Newsbytes – the ungreening of Germany

Germany Building 17 New Coal, 29 New Gas-Fired Power Stations

From Dr. Benny Peiser at The GWPF

German utilities and private investors have plans to construct or modernise some 84 power stations, energy and water industry association BDEW said on Monday. Of the total number counted 29 units were gas-fired and 17 coal-fired generation plants, it said. The plans this year reflect over a year of debate on how to best replace Germany’s nuclear power stations, which must be closed faster than planned in light of the nuclear disaster in Japan in March 2011. –Reuters, 23 April 2012

It’s a real paradox: As a result of Germany’s green energy transition, nuclear power is on its way out, but coal, Germany’s dirtiest resource, has become the most important energy source again. Brown coal (lignite) in experiencing a renaissance in Germany. Last year, about a quarter of the electricity generated used this most environmentally adverse resource. Its consumption grew by 3.3 percent. This has made lignite the number one energy supplier. The Government’s planned energy transition was supposed to, among other things, produce environmentally friendly electricity. It turns out, however, that the power gap, which was created by the shutdown of eight nuclear power stations, will be largely filled by brown coal.

The Prime Minister believes that unlocking the reserves of gas in shale rock under the county’s countryside has the potential to be a “revolution” creating thousands of extra jobs for the county. Mr Cameron said: “We can complete the review and see whether gas can be extracted safely, clearly in America this has been something of a revolution. I am fully alert to the potential and I am looking very closely at this industry with energy independence and security of vital importance to our country.” –Lancashire Evening Post, 20 April 2012

Until recently we thought that conventional gas was going to run out and the most plentiful supplies of the stuff were in Russia or the Gulf. Now that we realise the rocks under our feet may hold supplies that would last for generations, the world has changed and the greens haven’t caught up. I detect something else behind the “shale rage” of the European greens. They got too close to the present renewables industries and let governments hand out subsidies without enough competition over price. They thought gas would get so expensive that renewables would look cheap by comparison. They were wrong. Instead of getting angry with the frackers, they should adapt their thinking to a world in which gas prices could fall, and persuade governments to spend some of the money we will save on a generation of renewables that might actually solve our problems. –Charles Clover, The Sunday Times, 22 April 2012

The EU member states’ energy ministers remain opposed to binding energy efficiency targets and a freeze on CO2 emissions allowances. The debate at an informal Energy Council, on 19 April in Horsens, Denmark, gave them the opportunity to confirm their positions on this issue. Without going back over all the different points of the directive, the ministers reiterated their total opposition to the inclusion of binding targets in the text, as demanded by Parliament. They could nevertheless agree to an indicative target of 1.5% energy savings, to be achieved gradually by 2020. –Anne Eckstein, Europolitics, 20 April 2012

Argentina’s shale reserves are believed to be the third biggest in the world, after those of the US and China. Just as nuclear scientists hoped atomic power was the answer to the world’s energy needs in the 1950s, oil and gas producers believe this new resource could bring plentiful low-cost power. Shale could also bring energy independence for many nations, freeing them from a reliance on imports. Shale is recasting geopolitics and influencing companies’ investment decisions. National oil companies and international groups have spent tens of billions of dollars acquiring shale gas resources in North America. –Sylvia Pfeifer, Financial Times, 22 April 2012

The only British company in the running to build a new generation of atomic power plants has threatened to pull out due to uncertainty over the government’s energy policy – a move that could imperil the country’s nuclear renaissance. Executives at Centrica, which is planning to build a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset in a joint venture with EDF Energy, have warned Whitehall officials that the plan hangs by a thread and could be scrapped if the company does not receive assurances about the future price of nuclear-generated electricity. –Guy Chazan and Jim Pickard, Financial Times, 22 April 2012

The sun may be entering a period of reduced activity that could result in lower temperatures on Earth, according to Japanese researchers. Officials of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and the Riken research foundation said on April 19 that the activity of sunspots appeared to resemble a 70-year period in the 17th century in which London’s Thames froze over and cherry blossoms bloomed later than usual in Kyoto. –The Asahi Shimbun, 20 April 2012

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45 thoughts on “Newsbytes – the ungreening of Germany

  1. Hopefully the Greens have learned a lesson, when you vehemently fight against any energy source other than wind, solar and unicorn farts, reality will hit you square in the nose sooner or later.

