Germany To Open Six More Coal Power Stations In 2013

By Paul Homewood

RWE’s new lignite power station opened in Neurath in 2012

Germany’s dash for coal continues apace. Following on the opening of two new coal power stations in 2012, six more are due to open this year, with a combined capacity of 5800MW, enough to provide 7% of Germany’s electricity needs.

Including the plants coming on stream this year, there are 12 coal fired stations due to open by 2020. Along with the two opened last year in Neurath and Boxberg, they will be capable of supplying 19% of the country’s power.

In addition, 27 gas fired stations are due on line, which should contribute a further 17% of Germany’s total electricity generation. (Based on 2011 statistics, total generation was 575 TwH).

It is worth noting that none of these coal or gas plants will be built with Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS), which is a legal requirement for coal generators in the UK, despite the fact that the technology does not yet exist on a commercial scale.

The UK government is so desperate to get out of the corner it has boxed itself into, that it wants to hand out huge sums to subsidise the cost of developing CCS technology. According to their “Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy” (Page 31), they want to support the cost of four commercial scale CCS projects.

But since the report was written in 2011, nothing much has happened, other than the announcement of two preferred bidders for the £1bn programme. One of these, the White Rose project  at Drax, won’t be submitting a planning application until next year, and a final government investment decision won’t be made until 2015.

In the meantime, UK energy policy is allowed to drift. No company would abandon a successful, proven and efficient method of operating, without an alternative, better way having already been thoroughly tried and tested. So why does the UK government think it knows better?


German Coal Fired Power Stations Due to Open By 2020

Operator Location MW Date Due Status
Trianel Lunen 750 2013 In Trial
EnBW Karlsruhe 874 2013 In Construction
GDF Wilhelmshaven 800 2013 In Construction
Steag Duisberg 725 2013 In Construction
E.ON Datteln 1055 2013 In Construction
RWE Hamm 1600 2013 In Construction
Vattenfall Hamburg 1640 2014 In Construction
GKM Mannheim 911 2015 In Construction
MIBRAG Profen 660 2020 A/W Approval
RWE Niederaussem 1100 n/a A/W Approval
GETEC Buttel 800 n/a A/W Approval
Dow Stade 840 n/a A/W Approval

As supplied by BDEW, the German Energy Producers Association.$file/130408_BDEW-Kraftwerksliste-final.pdf


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Replacing nuclear with fossil fuels, coal even. Sounds green to me! Must see the global cooling handwriting on the wall. At least they wont have to worry about that tsunami threat on their nuke plants.

All the coal the US is selling on the cheap makes the German decision a no-brainer. With the world’s largest reserves the US would have enough coal to power its economy for a couple of centuries, if only it was allowed to use it. Instead it sells it dirt cheap to its economic competitors. Along with the coal goes the manufacturing jobs that need low cost power to remain competitive. No problem, lots of jobs as Wal-mart greeters.

Steven Hales

The miracle of fossil fuels. They are the most diverse set of energy and material resources we have. They should be celebrated on Earth Day.

Steven Hales

Fredberple: “Along with the coal goes the manufacturing jobs that need low cost power to remain competitive. No problem, lots of jobs as Wal-mart greeters.”
Erm, no the US is experiencing a manufacturing renaissance thanks to cheap shale gas. Coal was displaced largely by cheap gas not by regulation.


Thats a major step backwards from the nuclear plants they used to have.

Germany closing their Nuclear Powerplants because of the tsunami threat was one of the dumbest decisions of manking history.
Tsunami in the Baltic ????

Mike McMillan

This is the second time Germany has abandoned nuclear. From the Nuremberg transcripts between US Prosecutor Robert Jackson and German Minister of Armaments Albert Speer :
MR JUSTICE JACKSON: And certain experiments were also conducted and certain researches conducted in atomic energy, were they not?
SPEER: We had not got as far as that, unfortunately, because the finest experts we had in atomic research had emigrated to America, and this had thrown us back a great deal in our research, so that we still needed another year or two in order to achieve any results in the splitting of the atom.
MR JUSTICE JACKSON: The policy of driving people out who didn’t agree with Germany hadn’t produced very good dividends, had it?
SPEER: Especially in this sphere it was a great disadvantage to us.


