Journal Sees Risk Of Energy Civil War In Germany – Socially Explosive

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It’s logical. Bad science leads to bad policy, which leads to bad decisions, which in turn inevitably leads to costly results.

Destructive “solutions”

A perfect example is the science behind palm oil plantations for producing biofuel. Here the costs outweigh the benefits probably 1000 to 1. But can you even put a price tag on rain forest destruction? Then there are the high food prices driven in part by biofuel crops, causing political unrest in poor countries, which now threatens to explode globally. Italy’s first boatloads of economic refugees from Tunisia are making the point clear to stubborn, reality-disconnected politicians in Europe. Another example are mercury-laden energy saving lights. They’re expensive, do little to reduce CO2, and their disposal is now poisoning the planet.

Face it, the preliminary concepts drawn on napkins always look good. That was the case for renewable energy like wind and solar. But when these were put on the test-stand of reality, the renewable energy sources were exposed as unreliable, highly costly, and did nothing for the environment. Wind farms transformed once beautiful landscapes into industrial eyesores that pose a danger to migratory birds. Resistance is mounting.

Worse, all of it is for nothing.

The unsteady supply of renewables, British lives at risk

Today the unsteady supply of energy from renewables is leading to huge costs for consumers. A steady supply of electricity is now in jeopardy. Nothing better illustrates this than Britain’s wind farms last December. Veteran science journalist and hyrobiologist Edgar Gärtner ín a commentary cites the near collapse of the British grid during the bitter cold of December:

Precisely on the bitter cold days did most of the 3000+ British windmills remain idle. On one of the cold days, the 283 wind farms with a total of 3153 windmills supplied a total of just 0.4% of Britain’s energy demand. In order to prevent a blackout, older coal power plants and gas turbines had to be urgently fired up. Large industrial consumers had their power rationed.”

Right when the supply of energy was most needed, was it the most unreliable. If it had not been for the despised conventional energy sources stepping in during the emergency, thousands of British lives would have been put at risk. Britain’s target of producing 30% of its energy demand by using renewable sources looks doubtful. Gärtner writes:

To reach that target, the number of windmills would have to double. At the same times, coal, oil and gas fired power plants would always have to be on stand-by for windless periods. But, according to the wishes of the EU Commission, there aren’t supposed to be any more oil and coal power plants. In any case, the energy costs for private households will double by 2020. every household will have to pay on average a 2,890 euros a year in heating and lighting.”

Soaring energy costs in Germany

The situation in Germany looks even gloomier. With its currently installed wind energy capacity, Germany will have to put old moth-balled coal burning plants back into operation or build new ones to assure capacity for windless days. That means 200% capacity to assure 100% delivery – hardly economical. Consumers will have to pay through the nose, and certainly will be angered by it. Gärtner writes:

In 2009 German power consumers subsidised ‘renewables’ with 9 billion euros, according to Prof. Dr. Ing. Helmut Alt. This year the amount is estimated to be over 14 billion euros. Here social dynamite is being kept tinder dry.

Cheap and plentiful supplies at home

The worst part about it all is that it is unnecessary. German consumers will become especially agitated when they start learning that there are now very cheap and plentiful reserves of natural gas available – right at home. Gärtner writes:

After successful test boreholes by ExxonMobil, Wintershall and BEB in Germany and Poland, it is sure that there are natural gas reserves large enough to supply domestic demand for decades, and thus eliminate the need for natural gas imports from Russia. Worldwide, using a new extraction technique, useable natural gas reserves will be 10 times greater, says a Texas geologist. Obviously this revolution does not accommodate Angela Merkel’s ‘energy concept’ for the simple reason that it was not planned.”

Just at a time when consumers are being punished by high energy prices does a cheap and plentiful supply appear, making future pain completely unnecessary. Gärtner adds:

It can be anticipated that natural gas on the European markets in the coming decades will be so plentiful and cheap that it will become increasingly difficult to continue on the German unilateral, go-it-alone ‘renewables course. It will be increasingly difficult for political leaders to sell a supply of expensive and unreliable energies to a hurting public when there is a a far better alternative readily available, especially in view of the colder upcoming winters forecast by experts.”

Forcing people to freeze in the coming colder winters when there’s a cheap supply directly under their feet can be socially explosive.