  2. Actually, the article said, “to construct or modernise“.

    There were 23 Offshore Wind, and 10 pumped storage Projects listed, also.

  3. Why is this entitled “ungreening”?
    If the environmentalists can get over the CO2 bed-wetting, they could get back to campaigning about REAL pollution.

    I don’t see this as ungreening, more like waking up from a long bad dream and refocusing on real issues. Whether anyone is going to listen to them any more is likely to be their biggest problem.

  4. Kum Dollison says:
    April 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm
    “Actually, the article said, “to construct or modernise“.
    There were 23 Offshore Wind, and 10 pumped storage Projects listed, also.”

    You have to divide the wattage of the many small wind projects by 3 to 5, of course, you know that, so that’s many small peanuts.

    As for pumped storage: We use that to produce renewable energy. Many Germans happily pay inflated prices for renewable electricity; this electricity is largely produced by hydropower plants. What kind of energy you use to pump the water uphill doesn’t matter. The moment it flows downhill it’s green energy.

    That’s how Greenpeace Energy and a lot of other electricity traders work. Customers are free to choose whether they make a contract with their local provider or somebody else; if you’re a green, you pay more for “green” electricity from one of those providers (comes through the same grid of course and is only a bookkeeping exercise).

  5. I was going to post this on Tips n Notes, but it fits quite well here :
    All you Germanists out there, this was on Bavarian TV this evening. Basically the German solar industry is on the verge of collapse, threatening 3000 jobs ( tsk, that is actually pretty bad and it wiped the smile off of my face ) as the government pulls the plug on subsidies and they are being overrun by cheap Oriental imports.

    http://www.br.de/fernsehen/bayerisches-fernsehen/programmkalender/sendung267210.html

  6. I had no idea how bad the German school systems are. They are afraid of tsunamis in Germany taking out their nuclear power plants. Really?

    Clearly, someone was looking for any excuse to close those plants. It’s a shame because nuclear is the way to go in the long run. It has the smallest footprint and is safer than most power industries. Thorium liquid nuclear reactors have all pluses, no meltdowns, cheap fuel, potential for full-automation, and even usable byproducts rather than waste as the fuel is so fully used up.

  7. The problem facing the environmentalists is that, if they have to give up on CO2 because it cannot do what they say, they do not have anything as monumental and with the potential in power-accumulation that a Draconian takeover of the world’s energy based on CO2 would have. All other issues pale compared to what they see in the AGW Scam.

    It has taken a long time to realize that, very simply, NO atmospheric gas can warm the Earth’s surface. The back radiation and greenhouse effect simply do not exist. That leaves CO2 emissions as the most beneficial thing we can do for the planet and for all life on Earth. There is no downside.

  8. Germany will not jeopardise “Das Autos” and that requires secure and cost effective energy.

  9. higley7 says:
    April 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm
    “I had no idea how bad the German school systems are. They are afraid of tsunamis in Germany taking out their nuclear power plants. Really?
    Clearly, someone was looking for any excuse to close those plants. It’s a shame because nuclear is the way to go in the long run. It has the smallest footprint and is safer than most power industries. ”

    The public schools are in the hand of greens; most members of the Green party are teachers. The other teachers are members of Die Linke, a reform communist successor of the DDR’s SED party.

    Neither in the schools nor in the media (not even in the non-public media) is the safety record of nuclear power EVER mentioned in a fair way (which would be deaths/TWh).

    Meanwhile, people die in the construction of useless offshore wind parks. That’s the korrekt way of dying for a noble cause.

    http://notrickszone.com/2012/04/22/killer-offshore-north-sea-windparks-3-dead-80-serious-accidents-more-have-died/

    German has a word for this, “Gleichschaltung” (lit. synchronisation; meaning total conformity in the media).

  10. Higley, it looks like “sustainabiity” or water distribution may be on the back burner as a substitute scare tactic by the watermelons.

  11. GJohn Barrett says:
    April 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm
    german solar industry is on the verge of collapse, threatening 3000 jobs

    The total of green jobs in solar is 3 000?.

