Rather than benefit in any measurable way from a mad dash into a promised land powered by wind and solar energy, Germany is being forced to beg for coal mines to be kept open because not only are renewables not doing the job they’re starting to cost jobs.
In a remarkable twist of events, German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has written to Sweden’s Prime Minister pleading for two Swedish-owned coal mines in Germany to be expanded rather than closed or sold.
If the situation wasn’t so serious it would be laughable but not only is it deadly serious it has more twists and turns in it than an Indiana Jones adventure.
Essentially, the German government has signed up for a full-blown “energiewende” program, a grand, green, energy plan based on wind and solar power and designed to provide 80% of Germany’s energy demand by the year 2050. Continue reading
The financial crisis in Europe is prompting some nations to repatriate their gold reserves to national vaults. The Netherlands has moved $5 billion worth of gold from New York, and some are calling for similar action from France, Switzerland, and Germany.
An unmatched pace of money printing by major central banks has boosted concerns in European countries over the safety of their gold reserves abroad. Continue reading
The slump in world oil prices, reinforced by the likely increases in alternative hydrocarbon fuel markets, leaves Russia seriously exposed economically. With the bulk of an economy addicted to a narrow set of export products, namely oil, gas and metals, Russia is in serious systemic economic trouble. With an exchange rate that has grown by 130% over the past decade or more, the balance between Russia’s internal and external economy is severely out of sorts. In the first post Soviet decade, Russia’s non hydrocarbon export economy slowly fell to just 21%, as a consequence of the breakup of the Soviet trading system. Russian non energy exports to Eastern Europe fell significantly as former Warsaw Pact nations joined the EU. Since 2000 that steady decline in non hydrocarbon exports has fallen precipitously from 21% in 2000 to just 8% currently. Continue reading