Energy snoops and a planned climate economy

For this reason the Dutch European Energy Review already writes of signs of a coming “Energy Civil War” in Germany. This is why the EU and German politicians are getting nervous and pushing hard to invest 200 billion in revamping the energy grid so that it can work with solar and wind sources over international borders. But that won’t be enough to solve the technical problems. Consumers will have to be forced to use less – much less. That’s why the Handelsblatt reported on February 9 of the EU Commission’s plan to prepare a new ordinance that would send inspectors in factories and businesses:

These inspectors will force private industry to move faster so that the EU reaches its 20% reduction target for energy efficiency by the year 2020. This increases the fear that the centrally planned climate economy will make interference in private property rights necessary. Such intervention will certainly be met with massive resistance.”

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35 responses to “Journal Sees Risk Of Energy Civil War In Germany – Socially Explosive”

  1. dave ward

    “In order to prevent a blackout, older coal power plants and gas turbines had to be urgently fired up. Large industrial consumers had their power rationed.”

    That’s interesting – I don’t remember seeing mention of those two requirements in any press over here. I could say “I wonder why?”, but then we all know the answer to that!

  2. Rob Honeycutt
    1. DirkH

      That’s why they put the windmills at Altamont Pass, to save the birds. 😉

      1. Rob Honeycutt

        That’s actually the one place where it’s been an issue. And the issue is with the older, smaller turbines. Currently Altamont Pass is in the process of shutting down the smaller turbines that were installed in the 1970’s and replacing them with newer, larger turbines.

        But, again, the study I linked to indicates that 10X the number of birds per GW/h are killed by fossil fueled plants.

        1. DirkH

          I would just love to read it but i’m in a high-tax state and don’t want to spend the few Euros i can keep on an Elsevier study. 😉

          1. Rob Honeycutt
          2. Brian G Valentine

            I got brave enough and actually opened up the cover to this toilet to peek inside

            … I mean, website.

            Fossil electricity contributes to avian deaths by:

            – Blowing tops off of mountains to mine coal
            – Collision with power lines
            – Acid rain (unquantified)

            The power lines are there for wind farms too of course, only they don’t have an 85% capacity factor as do coal operations , so when there’s no power in the lines, no birds are electrocuted.

            [A non-functioning automobile is the safest]

            We need a study on the health care costs of unemployment. The stress of that takes a hideous toll on health.

            I will fight these Communist bastards till the day I die, so help me

          3. Ed Caryl

            As they are clearing the mountain tops, just picture those poor birds, clinging to the tree branches with their little talons, screaming all the way to the ground to be smashed to smithereens. I wonder why they didn’t just fly away?

            And didn’t we solve the acid rain problem about 30 years ago?

  3. Rob Honeycutt

    Also, related to power outages during the cold December in England…

    I find that only about 5% of homes in England heat with electricity.

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file43843.pdf

    1. Green Sand

      Rob, one problem overlooked with power outages is water. Quite often, especially in overcrowded UK inner cities it is pumped in and the “resultants” pumped out. It does not take long to become a major issue.

      Heat is not the only problem during power outages.

  4. Ed Caryl

    Pierre has gone to bed, so I’ll step in here. May I respectfully point out that nearly all central heating systems require electrical power to operate? Not all households in the UK are huddled around coal, peat, and wood stoves… Yet.

  5. DirkH

    I had to double check about those EU energy inspectors; here’s another report. Energy commissioner Öttinger (the German in the commission) plans to send inspectors into companies who will try to uncover efficiency increase possibilities – it is as yet unclear what kind of punishment awaits resisting companies. Companies are protesting, pointing out they already try to reduce their energy usage for efficiency reasons.

    http://diepresse.com/home/wirtschaft/international/632692/EnergiePolizei-fuer-Betriebe-geplant

    My opinion: The disconnect of Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and Energy Commissioner Oettinger from reality becomes more apparent from day to day. Europe looks more and more like a tangled mess. The European financial guarantees to prevent financial collapse of the PIIGS states are about to be doubled; still some German resistance. Portugal already pays 7.45 % interest rate, that’s more than they would have to pay under the safety pact conditions so they will take the safety pact in a few days. After that, Spain will follow in a few months.
    Everything that the EU commission touches breaks. They’re like 27 Obamas. Only that we didn’t elect them.

    1. Brian G Valentine

      There is something in the way at least, to stop Obama.

      There’s nothing to stop the EU commission except complete and total economic failure of a country.

      (When an automobile is completely ruined, there is no reason to control how it will be used)

  6. Brian G Valentine

    In 2012, the people of the United States will demonstrate at the voting places that “climate” and “renewable energy” are things that nobody will waste ten more cents on, at least at the Federal level. An out-and-out denier will be a shoe-in for President.

    Europe will shortly follow the Czech approach.

