will tend to have higher emissions since they are net exporters of goods with embedded CO2.

It is therefore also important to consider the type of economy, industrial mix and electricity generating mix in any interpretation. High nuclear high hydro countries like France and Sweden have lower emissions at the outset and therefore have less opportunity to cut.

The final observation to make from Figure 1 is that European emissions were essentially flat between 2000 and 2008 and then began to fall. 2008 was a watershed year. What has happened since 2008 to cause this? We know that the financial crash brought recession to much of Europe that has proven difficult to shake off. But we also know that the deployment of renewables has gone up a couple of gears since 2008. And the EU and member states have worthy energy efficiency drives. How do you untangle all of these variables?

Figure 2 simplifies the picture from Figure 1 by simply showing the fall in emissions from 2000 to 2014 as a percent of the 2000 value.

Figure 2 Countries ranked by the % fall in emissions from 2000 to 2014. The PIIGS are coloured yellow.

East European Bulgaria and Poland have actually seen their emissions rise. Squeaky Green, Norway, Austria and Germany are doing terribly. In contrast, squeaky Green Denmark leads the pack. Why is it that renewables obsessed Denmark and Germany are performing so differently? The PIIGS are coloured in yellow. And armed with prior knowledge that they have had extreme weak economies since the crash gives a clear hint that recession may be good for emissions reduction.

Recession Is Good For Your Health

2008 marks a watershed for European economies, thus the analysis from this point focusses on the period 2008 to 2014. Figure 3 shows countries ranked by their mean economic growth for this period.

Figure 3 Mean GDP growth 2008-2014.

It was a major surprise for me to learn that both Denmark and Finland have had mean negative growth since 2008 and join the PIIGS. And so we get a further clue as to why Denmark has done so well in cutting its emissions. This also raises the question if Europe’s highest electricity prices and obsession with renewables is not harming the Danish economy? Finland is a special case where its economy, heavily dependent on mobile phone giant Nokia, has suffered badly with the rise of Apple and Samsung. From Wikipedia:

In 2007, Nokia had a market capitalisation of €110 billion; by July 17, 2012 this had fallen to €6.28 billion

CO2 reduction % (2008 to 2014) is plotted against mean GDP growth in Figure 4. The correlation is not great but good enough to show that recession makes it easier to reduce emissions while economic growth makes that task harder. Greece leads the way in emissions reduction since 2008 (Figure 4) and we all know what has happened to Greece. Powerhouse Poland is the emissions laggard of Europe. This is not rocket science. Vibrant economies need energy to grow and most of that energy still comes from fossil fuels. A key driver that determines success or failure in reducing emissions is economic performance. Policy makers across Europe really do need to take note and to seriously consider the consequences of their actions. Do they really want us all to end up like Greece?

Figure 4 CO2 reduction 2008-2014 shows a modest negative correlation with economic performance in that period.

Renewables Not Good for Your Wealth

Figure 5 shows CO2 reduction 2008 to 2014 compared with per capita wind + solar installed capacity in 2014. The correlation coefficient of 0.01 shows there is zero correlation between the level of renewables penetration and a country’s success at reducing its CO2 emissions. This is a rather astonishing observation since common sense and conventional logic should dictate that replacing coal fired electricity with solar PV or wind must reduce emissions.

Figure 5 CO2 reduction 2008-2014 shows no correlation with the level of wind+solar deployed per capita.

Claims made about CO2 abatement by renewables companies and organisations like Renewables UK shown in Figure 6 are 10 a penny.

Figure 6 Screen capture from Renewables UK web site where it is claimed that UK wind power currently abates 14 M tonnes CO2 per annum.

So why does a fall in CO2 emissions of 14 M tonnes per annum not show up clearly in the statistics of Figure 5? There are two reasons for this. The first is that, for example, in 2014 the UK produced 471 M tonnes of CO2. Without wind power UK emissions would have been 485 M tonnes CO2. Hence wind abated 2.9% of the total. Given the environmental and economic penalties involved this is wholly inconsequential. Secondly, renewables enthusiasts tend to calculate CO2 abated by calculating directly how much gas or coal would have been burned to produce the renewable electricity, in this case 33 MWh. This is over simplified and ignores system costs associated with integrating intermittent renewables such as degraded efficiency of fossil plants that are required to ramp more frequently and more steeply, the additional grid and transmission costs, energy storage and providing energy to keep turbines moving when it is calm (this is done to protect bearings from stress should the turbine stand still).

