Germany's CO2 and energy policy – about to falter?

Guest essay by Fred F. Mueller

On April 16th, 2014, a few quite remarkable statements were delivered during a discussion event at the premises of SMA Solar Technology AG, a leading German producer of photovoltaic panels and systems:

“The truth is that the Energy U-Turn (“Energiewende”, the German scheme aimed at pushing the “renewable” share of electricity production to 80 % by 2050) is about to fail”

“The truth is that under all aspects, we have underestimated the complexity of the “Energiewende”

“The noble aspiration of a decentralized energy supply, of self-sufficiency! This is of course utter madness”

“Anyway, most other countries in Europe think we are crazy”

Had this been one of the small albeit growing number of German “sceptics” casting doubt upon the XXL-sized politico-economical scam that has cost the German populace more than € 500 billion since its inception in 2000, it would not have gotten more than a footnote in the local press, crammed somewhere in between “horoscope” and “lost and found”. In fact, the media actually tried to keep a lid on the facts by giving them as little coverage as possible.

But the man at the speaker’s desk was Sigmar Gabriel, acting vice-chancellor of the German government, Secretary of Commerce with responsibility for the said „Energiewende” and chairman of the German social democrats (SPD), the second-largest political force in the country. Since December 2013, he is in charge of taming the runaway costs and growing security of supply risks that are unmasking the financial and technical nightmare of this ill-conceived project. In the past few months, he seems to have gotten some unpleasant insights causing him to admit the above-mentioned inconvenient truths when he was pushed too far by a number of aggressive lobbyists of the “renewable energy” sector. Gabriel, famous for his irascible temper that once already resulted in a heated verbal exchange with a top-dog TV journalist live on air, appears to have become quite candid when he vented his anger during the debate.

He must have realized his own political fate is in jeopardy because the task he has been assigned has conducted him into a situation that will inevitably result in failure. With respect to electric energy generation, Germany has painted itself into a corner. Since the introduction of the “Renewable Energy” law (EEG) in 2000 aimed at replacing coal and gas-fired as well as nuclear power generation by so-called renewable energy sources, the household price for electricity has jumped by more than 200 %. German customers now pay the second-highest electricity prices in Europe. At the same time, the task of stabilizing the grid against the massive erratic influx from solar and wind power plants that produce without regard for actual need has pushed the operators to their limits. Now already, with a combined share of just some 13 % of total electricity production, their unreliable input is massively imperiling the stability of the grid.

Conventional power plants – the most important units able to compensate these detrimental effects – are being pushed out of the market and shuttered at increasing rates. At the same time, Germany’s CO2 output has not diminished because coal-fired units have had to take over from closed nuclear plants. Costs are set to rise further on a ballistic path while security of supply is in free fall. At the same time, Gabriel is subjected to intense pressure from a number of factions of the “renewable” energy sector asking for ever greater slices of a cake that cannot be financed much longer. Together with inconvenient truths about feasibility limits given to him by his technical staff, this pressure seems to have risen to a level that pushed him to lecture his harassers when their clamors transgressed his tolerance limit.

This rare incident where a leading politician loses control of his words to such a degree shows that the “crash boom bang” path the German way of mishandling energy policies has indeed reached a threshold where said politicians feel cornered and unable to uphold their usual “muddling through” approach. Long-ignored financial and technical rules re-emerge and will force the German political class to abandon their “renewable” energy strategy centering on solar and wind power generation. Since the only low CO2 alternative – nuclear power – has been deviled by all political parties and the media beyond any chance of short-term oblivion, Germany will soon have to revert to coal for its power needs. And that in turn implies the country will have to abandon all aspirations to lower its CO2 emissions. German politicians might soon find out that demonizing CO2 is becoming a speedy path to ruining their career. And given the importance of the country within Europe and the pioneering role it claimed in the international crusade against climate change by limiting CO2 emissions, this might well herald the start of a paradigm shift of epochal dimensions in the whole climate change debate.