  7. slimething

    Put aside the emotional arguments and look at the number crunching.
    http://www.withouthotair.com/Contents.html#TABLE

    “Also, related to power outages during the cold December in England…

    I find that only about 5% of homes in England heat with electricity. ”

    If that’s the case, it means ~95% of homes it could be assumed, need be converted to electricity if the Greenie solution is implemented, since “fossil fuels” would be eliminated as a source of heating, and there are no other viable sources of heating outside of wood, besides nuclear. OTOH hand, I’ll bet more than 5% use electricity to turn their lights on 🙂

    What is the Greenie solution for heating homes in winter anyway, and who will pay for it? Ah, the Collective.

  8. DirkH

    American Greens and Enviros change their outside color once again, morphing into the Food movement.
    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2049255,00.html

  9. Cassiopeia

    The best policy with regard to ‘heating’ homes is to upgrade thermal insulation and have a positive charging scale. Currently the more you use the less in costs per unit! I still see houses in the middle of winter with windows wide open , no doubt they are the ones which moan about the cost of gas. Similarly the people who leave their engines idling or rev them, moan about the cost of fuel.

    Natural gas is probably the cost effective solution for most small residential dwellings, but well insulated houses only need to be heated for part of the winter. In practise we all use electricity to heat homes, where do you think all our heat from TVs, computers, lights etc ends up? In well insulated homes this together with body heat is enough to maintain a comfortable temperature.

    Coal power stations should be a thing of the past.

  10. R. de Haan

    Listen guy’s, it is very simple.
    We need base load power generation which comes from turbines propelled by a constant thrust. This eliminates wind.
    How we get it, I don’t care but if a Government is so stupid to dictate crap to serve us with crap, all we have to do is what they did in Egypt.

    Go on the streets and kick them all out of office.

  11. R. de Haan

    Cassiopeia
    16. Februar 2011 at 09:26 | Permalink | Reply
    The best policy with regard to ‘heating’ homes is to upgrade thermal insulation and have a positive charging scale. Currently the more you use the less in costs per unit! I still see houses in the middle of winter with windows wide open , no doubt they are the ones which moan about the cost of gas. Similarly the people who leave their engines idling or rev them, moan about the cost of fuel.

    Natural gas is probably the cost effective solution for most small residential dwellings, but well insulated houses only need to be heated for part of the winter. In practise we all use electricity to heat homes, where do you think all our heat fry heat is enough to maintain a comfortable temperature.om TVs, computers, lights etc ends up? In well insulated homes this together with bod

    Coal power stations should be a thing of the past.

    Total nonsense Cassiopeia, coal as we burn it in the West with SO2 scrubbers is an excellent fuel and an excellent power generator. We have plenty of it and we should use it until we have something better.
    Besides that, we can use coal in a coal to liquid process to generate gasoline.

    Our coal plants besides heat and electricity also generate massive amounts of building material like Riggips and building block for our internal walls = isolation.

    We can’t miss out on than can we.

    You shouldn’t worry about how to acquire the power we need for a TV, a computer etc. etc. Life is far to short and beautiful to occupy your mind with this Green, half witted crap, anti capitalist, anti human doctrine. This total nonsense.

  12. R. de Haan

    Rob Honeycutt
    15. Februar 2011 at 23:48 | Permalink | Reply
    Also, related to power outages during the cold December in England…

    I find that only about 5% of homes in England heat with electricity.

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file43843.pdf

    Rob,
    Every oil and gas heating system need electricity to run the burner.
    If the power is cut everything stops.
    No water, no heating, no communications, nothing.
    Only candles, a log fire and battery powered lamps have to do the job.
    Unless you invest in a generator set.

  13. R. de Haan

    Rob Honeycutt
    “15. Februar 2011 at 23:33 | Permalink | Reply
    Pierre… You might want to update the comment about avian mortality and wind power. Fossil fueled power actually kills 10X as many birds per GW/h than wind turbines.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V2W-4VVW4W3-3&_user=10&_coverDate=06%2F30%2F2009&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_

    Rob, I can’t judge the report you posted.
    All I observe is that since they put up wind mills in my region our buzzards, falcons and other birds of prey have been found dead.

    The last years we don’t see any of those birds in our skies.

    Before the wind mills we could spot them every day and observe their flying skills. And there is another aspect.
    We have a significant increase in rabbit, rat and mice populations.

    That’s in an area close to the river Rhein with dikes.
    We know what rabbits do to dikes?

    The most interesting aspect of this Green EU dominated drama is that cyclists are not longer allowed to use the dike road running parallel to the river because the area has become an official bird protection area.

    Instead they are rerouted to a 100 km road where the number of crosses along this road is rising every year.
    That’s because cycling is the new tourist attraction in NRW.
    All EU initiatives.

    1. DirkH

      Depopulation combined with habitat protection. The WWF would be delighted.