The poles of the shot gun scatter plot (Figure 5) are quite instructive. Poland, Norway plus Germany are in the high economic growth group and have cut their emissions the least. One could say that Germany has done reasonably well despite investing so much in wind and solar. But notably, the German power house is the weakest economy in the high growth group. Germany has also substantially reduced its nuclear consumption in this period and much of its investment in wind and solar has simply gone to replace nuclear power.

Denmark, Spain, Ireland Italy and Greece all belong to the group stuck in recession that have cut their emissions the most as a result, regardless of the level of wind+solar deployed. Hungary is a bit of an enigma. Hungary has managed to cut its emissions enormously whilst investing nothing in wind+solar. It belongs to the feeble economies, just out of the recessionary group. Hungary has slashed its coal and gas consumption without obviously substituting this with anything else. The question remains, why is Hungary doing so badly while East European peers Poland, Bulgaria and Romania are doing so well? (Figure 3; Poland, Bulgaria and Romania belong to the high growth countries while Hungary is just outside of the negative growth group). Have they sacrificed their economy on the bonfire of CO2 reduction?

Energy Efficiency and Jevons’ Paradox

I wish to make clear that I am 100% behind improving energy efficiency. Well-insulated homes provide comfort and save money. A fuel efficient car saves you money. But here’s the rub. What do you do with the money saved? My preference right now would be a vacation on the Canary Islands. So all that money I saved gets poured into jet fuel, paella and Rioja. The paella and Rioja used energy to be created – boat fuel to catch those prawns and tractor fuel to harvest those grapes. And so I don’t actually save the planet from meltdown at all. I simply emit CO2 in a different way. The fact that the jet fuel is tax free means I can probably get more CO2 bangs for my buck.

The only way my efforts to become more efficient may work is if I flush the pounds saved down the toilet. This of course would be recessionary, and we have seen how recession does reduce emissions significantly.

At the basic level money and energy are interchangeable.  A certain amount of energy is used to produce goods and services worth a certain amount of money. The more money in circulation the more energy has been used to create it or to consume it. Credit expansion in the OECD resulted in a vast amount of energy being expended in China where the goods we wanted to buy with the magic money were created with consequential increase in the CO2 emissions of that country.

Efficiency and energy efficiency are good for economic growth and true economic growth will cause emissions to rise. I use the term “true” to distinguish manufacturing and useful services from derivatives trading that is largely emissions free. If wind and solar were to make a significant contribution to saving emissions it is because they are inefficient and their deployment may ultimately cause recession that will lead to reduced CO2 emissions.  At the moment their backs are being covered by fossil fuel energy stores. But wait until the blackouts begin and productivity plunges. CO2 will follow the economy down.

Concluding Comments

Detailed understanding about what causes CO2 emissions to rise or fall in individual countries is complex. This post does not provide a unique and quantitative answer, but it does provide many pointers.

Claims made about CO2 abatement by renewables advocates are likely overstated because they ignore system effects such as provision of load balancing services. The amount of CO2 abated by wind power in a country like the UK is also inconsequential in the bigger picture.

The countries that have cut their emissions the most since 2008 are those stuck in recession. The strong economies have barely cut their emissions at all. Economic growth is likely the main driver in Europe that determines whether or not emissions will rise or fall.

Improved energy efficiency is not expected to reduce emissions. On the contrary, efficiency is good for economic growth. Therefore, improved energy efficiency may actually cause emissions to rise and not to fall. Wind and solar are intrinsically inefficient. The negative impact this may have on economic growth may actually result in a greater fall in emissions than can be attributed to substitution of fossil fuels.

Data Sources:

1) CO2 emissions data from burning fossil fuels from the BP Statistical Review 2015
2) Population data from the United Nations
3) GDP growth data from the World Bank

This entry was posted in Energy, Political commentary and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to CO2 Emissions Reduction, Renewables and Recession

  1. Dave Rutledge says:

    Hi Euan,

    Great post.

