Germany’s green transition has hit a brick wall

Even worse, its growing problems with wind and solar spell trouble all over the globe

Oddvar Lundseng, Hans Johnsen and Stein Bergsmark

More people are finally beginning to realize that supplying the world with sufficient, stable energy solely from sun and wind power will be impossible.

Germany took on that challenge, to show the world how to build a society based entirely on “green, renewable” energy. It has now hit a brick wall. Despite huge investments in wind, solar and biofuel energy production capacity, Germany has not reduced CO2 emissions over the last ten years. However, during the same period, its electricity prices have risen dramatically, significantly impacting factories, employment and poor families.

Germany has installed solar and wind power to such an extent that it should theoretically be able to satisfy the power requirement on any day that provides sufficient sunshine and wind. However, since sun and wind are often lacking – in Germany even more so than in other countries like Italy or Greece – the country only manages to produce around 27% of its annual electric power needs from these sources.

Equally problematical, when solar and wind production are at their maximum, the wind turbines and solar panels often overproduce – that is, they generate more electricity than Germany needs at that time – creating major problems in equalizing production and consumption. If the electric power system’s frequency is to be kept close to 50Hz (50 cycles per second), it is no longer possible to increase the amount of solar and wind production in Germany without additional, costly measures.

Production is often too high to keep the network frequency stable without disconnecting some solar and wind facilities. This leads to major energy losses and forced power exports to neighboring countries (“load shedding”) at negative electricity prices, below the cost of generating the power.

In 2017 about half of Germany’s wind-based electricity production was exported. Neighboring countries typically do not want this often unexpected power, and the German power companies must therefore pay them to get rid of the excess. German customers have to pick up the bill.

If solar and wind power plants are disconnected from actual need in this manner, wind and solar facility owners are paid as if they had produced 90% of rated output. The bill is also sent to customers.

When wind and solar generation declines, and there is insufficient electricity for everyone who needs it, Germany’s utility companies also have to disconnect large power consumers – who then want to be compensated for having to shut down operations. That bill also goes to customers all over the nation.

Power production from the sun and wind is often quite low and sometimes totally absent. This might take place over periods from one day to ten days, especially during the winter months. Conventional power plants (coal, natural gas and nuclear) must then step in and deliver according to customer needs. Hydroelectric and biofuel power can also help, but they are only able to deliver about 10% of the often very high demand, especially if it is really cold.

Alternatively, Germany may import nuclear power from France, oil-fired power from Austria or coal power from Poland.

In practice, this means Germany can never shut down the conventional power plants, as planned. These power plants must be ready and able to meet the total power requirements at any time; without them, a stable network frequency is unobtainable. The same is true for French, Austrian and Polish power plants.

Furthermore, if the AC frequency is allowed to drift too high or too low, the risk of extensive blackouts becomes significant. That was clearly demonstrated by South Australia, which also relies heavily on solar and wind power, and suffered extensive blackouts that shut down factories and cost the state billions of dollars.

The dream of supplying Germany with mainly green energy from sunshine and wind turns out to be nothing but a fading illusion. Solar and wind power today covers only 27% of electricity consumption and only 5% of Germany’s total energy needs, while impairing reliability and raising electricity prices to among the highest in the world.

However, the Germans are not yet planning to end this quest for utopian energy. They want to change the entire energy system and include electricity, heat and transportation sectors in their plans. This will require a dramatic increase in electrical energy and much more renewable energy, primarily wind.

To fulfill the German target of getting 60% of their total energy consumption from renewables by 2050, they must multiply the current power production from solar and wind by a factor of 15. They must also expand their output from conventional power plants by an equal amount, to balance and backup the intermittent renewable energy. Germany might import some of this balancing power, but even then the scale of this endeavor is enormous.

Perhaps more important, the amount of land, concrete, steel, copper, rare earth metals, lithium, cadmium, hydrocarbon-based composites and other raw materials required to do this is astronomical. None of those materials is renewable, and none can be extracted, processed and manufactured into wind, solar or fossil power plants without fossil fuels. This is simply not sustainable or ecological.

Construction of solar and wind “farms” has already caused massive devastation to Germany’s wildlife habitats, farmlands, ancient forests and historic villages. Even today, the northern part of Germany looks like a single enormous wind farm. Multiplying today’s wind power capacity by a factor 10 or 15 means a 200 meter high (650 foot tall) turbine must be installed every 1.5 km (every mile) across the entire country, within cities, on land, on mountains and in water.

In reality, it is virtually impossible to increase production by a factor of 15, as promised by the plans.

The cost of Germany’s “Energiewende” (energy transition) is enormous: some 200 billion euros by 2015 – and yet with minimal reduction in CO2 emission. In fact, coal consumption and CO2 emissions have been stable or risen slightly the last seven to ten years. In the absence of a miracle, Germany will not be able to fulfill its self-imposed climate commitments, not by 2020, nor by 2030.

What applies to Germany also applies to other countries that now produce their electricity primarily with fossil or nuclear power plants. To reach development comparable to Germany’s, such countries will be able to replace only about one quarter of their fossil and nuclear power, because these power plants must remain in operation to ensure frequency regulation, balance and back-up power.

Back-up power plants will have to run idle (on “spinning reserve”) during periods of high output of renewable energy, while still consuming fuel almost like during normal operation. They always have to be able to step up to full power, because over the next few hours or days solar or wind power might fail. So they power up and down many times per day and week.

The prospects for reductions in CO2 emissions are thus nearly non-existent! Indeed, the backup coal or gas plants must operate so inefficiently in this up-and-down mode that they often consume more fuel and emit more (plant-fertilizing) carbon dioxide than if they were simply operating at full power all the time, and there were no wind or solar installations.

There is no indication that world consumption of coal will decline in the next decades. Large countries in Asia and Africa continue to build coal-fired power plants, and more than 1,500 coal-fired power plants are in planning or under construction.

This will provide affordable electricity 24/7/365 to 1.3 billion people who still do not have access to electricity today. Electricity is essential for the improved health, living standards and life spans that these people expect and are entitled to. To tell them fears of climate change are a more pressing matter is a violation of their most basic human rights.

____________

Oddvar Lundseng is a senior engineer with 43 years of experience in the energy business. Hans Konrad Johnsen, PhD is a former R&D manager with Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA. Stein Storlie Bergsmark has a degree in physics and is a former senior energy researcher and former manager of renewable energy education at the University of Agder.

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Latitude
December 21, 2018 10:07 am

dang…..

HotScot
Reply to  Latitude
December 21, 2018 11:06 am

10th Century technology expected to solve 21st Century energy issues.

Effing insane.

steve case
Reply to  HotScot
December 21, 2018 11:41 am

“10th Century technology expected to solve 21st Century energy issues”

10th century to solve a 21st century non-problem.

What are the issues that they are trying to address?

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  steve case
December 21, 2018 11:51 am

Creating a totalitarian world government.

Bob boder
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 22, 2018 11:00 am

In that case it’s suceeding.

whiten
Reply to  HotScot
December 21, 2018 12:23 pm

As simple as that….. HotScot…really effing stupid.

cheers

Jon Scott
Reply to  HotScot
December 21, 2018 3:37 pm

Succint as I expect a Scotsman to be. Bravo!

RM25483
Reply to  HotScot
December 21, 2018 6:26 pm

HotScot: “21st Century energy issues”

Remember, my friend, we solved the world’s energy needs at 10 minutes before 2pm, 18 miles Southeast of Arco, Idaho, on December 20, 1951.

All arguments of energy issues since that time have been just a waste of energy (pun intended).

Patrick MJD
Reply to  HotScot
December 22, 2018 3:21 pm

More like 4th to 6th century technology (Windmills).

Mark
Reply to  Latitude
December 21, 2018 2:00 pm

Reality, instability, just as predicted by the technologically competent.

Menicholas
Reply to  Mark
December 21, 2018 5:21 pm

In fact it is exactly as realists have said all along.
Who are the ones in denial, really?
It is not the ones who have been right all along.

