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.

 

Green Progress: World’s Most Efficient Gas-Fired Turbines To Get Shut Down Due To “Energiewende”!

With a whopping efficiency of up to 60.75%, it is considered the world’s most efficient gas-fired power plant; it’s the ultimate when it comes to turbine engineering (see following promo video).

“Answer to climate protection” to be mothballed! World’s most efficient gas-fired power generation plant to shut down as a consequence of a run-amok “Energiewende”.

No other conventional power plant on earth is able to extract as much energy from what gets put into it. And because it burns natural gas, the 1400-megawatt Irsching gas-fired Siemens SGT5-8000H power generating units emit relatively low amounts of CO2 and pollutants.

Yet its operators, among them energy giant E.on, are aiming to mothball the recently installed modern gas-fired facility for good. The reason? It’s losing money because Germany’s renewable energy feed-in act, which allows conventional plants to operate only when the wind and sun aren’t putting out.

Hat-tip: EIKE here.

The Irsching gas-fired power generators are unable to operate at a profit because the facility has to yield to wind and solar energy, which are mandated to be fed first into the grid by law. The result: the modern gas turbines are forced to operate intermittently when the sun and wind are AWOL, which means they are unable to cover their high operating costs. The dirtier coal power plants have lower operating costs, and so they are making a comeback. Result: the green energy revolution is leading to more CO2 emissions, and not less.

According to FOCUS magazine, the Irsching gas-fired plant located near Ingolstadt in southern Germany has become “the symbol of the faulty development of the Energiewende” – Germany’s ongoing transition to green energies.

Industry association leader Hans-Joachim Reck, complains: “It’s the paradox of the Energiewende that now the cleanest and most efficient power plants in Germany, the gas-fired power plants, cannot earn money.”

The gas-fired Irsching facility isn’t the only one that risks being shut down because they are prevented from operating at their capacities and efficiencies. FOCUS writes: “approximately 50 applications to shut down similar plants have been submitted across Germany“. As more and more erratic solar and wind power come online, the less efficiently gas-fired plants operate. As a result, Germany’s stable component of its power grid is eroding rapidly.

So how bad has Germany’s energy policy become, outsiders may ask? At EIKE economist Dr. Klaus Peter Krause tells us:

What the political leadership has inflicted with its ‘Energiewende’ and continues to inflict is a ‘farce to the tenth power’. When it comes to the financial burden for Germans and the entire [German] economy, it will surpass the also ruinous euro bailout policy.”

That’s awfully ruinous.

The shutting down of gas-fired plants has already put the south German power supply stability at risk. Already the federal government has intervened and forbidden the mothballing of several gas power plants. This of course will only serve to further burden the power utilities with even more costs. Eventually those too will get passed on to German consumers, who are already paying the second highest electricity rates in the world. Little wonder 600,000 households can no longer afford it.

So far only about a quarter of Germany’s power is supplied by renewables. The target is 90% by 2050. Little wonder many experts think the whole system is going to collapse well before that.

Solar Impulse 2 Flight-Around-The-World “Without A Drop Of Fuel” In Fact Will Burn Tens Of Thousands of Liters!

SolarImpulse_HB-SIA_landing_Brussels_Airport_3-crop

Sun-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft is to circumnavigate the globe “without a drop of fuel”. However it will in fact need thousands of litres of fuel from support planes. Photo credit: Brussels Airport, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

There’s been a fair amount of hype surrounding the Swiss Solar Impulse 2 project where it is being attempted to go around the world in a purely solar-powered aircraft, “without using a drop of [fossil] fuel“. It is being billed as a landmark flight, signifying a milestone in green aviation. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Hat-tip: Reader Konrad.

The fixed-wing aircraft departed Abu Dhabi on March 9 and has since landed in India. From there it will continue to China, Hawaii, Phoenix, New York, Morocco before finally coming full circle back to Abu Dhabi sometime in August, 2015 – “without emitting any climate gases”. Full planned route here.

The pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will alternate as the craft makes a series of stops along its journey. The plane is able to carry only a single pilot and no passengers. The aim: “We want to show what’s possible with innovative technologies,” Piccard boasted.

The 2200-kg pioneering aircraft has a wingspan that is comparable to that of an Airbus A340. According to Wikipedia lithium polymer batteries will store and power 10 hp (7.5 kW) motors with twin-bladed propellers. The upper wings have 11,628 photovoltaic cells. The major design constraint is the capacity of the lithium polymer batteries. See plane specs here.

Of course the entire flight is supposed to be done “solely” using renewable energy from the sun, and not use a single drop of aircraft fuel. But when one examines the flight more closely it turns out that mission indeed involves a huge fossil fuel carbon footprint.

According to an audio report by SRF Swiss Radio and Television the Solar Impulse 2 mission involves the substitute pilot, a technical ground crew “of dozens of people” and tonnes of equipment and logistical supplies that have to be flown behind using conventional charter flights. The “fossil fuel-free” Solar Impulse 2 journey is in fact being made possible only with the use of tens of thousands of litres of aviation fuel. This is a fact that is being almost entirely ignored by the media.

The SRF reporter tells listeners:

It is so that the entire group, the team members, are multiple dozens of men and women, have to fly behind in charter planes. This naturally is the less sustainable aspect of the entire project, but it just isn’t possible any other way. This involves one cargo plane for transporting all the equipment, and a small passenger plane on which the entire group travels to the destinations.”

A promotion video here shows how the aircraft was transported from Europe to its start point in Abu Dhabi earlier this year: With a Boeing 747!

 

Growing “Swept Area” Of Annihilation…Study Points To Wind Turbines’ Barotraumatic Mayhem Of Bats

As wind turbines increase in size and scale, so do their deadliness to wildlife and hazards to human health.

Today’s modern wind turbines now soar to heights of up to over 200 meters, can have outputs of well over 5 MW, and blade tip speeds of over 300 kilometers per hour, thus making them especially lethal to avian wildlife, and hazardous for human health through infrasound.

bat barotrauma

Source: academia.eu, Erin F. Baerwald et al.

21,000 square meters of “swept area” of annihilation

To give an idea of their scale, Danish company Vestas, for example, offers an 8-MW offshore turbine with a total height of 220 meters that is equipped with a monster rotor diameter of 164 meters. The result: horrendous blade speeds and pressure gradients. Flying wildlife stand no chance. Worse is the growing size of the hazardous swept area.

Vestas boasts that its V164-8.0 MW® turbine has a swept area of more than 21,000 square meters, which is “equivalent to almost three football pitches“. Vestas bellows: “When it comes to profitability, the bigger the swept area the bigger the revenue.”

Unfortunately for birds and other wildlife it is also: The bigger the swept area, also the bigger the wildlife annihilation area. But wildlife be damned.

Huge number of fatalities

Wildlife fatalities from wind turbines are poorly documented and mostly unknown. Estimates are on the low side and thought to be much higher, as the industry attempts to play down their real danger.

Birds, bats and other animals can be killed by turbines in any one of three ways: 1) through loss of their habitat due to the disruption of a vast installation area, 2) direct impact with high speed moving blades (birds) and 3) from barotrauma, where bats are the primary victims.

