The Kaiser Has No Clothes

Examining the Energiewende

The Kaiser Has No Clothes

From The American Interest

After President Donald Trump announced his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord on June 1st, the media turned its proverbial head to another head of state for an instant reaction: Angela Merkel. The German chancellor is the de facto leader of the global green caucus, as she is an outspoken proponent of the international approach to combatting climate change, and her country is the undisputed leader in rolling out renewable energy. Merkel was predictably displeased by Trump’s renunciation of the Paris deal, saying that the decision was “extremely regrettable” while reaffirming her commitment to the UN-organized effort to help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. To the casual observer, Merkel and Germany are now playing the virtuous hero in this climate change story, a foil to the new Trump administration. But there’s a problem with that surface level reading of events: Merkel’s Germany isn’t the green champion so many environmentalists seem to believe it to be. Let’s take a look.

Screenshot-2017-08-05-19.22.51

Modern German energy policy is in a period of upheaval, as the country pursues what it calls its energiewende—a comprehensive plan to overhaul the way it produces and consumes electricity with the ultimate goal of reducing carbon emissions. On some fronts, Berlin has been extremely successful in this endeavor: for the past two years, it has sourced 29 percent of its power from renewables. Of course, in order to kickstart its clean energy industries, Germany was forced to subsidize the production of wind and solar power by offering producers long-term above-market rates for their supplies. Those feed-in tariffs, as they’re called, have produced some of the highest power bills in Europe, though Berlin is moving to roll back that government support as the costs of renewables drop and the outcry against high power bills grows. Increasing renewables’ share of the national energy mix to nearly one-third wasn’t cheap or easy, but getting it there is still a major achievement. It’s also why so many people think of Germany as a green leader.

But the reality is a lot more complicated—and a lot “browner”. One major part of the energiewende has been the phase-out of nuclear power, a process that Germany accelerated in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Germany’s decision to nix nuclear was motivated partly by security concerns (not exactly a rational fear, considering nuclear’s safety and the relative lack of natural disaster threats that German reactors face), and partly by the long-held revulsion the environmental movement has held for the energy source. How ironic, then, that a phase-out so foundational to a green energy transition would end up increasing greenhouse gas emissions: nuclear power is a zero-emissions energy source, which means that unless every watt taken offline during this systematic shuttering is replaced by a similarly clean supplier, German emissions are going to rise.

Sure enough, German emissions crept up 0.7 percent last year. Some analysts are pinning that increase on the growing German economy, but the country’s biggest brown problem is its reliance on coal. Coal is just about the dirtiest fossil fuel around, but it’s been in increased demand in Germany following all these nuclear shutdowns. Germany imports hard coal to supply 17 percent of its power, and sources another 23 percent of its electricity from domestically produced lignite, an especially dirty variety of coal. All of that adds up to a lot of emissions.

There’s a limit on how much renewables will be able to do, going forward. Wind and solar are intermittent by nature, and can’t be relied upon to replace more consistent energy sources like nuclear power or coal en masse. Germany’s reactors would have made a nice foundation on which to build this renewables revolution, but Merkel’s mind seems made up. But however hard she tries to position herself as the virtuous green, the fact remains that German emissions rose last year, while America’s fell three percent (thanks to cheap, abundant shale gas displacing coal). Words matter, but so do numbers, and the data tells us that lately—whatever Trump is trumpeting—the United States is doing more to combat climate change than Germany.

From The American Interest

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Problem f/wind&solar-full functioning baseload plant (nuclear, coal, gas or oil) needed functional and staffed 24/7 for when sun don’t shine (nighty) or wind doesn’t blow or blow hard enough.

Leo Smith

New green mantra is ‘we dont need baseload’ as somehow lots of interconnectors will make up the difference. Re-hash of the ‘wind is always blowing somewhere’ myth.

MarkG

I’m sure Russia will be happy to supply the EU with reliable power, and not cut it off for political reasons.

jorgekafkazar

When did the Greens ever say anything important that was true?

ClimateOtter

Leo~ They don’t seem to take into account that the people *living* ‘somewhere’ might just need that power too!
Jorge – When they talk about destroying capitalism / democracy.

jorgekafkazar

The wind is also breaking somewhere. Doesn’t mean it can be used to power anything other than emptying out a room.

Greg

When did the Greens ever say anything important that was true?
Early 1981 ? I can’t remember the exact date.

oeman50

Try actually building those interconnections. The greens, locals and environmental NGOs see that as a call to arms to oppose them. Even in Germany there is intense opposition to transmission lines going from the off-shore wind in the north to the industrial south.

commieBob

The problem is the same as, but much more complicated than, the problem of how many long distance phone lines you have to run between two cities to ensure that a line will be available to the next caller a certain percentage of the time. link
Buckminster Fuller proposed a global electricity grid back in 1981. link It’s not happening very fast, probably because it isn’t a very good idea. 🙂
The economics of telephone systems and the economics of electric systems are very different. In the case of phone lines between cities, the biggest cost is burying the cable. The bottom line is that doubling the capacity of the intercity link doesn’t come close to doubling its cost.
For a completely wind powered world wide system, it would require a system whose nameplate capacity is about four times the peak load. link That’s based on a good wind site having about 25% availability.
It would be possible to engineer a worldwide wind power system that would adequately meet our needs. We just wouldn’t be able to afford it is all.

