German Employer’s Association Op Ed: “No Expert Politician In Berlin Believes In Switch To Green Energies Any More”

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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.”

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28 responses to “German Employer’s Association Op Ed: “No Expert Politician In Berlin Believes In Switch To Green Energies Any More””

  1. SebastianH

    Behind closed doors, no one in Berlin believes in it

    From a guy who says we don’t know if the benefits of more CO2 in the atmosphere would be bigger or smaller than the negative impacts of climate change. I’d say anecdotal evidence (I do not doubt that there are some “Fachpolitiker” who don’t believe in changing things, after all about half the country votes conservative).

    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.”

    Sure, and with the electricity needed to refine this kg of fuel you can drive almost half the distance you could drive with an ICE car burning it to move forward. It’s horribly inefficient, that’s why cars need this amount of energy density in their fuels.

    Electric trucks exist, with or without batteries. Delivery trucks can certainly run the whole day on a single battery charge. And surprise, even electric ships already exist and work reliably. I agree that batteries won’t be the solution for all transport problems, but they work, are efficient and are becoming cheaper every year. Hell, even electric airplanes are in development. If it works for those, it works for anything.

    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.

    Umm, no? Especially not unproven hypothetical reactor designs. He could have mentioned relying on fusion to become commerically useable … almost as much science fiction as what he proposes. We need solutions now.

    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.”

    He surely is no expert in physics. What on Earth is he writing about? We have a perfectly fine working fusion reactor hanging up in the sky that provides more than we could ever consume/use in the foreseeable future. It can be used for heating, transport and industrial process energy very easily and I’d think at much lower costs than nuclear energy in the current state 😉

    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.

    Has it though? His view seems very narrow on this topic. It’s powering almost half of the electricity usage in Germany so far this year …
    https://energy-charts.de/energy_pie.htm?year=2019

    46% in 2019 up from 18.5% in 2009, extrapolate to 2029 and we are at over 70% by then assuming only linear growth of installations. Combine that with an increasing electrification of both the transportation and heating sector and Germany is well on its path to reduce the CO2 emission by over half until 2030.

    tl;dr: this guy is an advocate for nuclear energy (do a little research on him next time) and spreads fairy tales about cheap and reliable nuclear against the clearly working concept of renewables.

    Did you know that the first PV power plants are coming online in Germany that don’t require subsidies? It worked in Spain before, but if it works in a country with this much less sunshine available, well … it should work almost everywhere rather sooner than later. Most certainly sooner than any commercially viable dual fluid reactor he is promoting because he is the CFO of such a project 😉

    1. Josh

      Take a hike SebH. Your arguments have been refuted time and again. The fact is so-called ‘renewable’ sources lack the power density and dispatchability to be able to power modern civilisation, subsidised or not. Any honest expert understands this but you and your ilk never will.

    2. Anders Valland

      SebastianH, No. Electric ships don’t exist. Electric boats do. The biggest maritime battery unit to be installed in the next 3 years is around 6 MWh, and it can only support slow steaming for 2-3 hours. It does not power the entire vessel, only propulsion. And only for a very short distance of its journey.

      The operational all-electric vessels are small, go short distances (10-15 nm) and have low speed.

      Batteries will never power ships that need to go longer distances, carry cargo and operate at the speeds necessary for trading. Batteries will develop, and their capacities are expected to increase 10-fold over the next 10-15 years. But it does not matter much. Their achilles heel is in the charging. The bigger the battery, the more power you need for the charge – unless you want to spend a loooong time in port. We are talking 10’s to 100’s of MW charging power, per vessel. It won’t happen.

    3. Henning Nielsen

      And by 2050, 140%!

      1. SebastianH

        Such transitions usually follow an S-curve. The beginning is highly exponential, the middle part almost linear and then the transition slows down for the final few percent (or ten+ percents).

        So in addition to being silly by mentioning a transition percentage of over 100%, we will be lucky to achieve 100% in 2050 since those last 10-20% will be extremely difficult. I suspect the goal of being carbon neutral by then can only be achieved with carbon capture technologies.

  2. tom0mason

    Chicken coming home to roost?

    IMO Germany is making beginning to see the light.
    Energiewende (transition to green energies) and the whole ‘green’ energy idea is, and has been, a phony. A scheme to enrich government friendly crony capitalists while impoverishing everyone else. Now people are realizing that this is the case it’s time to dismantle the whole project, and start to make real progress with the money saved. Go ahead and build a reliable nuclear, coal, and gas powered electricity generation infrastructure and simplify the grid system, and see the economy recover.
    If you must have electric devices everywhere, then the demand for electricity will only rise — just recharging all those (predicted) tens of thousands of new battery vehicles is going to take a real increase in generating capacity.
    Start solving real problems, not the imagined ones that school kids fret over. 🙂

    1. SebastianH

      tomOmason, seriously … you have a very warped view of reality.

      the whole ‘green’ energy idea is, and has been, a phony. A scheme to enrich government friendly crony capitalists while impoverishing everyone else.

