Calamitous Planning: German Wind Parks Overload Power Grid …”At Its Limits” …Record 50,000 Grid Interventions In May!

Online German NDR public radio here wrote last week how northern Germany’s power grid had suffered a major bottleneck that led to the overload of the Flensburg-Niebüll power transmission line in Schleswig Holstein last week.

Transformer

North German transformer stations constantly overloaded by wind power. Photo image cropped here (not a German station, for illustration only).

The overload resulted from a power surge from North Sea wind parks when winds picked up a bit. What is unusual in this case, however, is that there was no storm present and the overload was caused by normal wind fluctuations. Thus the incident illustrates the increasing volatility of wind as a power supply, even under regular weather conditions.

At its limits

It turns out that intervening in power grids to avert a widespread power supply breakdown is nothing new in Germany. NDR writes that nowadays power engineer Stefan Hackbusch at the grid’s control center in Northern German increasingly has to intervene even when there are even moderate breezes. The north German public radio media outlet writes: “Because of the strong growth in wind park installations, the power grid up north is at its limits.”

Intervened 50,000 times in May

As winds pick up with little warning, engineers at control centers constantly have to keep a close eye out and be ready to act at a minute’s notice and intervene if the power surges (or drops) to dangerous limits. To prevent overloading of the grid, control centers often have to shut down wind parks until the power supply moves into a safe range. These unplanned wind park shutdowns are occurring more and more often, NDR writes. “Switching off has become much more frequent the workers at the control center confirm. Transformer stations in Schleswig-Holstein had to have their output reduced 50,000 times in May – a record.”

“Waste electricity” skyrocketing

Not only is grid stability a problem, but “waste power” is also growing astronomically, NDR writes, citing the Bundesnetzagentur (German Network Agency), that 555 gigawatt-hrs of renewable power went unused in 2013 because of overloading and the surplus had to be discarded. The trend of “waste electricity” is skyrocketing, NDR writes. According to the provisions of Germany’s EEG renewable energy feed-in act, waste electricity still needs to be paid for, which means that consumers foot a bill for something that is never delivered. Consumers are also required to pay for the electricity that doesn’t get produced when a wind park gets shut down. Wind park operators get paid whether they feed in or not.

Grid bottleneck dampens new installations

One solution for the German grid overloading from the uncontrollable wind and sun sources would be to vastly expand the German national power grid so that wind power produced near the North and Baltic seas power could get transmitted to the industrial south, where demand is big. But here too the costs of building the such transmission power lines are astronomical and permitting entails a bureaucratic mess. Moreover political opposition against these lines is mounting rapidly. Experts say that the earliest, most optimistic completion date for a major power transmission expansion is 2022. This however is now looking totally unrealistic, as pie in the sky.

With the German grid often becoming hopelessly overloaded and with no real expansion in sight, the future looks bleak for wind and solar power systems suppliers. With no place to send the power, there’s no need for new installations. Orders and contracts for new projects have been drying up and wind and solar companies are now being hit hard.

Bill Gates Dismisses Solar And Wind Energy, “Can’t Do The Job” …Cost “Beyond Astronomical”!

Another prominent thumbs down against wind the current renewable energy craze, this one from Bill Gates.

The UK online Register here reports that the technology guru is not impressed by fad renewable energies wind and sun: “Renewable energy can’t do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D“.

Moreover Gates thinks they “aren’t a viable solution for reducing CO2 levels” and that power coming mainly from solar and wind energy “would be beyond astronomical“.

Gates made the comments in an interview with the Financial Times. The Register reports:

As for a possible solution for energy with low CO2 emissions, Gates thinks the answer lies in technology innovation. The Register writes: In Bill Gates’ view, the answer is for governments to divert the massive sums of money which are currently funnelled to renewables owners to R&D instead.

Gates also believes that divesture from oil and coal companies will have little impact, and that batteries for storing the sporadic supplies of wind and sun energy are not the answer. Part of the answer, Gates believes, is in nuclear power.

Read the whole article and analysis here.

Energy Expert Issues Warning On “Carbon-Free Society”: “Destruction On An Astronomical Scale”…”Cost Avalanche”

This too will be a sticky post for at least a day or more. Germany’s leading renewable energy expert and climate science critic Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt warns of an irrational and panicked rush into renewable energies.

In a penned opinion piece in Germany’s Manager Magazin titled: “Why a Phase Out of Coal Would Be Damaging“, the German professor believes the movement to divest from fossil fuels is seriously misguided and that the move to a completely carbon-free global society would lead to “destruction on an astronomical scale“. He writes:

In order to produce the same amount of power with wind, we would see a surface area consumption and corresponding destruction of natural habitat on an astronomical scale.”

Fritz Vahrenholt was formerly responsible for the renewable energies arm of European power giant RWE, RWE Innogy GmbH. No one has overseen the installation of as much renewable energy in Europe as Vahrenholt has. In the field of wind energy he is a leading expert. He has since become a leading critic of renewable energy and climate science.

Vahrenholt, a professor of chemistry and former Environment Senator for the City of Hamburg in the SPD socialist party, asks:

How realistic is it really to produce not only electricity but also heat and fuels for transportation worldwide from China to Brazil over the coming decades without fossil fuels? As before in China a coal power plant goes online every 14 days, and India is well on the way to do the same as its neighbor.”

“Cost avalanche of 1000 billion euros”

Vahrenholt sharply criticizes Germany’s transistion away from coal and nuclear power and over to renewables because of the enormous cost burdens that citzens will have to bear in the years ahead. He writes that German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel knows that “if the brakes on renewable are not applied, a cost avalanche of 1000 billion euros is headed our way“.

Uncontrollable supply

And as exorbitant quantities of wind and solar power are added to the power grid, Vahrenholt warns that during windy and sunny periods, large quantities of power will have to be “disposed of” on foreign markets.

