EDITO: The curse of “green” energy

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Contrary to repeated claims by the Trudeau government, increasing our dependence on so-called green energy will do nothing to increase Canada’s energy security.

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Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a recent speech to a US think tank that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine demonstrated the need for liberal democracies like Canada to replace as quickly as possible fossil fuels from renewable sources.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has often expressed the same view.

The problem, and the reality, is that rushing headlong into green energy will do the exact opposite – diminish our energy security – as Europe and Germany in particular are now learning the hard way.

The mistake they made was to reduce their fossil fuel production, while failing to reduce their fossil fuel needs.

Germany also reduced its ability to produce nuclear energy – which was quite bizarre given that nuclear energy does not produce greenhouse gases – thinking that it could replace it with wind and solar power supported by an increase in natural gas imports from Russia.

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As even Freeland noted in his speech, « As autumn turns to winter, Europe braces for a cold and bitter lesson in the strategic folly of economic dependence on countries whose views politicians are hostile to ours. »

In case the Trudeau government hasn’t noticed, what Germany and Europe need right now to get through the winter is natural gas – a fossil fuel, although the cleanest in regarding greenhouse gas emissions.

The irony is that even countries that increasingly rely on wind and solar power to replace fossil fuels need natural gas to support the unreliable and intermittent energy provided by wind and solar power.

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  2. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland in a recent file photo.

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  3. Clouds are seen above the cooling tower of the Isar 2 nuclear power plant near the Isar River amid the energy crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Eschenbach near Landshut, Germany , on August 1, 2022.

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That’s because they don’t work when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining, and we don’t yet have batteries powerful enough to store energy at the levels needed in modern industrialized states.

Freeland said in his speech that the “oil curse” is that many liberal democracies around the world depend on petro-tyrants like Putin.

In the real world, the curse of wind and solar energy is now occurring in countries that have lost their energy security in pursuit of them.

Just ask Germany.


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