An occasional review of technology, markets, and ideas.

Department of High Irony, Energy Edition

European energy market, meet reality.

Soaring European wholesale gas prices are encouraging more utilities to switch to carbon-heavy coal to generate electricity just as the region tries to wean nations off the polluting fuel. Although European coal and carbon prices have also jumped in recent months, they have lagged the spike in gas prices, causing short-term marginal costs to shift in favour of using coal to generate electricity.  – Reuters

Long story short: Despite lofty zero-emissions goals, the intermittent nature of renewables combined with natural gas prices having risen more than coal prices means it now makes sense to start generating electricity using coal rather than natural gas. Ironically, the push to utilize more renewables has had the opposite impact it was supposed to.

Gas, Coal and Carbon Prices since January 2021

Big dreams. Misguided policy. And an end result that is the exact opposite of what was anticipated. Solid work, Europe.

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Jamie Larson