We will have to dispose of the power in foreign countries more often than we do today and even pay money to Austria, Holland, Poland and the Czech Republic to take the power.”

Excess power of course would be ruinous to foreign markets. Vahrenholt reminds that sun and wind energy are fraught with technical problems because they work a minimal part time. Storage technology remains nowhere in sight.

Will have near zero impact

And even if Germany were able to solve the unsolvable technical problems, the CO2 emissions savings that Germany would achieve through a shut-down of its coal power plants would be offset by growth in China in a matter of just 2 months. The result would be no “climate protection” at all and Germans would only be able to boast over a flickering mess of a power supply.

In Vahrenholt’s view, the German green energy model is so costly that “no country in the world is going to follow it“.

Exaggerated science, flawed models

He also calls the climate science “wildly exaggerated” and maintains the climate models have been false:

There are more and more scientific findings showing that the climate effect by CO2 has been wildly exaggerated by the IPCC. There has not been any significant warming in 16 years even though one third of the historical CO2 emissions occurred in the same time period and the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is rising year after year.”

Vahrenholt describes the climate models as a joke as they do not even take the long-known ocean and solar cycles into account.

Leaping before looking

He tells us that Germany is rushing unnecessarily into renewable energies and that the natural cycles mean we have lots of time and that we should take that time and do the transition in a sensible manner. He asks:

Why the frenzied go-it-alone approach that is putting so much at risk? No nation on the planet is going to follow us when they see their own industrial base being destroyed and citizens financially overwhelmed.”

Vahrenholt adds:

In addition to the destruction of capital, there is also a grand destruction of many thousands of jobs.”

But none of this seems to impress Germany’s green government authorities, who continue to overzealously pursue shutting down fossil fuels and pushing for large-scale installation of an piece-meal energy infrastructure that has been proven to be technically flawed.

Consequences “close to insurmountable”

The German energy folly is already taking its toll, Vahrenholt writes. He claims that the “insidious process of deindustrialization has already begun” in Germany because of skyrocketing energy prices and growing uncertainty.

Consequently Vahrenholt is calling for a “fundamental reform” of the country’s energy policy and a return to a more market-oriented approach. He calls Germany’s famous EEG renewable energy feed-in act an obsolete model that is “bringing no reduction in CO2 emissions” and one that is “eroding Germany as a place for industry” and whose “consequences will be close to insurmountable“.

Germany’s Anti-Wind Energy Elements Morph Into A Massive Network Of Protest Groups… Call Wind Energy “A Lie”

The last two posts were getting a lot of traffic, and so yesterday I decided to take the day off and let them run. Today I’m back with the next post, which is also about the wind energy folly.

Resistance to the junk green energy is growing in Germany.

Last month a print edition of Germany’s Braunschweiger Nachrichten featured a commentary by the head of a German wind protest organization, Dr. Thomas Carl Stiller. The title:

Braunschweiger Zeitung“Madness With Wind Turbines”

Hat-tip K.E. Puls, European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE).

In the commentary Stiller says that Germany’s once highly ballyhooed Energiewende (transition to renewable energies) “cannot and will not function“, and what was once only a few single protesters voicing opposition to wind parks, is now an entire nationwide umbrella organization of protest groups against the “subsidy-robbing empire” of wind energy industry.

Stiller describes a technology whose produced energy cannot be stored and which depends on random, unpredictable winds. The technology is so inefficient that builders are now forced to erect 800-foot tall monster size machines in a desperate effort to extract real power. He also writes that “wind energy has done nothing to combat climate change”.

Despite increased wind energy installation, CO2 emissions in Germany have risen. […] Climate protection and reliable power supply by wind turbines installed on the land is thus a lie.”

Stiller also writes that the maximum output of a wind turbine “is far below its rated capacity” and that the German citizenry is paying 20 billion euros annually for a “misconception“. To illustrate the folly of wind energy, Stiller writes that Germans are paying 20 billion euros a year for a commodity that gets sold on the power exchange for only around 2 billion euros.

What’s encouraging is that Stiller writes: “German citizens are waking up to this insanity“. He comments that “wind energy would not be able to supply the country even if the entire country were covered with wind turbines“.

Stiller also calls for more research for the health impacts that wind turbines are having and that the energy source has got to be for the good of the public and not profit a few opportunists. He adds:

Us organized citizens are demanding independent feasibility studies and calling for more transparency during the planning process and that man and nature be put back in the focus.”

Shocking Before-And-After Photos: How Wind Parks Are Devastating Idyllic German Countryside!

Note: Most, if not all, of the “before” photos were produced by airbrushing away the wind turbines from the real “after” photos, as some readers have pointed out. This is the most effective way of accurately showing the real extent the turbines have blighted the landscape.
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Wind energy is supposed to rescue the planet from an environmental and nature disaster. Unfortunately for many in Germany the opposite is true. It has brought on environmental ruin and destruction of natural heritage.

What follows are a series of before and after photos depicting the “success” wind turbines are having in rescuing the environment.

The photos are posted with the kind permission of Hermann Dirr of windflut-elpe.de.

1. Vogelsberg

001

002

2. Hohe Vogelsberg

003

004

3. Dirlammen

005

006

4. Lautertal

007

008

 5. Mücke

009

010

6. Ulrichstein

011

0127.  Zeilbach was beautiful…

013

014

8. Adorf0150169. Diemelsee:

017

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10. Paderborn-Dahl

019

02011. Ostfriesland…02102212. Saxony Anhalt:023024These are just some examples how Germany’s political leaders are protecting the environment. Aren’t they wonderful!

Boy, we sure could learn a lot from these deep thinkers. Let’s not talk about the impacts on property values and the health effects from infrasound.

The original German Powerpoint presentation with the photos is here. Once again special thanks to windflut-elpe.de and the Naturpark Hoher Vogelsberg.