Kyle

IMO, the last thing we need is any “global” electrical grid. Nation-states need to stick to their own electrical grids.

MarkW

The wind is always blowing somewhere, however you can’t ship electricity much more than about 500 miles because of transmission losses. If there is no sun and no wind withing 500 miles of your house, you better pray that there’s a fossil fuel plant with enough reserve capacity to take up the slack.

The only way for solar/wind to supply 24/7 is a global network of electrical grids. Can you imaging the resistance and heat dissipation of bringing any substantial amount of electricity from 1/4 way around the world? There’s your global warming.. turning your electrical grid into an electric blanket for the earth 🙂

TheRick

Now only if emissions were important all this would matter. Emissions are unimportant and irrelevant…but hey, why pay any heed to the data.

Henning Nielsen

Or when the wind blows too hard. Then the wind power shuts down as well.
This site offers a great overview of German power production, you can trace the different sources by the hour, every day, every month. Note that nuclear and brown coal make up a practically constant base of ca. 22%.
https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm?source=all-sources&week=26&year=2017

Henning Nielsen

Forgot to say, biomass and hydro also make up a sizeable chunk of the production, and are usually included in the renweable percentage. However, when somebody writes about German renewable power, the focus is almost exclusively on wind and solar, distorting the picture, as hydro and biomass are often just as important.
If you use he link and look at a week in February, you will see that solar is just an intermittent blimp, while a major factor on summer days. However, I’m not sure if all this power is admtted to the grid, because sometimes the grid simply gets overloaded and Germans are actually paid not to put their solar power (mainly from small houses) on the grid. That’s real madness. Anyway, the big need for power is in winter.

Wally

Not to mention the decimation of millions of birds each year.

Doug in Calgary

To learn from the South Australia debacle, wind farms shut down when the wind blows too hard. Wind power can’t be synched properly to the grid due to its variability and when it shuts itself off en masse it causes massive surges in the grid which causes shutdowns. One would think that blacking out an entire state due to a large reliance in renewables would be a tad embarrassing.

Griff

wind farms shut down when there is a sudden massive grid outage as 23 pylons collapse – but only if you mismanage the grid so the trip takes the wind farms out. and if you have grid storage – what the UK National Grid calls ‘enhanced frequency response’ then your grid is even less likely to trip.

D. J. Hawkins

Yes, the baseload plants keeps running you numpty! It’s the only way to get frequency regulation on the grid! As I write this, Great Britain’s demand is 22.73 GW. National Grid has procured 200 MW of EFR service (read:battery). That’ll last about…0.0088 seconds.

Griff

The baseload plant doesn’t run when the renewables are running and most of it does not even need to be kept on spinning reserve.

SteveT

Griff
August 7, 2017 at 5:01 am
The baseload plant doesn’t run when the renewables are running and most of it does not even need to be kept on spinning reserve.

Your problem in a nutshell Griff. Definitions.
Baseload is what runs 24/7 to provide a base which is always required to manage the load. It is used because it is a reliable minimum to ensure the service.
If it isn’t on spinning reserve it could take hours to fire up, so what happens when a big cloud arrives or the wind drops/rises suddenly?
Meanwhile renewables are just an extra cost (plus all the subsidies, mandates etc.) on top of everyone,s bills.
SteveT

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/06/the-kaiser-has-no-clothes/comment-page-1/#comment-2573215
Any system like wind power or solar that requires almost 100% conventional backup is grossly uneconomic.
Cheap, reliable abundant energy is the lifeblood of society it IS that simple.
When idiot politicians fools with energy systems, real people suffer and die.
We have known these facts for decades.
Regards, Allan
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/27/study-the-solution-to-unreliable-wind-and-solar-power-build-more/#comment-2409834
[excerpt]
And the more wind energy that is added to the grid, the lower the Substitution Capacity of the total wind power in the grid. Substitution Capacity is defined as the percentage of conventional power generation that can be permanently retired by adding new wind power to the grid.
Substitution Capacity in Germany was 8% circa 2004, dropping to 4% circa 2020. At 4%, you have to add 25 units of wind power to permanently retire 1 unit of conventional power generation.
Here is my post from 2009:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/27/another-inconvenient-tv-meteorologist/#comment-122790

Leo Smith

True, and rather amusing…

Tom Halla

Watching someone do something stupid and self-destructive is rather horrid. Schadenfreude always feels rather guilty.