John
Reply to  Latitude
December 23, 2018 6:00 am

As a Dutch person living on the border with Germany, this is inaccurate.

The original purpose of the German policy was to offset as much lignite as possible. This was much easier to do before the nuclear accident in fuchashima, which pushed Germany into closing all of their nuclear power plants. This forced them to replace that energy with more lignite/coal production. In the winter months there is plenty of wind, but not enough sun, in the summer there is plenty of sun, and plenty of wind.

As most German houses do not have air-conditioning, the power plants redirect much of the electricity generated to the grid. In times of excess generation German companies sell the excess wattage to the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Austria etc… But this rarely happens because renewable energy only amounts to 25 – 30% of the overall energy output. This is because nuclear power dominated, and with the closure of the nuclear power plants (a mistake) they have to make up the difference in coal (lignite). As a result of all the digging and refining, the cost has gone up, but not because of renewable energy, and the emissions have remained the same, but only because of the coal substitute.

Hope this helps.

Thomas Malcolm
Reply to  John
December 24, 2018 1:49 am

“…This forced them to replace that energy with more lignite/coal production….”
Forced?? Why didn’t they just build more renewable energy plants instead?
That apart there is something amiss with the notion that building more coal fired power stations has caused the price of electricity to rocket.
Are you really saying that coal fired power stations are more expensive to run than nuclear and then by a noticeable margin?

anorak2
Reply to  Thomas Malcolm
December 24, 2018 6:41 am

@Thomas Malcom

“Forced?? Why didn’t they just build more renewable energy plants instead?”

You can’t replace a regular power plant by intermittent wind/solar generators. The regulatory board still knows this (hardly anyone in politics though), so they mandated the construction of new power plants to replace the decommissioned nuclear plants. It’s mostly natural gas though, but there have been some new coal plants as well. This fact has gone mostly unnoticed by the German media, maybe because it doesn’t fit their green agenda.

“that building more coal fired power stations has caused the price of electricity to rocket”

The major cause for the skyrocketing German electricity prices is the levy for subsidising renewables that is included in the end customer price. But the nuclear shutdown is also a (comparatibely minor) contributor. Of course building all those replacement plants costs in and of itself, and it is an additional cost that would not have happened if the nuclear plants had been kept. The fact that electricity from coal is cheap as such doesn’t help in this case.

Wharfplank
December 21, 2018 10:09 am

Intermittents cannot even supply the energy to mine, transport, smelt, manufacture, deliver, assemble and commission their own infrastructure much less supply its society with the energy it needs.

William Astley
Reply to  Wharfplank
December 21, 2018 10:47 am

Ditto.

The idiots have lied to themselves. They are like children, except they run governments and pay ‘scientists’ and ‘engineers’ to write phoney studies to support the madness.

The CO2 ‘savings’ after installation of the sun and wind gathering equipment does not include the energy input to construct the green stuff and does not include the loss of grid efficiency which is around 15%.

Wind and sun gathering does not work for conceptual engineering reasons.

German average yearly output from wind farms is 17.4% of the nameplate rating of the installed wind farm.

German average yearly output from solar is only 8.3% of the nameplate rating of the installed solar panels.

Regardless of costs there are engineering limits that make it not possible to reduce anthropogenic emissions of CO2 by 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, 90% with wind and solar without energy storage
German CO2 ‘savings’ does not include the energy loss as intermittent solar and wind power force the use of single cycle natural gas turbines that can be turned on/off/on/off/on/off as compared to 20% more efficient combined cycle (produce steam from the waste heat from the first pass turbines) natural gas power plants that take 20 hours to start and hence cannot be turned on/off/on/off/on/off multiple times per day in respond to changes in wind speed.

Power output of a wind turbine varies as the cube of wind speed.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/22/shocker-top-google-engineers-say-renewable-energy-simply-wont-work/

The key problem appears to be that the cost of manufacturing the components of the renewable power facilities is far too close to the total recoverable energy – the facilities never, or just barely, produce enough energy to balance the budget of what was consumed in their construction. This leads to a runaway cycle of constructing more and more renewable plants simply to produce the energy required to manufacture and maintain renewable energy plants – an obvious practical absurdity.
A research effort by Google corporation to make renewable energy viable has been a complete failure, according to the scientists who led the programme. After 4 years of effort, their conclusion is that renewable energy “simply won’t work”.

mario lento
Reply to  William Astley
December 21, 2018 11:14 am

RE: “The CO2 ‘savings’ after installation of the sun and wind gathering equipment does not include the energy input to construct the green stuff and does not include the loss of grid efficiency which is around 15%.”

I have a question that may extrapolate more specificity of the 15% reduction of efficiency. Typical fossil fuel plants operate at sum 40% efficiency, I think. Does it drop efficiency from 40% to something like 40*(1-.15)=34% or something like 40-15=25%?

Menicholas
Reply to  William Astley
December 21, 2018 5:24 pm

Meanwhile they reject fracking for nat gas and they reject nuclear, which would actually reduce that which they insist, illogically and unscientifically, must be reduced.

We are living in a Fellini film, a Kafka novel…only it is real life.

DonM
Reply to  Wharfplank
December 21, 2018 1:43 pm

“Intermittents cannot even supply the energy to mine, transport, smelt, manufacture, deliver, assemble and commission their own infrastructure much less supply its society with the energy it needs.”

Hang on to that line … repeat often.

(maybe one more item … “and then decommission/remove”)

Rocketscientist
Reply to  Wharfplank
December 21, 2018 3:11 pm

Solar and wind are unsustainable electric energy creation systems. This is made evident by the simple fact that a solar cell working at peek efficiency for its entire life cannot generate enough electrical energy to create its replacement. Every generation of solar cell must be created by using other energy sources.
So, for every $1 of energy I spend to make solar cells will only get me $.80 energy back, why am I wasting energy to make solar cells. Why not use the energy to do useful work?

mario lento
Reply to  Rocketscientist
December 21, 2018 3:18 pm

“Solar and wind are unsustainable electric energy creation systems. ”
I’m nitpicking; energy harnessing, not creation, but point well taken!

If your figures are true, that’s a coffin nail for the solar industry. I’d like to see the math or proof of that, which sound possibly true.

Randle Dewees
Reply to  Rocketscientist
December 21, 2018 8:41 pm

Yes Rocketscientist, can you expand on this? I was just thinking about it the other day… about roof top installations generating the monetary equivalent of electricity as the end user cost for the installation. I kind of worked out it pays for itself (without tax breaks!) just about the time its going downhill solarizing.

Menicholas
Reply to  Rocketscientist
December 22, 2018 1:01 pm

If solar cells keep getting cheaper and more efficient, at some point they will become cost effective.
If.
But this is not such a long shot…the Sun does send a lot of energy our way.
Fact is, the world, the solar system, the entire Universe…is awash in gigantic amounts of energy.
Incomprehensible amounts that dwarf what we need to live well.
Tapping into it in the most efficient and cost effective manner is all we need to do at every stage.
And cost is how we measure what is a good deal and what is a crappy deal…wasting money is stupid.

mario lento
Reply to  Menicholas
December 22, 2018 3:07 pm

Solar may get cheaper… good. Efficiency has not much more to go. Maybe 50% increase from where we are and no more to go! It will always take a lot of space… so rooftops maybe the best bet.

Dave Fair
Reply to  mario lento
December 22, 2018 3:37 pm

Every addition of higher-cost generation to a system results in higher costs to you, the consumer/taxpayer.

Every addition of intermittent generation to a system increases the cost of the existing system and results in higher costs to you, the consumer/taxpayer.

Every addition of unneeded remote generation to a system increases the costs of the transmission system and results in higher costs to you, the consumer/taxpayer.

Every uneconomic, politically motivated governmental action results in higher costs to you, the consumer/taxpayer.