Oh, the trials of liberalism. We followed the Germans when they flogged solar, latitude notwithstanding. When they embraced wind. When they built gardens on urban roofs. But how, oh how, can we continue now that they have come to their senses? Oh, I know. Dust off the good German-Bad German meme from 80 years ago. Anything but a rational appraisal of the facts:
Deutschland lives by manufacturing and exporting. Reliable and affordable energy is a keystone of this effort. Bad policy has put this livliehood under stress. Let’s fix it.
Wouldn’t hurt in the US.

If I were them, I’d rethink their brainless decision to shutter those “dangerous” nuclear plants,
which have operated for half a century with no problems. And the Fukashima “disaster”
was easily preventable and harmed no one, except the utility’s investors. The rest of the world is going nuclear – only Germany is building coal fired plants. China has plans for 600 reactors by 2050 and 1600 by the end of the century.

It would seem to be prudent for those anxious to use coal to check out the new no-emission
coal combustion process demonstrated at Ohio State University this month.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

Here in the UK we’ve had a bunch of nutters in charge of energy policy for some decades now! Our domestic energy costs have doubled in six years. Our power suppliers are now owned by French and German companies. It’s complete madness here! Now we’re about to get foreign companies to build nuclear power plants – and they’ll be given GUARANTEED energy prices to charge in the future (in order to get them to build the nuclear plants). We’ve lost the plot completely. The only thing that can save us is falling global temperatures. Then, finally, the government will understand that it’s all a load of BS, and open up our coalmines that still have decades of coal in them (we won’t even need to import it, though we probably would as it would be cheaper).


Of course they have to. For once they went crazy after 3-11, the Tohoku quake and tsunami. It was so bad that Geiger counters were sold out in Germany, the media was full of anti-Japanese racism with the media comparing Fukushima with Hitler’s bunker and painting an image of a brutal, inhumane feudal society in which homeless people, minors and foreigners were forced to clean up Fukushima. No, the Fukushima Fifty were no heroes, they were rightless slaves in a brutal feudal society according to German media. (this racism can still be observed in the wake of last December’s election in Japan, the German media cried murder over how the Japanese dared to vote for center-right -which had no anti-nuclear plans- over the left wing-green block -which was focusing only on nuclear power and had no answer over China going nuts in Japanese waters, which was the one of the issues everyone was concerned about, others were the failure of reconstruction by the then ruling party DPJ in the tsunami hit areas, the DPJ’s inability to deal with the TPP negotiations, etc)
The tale of the “yellow peril” stalked Germany, Lufthansa ceased flights into Japan (the competition kept flying) and, worst of all…
The German S&R team deployed to Japan abandoned their mission due to fear of radiation.
Every other team, every single one, stayed and did what they promised to do.
A second German S&R team was never deployed and turned around at once. When the first team fled Japan they even abandoned their equipment. Upon arriving home they were quick to blame the Japanese for a “not ideal” S&R and civil protection system and that there was nothing to rescue anymore, and were also very quick to say that they barely escaped radioactivity (which was of course a lie.) The Turkish team arrived in Japan a day after the Germans ran and had plenty to do.
Then the German green party went crazy. Fukushima could happen in Germany tomorrow was what they claimed. 200,000 Germans protested against nuclear power (note how zero Germans protested against the recent North Korean nuke test and are still more concerned about Japan’s nuclear power than Chinese aggression and attempts to provoke Japan into a shooting war.)
The German green party won votes with this. The German parliament went crazy, and especially chancellor Merkel, who supposedly has a degree in physics and should know better, made herself into some kind of icon in the government to fight “evil” nuclear power. It’s something she likes to do. The woman has some serious issues with her ego and her understanding of democracy and free speech is questionable, at best (she has proven this earlier with the whole “Sarrazin Affair”, where she made herself into the sole authority over what is free speech and what isn’t.)
Last year anti-nuclear activists started to claim that the Wackersdorf facility was dangerous for the surrounding areas. They claimed that radiation from the facility had caused the birth rate of girls in the area to drop below national average. Never mind that a few years ago that same birth rate was above average. Not to mention a complete lack of understanding how birth rates work and averages work.
These people are blind fanatics, zealots, who cost the German government huge sums of money every time a CASTOR transport runs. Thousands of cops have to guard it because these eco-nitwits would attack that train if there was no security.
There were a few reasonable voices who asked where the electricity should come from without nuclear power. They pointed out the flaws in “renewable”, but initially nobody listened. It took the government a long time to realize that yeah, solar and wind aren’t really reliable and efficient and would explode the costs for electricity which would effectively kill Germany’s economy. Then the run for fossils started.
As Professor Zöllner from the university in Bonn (he’s professor for Japanese Studies) said in his famous letter against the German anti-nukers and anti-Japanese German media: if you have friends like Germany you don’t need a nuclear crisis.
I translated Professor Zöllner’s letter in late 2011. If you want to read it: Original German article:

