Manhattan Institute study: “Since 2005, members of the European Union have aggressively pushed policies aimed at addressing climate change. Those policies are primarily designed to decrease carbon-dioxide emissions and increase the use of renewable energy…These policies have resulted in dramatic increases in electricity costs for residential and industrial consumers…
Key findings include:
1. Between 2005, when the E.U. adopted its Emissions Trading Scheme, and 2014, residential electricity rates in the E.U. increased by 63 percent, on average. In Germany, those rates increased by 78 percent; in Spain, by 111 percent; and in the U.K., by 133 percent. Over the same period, residential rates in the U.S. rose by 32 percent.
2. During 2005–14, residential electricity rates in Germany, which has the most aggressive support for renewables, increased by 13 cents, to 40 cents per kilowatt-hour—an increase larger than the average cost of residential electricity in the U.S. (12.5 cents).
3. E.U. countries that have intervened the most in their energy markets—Germany, Spain, and the U.K.—have seen their electricity costs increase the fastest. During 2008–12, those countries spent about $52 billion on interventions in their energy markets.
4. Emissions reductions achieved by the E.U. since 2005 have been greatly exceeded by increases in emissions in the developing world. During 2005–14, the E.U. reduced its carbon-dioxide emissions by 600 million tons per year. Over that same period, the combined emissions of four developing countries—China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil—increased by 4.7 billion tons per year, or nearly eight times the reduction achieved in the European Union.
5. Bans or restrictions on hydraulic fracturing and, therefore, on natural gas production have made European countries more dependent on imported energy and have contributed to higher electricity prices.