Every incremental move to socialism results in higher costs to you, the consumer/taxpayer.

[N. B. There are no quantifiable benefits to you, the consumer/taxpayer, from any of the idiotic moves listed above. If you accept such stupidity, you are a sheep.]

mario lento
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 22, 2018 9:44 pm

Dave: My statement did not need your response. Solar on rooftops, if they cheaper and not subsidized can make sense in some situations. That said, people should be able to make the calculation based on cost – benefit, without the government forcing people to subsidize it, or forcing the grid to take excess energy when it does not need it. But today, in most cases it makes no sense. Period end of sentence.

Dave Fair
Reply to  mario lento
December 22, 2018 3:52 pm

P. S. Even if you get your sustenance from the government in one way or another, the government cannot increase your benefits to match the costs they place on the economy through their politically motivated socialistic interventions.

mario lento
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 22, 2018 9:38 pm

I do not think the government should be subsidizing solar, or green schemes–period.

Russ Wood
Reply to  mario lento
December 24, 2018 2:58 am

And just HOW do you propose to handle the regular condition called NIGHT?

Gary Hudson
Reply to  mario lento
December 25, 2018 3:05 pm

And where will we construct the fossil fueled electricity generation facilities that are required to run at idle for 60% of the time in order to back up wind and solar? In addition, do the duplicate transmission facilities that are required influence your recommendation?

Bob Cherba
Reply to  Menicholas
December 24, 2018 8:09 am

I’m only an old, retired electrical engineer with a tiny brain (after all I voted for Trump), but I don’t see how anyone can claim solar and wind will ever be cost effective or cheaper than nuclear and fossil generation.

The cost of solar and wind has to include the cost of reliable backup power systems, so if you want 24/7 power, you have to buy two systems. If you think batteries will work for the potential weeks needed to backup when there’s insufficient wind or sun, then you need huge batteries and several times the nameplate rating of the RE source to charge them. This ain’t cheap, in either money or real estate.

Cheap 100% RE is fairy tale power. (I deleted the rest of the sentence that characterized the people who believe in and push this stupidity upon the rest of mankind.)

Bruce Cobb
December 21, 2018 10:14 am

Hoppla!

Saighdear
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
December 21, 2018 11:40 am

Oh you know that phrase too? Menschens Kinder! You’d think the ( All educated) Politicians would know too about energy overloads / supply BEFORE they force legislation on what we should all be doing – just like IC Engines …….

Javert Chip
Reply to  Saighdear
December 21, 2018 3:27 pm

The scary part is perhaps a large sub-set of the politicians do, in fact, have an accurate conceptual understanding of “energy overloads / supply” risks, and they just don’t care.

By god, if the population demands renewable energy, then politicians will give them renewable energy, laws of physics be damned.

And (pay attention; this is the important part) by the time the poo hits the fan, said politicians will be safely out of office, drawing great pensions.

December 21, 2018 10:18 am

The danger in using a single country as an example of what can be done is that it only works when surrounding nations use traditional power, enabling Germany to shed or purchase power from the other nations. If for example, everyone in Europe had a power system similar to Germany, the whole house of cards would fall down.

Wharfplank
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
December 21, 2018 10:47 am

Exactly. See California.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Wharfplank
December 21, 2018 11:32 am

No, Wharfplank, surrounding states provide a significant portion of CA’s electric needs. Federal Pacific Northwest hydro power props up the whole thing at taxpayer expense.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 21, 2018 12:56 pm

I think what Wharfplank meant was exactly that – the California house of cards would collapse absent the ability to dump excess power on its neighboring states and the ability to import power to make up for the inadequacies of their own “renewable” crap.

Hugs
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 21, 2018 12:57 pm

Absolutely California is no better than Germany. Should it install more solar and wind, the more it will depend on others, until there is a card house at hand.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Hugs
December 22, 2018 9:56 pm

Maybe we can expect more climate refugees fleeing Germany and California.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Hugs
December 22, 2018 10:01 pm

We can expect to see more climate refugees moving from Germany and California.

paulclim
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
December 21, 2018 4:54 pm

You do not have to wait for every country to have a similar system. Already today Poland and Czech Republik are in deep trouble when strong winds blow in Germany. There are not enough power lines between North and South. So excess power from northern or eastern Germany has to be routed through Poland and CR to southern Germany. This excess power troubles the whole grid in those two countries which is why they have to turn off their coal plants when there is too much wind in Germany. This causes higher costs and anlot of efforts to avoid shortages. Both governments stated that they will shut their interconnection if that problem continues to endanger their grids.

LdB
Reply to  paulclim
December 21, 2018 5:41 pm

Which is exactly what the grid regulation authority is worried and complaining about. Some day in the near future the whole thing will fail.

paulclim
Reply to  LdB
December 22, 2018 12:41 am

Yes, that is for sure. The only question is whether those people inpolitics are in long enough in place to carry on with this stupidity. Resistance against it is rising fast. I think that government will not survive next year.

If it did, it will get even worse. They will introduce a CO2 tax and they plan to subsidize and finance directly plants for battery production incl. cell manufacturing. Nothing shows better how stupid those people are. They want to kill combustion engines and replace them by e-motors but in order to not lose jobs they want to produce batteries with an energy need of 1 MJ/kWh in exactly that country with the highest energy costs the weakest grids in the world, not to mention the gap in Know How.

John
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
December 21, 2018 11:55 pm

Some countries around Germany think they can do better and are planning for that already…

Tom Halla
December 21, 2018 10:19 am

I rather consider the green blob prefers wind and solar precisely because they cannot sustain industrial civilization.

TG McCoy
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 21, 2018 12:32 pm

And they don’t want to that’s what China is for..

David L. Hagen
December 21, 2018 10:21 am

Oddvar, Hans and Stein
Thanks for highlighting the issues involved. Note also that Germany had only 10 hours of sunshine in December 2017. And total solar & wind dropped to ~ 3% of demand for 4 days during cloudy Doldrum weather last December.
However, please do NOT overstate your argument. e.g.
“sufficient, stable energy solely from sun and wind power will be impossible”.
ALL oil, gas, and coal is finite and will NOT last for 1000 years.
Thus we must develop sustainable alternatives.
Though difficult, the most likely source is fusion. The sun is existing fusion at a safe distance, and advances are being made in on controllable fusion systems.
The issue now is to bring the cost of solar down for premium desert locations, and to provide storage to buffer variations. That is the engineering challenge before us – and it is not inherently impossible!

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  David L. Hagen
December 21, 2018 11:36 am

Premium desert locations have no grid, and there is no economical storage. Solar is a dead end. Renewables are the wave of the future…and always will be.

Menicholas
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 21, 2018 5:40 pm

And fusion may never be possible as a means of electrical power generation.
If humanity did not waste time and money on bullshit and lies, we might know how much fossil fuel there really is, might have easily built and safe nuke plants, and be working much more handily towards whatever will be needed in the future.
People in the future will be much more competent to decide and create what they need when the time comes, than we can ever be now.
They will be more technically proficient and have the wherewithal that only time brings.
Unless we sabotage our educational system and technological and industrial infrastructure, bankrupt ourselves and raise generations of suicidal chicken littles and misguided ignorant fools.

Hivemind
Reply to  Menicholas
December 22, 2018 1:00 am

There are enough coal reserves to last 500 years at present consumption rates. Undiscovered coal sources are likely much larger.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  David L. Hagen
December 21, 2018 2:20 pm

“ALL oil, gas, and coal is finite and will NOT last for 1000 years.
Thus we must develop sustainable alternatives.”

So, you suggest we should spend billions on wind and solar now, even though they are known to be a waste of money.

Why not advocate spending those billions switching to nuclear, if CO2 bothers you. Nuclear WILL last for 1000 years.