      No and no.

      Now people are realizing that this is the case it’s time to dismantle the whole project, and start to make real progress with the money saved. Go ahead and build a reliable nuclear, coal, and gas powered electricity generation infrastructure and simplify the grid system, and see the economy recover.

      Why would anyone realize what isn’t the case? How is nuclear and coal the future? It’s more expensive and when they are facing huge liabilities companies in both industries chicken out and just declare bankruptcy. If that isn’t “phony” then what is?

      And recover from what exactly? Are you imagining that countries like Germany are somehow in a bad economic shape because of the increase of renewables in the grid? Look elsewhere for possible influences on the economy for the next years to come … maybe a completely unneccessary tradewar? Brexit? Those things cost billions over billions, if not trillions.

      If you must have electric devices everywhere, then the demand for electricity will only rise — just recharging all those (predicted) tens of thousands of new battery vehicles is going to take a real increase in generating capacity.

      Yes it will use more electricity. Care to give an estimate? I’d be very interested in your take on this 😉

      Start solving real problems, not the imagined ones that school kids fret over.

      Imagined stuff is what skeptics like you are all about.

      1. tom0mason

        As usual everything you say is just a distraction and wrong. But as it’s just a product of your inability to reason logically, especially with your ideas of what skeptics think, it understandable.

        German economy? The EU’s latest official figures published 7th May (HERE ), slashed the previously predicted German growth rate of 1.1% (HERE ) to just to just 0.5%.
        Out of the ‘big four’ large EU countries, the UK is joint first with France, both countries growing 1.3%. Germany is languishing on 0.5% and Italy barely has its head above water on 0.1%.
        And the UK is still getting lots of international investments. The latest UBS Global Wealth Management survey has found that investors and business owners now think that Brexit will be good for the economy. 41% of High Net Worth Investors now believed that Brexit would have a positive impact on the economy, compared to only 35% who think it will be negative. Business owners are similarly optimistic, 44% believed Brexit would be positive for their businesses while 28% said it would have no impact at all. A far cry from Project Fear…

        So take your BREXIT doom and gloom elsewhere as it like your belief in anthropological global warming — all fake, all theory and invalid.

        1. I_am_not_a_robot

          “German economy? The EU’s latest official figures published 7th May (HERE ), slashed the previously predicted German growth rate of 1.1% (HERE ) to just to just 0.5% …”.
          In a sense that is Energiewende working, at least in the eyes of the alarmists, just as wind and solar ‘were never meant to work’ except through price rationing energy use i.e. mandating the artificial inflation of conventional energy sources.

  3. bonbon

    No surprise that it is now revealed above the earliest and most sophisticated 20th Century case for renewables came from a German who is widely considered the most influential philosopher of the 20th Century, Martin Heidegger. See link in very good article above.

    This is the “philosopher” widely publicised by Arendt of the “left” in NY, who was the ghost-writer of a well known demogogue of the right in the 1930’s.
    Here Heidegger writes :
    The use of “modern technology,” he wrote, “puts to nature the unreasonable demand that it supply energy which can be extracted and stored as such… Air is now set upon to yield nitrogen, the earth to yield ore, ore to yield uranium…to yield atomic energy.”

    The solution, Heidegger argued, was to yoke human society and its economy to unreliable energy flows. He even condemned hydro-electric dams, for dominating the natural environment, and praised windmills because they “do not unlock energy in order to store it.”

    We have the unholy spectacle of radical left purveying radical right destruction. No wonder they are afraid of their shadows!

    At last some sunshine on this murky swamp! I use Murx, Austrian dialect for this mess.

    1. SebastianH

      Wow! Impressive mind gymnastics … Murx is the correct word for this comment alright 😉

      1. bonbon

        Heidegger did like to coin new words such as Seinsvergessenheit – being-forgottenness, blaming it on technology – weird word gymnastics indeed.
        As Georges-Arthur Goldschmidt showed, Heidegger is the ghost writer of that infamous book recently off the censor list in Germany. His praise of windmills and the weird “unlocking of energy” is very like what he was accused of by Karl Jaspers of, mesmerizing, being thus banned from any Uni. The case of recent “gaslighting” by AOC et al with their GND is a variation on mesmerizing.
        Unfortunately today Heidegger is daily Kant-gruel in all Uni’s so no wonder what kind of green irrationality spews forth.
        Sickening.

        1. Yonason

          Oh come on now, bonbon. Heidegger hasn’t any monopoly on inventing new words. That’s just one of the beautiful “features” of the German language, that it lends itself to neueswortmachen, is it not!
          https://twentytwowords.com/why-its-crazy-to-play-scrabble-in-german/

      2. Henning Nielsen

        Murx is the perfect word for green commun-eco-ism; murky Marxism.