    “The largest share of jobs in the field of renewables can be found in sectors directly or indirectly linked with solar energy, with a total of 125,000 employees last year. Approximately 111,000 of these in the photovoltaics sector. This is followed by the biomass sector with around 124,000 employees and wind power with more than 100,000.”

    http://www.energy-enviro.fi/index.php?PAGE=3&PRINT=yes&ID=4146

    3 000 does not sound like collapse.

  12. P. Solar says:
    April 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm
    “Why is this entitled “ungreening”?
    If the environmentalists can get over the CO2 bed-wetting, they could get back to campaigning about REAL pollution.
    I don’t see this as ungreening, more like waking up from a long bad dream and refocusing on real issues. Whether anyone is going to listen to them any more is likely to be their biggest problem.”

    The Greens are withering since Merkel outgreened them by switching off half the nukes; “ungreening” is a good description – the Greens approval rating fell from 30%+ after Fukushima to 12% now.

    The Greens in Germany used to make political hay from anti-nuclear fear for decades now; CO2 was always the smaller player. Only after the Red-Green Schröder government decided to phase out nuclear (a decision that was later reversed by Merkel before she reversed it again) became CO2 an important objective.

    So… it’s all zigzagging from one fear to the other for the German Green party – they were NEVER about “real issues”. Right after the founding of the party internal cleansings began until all the top honchos were ex-K-Gruppen members; members of the small communist groups of the 70ies who recognized that the anti-nuclear movement could be their ticket to power. These people (Trittin, Fischer, Kretschmann for instance) dominate the party to this day.

    When they are in power, they greenlight sacrificing forests for wind turbines (like in Nortthrhine Westphalia at the moment), when they are in opposition, they oppose it and want to protect the forest (like in Hesse).

    They are completely machiavellistic.

  13. With reserves of ‘frackable’ shale gas being found worldwide, it would appear that there will be a slump in energy prices. This could prove extremely embarassing for the ‘green energy’ and windfarm lobby. Just as they were pushing the peak oil meme – along comes shale gas in huge quantities. For the world if things _do_ get colder in the next few years at least shale gas offers a cheap way forward before thorium or fast breeder reactors are accepted.

  14. Be careful of what you wish for.

    How true- in their crusade to remove nuclear the Greens have landed themselves with lignite.

    Happy days!

  15. “warned Whitehall officials that the plan hangs by a thread and could be scrapped if the company does not receive assurances about the future price of nuclear-generated electricity.”

    So are the pro-nuclear folk here as opposed to subsidy for nuclear power as they are to subsidy for wind and solar?

    The truth is, nuclear power has always been expensive power, cross subsidized by the operators from hiked prices on fossil fuel generated electricity. Plus the financial plans in place for decommissioning and waste disposal are shoved off balance sheets way into the future, when the taxpayer will no doubt have to pick up the tab.

    Tell the nuclear fat cats to frack off with their attempted ransoming of subsidy IMO.

  16. “The plans this year reflect over a year of debate on how to best replace Germany’s nuclear power stations, which must be closed faster than planned in light of the nuclear disaster in Japan in March 2011.”
    —————————————————–
    Would that be the disaster that caused zero fatalities and zero injuries? OK, the tsunami drowned 2 nuke power plant workers and there was a heart attack of one worker who was doing heavy lifting. Of course, there was relocation of neighbors because of the possibility of an actual nuclear problem. But it is the government, not the contamination, that is preventing some of those people from moving back home. The government agencies all cling to the disproven linear no threshold philosophy of hazard analysis. references: http://www.world-nuclear.org/sym/1998/cohen.htm and http://www.radpro.com/mossman.pdf and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2477708/ Of course, these government actions will cause cancer cases because the people expect them, not because of an elevated radiation level.

    I had higher expectations from the Japanese government.
    higley7 says: April 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm
    Exactly, the Merkel government seems to be afraid of higher-than-predicted tsunamis in Germany.

  17. Ian W says:
    April 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    …. Just as they were pushing the peak oil meme – along comes shale gas in huge quantities. For the world if things _do_ get colder in the next few years at least shale gas offers a cheap way forward before thorium or fast breeder reactors are accepted.
    __________________________________
    Too bad the world wasted so much money and brains on CAGW. If all that money, energy and brain power had been focused on something like developing and modular thorium reactors.

