Germany to shovel climate fund dollars into coal plants

Less than a month after the failed Bonn UN climate confab, Germany has announced a most audacious energy policy:  in order to shutter nuclear plants (but not completely scuttle their economy), the German government will direct climate fund cash to building coal and natural gas plants.  You can’t make this stuff up.

Germany plans to dump nuclear power by 2022 but clearly needs to meet burgeoning electricity demand especially for a still powerful manufacturing economy dependent upon exports.  Solar panels at their latitude and windmills are not going to suffice, so the solution is more coal.  The environmental movement must be apoplectic with so many politically correct wires crossing at once.

With yesterday’s story of “wide blackouts” expected to affect Europe (during winter, no less) due to Germany’s anti-nuclear decision by Chancellor Merkel, Germany has decided not to freeze during the winter by relying on renewable energy resources:

The plan has come under stiff criticism, but the Ministry of Economics and Technology defended the idea. A spokeswoman said it was necessary as the government switches from nuclear to other renewable energy sources and added that the money would promote the most efficient plants possible.

Will Merkel cave or shovel climate fund cash into coal burners?

 

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I think maybe she needs to get the Thorium religion, and solve all the “problems” at once.
But in any case, something productive of lotsa energy has to be online. In this as in all markets, the Invisible Hand has brass knuckles for use if needed.

Huth

Oh well, it’s quite encouraging that when the chips are down pragmatism comes first.

It’s something we should have done long ago, with the coal reserves we are sitting on, it’s a blindingly obvious route to take.
Only the whole debate has been corrupted by the climate changers.

The AGW crowd is made up of many factions. The only thing that holds them together is the craving of power over others. But if you pick the scab, you do see the many divisions within them: PETA and the Oz solution to reduce GHG (Kill camels). Climatologists vs Nuclear Power Activists (that should be anti nuclear, but they somehow glommed onto the title with no negative in it), ELF/ALF and CO2 activists.
Germany’s policy is just another act in the theater of the absurd that is the AGW movement. So Napoleon will teach the sheep a new bleat. oil bad, coal good! (after all, coal leaves coal dust that does cool the world as we have now been told).

Slabadang

Are the German leaders havin “Octoberfiest” every day i
Merkel has to be severly drunk!

Even though all government-funded projects are inevitably more wasteful and less effective than are privately-capitalized (and profitably operated) endeavors in the same areas and of the same size, the Germans’ decision to build new coal-fired powerplants – presumably incorporating recent advances in petrochemicals combustion to improve energy yield and mitigate adverse externalities – isn’t half as wasteful and screwed-up as are most government dumbpuckeries.
Sure, the coal fuel cycle is inescapably more dangerous – front-end (mining, transportation) and back-end (vast mountains of carcinogenic coal ash, carcinogenic effluents in the atmosphere, etc.) – but “clean coal” technologies have been hellaciously researched, and should be implemented in these brand-spankin’-new Kraut furnaces.
There’s also the fact that all the coal ash can be “mined” as a source of radioactive Thorium isotopes, which the French will no doubt be happy to take off their neighbors’ hands as the Frogs dive merrily into the Thorium fuel cycle to power their fission reactors, generating electricity to sell – at a nice premium – to the Germans.

“Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.”
— Robert A. Heinlein

Latitude

Simple fact…..
South African coal is a lot cheaper…..
…..which means a lot more profit

Curiousgeorge

Why is it that when the knee jerks it usually knocks your teeth out? Why is the grass gray? Why is a rainbow gray, gray, gray, gray, gray, and infragray?

ManitobaKen

Pretzel logic at its finest.

The story, http://www.thelocal.de/national/20110713-36277.html , closes with

The Economics Ministry spokeswoman said that in any event, that Germany’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020, would not be damaged by the new initiative.

Hmm. Build more coal-fired power plants, not damage the 40% reduction goal. Sounds to me like they already know there’s no chance of reaching the goal.

Jimbo

It’s either burn more coal and gas or ironically import nuclear generated electricity from France. The Greens can’t have it both ways on nuclear and fossil fuels. Currently, alternative energy just doesn’t cut it in winter.

So the Germans are building coal fired powerstations to replace nuclear, we Brits are building them as backup for wind power and the French are doing their usual whatever they please whilst telling us all what to do. The one redundant and expensive part of all this that could be got rid of would of course be the wind and solar.
Well done us!

maz2

King Coal heading to Asia. Asia is the pc term for Red China and its client states.
…-
“Coal deal clinched”
“London-based Fortune Minerals Ltd. has secured a long-awaited investment deal that will pave the way for development of a huge anthracite coal deposit in British Columbia.
On Wednesday Fortune announced the deal with the Canadian arm of POSCO, a South Korean company that is the third largest steel producer in the world.
POSCO will provide $181 million, including $30 million upfront in return for a 20% stake in the Mount Klappan project.
Fortune has estimated it will take $768 million to get the mine into full production, which includes a $317.8 million for a 150-km rail connection and upgrade to the CN Rail line to ship the coal to the deep water port at Prince Rupert, B.C.
Fortune Mineral founder and President Robin Goad said POSCO’s initial $30 million will help get the mine through the permitting, engineering and environmental assessment stages.”
http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2011/07/13/18413051.html

RockyRoad

Cold fusion products will scuttle all these plans way before substantial funds are allocated for any of these long-range myopic solutions.