I Came I Saw I Left

I guess I don’t feel either. Just anger that some peoples’ stupidity drags others besides themselves into harm’s way.

GeeJam

Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage = more CO2)
It’s got nothing to do with renewables! (sarc)

Greg

Rubbish. Lactic fermentation does not produce CO2 and fizz like brewing alcohol.

Roger Knights

Yes it does—I ferment kimchi myself and use airlocks that let out large amounts of CO2. I googled for “carbon dioxide fermentation vegetables” and obtained the following quotes on the results page:

“Lactic acid bacteria carry out their reactions – the conversion of carbohydrate to lactic acid plus carbon dioxide and other organic acids …”
“As fermentation begins, gas is released. The carbon dioxide forms small bubbles on the vegetables and pushes them up. Wiggle the jar to release some gas or …”
“keep the ferment submerged, let the CO2 and any contaminants out.”
“Fermented vegetables are made with lactic acid bacteria, which is a valuable … Carbon dioxide will be given off, especially initially, which replaces the oxygen.”
“see bubbles of carbon dioxide gas in the liquid surrounding the vegetables, …”
“Our fermented foods are simply vegetables, salt, water, and spices. … Additionally, carbon dioxide is another byproduct of fermentation and so you may notice …”
“Creative Recipes for Fermenting 64 Vegetables & Herbs in Krauts, Kimchis, Brined Pickles, Chutneys … That carbon dioxide will lift even heavy granite followers.”

Roger Knights

PS: To make kimchi, I use mason jars plus the Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid Kit ($30 for four, or $7.50 each), which I like better than the traditional high-profile “bubbler” air locks. (I also use the air pump, offered separately.) Amazon offers it at:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DJVVORE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Roger Knights

PPS: Yogurt’s facto fermentation also produces CO2 bubbles. The froth along the top is the remains of such bubbling.

marque2

Sauerkraut makes me produce methane, which is 35x more powerful than CO2!

GeeJam

Greg, no one will join in with this thread – ‘cos it’s now far too late in the day and other WUWT items would have taken over. However, you’re absolutely correct. And yes, what I posted is rubbish. You are obviously far more intelligent than I will ever be.
There is no CO2 produced whatsoever from all man-made fermentation processes including soya bean fermentation to make soy sauce. Oh, and bread production on a massive global scale (needs yeast you know), wine, beer – all made by us cretins. No CO2 bubbling away at all. None. Zilch. Sweet Fanny Adams.
Even the deliberately extracted bi-product of beer fermentation spread on your buttered toast doesn’t produce any additional anthropogenic CO2 either.
Same goes for no CO2 whatsoever produced from decaffienated coffee manufacture, the snack food industry (Sodium Bicarbonate = bubbles of some sort of unknown gas), honeycomb, carbonated drinks, human cremation, composting . . . . you name it, just no man-made CO2 emissions from these either. And, as for descaling my electric kettle, the limescale remover ‘fizz’ is just bubbles – not CO2.
Now I understand how catastrophically terrible this 1 x 2,500th of the sky (400 ppm) is for making our planet so unbearably hot.
BTW . . . . It’s really quite cold here in the UK right now. And it is summer.

Germany’s Energiewende and its large increase in renewable also has a major side effect – it takes power away from efficient and cleaner “base load” power plants and shifts it to dirty, less efficient “peaking load” power plants.
Renewables – solar and wind – can only provide power appx 20% and 30% of the time. The rest of the time peaking load plants, which must run 24/7/365 to immediately handle the intermittency of wind and solar, and provide power when solar and wind are not available.
The emissions and energy use of these peaking load plants are far higher than base load power generation … and any reduction in greenhouses gases are more than offset by increased emissions and higher fuel use for peaking load generation.
That is a primary reason why Germany’s emissions have actually icnreased despite a major push to renewables.
Then there is the dirty little fact – as noted – that with its dramatically higher energy costs – some of the highest in the world – nearly 4 times higher than average US electric costs … they have crippled the competitiveness of their industry and driven more than 600,000 into energy “poverty.”

George Tetley

Last winter hundreds of thousands of old age pensioners in Germany had their electricity cut of because they could not pay.

Griff

did they? I don’t think they did.
There are 2 figures I’ve seen for German electricity cut offs, with no good provenance and no evidence they were OAPs.
One figure I’ve seen works out to less than 1% of German households cut off… would you like to guess how many US households are cut off a year, as a percentage?

D. J. Hawkins

Per Wikipedia, Germany has approx 35,500,000 households. Every year, about 300,000 of them have their electricity cut off, so about 10% to a first approximation.
Source here:
https://www.thelocal.de/20170302/over-300000-poverty-hit-german-homes-have-power-cut-off-each-year

As the power meter in Germany are red only oe timme per year, someties there will be a certain high bill. If someone doesn’t pay at onece, the electricity will be cut. But as soon as you pay, it will be reinstalled at once. There is a certain subsidy for poor people to help them with high costs of heating etc. So nobody has to suffer in Germany bc of high electricity bills – if he is using all available channels of support. But this is a problem for many poor people.