    “Wind and solar are intrinsically inefficient. The negative impact this may have on economic growth may actually result in a greater fall in emissions than can be attributed to substitution of fossil fuels.”

    An interesting idea.


    • Euan Mearns says:

      Dave, I wanted to hang that out there. When you take an absolutely vital service and deliberately make it expensive, unreliable and inefficient, you would expect there to be economic penalties.

      It will be interesting to follow the DIPFIGS.


  2. Willem Post says:

    “Wind and solar are intrinsically inefficient. The negative impact this may have on economic growth may actually result in a greater fall in emissions than can be attributed to substitution of fossil fuels.”

    I particularly like that statement, as wind proponents will claim:

    – The CO2 reduction is due to wind energy.

    – It could not be due to build-outs of wind, because that creates JOBS.

    – Any recession or lack of economic growth is due to OTHER factors.

    – Don’t blame us, we are the good guys, keep the subsidies in place.

    And around and around we go.

  3. Peter Lang says:

    Claims made about CO2 abatement by renewables advocates are likely overstated because they ignore system effects such as provision of load balancing services.

    This is an important point that few renewable energy advocates recognise. Over the past five years a few excellent analyses of empirical data have quantified the effects: two by Joe Wheatley for Ireland and Australia and several for various grids in the USA by Kaffine et al.

    Wheatley, 2013, “Quantifying CO2 savings with wind” (Ireland) estimated that wind in Republic of Ireland in 2011 avoided just 53% of the average emissions intensity of the grid – wind supplied 17% of Ireland’s electricity in 2011. That is, 1 MWh avoids the emissions from 0.53 MWh of grid average emissions intensity. Stated another way, the CO2 abatement effectiveness of wind in Ireland in 2011 was just 53% (at 17% wind energy penetration).

    Wheatley, 2015, “CO2 Emissions Savings from Wind Power in the National Electricity Market (NEM)” (Australia) estimated wind was 78% effective in 2014 – wind contributed 4.5% of NEM’s electricity in 2014. Wheatley estimated that if wind’ power’s proportion was doubled to 9%, wind power would be approximately 70% effective. Linear projection wind would be around 60% effective t 15% penetration.

    These figures are very significant. Most estimates of CO2 abatement cost assume 1 MWh of wind displaces the average CO2 intensity of the grid. Such estimates of CO2 abatement cost need to be divided by the CO2 abatement effectiveness to give a truer estimate of the real CO2 abatement cost. Therefore, in Australia’s case when wind penetration reaches 15% (project by 2020 under the Renewable Energy Target), the estimates of CO2 abatement cost need to be divided by 60%. For example, an estimate of $60/tCO2 should be corrected to $60/tCO2 / 60% = $100/t CO2.

    When we consider that the justification for renewables is that they abate CO2, and the economic justification is that the CO2 abatement cost is less than the ‘Social Cost of Carbon’ (SCC), we can see that Euan’s point “Claims made about CO2 abatement by renewables advocates are likely overstated ” is much more significant than is brought out out in the article.

    More explanation in this post:

    • Willem Post says:

      I have stated the same in several of my articles. Eirgrid has admitted Wheatley is right, and may have told Brussels, which probably filed it, because it is at variance with dogma. Where it Martin Luther?

      We need to keep hammering on it, until Brussels revises the CO2 data, which already are calculated in abstruse ways.

  4. Nador says:

    On the Hungarian enigma.

    After 2007-8 the economy contracted for some time, and later a slow expansion started which gives us a rather stagnant 8 years. I believe the industrial output saw a steeper decline and rebound than the gdp data would suggest. At the same time there was not much effort to build wind and solar power plants. Though it should be noted, that most of the renewable energy in Hungary comes from biomass. Nevertheless the increase in renewable primary energy was from ca. 6 (2007) to 11% (2012 -ish) of the total. That does not explain the huge reduction in co2.