The most sinister of the three is barotrauma, which is a common way bats are killed by wind turbines.

Study shows mayhem

An article published at academia.edu by Erin F. Baerwald et al of the University of Calgary confirms the violent deaths that bats suffer from wind turbines. Bats do not even need to come into contact with the moving blades. It is enough for them to be close to the end of a moving blade to become victims of barotrauma. As the turbine’s blade slices by at 300 km/hr, the negative pressure in the blade’s wake causes the air in the bats’ lungs to expand and incur lethal injury.

Barotrauma typically occurs when an organism is exposed to a significant change in ambient pressure, such as when a scuba diver, a free-diver or an airplane passenger ascends or descends, or during uncontrolled decompression of a pressure vessel.

The academia.edu article writes:

The decompression hypothesis proposes bats are killed by barotrauma caused by rapid pressure reduction near moving turbine blades [1,4,5]. Barotrauma involves tissue damage to air-containing structures caused by rapid or excessive pressure change; pulmonary barotrauma is lung damage due to expansion of air in the lungs that is not accommodated by exhalation.”

Moving turbine blades create zones of low pressure as the air flows over them. Animals entering these sudden low pressure zones may suffer barotrauma; academia.edu article writes:

Pressure differences as small as 4.4 kPa are lethal to Norway rats Rattus norvegicus) [6]. The greatest pressure differential at wind turbines occurs in the blade tip vortices which, as with airplane wings, are shed downwind from the tips of the moving blades [7]. The pressure drop in the vortex increases with tip speed, which in modern turbines turning at top speed varies from 55 to 80 m/s. This results in pressure drops in the range of 5–10 kPa (P. Moriarty, personal communication), levels sufficient to cause serious damage to various mammals [6].” […]

Even if echolocation allows bats to detect and avoid turbine blades, they may be incapacitated or killed by internal injuries caused by rapid pressure reductions they cannot detect.”

188 dead bats examined

Baerwald and her team examined 188 dead bats killed by a wind turbine facility in southwestern Alberta:

Of 188 bats killed at turbines the previous night, 87 had no external injury that would have been fatal, for example broken wings or lacerations (Table 1). Of 75 fresh bats we necropsied in the field, 32 had obvious external injuries, but 69 had haemorrhaging in the thoracic and/or abdominal cavities (Table 1). Twenty-six (34%) individuals had internal haemorrhaging and external injuries, whereas 43 (57%) had internal haemorrhaging but no external injuries. Only six (8%) bats had an external injury but no internal haemorrhaging.

Among 18 carcasses examined with a dissecting microscope, ten had traumatic injuries. Eleven bats had a haemothorax, seven of which could not be explained by a traumatic event. Ten bats had small bullae — air-filled bubbles caused by rupture of alveolar walls — visible on the lung surface (Figure 1A). All 17 bats examined histologically had lesions in the lungs consistent with barotrauma (Table 1), with pulmonary haemorrhage, congestion, edema, lung collapse and bullae being present in various proportions (Figure 1). In 15 (88%), the main lesion was pulmonary haemorrhage, which in most cases was most severe around the bronchi and large vessels.”

In summary, the wind turbines are extremely lethal to wildlife on a scale so horrendous and embarrassing that it is being kept out of the public’s eye. What’s worse is that these turbines, and the growing swept areas of annihilation they bring with them, have been installed by the thousands and plans are being made to install many thousands more – many in natural areas. Wildlife will have no chance.

This is all endorsed by Greenpeace and the WWF.

 

Germany 2014 Report Card Is In! Its 25,000 Wind Turbines Get An “F-“…Averaged Only 14.8% Of Rated Capacity!

Resistance to wind power in Germany is snowballing. And it needs to be noted that this resistance is grass roots and sustained almost entirely by volunteers and privately donated time and effort.

In the latest wind energy critical site www.vernunftkraft.de here has a report summarizing the performance of Germany’s wind turbines in 2014. Again the result is so ugly that the wind industry does not want anyone to see it.

Vernunftkraft.de writes in response to the wind industry’s recent boastings of yet another successful “record” year:

Rolf Schuster finalized the evaluation of the actual wind energy feed-in data in order to counter the propaganda with honest figures.

The most important result: 14.8 percent.

The following diagrams depict the installed capacity in light blue shading, i.e. the cumulative capacity of all Germany’s wind turbines.

As is easy to see, the installed rated capacity has been expanded because new turbines were installed over the course of the year. This is the so-called ‘record’.

The dark blue area shaded depicts the energy that was actually fed in. Here it is easy to see that wind energy is extremely volatile. During some quarter-hour periods the roughly 25,000 turbines indeed delivered a lot of power. But at other times they delivered practically nothing.

One does not even see any real available baseload – a sort of reliable minimum output to rely on.”

2014

Germany’s 2014 installed wind turbine rated capacity (shaded light blue), and the actual power fed in (dark blue). The average: 14.8%! Chart by Rolf Schuster, see here.

The next three charts at Vernunftkraft.de (not shown here) show the January-April, May-August and September-December periods respectively with a higher resolution so that readers can get a better idea of the extreme volatility one gets with wind energy.

The following table sums up the “honest figures” one really gets with wind turbine energy:

20145

Source: Rolf Schuster, here.

The left box shows a total of 39,612 MW of installed rated capacity. The maximum energy fed in was 29,687 MW (74.9% of rated capacity) briefly in December. The absolute minimum was only 24.0 MW (0.06%), probably barely enough to power a single large cement mill.

The average was 5868 MW or 14.8% of the installed rated capacity.

Theoretically that means 85.2% of the rated capacity did nothing the entire year. Imagine a company where only one of seven workers ever show up for work.

The box above on the right also provides interesting figures. They show that Germany’s wind turbines as a whole ran at between 0 to 10% of their rated capacity 45.5% of the time (3986.75 hrs)! The turbines, which the German government says will become the “workhorse” of the German power industry, ran at over 50% of their rated capacity only for 461 hours, or just 5.2% of the time.

It’s little wonder that wind turbines have been assigned the failing grade of “F”. But what else could one possibly expect from a student who shows up for lectures and does his homework only a few times per semester, and stays in bed 6 out of 7 days a week? And now comes the funny part: The parents of this lazy, total-failure-of-a-student are forced to pay Ivy league level tuition – 20 years long! And don’t expect the lazy bum to have a degree of any sort when he walks off campus at age 38.

Little wonder vernunftkraft.de calls wind turbines the sloth of the energy industry.

 

THE CHART Wind Energy Proponents Fear You’ll See…Offshore Wind Turbines Stay In Bed 4 Of Every 5 Workdays!

Yesterday I published a piece by Fred F. Mueller on Germany’s out-of-control renewable energy transition and how it is in fact transitioning over to a disaster.

What follows below is a graphic that proponents of the offshore wind energy industry don’t want anyone to see. It tells the whole story about how (in)efficient and (un)reliable German offshore wind energy really is (Hat-tip: www.achgut.com):

Wind Energy AWOL_R Schuster

Chart shows the installed nameplate offshore wind capacity (shaded green) and the actual output (blue shaded area) since 2009. Wind’s poor performance and unreliable, wildly fluctuating supply disappoint and risk sinking Germany’s “Energiewende”. Chart source: R. Schuster.