And then consider what is currently happening in the UK
22 March 2013
Oxfordshire’s ‘Didcot A’ Power Station has been turned off after 43 years in service…Nine months of decommissioning begins on 31 March, with demolition of the six towers expected to take several years.
Greenpeace campaigner Ben Stewart said it marked the beginning of the end of coal burning in the UK. He added: “Off shore wind is where we should be focusing, given Britain is the Saudi Arabia of wind, and we should grasp the opportunity to make a huge investment there. “We’re the last generation that can do something about climate change. We’re right at the crunch point.”
I do not expect affordable price of electricity any time soon.

Beta Blocker

Steven Hales says: …. the US is experiencing a manufacturing renaissance thanks to cheap shale gas. Coal was displaced largely by cheap gas not by regulation.

In addition to displacing coal, cheap shale gas has also put an end to the Nuclear Renaissance, for all practical purposes, and is beginning to place significant competitive pressures on existing nuclear plants.
The Kewaunee Power Station in Wisconsin is closing because it can’t make a profit in a competitive power market; the Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida and the San Onofre nuclear plant in California have been seriously damaged by incompetently managed steam generator replacement projects.
It is easy to predict that the Vogtle nuclear expansion project in Georgia will eventually be terminated because of its serious cost growth problems; that the Watts Bar 2 construction restart project will also be terminated for similar reasons; and that Sumner expansion will not go forward.
Here in the US, the next decade will see a significant reduction in our nuclear-generated capacity as cheaper gas-fired plants are brought on line in ever-increasing numbers and begin to displace those older nuclear plants which can’t compete economically.

Our nuclear fleet is aging and new ones will not be built because the price tag is too
high. Natural gas will take their place as old ones are shut down. Eventually nat. gas will
get to $6 per m/btu at which time coal will again be the dominate fuel for the generation
of electricity in the USA. In a few years coal will surpass crude as the #1 energy source
worldwide.Coal`s future is very bright.


After Fukishima many greens thought “hey, this is a great opportunity to close down these dirty, dangerous nuclear power stations.” Out of the frying pan and into the mire. 😉 Add to that the boom in coal use and the shale gas revolution and there is very little chance of reducing our co2 output. Long live carbon dioxide.
By the way it’s not just Germany expanding it’s coal use.

Guardian – 20 November 2012
More than 1,000 new coal plants planned worldwide, figures show
Coal plants are the most polluting of all power stations and the World Resources Institute (WRI) identified 1,200 coal plants in planning across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India.


To Steven Hales:
Cheap natural gas does help replace coal generation at SOME coal plants when the price of natural gas is about $3.00- to $3.50 per million BTU. But the reason so many coal plants are closing is that the added costs of installing technologies to reduce emissions of every sort makes them no longer economic. Natural gas will recover in price enough (~ $4.50?) so that remaining coal plants will once again generate all the electricity that they can. The prices have to recover because drillers won’t do much horizontal drilling plus fracturing of the shale — costly technologies in combination — until prices recover. At that time, more gas will be used than would have been the case, because so many coal plants will have been retired.
The question then becomes: are the costs worth the benefits? EPA of course has its view on that, and they run the show. Are they right? That is the issue, it seems to me.


Here’s more great news from the UK. Warmists must realise they are fighting a losing battle. The Earth needs more co2 not less..

Guardian – 7 March 2013
The closure of Daw Mill comes when King Coal has made an astonishing comeback with consumption by UK electricity generators up year-on-year by more than 30%.
Despite government targets of reducing Britain’s CO2 emissions, the energy companies are burning lots more carbon-heavy coal attracted by its relatively cheap price compared to (environmentally-cleaner) gas and the need to use or lose this coal-burning capacity ahead of new pollution controls in 2015.


