“Under a law passed Monday in often-sweltering Spain, offices, stores and hospitality venues will no longer be allowed to set their thermostats below 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer, nor raise them above 19 degrees Celsius in winter.”
Days after cities across Germany enforced energy rationing, the Spanish government passed a law enforcing similar measures nationwide.
Last week, major German cities, such as Berlin, Munich, and Nuremberg, decided to cut off hot water and turn off lights after Russia slashed the gas supply. Public offices, kindergartens, schools, and gyms in cities across Germany will have to go without warm water. Outdoor lighting of monuments, including the landmark Brandenburg Gate, has been turned off.
The sweeping measures imposed by Germany and Spain are part of a European Union-wide plan to limit gas usage — for which the continent heavily depends on Russia. As the Russian invasion of Ukraine drags on, Europeans fear that the Kremlin could completely cut off their gas supply, perhaps the continent’s worst energy crisis ahead of the winter.
The “urgent measures” announced by the Spanish government are even more drastic than the ones taken by Germany. They not only apply to public buildings but also to restaurants, hotels, shops, and small businesses. “Under a law passed Monday in often-sweltering Spain, offices, stores and hospitality venues will no longer be allowed to set their thermostats below 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer, nor raise them above 19 degrees Celsius in winter,” The Associated Press reported Wednesday.
The German newspaper Bild reported:
Due to Russia’s offensive against Ukraine, the Spanish government has agreed on “urgent measures” to saving and effectively use electricity.
All buildings in the public sector, as well as shopping malls, cinema halls, workplaces, hotels, train stations and airports won’t be cooling their rooms below 27°C (80°F) in summer and they are not be heated over 19°C (66°F) in winter. This was decided at the weekly cabinet meeting in Madrid, Minister for Ecological Change Teresa Ribera said on Monday.
Furthermore, by September 30 [all] shops and businesses must be fitted with automatic systems that keep doors closed depending on the season to prevent the dissipation of heat or cold air.
Lighting in offices which are not being used, shop windows, and monuments must be switched off by 2200 hours. Priority should be give to verify the energy efficiency in [certain types of] buildings. Ribera urged the private sector to transition increasingly towards home office. [Translated by the author]
Reality Bites: German Gov Makes U-Turn on Nuclear, Coal for Power Generation
Nine years after Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to shut down the country’s nuclear power plants, the German government is considering revising the measure.
By exiting nuclear and coal power, Merkel earned the title of “Climate Chancellor.” Her 16-year reign made Germany completely dependent on Russia for oil and gas supply. As Russia tightens its squeeze on gas flow, Merkel’s green energy policies are returning to bite ordinary Germans.
The German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported Berlin’s u-turn on nuclear energy:
The German chancellor on Wednesday said it might make sense to extend the lifetime of Germany’s three remaining nuclear power plants.
Germany famously decided to stop using atomic energy in 2011, and the last remaining plants were set to close at the end of this year.
However, an increasing number of politicians have been arguing for the postponement of the closures amid energy concerns arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The issue divides members of Scholz’s ruling traffic-light coalition. (…)
The German government has previously said that renewable energy alternatives are the key to solving the country’s energy problems. However, Scholz said this was not happening quickly enough in some parts of Germany, such as Bavaria.
The coal, much maligned by climate activists, won’t be phased out in Germany anytime soon. “The Federal Government is counting on coal power plants [to stay in service] longer. Until recently the coal mostly came from Russia. That is now going to end,” Deutsche Welle‘s German service admitted last month.
Paris: Climate Vigilantes Enforce Electricity Saving Measures
The situation is just as dramatic in other European countries. In France, gangs of vigilantes are roaming the streets of Paris to enforce EU’s energy-saving measures, The Associated Press suggested Wednesday.
“Fanning out like urban guerrillas through Paris’ darkened streets well after midnight, the anti-waste activists shinny up walls and drain pipes, reaching for switches to turn off the lights,” the AP News noted Wednesday. “It’s one small but symbolic step in a giant leap of energy saving that Europe is trying to make as it rushes to wean itself off natural gas and oil from Russia,” the news agency added admiringly.DONATE
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