Claim: $300 billion x 4 “Far Short” of Required Investment in Renewables

Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline Map

Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline Map. By Genti77 (Own workbased on [.. Template/Data-Source? ..]) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Why does the EU want to loan €1.5 billion for a new gas pipeline, when they should be topping up the utterly inadequate global investment of US $300 billion / year for the last four years into renewables?

The EU wants to fight climate change – so why is it spending billions on a gas pipeline?

February 10, 2018 4.03am AEDT
Aled Jones
Professor & Director, Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University

Over the past few years there has been exponential growth in clean energy investment – while fossil fuel assets are increasingly considered to be risky. Yet, on February 6, the European Investment Bank, the EU’s long-term lending institution, voted to provide a €1.5 billion loan to the controversial Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

The TAP is the Western part of a larger Southern Gas Corridor proposal that would ultimately connect a large gas field in the Caspian Sea to Italy, crossing through Azerbaijan, Turkey, Greece and Albania. And while gas might be cleaner than coal, it’s still a fossil fuel.

So how does the EU’s support for this major project fit in with its supposed goal of addressing climate change?

But there is still not enough money being spent on renewables. While clean energy investment in 2017 topped US$300 billion for the fourth year in a row, this is far short of what is needed to unlock the technology revolution necessary to tackle climate change. There is clearly a gap between what is required and what is being delivered.

The private sector will continue to invest significant capital into energy projects over the next few decades, so one issue facing policy makers is how to influence investors away from fossil fuels and towards renewable projects. To really scale up investment into renewable infrastructure, long-term and stable policy is required – which investors see as clearly lacking.

By funding the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, the EU’s investment bank is hardly signalling to the private sector that governments are committed to a green energy transition.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/the-eu-wants-to-fight-climate-change-so-why-is-it-spending-billions-on-a-gas-pipeline-91442

What I find most ridiculous about Professor Jones’ position is the casual acceptance of the eyewatering sums spent on renewables, with so little to show for all that expenditure. Professor Jones admits US $1.2 trillion spent over the last four years on renewables, along with previous expenditures, is nowhere near enough to develop the required technology, let alone the required infrastructure.

The EU likely wants the new pipeline because they don’t like the fact that Vladimir Putin currently controls much of the EU’s gas supply. During a dispute with the Ukraine in 2006 over alleged theft of gas, Putin shut off gas supplies to the West, disrupting European gas supplies.

The EU could potentially source enough of its own gas to end dependency on Russia – but so far European greens have successfully blocked a large scale US style gas fracking revolution.

$1.2 trillion expenditure on infrastructure which requires technology which has not yet been developed in my opinion is utterly reckless. That $1.2 trillion dollars global spend on renewables to date has done nothing to alleviate the EU’s need for Gas. If US $1.2 trillion had been spent on zero CO2 emission nuclear reactors, that expenditure would have provided a massive boost to global supplies of reliable energy, and would likely have eliminated the EU’s energy dependence on Russia – without the need for a reckless $1.2 trillion technology gamble.

Advertisements

109 thoughts on “Claim: $300 billion x 4 “Far Short” of Required Investment in Renewables

  1. Money is not a problem for the EU. They are socialists and therefore have unlimited taxpayer contributions. Socialists just raise taxes and they know it has no effect on their economies, no effect on their people. The EU is already saying that they will raise the bank transaction tax (which we pay already in france) and that they will raise an income related tax to pay for the lose of UK money. See, simples. Don’t reduce expenditure increase tax. No effects

      • Well he clearly has not spent much time in Europe.

        The EU likely wants the new pipeline because they don’t like the fact that Vladimir Putin currently controls much of the EU’s gas supply.

        So that is “likely” is it? Is that a full researched opinion or an arbitrary one pulled out of the air.

        Europe would “likely” be far happier continuing its relationship with cheap, reliable Russian fossil fuels rather than being forced to buy much dearer US gas exports by contrived sanctions put in place to rig the market.
        Putin shut off gas supplies to the West, disrupting European gas supplies. Utter crap. They shut of supplies to Ukraine when they did not pay the bills but gas still flowed ( via Ukraine ) to Europe who where then running around wondering how they could make the distribution system work backwards, so that they could then re-export Russian gas back to Ukraine.

        From the WP article linked in the post:
        but later [ Ukrainian oil and gas company] Naftogaz admitted that natural gas intended for other European countries was retained and used for domestic needs.

        It was UKRAINE who was screwing around, not Pootun “shutting off” supplies to Europe. That is why European countries are keen to develop other routes instead of being dependent on 80% or their gas having to transit through Ukraine who are screwing everyone around.

        Many European countries , in particular Germany , are keen to expand Russian imports of gas and the main spanner in the works is US political interference in the new pipeline projects. Nord Stream 2 is to expand non Ukranian links to Russian supplies. The main obstacle to that is US interference, not Pootun.

        Maybe you should do a bit more research before posting your next article on the subject. At least read the WP article which you linked !

    • Money is not a problem for the EU.

      They’re not as stupid as it looks at first glance. The story says:

      Why does the EU want to loan €1.5 billion for a new gas pipeline, when they should be topping up the utterly inadequate global investment of US $300 billion / year for the last four years into renewables?

      If they loan money for a new pipeline, they will probably get it back.
      If they invest money in renewables, they will never get it back.