Phil

There is no vaccine against stupidity.

jorgekafkazar

You’d think Germany would have developed some immunity after the last epidemic.

AndyG55

I’m thinking its inate, maybe hereditary.

gnomish

but it is treatable- with high velocity injections of dense metal slugs.
slugs, not hugs.

It’s not simply relatively inexpensive NG for now, but the widespread construction of combined cycle designs with efficiencies on order of 60% compared to typical Simple Rankine & Brayton of 30 to 35%.

2009 was the last year Germany saw a real drop in CO2 emissions on target with its 2020 EU promise. Emissions have flatlined since then. 2017 will see another mild CO2 emissions increase (following on from the 2015 and 2016 mild increases). Watching them fail to meet their 2020 CO2 EU emissions promise will be hilarious.
German renewable build is pretty much maxed out now at over 110 GW. There’s little more they can add. Only half their nuclear power is shut so far. The rest must go by 2022 at the latest. This means a hike in CO2 emissions when the nukes are shut. Germany’s best hope for CO2 emission reductions is the natural gas they’ll be importing from Russia along the new pipeline built along in the Baltic.

Kaiser Derden

NG from Russia stills spews alot more CO2 than the zero nukes they are shutting off 🙂

ksee

Nah… If Germans get in troubles, they can always either ignore rules or change them (e.g., Eurozone budget deficit limits or helping Greece (read: saving German banks) despite of “no bail-out” rule).
Now Germany is pushing changes in the way of calculating carbon sinks which effectively would turn the whole thing upside down. This would hurt smaller countries in EU that have large forest industry sector, e.g., in Finland forest biomass is increasing despite of increased harvests – in practice, we would end up paying (to Germany?) to be able to use our own natural resources.
I am afraid that this is just the beginning – Germans will eventually apply to “specific circumstances” that they cannot meet their targets – but at the same time they will push hard that EU would meet the targets as whole – and “the others” will once again pay for this “fun”.

getitright

What the Germans could not win by military Blitzkrieg they will win by economic and environmental stealth.
The domination of Europe.

ksee

German plan for post WW I Europe was turning rest of the continent to vassal states that would use German mark and let German goods enter their markets without import tariffs. How come that this sounds somewhat familiar…?

The article at the American Interest identifies the author as: JH.

clipe
clipe
Javert Chip

If Merkel wants to join the “big boy” club, with global influence as well as responsibility, she needs to step up German military capability, capacity and commitment so that American boys aren’t the only ones dying in the fight against ISIS, Al Queda and other evils of the day, so hear-no, speak-no and see-no-evil Europeans can still enjoy their outside coffee cafes.
This includes meeting military spending commitment (2% of GDP) Europe has made to the USA since the 1950s (Germany currently = 1.2%). Until then, listening to this shrill old hen call the USA “unreliable” is simply not credible.

Latitude

agree…..she wants the cake without the trouble
But with her immigration policy….they might not be needing much elec after all

richard verney

Over the coming years, the immigration will probably add at least a further 28 million tonnes of CO2 annually to German emissions. This alone will make it very difficult to comply with the Paris Accord commitments, although the fact that wind/solar has hit the buffer and the building of about 7 new coal fired power stations will be the primary cause for Germany’s failure.

I thought Merkel said 2015 will not happen again…

at 4.45 hours we will shoot back…

Latitude

…and in other news
‘It really is a matter of life and death for us’: Parents say they cannot afford rocketing electricity bills for the ventilator which keeps their one-year-old daughter alive
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4765342/Couple-say-t-afford-bills-daughter-alive.html#ixzz4p0bx5Hb2

UK electricity costs are much worse for the poor than in Germany, methinks.

It’s amazing how a politician can get so emotionally invested in a bad decision that she prefers to ride a wrong-way train off a cliff than admit a mistake. There is still time to cut losses and reverse course. Someone should advise Merkel that our understanding of climate science has changed markedly over the last year or so.
Merkel should check with the CERN people in Geneva, only 875 km from Berlin, about their recent results from the CLOUD experiments. The implications from these experiments are that CO2 does not play a significant role in global warming, climate models used by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to estimate future temperatures are too high, and the models should be redone. (https://townhall.com/columnists/dennisavery/2017/04/04/new-eurostudies-confirm-sun-dominates-earths-climate-n2308564)
This is a game changer. Merkel should get a ticket on the CERN train before she is left at the station freezing in the dark.

Latitude

Merkel wants global….has nothing to do with actual science…..

When did we last hear the Germany had aspirations of global dominance?

David A

Tom B, if you think she is stubborn on renewables, well it is open minded compared to her immigration policy.

commieBob

The link says:

CERN says ionization increases cloud numbers by one to two orders of magnitude.

