'Rahva teenrid': Green turn implemented too quickly and without heed

Krister Paris, Mirko Ojakivi and Urmas Jaagant.
Krister Paris, Mirko Ojakivi and Urmas Jaagant. Source: ERR

Journalists Mirko Ojakivi, Krister Paris and Urmas Jaagant discussed the link between the green turn and the recent hike in the price of electricity on the Vikerraadio "Rahva teenrid" talk show, finding that several coinciding factors are at play. They find that the green turn is being implemented too quickly.

"We haven't seen such prices before and it seems to me that it has taken everyone by surprise, even though price hike warnings have been around for a long time," Urmas Jaagant said.

He added that one needs to ask whether the current situation is temporary or permanent.

Mirko Ojakivi said that should high prices be the new status quo, the coping of private consumers will be the main issue. "There are a lot of price-sensitive consumers and with local government council elections looming, politicians should be scrambling to propose solutions," Ojakivi said.

The journalist added that the European economy stands to lose the most should prices remain high. "It will hit competitive ability of companies that will translate into loss of jobs."

"The green turn will not happen if production becomes so expensive that jobs start moving out of Europe," Ojakivi explained.

Krister Paris disagreed and said that prices of energy carriers are high everywhere in the world. "The price of natural gas is one of the most important elements in high power prices as power plants that are used to cover peak consumption largely use gas," Paris said.

This prompted a question by Ojakivi of the reason for natural gas occupying such a prominent production in power generation. He said that increasing demand, the gradual disappearance of manageable fossil fuel capacity and green energy shortages are also among contributing factors.

Krister Paris said that EU gas deposits have run dry this summer.

Urmas Jaagant said that the current path to carbon neutrality has been made too short. "We are moving too quickly and could perhaps benefit from a calmer approach. Perhaps being able to see ahead would allow us to avoid these kinds of distortions."

"It is clear we cannot shut down plants that are, quite absurdly, generating electricity from fossil fuels despite very high CO2 quota prices," he added.

Ojakivi said that the green turn should be more carefully considered. "The green turn is not the problem. The problem is that it is being implemented, following pressure from green activists, at a pace that will hit the ordinary person hard. Competitive ability suffers, they have no intention of changing their behavior and future steps will become very hard to manage that could result in the whole thing getting stuck," Ojakivi remarked.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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