So what if Germany is opening some new coal plants? So what if they have more on the drawing board? So what? They are spearheading a transformational change in how energy is produced. They’ve paid upfront costs that others would not. Anthony Watts has seen fit use solar. Not that Germany or solar itself need justification or approval from him. Something for anyone gleeful over Germany opening some new coal plants.
Newsweek’s article on BP’s cover-up of the Deep Water Horizon spill and it’s willfully exposing clean-up workers to a dispersant it knew to be hazardous echoes similar behavior by fossil fuels companies. I’m thankful for Germany’s efforts to advance renewables and for our own NREL and the research they have done to advance it in our interests. The transition will take time and coal, oil and gas still have large roles to play. We’re moving toward a sea change in energy. Too bad the 20 billion BP will end up paying does not go directly into renewables. Metallica said it best, So What? (Edited for mods.)

Ian W

In the meantime, UK energy policy is allowed to drift. No company would abandon a successful, proven and efficient method of operating, without an alternative, better way having already been thoroughly tried and tested. So why does the UK government think it knows better?”
Paul you put ‘UK Government’ and ‘think’ in the same sentence – you should have realized then what the problem is. The UK government is full of ‘do you want fries with that’ arts graduates who are the easy marks for the CAGW grifters. The thing is that the UK politicians do not yet see a problem….not at all. Look at all those lovely windmills with PR man ‘call me Dave’ standing chin up looking into the distance – the greenest government ever – as in wet behind the ears – and it shows. There was an article in the Independent yesterday: “Our shameful hierarchy – some deaths matter more than others”–some-deaths-matter-more-than-others-8581715.html that to me raised a totally different point from that in the article. In UK the deaths on the roads number around 1500ish a year; there are continual exhortations for drivers to drive safely, road traffic police, instant fines etc etc. If the numbers increase by 5% questions are asked in parliament and responded to in serious tones pledging action. More than twice the number that die in a year on UK’s roads died of cold in just in the month of March due to energy poverty. Not a single politician raised this. Not one. They will still increase fuel prices to cover the cost of subsidizing useless windmills despite huge numbers dying. You ask “So why does the UK government think it knows better?” The UK government doesn’t think about such things at all – the UK members of Parliament have demonstrated by their inaction that they could literally not care less.


What is the source for 3000 dying from energy poverty in the UK?

Imho, as an American, what is important in this article is that it opens the opportunity for the USA to sell natural gas and natural gas electric plant technology to Germany.
Natural gas is cheaper and cleaner than coal for generating electricity. Germany will flock to that like a moth to a flame!


The Green’s once again show that they never run out of feet nor bullets to put in them .For its them that have pushed Germany to get rid of nuclear on ideological grounds that has lead to all these coal powered plants in the first place.

Doug Danhoff

In my area Wal Mart no longer has greeters….California economy I guess….. Now where should I look?


The solution is real simple. Rather than building coal-fired plants, why not follow China’s lead and develop Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs), which can produce electricity cheaper than coal, and no produces no harmful emissions (Pb, Hg, NOX, CO, Carbon particulates, SO2, etc) and require no water to run the turbines.
The £1 billion required to develop ridiculous CO2 CCS technology mentioned in the article is sufficient to get the first test LFTR developed and built.
Here’s the math: 1.2 GRAMS of Thorium is sufficient to provide ALL the energy needs of an individual (including transportation) for a year, with about 0.12 grams/person of nuclear waste that has a half-life of only 300 yrs.
As a rough napkin note calculation, Moving from a fossil fuels to a Thorium based world economy would save the world about $3 trillion/yr in energy expenditures plus another $1 trillion in military spending in protecting/securing fossil supplies.
Imagine what the world could create with $4 trillion/yr and the political and economic stability such a world would look like, especially with Middle-Eastern oil becoming completely irrelevant…
It boggles the mind.


dillweed –
saving for or got a pension? Then you probably own part of BP. And I’d be careful writing things like “wilfully” on a public blog – Chief Counsel’s tend not to like it and their bite is worse than their bark.

Germans have always been practical – they do not want to freeze! I guess the Brits want to keep a stiff upper lip.