 

Original TV clips (in German):

http://www.1730live.de/sigmar-gabriel-nimmt-in-kassel-stellung-zur-energiewende/

http://www.hr-online.de/website/archiv/hessenschau/hessenschau.jsp?t=20140417&type=v

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Geoff Sherrington

Germany, become sane again and go nuclear. Model yourself on a superior France.

rogerknights

This needs to be copy-edited:
“Since the only low CO2 alternative – nuclear power – has been deviled by all political parties and the media beyond any chance of short-term oblivion, . . . .”
E.g., change “oblivion” to “resuscitation”.

bevothehike

Guest essay by Fred F. Mueller
“German politicians might soon find out that demonizing CO2 is becoming a speedy path to ruining their career. And given the importance of the country within Europe and the pioneering role it claimed in the international crusade against climate change by limiting CO2 emissions, this might well herald the start of a paradigm shift of epochal dimensions in the whole climate change debate.”
Truth is catching up with the climate change meme. It’s about time.

Not only that, but German high court has declared that the govt illegally closed their units and also illegally collected 2.2 billion euros in fuel taxes from those plants that was never due. Govt must repay plant owners. Germans are cowards and cowards pay for their fears.

http://notrickszone.com/2014/04/27/angela-merkels-vice-chancellor-stuns-declares-germanys-energiewende-to-be-on-the-verge-of-failure/ has some quotes translated into English:
“The truth is that in all fields we under-estimated the complexity of the Energiewende.”
“Those who are the engines of the transformation to renewable energies, that’s you, you don’t see how close we are to the failure of the energy transformation.”
The mood at SMA Solar, which has been a huge benefactor of the renewable energy subsidies brought on by Germany’s EEG feed-in act, was somber and shock and Gabriel delivered the reality. Many in attendance seemed unable to fathom what Gabriel was unloading: the heady days at the green energy feeding trough are over – live with it.

Jeff L

“German politicians might soon find out that demonizing CO2 is becoming a speedy path to ruining their career.”
——————————–
A fascinating insight really – It is a clear case of blind faith – they really thought this was possible – to run their country on renewables. There was no analysis , just blind faith. And now it is all crumbling before their eyes , as is their political futures.
I feel this is also the case of your average alarmist – no analysis , just blind faith that CO2 is going to cause catastrophic warming. Likewise, there will no amount of logic skeptics can tell alarmists to move them from their faith – they will have to arrive at the conclusions from the tenants of their faith crumbling before their own eyes, such as these German politicians are having to deal with now.
The question is how long will it take & can skeptics keep the debate alive until that time.

Matthew

I wish the Governor/Legislature of the People’s Republic of Vermont would pay attention to what is happening in Germany. Their goals for renewables, “90% of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2050.” according to the Comprehensive Energy Plan of 2011, is already costing us millions that we do not have. As a bonus, the “incentives” have increased our tax burden (formerly ridiculous headed toward insane) and thoroughly corrupted the renewable industry. All while our transportation infrastructure and local school systems go to pot.
Unfortunately, “utter madness” and “XXL-sized politico-economical scams” are their stock in trade.

Louis

“Germany’s CO2 output has not diminished because coal-fired units have had to take over from closed nuclear plants.”

It was announced in 2011 that Germany would shut down all 17 of its nuclear power stations by 2022. Chancellor Angela Merkel said the nuclear power phase-out would give Germany a competitive advantage in the renewable energy era, stating, “As the first big industrialized nation, we can achieve such a transformation toward efficient and renewable energies, with all the opportunities that brings for exports, developing new technologies and jobs”.
The move to wind and solar doesn’t appear to be going quite so smoothly as anticipated. With only 9 of 17 nuclear power plants now operating, is Germany still planning to shut down the rest by 2022? Trading nuclear for coal and adding additional coal-fired stations to backup unreliable renewable energy seems like a very expensive move. With the household price for electricity jumping by more than 200%, this hasty transformation toward renewable energies is turning out to be anything but “efficient.” How can Germany afford to keep bailing out bankrupt European nations, like Greece, if the cost of energy continues to skyrocket?

Brad

Now, if we can only get the same speech in DC….

