Hey, great news! The Baltic states vow to break away from the Russian power grid by 2025, and hook themselves into the European Union electricity system, breaking the last of a ‘Soviet legacy’. I can’t help thinking that will leave them with one less thing to bitch about, but I suppose they see it as a fair exchange. Before we go further, I’ve selected Lithuania, in the title, as exemplary of the Baltic states; Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. That was mostly for the alliterative lilt offered by “Last”, “Lithuania” and “Lights”, and while Latvia would have worked just as well there, Lithuania’s portly president – Dalia Grybauskaite, who has sometimes been described as quite a bit like Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko in a dress – is so reliably vocal in her hatred and disdain for all things Russian that she sort of volunteers her country.
“This is the last millstone tied to our feet, keeping us from real energy independence,” she trumpeted triumphantly to local station LRT. “That tool of blackmail, which was used (by Russia) to buy our politicians and meddle in our politics, will no longer exist.”
The last millstone tied to her dainty pink feet, the last obstacle which prevents Lithuania – and the Baltic brothers – from real energy independence! Think of that. Cause for celebration, surely? Well, except – forgive me for being a stickler for accuracy – unless the Baltics mean to generate their own power in amounts sufficient unto their consumption (and they don’t), they are actually exchanging one dependency for another. Are they making a good deal? Let’s look.
You’ll have to bear with me here, because as I have found is usual in researching utility consumption in Europe as a basis for comparison, they give you a straight answer about as frequently as you stumble upon an apparently-abandoned fifty-dollar note (or its local monetary equivalent) in the street. I found before, when trying to establish European natural-gas consumption for the purpose of establishing how much LNG the USA would have to deliver by tanker to meet its needs, that I had to convert units of measure and costs back and forth so many times I almost forgot what it was I was trying to prove. Continue reading “Will the Last Person in Lithuania Please Turn Out the Lights?”