      By funding the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, the EU’s investment bank is hardly signalling to the private sector that governments are committed to a green energy transition.

      Exactly so. LOL Even when politicians do good sensible things, they still have to lie so as not to alienate some of the voters. Merkel et al are still giving lip service to renewables, even as they open new coal power plants. link

      • This can all be summed up with one word Bob. I’ve known this for decades, thanks to two of my uncles. That word is “Bureaucrats”. They are the most worthless group of individuals in the known universe. And like all good parasites, they will multiply to the point of needing to be culled. That’s why I believe we should have a weaning out process every few years.

        For example at the sound of the chime, give them two(or four, whatever) hours to run and hide from the rest of us. At the end of the the alloted time, they are fair game, for 24 or 48 hours, to any hunter who wants them. All successful hunters should have the right to have their trophies’ heads mounted on a plaque, and exhibited on their den walls.

        Those bureaucrats, who manage to live through the Hunt, can return until the next Open Hunt, and then we will do it again. Smart people will naturally think twice before becoming bureaucrats. That’s how you keep them from overrunning society and causing grief to everyone.

        Just a joke folks, no need to call the PC Police, lol.

  2. The EU has done wonders to transform European infrastructure, particularly in the former Eastern European communist countries. When I first arrived in Poland in 2002 the country looked downtrodden, with crumbling towns, cities and roads. When Poland joined the EU om 1 May, 2004 the transformation was dramatic. Gleaming new highways, completely revovated towns/cities, new energy infrastructure e.g. old decrepid gas/water pipelines replaced, new sewage networks laid in villages (to replace household cesspits), recycling programmes introduced into towns and villages, fantastic new schools – and so the list goes on. This is exactly what the mega capitalist Trump is trying to achieve with the US’s crumbling infrastructure and so far he has been able to achieve … zilch.

    https://trimis.ec.europa.eu/programme/operational-programme-infrastructure-and-environment-2007-2013

      • Ok. Trump and his predecessors implemented fracking as part of a strategy to decouple its energy supplies from Saudi et al. Why shouldn’t Europe want to the same from Russia? e.g. Poland is already importing large quantities of LNG on bulk carriers from Qatar to reduce its reliance on Russian supplies.

      • I wish I knew why at least some parts of Europe are so anti-fracking, as you say if it worked out fracking would solve their energy dependency problem. The opposition might be because greens are worried that fracked gas would undermine their renewable revolution, when I lived in England they used to go all hysterical with warnings about earthquakes and water contamination whenever anyone mentioned a possible fracking project.

      • Eric Worral – you ask “why at least some parts of Europe are so anti-fracking”. I reckon it’s the green strongholds that are anti, and they’re anti because fracking is cost-effective. Greens will oppose anything that works.

      • European anti-fracking groups are supported by Russia for pretty obvious reasons (this is one Russian conspiract theory that does seem to be true). The Greenham Common lot were too and employed similar tactics.

      • ivankinsman: Trump and his predecessors had absolutely no role in implementing fracking. In fact, Trump’s immediate predecessor did everything possible to stand in the way of fracking.

      • The evidence is quite clear that Russia has supported the anti-fracking movement in Europe – Anders Fog Rasmussen drew attention to it as he stepped down as Secretary-General of Nato. The European elite is probably typified by Gerhard Schroeder, who took a job with Nordstream after he retired from German politics. Putin doesn’t like gas pipelines that compete with Russian ones, so this EU loan is to be welcomed.
        Incidentally, these factors are at least mixed up with the conflict in Syria and the tensions between Qatar and the other Gulf states. Qatar and Iran share a gas field and there are pipelines and proposed pipelines through Syria and Turkey. Not the cause of the conflict, but a factor.

    • The recovery in Poland’s infrastructure and its modernisation began after the collapse of communism and predated EU membership, though undoubtedly EU membership has greatly helped accelerate the recovery.
      Because the Poles can see the unaffordable mess their German neighbours have made of their energy renewables fiasco, they will hopefully avoid following in the same track and keep their coal as well as importing gas from nations able and sensible enough to frack.
      The years ahead may be very difficult for the renewables enthusiasts as the extent of their failures become more and more apparent to the masses.

      • MCEA, unfortunately for you but fortunately for me the Poles are looking to ditch coal over the long-term. Many e.g. in Krakow are fed up with the smog that sits over the city in winter. This even happens in my hometown of Kielce which is also located in a valley. Times are ‘a changin my friend. Hop aboard the renewables bandwagon like ROW (instead of sticking with the dinosaur fossil fuel/climate change sceptics).

        https://mankindsdegradationofplanetearth.com/2018/02/08/going-green-polands-battle-with-tradition-bedzie-zielony-polska-bitwa-z-tradycja/

      • Most natural gas being produced in the world comes from conventional gas reservoirs. Therefore the “willingness to frack” only applies to nations which have the rocks and the geólogy to make fracking a worthwhile enterprise. For example, fracturing is allowed in Poland, and wells were drilled to try it out, but thus far they have been failures. “Frackable gas reservoirs” appear to be non commercial in China, and thus far there’s nothing to tell us there’s a very large resource in South America other than the Vaca Muerta in Argentina (although I suspect we could find some Cotton Valley type tight sands in Eastern Venezuela).