SR

ghalfrunt
Reply to  Steve Reddish
December 21, 2018 3:05 pm

for the best part of a year 4 nukes have been offline due to cracks and something else not defined. in the last couple of months 2 generators have instantly lost grid connection – this removes 500MW within seconds. currently 2 are on low load for refuelling.
Reliable??
https://www.edfenergy.com/energy/power-station/daily-statuses
Daily status report
Number of units in service:
12 of 16
Number of reactors in service:
11 of 15

Dave Fair
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 21, 2018 4:12 pm

ghalfrunt, you need to read the definitions of reliability and stability as they relate to electrical power systems.

Without an education and some experience in electric power operations, your opinions are worthless.

ghalfrunt
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 22, 2018 6:07 am

Dave Fair December 21, 2018 at 4:12 pm
ghalfrunt, you need to read the definitions of reliability and stability as they relate to electrical power systems.
——————-
does the grid handle the loss of 500MW within seconds when a turbine trips, or is it easier to handle the loss of 5MW when a wec trips, or loss of 8GW over 24hours when the wind changes. WECs will always require backup in some form, but this need not all be spinning reserve
——————
df
Without an education and some experience in electric power operations, your opinions are worthless.
——————–
sorry but you do not know my background, and I know nothing of yours.
But if you could tell me what is incorrect about my statements I will listen.

Dave Fair
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 22, 2018 12:34 pm

OK, ghalfrunt. I’ll waste a few more minutes on this. No more, though. I’m through with your Trolling.

As a Professional Engineer and manager, I’ve participated in every aspect of the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power. That included technical and financial feasibility studies of pretty much every aspect of the various systems.

Salesmen of every stripe, including politicians, ideologues, rent-seekers, paid Trolls and the sincerely deluded, come up with plausible, but ultimately unfeasible schemes to take one’s money. Your comments indicate you are somewhere within or influenced by this group. Your trivial truths and misdirections are manifest.

Again, go get some technical and economic training, apply it successfully in the real world and people might have a reason to believe you. I’m sorry, but you appear to have insufficient relevant education and experience for me to instruct you in the various disciplines as you requested. If I am wrong, just refute my statement. I’ve had to eat Crow before, so it wouldn’t be a novel experience.

MarkW
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 22, 2018 7:00 am

Let’s see if I have this straight. It’s better to have a system that we know will fail many times a day, vs a system that might fail once every generation or two.

MarkW
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 21, 2018 4:35 pm

Once in a very rare while a regular plant breaks and it takes a few months to bring it back on line.
And to solve this, you want to use power sources that we know will be offline at least 2/3rds of the time and regurally go down with no warning what so ever.

ghalfrunt
Reply to  MarkW
December 22, 2018 8:39 am

one station has been offline for 1 year!
wind does not suddenly die country wide there is a slow decline which is easier to handle than 500MW tripping off in seconds

Menicholas
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 21, 2018 5:33 pm

The nuke plants that exist now are very old…almost every one of them.
They were designed back when less than 20 years had gone by since it was even found to be possible.
My old 1968 Cadillac is a clunker too.

eyesonu
Reply to  Menicholas
December 22, 2018 9:03 am

Was that you driving down Sunrise Blvd last week with the top down?

😉

MarkW
Reply to  David L. Hagen
December 21, 2018 4:33 pm

Actually they will last for around 1000 years.
Which is plenty of time to develop something else.

Why try to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.
Our great to the 23rd grandchildren can solve this problem using technology we haven’t even dreamed of yet.

Menicholas
Reply to  MarkW
December 21, 2018 5:43 pm

Exactamundo!

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  MarkW
December 22, 2018 1:15 pm

A little bit of perspective. Australia was discovered (again) by Captain James Cook in 1770 in a sailing ship, a mere 248 years ago. According to wiki, coal powered trains were invented in 1804, mere 214 years ago.

To believe that technology in 1000 years time will be the same as it is today, is to demonstrate a complete lack of history, and perspective. To worry that we won’t have oil or coal in 100 years is just plain stupid.

griff
December 21, 2018 10:22 am

An inaccurate report.

There’s no problem with frequency, the system is designed to import/export surplus (a new HVDC line is under construction to Norway for example)…

just the usual mash up of out of date stuff, too tedious to refute it

some other notes:
German spinning reserve, as elsewhere, is being replaced by the faster responding grid storage.
Germany kept France powered during the extensive reactor shut downs in recent years
The commission on shut down dates for German coal power is in session

Tim
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 10:39 am

I am not sure what multi-verse you are from but nothing you said is true or accurate. I am glad you support punishing the poor for your virtual signaling ego.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 10:40 am

Off course are there frequency problems.
In summer, we had to 4 minutes retard over days in net frequecy leaded clocks, becaus of reduced frequency.

Non Nomen
Reply to  Krishna Gans
December 21, 2018 11:25 am

Ido confirm the facts. I was there at that time.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Non Nomen
December 22, 2018 3:27 pm

The problem with Griff is that he is never anywhere he comments on. He regularly comments on what happens here in Australia. He get’s his science from The Guardian.

ghalfrunt
Reply to  Krishna Gans
December 21, 2018 3:16 pm

Krishna Gans December 21, 2018 at 10:40 am
Off course are there frequency problems.
In summer, we had to 4 minutes retard over days in net frequecy leaded clocks, becaus of reduced frequency.
————————————–
I would be very surprised by this frequency HAS to be maintained in order for AC links to function. Frequency is maintained
The limits of frequency range allowed in normal operation (49.8 Hz to 50.2 Hz) were never reached or exceeded in this period.
The mains frequency is in all countries, which are directly connected to the synchronous grid, the same (exept short-term fluctuations). These are Albania, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Croatia, , Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic and Hungary. Due to the large east-west extension the sun takes about 3.5 hours to wander over the area, in summer the sun can bee seen about 18 hours a day
Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Western Sahara and Turkey are synchronous with the European grid, too. The other members of ENTSO-E are connected via High-voltage direct current (HVDC) power lines to the synchronous grid and have therefore independent frequencies.
http://www.mainsfrequency.com/frequ_info_en.htm

Menicholas
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 21, 2018 5:49 pm

Ghalfrunt,
Which part of “It is not working” are you too stubborn and boneheaded to comprehend?

ghalfrunt
Reply to  Menicholas
December 22, 2018 6:26 am

Menicholas December 21, 2018 at 5:49 pm
Ghalfrunt,
Which part of “It is not working” are you too stubborn and boneheaded to comprehend?
————————
sorry to what are you referring.
I believe that my frequency information is correct please say where I am wrong.
frequency is often adjusted +-200mHz to control load power. lowering frequency reduces supplied power.
DC links work – they are more efficient than long distant ac links. UK has many dc links with the French interconnector supplying +-2GW

Krishna Gans
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 22, 2018 8:43 am

Sorry, you may have look at the history of the frequecy, but I have to correct me, it was not in summer but in spring, February / March
Online measurement
You may too translate by google translate the following page:
ongoing frequecy difference
Origin of the differences were located in Serbia, Montenegro und Mazedonia.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 22, 2018 9:24 am

PS:

At 03:39 clock on 03/03/2018, the highest value ever with -359 seconds was reached, since then stagnates the Netzzeitabweichung. It remains to be seen when the network time will be back completely.

For the owners of synchronized watches, this means that they have to adjust the clocks repeatedly until the problem is solved.

Here, on the one hand shows the advantage of the interconnected network, that in case of problems in one country help from other countries is possible. On the other hand, it also shows that deviations or raisin pecking in one partner can affect the entire network.

translated by google from here

I hope to have convinced you that you are completely wrong.
What you wrote is a wish, a plan, but, as CGAW contradicted by facts and reality.

ghalfrunt
Reply to  Krishna Gans
December 23, 2018 9:49 am

seems that what happened was a slight frequency shift of approx. 30mHz was allowed to run for a number of days. This was (and had to be) the same for the whole of the grid.