Henry

While I do feel sorry for the poor consumers and struggling industries in Germany, I also see this as a shinning example of the utter foolishness of these green policies that are being pushed around the world without a thought for the consequences. Hopefully other countries are watching and learning from this madness.

rogerknights

“German politicians might soon find out that demonizing CO2 is becoming a speedy path to ruining their career. And given the importance of the country within Europe and the pioneering role it claimed in the international crusade against climate change by limiting CO2 emissions, this might well herald the start of a paradigm shift of epochal dimensions in the whole climate change debate.”

Approaching a tipping point . . .

pat

28 April: Fairfax Media Australia: Mandate on ethanol fuel costs drivers dearly: study
New South Wales’s E10 unleaded fuel mandate is a ”debacle” and is costing the state’s motorists millions, according to an international study.
The Texas Tech University research found motorists had a ”significant aversion” to the ethanol blended product.
With the push for E10 reducing the availability of regular grade unleaded, motorists had instead flocked to the more expensive premium petrol because of concerns about E10’s potential engine damage as well as fuel efficiency…
***Greens MP John Kaye said the mandate was not working for consumers or the environment.
”Motorists who had been using regular unleaded have been faced with the choice of a fuel they don’t want and a fuel that is much more expensive,” Dr Kaye said.
”While per litre it [the E10 price] looks better, you have to burn more of it to cover the same distance, and you get more air pollution and more CO2 emissions.
”There’s no evidence that requiring motorists to use ethanol blended fuels has any net greenhouse gas gain or much in the way of air quality improvement.”
http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/mandate-on-ethanol-fuel-costs-drivers-dearly-study-20140427-37c6j.html

hunter

The German politicians were betrayed by their green-tainted science advisers.
As have been political leaders world wide.
Greens have misled the world for their own profit regarding energy, climate and environment for far too long.

Germany is already openly mocking green energy policy. The end game is near (h/t JoNova and James Delingpole):-

( http://joannenova.com.au/2014/04/long-live-satire-amen-germans-mock-their-green-faith/ )

johann wundersamer

/beyond/ the saturation point of renewable self delusion clouds:
You can see clearly now the rain has gone.
What a drag. Hans

Sceptical lefty

It may be time to reflect on the wisdom of one of Germany’s earlier, now-reviled politicians.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” — Josef Goebbels
It would seem that the State is no longer able to shield the people from the consequences of this particular set of lies. It would also seem that the situation is applicable around the globe, and not just a German phenomenon.

William McClenney

Eric Worrall says:
April 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm
A real side-splitter. More of that!

Peter Miller

Regrettably, before the greenies and gullible politicians see sense we shall need incontrovertible proof of their incompetence and stupidity. That requires a couple of cold winters, rolling blackouts and tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths from cold.
Sigmar Gabriel obviously sees this coming, while the great unwashed, loony left keeps marching on uncaringly into an easily avoidable energy disaster.

John in Oz

No doubt other politicians in other countries (Oz in particular) will see this and claim that their scheme is different and will work.

M Seward

In Australia under the previous “government” we had a creepy green, post GFC program of the government insulating houses as an eco-evangelical stimulus program.
It was a complete shemozzle. We imported hundreds of millions worth of insulation from China due to the massive demand spike, scammers flooded the sector taking their government fee then not insulating the houses, the established installers all had their businesses destroyed by the scammers, 100 or so houses burned down do to stapling through metallic insulation and then, to cap this fiasco off with perhaps inevitable tragedy, four young installers, kids really, untrained and poorly supervised, died. The program was eventually shut down without warning and the established businesses who had ordered stock were left high and dry. There is now a Royal Commission examining the whole thing.
The German eco-evangelical decarbonisation program makes us look like amateurs in monetray terms. I just hope that no deaths have ensued.