    For Germany, they are nuts to power down their nuclear reactors when all they have to do is switch to thorium. See E.M. Smith’s comment on thorium’s use in conventional reactors: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/21/the-moon-and-sick-plans/#comment-964024

  18. tallbloke says:
    April 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm
    “So are the pro-nuclear folk here as opposed to subsidy for nuclear power as they are to subsidy for wind and solar?”

    Yes, we are.
    The German plants that have been switched off are GE Mark 1, a design from 1968, built in the 70ies.
    Back in those days the electricity providers in Germany were publically owned; there were subsidies for German coal production (similar to today, the so-called “Kohlepfennig” was added to the cost of a kWh to cross-subsidize German mining) etc. Of course German miners were supported to ensure their votes, as usual. So it wasn’t only nuclear back in those days that got subsidized.

    If new nuclear plants were to be built now, I would insist that they’d have to finance themselves. What would be the point otherwise.
    But I would also insist that the anti-nuclear protesters pay for the thousands of police necessary to carry them out of the way when they block nuclear transports. If they want to play they can pay.

  19. DirkH says:
    April 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Kum Dollison says:
    April 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    “Actually, the article said, “to construct or modernise“.
    There were 23 Offshore Wind, and 10 pumped storage Projects listed, also.”

    You have to divide the wattage of the many small wind projects by 3 to 5, of course, you know that, so that’s many small peanuts.

    As for pumped storage: We use that to produce renewable energy. Many Germans happily pay inflated prices for renewable electricity; this electricity is largely produced by hydropower plants. What kind of energy you use to pump the water uphill doesn’t matter. The moment it flows downhill it’s green energy.

    That’s how Greenpeace Energy and a lot of other electricity traders work. Customers are free to choose whether they make a contract with their local provider or somebody else; if you’re a green, you pay more for “green” electricity from one of those providers (comes through the same grid of course and is only a bookkeeping exercise).

    That bookkeeping exercise has always interested me.

    For instance, at this time, metered wind power is 363Mw from a plated capacity of 4491Mw. Who is paying for wind power that isn’t being generated? I’ve seen below 20Mw btw.

    DaveE.

  20. Gail Combs says:
    April 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm
    “For Germany, they are nuts to power down their nuclear reactors when all they have to do is switch to thorium. ”

    Thanks for the link, Gail, I didn’t know about this possibility. But the reason we switched them off has nothing to do with the availability of nuclear fuel… as I said, the population here has a fear of radioactivity that can only be described as superstitious. Nobody in our anti-nuclear movement could tell you what a milliSievert is. They are not even interested in facts or logic.

  21. From Notrickszone we have:

    Killer Offshore Windparks – 3 Dead, 80 Serious Accidents “…More Have Died”

    By P Gosselin on 22. April 2012

    In terms of deaths, this is worse than Fukushima.

    Yet, we never hear a peep from the media about the dark side of this “safe and environmentally gentle energy”. Imagine if this had happened at a nuclear power plant…..

    http://notrickszone.com/2012/04/22/killer-offshore-north-sea-windparks-3-dead-80-serious-accidents-more-have-died/

    You simply can’t win with greens. They want the Earth.They seem to think that their energy solutions are simple, safe choices. See Mongolia and the toxic lake cause by mining for producing these ugly windmills.

  22. “It’s a real paradox: As a result of Germany’s green energy transition, nuclear power is on its way out, but coal, Germany’s dirtiest resource, has become the most important energy source again.”

    You only get a paradox if you put things (stopping nuclear power plants) into wrong context (reducing CO2 emissions in the name of battle with climate). In fact this has nothing to do with climate, it is driven solely by their fear of nuclear energy which appears to be greater than their fear of global warming.
    Apparently at present germans consider nuclear plants less environment friendly than coal plants so this actually _is_ part of their transition towards more environment friendly industry. And they now consider nuclear, not coal, their dirtiest resource.