The above chart was prepared by Rolf Schuster, an industrial engineering designer, who during his free time has started a wind power databank in order to check the rosy claims being made by the wind power lobby. The results are not something any fast-talking salesman would want any potential buyer to see. The power that was input (blue) is a mere fraction of the rated capacity (green).

Schuster writes:

If you divide the power fed in (blue) by the rated capacity (green) you get the percent of the rated capacity that actually gets fed into the grid. The linear trend shows a negative tendency – towards 20 percent of the rated capacity. That means: Despite the massively increased capacity in 2014, hardly more power has ended up getting delivered compared to the start of the year. Only one fifth of the rated capacity actually gets fed in.”

Many proponents used to argue that the wind is always blowing at the North Sea, and so a steady supply was a sure thing. Now we have real results coming in. That “steady” wind is only delivering 20% of the installed rated capacity. A fiasco.

Schuster also says that offshore turbines have serious technical problems as well. Foundations are being washed out from underneath; there’s corrosion, and overloads that lead to turbine shutdowns. The harsh conditions of the North Sea a proving much tougher to handle.

There are also major problems with the high-voltage direct current systems that have yet to be solved, Schuster writes. One entire North Sea wind park has been disconnected from the grid as a result. This, Schuster says, “makes one ask if the installation of a major power transmission line from North Germany to South Germany would be a high risk gamble for the German energy supply“.

Green power goes AWOL again!

Also a look at online energy portal Agora here also tracks renewable energy that gets fed into the German power grid. A look at today’s graphic for the last 31 days tells us that once again wind and solar have gone AWOL, and so conventional fuels such as gas, nuclear and coal have to jump in to bail out.

Agora 5 Feb 14_25h

The above chart shows German energy supply and consumption for the last 31 days. Solar power that was fed into the grid is shown in yellow. Wind power is shown in blue. Cropped from Agora.

Yesterday, February 4, we saw very little wind power getting fed into the grid, less than a gigawatt from a nameplate capacity of some 55 gigawatts of installed capacity – less than 2%! On February 4 wind and solar together virtually fed in almost nothing into the grid. If it had not been for coal, gas and nuclear, the country would have gone dark.

 

Germany’s “Energiewende” Leading To Suicide By Cannibalism. Huge Oversupply Risks Destabilization

The coming age of power cannibalism…Germany on the verge of committing energy suicide

By Fred F. Mueller

German politicians see themselves as the saviors of our climate. In the early 1990s German politicians started the policies that ultimately culminated in the “Energiewende”, which aims to eliminate nuclear power generation and some 76% of the fossil fuel power generation. By 2050 some 80% of power generation should come from “renewable” green sources such as wind, solar, biomass, waste incineration and hydro. Since the volatile sources of wind and solar power will have to contribute the lion’s share, politicians reluctantly concede 20% of the energy coming from reliable fossil power sources.

Germany’s endeavor is indeed breathtaking. A look at Figure 1 shows in detail how massively Germany had once relied upon fossil and nuclear power sources to secure a highly reliable power supply. These sources were controllable and highly reliable. And because Germany’s topology offers only limited possibilities for hydropower, that renewable source is minimal.

Mueller_1

Figure 1: In 1990 the German grid was able to count on conventional power sources which were controllable and highly reliable. Renewable hydropower accounted for only 3.6 %

Today, after some two decades of massive green energy policy, the situation has changed dramatically. Wind, solar, biomass and waste incineration plants have been promoted to such an extent that together with hydropower, the share of “green energy” today has reached 25.8 % of the country’s total electric power production. This resulted from Germany’s EEG renewable energy feed-in act which guarantees producers fixed rates for 20 years and forces power companies to buy up all the renewable power produced, regardless of the market conditions. The result has been a massive oversupply which has led to steep price drops on power trading floors, which in turn have pushed fossil fuel utilities to and beyond their profitability limits. Surplus production has been repeatedly dumped onto neighboring markets and resulted in massive disturbances for the respective national power grids. Readers interested in a more detailed description of the policy might have a look at the article of Marita Noon [NOON].

Capacity without control

The problem with the “renewable” power sources of wind and solar is their intrinsic volatility coupled with their poor capacity utilization rates of only 17.4% for wind and 8.3% for solar (average values for Germany).

That poor utilization rate means one has to build up huge overcapacities in order to achieve a certain amount of power production. Worse, the power source fluctuates wildly according to weather conditions. As a consequence, Germany has to maintain a dual power generation infrastructure that comprises a grossly overinflated capacity of “renewable” wind and solar power plants shadowed by a full scale backup set of conventional plants. These conventional power sources must always be on standby, ready to take over when weather conditions aren’t favorable. The production-fluctuation range of the “renewables” wind and solar is incredibly wide and volatile. For example in Germany there is an installed nameplate capacity of nearly 73,000 MW. Yet the minimum power output in Germany in 2014 from both sources was a meager 29 MW (only 0.04% of installed capacity) while the maximum value was 38,000 MW (48%).

The massive buildup in wind and solar power has already resulted in a considerable nominal overcapacity of “renewable” power sources.

The combined rated capacity of all “renewable” power sources already reaches about 87,000 MW, which is the maximum power consumption the grid has been designed to secure. Additionally, a minimum conventional power station capacity of some 28,000 MW has to be constantly connected to the grid in order to secure supply stability. As a result the risk of the grid reaching an oversupply situation if weather conditions are favorable for both wind and solar power plants is growing with every additional “renewable” plant that comes online. Currently 5,000 – 6,000 MW are getting added each year. That situation is aggravated by the fact that there exists no technology to absorb and store any noticeable quantities of oversupply. Neighboring countries are already taking measures to fend off surplus-power-dumping that could destabilize their grids.

Power cannibalism has already started

The result is a grid which at times is so oversupplied with power that something will have to give. Fossil fuel power plants have been throttled to the point where they are no longer profitable and many power companies have started mothballing them, so quickly in fact that Germany had to pass legislation forcing producers to keep their fossil plants on stand-by, and to do so even if they lost money. Even the reliable “classic” renewable power sources – e.g. hydropower – are starting to suffer because most are not supported by government schemes.

As the build-up in renewable capacity continues, even the subsidized “renewable” power sources will sooner rather than later be forced into fierce competition for access to the grid whenever the weather conditions turn favorable. One can speculate that within just a couple of years, the first “renewable” energy sources will slowly be driven out of the market because of oversupply. Eventually the renewable power producers will be forced to cannibalize each other in an increasingly fierce competition for privileged access to the power grid as the unwanted events of over-supply become increasingly more frequent.

Things are set to get much worse

Normally, one would think that a government confronted with such a situation would stop at this point and wait for a technically and commercially viable solution for storing the increasing amounts of produced surplus electric energy – for use during times when weather conditions are less favorable. Unfortunately no such storage solution is currently available at the required scale, and anything being proposed so far is either much too expensive or has efficiency factors that are not worth discussing.