William Astley

William: Germany is exporting solar energy at a loss to France and Czech. France and Czech cannot therefore rely on solar energy. The green scams do not work if the objective is to reduce CO2 emissions for whatever reason by 50% for all countries. Nuclear is the only solution. Germany has 2300 km of high voltage power lines that need to be constructed due to the intermittent power from the green scams. The cost of the 2300 km of high voltage power lines and new back up fossil fuel plants that are required has not been included in the green scam economics.
http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/169521/wind-turbine-energy-capacity-less-estimated
“As a result of the existing RE build-outs, German household rates increased from 13.94 to 28.50 eurocent/kWh, from 2010 to 2012, a 104.4% increase, and industrial rates increased from 6.05 to 16.10 eurocent/kWh, from 2010 to 2012, a 166% increase. According to a recent study for the federal government, electricity will cost up to 40 eurocents/kWh by 2020, a 40% increase over 2012 prices.
Among european nations, German households have the second highest electric rates; 28.5 eurocent/kWh (energy, plus fees, plus taxes), after Denmark (32 eurocent/kWh), courtesy of RE. US low electric rates are the envy of heavy industry elsewhere, including Germany. France’s are among has the lowest.”
William: The average cost of power to US consumers is US $0.1057/kw-hr, a third of the cost of electric power in Germany. ($1 US = 0.75 Euro) http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/update/end_use.cfm
Note the phony solar economics and wind farm calculation which is quoted in other comments in this thread is based on peak noon solar energy generated on a cloudless day and optimum wind speed, not realistic 24/7 solar and wind farm.
Germany’s Solar Energy: About 22,000 MW of Germany’s 32,800 MW of PV solar systems (end 2012) are in South Germany. (William: Note quoted solar capacity is noon, cloudless day, not 24/7 realistic calculation) On a sunny summer day, from an output of about 0 MW at 6 AM, the PV solar output increases to about 16,000 MW at about noon, and back down to about 0 MW at 6 PM. As this would create major disturbances on the grid and, as PV solar panels cannot be turned off, Germany has to export part of the PV solar energy from about 10 AM to about 2 PM.

Catcracking

Brad says:
April 27, 2014 at 6:56 pm
Now, if we can only get the same speech in DC….
Amen, although there are quite a few sensible politicians in the House that bear the constant demagoguery and wrath from the nasty politicians who call them flat earthers and other terms. I was called that Friday night by a committed Democrat. Of course we are fighting a compliant MSM and University system when it comes to Global Warming and climate change.
Note the similarly of the current tactics from those of the past history as posted by skeptical Lefty
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” — Josef Goebbels
“It would seem that the State is no longer able to shield the people from the consequences of this particular set of lies. It would also seem that the situation is applicable around the globe, and not just a German phenomenon.”
Well said

Gary Hladik

Well, some country (and possibly several) will have to “green” itself into catastrophe before the rest will learn their lesson. Might as well be Germany. More likely it’ll be the People’s Republik of Kalifornia.

Well said William Astley according to this http://www.oecd-nea.org/pub/egc/docs/exec-summary-ENG.pdf OECD report Nuclear Energy is already the cheapest way of producing electricity. It is set to become even cheaper as an outcome of research in China and India (and probably also in Russia) into the use of Thorium fuels.

This is a wake up call for all countries with renewable policies for energy substitution. Germany is one of the two or three most technologically savvy countries in the world. Its engineering abilities are unsurpassed. It has a compliant population. If Germany can’t do it any country that is not blessed with huge hydro electric resources (60 to 70 per cent of total generation) must think again.

rogerknights says: “This needs to be copy-edited: ‘Since the only low CO2 alternative – nuclear power – has been deviled by all political parties and the media beyond any chance of short-term oblivion, . . . .’ E.g., change “oblivion” to “resuscitation”.
I think the word was ‘obviation.’

Richard T

Aw shucks! Here I’ve been cheering for the German push for more and more wind turbines and the complete shut down of their nukes. When their industry can no longer afford to produce in Germany, they will look for more affordable digs and the US will be a prime candidate. More jobs. 🙂

Mike wryley

Sad and a tragedy for the middle class , and the same is happening in the US. Any fool with a basic knowledge of power generation and distribution economics could determine in short order that low power density schemes like solar and wind, with their high capital costs, mediocre lifetimes, low availability and high maintenance overhead are a fool’s errand, even with zero energy input costs. A damn foolish national energy policy for a country with above average math skills.
Net result is chaos and a lower standard of living, but then the hubris of the left knows no bounds.

jorgekafkazar

Col Mosby says: “…Germans are cowards and cowards pay for their fears.”
How fortunate, then, that England had brave Sir Robin, Neville Chamberlain, at the helm when Germany was being naughty.