        The Europeans are right to try to diversify their natural gas sources. And this includes bypassing Ukraine (gas flows from Russia via Ukraine aren’t cut off by Russia. They are threatened by Ukraine, which has historically sought transit payments and heavily discounted Russian gas for its own needs. The Russians are not too concerned with European gas purchases from Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan, because they are routing their gas to China.

        The professor writing in The Conversation isn’t worth one minute of discussion, he’s an incompetent amateur who has no idea about the business. That Conversation has turned out to be a blog for badly informed and sloppy commentary, it isn’t worth paying much attention to what they write.

      • Ivan, Poland needs to employ US technology to get clean coal energy. It goes against the makeup of human beings (and apparently all life-forms) to deliberately leave an existential valuable, accessible, low cost resource fallow. Root out a patch of vegetation and watch what happens to this new unutilized patch of nutrients. We’ve never figured out what drives Arctic Lemmings to commit mass suicide. Maybe a study of lefty biochemistry could help in the discovery. You just don’t have any idea who you are really serving – hint: it has nothing to do with climate or environment. Think politics.

      • Ivankinsman: The times they are a changing? Wasn’t that true when the Mayan empire disappeared? Wasn’t that true when the Roman empire crumbled? Wasn’t it true when tanks rolled through Czechoslovakia? Wasn’t that true when Stalin took over Russia? Your point is?

        Fracking cannot exist where there is hostility to the projects. Poland’s geology had little to do with the failure. “Green” groups killed it. The only up side is when people are freezing to death, they’ll look for people who were cruel and greedy, shoving useless renewables on a population, and these people will reap what they have sown. Nothing says “I hate humanity” like wind and solar. Nothing says “I love other people’s money” like wind and solar.

      • I am sorry but this is a load of rubbish. Russia has nothing to do with the anti-fracking in Europe. This is because it is deeply opposed by Europeans on health and environmental grounds.

        Some Americans are now waking up to just how bad fracking will be in the long–term. In my opinion it is going to be even worse than thalidomide.

        https://mankindsdegradationofplanetearth.com/2018/02/11/ohio-gov-candidate-dennis-kucinich-releases-scathing-anti-fracking-statement-intent-to-ban-fracking/

      • Dennis Kucinich, an extremist socialist enviro-crazed politician, is not the person anybody credibly should cite for ANY position on ANY scientific claim – including whether or not gravity works. Yes, that is an isult, but he has well-earned that praise (er, caution.)

      • “We’ve never figured out what drives Arctic Lemmings to commit mass suicide.”

        Actually we have.

        According to a 1983 investigation by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation producer Brian Vallee, the lemming scenes were faked. The lemmings supposedly committing mass suicide by leaping into the ocean were actually thrown off a cliff by the Disney filmmakers. The epic “lemming migration” was staged using careful editing, tight camera angles and a few dozen lemmings running on snow covered lazy-Susan style turntable.

        “White Wilderness” was filmed in Alberta, Canada, a landlocked province, and not on location in lemmings’ natural habitat. There are about 20 lemming species found in the circumpolar north – but evidently not in that area of Alberta. So the Disney people bought lemmings from Inuit children a couple provinces away in Manitoba and staged the whole sequence.

        Lemming Suicide Myth – Disney Film Faked Bogus Behavior

      • Ivan, the development of the EU isn’t complete! But, perforce, it will face a different destiny than planned. The first part was easy when they had so many well off citizens and industries to exploit. One of the few prognoses of economics that you can set your watch to is foolish, wastrel management of resources, including finite cash, will bring all this sparking circus down in a surprisingly rapid manner. I like the idea of betting on outcomes. It sharpens the pencils of the most far-removed from reality. I would like to see more of the bets made with lots of publicity that we have seen a few of – one a bet on the future resource commodity prices with a believer in depletion of resources and mounting prices, another that Al Gore didn’t accept from an Ozzie professor but was registered with the details on a new site that “holds” these bets just to report what transpired. I couldn’t find the link, but maybe someone here can help.

    • The eastern States of the EU have been transformed and a significant contribution to that is the billions of pounds and euros that have been sluiced into them from tax payers in The U.K., France and Germany via their contributions to the EU. At least they won’t be getting much more from the U.K.

      The EU is anti fracking because one in seven MEPs are affiliated to green parties, compared to one in approx seven hundred MPs in Westminster.

      The sooner the U.K. gets out the better. It will be tough, but we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to do so and we must not waver.

    • Support of TAP by the EU is certainly off-message, but what do you expect them to do? They have to have the gas or their residents will freeze to death.

      Things are different in the EU. In general, people there support the conversion to renewables and won’t complain about money spent to do it. So far anyway. And they’ll also support expenditures on fossil fuels if that’s what is necessary to stay warm in the winter.

      People criticize the EU for being different from the U.S. One can argue that is good for us, as the EU is a giant laboratory for policies that we aren’t ready for. We’re learning a lot about the practicality of a rush to convert to renewables. And the EU might be successful, and we’ll see whether the people will pay the increased costs to make it so. Let’s remember that the EU is a democracy, and the people there will decide.

      • Let’s keep in mind a huge cost of doing business is energy cost, especially for manufacturing. When a business pays 3x-4x for energy than a competitor (coupled with high labor and taxes), they are at a big disadvantage globally.

