From the Robert Bryce Substack
Industrial electrical energy use within the EU is collapsing. US policymakers “Haven’t any excuse for not Europe and studying.” Plus: screenings in Dallas, Tulsa, Fairfax, & Austin.
The headline on a February 9 Bloomberg article concisely sums up Europe’s unfolding catastrophe: “Germany’s days as an industrial superpower are coming to an finish.” The article says, “Manufacturing output in Europe’s greatest economic system has been trending downward since 2017, and the decline is accelerating as competitiveness erodes.”
Germany is as soon as once more, the “sick man of Europe.” But it surely’s not simply Germany. All throughout Europe, industrial capability is shrinking. Final month, Tata Metal introduced it might shut its final two blast furnaces in Britain by the tip of this yr, a transfer that can outcome “within the lack of as much as 2,800 jobs at its Port Talbot steelworks in Wales.”
In January 2023, Slovalco introduced it was completely closing its aluminum smelters in Slovakia after 70 years of operation. The corporate, Slovakia’s greatest electrical energy client, mentioned it was shuttering its smelters attributable to excessive energy prices.
Europe drove itself into the ditch. Unhealthy coverage selections, together with net-zero delusions, the headlong rush to alt-energy, aggressive decarbonization mandates, and the strategic blunder of counting on Russian pure gasoline that’s now not obtainable, are driving the deindustrialization. How unhealthy is it? Mario Loyola, a analysis fellow on the Heritage Basis, wrote a pointy January 28 article in The Hill about Europe’s meltdown. In line with European Fee knowledge, industrial output in Europe “plummeted 5.8% within the 12 months ending November 2023,” he wrote. “Capital items manufacturing was down almost 8.7%. Funding in crops and tools has plummeted.”
The results of all that awful coverage: staggering will increase in electrical energy costs. Loyola notes that European electrical energy costs “have settled at triple their pre-pandemic ranges.” Power analyst Rupert Darwall not too long ago reported that enormous companies in Britain now pay as much as 5 occasions extra for juice than in 2004.
Electrical energy use is likely one of the most dependable barometers of financial vitality. Certainly, electrical energy is the world’s most necessary and fastest-growing type of vitality. Financial development drives electrical energy use and vice versa. Wholesome economies want juice and plenty of it. In ailing economies, electrical energy use declines. Final yr, based on a new report from the Worldwide Power Company, world energy demand grew by 2.2%. The Paris-based company expects world electrical energy demand to rise by a mean of three.4% yearly by means of 2026, and that “demand can be pushed by an enhancing financial outlook, which can contribute to quicker electrical energy development each in superior and rising economies.”
China and India proceed their torrid development. The IEA estimates China’s electrical energy demand grew by a whopping 6.4% in 2023. The company expects China’s energy demand to extend by 1,400 terawatt-hours by means of 2026, an quantity of vitality that “is greater than half of the EU present annual electrical energy consumption.” Energy demand in India jumped by 7% in 2023, a slight lower from the 8.6% development in 2022. The IEA mentioned, “Continued speedy financial enlargement and strong demand for house cooling have been the principle pillars of development” in India. And as I famous in these pages in December, the majority of recent energy demand in China and India is being met by burning coal. (Energy demand within the U.S. fell by 1.6% final yr, a discount the IEA blamed on milder climate, decreased manufacturing, and “strikes within the automotive business and total inflationary pressures.”)
The hovering development in China and India gives a stark distinction to the scenario in Europe, the place electrical energy use declined by 3.2% final yr. The IEA notes the drop in electrical energy use follows a 3.1% decline in 2022 and that energy demand within the EU has “dropped to ranges final seen twenty years in the past. As in 2022, weaker consumption within the industrial sector was the principle issue that decreased electrical energy demand.” The plunge within the EU’s industrial electrical energy use is nothing wanting gorgeous. In 2022, industrial energy demand within the EU dropped by 5.8%. The IEA estimates it declined by one other 6% in 2023.
The deindustrialization of Europe and the IEA report are prime of thoughts this week as I put together slides for my keynote speech on the Nationwide Affiliation of Regulatory Utility Commissioners assembly in Washington, D.C., on February 26. These 5 charts illustrate the deindustrialization of Europe and why it’ll doubtless proceed.
In line with the IEA, electrical energy demand in Germany “declined by a exceptional 4.8% in 2023…demand discount is particularly distinguished in energy-intensive business, which confronted a lower in manufacturing of 13% throughout the first six months of 2023.” That discount in electrical energy use displays the continued drop in Germany’s industrial output. This (considerably fuzzy) chart makes use of a display screen seize from the Bloomberg report talked about on the prime of this text.
These slides and the continued destruction of European heavy business call to mind the trenchant traces that John Constable of Britain’s Renewable Power Basis delivers in our new five-part docuseries, Juice: Energy, Politics & The Grid.
Constable, who can be the vitality editor on the World Warming Coverage Basis, delivers a stark warning. In Episode 3, he says, “I inform decision-makers in america to review the European instance very, very fastidiously. I imply, you don’t have any excuse for not Europe and studying. We’ve examined this for you.”
Upcoming Screenings: Dallas, Tulsa, Grey Horse, Austin
We’re taking Juice on the highway. We now have a number of screenings within the works. The screenings are free, however seating is restricted. If you wish to attend, please RSVP by sending a word to: howdy.robertbryce (at) gmail.com. Tell us which screening you want to attend.
- This Tuesday, February 13, due to our pals on the Maguire Power Institute, we can be screening two episodes at Southern Methodist College, Crum Auditorium, 6p.
- February 15, due to our good friend, Clark Wiens, we can be on the historic Circle Cinema in Tulsa, 6:30p.
- February 16, due to Carol Conner, the indefatigable editor of the Fairfax Chief newspaper, we can be on the Grey Horse Group Heart in Fairfax, 5:30p.
- March 4, we can be at AFS Cinema in Austin, 6:30p.
I hope to see you. Once more, please RSVP.
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- Did I point out our new five-part docuseries, Juice: Energy, Politics & The Grid? Please watch it and share it: JuiceTheSeries.com