CRS, DrPH
Jake J

Conventional power plants – the most important units able to compensate these detrimental effects – are being pushed out of the market and shuttered at increasing rates. At the same time, Germany’s CO2 output has not diminished because coal-fired units have had to take over from closed nuclear plants. Costs are set to rise further on a ballistic path while security of supply is in free fall.
A few things, in hopes that the author will come back.
1. I have read elsewhere that Germany has ordered a bunch of new coal burners. How can they order new coal plants but also be pushing conventional power plants out of the market?
2. Do you have links to German newspaper or magazine coverage of this, preferably in English?
3. Do you have a link to official German electricity generation data comparable to data published by the U.S. Dept. of Energy?
Thanks for the article. Sehr interessant!

Green Energy’s waste stream of rare earth elements tosses away enough of the super fuel Thorium yearly that can power the entire planet. http://www.energyfromthorium.com

noaaprogrammer

The rise & fall of the fourth reich.

asybot

Thanks Eric. Good chuckle. It seems like hat kind of cutting satire is not allowed way west of the wall these days. (by way west I mean with a little ocean in between). Refreshing.

betapug

@Jake J For outstandingly comprehensive and useful charts of German renewable and conventional electric power generation see PDFs at:
http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/renewable-energy-data/electricity-production-data

pat

disclosure: i am an anti-nuclear CAGW sceptic, but i understand many sceptics are pro-nuclear. i’m also pro-coal, & don’t want the coal industry destroyed on the altar of CAGW to fund nuclear, solar, wind, etc.
for years, the MSM worldwide has successfully kept quiet from anti-nuclear CAGW followers (and pro-nuclear CAGW sceptics, it seems to me) –
1) the fact advanced nuclear was included with renewables in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007
2) that James Hansen was calling for a “nuclear renaissance” driven by the development of fourth-generation nuclear power plants in his book “Storms of my Grandchildren” published in 2009
similarly, the MSM – with the exception of UK Daily Mail – DOWNPLAYED – or didn’t even mention – the IPCC’s endorsements of not only nuclear, but also fracking, in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, recently published.
April 27 2014: NYT – in typical disinfo fashion – PRETENDS nuclear is only now being considered in the fight against carbon dioxide emissions to save the planet from CAGW….by destroying the coal industry, of course… & that nuclear has bipartisan political & environmentalist support(Pew- under-a-new-name)!
27 April: NYT: Matthew L. Wald: Nuclear Industry Gains Carbon-Focused Allies in Push to Save Reactors
Environmentalists and the nuclear industry are beginning a push to preserve old nuclear reactors whose economic viability is threatened by cheap natural gas and rising production of wind energy. They argue that while natural gas and wind are helpful as sources of electricity with little or no production of greenhouse gases, national climate goals will be unreachable if zero-carbon nuclear reactors are phased out.
***The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, an independent nonprofit group based in Washington that was formerly known as the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, plans to release on Monday a research paper that charts the decline of the industry.
“The loss of nuclear plants from the electricity grid would likely lead to millions of tons of additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere each year,” because the substitute would be fossil fuels, the paper concludes. “This is a prospect the global climate cannot afford.”
Carol M. Browner, the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and a former climate adviser to President Obama, and Susan F. Tierney, another former energy aide to Mr. Obama, are among the prominent figures expected to be present when the paper is made public.
The nuclear industry has started a new lobbying effort, hiring three former senators — Evan Bayh, an Indiana Democrat; Judd Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican; and Spencer Abraham, a Michigan Republican and a former energy secretary — and William M. Daley, a former chief of staff to Mr. Obama. The group, called Nuclear Matters, has begun an advertising campaign in major newspapers…
***An antinuclear group based in Washington, the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, referred to both Nuclear Matters and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions as “de facto nuclear industry front groups” and said the groups were trying to create a false impression that environmentalists were warming to nuclear power…
Many reactors now fall into the category of “merchant generators,” which means their only income is whatever they can get by selling their electricity in markets depressed by the recession and cheap gas.
***So there are no clear options for preserving old reactors without a carbon tax or similar incentive for zero-carbon generation. But the paper’s co-author, Douglas Vine, said one option could be rules the E.P.A. is planning to issue that would force existing coal-fired plants to cut their carbon dioxide output.
***Mr. Vine said that with some new form of carbon trading, coal-fired power plants obliged to cut their output might comply by paying for new nuclear production, or continued production from a nuclear reactor that would otherwise have had to close…
Those coal plants could take credit for zero-carbon electricity to blend in with their own high-carbon production. But the idea faces regulatory obstacles, he said, among them ensuring that any nuclear production that the coal plants might subsidize was not going to happen without such a deal.
Mr. Vine said that closing reactors was a step back for climate stabilization…
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/28/business/energy-environment/nuclear-industry-gains-carbon-focused-allies-in-push-to-save-reactors.html?_r=0