        Look at Airbus moving aircraft manufacture to Alabama. And this even holds true within the US where manufacturing is being moved from high cost areas (California) to low cost areas (US Southeast).

        You can subsidize energy to a point, but the total high cost of renewables can’t be hidden completely. A Euro of energy subsidy means it isn’t available somewhere else, which includes gleaming new highways or rebuilt cities.

      • “…Let’s remember that the EU is a democracy, and the people there will decide…..” LOL The decision making people are bureaucrats and not elected. Keep telling yourself it’s a Democracy if it will make you feel better but it’s not.

      • I live in the EU and it is a total catastrophe that will almost certainly end with another major European war.

      • The basic problem with the “Eu Experiment” is that it is a Political Union without a Fiscal Union.
        It was doomed from inception.

      • Ferdinand, Ivan Scraft say they and everyone they know ARE willing to pay whatever it costs to go full renewable. I find your opposing view points confusing.
        Of course, I frequently find European viewpoints confusing. I remember the gentle condemnation of the folks we met during a Scotland visit. They were very disapproving of the fact that the US did not sign the Kyoto Treaty, and as a result they were frying. Of course, most of them were wearing tweed jackets. We could tell the visiting Americans. We were stupid enough to be wearing tee-shirts and cut-offs because we were told the weather was unbearably hot. We didn’t realize 68 &#8304 F (20 C) was hot – especially with an overcast and those never ending winds.
        Likewise, the aversion to defending oneself and one’s loved ones. Most Americans feel they are at least the equals of criminals, and will trade the health of an assailant/robber/kidnapper for the life of a loved one. Only your wealthy merchant and political class feel like Americans in that regard. We are just a different people.

      • “Fed up with people on this site slagging off the EU when they no nothing about it and just make some inane derogatory comments.”

        Plenty of peole on this site know plenty enough about the EU. That’s why some of us recently voted to leave it. In the mid 1970’s we voted to be part of a trade group, not a superstate with un-elected bureaucrats as our political masters.

        Your continuing insults and bigotry aside, Poland can make coal work just as well as Germany and the US. Coal plants that produce significant pollution are just simply old technology, waiting to be replaced by the newer plants which are efficient and ‘clean’. Get a grip and look at how the European/World economy and energy markets actually work, not how you think they should looking through Brussels-tinted glasses.

      • “rbabcock February 10, 2018 at 7:03 am

        Look at Airbus moving aircraft manufacture to Alabama.”

        I didn’t know that. What I do know is the parts for the aircraft are made in many countries in the EU, then transported to one country (I forget which, maybe France or Belgium) for assembly. This costs vast amounts just in transport alone. Makes more sense to make and assemble on one site.

      • EU no democracy – MEPs have zero power. Bureaucracy commanded by Junckers’ is what it is. Learn or perish. Brett

      • The EU is far from a democracy. Even the US isn’t a true democracy. The EU isn’t much of a representative republic, either, as the so-called EU parliament doesn’t have the power to introduce bills and such. The EU is rather like a more pleasant USSR, without the Iron Curtain communications cutoff, and shooting people trying to leave.

        As for being successful with renewables, it just depends on the definition of “success.” If that is “get the entire place off fossil fuels,” they may well be successful. If the definition is “provide cheap, plentiful, reliable electricity for the population,” then no, they will NOT be successful.

      • Patrick MJD February 10, 2018 at 4:55 pm

        “rbabcock February 10, 2018 at 7:03 am
        Look at Airbus moving aircraft manufacture to Alabama.”

        I didn’t know that. What I do know is the parts for the aircraft are made in many countries in the EU, then transported to one country (I forget which, maybe France or Belgium) for assembly. This costs vast amounts just in transport alone. Makes more sense to make and assemble on one site.

        Here are the first three hits on Google for “airbus to Alabama”:

        http://company.airbus.com/careers/Our-locations/Mobile-alabama.html

        http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/10/airbus-bombardier_deal_mobile.html

        http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/12/delta_orders_100_jets_airbus_w.html

        Seems to be quite a bit of Airbus activity in Alabama.

    • Contrary to the mainstream media Trump is not a dictator capable of making such dramatic changes by the sweep of his hand. The media has sold us the idea that somehow the President is all powerful. Congress is where the real power in Washington has always been. With the latest deficit budge passed by both political parties it will be danged hard to accomplish any new infrastructure construction. The so called Stimulus Act of 2009 should have kicked started new infrastructure but all it did was pay off political friends and groups of the Democrats.

      • Trump hasn’t got and will not get cooperation from the Democrats as he has made zero effort on bi-partisanship. Likewise, he is going to bankrupt the US economy just like he did with his hotels. The GOP has, it seems, done a complete u-turn on the US national debt in their pandering to the President. This is an excellent analysis of what this new recently signed budget will do for America in the long run, and it ain’t pretty:
        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/09/trump-saddle-america-debt-bankrupted-hotels?CMP=share_btn_link

      • It’s hilarious when the Left complains about US debt. You never heard a word about when the debt went from $10 to $20 trillion under Obama.

        And Trump is far more willing to reach across the aisle and work with Dems then Obama ever was. — his immigration proposal is proof of this.

      • “Trump hasn’t got and will not get cooperation from the Democrats as he has made zero effort on bi-partisanship.”