Goode 'nuff

In the past during tough times Sam Walton trotted Hillary Clinton out as a show pony for his ‘Buy American’ campaign. They would place big ‘Made in USA’ tags on product displays. Wal~Mart image repaired.
Then Sam trotted Hillary out to show pony for his ‘Green Campaign’ and the other campaign was left behind as manufacturing skeedaddled largely because of heavy environmental regulations and fines. Companies were cleaning up their act but was any of that appreciated? They continued to get heavy fines from aggressive environmental lawyers who rarely ever were satisfied with a warning.
Abundant Nat Gas is a bit of a game changer for now.
Less you forget though, the grandson Sam Rawlins Walton sits on the EDF board of director$$$$. So Wal~Mart will follow through on their latest proclamation or it will turn into another smokescreen fallacy?
Ferdberple knows how the flow goes.
Coal dies a quick death in the USA, preferred, but they’ll settle for a slow one if they must.

Steve C

Paul Homewood says (April 23, 9:19 am):
The UK needs to do the same.
Darn right we do, and urgently. So … how are the sales of ice skates in Hell going?


dillweed7 says:
April 23, 2013 at 8:50 am
“So what if Germany is opening some new coal plants? So what if they have more on the drawing board? So what? They are spearheading a transformational change in how energy is produced.”
Well, we have installed mountains of unreliable contraptions that sometimes produce electricity. If we’re lucky that’s when we need electricity, in all other cases we give it away to countries that have a need for it and pay us pennies on the Dollar for it.
“They’ve paid upfront costs that others would not.”
That is factually wrong; we are STILL paying for it, and the cost is growing exponentially year on year; 16bn EUR in 2011; 20bn EUR in 2012. Electricity prices are growing exponentially as well.
“Anthony Watts has seen fit use solar.”
He lives in an area with three times the yearly insolation of Germany, and an insane monopoly electricity provider.
” Not that Germany or solar itself need justification or approval from him. Something for anyone gleeful over Germany opening some new coal plants.”
Not that our parties need justification for it. As I never tire of explaining, ALL established parties here are Green, pro-EU, pro-Euro parties (could one say, therefore antidemocratic parties? I think one can say that; as the EU is not a democracy.)
So, look to Germany if you want to see the future! Watch us perish.
But; if you want to look even farther into the future, look at the Wind turbines of Portugal and Spain, at the solar panels of Spain and Italy and Greece, and at the societies around these contraptions, and ask them how happy they are now.
Because all of these countries had the same FIT’s or even higher ones as Germany.


Please also note, the warmist propaganda in Germany from all media and all established parties continues unabated, as warmism continues to be needed as the pretense for expropriating the population. Of course we also need reliable sources of electricity, so we build coal power plants as well, but the officially promoted doctrin stays warmism.

Ian W

dillweed7 says:
April 23, 2013 at 8:53 am
What is the source for 3000 dying from energy poverty in the UK?

3000 is less than the extra deaths for last March _alone_ .
“Age UK’s Michelle Mitchell said: ‘We are trailing behind our European counterparts when it comes to providing decent housing that people can afford to heat.’
In total, there were 33,500 deaths over the first three weeks of last month, up from an average of 29,294 in recent years, the Office for National Statistics reported. Another 1,000 extra deaths are predicted for the final week of the month.
“The figures reveal that while the appalling death toll of lambs has been widely reported, the death toll among pensioners has been far higher. The overall death toll in the first three weeks of March was 33,500, compared with a previous average of 29,294 in recent years.”
“Ed Davey, the energy secretary, repeated Government assurances that Britain is not running out of gas and warned energy companies on Tuesday that freezing conditions were “no excuse to push up bills” amid concerns over the ability of elderly people to keep warm.
“Every winter, thousands of older people in England become seriously ill or even die as a result of the cold.”
“Michelle Mitchell, Age UK’s Charity Director-General, said: ‘It’s really worrying that the number of deaths in March this year are significantly higher than the average for the previous five years.
‘Cold homes are particularly dangerous to the health of older people and are a major contributing factor to the high numbers of excess winter deaths in this country.
In total, there were 33,500 deaths over the first 3 weeks of March 2013, compared with an average of 29,294 over the last 5 years.”
“The bitterly cold weather is killing more people in England as millions of pensioners and families lack the financial capability to heat their homes, media reports said.
According to reports, in the week ending March 15, 11,180 deaths were registered – 1,300 more than the average for the past five years – which included 9,500 pensioners. There were 11,245 deaths registered in the previous week, 1,265 more than usual.”
“As the country was subjected to the worst March snowfall in over 30 years, official figures showed that there were more than 4,000 extra deaths in just five weeks as the wintry conditions persisted.
It not all bad news – the PR man call me Dave knows when to step in with a suitable ‘life saving’ opportunity –
“David Cameron saves stricken SHEEP in daring rescue
DAVID Cameron has revealed he waded into a swamp to haul out a stranded ewe after a day of helping out a neighbour with lambing in his rural Oxfordshire constituency.”


