As the pressure mounts in Germany to switch off coal power plants and to rapidly transition over to green energies, one gets the feeling that it all has more to do with a desperate, last-ditch effort by the green energy proponents to rescue their pet green project.
Photo right: Energy expert, Dr. Björn Peters. Image: Deutscher Arbeitgeberverband
Hat-tip: Die kalte Sonne
Recently, Der Spiegel wrote about how Germany’s once highly ballyhooed Energiewende (transition to green energies) has turned out to be a botched project. Then Michael Schellenberger at Forbes commented that the laws of physics tell us it was never meant to work in the first place.
Behind closed doors, no one in Berlin believes in it
Now, just days ago, energy expert Dr. Björn Peters wrote at the German Association of Employers site that the Energiewende has deteriorated to the point that: “No specialist politician in Berlin believes in the success of the Energiewende any more. Whoever you ask, everyone says this only behind closed doors and thinks that if you go to the press with it you can only lose against the ‘green’ media mainstream.”
Peters warns that what is needed in Germany is a good dose of reality and “a fresh start on energy policy.”
Advantages of fossil fuels “too great”
The German expert writes that despite the hundreds of billions of euros committed to green energies, “chemical energy from coal, oil and gas supplies about four fifths of primary energy worldwide and also in Germany and thus represents the present energy supply”.
And although at some point, the reserves will be exhausted, and alternatives will need to be found, but “for the time being, chemical energy sources are irreplaceable and will remain so for several decades to come. Their advantages are too great.”
Peters reminds that “petroleum-based fuels have the invaluable advantage of high energy density. At over 10 kWh/kg – a hundred times higher than batteries – they are the only energy sources that can reliably supply cars on overland journeys, trucks and ships with energy.”
Yet, Peters agrees that alternatives need to be sought out ultimately because traditional fossil fuels are limited in their supply and burning them entails questions concerning their impact on health.
Nuclear technology as the solution
In his opinion piece, Peters advocates nuclear power as the alternative, writing: “If now the chemical energy sources cause too much damage to humans and nature and will run out in the foreseeable future, and the surrounding renewable energies cannot provide a comprehensive energy supply, only nuclear energy sources remain. Physics does not permit other energy sources. From these we can show that they have the potential to deliver clean and highly concentrated energy forever. Of particular importance is the fact that nuclear energy can provide energy for all applications that human civilization needs, i.e. not only electrical energy but also for heating, transport and industrial process energy.”
Peters also notes that there are “candidates for a modern energy supply by means of nuclear energy”, with the most promising being the dual fluid reactor as it is inherently safe because the physical processes prevent it from getting out of control and it is emissions-free.
Sun and wind inadequate
In Peters view, it’s been shown on multiple occasions that energies from the sun, wind and biomass are not yet suitable for powering entire modern societies.
The German energy expert criticizes Germany and the EU’s narrow focus “on promoting only a few power generation technologies” while ignoring more comprehensive energy supply concepts.
He warns: “In the end, even the German public will not be able to avoid the banal physical reality: Without nuclear energy sources, it will not be possible to abandon chemical energy sources due to the pitfalls of renewable energies. A new start in energy policy is therefore urgently needed.”