    Of course, priorities and opinions change over time and we may meet a period when they’ll be stopping their wind and solar plants and building nuclear yet again – still in the name of becoming more environment friendly. It will be a great fun if it happens.

  23. tallbloke says: April 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm
    “warned Whitehall officials that the plan hangs by a thread and could be scrapped if the company does not receive assurances about the future price of nuclear-generated electricity.”
    So are the pro-nuclear folk here as opposed to subsidy for nuclear power as they are to subsidy for wind and solar? The truth is, nuclear power has always been expensive power, cross subsidized by the operators from hiked prices on fossil fuel generated electricity. Plus the financial plans in place for decommissioning and waste disposal are shoved off balance sheets way into the future, when the taxpayer will no doubt have to pick up the tab.
    Tell the nuclear fat cats to frack off with their attempted ransoming of subsidy IMO.
    ——————————————————————-
    Nuke power is about as cheap as coal, depending on siting and national regulations. http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html Most costs are in construction and fixed operating costs, with fuel being about $.01 per KWH. A Westinghouse AP1000 costs about $3 B to build in China, and the same plant costs about three times that in the USA, mostly from legal and regulatory costs. Note that income per plant is about $400 million per year (at $.05/KWH wholesale price) after it goes online, so the payoff time is reasonable.

    Most “subsidies” for nuke power in the US are in cost sharing the 10 year process of doing the application paperwork. The generators pay taxes. I am less familiar with UK policies. And yes, I am against all real subsidies for established technologies, and the current outrageous subsidies for the new, unproven technologies.

  24. David A. Evans says:
    April 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm
    “That bookkeeping exercise has always interested me.
    For instance, at this time, metered wind power is 363Mw from a plated capacity of 4491Mw. Who is paying for wind power that isn’t being generated? I’ve seen below 20Mw btw.”

    Under the German system, a wind power or PV or biogas operator gets a feed in tariff for every kWh he feeds in. The FIT he gets is fixed for 20 years. Year after year, the FIT for new plants is reduced.

    They only get payed for electricity they can produce. IOW, normally, what they feed into the grid. In emergency situations – danger of overload due to overproduction – they can be ordered to shut down (happens only to wind power in practice, when the wind forecast was wrong and everything goes haywire) but in that case, they have the right to be paid for the energy they COULD have fed in. These exceptional situations are the only ones where payment is made for energy that is not produced. For instance, in the last week of March a connector in Helmstedt broke down, at the same time the nuke in Brokdorf was down for repairs and a storm front came into East Germany and they needed to switch off loads of East German wind turbines to avoid complete emergency switchoff. FUNTIME!

    What I alluded to with the “divide by 3 to 5″ was the capacity factor of wind; on average onshore wind turbines in Germany produce slightly less than 20% of their nameplate capacity, offshore maybe 30% (if not broken).

  25. Until we start building modular plants, nuclear power will not be successful in the west. We have too many legal and regulatory roadblocks and the delays make the costs skyrocket. Companies building big old-style nuclear power plants bet the entire company on the success or faillure of the project. A modular plant can go in fast. It is much easier to build. There should be few delays. Many designs require no emergency water pumps (they are submerged in a pool), so are inherently safe, and much cheaper to build. Some are air cooled.

    Integral fast reactors with a liquid core can burn almost all the fuel, and don’t require reprocessing of solid pellets. Solid fuel reactors have problems of control and poor fuel usage. Fission products build up in any solid fuel and require expensive handling and reprocessing. Solid fuels are damaged as they are used by expansion and cracking. A typical reactor burns only 1 to 3% of the fuel before the rods need to be replaced. Although thorium makes a great fuel in concept, the Pebble Bed thorium reactor again misses the point, because it uses solid fuel. A liquid core design can have certain fission products removed constantly.Some have commercial value (space, medical uses). 135Xe is a problem in solid core reactors. It is a powerful neutron absorber, and can be removed from liquid Na at a convenient location continuously.

    There are many advantages to liquid core reactors. See e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fluoride_thorium_reactor

  26. higley7 says:
    April 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    The problem facing the environmentalists is that, if they have to give up on CO2 because it cannot do what they say, they do not have anything as monumental and with the potential in power-accumulation that a Draconian takeover of the world’s energy based on CO2 would have. All other issues pale compared to what they see in the AGW Scam.