If there is a logic to fear, clear immediate dangers might take precedence over vague future worries. Clear to them that is. I don’t know what anti-nuclear minds think, probably more about Chernobyl than Thorium.

Bruce Cobb

@ dillweed7: You seem to really love “renewable” energy. Aside from making energy costs skyrocket, harming struggling economies, and forcing many people into energy poverty, what else do you love about them?


dillweed7 says:
April 23, 2013 at 8:50 am
So what if Germany is opening some new coal plants? So what if they have more on the drawing board? So what? They are spearheading a transformational change in how energy is produced. They’ve paid upfront costs that others would not. Anthony Watts has seen fit use solar.

Let’s have a sunshine hours fight. California V Germany. No comparison. By the way Germany just had its darkest winter. Ouch!

dillweed7 says:
The transition will take time and coal, oil and gas still have large roles to play.

Of course, they have to be kept running for when the wind ain’t blowin’ and the sun don’t shine. Ouch!

Ian W

dillweed7 says:
April 23, 2013 at 8:53 am
What is the source for 3000 dying from energy poverty in the UK?

Dilweed – just do an internet search for: march deaths cold UK
Multiple hits
And the number was 2000 extra in the first weeks of March alone. The total number dying is an order of magnitude greater.
I have responded with links but I think a reply with several URLs to MSM sites goes into the spam trap,

Chuck Nolan

So, coal is better for the environment than nuclear…..Who knew?
Where is everybody?
No news articles about Greenpeace or Sierra Club chaining themselves to the coal fired turbine steam generators?
Where’s ole Jimmy Hansen. I thought he was pro nuke?
Shouldn’t he be lying on the tracks of the trains of death to prevent movement of the devil’s heat source?
These people and their organizations are so obvious.
Follow the money.

Total NUKE FEAR . . closing nukes buying power from France [nukes?] what a failure was the

Total NUKE FEAR . . closing nukes buying power from France [nukes?] what a failure was the E=GREEN alternative power program was = they used Nuke to subsidize green . . now they need cheap power to keep their industrial base.


When the UK governments own chief scientific adviser bleats on about the dangers of global warming then it has a difficulty rationalising its policy.

Barry Sheridan

Readers to this site need to understand, if they don’t already, that British politicians are in general scientifically illiterate. This wilful ignorance by most of those attracted to national politics has deep roots and is unlikely to change anytime soon. What is even more regrettable is the complacent smugness of much of the population, they will learn, as we have done so in the past, that there are hard lessons to be absorbed from idle indifference to what is done in our name. Alas the immediate prospects remain poor as Messers Cameron, Clegg and Milliband all lack the sense they were born with.

This is great. I often have believers hold up Germany as an example of a suscessful implementation of green engergy. Turns out it didn’t work out too well over there. Yet another argument has swung over to our side.


dillweed7 says:
April 23, 2013 at 8:53 am
“What is the source for 3000 dying from energy poverty in the UK?”
Not too complicated a thing there dill, you can use GOOGLE…..
“Since 2000, excess winter deaths in England and Wales remained generally at around 25,000. For the period of 2007-2008 the number of excess winter deaths was 27,480 of which the Hill reporte estimated that around 10% were caused directly by fuel poverty.[6] The winter of 2008-2009 the coldest in 10 years, and the Office for National Statistics estimated there were a total of 36,700, an increase of 49% over the previous year, which represents a 23.8% rise in deaths during the winter.”
and here:–england-and-wales/march-2013–provisional-/index.html
[Note: “dillweed” is persona non grata (PNG) here. Apologies to Anthony for mistakenly approving his last 2 comments. He hasn’t been around for a while, but that’s no excuse for a highly paid moderator on the Big Oil payroll. ~ mod.]

Rhoda R

The trouble with wind power is that it is 14th century technology – however gussied up and prettyfied it is today. And 14th century technology is going to give you a 14th century standard of living.