Green Sand

Germany, never will compromise its manufacturing base. (unlike the UK)
Germany will ensure that they have sufficient secure energy at a cost that ensures Das Autos are competitive. Can’t do that with wind and solar!
VW, Audi, Merc, Porsche….

Tilo Reber

I bought some stock in a company, BWC, involved in nuclear power a couple of years ago. I have to admit that the Japanese nuclear accident did cause me some financial pain. But I decided not to sell. It seems to me that nuclear is the right answer and that everyone will realize it eventually. So I’m keeping my stock. The countries that had the knee jerk reaction to Japan’s nuclear accident will change their minds once all of the emotional huppla is over.

pk

i think that you guys have missed the boat by a foot or two.
the germans have a huge coal mine/generation station in central germany. it is big enough that it shows up on google maps quite well.
they use bucket wheel excavators connected to conveyor belts and have been doing so for about thirty or more years. they have reached the stage where they dump the overburden and ashes back into the hole (open pit mining) as they move along.
the place already looks like the face of the moon only worse, so whats the damage expanding it by what, 50-75% so there’s a couple of 4block square villages over the unmined coal.
they’ve already paid the price in being called dirty b@#%$rds for decades, so every thing is up from here.
C

pk

green sand:
the costs of building autos mostly labor, tooling and engineering time. very little is energy costs.
C

Curiousgeorge

@ Tilo Reber says:
July 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm
I bought some stock in a company, BWC, involved in nuclear power a couple of years ago. I have to admit that the Japanese nuclear accident did cause me some financial pain.
If you didn’t sell any, how did it cause you financial pain? If anything it would have been a buy opportunity.

I don’t have much to say about this, other than….. lolrotfpmp!!!!! hahahahahahaahahahhhahhahaha!!!!!!!!

Neil Jones

A lot of the coal in Germany is “Brown” coal, high in sulphur so that should help cool things down nicely. Perhaps that’s the new anti-AGW strategy?

Nuke

Since the particulate emissions will block further warming (by blocking sunlight), it sounds like another win-win! Coal is merely a highly portable form of sunlight. Plants create coal. It’s concentrated biomass (again, which is merely stored sunlight. It’s basic science).

There is another partial explanation (apart from far too many Germans being stuck-up, envious, self-righteous, narrow-minded cowards with deeply disturbed conscience, doing dirty business with shady totalitarian regimes).
Many influential German decision-makers are firmly in Putin’s pocket.

Green Sand

pk says:
July 13, 2011 at 1:58 pm
green sand:
the costs of building autos mostly labor, tooling and engineering time. very little is energy costs.
C

The cost of every element you mention and all the many, many more elements required in the production of autos are affected by the cost of energy.
It is not possible to have a cost effective competetive manufacturing industry with uncompetitive energy costs. Germany recognises this and will take steps to ensure their supply of cost effective energy as you are witnessing today.

1DandyTroll

Ha ha only crazed climate communist hippies would’ve thought otherwise.
It was there from the get go. The economy of germany is not too good. So what to do when almost all your reactors are too close to retirement, due to them closing up shop in the eighties for new ones, and it would become too expensive to build an equivalent of 30% of total energy need in such a short period. They first went with extending the reactor life spann to not have to build more dirty coal ‘an necessary, but that was clearly hugely expensive trying to make old reactors work for longer than they were initially designed for. Enter the natural dissaster in Japan, during a time of financial crisis and weak economy in pretty much the whole EU topped with high unemployment. It must have been a great boon for now they can dissmantle the old crappy expensive to maintain reactors and build cheap coal and gas power plants that’ll employ far more people ‘an from building new nuclear reactors which requires more academics, at the same time they still come out as being toatally on line with being green to pacify the crazies. Ontop of all this of cours is the holy grail of EU’s highly manipulative but very much tax rewarding CO2 cap and trade and an odd assortment of energy taxes. Essentially a win win win win . . . win situation for the German government, and EU.

Allen

Ah democracy, you make me laugh sometimes.