Major North Sea Offshore Wind Park Outfitter Files For Insolvency Amid “Considerable Uncertainties”!

German financial daily Handelsblatt here reports that a former shipyard which later turned to building offshore wind turbine sub-structures has filed for insolvency.

According to the company’s Managing Director Thierry Putters, the filing is due to “a looming inability to pay” its creditors. The Handelsblatt writes that 188 employees will be impacted. They already had been working reduced hours.

The Nordseewerke, located at the northwest seaport of Emden, was originally founded as a shipyard in 1903. After financial setbacks over the past five years it was taken over by other companies. Recently in a bid to stem losses it retooled to build offshore wind turbine sub-structures to supply North Sea wind park demand. However investment decisions on future offshore wind parks have been put off as uncertainty over Germany’s move into renewable energies grows.

Over the years huge technical problems have plagued North Sea offshore wind parks.

Nordseewerke is just the latest in a years-long series of insolvencies that have been crippling Germany’s renewable energies industry. In the solar industry, almost every major German solar manufacturer has gone bust since 2012.

Spiegel here reports on Nordseewerke:

The political framework conditions are marked by considerable uncertainties concerning the support for offshore wind energy after the year 2020, the company reported.”

During its ship-building heyday, the company employed some 5000 workers. The labor union blames poor management for the company’s demise.

 

Top Automotive Engineer Calls Tesla “A Failure”…Demand For Electric Vehicles “Has Reached An Absolute Low Point”!

UPDATED 13:52 CET

As part of the 35th Vienna Motor Symposium, German online financial daily Handelsblatt here has an interview with leading automotive engine design expert Prof. Fritz Indra, who says that much of the talk about electric vehicles is “hype” and calls the Tesla “a failure”.

Indra, 75, is now retired after a long career in developing engines for BMW Alpina, Audi and General Motors. He now acts as a consultant.

Demand for electric cars reach “absolute low point”

The Handelsblatt writes that internal combustion engines have made huge technological leaps in progress when it comes to efficiency and cleanliness. And when asked about the most recent trend for electric vehicles, Indra tells the Düsseldorf-based financial daily that this year there was not even a single presentation on electric vehicles, and that the demand “has reached an absolute low point.”

Skewed statistics and “environmental fraud”

Indra tells the Handelsblatt that countries like Norway and USA have stopped or plan to curb their generous subsidies for electric cars. He says Germany’s target of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020 is wildly exaggerated. “In reality it won’t even be 100,000 vehicles.” He then tells the Handelsblatt that they may get the figure to look respectable by skewing the statistics by including hybrid cars and electric bikes in the count.

Indra also calls both plug-in-hybrids and electric cars “an environmental fraud“, adding that the subsidies for electric cars are very expensive and points out that Norway is stopping some of the subsidies and that the USA curbed them after 60,000 vehicles. These are two rich countries!

Moreover he says China ought to impose an “electric car driving ban” as a first step to help clean up its air pollution.

Tesla “a failure”

Indra also believes that the Tesla will be a failure “because every year the company makes huge losses and the market is not big enough.” Moreover he describes how its batteries are technically inadequate, and that Tesla owners face huge replacement costs later on: “The customers are going to wonder.” He calls Elon Muskprobably the best PR man in the world“.

He also believes the electric car market is “almost saturated”.

Indra feels that the future remains in combustion engines due to their tremendous technological progress with regards to fuel efficiency, cleanliness and practicality.

Finally, WUWT reports on how Teslas really get recharged.

Scandal: Wind Energy Law Written Directly By German Wind Lobbyists, Enercon and GE!

Though regional, what follows is a scandal that illustrates just how energy laws and policy are formed today in many developed countries: by green activists and lobbyists who have an extreme agenda or narrow, self-serving interest.

German national daily Bild here reports how in Hannover the new energy law for the state of Lower Saxony was not really written by policymakers elected by the voters, but by the Big Green industry lobbyists themselves.

The Bild story bears the title: “Companies write the energy law

Germany’s number one daily by circulation, Bild, tells of Lower Saxony’s Environment Minister Stefan Wenzel of the Green Party coming under heavy fire from the opposition. The FDP Free Democrats accused Wenzel of having parts of the 79-page draft legislation “dictated to him by the wind industry.” In other words, Bild writes:

Instead having the law formulated by employees of the Ministry, lobbyists participated in the formulation!”

According to Bild 12 environmental activist groups worked on the legislation, including companies such as Enercon and GE.

Bild quotes Free Democrat Dr. Gero Hocker, an environment expert:

The Environment Minister must concede that the wind lobby took over the job of drafting the law. That’s an outrage!”

Bild writes that although it is not unusual to get imput from various organizations, an angered Gero Hocker shot back: “Taking over as they are the formulations is a real scandal.”

Increasingly lawmakers have become marionettes of Big Green…democratic representation be damned. It also doesn’t help that a huge share of German lawmakers are investors in fail-safe, get-rich-quick green energy projects.

Leading Industry Expert Slams Germany’s Wild Foray Into Green Energies: “Unaffordable” … “Absolute Imbecility”!

The Germany-based European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) held another conference on climate and renewable energy last March. One of the speakers was Prof. Dr. Dieter Ameling, an expert in heavy industry. EIKE has posted his presentation.

In the presentation Ameling calls Germany’s Energiewende (transition to renewable energies) a real threat to industry, warning that the country faces a de-industrialization.

Already, Ameling reminds us, every day the Energiewende in Germany is progressing and that the damage already done is getting even worse and that “foremost it will soon be irreparable“.

Subsidies’ vast divergence from earlier projections

At the 5:15 mark he calls the German government’s 2022 targets for renewables “economic nonsense” and will result in “electricity getting continuously more expensive“.

His following chart shows a comparison of the German government’s projected green energy subsidies compared to that of reality:

Ameling_1

The gray bars show the government’s projected annual subsidies in billions of euros. The blue bars depict the real skyrocketing subsidies. In 2014 the subsidies rose even further, to 23.6 billion euros. Chart: Dr. Dieter Ameling.