Bruce Cobb

“He hasn’t been around for a while, but that’s no excuse for a highly paid moderator on the Big Oil payroll. ~ mod.]”
Ah-HA! I KNEW it! The cat’s out of the bag now…

The warmists have been touting Germany’s wind and solar for years. The chickens are coming home to roost!

Rhoda R:
At April 23, 2013 at 11:19 am you say

The trouble with wind power is that it is 14th century technology – however gussied up and prettyfied it is today. And 14th century technology is going to give you a 14th century standard of living.

You make a good point. Indeed, it is better than you say.
Windpower was developed over thousands of years (not merely centuries) and was abandoned when the greater energy intensity available from fossil fuels became available by use of the steam engine.
Wind energy powered most of the world’s shipping for thousands of years. Primitive wind turbines powered pumps (notably in the Netherlands and England) and mills throughout Europe for centuries.
There are a number of types of wind turbines. They are divided into Vertical-Axis and Horizontal-Axis types.
Vertical-axis windmills to mill corn were first developed by the Persians around 1500 BC, and they were still in use in the 1970’s in the Zahedan region. Sails were mounted on a boom attached to a shaft that turned vertically. The technology had spread to Northern Africa and Spain by 500 BC. Low-speed, vertical-axis windmills are still popular in Finland because they operate without adjustment when the direction of the wind changes. These inefficient Finnish wind turbines are usually made from a 200 litre oil drum split in half and are used to pump water and to aerate land. Low speed vertical-axis windmills for water pumping and air compressing are commercially available (a selection of commercial suppliers is at .
The horizontal-axis wind turbine was invented in Egypt and Greece around 300 BC. It had 8 to 10 wooden beams rigged with sails, and a rotor which turned perpendicular to the wind direction. This type of wind turbine later became popular in Portugal and Greece. Around 1200 AD, the crusaders built and developed the post-mill for milling grain. The turbine was mounted on a vertical post and could be rotated on top the post to keep the turbine facing the wind. This post-mill technology was first adopted for electricity generation in Denmark in the late 1800’s. The technology soon spread to the U.S. where it was used to pump water and to irrigate crops across the Great Plains. During World War I, some American farmers rigged wind turbines to each generate 1 kW of DC current. Such wind turbines were mounted on buildings and towers. On western farms and railroad stations, wind turbines for pumping water were between 6 and 16m high and had 2 to 3m diameter. With 15kmh wind speed, a 2m-diameter turbine operating a 60cm diameter pump cylinder could lift 200 litres of water per hour to a height of 12m. A 4m diameter turbine could lift 250 litres per hour to a height of 38m.
The above brief history demonstrates that wind turbines can have useful niches to the present day. For example, small wind turbines can be used to economically pump water or generate electricity in remote locations distant to – or disconnected from (e.g. on boats) – an electricity grid supply. But wind power lost favour when the greater energy concentration in fossil fuels became widely available by use of steam engines. Wind power has recently found favour for large scale electricity generation in some places, but such use is uneconomic and impractical.
Today, if wind power were economically competitive with fossil fuels, then oil tankers would be sailing ships. Japan has conducted several studies to ascertain if use of automated sails could assist modern shipping. These studies have demonstrated that available wind power is so small a contribution to the powering of a ship that the systems to obtain it cannot recover their capital.
However, since the 1970s, the use of large, modern wind turbines has become popular for electricity generation in some places. This is especially true in Denmark, Germany, the UK and also in parts of the USA. Reasons for this use are entirely political. The low energy concentration in wind requires use of very many turbines with associated very high capital and maintenance costs. Also, the output of the turbines depends on the weather and, therefore, cannot be predicted with accuracy for more than – at most – a few days in advance.
Windfarms are local assemblies of wind turbines for power generation. Their turbines generate electricity when the wind is strong enough but not too strong. This makes their output intermittent, and electricity is not a commodity so it cannot be stored in significant amounts and must be used at its existing distribution system when generated. This intermittent supply of electricity disrupts the electricity grid and prevents the windfarms reducing need for power stations which are needed to provide power when windfarms don’t.
I am astonished when windpower supporters say windpower requires subsidies because it is “new technology”. Windpower was abandoned when the greater energy intensity available from fossil fuels became available by use of the steam engine.
So, if windpower is new technology then the steam engine must be future-tech.


Stunned at this news,why then in the UK are we having to shut down coal fire power stations under E.U directives whilst Germany is allowed to build new ones?????