pat

backing up claims in my previous comment:
Wikipedia: 2007: IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
Key mitigation technologies and practices currently commercially available
Improved supply and distribution efficiency; fuel switching from coal to gas; nuclear power; renewable heat and power (hydropower, solar, wind, geothermal
and bioenergy
Key mitigation technologies and practices projected to be commercialized before 2030
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) for gas, biomass and coal-fired electricity generating facilities; advanced nuclear power; advanced renewable energy, including tidal and waves energy, concentrating solar, and solar PV…
In terms of electricity generation, the IPCC envisage that renewable energy can provide 30 to 35% of electricity by 2030 (up from 18% in 2005) at a carbon price of up to US$50/t, and that nuclear power can rise from 16% to 18%…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPCC_Fourth_Assessment_Report
2009: Countercurrents: A Review of James Hansen’s Storms of My Grandchildren
He does stress the importance of energy-efficiency gains and renewable-energy sources, but he finds it “extremely irresponsible” to depend entirely on these two strategies to combat global warming; instead, he writes favorably of the prospect of a “nuclear renaissance” driven by the development of fourth-generation nuclear power plants, which he seems to find to be the only viable means by which drastically to reduce carbon emissions in the near term…
His questionable views on nuclear power aside, much of what Hansen proposes in Storms of My Grandchildren seems reasonable…
http://www.countercurrents.org/sethness151209.htm

pat

reminder:
George W. Bush: The President’s News Conference With Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan at Camp David, Maryland
April 27, 2007
President Bush: We talked about the environment and energy…
There’s a lot of work that Japan and the United States can do together, particularly in fields like emission-free nuclear energy, nuclear power. I mean, the truth of the matter is, if people really want to solve the issue of greenhouse gases, civilian nuclear power, powering our energy grids by nuclear power is the best alternative available…
We—over lunch I’m going to also remind Shinzo about my deep desire to have our folks driving automobiles powered by ethanol and biodiesels. And I’m going to share with him our strategy about reducing gasoline consumption in the United States by 20 percent over the next 10 years as a result of ethanol, as well as our cellulosic ethanol technologies that are, hopefully, coming to market quickly…
Prime Minister Abe: Let me also point out, as President mentioned earlier, that an important progress has been made on the climate change issue…
is gratifying that we agreed—Japan and the United States agreed at the leaders’ level to study jointly an intensified dialog on ways and means to make progress towards the ultimate objective of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, to resolve the environmental issues, and to resolve the greenhouse gas issue. I believe this represents an important progress.
It is essential that the world community act on the climate change issue in concert, and Japan and the United States agreed to work together on this front…
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=25225

