Scenarios: A green revolution has winners and losers
A green revolution will ensure winners and losers. The coffers of the oil-producing countries will become discharged and that leads to riots and instability.
Germany and Denmark are Europe’s big winners in this green revolution. Why?
- Since 20 years, they closed all the nuclear power and coal plants
- Roofs without solar panels are a rarity
- Windmills seems to be the new high voltage towers: ugly but indispensable
- Efficient appliances and lighting hardly costs for electricity are very low
- Heating the house becomes from the heat of the earth
- Electricity excess is stored in batteries with ammonia, as big as garage
And the industry is transforming into green
Siemens wants to be fossil free by 2030. Also, DSM, Unilever and Philips, transform silently into climate neutral industries. Even chemical companies and the steel industry are using hardly any natural gas and oil anymore.
The Germans planned a party, celebrating the symbolic closing the Russian-German Nord Stream pipeline: the completion of the energy revolution. But maybe that was just a bit too triumphant.
Boycot Russian gas and oil
Over half a century, Russia was the main supplier of gas and oil to Europe, and later for China. Now the fossil era is over, the state treasury is running low. In Russian media more and more paranoia and war rhetorics dominate. The latest news is that Poetins advisers threatened to open all gas taps in Siberia for a year If so, thousands of megatons of additional greenhouse gas will enter into the atmosphere. “In order to repay the financial humiliation of Russia,” they say.
In 2014 energy experts, security experts and political scientists of the HCSS did a survey on the geopolitical consequences of an effective European climate policy. The EU goals is to replace all fossil fuels with green alternatives by 2050.
- The green revolution will show winners and losers. Before the trade boycott in 2013, Europe was accounting for 80% of Russian oil and gas exports. This resulted in over 50% loss of Russian state revenue.
A less loser is Algeria (Africa). Algeria sells 72% of its oil and 90% of its gas to Europe and has little revenues beyond.
What will happen to these countries when the EU energy solstice succeeds? Presumably this leads to street revolts, riots and tottering regimes that sometimes make strange threats to remain into their position.
HCSS: Everyone can imagine the losers of a fossil-free world in 2050. The biggest are the Gulf States, parts of West Africa and former Soviet republics: Economies which largely achieve from oil and gas revenues. If they do not switch, this will mean, they will be in trouble.”
Low oil prices
Actually, we see already a preview. Due to the low oil price of 50 dollars per barrel, already many countries are spending too much money. Their oil revenues cover the budget hardly anymore but they are still distributing gifts to the population.
in Saudi Arabia, a liter of gasoline costs 14 cents! Even for the biggest oil exporter in the world, that will be unsustainable in the long run. Only in Venezuela and Libya – two other oil countries with fuel subsidies – the fuel is cheaper.
Not all Arab countries do have financial reserves to maintain in this luxury. Bahrain did not, and Algeria hardly. The Soviet republics saved not enough to keep their social expenditure at former levels as revenues are increasing from oil and gas.
Therefore, crumbling Soviet republics are one of the possible scenarios.
HCSS “Whether that actually happens, depends on choises other countries in the world will make. For example: If India and China continue to import oil and gas, the demand for fossil fuels continues. Maybe even more because fossil prices will fall because of cheaper green energy sources
Sunset regions will arise
HCSS thinks the producing oil and gas countries, will choose for cheap fossils, because they have the infrastructure and the economic punishment is low. Point of care is that maybe India will follow the (former) Chinese strategy: First devoid much coal and only then tapping energy sources that contain more energy per carbon emitted like gas.
The biggest losers will only give up when they are ‘knocked out’.
For example, Saoedi Arabia, is fghting against green energy trying to postpone as long as possible. They continue lobbying with their best diplomats against the effects of climate change. Saudi Arabia has a history of blocking attempts to cut fossil fuel use at the UN. In the end it’s a negative mission, but understandable because their interests are in oil revenues.
Although the Arab countries themselves also are noticing the effects of climate change, with an increase in desertification and sandstorms.
But … the energy revolution is necessary and will go on anyway.
Hopefully, the producing countries will change their opinion. Climate change and building a green infrastructure is a slow process. Countries do have time to adapt. Nowadayss, Qatar is focusing more and more on real estate and the financial world, giving them a more stable economy.
The winners are the league leaders like Denmark with its excellent position in wind energy. And Germany, which is far ahead with a green industry.
Geopolitical peace will remain an illusion. A heavy bet on solar energy can create new forms of dependence, when the Middle East and North Africa are transforming into the major producers of solar energy for surrounding regions like Europe.
New forms of energy needs can also contribute to equal balance of power in the world. Take Desertec; a German plan for solar farms in North Africa, intended for the European power. Because the region is stressed, this project has been slown down … but what if the region, ultimately will not produce solar power for Europe but for Africa.
Wouldn’t that be good?
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