“Unaffordable” and “absolute imbecility”

The big problem, Ameling emphasizes, is the huge supply-volatility in wind and sun, which are totally weather-dependent. At the 9:35 mark the retired professor calls the German state of Bavaria’s energy-mix plan for 2022 as something that “cannot function“…”is unaffordable“, and “is absolute imbecility“.

The chart at the 11:20 mark shows how Germany has one of the highest electricity prices worldwide, more than double the rate found in USA, Canada, or Russia.

At the 13-minute mark another chart shows the huge gap in natural gas prices between Germany (10.7 cents per gas unit) and the USA (only 3.7 cents per gas unit). Thanks to fracking, gas prices in USA have tumbled while in Germany poor households barely can afford to heat their homes.

Germany’s skyrocketing electricity prices

At the 13:34 mark Ameling displays a chart showing Germany’s electricity price development:

Ameling_2

Since 2000 the price of electricity in euro-cents/kwh in Germany has more than doubled! Currently a 4-person household is paying over 366 euros a year just for the green energy feed-in tariffs alone. Ameling warns that figure will continue to rise rapidly.

Exodus of industry leaving Germany, Europe

Later in the presentation Ameling shows how the energy-intensive industries such as cement, glass, steel, chemicals etc. are being hit hard by the skyrocketing energy costs. In Germany alone 3.5 million jobs depend on the steel industry. At the 19:03 mark Ameling warns that the exodus of industry “has already begun” with heavyweight companies such as ThyssenKrupp, Norsk Hydro, BASF, SGL Carbon and Voest moving operations abroad.

1 trillion euros!

How much is Germany’s Energiewende projected to cost? In 2013 former Environment Minister Peter Altmaier told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung it would cost Germans 1 trillion euros!

Ameling 3

At the end Ameling summarizes, announcing that the “Energiewende has failed” because it is simply too expensive and too volatile. The infrastructure that is needed to handle it is not even in place. Unless Germany radically alters the current direction of its Energiewende, Ameling says it will be “bye bye Germany“.

He ends the presentation with the following Friends of Science image, reminding us that CO2 is not even the driver of climate.

Ameling_4

Top Econ Professor Says Germany’s Renewables “Already Reached The Limits”…Country Risks “Gambling Away Its Prosperity”!

German online finanztreff.de here reports on the opinion recently expressed by Prof. Hans-Werner Sinn, Director of the renowned Munich-based ifo-Institute for Economic Research, regarding Germany’s attempted move into renewable energies, primarily solar and wind power.

Currently about 25% of Germany’s energy supply is “green”.

At a conference of experts in Berlin Sinn is quoted by Dow Jones as saying that the installation of “renewable energies in Germany has already reached its limits” because there is just nowhere near enough storage capacity available to balance out the sharp and volatile supply spikes of wind and solar power.

Sinn also ridiculed the idea of using electric cars as a means to store the green energy, calling the notion a “PR gag”. He added that 159 million BMW i3 vehicle would have to be put on the streets, i.e. thus nearly tripling the number of cars currently on the streets. A preposterous solution.

On using green energy to produce gas, Sinn calls it a horribly expensive alternative that would cost about 24 cents per kilowatt-hour; Russian natural gas by comparison is only 3 cents per kilowatt-hour, he says.

It would get expensive very rapidly,” Sinn warned.

Currently Germany’s Ministry of Environment is proposing the investment of 1 trillion euros for a new energy supply system. Sinn calls that idea “a monstrous gamble with an uncertain outcome“, and one that harbors “a real risk” of Germany “gambling away its prosperity“.

So how will German policymakers react to Professor Sinn’s assessment? Well, if they don’t heed his warnings, then there’s really no one left out there who may still be able to talk sense and reason back into the policymakers’ heads.

Should the policymakers ignore the warnings of the renowned Ifo Institute, then the only thing left is to learn it the hard, painful way. Knowing today’s German intellectual obstinacy of the elite class, the odds of that are better than even.

Shambles…Energy Professor Declares Germany Energiewende “A Failure”, …”Population Left Disillusioned”!

Volkmar Pott's photo.

The editor-in-chief of the Iserlohner Kreisanzeiger und Zeitung daily Thomas Reunert dedicated an entire page on the topic of wind energy last Sunday, bearing the headline: “The Norwegians Are Giving Us The Finger!

It is an interview with a former professor from the University of Bielefeld, Dr. Kurt Gehlert, 75, an expert in mining. It focusses on the state of Germany’s Energiewende (transition to green energies), particularly wind power and the illusions of energy storage technology.

The sub-heading reads

Dr. Kurt Gehlert is certain that the Energiewende has already failed. Or we will drown and cover ourselves in wind turbines.”

Germans pushing the Energiewende are aiming to see 80% of Germany’s energy needs being met by green energies by 2050. Some are even calling for doing away with natural gas, in addition to coal and oil.

But the monster-sized insurmountable obstacles loom as German policymakers begin to scramble in a confused state of denial.

Germany’s alternative baseload-capable sources, such as hydro and biogas, are severely limited and account for only 11.5% of Germany’s total energy supply today. Moreover there still does not exist a viable technology for storing the irregular supply of wind and solar power. Gehlert says these technologies are nowhere near being capable of taking on the role of providing a reliable baseload.

The 75-year old professor points out that although there is a huge capacity of wind and solar energy already in place, often both are not available because they are weather-dependent. Gehlert tells the IKZ that the media like to give the public the impression that the technology is not far away, but the reality is that it is nowhere near in sight.