Yet Germany has a unique peculiarity: its leaders sometimes exhibit a stunning inability to recognize when the time has come to abandon a lost cause. So far €500 billion has already been invested in the “Energiewende”, which is clearly emerging as a failure. Yet all political parties continue to throw their full weight behind the policy rather than admitting it is a failure (which would be tantamount to political suicide). Instead, the current government coalition has even decided to shift into an even higher gear on the path to achieving its objective of generating 80% of German electric power from “renewable” sources by 2050. If the situation is practically unmanageable now with 25% renewable energy, it’ll be an uncontrollable disaster when (if) it reaches 80%.

If the government sticks to its targets, the share of the different power sources will probably appear as in Figure 2. Currently just 26% has been achieved so far, and the existing biomass share of some 7% is more or less doomed and thus will also have to be replaced by wind and solar. One can easily see how daunting the task that still lies ahead really is.

Mueller_2

Figure 2. The official goal of achieving 80% power supply from “renewable” sources by 2050 requires further massive investments in wind and solar power technologies. Imagine the huge power supply fluctuations one can expect to see from wind and sun.

Waiting for the grand finale

The real risks that lie ahead for the German power generating infrastructure become more recognizable if one looks at the nameplate capacity buildup that has taken place, e.g. just over the past five years, and compares it to what will additionally be needed by 2050, see Figure 2. Keeping in mind that €500 billion have already been contracted and will have to be paid by the consumer, one gets an idea of the proportions of the task still to be tackled in the coming years.

Mueller_3

Figure 3. The installed nameplate power production capacities for wind, solar and biomass as of 2014 has already severely burdened the German consumer with costs of about €500 billion. That will dwarfed by what lies ahead, if politicians don’t change course. Note how 376,000 MW of wind and sun capacity may be installed to ensure meeting the country’s roughly 70,000 MW of demand.

Apart from the sheer dimensions of the costs that lie ahead, the additional cannibalism aspect will grow to enormous proportions. Since an installed wind and solar capacity of some 73,000 MW in 2014 yielded a combined maximum power output of 38,000 MW, the 376,000 MW that are to be installed by 2050 will generate a peak output of 196,000 MW to a grid that might just be able to take up between 40,000 and 90,000 MW. That means, depending on the weather, between 106,000 and 156,000 MW will have to be dumped somewhere else.

In the fight to get power into an often times severely overloaded grid, that’s when cannibalism amongst “renewable” power sources will really become intense. Will wind farmers sabotage solar plantations? Will solar owners sabotage wind turbines? Time will tell, maybe much sooner than we think.

Fred F. Mueller

Sources
[NOON] Marita Noon: Germany’s “energy transformation:” unsustainable subsidies and an unstable system www.cfact.org/2014/12/16/germanys-unsustainable-subsidies-and-an-unstable-system/

 

Goal Post Migration Alert! Father of 2°C Target Schellnhuber Postpones CO2 Emissions Peak 10 Years: From 2020 To 2030!

Reader Kurt in Switzerland points out that Germany’s Climate Pope John Schellnhuber, Director of the end-of-times Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), has just postponed the timepoint when man’s CO2 emissions must reach a peak and start their (rapid) downward trend.

Two days ago I quoted Professor Schellnhuber, who said:

At the latest by 2030 Co2 emissions must reach their peak and start downward.”

That deadline appeared to be new, so Kurt in Switzerland checked if that was the deadline Schellnhuber had given in the past. Kurt writes:

In 2011, Schellnhuber insisted that the emissions curve needed to peak no later than 2020 in order to meet the 2 degree warming target. http://www.wbgu.de/wbgu_jg2011_ZfE.pdf (See p. 7 of 34).”

Indeed in 2011 here Prof. Schellnhuber wrote:

The global emissions trend reversal must occur no later than 2020 [in order to assure compliance to the 2-degree C limit].”

Three years ago Schellnhuber was warning we had to turn things around by 2020 at the latest, or else we would be doomed. Now suddenly we’ve just been given 10 more years?

Now what could have possibly compelled Prof. Schellnhuber to recalculate a new peak time? Perhaps it was the sudden the realization that his expectation of a possible trend change by 2020 was one of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds? Global CO2 emissions have not even yet started to slow down, and a trend reversal point is nowhere near in sight. Major emerging industrial countries like China and India are still seeing rapid, accelerating CO2 emissions growth.

Even Schellnhuber’s home country of Germany, supposedly a model for cutting CO2 emissions, has not managed to reduce CO2 emissions since 2000 – despite more than tripling its renewable energy capacity at a cost of hundreds of billions of euros, as EIKE shows here today:

EIKE_CO2

 CO2 emissions from electricity are depicted by the red line. Renewable energy capacity by the blue line. It’s not working! Source: BDEW

 The story is the same in neighboring Austria. Die Presse here quotes Austrian Green Party spokeswoman Christiane Brunner:

According to an evaluation by participants of the UN Climate Conference in Lima Peru, Austria has not ‘saved a single gram of CO2.’ […]

In 1990 Austria saw CO2 emissions of 78 million tonnes; in 2005 it was 82 million tonnes. ‘When one calculates the EU2020 taregts, Austria will end up once again at only 78 million tonnes in the year 2020 – and that only if additional measures get implemented,’ Brunner criticizes.”

We can certainly expect Professor Schellnhuber to make yet another recalculation in the year 2018 or so, pushing back yet again the deadline for a trend change to 2040 or even 2050. This of course is as remote from science as one could possibly get. Professor Schellnhuber and his scientists in Potsdam are rapidly making themselves to a laughing stock.

 

“Energiewende” Takes A Massive Blow…Top Green Energy Proponent Concedes: “Blunder With Ugly Consequences”!

German national weekly DIE ZEIT writes in its latest hard copy edition that one of Europe’s leading green energy thinkers now concedes Germany’s much ballyhooed Energiewende (transition to renewable energies) has been a “filthy blunder”.

Die Zeit 4 Dec 2014

Page 4 of December 4, 2014, edition of DIE ZEIT. “Filthy Blunder”

When the green movement itself makes such an admission, then you know Germany’s once highly ballyhooed Energiewende is truly in deep trouble, if not a basket case.

“Germany will not even come close to reaching targets”

Moreover, DIE ZEIT, an influential publication among Germany’s green centre-left, writes, “Germany will not even come close to reaching its climate target despite the massive investment in wind and solar energies.

The admission is a massive blow to Germany’s renewable energies movement, whose troubles have long been played down or denied by its proponents.

So what has finally compelled Germany’s top greens to make such an astonishing admission? The facts show that although the Energiewende has led to a rapid expansion of wind and solar energies, it has also led to the unexpected increase in coal-fired power. Renewable energies have had the unintended effect of revitalizing coal as a source of energy. A horror for climate protection activists.

The 180° U-turn begins with Patrick Graichen, Director of the Agora Energiewende thinktank, which according to DIE ZEIT, is “the most influential school of thought for energy policy in Germany“. Graichen himself was formerly responsible for energy at the Federal Ministry of Environment.

Making the air dirtier

The DIE ZEIT feature article explains how Germany’s original plan had been to expand wind and solar so that they would first replace the country’s unwanted nuclear power plants, and then later the filthy coal power plants. The idea was to use natural gas power plants to even out the huge irregularities that come with the weather-dependent solar and wind power. And as green and power grid technology developed further, even gas eventually would be throttled down to a bare minimum, and so Germany would be propelled from being the world’s worst villain to a most loved hero – in less than a 100-year span. That was the dream.