        Effort on bi-partisanship? Effort to do what? . . Get himself impeached?

      • Agreed Edwin. What happened to all those shovel ready infrastructure projects? I wish I had invested money in a company that made those orange cones and barrels that were set out all over the highways that I drove on. Not much highway repair or construction, just cones, barrels and signs telling us “your tax dollars at work”. Apparently our tax dollars didn’t do much work.

      • When Obama doubled the deficit, socialists cheered.

        As to not working with the Democrats, he’s tried, the Democrats have refused, just like they did when Obama was in office.
        Remember, the Republicans tried to work with the Democrats on ObamaCare, but were locked out of every meeting. When they complained Obama declared that it was his right because “I won”.

        Don’t try to blame Trump for the Democrats once again throwing a hissy fit.

      • Reg is right. Trump never said “Elections have consequences.” or ” Republicans will have to ride in the back of the bus.” I don’t think Ivan knows how bankruptcy works. Those hotels are now rid of union contracts that broke the back of the previous hotel owners. They now make tons of money for Trump and investors.

      • ivankinsman, you complained above about people commenting on things they didn’t know. And then you do exactly that. LOL. You don’t know Jack-sh*t about the US, other than the lame-stream propaganda you read.

      • If you do your research , which clearly you haven’t, the host country and the EU normally split the infrastructure investments 50/50. Clear enough for you now?

      • Wikipedia says “As of 2016, the number of UK residents born in Poland was estimated at 911,000, making them the largest foreign-born group in the country, and there is a wider population of British Poles, including the descendants of over 200,000 immigrants who settled in the UK after World War II.”

        One in 38 sounds like a fair percentage to me, and not “a small proportion.” But I can understand them wanting to leave after Brexit. Better to return to where the handouts are guaranteed.

      • OK, only a sample of one, but – just after the Brexit vote, I had a very interesting conversation with the only Pole I know in the UK. They were passionately in favour of Brexit, and thrilled with the result. Their reason? Poles fought in WWII to prevent dominance by Germany, but the threat is still there thanks to the EU.

  3. When they use the term “controversial” as in “the controversial Trans Adriatic Pipeline”, or “controversial fracking”, you know they have lost the argument and it is all just propaganda. In the UK wind power and solar farms are massively controversial, but the Greenblob (BBC, MSM etc) never describes them as controversial.

  4. The EU wants to have the new pipeline because they don’t belteve that ‘renewables’ are a serious source for industrial energy or affordable. They also do not like the fact that Vladimir Putin currently controls much of the EU’s gas supply which is a serious industril energy source. The EU might also eventually notice that CO2 has no discernable effect on Climate or weather. Then they can get back to eal science and sense..

  5. I think there is some common sense left in the European Governments. It is clear that there is a need of sustainable energy. And: We Europeans need Gas not only for electricity, but also for heating. As there is some smog in European Cities, Gas is a favorable heating source.

  6. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/22/weekly-climate-and-energy-news-roundup-288/comment-page-1/#comment-2643835

    [excerpt]

    WHAT IS GRID-CONNECTED WIND POWER REALLY WORTH?

    Wind power is intermittent and non-dispatchable and therefore should be valued much lower than the reliable, dispatchable power typically available from conventional electric power sources such as fossil fuels, hydro and nuclear.

    In practice, one should assume the need for almost 100% conventional backup for wind power (in the absence of a hypothetical grid-scale “super-battery”, which does not exist in practical reality). When wind dies, typically on very hot or very cold days, the amount of wind power generated approaches zero.

    Capacity Factor equals {total actual power output)/(total rated capacity assuming 100% utilization). The Capacity Factor of wind power in Germany equals about 28%*. However, Capacity Factor is not a true measure of actual usefulness of grid-connected wind power. The following paragraph explains why:

    Current government regulations typically force wind power into the grid ahead of conventional power, and pay the wind power producer equal of greater sums for wind power versus conventional power, which artificially makes wind power appear more economic. This practice typically requires spinning backup of conventional power to be instantly available, since wind power fluctuates wildly, reportedly at the cube of the wind speed. The cost of this spinning backup is typically not deducted from the price paid to the wind power producer.

    The true factor that reflects the intermittency of wind power Is the Substitution Capacity*, which is about 5% in Germany – a large grid with a large wind power component. Substitution Capacity is the amount of dispatchable (conventional) power you can permanently retire when you add more wind power to the grid. In Germany they have to add ~20 units of wind power to replace 1 unit of dispatchable power. This is extremely uneconomic.

    I SUGGEST THAT THE SUBSTITUTION CAPACITY OF ~5% IS A REASONABLE FIRST APPROXIMATION FOR WHAT WIND POWER IS REALLY WORTH – that is 1/20th of the value of reliable, dispatchable power from conventional sources. Anything above that 5% requires spinning conventional backup, which makes the remaining wind power redundant and essentially worthless.

    This is a before-coffee first-approximation of the subject. Improvements are welcomed, provided they are well-researched and logical.