Energy storage concepts such as accumulators, power-to-gas, compressed air storage are plagued by low efficiencies and sky-high costs. He reminds readers that using electric car batteries as a storage media is also a pie-in-the-sky-vision. Gehlert tells IKZ:

It sounds like a good idea and so let us illustrate it using a rough calculation. In 2020 it is planned to have 1 million electric cars on the roads in Germany. If we tap into them and remove 50% of the average 25 kwh charge capacity, then we will extract enough power from them (12.5 x 1000000 =12.5 gigawatt-hours) to cover Germany’s needs each day for 25 minutes and 17 seconds; Germany’s total daily consumption is 712 gigawatt-hours. And then all the electric car owners will have only 50% of the range available for their next trip.”

Gehlert also tells the IKZ that pump-storage is also not a solution for Germany, calculating:

In Germany about 125 times more storage lakes than what exists today would need to be constructed by 2050. This area and topography simply does not exist at all.”

On the idea of using Norway’s, Switzerland’s or Austria’s mountainous regions to build the necessary pump-storage capacity, Gehlert tells the IKZ:

The Swiss are reacting allergically, and the Norwegians are giving us the finger.”

Go ruin your own landscape, and leave ours alone.

And even if it was possible to use pump-storage in foreign countries, Gehlert tells the IKZ that in order to bring the power from the above-mentioned mountainous countries to the big consumption centers in Germany’s industrial heartland, it would require the construction of about 70 high voltage power lines ranging from 300 to 1200 km in length!

Gehlert also scoffs at the idea of using wind-power-to-gas as a method for storing energy, which would be used to fire gas turbines to produce electricity in times of low-winds. And expanding the calculation to 50% constant electrical power from wind energy would require about 470,000 German wind turbines (Currently there are about 25,000). Gehlert elaborates:

The figure is difficult to fathom. Germany has an area of approximately 360,000 square kilometers. That means each of the 470,000 wind turbines would have 0.76 sq km.. The city of Iserlohn alone has an area of 125.5 square kilometers and so would have 165 wind turbines.”

The IKZ asks Gehlert to summarize:

The Energiewende under the given conditions in Germany is a failure […]. The policymakers state in a worried manner: Our predecessors have left behind a disillusioned population.”

 

German Climate Physicist: Alternative Energy, Climate Are A “Religious Creed”…”Miles Away” From Openness

Yesterday approximately 15,000 coal miners turned out to protest the German government’s energy policy.

German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced earlier he intended to levy a CO2 surcharge on older coal power plants with the aim of shutting them down.

Lüdecke

Prof. Dr. Horst-Joachim Lüdecke. Photo EIKE.

Before yesterday’s demonstration, German physicist and climate scientist and spokesman for the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), Prof. Dr. Horst-Joachim Lüdecke, published a sharply-worded commentary here on the government’s anti-fossil fuel/nuclear power policy. As the introduction Lüdecke wrote:

Climate protection and the switch over to renewable energies were instilled in German citizens by state propaganda, green brainwashing and with the help of all of Germany’s mainstream media. The unconditional necessity to advance into alternative energies has become a religious creed. By historical and global comparison, such a thing happens the most easily here, time after time. The logic used by the politically interested parties every time appears to be infallible. [..]

The argument goes as follows: The rescue of the planet from a death by heat and the immediate shutdown of the irresponsible German nuclear power plants are essential. The question of whether this is really true is not be asked, let alone discussed.”

Lüdecke says, however, that public awareness over the madness of Germany’s energy policy is beginning to dawn and that he believes “now is the phase of sobering up, but unfortunately not yet one of reason.” Leading print media are beginning to soften their support for the so-called Energiewende as it now stands, he writes. As angry coal miners take to the street, and thousands of industrial jobs become threatened, it is becoming increasingly apparent something has gone awry.

Lüdecke thinks that the sobering-up process will take time because every political party has made green issues part of its platform. “Green is a very difficult color to wash away,” the German physicist writes.

Lüdecke then explains the primary disadvantage of renewable energy: their low energy density, i.e. meaning they require vast areas and that the major ones are weather-dependent. The German EIKE professor does not know how long the sobering-up process will take, citing the immense power of an array of lobbies behind the green movement.

Lüdecke also aims harsh words at Germany’s pompous and one-sided media:

Finally a word for the German media, here especially for the public TV and radio networks. They are rightly being compared by the current contemporaries to the conditions of former East Germany or even earlier times.”

At the political level, Lüdecke blasts the atmosphere of intimidation against people who have alternative views, who often are threatened with physical violence from radical leftists groups.

When it comes to openness, such as that proclaimed by French philosopher Voltaire, the German climatologist writes “in the dark media of Germany, we are miles away.”  He adds:

Factual discourse, connected with polite listening and taking the arguments from opponents seriously, is definitely not in fashion.”

Lüdecke describes Germany as a desert when it comes to independent reporting and expression of opinions.

 

Solar Bubble…New Solar Installations Reach Low in Germany…Wind Turbine Loses Its Screws

The German renewable energy bubble has collapsed since the government rolled back subsidies for a variety of green energy sources such as solar and biogas in 2014. Especially for solar.

German alarmist website klimaretter.de here reports that solar energy installations have reached a new 8-year low. According to the BDI German Federal Power Agency, in February this year only 100 megawatts of capacity were installed. This is 11% less than what was installed a year earlier, and much less than during the heydays earlier in the decade.

In 2014 the German government reformed its EEG energy feed-in act with the aim of limiting the annual amount of added solar capacity coming online to between 2400 to 2600 megawatts. Last year not even 1900 megawatts were added, klimaretter writes.

As the solar industry collapses in Germany, it is however faring much better worldwide, with USA and China leading the way in adding capacity. Experts expect between 53,000 and 57,000 megawatts of solar capacity to be added globally this year.

Wind Turbine kaputtWind turbines losing screws

Meanwhile a wind turbine was temporarily shut down when nearby residents heard loud, clunking noises for days and then found several 4-inch, quarter-pound stray bolts on the ground in western Germany near the border to France (see photo at link that follows.