I can’t find where they said that and I do not believe they said any such thing. Two orders of magnitude would mean 100 times as many clouds; that’s pretty incredible.

The original quote can be found at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v533/n7604/full/nature17953.html?foxtrotcallback=true. Nature 533, 521–526 (26 May 2016) Jason Kirkby, et al.,Ion-induced nucleation of pure biogenic particles. It is amazing what particle physics brings to the discussion.

The problem is… Merkel doesn’t think logically but reacting according to opinions – mostly released by mainstream medias. She has occuppied any opinion from left to right. So she has created a new Einheitspartei. (In communist GDR they had the SED = Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands). No topic is left to any other party. Merkel is just sensing what is going on – and she adjusts her policy accordingly.

David A

Charles one request; can this type of statement, ” Coal is just about the dirtiest fossil fuel around, ” be changed to, ” According to alarmist, coal is just about the dirtiest fossil fuel around.”

David A

Never mind Charles, I see you posted the article but are not the author.

JohnWho

“… the United States is doing more to combat climate change than Germany.”
Well, regarding CO2 emissions: not exactly since there is no actual proof that what either country (or any country) is doing has any effect on the changing climate.

David Wells

Co2 or not the climate will change believing that abating Co2 or a tiny bit of it will make a significant difference is star gazing.

John Endicott

JohnWho, I know that and you know that but the leftist insist that reducing CO2 will reduce climate change, and on that score, the US emissions are going down while Germany’s is going up ergo he sentence you take issue with.

SteveT

John Endicott
August 6, 2017 at 6:53 pm
JohnWho, I know that and you know that but the leftist insist that reducing CO2 will reduce climate change, and on that score, the US emissions are going down while Germany’s is going up ergo he sentence you take issue with.

Yes, but the lefties are split into two groups – the ones that believe that CO2 is causing dangerous warming (the “useful idiots”) and the second group which use it as a cover for the destruction of the western way of life. They need to be exposed for what they are, communists,socialists, progressives, greens, watermelons, anarchists, nutters – choose one, they’re all the same. But make no mistake the second group know what they are doing and hide behind the climate change meme. It’s as if climate changing has only occurred in the past two hundred years!
SteveT

David Wells

German nukes are not being shut down because of Fukushima or fanatical alarmism they are being shut down because the German grid cannot cope easily with the immediacy of on and off solar, the high variability and intermittence of wind and nuclear than cannot be ramped. By law wind and solar have to be given first crack at supply. Germany does not burn coal economically in response to demand but uneconomically to keep boiler pressures at 100% 24/7 to allow the grid operations to juggle priority non dispatchable sources like wind which inevitably Germany has to give away at a loss electricity generated by coal and gas to all of its neighbours making Germany the biggest exporter of electricity in Europe.
For nearly four decades we have been bludgeoned into submission about our carbon footprints to facilitate the imposition of wind and solar spending $2,687 billion on both world wide to generate maybe 1% of global demand but when you factor in the Co2 emitted and energy consumed in the manufacture and deployment of wind and solar it is doubtful that even if you double or quadruple this investment even if Co2 is the antichrist would it really tackle climate change, I doubt it.
In 2016 in the UK we generated 14% of our electricity from renewables which might have abated 0.0000037856% of global Co2 emissions. This has cost UK taxpayers £300 billion in green subsidies thus far and will continue to cost us £18 billion a year for the foreseeable future but the UK only emits 1.2% of global Co2. So the idea that we are doing this – or doing our bit – to tackle climate change is laughable.
Merkel has no qualms about laying Germany to waste provided Germany continues to sell more and more product in the belief that wind and solar are the way forward. Germany is doing what Germany has always done find ever more environmentally destructive ways to sell more product to create more jobs which is the green hook that huge numbers of politicians have been dining out on for four decades.
Anyone who believes that saving the planet has anything whatsoever to do with the preservation of our environment lives in the same parallel university as Al Gore. Why trash ever more of our finite resources to generate electricity indirectly with wind and solar when its cheaper more cost effective and consumes less vital and finite natural resources to generate electricity indirectly, it is barking mad.

I Came I Saw I Left

Actually, Germany passed a law in 2002 in response to Chernobyl to end nuclear power within 20 years. Merkel tried to save the nuclear industry, but Fukushima put an end to that.

Because of course, Germany worries constantly about earthquakes and tsunamis?

Sheri

David W: Very well said.