But now green energy dreamers are being rudely awakened, and the reality looks very different. More CO2 is being produced. Die ZEIT writes:

It’s a blunder with ugly consequences. The Energiewende, as it is now set up, is not making the air cleaner, but dirtier.”

The problem, DIE ZEIT explains, is that the coal is much cheaper than natural gas. As a a consequence power generators are opting to even out the green power supply fluctuations with coal power instead of gas. But because coal power plants cannot be driven up and down quickly to respond to fluctuations in supply, power producers no longer even bother throttling them down when too much power is fed in by wind in sun. The coal power plants just keep on humming and emitting anyway – even when the power is not needed. In the end it’s still cheaper than operating gas plants. Result: gas plants are being closed down, coal is coming back.

Grotesque market distortions – negative prices

The requirement to feed in green power and all the extra unneeded coal-fired electricity are now causing grotesque distortions on the electricity markets. To illustrate the perverse market conditions, DIE ZEIT describes the events of Sunday, May 11, 2014, when so much wind and solar power was fed into the grid that the power became worthless on the market and at times caused negative prices on the electricity exchanges, as DIE ZEIT illustrates:

The price on the market fell to nothing. A little later before noon, there was so much green power on the market that the German power companies were paying money to get rid of it. By early afternoon when solar power was flowing plentifully, the so-called negative power price rose to 60 euros per megawatt-hour.”

Negative prices due to an uncontrolled supply into the grid is no longer an isolated event that rarely occurs. DIE ZEIT continues:

And that is no isolated incident; it’s the future of German power production. In the first half of 2014 power prices were negative for 71 hours. But already in just a few years that number could be one thousand hours per year, according to the think tank Energy Brainpool. One quarter of the entire green energy production would be energy garbage.”

Skyrocketing electricity prices for consumers while the price on the exchanges go negative: This has got to be one of the 7 wonders of German energy management.

“An Act of God”

Clearly the German electricity market has careened out of control and is in a state of chaos. Now even the strongest denier greens can no longer stomach the deplorable electricity market situation and are conceding it has to change.

DIE ZEIT then asks how it all came to this in the first place. Patrick Graichen blames what he terms the “collective miscalculation by the experts in the branch” who falsely assumed green energies would crowd out dirty coal plants. Graichen claims that “no one could have foreseen the development.”

“Nonsense,” says Michael Limburg, Vice President of the Germany-based European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), a critical climate science and energy policy think-tank. He wrote NTZ by e-mail:

They are starting to confess what is not longer deniable because it’s so obvious to everyone else…typical for politicians in action. Yet, rather than taking responsibility for the damage they have created, they are now trying to act as if it were an Act of God when in reality it was completely foreseeable and they had been warned on many occasions.”

No one can say all of it was unexpected. Early warnings of disaster have been frequent and since quite a long time. The rubric “Alternative Energy” at the NTZ side bar is chock-full of articles on the troubles in the renewable energy sector. What follows are just a few examples:

notrickszone/2012/01/germanys-solar-debacle-is-a-massive-money-pit/
notrickszone/2012/01/expert-energy-transition-to-fail-spectacularly/
notrickszone/2012/02/600000-households-without-power/
notrickszone.2012/03/energy-transformation-is-a-flop-takeover-looms/
notrickszone/2012/05/energy-unaffordable-for-600000-households/
notrickszone/2012/05/europes-co2-output-climbs/
notrickszone/2012/06/renewable-energy-tsunami-of-costs/
notrickszone/2012/09/forbes-germany-insane-or-just-plain-stupid/
notrickszone.2012/09/23/renewables-drive-is-turning-to a-disaster/
notrickszone.2012/12/redistributes-wealth-from-the-poor-to-the-rich/
notrickszone.2013/02/feed-in-act-will-lead-country-to-economic-ruin/
notrickszone/2013/02/co2-emissions-rose-despite-1-trillion-euros
notrickszone.2013/04/22/green-energy-basket-case
notrickszone.2013/06/energiewende-web-of-grotesque-distortions
notrickszone.2013/06/-solar-industry-ends-in-a-debacle
notrickszone.2014/02/failed-energiewende-dissuades-abbott
notrickszone.com/2014/02/26/all-pain-and-no-climate-gain
notrickszone.com/2014/03/feed-in-act-belongs-in-the-dustbin/
notrickszone.com/2014/03/stinging-parody-of-renewable-energies
notrickszone.com/2014/03/obsolete-model-headed-for-failure
notrickszone.com/2014/03/stunning-absurdity-from-germanys-wind
notrickszone.com/max-planck-energiewende-bordering-on-suicide

 

Top Renewable Energy Expert Warns Of Collapsing Euro Energy Supply…Germany’s Energy Policy “Suicidal”

Vahrenholt DkSWhat follows is Professor Fritz Vahrenholt’s reaction to German power giant E.ON’s decision to split off its fossil fuel and nuclear power generation operations, and Russia’s announcement it has cancelled the construction of South Stream gas supply pipeline to Europe.
=========================

This week two events have occurred and will have serious impacts on the European and German energy market: 1) the withdrawal from conventional power generation by Europe’s and Germany’s largest power company, E.ON, and 2) Russia’s canceling the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline. The public reaction in Germany was quite subdued. That in itself shows how little the German public comprehends the issue of power supply stability.

But this is exactly what these two events are all about.

E.ON accepts that there is no longer any future for coal and nuclear power in Germany, as this is the will of the federal government and the German public. That is indeed suicidal for Germany as a location for business, and E.ON knows it. The forced shutdown of nuclear power plants, without compensation, and the loss-intensive relegation of coal and gas power plants to serve as uneconomical back-up power plants for the most-unstable renewable energies, has left a deep impression on the bottom lines of German power producers.

E.ON will place all its conventional operations into a subsidiary company, which will then be put on the auction block. E.ON’s abandonment is striking proof that a market-oriented commitment in Germany’s energy sector is politically unwelcome. Ultimately it is E.ON’s silent wish that in the end – with political guarantees from the German government – a buyer will take over the risk of producing conventional energy in Germany. If it is not the state-controlled companies in France or Russia, then it will be the German state itself who will take over the supply of energy, and certainly over the coming years – after one of the feared brown-outs. That of course will be because of politics. But the political reaction will claim: The energy supply has to be placed in the hands of the state because the market failed. Perhaps the managers at E.ON saw it coming, and so are now attempting to salvage a part of the capital.

With regards to Russia’s sudden cancellation of the South Stream pipeline project, this is also a question of securing an uninterrupted supply. In the wake of geopolitical tensions Russia is pulling out, surely in part because of the pressure from the falling oil and gas prices which are making the project increasingly uneconomical. Russia is turning to China for a solution.