According to the online volksfreund.de site, a repair crew was dispatched to repair the problem. Apparently there was “damage to the brake system that serves to arrest the rotor blades”. One of the screws fell inside the blade and caused the racket.

The local environment ministry reports that the problem has been solved and there is no longer any danger to residents.

Good thing no one was near when the damn bolts fell out!

 

Beleaguered Industry: Wind Parks Coming Under Fire Due To Health Impacts From Infrasound…Danish Permitting Halts!

The debate on the effects of infrasound on the health of people and animals living near wind parks has been raging on with more intensity than ever – especially since Denmark unexpectedly halted the permitting of new wind parks due to “health concerns” from infrasound.

Infrasound is defined as low frequency sound under 16 Hz – below the threshold of human hearing. Wind farms are notorious for generating these potentially harmful sub-audible frequencies. It is said that infrasound can be sensed as pressure to the ears or to the stomach, or as a slight vibration.

There’s a Swedish report available on the hazard, click here. It calls for the legal framework for the creation of wind parks to be revised.

German NTV public television reports recently that in Denmark mink farm operator Kaj Bank Olesen from Herning is a neighbor to four large-scale wind turbines only 330 meters away. Olesen and other neighbors had protested the planning of the wind turbines, fearing negative consequences from their noise and shadows.

However the community rejected their claims, basing it on a lack of credibility. The turbines were installed. Now it seems that Olesen’s earlier fears may have had merit as he claims that the infrasound generated by the turbines are making the mink animals on the farm aggressive and is leading them to die. After one night he found 200 dead minks the next morning. The incident has since sparked the Danish government to take action. Permitting of wind parks in Denmark is now on hold.

The alleged health impacts from wind turbines have been making the news (0:55) in Germany as well.

In Schleswig Holstein, Germany, the Hogeveens have been forced to sleep and eat in their basement in a desperate attempt to find refuge from the maddening infrasound emitted by recently installed turbines near their home.

The wind industry and many government authorities deny there’s a connection between infrasound from wind turbines and health impacts on humans. Hermann Albers of a wind lobby group says there’s no connection between the turbines and the irritation sensed by those living close by, claiming that it is a “subjective” perception or that it’s “politically motivated”. In other words, people living close to wind turbines are just making it all up and they should instead just shut up and live with it.

The German government says it will study the matter further and consider if infrasound should be taken into consideration during the wind park permitting process.

In Australia a link has also been found between wind turbines and health in the so-called Cape Bridgewater report. Steven Cooper investigated the possible link, saying that availbale data so far is very small, but adds:

There’s definitely a trend. There’s definitely a connection between the operation of a wind form and what the residents were identifying as disturbances, and so it’s definitely open to debate as to what the cause or link is in terms of that data.”

Data from comprehensive studies are difficult to come by. Wind farms are reluctant to share their data with researchers, fearing unfavorable results and consequences.

The impacts from infrasound on human health will continue to be debated in the future. But other things are already sure and beyond debate: Wind farms are rapidly losing their attractiveness and support from the public due to their poor performance, hazard to birdlife, ruining of property values, and their blighting of the natural landscape.

An adverse connection to human health would be yet another large nail in the coffin of the now increasingly controversial wind industry.

Hat-tip: Wolfgang Neumann at Facebook.

Also read more here: www.climatedepot.com/danish-professor-sacked-for-highlighting-dangers-of-wind-turbine-noise/

 

German Energy Industry Group Sounds Alarm Over Energy Policy, Warns Of Future Power Shortfalls

There was a lot of emphasis on energy technology at this year’s Hannover Industrial Trade Fair, which took place just last week.

Fossil fuel plants unexpendable

Days ago German flagship daily Die Welt here reported that Germany’s energy industry is not happy about the recent developments in the electricity markets. Industry representatives warn that the Energiewende (transition to renewable energies) will not work without conventional power plants.

As mentioned earlier, Germany’s grand coalition government led by Angela Merkel increasingly finds itself struggling to maneuver to appease both industry on one side and Germany’s powerful environmental lobby groups on the other. As electricity prices continue their steep climb and grid stability crumbles, the government may soon find itself paying lip service to climate protection and nothing more.

Energy concept in “worrisome state”

According to Die Welt, Hildegard Müller, Director of the German BDEW industry association representing the energy and water utilities, said in a press release that Germany’s energy concept was in a “worrisome state“. She said “There is nothing in it that helps, but plenty that burdens.”

Other reports mention that Müller was uncharacteristically harsh with her criticism of the government’s tattered energy policy.

Fossil fuel capacity “melting away like butter”

Müller worries that soon there will not be enough conventional power plants operating to ensure a supply of power when wind and solar energy are absent. As companies are forced to buy up wind and solar power and to thus run their conventional power plants over increasingly shorter times, fossil fuel plants are becoming loss-intensive and so many power companies are planning to shut them down entirely. Die Welt reports:

According to figures presented in Hannover by the BDEW, the current over-capacity of conventional power plant facilities is melting away like butter in the spring sun.”

Lack of weather-independent power

Die Welt writes that 53% of planned new power plants are currently lacking an investment decision. So, the question arises: How soon can Germany expect trouble if energy policy fails to get back onto a sensible course? Die Welt writes:

Just after the shutdown of nuclear power plants concludes, in seven years there could be a lack of power plants that can operate independently of the weather.”

“Poorly thought out”, “thousands of jobs” at risk

Müller also calls the government’s plans to burden old power plants with additional charges “poorly thought out” and “politically motivated“. The industry fears the loss of thousands of jobs.

World Bank increases 3rd world investments in coal power

Meanwhile, as an aside, German alarmist site klimaretter.de here writes that even the World Bank refuses to divest from coal power plants.