    It has taken a long time to realize that, very simply, NO atmospheric gas can warm the Earth’s surface. …

    How are you scoring this chum? Do you look at ‘rates of change’ (and thermal, or IR flux) at all?

    Why does the moon show such extremes in temperature from sunlit to shade (as on the ‘far side of the moon’)?

    Hmmm?

    Nothing to to do with the atmosphere huh?

    What are the electromagnetic characteristics of the “bipolar” water molecule?

    Why is it called ‘bipolar’?

    (Hint: It has one side that is positively charged and one side that is negatively charged.)

    Do you know what happens when ‘charges’ on that bipolar molecule are part of the vibratory ‘action’ or motion of that (water) molecule? (Goes the same for CO2 BTW.) It has a (an EM) ‘signature’ like tuning fork (in air) does, that is, ‘strike’ it and it ‘vibrates’ …

    Physics much?

    .

  27. tallbloke says:
    April 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    The truth is, nuclear power has always been expensive power, cross subsidized by the operators from hiked prices on fossil fuel generated electricity. Plus the financial plans in place for decommissioning and waste disposal are shoved off balance sheets way into the future, when the taxpayer will no doubt have to pick up the tab.
    ——————–
    To say that the costs of waste disposal have been shoved off of balance sheets is simply untrue in the US. All nuclear operators charge and have collected and remitted fees ($0.001/kWh) meant to cover disposal costs to the US government. The total moeny accumulated by the government to date is in excess of $24billion. The fact that the Senate majority leader hails from Nevada and has successfully shutdown Yucca mountain and the scare over reprocessing spent fuel has meant that proper disposal has not occurred. You are right that taxpayers may be on the hook for disposal after those nuclear operators sue the federal government to force them to comply with their own laws and plans.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/business/energy-environment/06nuke.html

  28. I’m all for the responsible use of our fossil fuels to sustain global development but not to sure I trust the CSG industry. Their track record in the US seems to be appalling.
    Ask yourself how happy you would be to live next to a CSG well or drink water from a catchment that has CSG gas wells in the vicinity given the current level of controls and safeguards.
    Prove to me that CSG will always be done safely and responsibly and the industry will have my full support.
    The manner in which the CSG industry has handled itself when investigated does not inspire confidence. It is very clear the industry has in the past used its political power and influence to hinder any effective research in to its impact. If we criticize climate scientist for its ongoing failure to be open and honest what can we say about the CSG industry. Right now there seems to insufficient regulation and too many cowboys in an industry that puts profit well and truly above health and safety.

  29. DirkH says:
    “The public schools are in the hand of greens; most members of the Green party are teachers. The other teachers are members of Die Linke, a reform communist successor of the DDR’s SED party.
    Neither in the schools nor in the media (not even in the non-public media) is the safety record of nuclear power EVER mentioned in a fair way (which would be deaths/TWh).
    Meanwhile, people die in the construction of useless offshore wind parks. That’s the korrekt way of dying for a noble cause.
    …German has a word for this, “Gleichschaltung” (lit. synchronisation; meaning total conformity in the media).”

    Gleickschaltung also works!

  30. Collapse of German Solar Companies Threatens California’s Big Solar Projects – Forbes

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddwoody/2012/04/03/collapse-of-german-solar-companies-threaten-californias-big-solar-projects/

    First Solar Shuts German Factory, Idles Malaysian Production Lines – Forbes

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddwoody/2012/04/17/first-solar-shuts-german-factory-idles-malaysian-production-lines/

    That is 2,000 jobs, or 30% of their workforce.
    First Solar stock closed at a new all time record low of 19.25, minus a penny in after hours. It’s initial public offering was $24.50 in November 2006 and had an all time high near $317.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=FSLR+Historical+Prices

  31. If I were a German I’d say: Meine Damen und Herren, wir haben Scheiße gebaut – Ladies and gentlemen, we f…it up.
    Best greetings from Germany

  32. I like this bit from the article published only yesterday!

    “Comments (0)
    This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.”

    They didn’t want this discussed obviously. Comments are open on older articles.