And also here the German public has been surprisingly subdued. As politics pretty much has blocked the possibility of producing its own shale gas, a major part of the political left is busily attempting to torpedo the planned TTIP trade agreement with the USA, which also would include natural gas. Yet Germany continues on as if it’s business as usual, because the overwhelming majority believes wind and sun will suffice. A look out the window can be enlightening. Just as I am writing this, the PV production in Germany is zero – it’s dark outside – and the wind is hardly blowing…I’d estimate producing a maximum of 5000 MW in total, a tiny fraction of Germany’s total demand. Who is going to supply the other 50,000 MW that will power the German Rail, steel mills, subways, water supply, and my desk lamp and laptop?

One thing is now certain: It’s not going to be E.ON.

Fritz Vahrenholt

=================================

Fritz Vahrenholt is Honary Professor of Chemistry at the University of Hamburg, former Environment Senator of Hamburg, was on the board of Deutsche Shell AG 1998 – 2001, CEO of REpower Systems AG wind turbine company 2001 – 2007, and RWE Innogy renewable energy from 2008 to 2012, and co-author of the climate science skeptical book Die kalte Sonne (English version: The Neglected Sun).  In 2012 Vahrenholt was elected chair of the Deutsche Wildtier Stiftung, a German foundation for the preservation of wildlife in Germany. He is also a member of the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Photo credit: Die kalte Sonne.

 

Germany’s Energy Adventure Intensifies…Eon’s Announcement Plunges Power Supply Future Into Chaos, Uncertainty

Chief Executive Johannes Teyssen of German power giant Eon announced yesterday the spin off of its fossil fuel and nuclear generation operations, saying it will focus instead on renewables like wind power, energy efficiency technology, and smart grids. The announcement yesterday sent shock waves through Germany’s power generation market and the political landscape.

The moves produces a host of important questions? Who will take over the massive conventional power generation operations Eon is spinning off? In a nutshell, what is going to happen to a large part of Germany’s steady base-power supply in a power grid that is becoming increasingly dangerously precarious?

Daniel Wetzel at Die Welt writes of the “hidden dangers of the power revolution” and that Eon’s move is of “importance for the future of the German energy market, for the electricity supply security and the competiveness of the entire nation.”

Another blow was delivered on Monday as Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was cancelling the construction of the South Stream pipeline as a result of political conflict over the Ukraine crisis. The pipeline was planned to deliver huge amounts of natural gas to stabilize the European energy grid.

Over the past years, government intervention has made fossil energies unattractive and is forcing a shutdown of its 9 remaining nuclear reactors by 2022.

Where will the power come from when the wind doesn’t blow?

Today Holger Steltzner at Germany’s flagship Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes that the Eon move presents the German government with 2 major problems: “It has to make sure that the decommissioning of the nuclear power plants succeeds, and it must explain where the power will come from when the wind doesn’t blow.”

23 billion euros to subsidize 2 billion euros of renewable power

Steltzner describes a hostile German power market that has been grotesquely distorted by massive government subsidies in wildly fluctuating renewable energy sources. Stelzner writes:

With 23 billion euros annually, the government subsidizes renewable energy that is worth only 2 billion on the market.”

An irresponsible and reckless experiment?

In summary Germany’s wildly executed Energiewende experiment has just gotten a whole lot more interesting: a major gas supply pipeline from Russia has been cancelled, and the future of a large part of Germany’s electric power supply backbone is now in the dark. And if the trend continues, a whole lot more risks ending up in the dark.

 

Germany’s Growing Green Dictatorship: Grandmothers Putting Climate Protection Targets “In Jeopardy”!

Not only do the hysterical global warming bedwetters want us to do it with the lights off in unheated room with all our clothes on, now they are poised to request senior citizens to leave their cars in the garage and get around in the rain and snow by foot with their Rollators.

Hat-tip: DirkH

The Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (HAZ) reports on a regional Hanover study that found senior citizens are responsible for harming the climate because “they like driving their cars“. According to the HAZ, the study was conducted by the GGR expert assessment office based in Hamburg, on behalf of the Hanover regional government.

Seniors putting climate targets in jeopardy

The report finds that many senior citizens in the Hanover region “are driving their cars longer and more frequently than in the past” and as a result “the region’s own climate protection target in the area of transportation is in jeopardy“.

Obviously the enlightened Hanover government officials are afraid that the climate gods will be angered if old people do not start behaving properly.

One has to be concerned, if not frightened, that such ridiculous studies are being commissioned and used by governments to justify policy in the first place. The study was commissioned by Hanover’s regional government.

Apparently they feel it is their business to find out who is driving around too much. And under the guise of “climate protection”, the state now believes it has the authority to intrude into our private bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, our cars and every aspect of our lives and boss everyone around.

The HAZ writes:

In the city of Hanover there is a positive development among the citizenry in the direction of climate-friendly behavior. However the figures in the surrounding area are stagnating, the GGR claims.”

Despite the “positive development” in Hanover in reaching climate protection targets, mostly through the herding of people into public transportation and bikepaths, the GGR has discovered that seniors living in the surrounding areas outside of Hanover are using their cars far more than they should. The HAZ quotes the GGR report:

Today’s generation of seniors have a driver license more than ever before. In the meantime older ladies are driving with an automobile almost as often as men are.”

God forbid. The increased mobility of grandmothers, the report concludes, means that they are “as a whole producing more emissions even though the cars are more environmentally friendly.”

As policymakers fly to a climate conference for the 20th time, grandma will have to use the Rollator

The report strongly suggests that poor grandmother should use her Rollator more to get around instead of driving her car, or wait 3 hours for the next bus to come by.

The HAZ writes:

In the whole region people are walking less than they did a decade ago. However, a need for action here has not been mentioned up to now.”

Meanwhile, German politicians, NGOs, and activists are all flying (some in first class) and burning tons of jet fuel (at taxpayer expense) all the way to South America – for the 20th climate conference which is aimed at finding ways to protect the climate.

 

Germany’s Environment Minister Calls On Citizens To Turn Off Lights During Sex – To Protect Climate!

What follows is no joke, and tells us how far the German government is prepared to go in order to get its citizens to be nice to the climate.

Germany’s Ministry of Environment headed by socialist Barbara Hendricks has produced a series of video clips aimed at getting citizens to save energy, and thus do the climate good at the same time.

One clip shows a teenage girl coming home late one evening, quietly tip-toeing past the open door of a lit up living room, only to awkwardly catch her parents in the act. Embarrassed, the daughter turns off the lights.

A voice comes on:

The world says thanks. 5% less energy consumption in German households makes one coal power plant redundant. Together it’s climate protection.”

Some readers may ask if it’s customary for Germans to do it fully dressed. According to the video, it seems so. Perhaps the German Ministry of Environment has also decreed sex only in unheated rooms.

German ARD public television reports that the Ministry spent a total of 1.5 million taxpayer euros on producing the 30-second videos.

It really is amazing that bureaucrats are now telling citizens under what conditions to have sex: fully dressed, in a cold room with the lights on.

Another video shows an overweight man filling up his SUV with a jet ski in tow:


The message here, other than men being stupid fat pigs, is:

The climate says thanks. The climate is happy about every single bicycle ride.”

Another video shows a woman closing the window so she does not have to hear the sounds of her power-tool operating husband being eaten by zombies.

After she closes the window, a voice says:

The world says thank you. Stop leaving the windows open in the winter time. Airing out the house all at once for a short time is better for the climate.”