Greg

not exactly a rational fear, considering nuclear’s safety and the relative lack of natural disaster threats that German reactors face

natural disasters are not the problem. It is human error what always causes disasters. Fukuphshima was not caused by the tsunami , which was predicted and planned for, but the lack of sufficiently high sea defence wall ( despite specific warnings it was inadequate ) and the stupidity of putting the back up gennies in a place that was sure to be flooded. Chernobyl was caused by foolish “experiments” with reactor stability. Well they say that negative results can be just as important as positive ones, and we were not disappointed with that one.
Tepco took unnecessary risks despite being liable for any accident. UK govt has agreed to underwrite the cost of any accident resulting from Hinckley C, thus decoupling responsibility from the cost / benefit calculations on safety. Seriously, how long will it take for incentivising cost cutting on security to take it’s toll?
Not exactly a rational fear ? Work it out.

oeman50

I call BS on “natural disasters are not the problem.” The meltdowns were caused by the tsunami, no tsunami, no disaster. Those reactors had been operating reliably for 40 years and were months from being shut down permanently. I do agree the sea wall could have been taller and the emergency generators were not protected conservatively, in hindsight. But have you ever heard of a “design basis accident?” It is an interplay between installed equipment and risk. That is what rules.

I Came I Saw I Left

Did you know that Tepco excavated the building site to bring the plant elevation down closer to the water?

I Came I Saw I Left

I read somewhere that they found an underground river when they excavated the building site, and diverted it away from there. But the earthquake somehow changed that so that the river now flows underneath the highly radioactive plant.
.
Fukushima plant site originally was a hill safe from tsunami
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2011/07/13/national/fukushima-plant-site-originally-was-a-hill-safe-from-tsunami/

Chris Hanley

When writers refer to lignite (brown coal) as ‘dirty’ do they mean that you have to wash your hands after picking it up? You certainly shouldn’t try eating it
Here are some lignite plants in Germany:
http://www.rwe.com/web/cms/en/1754836/rwe-generation-se/about-us/lignite/

CH, learn by studying. German lignite is dirty for three reasons, only two maybe fixable. 1. Has lower BTU/kg, even after dried down. Not fixable. 2. Higher SO2 content. Fixable with beefed up scrubbers at an energy cost. 3. Is Strip mined using diesels. Maybe fixable at some electrification mine cost.

richard verney

And as for biomass!
An even lower BTU/kg factor making it the dirtiest of burnt fuels.

Chris Hanley

Thanks for your advice ristvan, they say you’re never too old to learn, I’m 74.

markl

So do as I say not as I do is the new German mantra for CO2 reduction? And China is taking the place of the USA as a global CC leader? When are we going to be told that so called ‘renewable’ electricity is really less expensive and more reliable than that derived from fossil fuels? Oh wait, we’re already told it’s less expensive and if we just balanced the interconnects better it would also be more reliable ….. than almost 99%? And the climate is getting worse (whatever that means) and the oceans are rising faster than ever. OMG the sky is falling!

They are all (especially Merkel) following that F.W. Al Gore for some inconceivable reason. In the process Merkel is on a path of destruction.comment image?w=640

As the order went out to phase out nuclear, coal-fired plant construction began. The recent increase in emissions is just a beginning- many more nuclear plants will be shut down and many more coal-fired plants will be built. You just can’t get any dumber than this if your goal is lower emissions. I believe they gave some vague reason for shutting down their nuclear – Fukushima as I recall, a situation (a tsunanmi, an earthquake and complete loss of power and Japanese not smart enough to provide back up emergency power to prevent any meltdown) that is totally at odds with Germany’s nuclear situation. It is amazing that the greenies had no problems with this.

I Came I Saw I Left

There apparently is evidence that the earthquake broke coolant pipes in at least one reactor. Then the tsunami took out the backup generators.

Griff

No, no more coal plants will be built in Germany.
The 2008 programme was, as you say, then intended to replace nuclear -it has never had anything to do with the alleged unreliability of renewables.
See here for details – ‘Germany’s last new coal plant’
https://energytransition.org/2016/10/germanys-last-new-coal-plant/

D. J. Hawkins

An OPINION piece. I have an opinion too. Worth about the same as that one, most likely.

More coal => more global greening! It’s all good…

u.k.(us)

I’ve never really needed an excuse to Oktoberfest, maybe that’s just me.

As a former Bavarian 6 year immigrant ( with green card and language equivalents), let me explain. Oktoberfest celebrates the marriage of the then Duke of Bavaria to his bride at that time. That Bavarians continue the tradition for tourists is a reason I consider myself still an adopted Bavarian. Speak the language fluently, and still have my Bavarian driver plus motorcycle license and fischeri prufung. Been there, done that, more than once. Gruess Got. Zum Voll.

Robber

“Berlin is moving to roll back that government support as the costs of renewables drop.” More fake news? How will the cost of putting a 4MW turbine on top of a 100 metre high pole drop significantly, especially when built in remote locations? Add the cost of backup in the form of gas or batteries when the wind doesn’t blow and you have a high cost way of producing electricity.

Green Sand

But, naughty, naughty Angela has only just begun!
‘Germany’s Failure To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Set To Extend To 9 Years!
http://notrickszone.com/2017/08/06/germanys-failure-to-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions-set-to-extend-to-9-years/#sthash.stuMNSrD.dpbs
And she, and others have the temerity to lambast Trump! Wake up folks they have got their hands up your clouts

M Courtney

German emissions crept up 0.7 percent last year.