    I first thought that the reason is that the recession in Hungary started earlier, in 2007 not 2008, but the slightly earlier change in gdp does not seem to explain much. Then I thought that we might have replaced old coal plants with imported electricity, but electricity import actually remained rather stable. It was consumption that decreased: most of the decrease was in oil and natural gas demand, not coal.

    Before 2007 there was a rampant debt fuelled overspending by the people and to some extent the government. It came to an end even before the the global financial crisis started, which probably led to a decrease in gasoline and diesel consumption (If one can not pay the mortgage on his car…), and also almost all residential constructions halted. Soon the export oriented parts of the industry also slowed in 2008, which decreased the industrial consumption further.

    If you look at natural gas consumption: the decrease already started in 2006! [IEA Energy supply security 2014 pp. 240]
    Though I can not tell how much of it is due to improved insulation of houses [some of the debt fuelled spending was actually on improving houses] – as residential heating is the most significant use of natural gas in Hungary.

    Since approximately 2010 a slow increase in the economic output started. But it is not exactly as it was before. For example in 2006 180k new cars were sold in Hungary. In 2010 it was only 47k, basically none of which were bought by private citizens. In 2014 it was 67k, of which 18k were by private citizens. Imports of used cars in the recent few years have increased significantly though (close to 100k). Essentially most Hungarians have stopped buying new cars by 2009, and even nowadays only used car imports rebounded.

    So, considering all the above I suppose the enigma lies mostly in Hungary’s political-economic situation, not in its energy policy.

  5. Jim Brough says:

    From the time of my first job in 1956 I was made well aware of energy efficiency in the making of antibiotics by fermentation. I don’t know of any manufacturer which ignores the basic precept of energy efficiency and I wince when green politicians spruik the idea that what we do now is wasteful and that we can “save” energy.

    Jim Brough

    • Leo Smith says:


      In the end in a commercial business cost-benefit rules, OK?

      If , e.g., the cost of replacing your server farm with ARM core low power per mips chipsets exceeds the cost of the electricity saved, you dont do it.

      Until the natural end-of-life of the server occurs, anyway.

      Of course these days replacement kity is judged far far more on its overall lifetime cost and that includes these days energy costs. BUT there is always an ‘irreducible minimum’ of energy needed to achieve a desired end. We have already plucked most of the low hanging fruit.

      The oddest factoid of all is that of all the things we are nearly running out of, energy, in the form or nuclear fuel, is the one we are absolutely NOT running out of.

      There is far more pressure on land use, fresh water use, non-farmed food resources like sea fishing and so on, than there is on energy.

  6. matthew_ says:

    Regarding Norwegian emissions. You are correct in assuming that the high level is related to the oil & gas production. The Norwegian statistics department,, shows that half (26.7MT) of the 53.4MT of CO2 equivalent emissions is export related. 14.7MT from oil & gas extraction, and 12.0MT from manufacturing and mining. The emissions from oil & gas extraction have been increasing as the oil fields age and more energy is required to maintain reservoir pressure.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      I personally don’t believe that any discussion or regulation / quota / target for emissions makes any sense without factoring in embedded energy in traded goods. It is clearly a nonsense if a country wants to target emissions reduction and elects to close a steel mill in favour of importing steel from S Korea or India.

      There is a line of enquiry there. That is to compare emissions reduction trends with trends and magnitude of trade balances.

  7. Lars says:

    “Why is it that renewables obsessed Denmark and Germany are performing so differently?”

    At least there is one easy answer to this which has been discussed on Energy Matters several times. During the warm season the Danes have a very low capacity factor of their CHP power plants, a factor that has decreased significantly the last few years to the extent their operational life is now threatened. All made possible by balancing of wind from Norway, Sweden and to a lesser extrent Germany itself.
    And as we know the same is not possible for Germany because its power grid is simply too big.

  8. A reading of Germany and its power sector is below. What it highlights with regard to 2008 is that most of Germany’s wind generation had already been in by 2007 (~40000 GWh/yr). From 2007 – 2010 it was practically static before jumping 7000 GWh in 2011. So for emission reductions around 2008, changes in wind is not in play.