    Regards, Allan

    * Reference:
    “E.On Netz excellent Wind Report 2005” at
    http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wp-content/uploads/eonwindreport2005.pdf

    • Allan Macrae. Wind power. Is “reportedly” related to the cube of the wind speed? It. Is “factually” a direct function of the cube of the wind speed. That’s one of the big problems with wind. It can be a virtually useless zephyr that won’t ruffle your hairdo, a useful steady wind in the narrow band that is useable by a turbine, or a raging windstorm that could blow the blades right off a turbine if they weren’t feathered and hence producing no power at all. This brings to mind the problem with sailing vessels and their replacement with engine powered ships. Who worries sbout the “doldrums” these days? When was the last time a container ship had to lower the sails because of a storm? New age, same old problem.
      Fossil fuels do not suffer from having too little or too much power depending on the weather. They are ready to go at any time and in any place. Hence the difficulty in replacing them with unreliable, undispatchable low density expensive renewables.

      • Why is it that in every jurisdiction in the world that has got serious about renewables the electricity prices have quadrupled?

      • Thank you Trebla – you wrote:
        “Wind power Is … Is “factually” a direct function of the cube of the wind speed.”

        I believe this is true because I I read it years ago but lost the reference – can you provide a good one?

        Best, Allan

      • People are all talking about Wyoming’s wonderful wind. Except those who actually understand wind power. Areas can have an average wind speed of 40 mph. Routinely, there are 60 mph gusts. What does that mean? No power. The turbines feather. Gale force wind is very bad for wind turbines. Do the greens or Warren Buffet care? Nope, they lap up the tax benefits, destroy the landscape and contribute virtually nothing positive. Plus, you get zero wind one day and 40 mph the next. It’s quite frankly insane to try and power modern society with such scheme.

      • Alan Tomalty wrote:
        “Why is it that in every jurisdiction in the world that has got serious about renewables the electricity prices have quadrupled?”

        The wind power component of the total electricity mix has in some cases more than quadrupled – in Alberta at one time it was 20 cents /KWh, almost TEN TIMES the price of conventional coal-fired power.

        To your question of why?

        1. Facts:
        The intermittency problem of wind has been known since ~forever. Storage of electricity is not a practical solution and may never be economic or sensible. We’ve known these facts long before the beginning of global warming mania, yet trillions of dollars in scarce global resources have been squandered by politicians on intermittent, non-dispatchable wind power, which has served only to reduce the reliability of the grid, drive up power prices and increase winter mortality among the elderly and the poor.

        2. Why?
        Most politicians are uneducated in the sciences and to a significant degree are vain, incompetent and corrupt. They love big, expensive projects because those provide them with the greatest opportunity for graft. They want to get re-elected, and “donations” from wind power producers given them the funds to run their re-election campaigns (plus a bit more for the family). They can rely on the support of environmental extremist organizations which have also been bought off by Big Green. When trillions of dollars per year are siphoned off to support wind power, there is lots of graft to go around.

        3. In Summary
        Over a decade ago I decided to “dumb down” this message, in the vain hope that our politicians could understand it:

        “WIND POWER – IT DOESN’T JUST BLOW, IT SUCKS!”

  7. It wasn’t just Ukraine not paying their gas bill, but also Ukrainian militia Right Sector’s threats to blow up the pipelines. Very problematic area for gas line transit.

  8. “The EU likely wants the new pipeline because they don’t like the fact that Vladimir Putin currently controls much of the EU’s gas supply”– -not correct really.
    This new pipeline is the “Turkish Stream” a new pipeline supplying exactly the same Russian gas as before.
    There is also a “Nord Stream” pipeline in progress through the Baltic.
    If anything the EU is relying on ever more supplies of Russian gas but without the troublesome Ukrainian pipeline. Which the Russians plan on stopping use of before the end of 2018. This is after many complaints of the Ukrainians stealing gas meant for the EU. The Ukrainians themselves are refusing to buy any gas from Russia directly and are buying it back from other EU countries.

    • The source of most of the gas is Azerbaijan.
      The last time I looked Azerbaijan wasn’t in Russia.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azerbaijan

      Putin could possibly decide to change that though, but in the meantime the TAP [https://www.tap-ag.com/the-pipeline/the-big-picture/southern-gas-corridor] will supply Azerbaijani gas, not Russian gas.

    • This one’s different than Turkish Stream, which will come from Russia underneath the Black Sea to Turkey. So yeah TS will be Russian gas.

  9. I need more money. Government investment is trifling. How can I pontificate about how wonderful and forward thinking I, my university and all the private investors who have put soooo much time and effort in really, really are? Already.
    signed:The Author(ities)

  10. Do they want virtue signaling, pie-in-the-sky, unicorns-and-rainbows, expensive and unreliable energy, or sensible energy? Interesting dilemma.

    • Do they want virtue signalling, pie-in-the-sky, unicorns-and-rainbows, expensive and unreliable energy?

      Yes, as long as someone else pays for it.

      In the LeftyMind™ money is an infinite resource that merely has to be prised out of the hands of greedy capitalists by revolutionary political action.

      • As every true lefty knows, every penny spent by government grows the economy so much that tax revenues will increase infinitely.
        As a result, true nirvana will only be reached once government has control of every penny of national wealth.

  11. as a German advisor to the Politicians of our country I ( Professor, Doctor, Doctor, Professor, Professor, Doctor ) find that I am confused !

  12. $300 Billion on nonsense? Just think about how many other more important projects that money could fund.