Mark

It takes a lot of energy to manufacture the components that get assembled to make automobiles (Aluminum, Steel, rubber, plastics, etc). Germany could always get some of their power from France- who would likely be more then happy to built a couple more nuclear plant to meet their needs. Speaking of Nuclear there is going to be a meeting on the subject for California coming up soon-
“Committee Workshop on California Nuclear Power Plant Issues
The California Energy Commission’s 2011 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Committee will conduct a workshop to review California utilities’ progress in completing studies and actions recommended by the Energy Commission and directives by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) during ongoing and future plant license renewal evaluations for Diablo Canyon and the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). The workshop will also discuss uncertainties about seismic and tsunami hazards at Diablo and SONGS along with the environmental, safety, and economic implications of recent events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.
Chair Robert Weisenmiller is the Presiding Member of the IEPR Committee and Commissioner Karen Douglas is the Associate Member. Vice-Chair Jim Boyd is the State Liaison Officer to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and will participate in this workshop. Commissioners and staff from the CPUC may also attend and participate.
TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011
Beginning at 10 a.m.
CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION
1516 Ninth Street
First Floor, Hearing Room A
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)
Remote Attendance and Availability of Documents
Web Conferencing – Presentations and audio from the meeting will be broadcast via our WebEx web conferencing system.
Computer Log on with a Direct Phone Number:
– Please go to [https://energy.webex.com] and enter the unique meeting number 923 884 546.
– When prompted, enter your information and the following meeting password meeting@10 . (Please note that password is case sensitive.)
– After you log in, a prompt will appear on-screen for you to provide your phone number. In the Number box, type your area code and phone number and click OK to receive a call back on your phone for the audio of the meeting. International callers can use the “Country/Region” button to help make their connection.
For more information:
http://www.energy.ca.gov/2011_energypolicy/notices/index.html
(If link above doesn’t work, please copy entire link into your web browser’s URL)”

Dr T G Watkins

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors need serious consideration, assuming Rossi’s LENR fails to be commercially viable.
Otherwise reopen the Welsh anthracite coal mines and give our unemployed youth a chance.
Germany will continue to lead and come to its senses in the very near future.

Green Sand

1DandyTroll says:
July 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm
Ha ha only crazed climate communist hippies would’ve thought otherwise.

—————————————————————————————————–
Yup, you got it!

wsbriggs

I regret to have to say that it appears to me that Rossi’s LENR is an attempt to get Govt money, one way or another. Having an Italian invention developed by a Greek company is just a little bit strange. Add in the management of the US company coming from the EPA, and it just doesn’t look like a going enterprise. It looks like a handout waiting to happen.
I’ve followed LENR for 22 years, promoters have repeatedly made claims that disappeared when subjected to scrutiny – the science continues, and understanding improves, but promoters are the bane of scientific progress. see Al Gore et al.

Robertvdl

Most Germans are no stupid beer drinkers. They know, no cheap energy no Germany.
No German Bailout money ,no EU.
But now we know, CO2 is not the problem. Germans are not stupid.

Chris T

I think the Germans do the right thing at the right time:
a) Exiting Nuclear Energy Production –> This will for sure give the development of renewal energy sources a huge blast (renewal energy is not only about wind and solar!). Germany could become a technology leader in this area due to this. The economics might benefit from this in the future.
b) Facing Reality –> Germany most of the time has the fascinating ability to find a pragmatic way. Building effective coal and gas power plants is just pragmatic for ensuring cheap energy based on not too limited ressources at this time. Since many of these units are smaller and easier to handle, Germany will stay re-active to new development trends or new findings regarding alternate energy sources.

Mike

To be fair, the minister proposing this – and whom I expect to be overruled by Merkel in the next few days – was very critical of the hasty nuclear exit now avowed by the government. He is a level-headed and reasonable person – something of a dinosaur and definitely a misfit in German politics these days.

Alex

The situation in germany is kind of special. There’s a huge anti nuclear movement since the 80’s. 2001 the government decided to dump all nuclear plants by 2021. This decision was reverted last Oktober. After Fukushima, politics went crazy and the decision was reverted again. Eight plants have been shut down shortly after the incident. The remaining seven plants will be shut down in 2022.
Before the shut down the portion of nuclear power was 23% and 60% in southern Germany. This winter will show if the grid can compensate this loss…

Mac the Knife

This is just further descent by the Germans into irrational reaction, rather than fact based, rational planning. I have no objection to them building and improving coal fired plants. It is irrational, however, to use ‘Climate Fund’ cash to do this. It is irrational to HAVE a ‘Climate Fund’, to begin with!

John Leon

Somehow with France not only the largest exporter of electricity in the world, 30% of the total generated is sold to other European countries, of which 80% of the total output by Nuclear power AND the French authorities are expanding the Nuclear generation programme, I doubt if Germany’s dereliction of Nuclear power will affect France, until they start having to pay exorbitant prices for it of course, we can’t have Herr Merkel admitting she was wrong now, can we?