    Solar was coming online at that stage. However interestingly its real growth spurt is from 2009. 2009 is considered by the Agora institute to be the minimum of CO2 emissions from the electricity sector in Germany. If you were being cruel, one might say that all the capacity additions to the German power sector since 2009/2010 have done nothing to reduce CO2 emissions from that sector. This is probably clouded by growth though so in some respects, it is more like emissions avoided i.e. Germany would be generating this except for W+S…

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Had all the PV panels been made in Germany we would see their CO2 signature in German emissions. The irony with devices like PV is that all the CO2 associated with their manufacture is in the atmosphere now. This is set against a promise of energy produced in 15 years time.

      I do need to introduce a cautionary note to myself here. Emissions will accelerate with the manufacture and deployment of renewables. But then if you stop deploying you do get reduced emissions energy but as Peter Laing points out the CO2 abatement may be about half of that saved by direct substitution of FF plant.

      • Willem Post says:


        Half at 17% wind, much less at 35% or 50% wind, unless hydro does the balancing.

        Without storage, 35% European-wide wind is not possible; the percentage may be even less.

        All this was foreseen by energy systems analysts at least a decade ago. Nobody believed them. The RE rah-rah drowned them.

        Now it is becoming clearer to many folks, as data became available for analysis.

        • Willem Post says:


          Regarding Germany’s taxes, surcharges, fees on electric bills:

          – Before ENERGIEWENDE: 2.3 billion euros in 1998
          – After ENERGIEWENDE: 32.2 billion euros in 2014, and counting.

          Only rich Germany could afford/be foolish enough to invest in low CF solar and low CF wind that produce high cost/kWh energy, and close down its nuclear plants that produce low-cost/kWh energy.

          Merkel: Be like us, follow Germany. Was not there some fellow between world wars who also wanted the world to follow him?

          • gweberbv says:


            if I did my math correctly, Germany has to pay roughly 50 billion $/year for its oil imports (at 50 $/barrel). If prices go up to 100 $/barrel it is twice as much. The economy seems to be able to handle such huge shocks. The cost increase due to the Energiewende is still lower, ramping up much slower and much more predictable. I do not think that you need a hypersuperduper economy to do it. It is just a question of allocating ressources.

          • A C Osborn says:

            You have that completely backwards.
            The price of oil rose slowly to $100/B and then dropped suddenly to $50/B, so if it goes bcak to $100/B it will only be back to status quo.
            Also Oil keeps Germany mobile and Industry and commerce moving.
            Subsidies are money down the drain, or more factually in some person’s bank account.

      • I am not really worried about that though it is another thong to consider. What i am more worried is that massive amounts of credit is being taken but this can only be measured truthfully by knowing what the CO2 emissions would be without and what they are with the renewables. Even for institutes listed, that is a hard task.

        What is abundantly clear though is that there has been limited progress in the power sector “overall” considering the extra ordinary spend since the mid 1990’s.

  9. Skeboo says:

    I really enjoyed this article, thank you.

  10. jim brough says:

    Solar was always on Germany’s electricity agenda and the German taxpayer subsidises it, and wind while shutting down its existing low CO2 emitting nuclear electricity capacity.

    It is not possible to jump from 40,000 GWh to 47,000 GWh from wind or any other technology in one year.

    Did you know that IEA stats show that the dry continent of Australia makes about twice the hydroelectricity, per capita than Germany and that wind-intensive Denmark gets 33.5% of its electricity from wind, 34.4 % from coal and 0.34% from solar.


    • Willem Post says:


      Denmark’s wind sector is being coddled left and right by the government. As a result, its costs of operation are lower than they would be, just as in the US.

      Denmark makes most of its wind energy at night, when demand and wholesale prices are low. Grid interconnection records show energy outflows from Denmark to Norway, etc.

      Denmark makes much less of its wind energy during the day, when demand and wholesale prices are high. Grid interconnection records show energy inflows from Norway, etc.,

      This energy trade was unprofitable many years ago, and now has reached about 2 billion DKR/yr, and as Denmark further increases its wind energy to 50% of its energy production (not its consumption), the 2 billion NKR will increase.

      As Euan’s article shows, Denmark’s economy is a basket case, part of the DIPFIGS category.

