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Tags: Steffy | renewable | energy | Germany

Energy Author Steffy: Renewable Energy Development May Be Harming Global Poor, Elderly

By    |   Monday, 15 September 2014 02:48 PM

Renewable energy could have "dire unintended consequences" for some of the most vulnerable populations — the poor and the elderly of the world, according to energy writer Loren Steffy of Texas Monthly.

In an article for Forbes, Steffy wrote that those least able to afford the extra costs of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, are often those who are being forced to subsidize it.

"Programs such as the misguided fossil fuel divestiture movement, ignore the costs that forcing a move away from fossil fuels imposes on those who are slowest to embrace the change. While there are benefits to diversifying our fuel portfolio, in its current form, the growing use of renewables requires a subsidy from fossil fuels."

Editor’s Note:
New Warning - Stocks on Verge of Major Collapse

For instance, a concerted global push toward renewables is bound to hurt Africa, according to Steffy's research.

"Energy poverty is stunting the sort of economic growth that Africa needs if it is to move from 59 years of life expectancy to the 79 that China has achieved through 20 years of economic growth fueled by intense, government-backed promotion of carbon-based electrical capacity," he wrote in Forbes.

Meanwhile, he noted that in developed countries such as Germany, the shift to renewable power is being subsidized by those who continue to use conventional energy sources.

"As a result, customers who don't use renewables wind up subsidizing the reliability for those who do. In many cases that means poorer customers who can't afford to install solar panels, or the elderly who are slower to embrace new technology.

"The irony is that if everyone embraced renewables completely, no one would be able to afford them. Like it or not, in the developed world, the shift to renewables is being funded by fossil fuels, and probably will be for decades."

The New York Times reported that Germans will soon be getting 30 percent of their power from renewable energy sources, the highest percentage of any developed country.

"Even as [Germany] sets records nearly every month for renewable power production, the changes have devastated its utility companies, whose profits from power generation have collapsed," the Times said. "A similar pattern may well play out in other countries that are pursuing ambitious plans for renewable energy."

The Times said the German renewables push is paid for through surcharges on electricity bills that cost the typical German family roughly $280 a year.

German offshore wind farms are adding billions of dollars in costs that consumers are already bearing for solar panels, onshore wind turbines, biogas plants and other renewable energy sources, the Times said.

The Times reported Germany's efforts are being watched closely in the United States by utilities, corporate interests and environmental groups.

Editor’s Note: New Warning - Stocks on Verge of Major Collapse

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Renewable energy could have "dire unintended consequences" for some of the most vulnerable populations — the poor and the elderly of the world, according to energy writer Loren Steffy of Texas Monthly.
Steffy, renewable, energy, Germany
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2014-48-15
Monday, 15 September 2014 02:48 PM
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