  4. Gus

    By the time we run out of fossil fuels (not any time soon), fusion will be mastered and commonly available, indeed, to provide us with energy forever. What more, this will be the energy that we can take with us into space and that will help us get there too.

  5. Curious George

    Could you please name three expert politicians in Berlin?

  6. sasquatch

    Wind turbines are mandates, not economic drivers, you can get by without any of them.

    They’re analogous to everybody living in a city that requires them to have their own water well when all you need is a municipal system of pipes and water towers. Easy stuff to figure out, with a water supply stored in the water towers, firefighting becomes a sport and a fire threat to an entire city is quashed quickly, doused.

    All that is really needed is to have coal-fired power plants, natural gas, hydroelectric dams, and some nuclear power plants for even more electricity. You’ll have a plethora of electricity. Much like water towers keep a city safe, energy sources, resources, are the stored energy to be transformed into usable energy and your living standard improves. Life will be good.

    It is not a difficult decision to use some gas to get ‘er done.

    I’ve been out there driving my tractor preparing the soil for what needs to be done.

    You plant crops or go hunt and gather, which is what farming really is, concentrated hunting and gathering.

    Who wants a draft horse or a mule for raw horsepower when all you need will be few gallons of fuel? The field work is done in no time.

    Still is work, you just work smarter, a spade and a rake are ok, but not for production agriculture. You’ll need machines that can do more than a thousand people could in a single day or even hour.

    If you want your electric bus, you can have your electric bus.

    Throw some electricity in a train engine and it’ll roll down the tracks with ease.

    Industrialization makes for economic efficiencies.

    You need those dirty filthy hydrocarbons to do that.

    Fossil fuels are there for a reason and the reason is they make life and living life a darn good experience.

    Don’t argue with success.

    1. SebastianH

      You need those dirty filthy hydrocarbons to do that.

      You don’t, you only need useable energy to do those things. It doesn’t matter where it comes from …

  7. richard

    Factor in that electricity is only one fifth of total energy needs and it looks really grim.

    1. SebastianH

      That’s why the transition includes electric transport and heating. Just converting from fossil fuel to electricity from wind or solar saves about 2 thirds of the primary energy consumption.

  8. Don from OZ

    Are Dual Fuel Reactors similar or the same as Liquid Fluorine Thorium Reactors(LFTR) ?
    LFTR uses principally Thorium with a dash of Uranium It consumes otherwise unwanted and long lasting ‘spent uranium’ Has far less (like about 1%) waste byproduct which has a half life of hundreds of years rather than the thousands of years for ‘Spent’Uranium rods. Thus reducing the stockpiles and associated risks.
    The only reason that Uranium came to the fore was because the powers that be wanted to make atomic bombs.
    LFTR is far, far safer than Uranium reactors and for that matter Coal. It is ‘pollution free’ for those that consider CO2 a pollutant of any note.

    1. SebastianH

      Please point to an implementation of either of those concepts in any commercial (or research) reactor on this planet. Fusion is also pretty promising, but also decades away from possible commercial use. How does this help now?

  9. Graeme No.3

    Don from Oz:

    All nuclear reactors can use some thorium. The Chinese (experimental) pebble reactor uses thorium with uranium, and could use plutonium if incorporated into the pebbles.
    The ‘dual fuel’ possibly comes from the need to ‘seed’ a reactor with U-233 and then it can burn thorium & plutonium (and other radioactives).
    The advantage of LFTR is the amount of hype it is getting, possibly because it can indeed be used to ‘burn’ otherwise unwanted radioactive products fairly easily, and its claim of being “melt-down proof”. See also pebble reactors (Chinese), homogeneous reactors (Russian) and no doubt others.

  10. pochas94

    Hey, the Germans will get what they deserve.

    1. SebastianH

      What do Germans deserve and for what reason?

    2. Yonason

      I hope, for the sake of the German people, that the leadership who have misled them and caused them harm get what THEY deserve. At the very least they need to be voted out of office. Of course that would require there to be competent leaders available to replace them. A while back I heard an interview of one fellow who seemed to know what he was doing, so there are probably more out there. So I personally wish them success at waking up to the bad situation they have been misled into, and being able to get out of it.

  11. jollygreenman

    The Germans allowed their kids to be brainwashed by the modern day Pied Piper of Global warming/Climate Change/Extreme (weather) extinction rubbish!

  12. bonbon

    Heidegger was accused of mesmerizing by Karl Jaspers, being thus banned from any Uni teaching post after WWII. Now along comes AOC with the GND and Extinction Rebellion, a form of mesmerizing called in the US Gaslighting.

    Lying differently , privately, to different listeners is the key to this. Leo Strauss, Heidegger’s student, spawned a whole cabal of Straussians in the US – just google his students, all in powerfull posts.

    Now AOC recants on the 12 year GND doomsday lie, it seems though poor Greta did not get the memo.

    When we see Bolton openly admitting to lying to start wars, it’s shades of Heidegger right now today.

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