A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from December 0

US-EU Free Trade Is Good for the Economy and for the Climate (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership treaty deserves broad support)

By Carlo Stagnaro -- October 17, 2014

“The degree of trade integration between America and Europe is already fairly advanced…. In particular, the average level of tariffs is relatively low (around 3%). Therefore, unlike most previous and current discussions on trade treaties, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will focus much more on non-tariff barriers where a protectionist rationale advances an environmentalist or health regulatory agenda.”

“Free trade can be good for the economy, and for the environment too.”

The United States and the European Union are in the process of negotiating a new free trade agreement, the so-called Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The treaty has the potential of delivering significant benefits to both parties, because of increased trade, lower barriers, and better labor specialization.

Energy may be a significant part of the deal: according to a leaked “non paper”, trade in energy commodities and technologies between the EU and the US would be freed from most of the burdensome red tape that, until now, has significantly hampered the possibility of achieving a greater integration among the two world’s largest economies.…

Italy's Solar Bust: Just Another Data Point

By Carlo Stagnaro -- July 20, 2012

“Intermittent generation may be consistent with a liberalized market, as long as generators are required to bear all the direct and indirect costs of their production. Otherwise, competition is doomed to become an irrelevant feature of a system that becomes more and more politically driven.”

Can an intermittent source be integrated into a liberalized electricity market?

Yes, it is technically feasible, but no otherwise. If subsidies enter into play, intermittent generation might undermine the very design of the market. This is what happened in Italy with the boom of solar power, which last year alone skyrocketed from 3.47 GW to 12.75 GW, with the annual cost of subsidies increasing from 800 million euro in 2010 to 3.9 billion euro in 2011 (about $975 million to $4.75 billion at today’s exchange rate).…

EU Energy Orwellianism: Ignorance Is Strength

By Carlo Stagnaro -- January 21, 2011

In George Orwell’s masterpiece, 1984, one slogan of the party dominating Britain was: “Ignorance Is Strength.”

It actually meant that the ignorance of the people is the strength of the government: if people do not know things, or do not have the information to make informed decisions, they are like subjects, not free citizens.

Something akin to this is going on in the European Union (EU) on the energy front. Energy is an active are of EU public policy. Yet authorities are not revealing information (data is surely has) that is crucial to determine whether its policies are distorting the market and come at too high a cost to society.

High-Sounding Aims

The website of Eurostat – the European Union’s statistical office – sells itself as “your key to European statistics.”…

Italian Green Jobs: Where’s the Spaghetti?

By Carlo Stagnaro -- June 11, 2010

EU Climate Policy Update: Italy Rethinks Kyoto

By Carlo Stagnaro -- May 1, 2010

Climate Politics: Running Scared in the EU (even before Climategate)

By Carlo Stagnaro -- November 25, 2009

EU Renewables Forcing: At What Cost and What Loss of Reliability?

By Carlo Stagnaro -- September 3, 2009

The Mafia Finds Windpower: Report from Italy

By Carlo Stagnaro -- February 26, 2009