Normally in the uk grid a cycle count is eventually corrected so synchronous devices (old mains driven clocks etc) remain at correct time. The continental European frequency seems to have been kept low through “an operator” with shortage of power. The operator is not named. but there is this statement
“The power deviations are originating from the control area called Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro (SMM block) and specifically Kosovo and Serbia. ”
so nothing to do with german renewables

[??? .mod]

LdB
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 10:55 am

About 20 different reports from 2018 all state basically the same thing including the grid regulator and the German government but we should trust Griff because he says.

The fact Germany will miss it’s 2020 emission goals by 8% has already been stated by the German government but Griff is sure they are going to somehow pull a rabbit out of the hat.

Griffs credibility is ZERO.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  LdB
December 21, 2018 11:40 am

As soon as I saw his name scroll up, I knew his post would be inaccurate.

Javert Chip
Reply to  LdB
December 21, 2018 3:40 pm

Griff is still pissed the ever more numerous polar bears haven’t had the decency to go extinct, the result of agonizing deaths from starvation. And the anonymous & questionably (laughably?) credentialed Griff claims Dr Susan Crockford is unqualified to comment on all this.

When Griff speaks, people listen…because every now and then, everybody needs a good laugh.

Cockroaches gotta do what cockroaches do.

Michael C. Roberts
Reply to  LdB
December 21, 2018 4:05 pm

It’s good to see the entity known as ‘griff’ is back on WUWT, to show all and sundry the disillusional view points espoused by those which support intermittent energy power generation technology. In years past, while attempting to provide information to ‘griff’, to temper his/her/xer’s over zealotry for all things green’s, I feared ‘griff’ were scared off as our attempts to provide reality in energy related situations may have caused a modicum of doubt in ‘griff’s’ mind. But, alas, no…..plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose…
Regards,
MCR

Dave Fair
Reply to  Michael C. Roberts
December 21, 2018 4:27 pm

‘griff’ is back because the scam is unraveling and the alarmists and profiteers are panicking.

MarkW
Reply to  Michael C. Roberts
December 22, 2018 7:08 am

Having to bring griff back from retirement just shows how shallow their bench is.

Tasfay Martinov
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 10:58 am

Griff
Please remind me why plants and photosynthesis are bad.

John Endicott
Reply to  Tasfay Martinov
December 21, 2018 11:12 am

And, while he’s at it, could he please explain why he hates the world’s poor so much that he backs policies that would trap them in energy poverty.

John Endicott
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 11:05 am

just the usual mash up of out of date stuff, too tedious to refute it

Translation: The report is accurate and Griff can’t refute it and he knows it. but because it goes against his CAGW religious beliefs he feels the need to attack it anyway.

DonM
Reply to  John Endicott
December 21, 2018 1:56 pm

griff defn of tedious:

the tiresome feeling that one gets when unable to rationalize/reconcile emotion & fact; related to personal fantasy being squashed by reality

icisil
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 11:10 am

No such thing as “grid storage”. It’s load shedding during over-generation, usually at financial loss, coupled with drawing dispatchable power from other countries when under-generating. Impossible to scale outwards very far before the system saturates and collapses.

markl
Reply to  icisil
December 21, 2018 4:19 pm

“No such thing as “grid storage”. +1 The closest you can come is pumped hydro and that’s not viable in most of the world. People either have been duped or are just plain ignorant about wind and solar totally replacing fossil and nuclear energy. Even the most elementary engineering study will quickly destroy the myth yet people, mainly ecofanatics, politicians. and Elon Musk, are adamant it’s viable today.

MarkW
Reply to  markl
December 21, 2018 4:44 pm

griff likes to point to grid storage that has been installed in Austrailia as proof that grid storage can over come the problems of renewable intermittency.
What griff doesn’t tell us is that this grid storage is only designed to keep the grid stable for a couple of minutes while real power sources ramp up from hot idle to full power to take over.

Installing enough batteries to keep the system running for days would cost 100’s of thousands more. But like most green acolytes, griff prefers to hide the from the truth.

Menicholas
Reply to  MarkW
December 21, 2018 5:56 pm

I think hundreds of thousands may understate the case by several orders of magnitude.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
December 22, 2018 7:02 am

I should add that while hot idle does not use as much fuel as running the plant full out, it’s not a lot less.

Robertfromozoz
Reply to  MarkW
December 22, 2018 4:26 pm

Griff insists that the blackout in South Australia had nothing to do with the windfarms it was caused by a software glitch at a windfarm .

Russ Wood
Reply to  MarkW
December 24, 2018 3:04 am

On the huge Tesla battery for South Australia I wrote on South Africa’s BizNews:
“Let’s do the arithmetic. Australia’s stats department gives South Australia’s power consumption in 2016 as 326 petaJoules (Pj). At 278 Gigawatt-Hours per Pj, this gives an average consumption by the state as about 248 GwH per day.Now this runs out to 10345 Megawatt-hours per hour. So, if this Musk battery really does supply 129 Mwh, it will therefore supply the state for 129/10345 hours, or about 44 seconds. So what, exactly, does spending this HUGE amount of money actually SOLVE?”

Krishna Gans
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 11:11 am

During 2003 only 2 operations were needed to stabilise the net,
2010 290 operations, in 2011 1024 op.
graph , increasing in thousands:
2013 2686 Redispatchops.,, 2014: 3453 , 2015 :6325.
some billions € in question.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Krishna Gans
December 21, 2018 12:18 pm

Extremely interesting; thank you. Is there data more recent than 2011?

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 21, 2018 2:41 pm

What I found and postet as text as you see 2015 = 6325 ops.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 11:18 am

Griff,
You don’t know what you are talking about; frequency can’t be imported or exported. It is a characteristic of A/C power, not a quantity. Large spinning generators produce electricity with very stable frequency because of the huge amount of inertia in the system. And multiple generators can be easily synchronized with each other. The DC to AC convertors on the windmills and solar panels don’t produce electricity with anywhere near the same frequency stability, drifting over relatively short time frames. While they can be synchronized with another (stable) frequency source, this doesn’t work well if the other source is not stable. When you have thousands or millions of these things all connected together, chaotic behavior can emerge and cause the entire network to crash unexpectedly.

So frequency control is a problem, and it’s going to get worse as more and more wind and solar are added to the mix. But you don’t have to believe me, just wait another year or two and places like Germany and Australia will prove it. Too bad about the people that live there since they will have to put up with and increasingly fragile electrical grid.

ghalfrunt
Reply to  Paul Penrose
December 21, 2018 3:31 pm

Paul Penrose December 21, 2018 at 11:18 am
Griff,
You don’t know what you are talking about; frequency can’t be imported or exported. It is a characteristic of A/C power, not a quantity. Large spinning generators produce electricity with very stable frequency because of the huge amount of inertia in the system.
——————————
you are kidding aren’t you?
UK uses many dc links to/from Norway ireland france There is no problem linking the countries using dc to 50Hz multi GW convertors.
wind energy convertors have no problem linking to the local grid frequency, obviously. As wind drops they still provide 50Hz but less power. Some generators have non synchronous dc generators and an electronic convertor. The output of this is either exactly matching the grid or if the grid is black then 50hz can be directly generated and presumably synced to a signal to help pull up the grid.
https://www.enercon.de/fileadmin/Redakteur/Medien-Portal/broschueren/pdf/en/ENERCON_TuS_en_06_2015.pdf

Dave Fair
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 21, 2018 4:23 pm

Gawd. One cannot ‘black start’ the grid with renewables.

ghalfrunt
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 22, 2018 5:54 am

Apologies, I was sure it was available, I was wrong

from page 11:
http://response.enercon.de/files/20161117_A%20Beekmann_Grid%20Integration%20and%20Storage.pdf

BLACK START PROCEDURES
TODAY Not smart, passiv
TOMORROW smart contribution to system blackstart

The 2 documents referenced from Enercon show many features to handle grid problems for their wecs

Dave Fair
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 22, 2018 11:15 am

A sales brochure.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 22, 2018 2:28 pm

Science fiction

Paul Penrose
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 24, 2018 12:29 pm

No, I was serious. Non-spinning sources to the grid are frequency followers. This is not going to change any time soon.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 11:28 am

“There’s no problem with frequency, the system is designed to import/export surplus (a new HVDC line is under construction to Norway for example)…”

Yeah, I deal with this too.