    Just How Much Does 1 Degree C Cost?
    Update: Post publishing this article new relevant data was released. It looks like much of the data used to support these spending projects is fraudulent, “Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data.” The question now becomes, do we want to spend a fortune based upon GIGO models and … Continue reading
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/just-how-much-does-1-degree-c-cost/

    Progressives are Out Of Touch on a Biblical Scale; NAACP Should Demand Re-Direction of Climate Change Funding to Inner-Cities
    If you go into a black community and poll the residents, I feel confident that none, not a single resident, would rank preventing climate change as one of their top 10 priorities. The social and economic statics of the black community are horrifying, and yet on MLK day 2018, the NAACP claims that “MLK’s Vision … Continue reading
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/progressives-are-out-of-touch-on-a-biblical-scale-naacp-should-demand-re-direction-of-climate-change-funding/

  13. From the article: ” If US $1.2 trillion had been spent on zero CO2 emission nuclear reactors, that expenditure would have provided a massive boost to global supplies of reliable energy, and would likely have eliminated the EU’s energy dependence on Russia – without the need for a reckless $1.2 trillion technology gamble.”

    That sums it up right there.

    A sensible government would have built nuclear reactors, which would accomplish their desire to reduce CO2, while keeping themselves from being reliant on potential enemies like Russia (Turkey’s attitude at any one time might figure in on this particular pipeline).

    There are solutions to their CO2/Energy problems but unreliables are not one of them.

    • “A sensible government would have built nuclear reactors, ” I came to that conclusion 15 years ago and the fact that “sensible”??? governments are NOT doing that and have come up with schemes to make Nuclear Power more expensive and thuse cause them to shut down to force MORE “Green Energy”??? that does not include low CO2 emission NP convinces me that they are Anti Nuclear and the CO2 BS is not true.

  14. Hey Eric, what the heck is “green energy transition?” And why are we using the green doubletalk “vlinate change” instread of the o original “global warming?” Climate change can mean warming or cooling but I cannot imagine green activists demanding money for emission controls because it got cold outside. Let’s drop that propagandistic pseudonym for global warming and use plain Emglish unstead.

  15. $1.2 Trillion (USD) would easily pay for 200 1,000 Mw Nuclear power plants costing a ridiculously high $6 Billion each. In fact if they were all identical units that would easily build 400 to 500 Nuclear power plants as the cost would decrease with experience and elimination of the construction problems and delays.
    Each Nuclear power plant will help eliminate CO2 at the rate of 2,000 Tonnnes of CO2 for each TWHr of power they produce they produce over burning Coal and about half that amount over burning NG. Each plant will produce approximately 8 TWHr annually that times 400 is 3,200 Twhr and a reduction of ~3,200,000 tonnes of CO2 over NG and double that for that dirty brown coal the EU is burning.
    Further, all respectable research organizations, like MIT, claim that lifetime CO2 emission are essentially the same for NPP and wind or solar per Kwh of Generated power. Many naysayers use Nameplate power, and no wind or solar generator yer produces Name Plate power.

    • “Further, all respectable research organizations, like MIT, claim that lifetime CO2 emission are essentially the same for NPP and wind or solar per Kwh of Generated power. Many naysayers use Nameplate power, and no wind or solar generator yer produces Name Plate power.”

      Plain English please for us dummies?

      • Translation: NPP (Nuclear Power Plants), solar and wind produce no CO2 when generating. A solar/wind facility has the capacity to produce a certain amount of power (nameplate power), but that power output is limited by how much the sun shines and the wind blows. For example a solar facility might be rated at 1 GW output (nameplate), but can only produce 0.25 GW because the sun shines when “it wants to”.

      • Not sure what your question is asking. That is what you do not understand.
        First Lifetime emissions are the emissions from every aspect of mining all raw products, processing all raw products, transportation of all products, manufacture of all equipment, construction of all equipment and buildings containing the equipment, and then the disposal back to as before.

        If you are questioning Name plate power and the various numbers aluded to on various websites, then: Look at the graph of average emissions for coal, NG, wind, solar, etc. on this page. http://www.world-nuclear.org/nuclear-basics/greenhouse-gas-emissions-avoided.aspx
        Note that they indicate that Nuclear power Lifetime emmissions are less than Solar, and Biomass and about the same as Wind and Hydro. Also not the “Range Between Studies” tick marks and lines. The Anti-Nukes like to clame that NPP is MUCH higher (High tick mark) and Solar and Wind is much lower (low tick marks). They achieve this lower value of emissions by using Name Plate output power. Name plate power is the maximum power that can be generated by the device, under optimum conditions and further, prolonged operation above Name Plate will shorten the life or even destroy the device. Sort of like the red-line on an automobile Tachometer. However, NPPs obtain 90 – 95% lifetime average of the name plate power output. Wind and Solar only obtain 25% to 35% of the Name Plate power over their life time. Problem is it take 3 or 4 times as many Solar/Wind generators to produce the same amount of USABLE power because of the fact they are only generating 1/4 or 1/3 as much power. Thus when you use Name plate power for the emissions you have ignored the 1/4 to 1/3 disadvantage of using these sources. Further a NPP could last 40, 60 years, Wind turbines are replaced in less than 25 Years. When you build a new Wind turbine you ADD to the life time emissions.