In 2014, compared to a year earlier, the World Bank expanded investments in coal projects. […] New figures show that 3.4 billion euros in credits, subsidies and guarantees have flowed to fossil fuel projects in developing countries.

In other words, even if Germany does shut down plants, other countries will continue building them and CO2 reductions will remain as nothing  more than a pipe dream.

 

Recent Storm Over Europe Exposes The Lies Of The Energiewende…Is A Stable Grid A Thing Of The Past?

Fred F. Mueller at the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) here writes about how the storm that swept across Europe in late March exposed the lies of the German Energiewende (transition to renewable energies).

With the current rate of growth in renewable energy installations, Mueller writes that it’s just a question of time before the grid gets overloaded just by the renewable energies under certain weather conditions and that it will no longer be possible to dump the surplus  uncontrollably fed in power into neighboring power markets.

Mueller writes how at the end of March Germany saw a combination of high winds and lots of sunshine. During the recent storm there was lots of wind energy production accompanied by lots of solar power production due to large gaps in cloud cover.

According to German flagship national daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) the surplus energy led to massive costs to power consumers and double digit million costs for the power grid operators, who naturally will simply pass these costs along to the consumers. The situation in late March was so precarious that hundreds of wind turbines were ordered switched off.

The FAZ reports that a record amount of power was fed into the grid due to the strong winds and abundant sunshine: At 2:15 pm a total of 44 gigawatts of sun and wind energy were fed in, which equals the power output of 31 nuclear power plants.

EIKE author Rolf Schuster has compiled the data on installed solar/wind capacity in Germany as of the end of February 2015: a total of 78 gigawatts of capacity that comprises 40 gigawatts of wind and 38 gigwatts of solar. Had the storm hit later in the spring, the situation would have been even worse because more solar power would have been produced, probably another 10 gigawatts.

Rolf Schuster compiled the results of the storm in Table 1: Datum = date; Stunde = hour; Preis = exchange price; Menge = amount; Summe1 = sum 1; Summe2 = sum 2.

Table 1: The nominal exchange losses stemming from the negative prices on 29 – 30 March. Note: Every figure under 50 €/ MWh in reality means that most conventional power plants had to incur losses (Figures from EEX: Table Rolf Schuster)

According to the data in the hours leading up to the storm, power with a market value of almost 3 million euros had to be “given away for free” to foreign markets at negative prices. However, Mueller writes, that was only a small part of the costs. Grid operators wound up losing anywhere from 10 million to 60 million euros during a three day period. According to the FAZ, a total of 20.3 gigawatts of reserve capacity had to be used in order to stabilize the power supply in south Germany. Moreover hundreds of wind turbines had to be taken offline. Yet the affected windpark operators still got paid for the power they did not produce – as is required by Germany’s renewable energy feed-in act. These costs eventually get paid by the consumer.

This time the power grid withstood the overloading from the storm. But Mueller writes that whoever believes the worse is now behind and we all can sit back and relax with the knowledge the power grid can withstand anything, they are being terribly naïve. In Germany within the scope of the Energiewende, it is planned to install approximately 330 gigawatts of wind capacity and possibly 100 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2050.

The result, Mueller writes, is that already on moderately windy and sunny days the grids will become overloaded with “green power” because there is still no storage technology available. The physics is clear: this will inevitably lead to a “collapse in the power supply”. Here so-called “power autobahns” (major cross-country transmission lines), which certain profiteers of the Energiewende are trying to sell us as the wonder cure against the consequences of their own politics, aren’t going to help.

Easter Blackout! Cologne Area And ‘Phantasia’ Amusement Park Lose Power 3 Times In 24 Hours! Green Energy To Blame?

If there is anything that I can say about the German power grid, it is that power outages have been very rare since I’ve been here. But lately the ones that do occur seem to be doing so far more frequently, and there’s been a lot of talk about grid operators having to constantly intervene to prevent blackouts – something they rarely had to do 10 years ago.

Today T-Online news site here reports that areas near Cologne, Germany blacked out over the Easter weekend. Amusement park Phantasialand lost power three times – in 24 hours!

Hat-tip: DirkH

T-Online writes of “power chaos” as electricity went out for 45 minutes on Sunday and blacked out twice yesterday.

The cause of the outages is being attributed to “technical faults” and a “power supply error”. Parts of the Cologne area, for example the city of Bruhl where the power utility is located, also lost power.

There’s no indication that the erratic green energies such as wind and sun are behind the Easter weekend blackout. My guess is that in this case they are not because the weather conditions were quite stable and saw no spikes of any kind. Yet German blackouts seem to be occurring more frequently as the capacity of sun and wind increases.

Blackouts beoming more common

In 2005 a late November snowstorm across northern Germany caused power transmission towers to collapse under the weight of snow and ice, knocking out power for hours and even days in some regions.

In November 2006 a large part of Western Europe was blacked out as power giant E.on miscalculated on how to handle 10,000 megawatts of wind energy flowing through the power grid. The English Wikipedia page fails to mention anything about the wind energy.

In November 2012 the power in parts of Munich went out due to “a defective line”.  Also read more here. Later a city utility spokesman said, “It is suspected to be a power spike that somehow got through.

Last year again in Munich during the busy Friday morning rush hour the power for 20,000 households went out because of a blown transformer station.

Germany’s power supply has become far more erratic and uncontrollable lately. The power chart for the last two weeks shows the tremendous power spikes that Germany’s power grid had to endure during recent stormy weather.

Agora MarApr 2015

Source: Agora

The above chart shows a major and sudden power spike occurring on March 29 and a super spike that went off the chart on March 31 when a massive 76 gigawatts of wind power got uncontrollably fed in at 1 p.m. How the grid operators went about handling this may be the topic of a later post.

One thing is clear: the situation on Germany’s power grid has gotten far more unstable. German center-left/green weekly Die Zeit here conducted an interview with power expert Frank Umbach. When asked the question of how reliable the German power grid is, Umbach told Die Zeit:

The situation has gotten considerably worse. […] All risk assessments on supply stability show a worsening.”