pat

12 March: RenewEconomyAustralia: Giles Parkinson: UK nuclear power plant builders want higher carbon tax
Australian government members harbouring a not-so-secret fantasy to see nuclear generation in Australia can add another major offence to its principals that such projects would require.
The Telegraph in the UK is reporting that EdF, the mostly French government owned nuclear giant that is proposing to build the $26 billion Hinkley Point C, is now pushing the UK government to increase its carbon tax so the financials for the first nuclear plant in the UK for nearly three decades adds up.
As Centrica (formerly British Gas) chairman Sir Roger Carr noted last year when pulling his company and its 500 million investment out of the consortium: “Nuclear is not a cheap option.”
It also requires massive subsidies. The Hinkley Point plant requires a guaranteed tariff of £92.50/MWH ($170/MWH), that is twice the wholesale price in the UK and about four times the price in Australia.
And Hinkley also requires a massive loan guarantee (£10 billion) to cover the cost of building the plant. The European Commission is currently investigating the deal struck between EdF and the UK government to see if the subsidies are illegal. It noted in a 70-page interim report published in January that the total subsidies of £17 billion amount to more than the cost of the plant…
This is interesting stuff for Tony Abbott’s conservative government. Many of his advisors favour nuclear, the nuclear option will be canvassed in the upcoming energy white paper, and some members, such as the climate-denying, would-be science minister Dennis Jensen, suggest that car workers could be retrained to run nuclear plants.
Apart from the improbability of that last suggestion, it seems clear that if Abbott was ever to entertain nuclear as a serious option – it could only do so by abandoning the idea of a cheap fuel source, accepting the need for loan guarantees, and for a carbon price.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/uk-nuclear-power-plant-builders-want-higher-carbon-tax-28916

rogerthesurf

AGW may be going belley up, but UN Agenda 21 policies have slipped in under the AGW diversion. The public are conditioned already to the notion of “sustainability” and the governments and local governments have been infiltrated by Agenda 21 influenced legislation and ICLEI.
Search for ICLEI on your local govenment’s website. The odds are that the influence has been there a number of years already and your local bylaws and policies are closing your lifestyle down. Electric cars, cycle ways, over emphasis on public transport and “encouragements” for smaller housing in CBD’s and “sustainability” courses in schools and universities where sutdents never fail. Its all happening in my city.
Cheers
Roger
http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com
http://www.

Germany have been talking Green but digging Brown for some time now. They just have to sound a bit tormented and angst-ridden about exploiting those enormous rafts of lignite while the carbon price is in the toilet. They’ve been silly, but not as silly as they sound. Nuke and hydro-rich France would love a high carbon price but not at the cost of having to buy the drinks for all the cadgers and derelicts around the bar. That’s Germany’s job!

Fred F. Mueller

@ Jake J.
Given the very long planification, permission and erection periods of typically more than 10 years, a number of plants is still being built or has recently been commissioned. But the pipeline for new projects is largely dry.
A few sources, albeit (unfortunately) in German, but English language publications are hard to come by.
“Plans for a state-run power plant for fear of a blackout”
http://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/energie/article126769283/Staatskraftwerk-aus-Angst-vor-Blackouts-geplant.html
“Energiewende: Backup power plants will cost Billions”
http://www.wiwo.de/politik/deutschland/energiewende-reservekraftwerke-werden-milliarden-verschlingen/9412340.html
Power production statistics since 1990, also available in English:
http://www.ag-energiebilanzen.de/
Fred

Perry

Fellow realists. I present to you both an analogy & a lesson from history. In October 782 AD , during the Saxon wars, the Frankish troops of Charlemagne’s Xtian Francia (now France) beheaded 4500 Saxons in Verden (now in Germany) who would not convert to Xtianity. The analogy being that the Renewable Energy law (EEG) of 2000 is the pagan belief in windmills & photovoltaic panels & Xtianity is represented by the French nuclear generators of electricity. Convert or die is the message to the believers. Your Energiewende is a false religion.
“When he heard this, the Lord King Charles rushed to the place with all the Franks that he could gather on short notice and advanced to where the Aller flows into the Weser. Then all the Saxons came together again, submitted to the authority of the Lord King, and surrendered the evildoers who were chiefly responsible for this revolt to be put to death—four thousand and five hundred of them. This sentence was carried out. Widukind was not among them since he had fled to Nordmannia. When he had finished this business, the Lord King returned to Francia.”
Heads are going to roll; possibly literally as well as figuratively. I see Merkel as Widukind, but other may have other candidates?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_Verden
Those who do not know their history, are doomed to repeat it.