  14. Cassiopeia

    Those wo still think coal power is a good idea should read this

    Life-cycle study: Accounting for total harm from coal would add “close to 17.8¢/kWh of electricity generated”

    In a groundbreaking article to be released this month in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Dr. Paul Epstein, associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, details the economic, health and environmental costs associated with each stage in the life cycle of coal – extraction, transportation, processing, and combustion. These costs, between a third to over half a trillion dollars annually, are directly passed on to the public.

    In terms of human health, the report estimates $74.6 billion a year in public health burdens in Appalachian communities, with a majority of the impact resulting from increased healthcare costs, injury and death. Emissions of air pollutants account for $187.5 billion, mercury impacts as high as $29.3 billion, and climate contributions from combustion between $61.7 and $205.8 billion. Heavy metal toxins and carcinogens released during processing pollute water and food sources and are linked to long-term health problems. Mining, transportation, and combustion of coal contribute to poor air quality and respiratory disease, while the risky nature of mining coal results in death and injury for workers…….

    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/climateprogress/lCrX/~3/3EqcOu0wu8g/

    1. DirkH

      So the major factor are the purported climate consequences. But cassiopeia, we know that – warmists have been saying this for decades; calling it an external cost of fossil fuels that needs to be internalized to the prize via cap and trade or a carbon tax. Same old, same old; the bean-counting Doctor did something “groundbreaking”? No, not at all. Since when is repeating decades-old arguments groundbreaking?

  15. Cassiopeia

    After wikileaks and this, looks like peak oil is here

    Least surprising headline of the day: “Exxon Struggles To Find New Oil”from Climate Progress by Joe
    Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, is struggling to find more oil.

    In its closely watched annual financial report released Tuesday, the company said that for every 100 barrels it has pumped out of the earth over the past decade, it has replaced only 95.

    This news is not in the least bit surprising to those who follow oil (see Science/IEA: World oil crunch looming? Not if we can find six Saudi Arabias!).

    Ironically, the news comes from the Wall Street Journal, whose editorial page remains an opponent of all strategies to end our addiction to oil before the brutal dislocations of peak oil force us to. Here’s more of the story:

    http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/climateprogress/lCrX/~3/yrJVEiO7Ids/

  16. Ed Caryl

    Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.
    For the scoop on Peak Oil, go here.
    http://www.energybulletin.net/primer.php

    For those decrying coal mining as dangerous, so is freezing.

    1. DirkH

      And dangling from a wind turbine, trying to repair it.

  17. Ed Caryl

    Same situation on coal. The peak is one or two years away.
    http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/09/29/29greenwire-study-worlds-peak-coal-moment-has-arrived-70121.html?pagewanted=2

    Two degree temperature rise? Forget it. There isn’t enough oil and coal to get over 0.8 degrees, according to the above article.

    1. DirkH

      Ahem.
      “Patzek predicts coal will peak not because supplies are running out but because the remaining deposits are increasingly difficult to mine. Alaska’s North Slope, for example, has coal reserves that rival those of the continental United States, but turning that coal into energy would be practically impossible, Patzek argues.

      “It would take 10 or 11 of the largest coal terminals on the Earth operating 24-7, 365 to load ships above the Arctic Circle during the polar night,” he said. ”

      That’s quite a redefinition of “peak”. So they don’t doubt that there are enough known coal reserves for 200 years or so but they doubt that it can be used. The problem is that they ignore solutions like highly efficient HVDC transmissions, maybe supraconductors, CTL at the site combined with pipelines, etc. etc. They ignore human ingenuity. (And yes, in case Rob is reading, i don’t dismiss human ingenuity with regard to renewables – we might be able to produce energy from sunlight AND store it AND put in on the market for competitive prizes in about 15 years, that’s my estimate, and if anything, it will be THAT that makes the Alaskan coal uncompetitive in the future)

  18. R. de Haan

    She wants to switch to windmills to save the birds from the oilsands
    http://www.heliogenic.net/2011/02/12/she-wants-to-switch-to-windmills-to-save-birds-from-the-oilsands/

  19. R. de Haan

    Cassiopeia
    16. Februar 2011 at 19:57 | Permalink | Reply
    “Those wo still think coal power is a good idea should read this”

    It is complete nonesense Caseiopeia.

    This is recycling the Club of Rome 1970 scares that never came true.
    Do you know how the average age of our populations were before coal and how they have continued to climb with no end in sight?

    Yes, we are getting older and older and it’s all because of that dirty coal, that dirty oil, that dirty natural gas and bad, bad CO2.

    Start thinking for yourself instead of recycling propagandistic crap.

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