When I have a problem with something that should work, but doesn’t, they usually respond (after I prove a hundred ways to Sunday that the problem is NOT between the keyboard and the chair…) that:

1) the system was designed to do something
2) we are improving 1)

You haven’t lived until you have someone send you a slide from a presentation that says, in response to your question as to why it isn’t working, “this is how we told you it would work”.

As for “out of date stuff”, you mention something that allegedly happened in “recent years”, and a “commission” being “in session”.

Wow. Such strong facts, those.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 11:34 am

“is being replaced by the faster responding grid storage.”

What grid storage? Except for pumped hydro which is only theoretically cost efficient possible in very few land areas, show me one place in the world that has scalable grid wide storage?

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
December 22, 2018 10:07 am

Grid storage is a very simple thing,
presumed to have enough time, you let the power turn around in the grid ’til it’s needed.
/ironie

btw, that’s what the leader of the Greens are telling us, the grind stores power !

The Federal Green Party leader Annalena Baerbock wishes in an interview with the Deutschlandfunk the merciless enforcement of the climate goals and the coal exiton the back and especially with the money of the citizens.
“We now have to do everything we can to achieve this goal. And then you can not avoid the coal exit. “[Source: Deutschlandfunk]
“On days like this, when it’s gray, we obviously have much less renewable energy. That’s why we have storage. That’s why the network acts as a storage. And that’s all calculated. I somehow have no real desire, just to say to the political actors who know better, that can not work. “[[Source: Deutschlandfunk]

Google translation from here

Dave Fair
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 11:34 am

Griff, you ignorant slut.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 21, 2018 11:47 am

Now, now. Let’s be kind. Let’s not be rude to sluts.

Dave Fair
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 21, 2018 3:40 pm

But … but … but … its ‘the’ SNL classic!

Roger Knights
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 21, 2018 1:29 pm

As I said earlier this year, Griff serves a valuable function in posting the latest green “line” here (he’s just a messenger), which gives us an opportunity to post rebuttals. He should NOT be driven away by personal attacks. (It doesn’t matter if he (or she, IIRC) doesn’t engage with our critiques. He’s served his function.)

mario lento
Reply to  Roger Knights
December 21, 2018 2:09 pm

left out “misguided” there fixed it.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Roger Knights
December 21, 2018 3:55 pm

The progressive SNL can never be criticized as lowering itself to personal attacks. Therefore, that was no personal attack. Gotta keep your ideological imperatives straight in these discussions.

ATheoK
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 12:44 pm

Thus giffiepoo announces to all, it’s utter ignorance and lack of education or experience.

Stunning, but definitely not a surprise.

Anyone else note a change in giffiepoo’s tone?
More aggressive and demanding.
Combining ignorance & inexperience with aggression results in low expectations and lower ability.

Look at the information tag on any electric device giffiepoo.
You will note on all of them, parameters for voltage, frequency and often amperage. All parameters that wind and solar find near impossible to supply with reliability.

Renewables are unreliable and undependable on virtually every front.

Warren in New Zealand
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 3:12 pm

Griff, I love you dearly, but jeeeze, could you please read around the subject, and stop parroting what you have been told is true.

Where is this “Grid Storage” taking place? It is backed up in the transmission lines? In those transformer parks?

Look, when you can argue with actual facts, not press releases, please tell me where this transformation to 100% renewable (Wind and Solar) is happening. please tell me.

You will always need back up electricity production, if it is cheaper than the cost of renewables, then why shut down the existing stations? And keep insisting on expanding the amount of intermittend production that still requires back up

MarkW
Reply to  Warren in New Zealand
December 21, 2018 4:52 pm

griff doesn’t do research, he does press releases. But only from groups who pass the ideological purity tests.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 4:37 pm

Notice griff doesn’t say anything about how hideously expensive his beloved renewables are making electricity. Not to mention that adding enough storage to make a difference is going to increase the already high costs by a factor of 3 to 4.

PS: As usual griff pretends that he doesn’t have to respond to criticisms, rather than admitting that the truth is, he can’t.

Menicholas
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2018 5:53 pm

Griff,
Amazing!
You have once again managed to type a comment in which every single word is exactly and completely false.
Keep up the fine work.

Hivemind
Reply to  griff
December 22, 2018 1:04 am

You can’t use grid storage to replace spinning reserve. Even the much vaunted South Australian “larges battery in the world” will only run a very small state for five minutes. An almost completely de-industrialised one at that.

Alasdair
December 21, 2018 10:24 am

I always thought the Germans were pragmatic. Apparently NOT.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Alasdair
December 21, 2018 11:49 am

“Today Germany, tomorrow the world” didn’t work so well back then, and it’s not working now. Nothing driven by Socialist thought ever worked or ever will work.

Non Nomen
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 21, 2018 1:23 pm

Like the whole EU: if something doesn’t work, they’ll do more of it over and over again.

MarkW
Reply to  Non Nomen
December 21, 2018 4:53 pm

If at first you don’t succeed, raise taxes and try again.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Alasdair
December 21, 2018 3:34 pm

Good Lord. The least pragmatic people on earth. The same ideological rigidity that implements this badly designed farrago of energy policies also implemented Nazism.

Nigel Sherratt
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 22, 2018 5:49 am

Indeed, they’ve had a few wobbles pragmatismwise. Marx, Barbarossa, Merkel, Diesel. On the other hand ‘No battle plan survives contact with the enemy’ (the version of von Moltke the Elder taught to my father at staff college) is good advice.

Menicholas
Reply to  Alasdair
December 21, 2018 6:03 pm

“I always thought the Germans were pragmatic.”

One word: Immigration.

Case closed.
They are completely innocent of the charge of pragmatism.

ResourceGuy
December 21, 2018 10:26 am

Perhaps the best course of action now is to have required courses in grade school and universities on the concepts of grid management and engineering management. This need arises from the past episodes of direct public policy intervention by the public on elimination of nuclear energy, rooftop solar with already outdated panels, and country-scale revamps of the grid. This is all about to get worse by mass moves to adopt electric cars and trucks at the same time that grid storage is being pushed. (Doing it all at the same time only works when you ignore costs as was the case with early adopter costs of solar and rooftop solar at that.)

I guess the second recommendation would be to add required ethics courses at all levels of education in the aftermath of global MPG cheating by VW and fake news writing at Der Spiegel.

Curious George
Reply to  ResourceGuy
December 21, 2018 11:23 am

Elites actually believe that any [engineering] problem can be solved by signing a check. Taxpayers will be glad to supply the money.

MarkW
Reply to  Curious George
December 21, 2018 4:54 pm

I once debated an electric car enthusiast who actually believed that all we needed to do to get the batteries we needed was for congress to sign a law ordering the battery companies to start building one.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  ResourceGuy
December 21, 2018 11:53 am

At some level, VW’s “cheating” actually made sense.

rwisrael
December 21, 2018 10:27 am

The energy needs can easily be supplied by unicorn powered treadmills.

J Mac
December 21, 2018 10:28 am

In Germany, the power of wishful thinking is unreal.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  J Mac
December 21, 2018 11:56 am

Germany is not the only country that operates under the maxim, “Es sollte also sein.”

r w israel
December 21, 2018 10:30 am

The energy needs can easily be supplied by unicorn powered treadmills.

Krishna Gans
December 21, 2018 10:31 am

In addition, they (German Gouvernement) are highly involved in projects to increase the number of e-cars, with a lot more request in electric power.
They suffer from delusions of grandeur thinking they will save the world.