    • Jim

      The jump was reported by multiple institutes including Agora, AGEE stat* and Fraunhofer. A combination of connecting up onshore assets and a windy year were behind the jump.

      *The numbers taken from Development of renewable energy sources in Germany 2012 by Agee for wind onshore
      2010 Generation 37619 M kWh
      2011 Generation 48315 M kWh

      So actually larger than I suggested.

      • Willem Post says:


        A 5% windier year would be 1.05 to the third power = 15.7% more energy.

        48315/37619 = 1.284

        Likely some of the increase is capacity, the rest more wind.

  11. Willem Post says:


    Regarding Jevon’s paradox, that biofuel airline trip to the Canaries would be expensive in a world with low ERoEI energy sources, as called for by RE aficionados. A wood-built sailboat with canvas sails, as in the early 1800s, would be your more likely option.

    Modern, computer-age folks, after being spoiled with fossil fuels (high ERoEIs), find it difficult to take a trip back in time, when fossil fuels were a very small part of all energy sources, i.e., mainly biofuel (wood), some hydro, and Dutch windmills.

    During the early 1800s, Britain had access to its own wood and that of the US and Russia, which controlled the Eastern Baltic lands at that time.

    With France nearly deforested, one of the reasons Napoleon had to invade Russia was to stop the British-Russian trade, and force access to Russian wood to build French ships.

    He overreached. Britain rose to become THE world power, France sank to relative oblivion.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Willem, I’m firmly in the camp that believes ERoEI is of paramount importance, but once you dig into a bit you find that there are other factors. Storability and control is perhaps of equal importance since this permits order. Wind and to a lesser extent solar spread chaos.

      I believe that modern capitalism is actually founded on the net energy from FF and nuclear power.

  12. Joe Public says:

    British Gas pre-privatisation was arguably the first major sales organisation to recognise the Jevons paradox. At the time, it was probably the first to encourage its customers to use less of its product by actively promoting energy conservation to its Industrrial & Commercial customers with its Gas Energy Management Awards. It’s philosophy was that its energy efficient customers would be less-likely to change to cheaper coal or oil.

    After Ofgas forced its loss of monopoly & monopsony, it is not in the financial interests of current gas suppliers to voluntarily do likewise.

  13. climanrecon says:

    A very interesting article, but lets not forget that the population of the EU is a mere 500 million, our strenuous efforts to reduce CO2 emissions are unlikely to make a long-term dent in the increasing emissions of most of the remaining 6.5 billion.

  14. Pingback: SvD om förnybar energi och ny teknik. « ASPO Sverige

  15. gweberbv says:

    If the usage of money and energy was interchangeable, you would expect people/societies that spend comparable amounts of money to consume compareable amounts of energy. Of course, we find a correlation. But still there are significant differences between the ‘industrial’ countries. And also for a given country, when you have a warm winter, the energy saved due to less heating is not immediatly invested into jet fuel to go one more time to the Canaries.

    So, I do not buy it.

  16. William says:

    Denmark a basket case? Ranked with the PIIGS? What sort of economic analysis is that?

    Denmark’s GDP per capita, about the same as the UK
    Unemployment 3.9% (UK 5.5%)
    Public debt 44.5% (UK 80%)
    Ease of doing business 4th (UK 8th)
    Current account balance, +ve, ranks 16th (UK -ve, ranks 190th)
    External debt 160% of GDP (UK 406%)

    Doubtless the Danes have problems, all countries do, but you appear just to be wrong.

  17. col says:

    There is a corollary to the Jevons paradax in the CO2 emissions from expensive renewables. If we’re spending an extra 10p/kW hr somewhere along the way that 10p is ending up as carbon. Just like your £8 spent on Rioja pumps tractor fumes into the atmosphere. until all our energy comes from renewables the logical thing to is to produce less and work less. Your actual standard of living will be no lower than if you worked longer. Why make more money only to spend on more expensive energy?

  18. Pingback: CO2 Emissions Reductions – What History Teaches Us | Energy Matters

  19. Pingback: CO2 Emissions – Who Are Europe’s “Dirty Men”? | Energy Matters

Comments are closed.