More than half of the European Union’s 619 coal-fired power stations are losing money, according to a new report. As a result, the industry’s slow plans for shutdowns will lead to €22bn in losses by 2030 if the EU fulfils its pledge to tackle climate change, the report warns.
Stricter air pollution rules and higher carbon prices are set to push even more plants into unprofitability, according to the analysts Carbon Tracker, with 97% of the plants losing money by 2030. Furthermore, rapidly falling renewables costs are on track to make building new wind and solar farms cheaper than continuing to run existing coal plants by the mid 2020s.
The correct way to do this has always been to work with the capital cycle. That is, the William Nordhaus version of the carbon tax.
We want to use the things we’ve already built and paid for for as long as they still work. To scrap them before they wear out loses us what we’ve already spent.
We don’t want people to build new ones though. Therefore a low tax now, rising off into the future in a predictable manner. That way we sweat those assets we have as they fall apart but still make the transition.
No, please, leave aside all the climate change isn’t happening etc. This is purely about what should we be doing on the assumption that it is. Which is, as people should know by now, the thing that really pisses me off. Just for, and only for, the sake of argument accept that it is happening. The idiots are still doing the wrong things.