  33. Dave says:
    April 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm
    “The manner in which the CSG industry has handled itself when investigated does not inspire confidence. It is very clear the industry has in the past used its political power and influence to hinder any effective research in to its impact. ”

    Well, you’re spreading FUD; you might be a paid astroturfer. Here in Germany in Lower Saxony where I live fracking has been practiced for at least 30 years with no adverse effects.

    Fracking is not a new technology. Horicontal drilling is. But I fear that’s not very useful for your propaganda campaign.

  34. Rhoda R says:
    April 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Higley, it looks like “sustainabiity” or water distribution may be on the back burner as a substitute scare tactic by the watermelons.
    ====================
    spot on!
    Aus has it all, greentard fearmongering, carbon tax soon, and full on waterscarcity rants as well as land grabs and conjobs for sustainable farms biochar etc etc
    now theyre trying to remove all the holiday shack owners (again) using the need to flood the bloody murray river as nature wants..sheesh,

  35. All those big shiny GE and Siemen’s turbines on TV will be burning cheap gas to generate power on a 2-3 tier format:

    1- Gas Turbine directly powers the generator
    2- Gas Turbine exhaust fires the conventional steam plant
    3- Waste heat produces electricity through a thermoelectric heat exchange

    The European energy revolution is all about using natural gas as a stop gap until superconductive magnetic energy storage systems (SMES), advance to the point of making green renewables viable by 2050. The Europeans have had a long standing and urgent desire to rid themselves of nuke plants because of their extreme expense and inherent risk. This is an deeply green desire. The massive supply of natural gas began to restructure European economies in 2008. There is a great deal of talk in the EU energy commission documents and websites in light of many years of climate propaganda but the grand mover is a world awash in natural gas. Finally, there is far more buzz about the advancement of SMES in Europe than in the United States. I this is because the Europeans have a deeply a strong green desire to: 1) radically increase the efficiency of power generation and distribution, 3) develop cutting edge products to export, 3) to finally make renewables viable.

  36. Governments with an irrational fear of rampant radioactivity which can only be described as superstitious are much more dangerous than nuclear power stations, even those located in seismic and tsunami prone areas. The Greens are not interested in milliSieverts or in facts or logic. Bring on the Thorium reactors!

  37. Gail Coombs wrote;

    For Germany, they are nuts to power down their nuclear reactors when all they have to do is switch to thorium.
    —————————————————————————————————————

    The German greens are not shutting down their nukes for lack of fuel. It is due to hysterical safety worries.
    It appears that burning thorium in a conventional reactor is the same as uranium since the thorium is upgraded to uranium in the core. The waste and safety issues would be the same. Fuel rods with thorium and graphite could be more dangerous in meltdown like at Chernobyl. There appears to be some confusion about the different thorium reactors. The partly developed salt type claims the safety advantages but the problems have not been solved.

  38. Hi guys, been away for a while, so I am a bit late in responding to robertvdl’s point about the number of people involved in the German Solar industry.
    Of these 100,000 + ( this is according to ARD news, by the way ) only around 10% are involved in the production of solar panels.
    Most are installation ( usually private electricians ) or maintenance people. So out of 10-15,000 a cut of 3,000 is actually quite substantial.

  39. My personal opinion is that the entire environmental movement is owned and operated by big business as a way of increasing profits and protecting themselves against competing new technologies. The antinuclear movement is driven by the coal industry, the anti-GM movement by the chemical industry, the anti-aspartame movement by the sugar industry, and the animal rights movement by the food industry (this last one because cereal-based foods carry a higher profit margin than meat-based ones). Call me a cynic, but I think that’s whats going on.

    This isn’t entirely supposition either. I know for a fact that Greenpeace’s European anti-GM campaign was spearheaded by Sir Peter Melchett, the great grandson of the founder of Imperial Chemical Industries and a person who remains closely affiliated with the chemical industry. They eventually threw him out of Greenpeace because of the deals he was doing with Monsanto, but by then he’d achieved his objective. I’m sure similar things are happening behind the scenes with the other branches of the environmental movement too!

    An undeniable fact is that the German coal industry is a big employer and has a lot of political clout, and I suspect they had a lot of involvement in Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power.

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