So not only does the room have to be dark and unheated, but the windows also must be closed when having sex (with all your clothes on) in Germany.

This is the nanny state at work. But here the nanny in charge obviously has really gone completely idiotic. Surely Chancellor Angela Merkel is relieved that these videos are not productions made by her CDU party.

 

President Bill Clinton No Longer Believes The “Consensus Science”. Why? Because It Almost Killed Him!

For decades the science told us that humans needed to cut back on fatty foods like red meat, eggs, chicken, cheese, butter and that we should switch to high carb diets, with lots of exercises. High carb, low fat was The Consensus. Backed by all the US medical associations and 99% of all doctors. Dissenters were dismissed, marginalized and labeled as kooks.

Decades later, America (and much of western society) now finds itself on the brink of a public health catastrophe with tens of millions having suffered heart attacks and tens of millions becoming obese and diabetic. Even the most optimistic of statistics show an even gloomier future.

What’s even worse, these nutrition-related diseases, once known to almost only afflict adults, are now spreading rapidly to children. The scientific consensus on nutrition has turned out to be disastrously wrong and it will go down as the greatest scientific folly in the history of mankind.

Bill Clinton, it turns out, a person who has had his share of heart trouble, has had enough of the “scientific consensus” on nutrition: Ex-Vegans Anne Hathaway And Bill Clinton Praise Paleo-Style Low-Carb Diets For Energy And Weight Loss

Also Anne Hathaway has woken up to the junk science (religion) of “climate-saving” veganism.

Anne noted that the difference between eating a vegan diet and consuming animal protein was notable overnight.

‘I just didn’t feel good or healthy,’ Hathaway recalled of her vegan days.”

Read more here.

Germany’s Sole Electric Car Battery Plant To Be Closed…Yet “Another Setback” For Germany’s CO2 Reduction Target

Spiegel reports here that Germany’s sole plant for producing electric car batteries, owned by Daimler, is shutting down thus casting doubt Germany will reach its ambitious target of putting 1 million electric cars on the road by 2020.

According to Wikipedia, as of September 2014 a total of 21,256 plug-in electric vehicles were registered in Germany. Most of the plug-in stock in Germany has been registered by corporate customers.

Spiegel reports:

The only German plant that produces battery cells for electric cars will be closed. The company Li-Tec in the German state of Saxony will produce batteries only for one more year. Daimler Manager Harald Kroger told Spiegel that the current production numbers make it far too expensive to produce the batteries.”

Daimler was banking on higher production numbers, which are necessary for producing economically. But the quantities never materialized. Kroger told Spiegel that the company realized that “an automaker does not have to produce the batteries itself.”

Another setback

Spiegel calls the move by Daimler “another setback for electro-mobility in Germany“, and represents the latest obstacle in preventing Germany from reaching its target of cutting CO2 emissions 40% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

One reason Germany is not rushing into electro-mobility, behind the scenes, is because the country’s power grid is woefully unprepared to handle the extra burden posed by 1 million electric cars because it is crippled by the unsteady feed-in of wind and solar power. Already there are profound fears that Germany’s power grid will be overloaded and collapse should a harsh winter materialize.

A look at the last 5 days of electric power production in Germany shows that wind and sun cannot deliver, especially three days ago on November 13.

 

Excuses Abound As Sea Shepard Negligently Dumps Up To Half A Tonne Of Diesel Fuel Into Trinity Inlet

Here’s a another example of how environmental activists like to beg, plead and claim real excuses when severe environmental accidents happen, yet when an accident is caused by anyone else they demand heads on a plate.

The Cairns Post here has an article: Sea Shepherd guilty of diesel spill that dropped up to 500 litres of diesel into the Trinity Inlet.

Hat-tip: reader Jim

The article is from earlier this year, but it neither got media attention nor the attention it deserves.

What really strikes me is that the environmental organization comes in with its lawyers and fights tooth and nail in claiming that they really acted responsibly and that the accident was not entirely their fault. The excuses they presented are truly sad and pathetic and show an amazing ignorance when it comes to industrial safety regulation and management.

For example, the Cairns Post writes:

A FAULTY switch and instruction manuals written entirely in Japanese have been blamed in court for why a ship owned by conservation group Sea Shepherd dropped up to 500 litres of diesel into the Trinity Inlet.”

Sorry, but using a piece of equipment that you do not understand is gross negligence. Sea Shepard’s motto here obviously was: Let’s just get this thing running (and safety be damned!)

It’s not for nothing that the fundamental industry standard for any piece of such equipment is: Be sure you have read the manual and have UNDERSTOOD it! The crew obviously could not read Japanese, let alone understand it. Here they should have requested a manual in English from the manufacturer, or at least shelled out the money for a translation, before recklessly attempting to put it into operation at sea. They should especially have at least understood the critical technical points dealing with fuel.

The Cairns Times reports that “a crew member named Gabor Nosty failed to manually flick the “low level” switch during a fuel transfer, despite being aware the switch was faulty.”

If that isn’t gross negligence, then I don’t what is. It is management’s responsibility to be sure that its personnel are qualified and trained to carry out the work they have been assigned to do. Most industrial norms and regulations aren’t there to harass companies, but to prevent accidents involving human life and health, property and the environment. The Sea Shepard crew ignored this entirely.

And not only could they not read the vessel’s operating manual, according to the Cairns Times the Sea Shepherd Australia had bought the ship from Japan a week earlier and “had yet to translate signage and manuals or repair the switch“. Again putting a piece of equipment into operation when its crucial safety signs cannot be read is extremely reckless. The crew can count themselves fortunate nothing much worse happened. We are not talking about a TV here, rather a large piece of industrial equipment with lots of power – with people on board – and all around you.

The article also writes that because the chief engineer did not have a manual they could understand, the crew “had to work out the ship’s systems ‘by his own devices’“. This means they were guessing its operational function. This is something you never should do. You wait for a manual you can read, then you read it, and make sure you’ve understood it. Then you can start to use it.

The article also writes that the crew included some Germans. My wife’s company does a lot of translations of German industrial manuals and handbooks. The Germans are gurus when it comes to industrial safety regulation, policy and management. If any one should understand industrial regulation and the importance of adhering to safety standards, it is the Germans. Obviously the Germans on the Sea Shepard crew did not complete a German apprenticeship, or they slept through it.

All the crew members came from an advanced technological country. It’s amazing how activists are always calling for more stringent safety regulations and environmental protection laws, yet they themselves can’t even adhere to the most rudimentary and obvious safety rules. It’s the Japanese manufacturer’s fault!

Despite all the Sea Shepard’s gross negligence, recklessness and disregard for human, property and environmental safety, it appears the crew will get off real easy.

 

Solar Bike-Path To Nowhere: $3.7 Million…Enough Electricity To Power A Whole Three Households

Greens have been all excited about the recent, high publicity solar bike path put in operation in Holland this week. It’s a whole 100 meters or so long…a distance that allows the average cyclist to cycle over and to feel good about saving the planet for about 15 seconds.

Solaroad

Photo (text added by author): Solaroad

NPR writes:

A Dutch project that integrates solar panels into a bike commuter path will officially open this week, on a special roadway outside Amsterdam. Power generated by the SolaRoad’s panels will be funneled into the national energy grid.”