MarkG
Reply to  Krishna Gans
December 21, 2018 5:14 pm

Ah, but, you see… the idea is that the car batteries will be used for grid storage: the cars charge when there is electricity, and the grid uses the ‘smart’ meter to suck power out of the car when there is no electricity.

Of course it means you can’t drive anywhere when it’s dark with no wind, but that’s a small price to pay for being ‘green’.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  MarkG
December 22, 2018 10:42 pm

I know they’ve talked about such an idea. Wouldn’t that be fun, you charge up your car to get to you’re mothers over the weekend, only to find that your battery is flat at 7:00 am in the morning. Good one guys.

Dave O.
December 21, 2018 10:35 am

It’s easier to predict the problems with renewable energy than it is to predict the direction of climate change.

MarkW
Reply to  Dave O.
December 21, 2018 4:56 pm

It’s not that difficult to predict climate change.
The climate will continue to do what it has done before.

Reply to  MarkW
December 22, 2018 3:23 pm

“The climate will continue to do what it has done before.”

It probably will, but the speed of the changes may vary… and that is, as I can gather, the main issue.

Dave Fair
Reply to  An occasional commenter
December 22, 2018 3:43 pm

I love that word “may.” To paraphrase Mark Twain: One gets so much fun (speculation) out of a minor, but vastly costly investment in climate science.

Neo
December 21, 2018 10:35 am

How does bio-fuel reduce green house gases ?

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Neo
December 21, 2018 11:37 am

It doesnt because as soon as you cut the tree, CO2 gets released from the land that the tree was standing on. Before the tree was cut it was a sink for CO2. Burning the tree releases CO2. Biomass is a fraud.

icisil
Reply to  Neo
December 21, 2018 12:20 pm

It only reduces CO2 emissions on the books. An EU loophole allows countries to exclude CO2 emissions from wood pellets (which emit more CO2 than coal) in their reports of total emissions.

gringojay
December 21, 2018 10:38 am

Old friend of mine once told how extensive the massive battery array he had to manage for a USA Aluminium plant was. He said it was essential to keep ready back up capable of a full duty cycle because if power failed during a production run the plant couldn’t just keep the product hanging around as is until enough power came back on to resume task completion. Some German industry probably have that kind of issue & post shows how inconvenient 100% renewables can be.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  gringojay
December 21, 2018 12:35 pm

That would be a big battery array. A large aluminum smelting cell can require 200-300 K amps at roughly 4 VDC.

MarkW
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 21, 2018 4:58 pm

I would imagine the job of the batteries was to keep the lights on while the diesel generators were firing up.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 24, 2018 3:12 am

And that, along with the dreaded ‘load shedding” from South Africa’s unreliable Eskom, is the reason that South Africa no longer produces aluminium!

Warren in New Zealand
Reply to  gringojay
December 21, 2018 2:25 pm

Lose power to the heating kilns for the ingots, and you lost 8 hours production, plus wages. All it took was someone forgetting to set the kilns and the whole plant closed. I worked at Alcan Australia while I was at Burnley Uni. Interesting seeing how they sent the raw material from Queensland to New Zealand for smelting due to the guarantied electricity price they had at the Tiwai Smelter and how tight the margins were at times. And they used Tiwai because they had a 24hr/365 day supply. Accidents do happen though, and I recall a pot breakdown at Tiwai, that wasn’t a cheap repair.

Hivemind
Reply to  Warren in New Zealand
December 22, 2018 1:09 am

That is exactly what happened when South Australia had its “Black System” event in 2016. At least one of the pots is still full of solid aluminium.

M.W.Plia
December 21, 2018 10:39 am

Here in Ontario the damage done from implementing “The Green Energy Act” is horrific. The waste is approaching $100 billion. Nothing close to the $ waste in Germany but still a fiscal boondoggle of irresponsible spending unmatched in Canadian history.

Shutting down coal…for no reason other than the fervid imaginations of some very influential people. For jurisdictions without access to natural gas, coal is by far the safest, least expensive and quickest route to base load power for the grid. But try telling that to any of our academic, media and governing elites and they will perceive you as a conspiracy nut.

Not only did these people shut down coal, they spent double digit billions refurbishing old nukes that should have been decommissioned, then unbelievably investing multiple billions in wind/solar parks along with the required conventional back-up and creating an almost daily requirement for excess “alternative” power to be sold to the spot market for a fraction. On top of all that…a carbon tax.….total $fiasco and no reason for it.

All they had to do was hook up to the hydro power availible from Quebec. By making gasoline and electricity more expensive these people think they can change the clouds, and they have the blessing from our educated, political and media elites.

Furthermore we have elected a new government and “The Green Energy Act” is not up for discussion. In this neck of the woods if you are not on board with the politically correct man-made climate change alarmist narrative you are irrelevant.

The following is a quote from Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, comments section. May 7, 2016.

“Which choice is better? To toss out the predictions as worthless, or to take action on the grounds that the Earth’s heating might still be too large?
I, for one, have never been sold on the idea that inconsistency between models and observations on one issue makes them “worthless” or renders concern moot. Over the years, I’ve discouraged this interpretation of Popperianism, if indeed it is a valid interpretation of Popperianism.
If this was something uncontroversial like modeling smelter or refinery throughput, a similar degree of inconsistency would prompt re-tuning of the models, not throwing them out. However, academic climate modelers have stubbornly refused to do so. Since they have refused to do so, it is entirely reasonable for me to comment on the inconsistencies. I have a particular annoyance on this topic as McKitrick et al 2010 was misrepresented in AR5 and an earlier submission pointing out false results in Santer et al 2008 was rejected, thereby permitting Santer et al 2008 to be used in policy relevant documents by US CCSP and EPA.

If change over the next 50 years is more likely to be of the same order as change over the past 50 years, as opposed to the accelerated changes contemplated in the climate models, that is surely relevant to the development of policies that are commensurate with and appropriate to the actual problem. Unfortunately, it also seems to me that much of the climate science community has, in the name of doing “something”, promoted feel-good but pointless or resource-dissipating self-indulgences such as windmills.

In Ontario, unwise subsidization of wind resulted for example in purchase of 3 TWH of power from wind crony at a cost of $450 million in 2015-4Q alone, which was sold to neighboring jurisdictions for $5 million. We not only lost $400 million in one quarter, but over charged hard pressed industry in Ontario while subsidizing competing industry in Michigan, New York and Ohio. A more toxic policy is hard for me to contemplate. And yet our politicians want to expand this program”

Menicholas
Reply to  M.W.Plia
December 21, 2018 6:16 pm

Germany has almost three times as many people as Canada, and far less land per person.
And Germany does not have the largest economy in the world a hop skip and jump from the majority of their population.
Not sure where I am going with this, except that, Canada has not gone anywhere near as far down the road to ruin as Germany…plus y’all got that Athabasca.
I wonder if Germany would be doing what they are doing if they had vast natural resources and yuge tracts of land?
Or would they be like Australia…wasting money “going green”, while continuing to export coal that will get burned…just somewhere else?

December 21, 2018 10:44 am

Once again,

United States Climate Alliance, take note.

MJB
December 21, 2018 10:46 am

It would be interesting to develop a business case for a power consumption service. A business that does nothing but use excess power from the grid when prices go negative. Simply creating waste heat for example, or repeatedly lifting a large mass.

Reply to  MJB
December 21, 2018 11:34 am

I think such a plan has already been formulated, MJB, at least in outline.

Those heavy masses going up and down can be used to stamp out the teaspoons with which the proletariat will enjoy full employment to dig out sand. The waste heat would then be used to melt said sand into glass, with which glaziers will replace the broken windows after the periodic proletariat revolts. Win-win!

(By the way, I have not seen a single peep about the “economic stimulus” that the Yellow Vests have gifted various European cities with. Perhaps because the vandalized establishments are mainly those that they frequent and that will be raising prices for the costly repairs?)

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  MJB
December 21, 2018 4:16 pm

It would be interesting to develop a business case for a power consumption service. A business that does nothing but use excess power from the grid when prices go negative. Simply creating waste heat for example, or repeatedly lifting a large mass.

