|German GHG emissions|
Exhibit A is the lunacy that is German energy policy. Those working in that country's energy sector will tell you there is no energy policy. There is however a half-baked thing with a name - the Energiewende - which used to be much loved by greenies everywhere, but has fewer apologists these days.
It's an object lesson in how not to strategise. What gets measured, gets managed - and the Germans decided to target renewables, per se, in the manic way only Germans can. One supposes many of them just kinda assumed that CO2 emissions would fall as a matter of course if they pumped up the renewables; but no: they have been flat or slightly rising for the past 8 years. And as Germany will easily over-achieve against its renewables targets (courtesy of hurling immense amounts of money at them and allowing, nay forcing, the grids to do whatever it takes to accommodate them), so it will miss its CO2 targets in a most embarrassing manner. This article details their ignominious failure.
But apologists there still are, and few more laughable than the tireless Craig Morris of the Potsdam Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies. Here he is, wittering away in defence of his beloved Wende but, you will notice, never once mentioning CO2. Well, he can't, can he? It's humiliating. Still, in amongst all the sophistry, lots of lovely data and colourful charts. But you'll find fewer and fewer people advocating German policy as the model to follow these days (certainly not good old Moonbat, for example).
In the UK we don't really go for grandiose schemes. For sure, a glance at back-issues of this blog (check the Energy and Industry tag) will show there is plenty to castigate. But in terms of just getting on with things practically with a strong empirical bent, by international standards we are very good at it. Ofgem rarely gets stuck on dogma, and is remarkably willing to admit to problems & rectify them promptly.
By way of illustration, Exhibit B is last week's Capacity Auction**: as always, technically smooth and yielding a good result for consumers, viz a very low clearing price. More data, more colourful charts. Countries all over the world are planning to emulate our Capacity market: though ours was not the first, it's a very successful one. As is typical in this country the auction rules have been tweaked continuously to reflect issues arising, but not so much as to undermine the principles involved. To repeat: in other countries they marvel at how quickly - and transparently - Ofgem can turn around a cycle of (i) identify a problem; (ii) design a fix; (iii) go out to meaningful consultation; (iv) process and act upon any genuine improvements suggested by interested parties; (v) implement the resulting fix. No tearing of hair, no pointing of fingers, no dogged insistence on sticking with the first attempt, no hiding of data. It ain't like that in other places.
Anyone would think we were capable of running our own affairs ...
** this is the somewhat-less-than-riveting auction for 2018/19. The more interesting one, for 4 years forward, follows later this month. I'll report back in due course.