Joe Biden has presented a $2 trillion clean energy plan that may be very expensive for consumers if the United States follows the mistakes of the European example.
There are some important facts that should concern us when thinking about the US and Europe’s energy policy, supporting industry and creating jobs:
It is very simple, either we look for competitiveness or the negative impact on employment and delocalization of industries will increase.
The energy sector is key in the decarbonization process, but will not achieve it through perverse incentives and accumulated costs that penalize the efficient in favor of the inefficient, subsidize the expensive, and tax the competitive ones.
The best technological tool to improve the environment is a combination of natural gas, nuclear, hydro, and renewable energy. But renewables are intermittent, while consumption is continuous. We cannot forget the billions required in grid connections and support to maintain an intermittent and volatile mix.
The energy policy of the United States must comply with the principles of safety, diversification and competitiveness. All these can only happen with higher liberalization and competition, not less.
Technology replacement and energy transition should be achieved through competition, lower costs and efficiency, the same way as crude oil ended with whale oil, not because it was decided by a committee, but because the cost was lower and the benefits for consumers evident.
Security of supply must be achieved, also, from a flexible and diversified energy mix which must be cheap and efficient, not via subsidies and higher fixed costs, but through the tax incentives that prevent “fake demand signals” and prevent overcapacity.
Energy is the cornerstone of the future of any nation. Destroying competitiveness would likely worsen the current crisis. The U.S. has the tools, using all technologies, to ensure an abundant and cheap energy supply. Anything else would bring it to repeat the mistakes that Europe made a few years ago.
Daniel Lacalle is one the most influential economists in the world. He is Chief Economist at Tressis SV, Fund Manager at Adriza International Opportunities, Member of the advisory board of the Rafael del Pino foundation, Commissioner of the Community of Madrid in London, President of Instituto Mises Hispano and Professor at IE Business School, London School of Economics, IEB and UNED. Mr. Lacalle has presented and given keynote speeches at the most prestigious forums globally including the Federal Reserve in Houston, the Heritage Foundation in Washington, London School of Economics, Funds Society Forum in Miami, World Economic Forum, Forecast Summit in Peru, Mining Show in Dubai, Our Crowd in Jerusalem, Nordea Investor Summit in Oslo, and many others. Mr Lacalle has more than 24 years of experience in the energy and finance sectors, including experience in North Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. He is currently a fund manager overseeing equities, bonds and commodities. He was voted Top 3 Generalist and Number 1 Pan-European Buyside Individual in Oil & Gas in Thomson Reuters’ Extel Survey in 2011, the leading survey among companies and financial institutions. He is also author of the best-selling books: “Life In The Financial Markets” (Wiley, 2014), translated to Portuguese and Spanish ; “The Energy World Is Flat” (Wiley, 2014, with Diego Parrilla), translated to Portuguese and Chinese ; “Escape from the Central Bank Trap” (2017, BEP), translated to Spanish. Mr Lacalle also contributes at CNBC, World Economic Forum, Epoch Times, Mises Institute, Hedgeye, Zero Hedge, Focus Economics, Seeking Alpha, El Español, The Commentator, and The Wall Street Journal. He holds a PhD in Economics, CIIA financial analyst title, with a post graduate degree in IESE and a master’s degree in economic investigation (UCV).