SteveSadlov

KING COAL!
Burn, baby, burn!

Tom

I’m certain many Germans are only too well aware of the potential irony of this situation.
It’s democracy of a sort, but the greens are overplaying their hand and leveraging their position in the establishment – and people will see through the simplistic fairy tales the watermelons have been preaching.
The Germans know only too well that the “rush to renewables” is an expensive farce and a woeful eyewateringly expensive abject failure. perpetrated by a shouty, innumerate and ideologically hollow green movement that has erected taboos and dogma to deflect from sane debate and continues to bray away unconfronted by a largely dim witted and politically timid media as is certainly the case in the Anglophone bubble.
Reality… inconvenient – I’m waiting for some prominent gweenies to talk their way out of this one.

Roger Knights

Dr T G Watkins says:
July 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm
Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors need serious consideration, assuming Rossi’s LENR fails to be commercially viable.

I’ve read somewhere that Rossi’s “E-Cat” (Energy Catalyzer) can’t heat water beyond 200 degrees F; the reaction stops. So it’s only good for space heating, not electricity generation. Still, that’s something. And it could be used to pre-heat the water going into the boiler at a power-generation station.

Hoser

I don’t think the Germans are suicidal. They won’t wreck their economy when they know renewables won’t perform. Merkel made a big mistake knocking nuclear, pandering to Hamburg and elsewhere to trying to help her party avoid losing local elections (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/19/us-germany-hamburg-idUSTRE71I3WE20110219). It didn’t work. So the next best alternative to an admission of blatant political trickery is to invest heavily into coal and natural gas. It also serves as a hit against the Left, who didn’t support Merkel when she tossed them a big bone.
Politicians. Sometimes you wonder what they were thinking. Unfortuately, given the poor understanding most voters have of deeper issues, the politicians do have to play these games. Only when the economic conditions become too painful will the dumbass voters finally consider they might have been wrong (or lied to). Ah, but don’t they usually forget their lessons as soon as conditions improve? That old formula might be changing. I’m not convinced we are ever going back to our old ways. They just won’t work anymore. If we want nuclear power, we only have to wait. There aren’t many other good choices.
Rad hysteria, like cliimate hysteria, will go away. When Japan returns to normal (it won’t take very long), their support for nuclear power will probably go back up. They face even more difficult choices than Germany or we do. Japan is not known for its coal and oil reserves. The japanese people can be fooled for a time by anti-nuke political forces, but economic reality will hit them hard. They’ve had very tough economic prospects since the early 1990s. You can bet they will want to maintain their standard of living. Dependence on green power is the fast track to third-world living conditions. Germans won’t go there either. Californians? Those are the quintessential deniers of reality, believing they are so much smarter than the rest of the world.

Latitude

Can we add Germany to the list now……..
Canada
Japan
U.S.
Russia
India

pat

LOL

Roger Knights

wsbriggs says:
July 13, 2011 at 3:21 pm
I regret to have to say that it appears to me that Rossi’s LENR is an attempt to get Govt money, one way or another. Having an Italian invention developed by a Greek company is just a little bit strange. Add in the management of the US company coming from the EPA, and it just doesn’t look like a going enterprise. It looks like a handout waiting to happen.

Here’s the link to an article about Rossi’s contract with his US partners:
http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/energi_miljo/energi/article3179019.ece

I’ve followed LENR for 22 years, promoters have repeatedly made claims that disappeared when subjected to scrutiny

Rossi’s claim has stood up to ten times more scrutiny than his predecessors’.

Jimbo

I have said it before and I’ll say it again – this past winter Scotland was forced to import nuclear generated electricity from France after its windmills failed to deliver. Only a disaster will end this charade.

Wucash

Well, Germany can now buy all the shale gas found in Poland the Greens critisised so much not so long ago.
Oh and btw, LOL. I’m sure this will be the environment friendly, carbon neutral coal. Good grief.

Roger Knights

James Sexton says:
July 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm
I don’t have much to say about this, other than….. lolrotfpmp!!!!! hahahahahahaahahahhhahhahaha!!!!!!!!

You’re a merry old soul. (Unlike James (“death train”) Hansen today.)

Tom

Of course the humongous Russian Nord Stream gas pipeline from the “North Pole” across the Baltic to Germany will take some of the pressure off in some areas – but.. well… it’s bound to pile it on in others….

They are GERMANS!
sheesh!

Doug Proctor

For centuries politicians have been reversing what they told us for our vote. Maybe now the reversal will be in our favour: green promises in, green promises out (when the bill is added up).

David Archibald

It gets better. Sweden is one of the most pro-AGW countries on the planet. The Swedish Government owned power company Vattenfall is building a new 675 MW power plant at Boxberg in Germany, powered by lignite. This was planned well before Fuikushima.