September 23, 2022

SWEDEN: Electricity Prices Have Increased 400 Per Cent Since Last Year As Costs For Other Goods Such As Food Continue To Rise. Bakeries, Farmers Shutting Down Because Of This.

written by Chris Tomlinson
Thursday August 18, 2022

Swedish electricity prices have increased 400 per cent since last year as costs for other goods such as food and alcoholic beverages continue to rise as well.

On Wednesday, some parts part of southern Sweden saw record prices per kilowatt hour for electricity, with reports of electricity costing as much as 7 kronor (56 pence/67 cents U.S.) per kilowatt hour.

The rise in price is said to be linked both to high gas prices in the rest of Europe and low electrical output from Sweden’s own means of energy production such as wind power, broadcaster SVT reports.

Fredrik Beskow, a market analyst at the Swedish Energy Market Inspectorate, commented on the rise in prices, saying that German energy demand has played a role in the increase due to a shortage of supplies of Russian natural gas.

“Germany needs to replace the gas with some other type of power, and then the demand for electricity has gone up,” Beskow said.

Many Swedish electrical companies have also abolished fixed-price contracts due to instability in the energy market, as companies do not want to lose money if princes continue to rapidly rise.

As prices rise to record highs, the Swedish government has promised a 30 billion kronor (£2.39 billion/$2.889 billion) aid package to help households cope with the rising costs over the winter.

The money will be collected from payments made to Svenska kraftnät, the state-run corporation that manages Sweden’s electrical grid, as the government predicts the authority will have a surplus of 60 billion kronor this year.

“Electricity prices have been high since last autumn. At its core, of course, is Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, but the truth is that Russia’s actions in the energy market were created long before the war,” Swedish prime minster Magdalena Andersson said on Wednesday.

The 30 billion kronor will be used to immediately help reduce the costs of electricity for Swedish consumers, either directly or indirectly.

“The higher the electricity prices, the larger the amount will be involved. This is a completely new way of thinking and the background is that the market is not created for such extreme situations as we have right now,” Prime Minister Andersson said.

Food prices are also rising alongside electricity prices in Sweden as Statistic Sweden reported that prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 13.5 per cent in July an increase from the 11.2 per cent rise in June and a new record monthly high.

“It is an extreme situation that we are seeing and that has been fueled a lot by the war in Ukraine when we now have very high food inflation. Many behaviours that we are now receiving are reminiscent of what we can see during a recession,” Per Strömberg, CEO of the ICA Group, one of Sweden’s leading food retailers, stated.

“We can expect continued high food inflation this year and certainly next year,” Strömberg said and added, “Our assessment is that they will continue to rise somewhat, but it is difficult as always to give a long-term forecast. It depends on the development in Ukraine, it depends on how the harvests will come in, there are very many factors that come into play but it is reasonable to think that food inflation on a full-year basis will end up at ten per cent or above.”
written by Michael Shellenberger
Tuesday September 6, 2022

Is it a coincidence that the people who said Western civilization was unsustainable are making it so?

Progressives say that, by restricting fossil energy production, they are defending civilization from climate change, which they say is causing heatwaves, droughts, and flooding. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refuse to significantly expand natural gas production to aid energy-hungry allies in Europe. The European Commission rejected a plan to help poor nations build fertilizer factories to overcome food shortages. And last week, California banned the sale of gasoline-powered cars and trucks in the state by 2035.

And yet each of those policies risks undermining civilization far more than climate change. European steel, glass, and fertilizer manufacturers are shutting down production due to high natural gas prices resulting from shortages. Lack of food and energy is pushing both rich and poor nations closer to the kind of social unrest that brought down the government of Sri Lanka in July. And last week, just days after California banned gas vehicles, the state’s electrical grid operator urged residents to not charge their electrical vehicles due to the high risk of blackouts.

Climate change is real, and something we should limit as much as possible, but there is no increasing trend in U.S. heat wave frequency or magnitude, flooding in Pakistan declined from 1981 to 2016, and droughts are not increasing in severity or frequency in Europe. Far scarier are the charts of skyrocketing fertilizer and electricity prices due to Russia’s restriction and now halting of natural gas flows into Europe.

It’s not all bad news. European nations have successfully stored a significant amount of natural gas and should be able to keep most of their citizens warm through the winter. And California’s legislature last week voted to keep our last nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, on-line, after previously trying to shut it down.

But Europe cannot fully replace the natural gas it is losing from Russia, nations are still failing to produce sufficient fertilizer to avert hundreds of millions of additional hunger-related deaths, and California is producing too little reliable electricity to charge the fewer than 2% of its vehicles that are electric today, and has no plan to significantly expand reliable power to charge a 100% all-electric fleet in the future.

Worse, politicians, activists, and journalists in the West are doubling down on the same failed policies, even though they are undermining their own stated objectives. Greta Thunberg last month denounced nuclear power, even though the closure of nuclear plants in her native Sweden is resulting in the burning of oil for electricity. Greenpeace Germany last week came out in support of burning more coal, rather than keeping the nation’s nuclear plants on-line. And Germany and Belgium both still intend to shut down their nuclear plants.

As for California, while it took a good step forward in keeping Diablo Canyon on-line, it only did so after three years of blackouts in a row, and record-high levels of electricity consumption. Meanwhile, lawmakers have yet to confront the fact that the state will need the equivalent of 10 full-size nuclear plants the size of Diablo Canyon if it is to provide power for 30 million cars and trucks.

Why is that? Why are the people who say they want to save civilization actively undermining it?

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