Kev-in-Uk

Personally, although I have nothing against the Germans per se; I hope that they do suffer badly, in the same way as Spain, for their stupid ‘green’ RE agendas. Apart from being model ‘failures’ and therefore acting as warnings to others – it might just make the Germans a little more ‘humble’ in Europe and teach them that they do not know everything or what is best for Europe and other countries!

knr

renewables have never had any chance to met the majority of energy needs for modern society
They simply cannot match supply and time of demand in a way that makes any sense, that is when they can match demand at all.
Turning the countries energy supplies to this approach can only mean massive brownouts or the madness of having to build , at a high environmental and finical cost , a entire second energy supply network to cover the problems of supply from renewable .
Frankly the greens actual want an energy crisis , has they see this as an opportunity, for although they no longer say it in public , in private they still think that energy has too cheap and to easy to get. If you could come up with cheap, clean and reliable energy supply tomorrow. those most opposed to it would be the greens how would regard this as a ‘bad idea’

ralfellis

The UK’s largest power station, Drax, is having the same problems. It was promised huge subsidies to burn every forest in the USA, but now the government appears to be having second thoughts.
In one sense, this is a victory for common sense. However, what does this do for UK energy policy? Four coal mines have already started closing down in the UK, because of a lack of demand from Drax. But if Drax is left powerless, then the UK loses 5-7% of its power generation. And this at a time when the government is increasing electrical demand by subsidizing electric vehicles.
So when do the lights go out?
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Daily Mail, Quote:
Britain’s biggest power station is suing the Government for losing a lucrative contract after a Mail on Sunday investigation revealed that it burns wood from precious US forests as a ‘green’ alternative to coal. Drax is committed to switching from coal to ‘biomass’, or wood pellets.
In December, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey promised the North Yorkshire plant two lucrative ‘contracts for difference’ – which would see it earn £105 for every megawatt hour it generates, rather than the normal price of £50.
The extra money would come from subsidies funded by consumers’ household bills. But this paper revealed that much of its biomass is shipped in from historic wetland hardwood forests – 3,000 miles away in North Carolina. Environmentalists say this is destroying endangered species’ habitats, and increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Ministers have now withdrawn their promise to guarantee profits for the part of the plant using biomass. This wiped £400million off the company’s share price and prompted the firm to start legal action. A spokesman for Mr Davey said: ‘Drax was informed that this project no longer qualifies for the award of contract.’
(scroll to the bottom of this link).
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2614097/Top-climate-experts-sensational-claim-government-meddling-crucial-UN-report.html#ixzz30AFbqWk5
Ralph

Oldseadog

Another hole in the dyke.
The little boy must run out of fingers soon.

ralfellis

William Astley says: April 27, 2014 at 8:03 pm
William: Germany is exporting solar energy at a loss to France and Czech.
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Well that’s interesting. Denmark, which used to have Europe’s largest wind carpet (as they call it), could not deal with its wind power either, and used to sell it to Scandinavia and Germany. So if we all end up selling our wind and solar power, because nobody can use it, then where will it all go?
Is someone going to create a huge zener-diode-resistor arrangement in Switzerland (measuring about ten miles across), to drain away all that unwanted energy? And how hot would it get? Will we fry all of Switzerland on a windy day? Will it add to Global Warming? Could you see it glowing in the dark, from Berlin?
Seriously, the following article is from 2005, and it states that Denmark has NEVER used any of its wind power, because it would destabilize the grid, so it has always exported its wind electricity (at a loss) to Scandinavia and Germany.
http://incoteco.com/upload/CIEN.158.2.66.pdf
Ralph

stephen richards

Geoff Sherrington says:
April 27, 2014 at 6:08 pm
Germany, become sane again and go nuclear. Model yourself on a superior France.
NOT for much longer. The socialists (Valls the new PM) want to close HALF of france’s nuclear power stations by 2025. That will leave no base power for the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and portugal.

stephen richards

ralfellis says:
April 28, 2014 at 1:05 am
There was an EU court ruling on the charges for renewables between germany and it’s neighbours very recently. It was something along the lines of ” you must charge the same rate to all users”.