Phase out of nuclear is important.
The growth of the German economy is important.
But everything is dwarfed by the weather. Given energiewende if the weather is particularly still – dominated by blocking high pressure – for a calendar year then the emissions will boom like crazy.

The only reason Germany is not in very bad shape is LED lighting and LCD screens, that has really reduced power demand.

richard verney

And a trend to low temperature washing.
Today, few people use a boil wash (90degC) and even a 60 degC wash is out of fashion.
People are using 40 or even 30 degC washing and this greatly reduces energy consumed. It will not be long before the EU outlaws any wash temperature above 40degC!

D. J. Hawkins

My father had the Tide account in the ’60’s as a copywriter for Young & Rubicam. In the US, detergent manufacturers were fighting the battle against “dingy” whites. Asked to kick start the ad campaign in Germany, dad discovered that “dingy whites” were a foreign concept to consumers who typically did their wash at 200°F!

Griff

As it has in the UK. Demand down every year for a decade.

Dont know what to make of this woman, she grew up behind the Berlin wall which was to keep people IN, not out. She also has no kids. These 2 things make it hard to understand her belief system and motivations

Rosco

Merkel is extremely dishonest. She has a picture of 4 nuclear plant cooling towers emitting water vapor as her backdrop.
A) Is she that stupid?
B) Does she think the majority of voters are that stupid?
C) Are the rumors of her ‘degree’ true?

Steve Ta

Are you stupid enough to think that a Greenpeace poster of Merkel was designed by Merkel herself?

It was all the talk when Trump withdrew that she was the leader of the free world, since then this is the first article I have seen on her………

There is a race to the bottom of the collapse of grid reliable electricity. The three main contestants are Germany, UK, and SA (province of South Australia). Now, SA already won the preliminary blackout heat. But they are small and silly. Of the remaining two, Germany has interconnector ties to Norwegian hydro. UK only has interconnector ties to French nuclear, which the French now want to shut down. So my money is on UK as the eventual world object lesson about intermittency and grid inertia.

John W. Garrett

I should think that California and New York State have horses in that dubious race.

Griff

The UK Norway interconnector is building – and the UK Netherlands, UK Germany and additional UK France interconnector (aimed at picking up new French tidal power). and the Western link HVC to ensure Scottish wind power can reach the UK and reduce curtailment…
We may get one to Iceland.
Oh and we have one to Ireland – which often exports wind power to us.

Resourceguy

But still you need clear cut forests for wood pellets? Something does not add up.

Griff

the wood pellets thing is a disgrace and ought to be stopped.
Many people campaigning for that…
Not needed, not green, not helping reduce CO2

gbaikie

There is no politician leader in the world doing anything to reduce CO2 emission.
Though practical all are doing things which are related to claiming they doing something about
reducing CO2 emissions- it’s all window dressing and corruption. Or this what politicians
are always dong regardless of the issue.
The US is not fracking to lower CO2 emission. Though US oil companies had invested in the technology in order to get more oil from the ground. Or using natural gas as energy source does emit less CO2 per the amount energy made. And wasn’t too long ago that Greens favored using more natural gas. But mainly what is actually “done” by politicians is they might stop getting in the way as much- and for most part failed to do this in regards to fracking.
The idea that politicians could actually do anything reducing CO2 emission, in simple terms is utter fantasy. But leading in some general direction which could reduce CO2 emission is something politicians “could” do.
Or politicians landed humans on the Moon, and only could do this because they were making delivery systems for nuclear weapons. Which in terms of politicians was mainly about deciding to spend a lot money on defense and to have direction of spending on using nuclear weapons.
Soviets also focused on making nuclear weapons and “had to” make larger rockets to do this- and then used the larger rockets for PR stunts of going into space. And the US politician got interested dong greater PR stunt of landing people on the Moon.
One has similar pattern with Germany and it’s solar power.
The Germany is about the stupidest place to harvest solar energy, the only thing which mitigates
this dumbness, is that no where on earth surface is a good place to harvest solar energy.
Or almost anywhere is better than Germany, but nowhere is it viable way to make electrical power.
But German companies were making solar panels, and German govt could make it’s citizens buy
lots of solar panels, so it’s citizen could pretend they doing something about CO2 emission [which they weren’t.
So, idea Germany is or was leading the world in effort to lower CO2 emission is hopeless stupid..
Of course the German politicians were never actually trying to do this- it was all about window dressing and corruption.
But could German political leader and other political leadership actually do anything about reducing CO2 emission?
Probably not- main reason is that such effort has been discredited, but political move might be make cheaper energy.
The largest potential source of cheap energy is natural gas in the ocean and that could a general direction to take.

Emissions: Please can anyone using the word “emissions” make clear what kind of emissions they are talking about – CO2 or pollution.