Moreover Umbach tells Die Zeit that Germany narrowly missed “widespread outages” three times since the country shut down 8 nuclear power plants in 2011 and increased dependency on wind and solar power.

 

Greens Humiliated! Whopping 92% Of Swiss Vote ‘No’ To Non-Renewable Energy Tax …”Historic Debacle”

Here’s the story the major mainstream media would prefer not to mention at all.

Hat-tip: Die kalte Sonne site here.

At the online finanznachrichten.de there’s a short report about a recent Swiss vote on a Greens-Liberals energy tax initiative. The result:

92 percent voted against the initiative that would tax the consumption of non-renewable energies such as oil, gas, coal and uranium instead of having a value added tax. According to the Greens-Liberals it would be an effective instrument for reducing energy consumption and for promoting renewable energies.”

In summary on a few fringe activists in Switzerland are interested in taxing reliable and still affordable fossil and nuclear energy.

The Swiss Blick.ch called the result “an historic debacle” and “the most massive slap up beside the head ever” that a citizens’ initiative has ever suffered in Switzerland. Blick.ch writes:

The failure was historic – no initiative has ever gotten a result of less than 10 percent.”

Die kalte Sonne comments on the result, reminding us that it was…:

…the most clear rejection by the citizens since the founding of the modern Swiss federal state in 1848. It is also notable that the parties who supported the petition for a referendum, “The Green-Liberals” and “The Greens”, were not even able to convince many of their own voters. Both parties together represent 13.8% of all voters.”

Die kalte Sonne also comments on the lopsidedness of the result, claiming that it is the sort that one is accustomed to seeing in “hardcore communist states”. Only this time the vote was free and offered a choice.

 

Germany’s Leading Daily Calls For An End To Green Energy Subsidies! Calls Green Promises “A Fairy Tale”

Germany’s leading daily in terms of circulation Bild recently featured an op-ed piece that harshly criticizes Germany’s Energiewende (transisition to renewable energies).

Clearly the Energiewende is not even coming close to living up to what is was originally billed to deliver. Despite adding more than 70 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity that will cost consumers some $200 billion, German CO2 emissions have not decreased to speak of. Coal-fired power has actually risen.

In summary German electricity prices have skyrocketed and poor consumers are being hit hard. Energy-intensive industries are off-shoring operations – and jobs!

A number of experts are calling the Energiewende the greatest wealth redistribution from poor to rich scheme in Germany’s history as wealthy property owners cash in with subsidized zero-risk wind and solar installations. The poor consumers are forced to cough up the money.

“Enough with green power!”

So it’s little wonder that major German media outlets are beginning to express doubts. Bild features an opinion piece titled: “Enough with green power!

The popular German daily calls the promises of cheap power from wind and sun “a fairy tale”. It writes:

Indeed the truth is: The price of power continues to climb. Just in the past five years the power price exploded 29 percent.

The reason is simple: In the energy market, central planning rules and not the free market.”

Disfigured market

Today there is so much installed capacity, Bild writes, that “on days with lots of sunshine and wind, the green power has to be sold to foreign countries” – even if they don’t need it. When that happens the highly subsidized power gets sold at negative prices. The result? Huge losses for power companies. This is how disfigured the electric power market has become.

In summary Bild concludes that the price of power is much more expensive than it needs to be and that it is a product that needs to remain affordable. Germany’s energy policy is on the wrong path.

Unfortunately there are no signs things will change anytime soon in Germany, which now has the world’s second highest electricity prices in the world after Denmark.

 

It’s Official: Most Efficient Gas-Fired Power Plant To Be Shut Down Due To Losses Stemming From “Energiewende”

It’s official. Germany’s Irsching power plant in Bavaria will be shutting down its recently built Block 4 and 5 gas-fired turbines. Both combined put out approximately 1.4 gigawatts of power. Online Spiegel here reports that its operators say it is no longer worth operating due to Germany’s Energiewende (transition to renewable energy).

The sporadic supply of solar and wind power into the grid means that the gas-turbines run only part-time, and often within a range that is inefficient. Two weeks ago I reported on this here. Now it’s official.

The Irsching Blocks 4 & 5 are the ultimate in gas-turbine engineering – reaching an efficiency of 60.75%. But its operators, among them energy giant E.on, announced that they are shutting down the turbines effective April 1, 2016. Spiegel writes the reason is “the lack of opportunity for economical operation“.

E.on and the other partner operators will need to obtain the shut-down approval from the Germany regulatory authorities.

Energiewende has thrown the energy market in turmoil

Spiegel adds:

Gas-fired power plants are currently under massive pressure due to the Energiewende and the plunge of power prices on the trading markets. ‘The growing amounts of subsidized power from renewable energies and the low wholesale prices for electricity no longer allow operation on the market,’ the four [Irsching] operators declared.”

Spiegel writes that the legal and political situation is also set to potentially become really messy. Already as “ultima ratio”, legal action is being threatened should German regulatory officials turn down E.on’s and its partner operators’ request to shut down the plant, something that German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the authorities would not allow to happen as the German power grid has become too precarious.

Supply problems are set to become far more critical as Germany will be forced by law to shut down its remaining nuclear power plants by 2022. Currently the German state of Bavaria is also blocking the construction of two major power transmission lines which would deliver power from large-scale wind parks in the North and Baltic seas.

With power transmission lines blocked, nuclear power slated to be decommissioned and gas power plants being shut down, the south German states are rapidly being maneuvered into a position where they will soon be confronted by huge power supply bottlenecks. Large power consumers are becoming wary.

Spiegel writes that E.on’s Irsching shut-down announcement jacks up the pressure on politicians.

Unless all the green madness ends quickly, soon there may be no more lights left to switch off in Bavaria on “Earth Day'”.