Imagine that, the bike path will be feeding green power “into the national grid“.

That reminds me of the old Peanuts series where Linus once asked Charlie Brown how much allowance he got for feeding Snoopy. “10 cents a week,” Charlie Brown replied. Linus commented: “That helps boost the GNP”. At least for Snoopy it was something worthwhile.

The Guardian proudly trumpeted:

Solar panels embedded in the cycle path near Amsterdam could generate enough electricity to power three houses, with potential to extend scheme to roads.”

Vox.com here writes the bill for the road will be $3.7 MILLION dollars. For the price you’d think it would at least power an entire neighborhood or a small village. Vox writes:

But is this even practical? The bike path will cost roughly $3.7 million and, when it’s fully built out to 330 feet in 2016, will generate enough electricity to power… three households. Not very cost-effective. (That’s more than 1,000 times costlier than the price of rooftop solar electricity in the United States.)”

Of course much of the sum reflects a one time development cost. Even if the price gets driven down 95%, the problem of cost is still relevant and the sun barely ever shines in Amsterdam for much of the year. The horrendous cost of paving all of Holland’s extensive bike paths in the end would not eliminate a single coal power plant for the simple fact that the panels work only for a tiny fraction of the time and conventional power plants need to be on standby.

Then there are still the unanswered questions of how well the panels will hold up. One only needs to consider rain, snow, freeze-thaw cycles, vandalism, cleaning requirements etc.

Many of us have already thought that the idea of mounting them on the roofs of homes was already quite kooky and impractical enough, but the idea of putting them down on road surfaces really takes the economy cake.

 

Presentation By Professor Of Feminism: “Value Creation And Gender Division Of Labor In Climate Change”

I was out of town for the weekend, enjoying the record warm weekend, which is why the blogging was on the slow side. Now that I’m back, I see the world is still as kooky as ever. Here’s a short one from the DkS site:
===================================

Highly Urgent Topic: Presentation “Gender division of labor in climate change” at the University of Bremen on 12 November 2014
By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)

On November 12, 2014 a colloquium by the artec research centre for sustainability is taking place at the University of Bremen at 4 pm. The colloquium focuses on a topic that has long been a pressing issue and has been the source of many sleepless nights:

Value creation and value appreciation: Gender division of labor in climate change
Speaker: Dr. Sybille Bauriedl, Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies”

So what could possibly be behind this title? Is the suspected climate change going to lead men to finally getting off their lazy butts and helping out with the ironing and laundry? Or is the looming heat going to lead men to not being able to help out at all because they’ll be confined to sweating profusely on a hammock? Lots of questions, but no answers.

At the speaker’s website we happen to come across another important presentation from a year ago:

Social construction of climate change. How and what can feminist research contribute to gendered climate policy?”

This is something we have always asked ourselves. Or what about this presentation here by Bauriedl from 2012:

Climate justice and gender justice: women in the climate trap”

Women in the climate trap. The insidious climate catastrophe apparently has had the world of women in its sights. Unfortunately the site does not offer any presentation files, which we would have loved to have a look at.

It is truly interesting to observe where our tax dollars are going. For Ms Bauriedl and her occupation, it would certainly be catastrophic if it ever turned out that everyone had over-estimated climate change for years and if the dreaded catastrophe never materialized.

 

Germany Says “Nein” To Vegetarianism To Save Climate – Green Party Abandons “Veggie-Day” Drive

The primary drive behind the Green Movement is the attempt to seize the power to control human behavior and to enforce it with a system of severe punishment and reward.

Human behavior can be modified to some extent, as long as the change is gradual, involves some reward and does not entail unreasonable sacrifice. But once you expect too much from the public, there’s a high chance of violent revolt and the movement backfiring.

Nikolaus Blome at Spiegel reports this is precisely what has happened to the German Greens recently in their attempt to reduce meat consumption by forcing the public to swallow a nationwide weekly “Veggie Day”, where every Thursday German public cafeterias would serve up only vegetarian dishes.

Spiegel last year wrote:

Veggie Day’ should link to the tradition of a meatless Friday and promote health, animal and climate protection, Green Party leading candidate Katrin Göring-Eckardt has pushed.”

The public reacted almost instantly and handed the Germans Greens a series of costly election day defeats. Criticism was harsh from all sides. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats blasted the food nannies, calling the agenda “paternalism” and a move towards a federal “republic of bans”. Even the German Communist Links Party warned of a “green upbringing dictatorship

What was meant to be a noble planet-rescue mission by the Greens, who thought they had tapped into a new trend sweeping across the country, turned into a political flop. Apparently Germans are not ready to part from their beloved national food icons: schnitzel and bratwurst. The German Green Party has since been forced to withdraw their “Veggie Day” from its political agenda.

Spiegel writes the Greens will be formally adopting a new position on nutrition. Spiegel writes:

In the new party program the following sentence will be included in early November: ‘What I eat and what I don’t eat shall be decided by my own taste.'”

In its online poll, over 56% of the more than 15,000 Spiegel readers who voted checked off:“Everyone should be allowed to eat as much meat as he she wishes”, while 21% checked: “Excessive meat consumption is responsible for climate change and the suffering of millions of animals.”

Goes to show: politicians may think they can shove whatever they want down the throats of the public, but in the end, more often than not, it just gets coughed right back up.

 

How Not To Attract Foreign Investment: Sociologist Proposes 30-Hour Workweeks In Order To Protect Climate In Austria

I don’t have much time to spare today, so here’s a short one.

The German language, Austria-based Kronen Zeitung here has an online article on what sociologist Hubert Eichmann proposes to help save the climate: 30-hour workweeks for everyone in Austria.

Apparently Austria has been “hard hit” by climate change and so something really needs to be done about it. So Eichmann proposes a 30-hr work week to reduce productivity, which in turn would reduce CO2 emissions.

Not only that, the Kronen Zeitung writes:

Secondly commutes to work would be reduced as well and, thirdly, citizens would have more leisure for more environmentally protective behavior.”

Eichmann says for example that the “extra time would allow people to ride their bicycles to work instead of driving, and to separate their garbage.”

Also university Professor Jörg Flecker is also a supporter of the short workweek, and he advised policymakers to implement the reduced work-hours model.

Fortunately, the economic madness spawned by the obsession of rescuing the planet from fictitious manmade global warming has not fully infected the minds of politicians, at least for now. The Kronen Zeitung writes that Austria’s Ministry for Employment, Social and Consumer Protection views the plan of shortening the work week as “not achievable”. It seems the Austrian government still has enough sense remaining to realize that the 30-hour workweek would lead to less output, and thus also to lower tax revenues. That’s not what they want.

Moreover, which foreign company would be insane enough to set up shop in a country where the workers have an efficiency that is roughly equal to that of the average wind turbine? (30 hours/168 hours = 17.9%)

Income by Austrian workers would also necessarily drop by around 20%. What would the Austrian citizen get for all that sacrifice? The resulting CO2 savings theoretically would reduce global warming by something like 0.001°C by 2100!

Boy, what a deal!

Yes, some professors really are that dim. Hat-tip: DkS.