Gary Pearse
Griff

No, they finished building coal for ever:
https://energytransition.org/2016/10/germanys-last-new-coal-plant/
and closures of coal plants are starting
http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2016/09/closure-of-german-coal-plants-accelerates.html
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-19/europe-s-coal-power-is-disappearing-quicker-than-anyone-thought
“At Europe’s biggest coal-fired plant in the German city of Voerde, three chimneys soaring as high as 250 meters (820 feet) stand dormant after belching steam and smoke for more than half a century. It used to generate 2.2 gigawatts of power for 4.5 million homes before utility owner Steag flipped the switch off within the last few weeks.”

D. J. Hawkins

At the risk of repeating myself, the “no more coal plants” is an opinion piece. It’s all about economics. Drop the feed-in tariffs and source preferences, and renewables will go to the bottom of the economic heap. There might even be new coal plants on the horizon; certainly new gas plants if they can get their act together on frakking.

Griff

No there will not be new coal plants:
https://www.euractiv.com/section/electricity/news/the-end-of-coal-eu-energy-companies-pledge-no-new-plants-from-2020/
“Companies from every EU nation except Poland and Greece sign up to initiative in bid to meet Paris pledges and limit effects of climate change”

My theory is that Merkel is a KGB/Stasi dead ender left behind to sabotage the West and capitalism. She’s doing a good job at that.

John Law

As ever with Germany “the devil is in the Reichstag”

S. Andersson

A few years ago, I proposed “Andersson’s first law on environmentalism”, shamelessly named after myself. It says: “Everything green organizations propose, sooner or later turns out to be the worst alternative for the environment.”
What began as a joke has yet not been proven wrong…

Very, very true S.Andersson.

Henning Nielsen

The website NoTricksZone is highly recommended for climate news about Germany;
“Germany’s online Der Spiegel here reports that Germany once again will fail to reduce its CO2 emissions this year, 2017.
This is a profound embarrassment for Germany, a country that has been a staunch preacher of climate protection and one of the world’s most vocal critics of President Donald Trump’s decision to back out of the Paris Climate Accord.”
http://notrickszone.com/2017/08/06/germanys-failure-to-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions-set-to-extend-to-9-years/#sthash.XaBAqAQj.dpbs

Griff

Some corrections needed here:
Germany got 32% renewable electricity in 2016, 35% over first half of 2017.
It reformed and replaced the FIT system in 2015/6, replacing it with a series of auctions.
A recent auction produced a tender for offshore wind with no subsidy required.
The increase in German CO2 emissions was down to transport’s share increasing, not renewables.

cgh

More corrections to your corrections. That’s by capacity, not energy. And it includes burning woodchips.
Germany’s actual electricity energy generation by fuel type looks more like this:
https://www.euronuclear.org/info/encyclopedia/p/pow-gen-ger.htm

Griff

No, that’s renewable electricity in my figures
You posted a link to an outdated 2014 graph… this is moving rapidly and it was 35% of electricity renewable for first half 2017.

Coach Springer

“Increasing renewables’ share of the national energy mix to nearly one-third wasn’t cheap or easy, but getting it there is still a major achievement.” I wouldn’t use the word “achievement.” Unless I were also calling what Jeffrey Dahmer did “accomplishments.”

Jaakko Kateenkorva

Easy-peasy. Reset like a Mann and tweak with the present like a certain people’s car manufacturer. /sarc

Hell Merkel!comment image

Griff

Really?
72 years after the war and you are still using Nazi stuff to mock the Germans?

Dr. Strangelove

Really? Merkel is the Germans? Are they all Merkel clones?

Rod Everson

“Words matter, but so do numbers, and the data tells us that lately—whatever Trump is trumpeting—the United States is doing more to combat climate change than Germany.
I have a problem with this becoming the standard line because the U.S. effort is unintentional, driven by falling gas prices. President Obama had every intention of driving electricity prices through the roof (and said so) by closing coal-fueled plants, but the fracking revolution foiled his efforts. Eventually (even now?) prices will fluctuate in a manner that favors coal again and, using the above formulation, the U.S. will be seen to be doing nothing, or worse, when it comes to combatting climate change.
Instead, the very claim that cutting CO2 combats anything, particularly such a fuzzy claim as “climate change” needs to be challenged. Furthermore, it needs to be recognized that the true reason for the U.S.’s drop in CO2 output nationally (whether good or bad) was innovation. For it’s innovation that will eventually prove to be the answer to the real problem of providing a stable source of power to all, as well as the answer to the possibly fictitious problem of a boiling earth caused by increasing CO2 output.

Resourceguy

We’re going to get a nice stress test of the German-EU grid over the next three winters.

US LNG to the rescue!

Griff

We’ve had years of it being ‘stressed’ with no ill effects…

To be grammatically correct, the heading of the post should be “The Kaiserin has no clothes”.
(The _Empress_ has no clothes)

tango