European electricity prices are sky- rocketing. The real price for going green and relying on interruptible cheap fossil fuel imports.

It used to be easy. In Europe, especially Denmark and Germany decided to go green with wind and solar power. Last year, Germany finally realized that Northern Europe was too cloudy for efficient solar power, but wind was still valid. They decided to decommission all nuclear power. The real cost of wind and solar power was 5.7 times the average cost of coal, gas hydroelectric and nuclear power. See chart that clearly shows the retail price of electricity versus percentage of renewable energy:

Those were the good old days. This year, with the war in Ukraine raging and with Russian sanctions, and the U.S. again being an energy importing country electricity rates are rising rapidly. These are recent European wholesale rates for electric production (distribution costs, profits and value added tax are then added on top of that)

The price is in Euros, which is now on par with the US dollar. The Swedish and Norwegian electricity pricing is interesting. See chart’

Sweden used to take care of its own energy, and price it low over the whole country. This year they have large regional differences, with retail electricity at about 22 cents/kWh in the two northern regions, and in the Southern two regions it can be as high as 75C/kWh. There are not enough transmission lines from North to South to equal out the pricing, and the transmission lines to Europe are also very limited. Norway on the other hand has a very good transmission line from Southern Norway to the European Continent, so Southern Norway went from having some of the lowest electricity prices in the world to over 50 c per kWh. In Northern Norway there are local grids powered by hydropower, so their cost is still essentially the cost of distribution.

The consumer price for electricity in U.K., Germany and France this winter is expected to exceed $1/kWh and even then there may be blackouts if they get a cold-snap. It is going to be a long cold winter in Europe.

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Retired engineer, graduated from Chalmers Technical University a long time ago with a degree in Technical Physics. Career in Aerospace, Analytical Chemistry, computer chip manufacturing and finally adjunct faculty at Pennsylvania State University, taught just one course in Computer Engineering, the Capstone Course.

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