      • Follow-up: ‘Naysayers’ IMO refers to those who poo-poo NPP, and make false comparisons between solar/wind vs NPP by using solar/wind nameplate rather than actual capacity. NPP actual capacity is ~95% of nameplate; much less for solar/wind.

  16. “…while fossil fuel assets are increasingly considered to be risky.” Heh. Risky to whom, pray tell? The Green Blob?

  17. The question in the headline is not hard to answer. €1.5 billion spent building a new gas pipeline solves a known problem. Whereas spending money on renewable energy only keeps environmentalists quiet until they’ve run through the money, then they’ll be back for more.

  18. “The EU wants to fight climate change – so why is it spending billions on a gas pipeline?”

    Don’t know really. Does it have anything to do with the Weatherill Govt spending millions on diesel generators in South Australia? Is this a trick question?

  19. The EU do other exciting things to save the climate:
    “Greece appears on track to win access to a controversial EU programme that could earmark up to €1.75bn (£1.56bn) in free carbon allowances for the building of two massive coal-fired power plants. The 1100MW coal stations will cost an estimated €2.4bn, and emit around 7m tonnes of CO2 a year, casting doubt on their viability without a cash injection from an exemption under Europe’s carbon trading market.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/03/greece-set-to-win-175m-from-eu-climate-scheme-to-build-two-coal-plants

  20. Euroie needs energy, and the super-costly support of renewables is in part grinding to an end:

    “Over the last five years, subsidies or mandates have been cut in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Retroactive cuts to feed-in tariffs were made in Bulgaria, Greece, and Spain. Germany cut feed-in tariff subsidies by 75 percent and levied grid fees on residential solar owners. In 2015, the UK government suspended all new subsidies for onshore wind farms and reduced subsidies for residential solar installations, causing a steep fall in investment in both 2016 and 2017.”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/06/global-investment-in-renewable-energy-has-stalled/

  21. Pretty rich really as Brussels / Strasbourg meddling bureaucrats allied with US crew actually sabotaged Southstream pipeline which was imho shorter and connected to more customers …

    An additional benefit of this new scheme is that it puts Sultan Erdogan astride the supply – genius.

  22. Let’s not forget all the money spent on “research” for renewable energy and climate science.

    Keep these numbers in mind the next time some dolt claims we need a “moonshot” program to attack climate change. The simple-minded thinking goes “if we could a land a man on the moon…”

    The entire Apollo program cost about $200B in todays dollars. That’s the entire program.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_program

  23. The climate hypesters don’t simply tout their “renewable” scam, they are,seeking to destroy that which does work and is beneficial, gas oil, fission. And accomplish both injuries by simply highlighting different aspects of the same fibs.

  24. Ah, the progressive green blight. While the drivers are renewable, despite environmental arbitrage and political myths, the artificial, gray technology is not.

  25. “Professor Jones admits US $1.2 trillion spent over the last four years on renewables, along with previous expenditures, is nowhere near enough to develop the required technology, let alone the required infrastructure.”

    Eric – it appears you did not read the link associated with the $300 billion figure. That is not for R&D, it’s all investment. Excerpt:

    ‘Jon Moore, chief executive of BNEF, commented: “The 2017 total is all the more remarkable when you consider that capital costs for the leading technology – solar – continue to fall sharply. Typical utility-scale PV systems were about 25% cheaper per megawatt last year than they were two years earlier.”

    ‘Solar investment globally amounted to $160.8 billion in 2017, up 18% on the previous year despite these cost reductions. Just over half of that world total, or $86.5 billion, was spent in China. This was 58% higher than in 2016, with an estimated 53GW of PV capacity installed – up from 30GW in 2016.’

    • Who cares that “PV systems were about 25% cheaper than they were two years earlier.” ?
      This is surely true, but totally irrelevant, and is meant to deceive. Said otherwise, the guy is a LIAR, as is won’t tell the whole ugly truth, just a small part he can use to lie.
      The component are already a ridiculous fraction of the cost of a whole installation. Even if they were “100% cheaper than they were two years earlier.”, that is, FREE, the whole installation would still be too expensive.

  26. When one looks at what European nations did in the 20th century, one can find a lot of impressive projects: Supersonic flight – Concorde, Fast trains (TGV in France), highways, the ‘Chunnel’ (Tunnel below the English Channel), all those nuclear power plants and much more.

    Then take the 21st century and one finds … what? OK, some improvements in the infrastructure in the East, hundred of billions ‘invested’ in solar and wind? Those 300 billion a year could really do impressive projects, or ‘reduce’ the temperature with 0.001°C…

    All these renewable projects will come crashing down in about 10 years when there will be no more money for subsidies and Europe remains with impressive monuments to stupidity blotting the landscape.

  27. “While clean energy investment in 2017 topped US$300 billion for the fourth year in a row, this is far short of what is needed to unlock the technology revolution necessary to tackle climate change.”

    LMFAO – yeah that’s it, just send more money. And the arrogance is stupefying…we’re going to “tackle climate change” by wasting (more) money on useless, intermittent, low density energy production methods rightfully discarded when something better – fossil fuels – was discovered.

    “The arrogance of man is assuming that man is in control of nature, and not the other way around.” – Godzilla (2014)

Leave a Reply - if your comment doesn't appear right away, it may have been intercepted by the SPAM filter. Please have patience while our moderation team examines it.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s