Or even to power lights and fans to run solar panels and wind turbines to sell electricity back to the grid.

If you were feeling dishonest, you could create a separate entity right next door that takes your energy and sells it back to the grid. A kind of perpetual money machine!

So much possible graft, so little time!

Dave Fair
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 21, 2018 4:29 pm

You mean like running diesel generators at night to get solar subsidies?

mario lento
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 21, 2018 4:41 pm

I remember a potential client in Canada asking me to design a cloud based system that would start diesel generators to pump into the grid based on spot prices sourced from the web. Sounded like a good idea at the time to harvest stupidity of government.

Steve Richards
Reply to  mario lento
December 22, 2018 2:13 am

We do this in the UK, its called the STOR mechanism. Businesses with emergency generators can offer their spare capacity for a standby fee, and if used, a cost per unit of electricity.

Madness….

Steve O
December 21, 2018 10:48 am

“To fulfill the German target of getting 60% of their total energy consumption from renewables by 2050, they must multiply the current power production from solar and wind by a factor of 15. They must also expand their output from conventional power plants by an equal amount, to balance and backup the intermittent renewable energy.”

— I don’t understand why the conventional output would need to be increased. If renewables supply 5% of power, and backup already exists to supply the other 95% and to back up the 5%, then does not all the needed capacity already exist?

Billy
Reply to  Steve O
December 21, 2018 12:25 pm

They want to replace transportation fuel and other industrial fuel use with electric. There will be enormous battery charging loads added, which will have peak demand periods.

Tasfay Martinov
December 21, 2018 10:53 am

You’re welcome 😉

littlepeaks
December 21, 2018 10:54 am

Germany has installed solar and wind power to such an extent that it should theoretically be able to satisfy the power requirement on any day that provides sufficient sunshine and wind. However, since sun and wind are often lacking …

In the late 1980s, I was stationed with the military in Flensburg, Germany, on the Danish border. I got there in January, and I was wondering if I was having health problems, because I felts so depressed. I discovered that it was because of the lack of sun. Because we were so far north, the sun rose around 10 AM and set a little after 3 PM in the winter. Also, sunny days were lacking because of the damp German weather. So, I don’t think solar farms would do well in that area (in the summer it is just the opposite, but you need a reliable energy source year round). However, when I went into Denmark, that had to be the windiest place I have ever been in the world. I’m not sure how plants are able to grow there. One time, we went to the western beach, I opened the door to my van, and the wind almost ripped the door off, with my arm attached.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  littlepeaks
December 21, 2018 12:06 pm

Anyone who thinks locations farther north than 40º latitude are suitable for solar power is barmy in the crumpet.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 21, 2018 6:01 pm

One of my favorite facts about Germany is that the southernmost point in Germany is at Oberstdorf which has a latitude of 47°25’N. For geographically challenged Americans, that is just a couple of miles south of Bemidji MN.

Menicholas
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 21, 2018 6:37 pm

Meanwhile, both Germans and Canadians think that it is WARMING they need to be worried about!
I was very disappointed to learn just upthread that even one such as Steve McIntyre thinks that a somewhat, or even a much, warmer Earth is in any way a potential problem.
This notion is actually the centerpiece of global warming alarmism, and without this delusional misapprehension the entire meme would have never arisen.
And yet it is the thing that gets the least attention in terms of refutation, and is even swallowed whole by otherwise intelligent skeptics.
Kafkaesque.

Menicholas
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 21, 2018 6:30 pm

“barmy in the crumpet”

!

Now that was funny…for some reason.
I has to steals it.
See, we do not need Griff after all.
His twaddle is, as I originally suspected, 100% worthless.

BTW…laughing real suddenly while eating pork rinds can blow the dust up into the nasal passages, and it turns out that stings as much as milk out the nose.
Still, thank you for the belly laugh!

Renatus
Reply to  littlepeaks
December 23, 2018 3:47 am

littlepeaks,

you would be amazed coming bach to Flensburg today.
They just build large solar parks along the Autobahn just south of Flensburg.
Just trust the German government, they know what they do…

Max Dupilka
December 21, 2018 10:57 am

In Canada StatsCan just released figures showing how worthless green industries have been since 2007.

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/philip-cross-statcan-just-exposed-how-worthless-green-industries-are-to-canadas-economy/wcm/80ff5fb7-de2b-4e3a-b092-7814d213d77d

In summary,
There are two lessons to be drawn from the tepid growth of Canada’s green sector. It will be a long time, if ever, before it makes a significant contribution to jobs and income in Canada. And in the meantime, even its marginal and largely meaningless existence will be expensive for both taxpayers and electricity customers

Sommer
Reply to  Max Dupilka
December 21, 2018 6:21 pm

Here’s a an explanation given by an undercover RCMP agent who is speaking out from Hong Kong, exposing how we got into this mess in Ontario.
https://www.caravantomidnight.com/Episode/EpisodesDetails?Id=21017
Episode 1014

December 21, 2018 11:04 am

Vorsprung durch Arschlöcher

You know, cheat the emissions tests. Build windmills and solar panels that real engineers know don’t work. Make it law that all EU countries have to buy your windmills.

Brexit reminds me of that Dylan song:

“Then you ask why I don’t live here?
Honey, how come you don’t move?”

Tasfay Martinov
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 21, 2018 11:28 am

Masters of the bluff and masters of the proposition
But the enemy I see wears a cloak of decency

Bob Dylan, Slow train coming

https://youtu.be/ZNi26Ro96ro

Mariano Marini
December 21, 2018 11:06 am

the country only manages to produce around 27% of its annual electric power needs from these sources.

Equally problematical, when solar and wind production are at their maximum, the wind turbines and solar panels often overproduce

I don’t understand. Are you saying that usually they produce 27% and at the maximum more than 100%?
If so they need only 4 times the actual plants, why you say 15?

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  Mariano Marini
December 21, 2018 11:17 am

They overproduce, and are paid for shutting down the input, as the net can’t cope.

John Endicott
Reply to  Mariano Marini
December 21, 2018 11:29 am

What you are not understanding are two things:

1) The energy produced is unreliable and intermittent. At say 1PM, the sun is shining strong and the solar panels are producing more than the consumers are using *at that point in time*. At 1 AM (or 1PM on a dark, rainy day) the sun is not shining, and the panels are producing ZERO energy. So the max of 100%+ is irrelevant, as it’s only a temporary condition. You can’t plan your power base off of the assumption that you have bright sunshine 24×7.

2) the 27% is in reference to electricity only. The 15X is in relation to total energy needs, not just electricity:
“solar and wind power today covers only 27% of electricity consumption and only 5% of Germany’s total energy needs,”
“To fulfill the German target of getting 60% of their total energy consumption from renewables by 2050, they must multiply the current power production from solar and wind by a factor of 15”
Though it does seem like only a factor of 12 is needed to go from 5 to 60, but I’m guessing there’s some rounding going on in those figures (60 is 15×4).

Mariano Marini
Reply to  John Endicott
December 21, 2018 11:43 am

I see. Thank you for your kindly reply.

Reply to  John Endicott
December 21, 2018 12:09 pm

There may be some missing links in those figures.

Like mining ores, or coal, or extracting fossil fuels, you go after the most efficiently used sources first. Then you start on the less efficient (but still viable) sources.

For wind and solar, the resource is, largely, land. Where does the wind blow with the best reasonably constant force? That is where you put your first windmills. Those windmills are always going to be your most efficient ones. After that, you use the sites that provide less wind, or less constant wind – and they are always going to be less efficient. Much the same applies to solar.

(Another factor in siting these facilities is how far you have to go to connect generation to consumption – the farther you have to go, the more you lose just getting the product to the user. Which is another problem with both wind and solar; a large portion of the best sites are a long ways away from where you need the power.)

Reply to  Mariano Marini
December 21, 2018 11:41 am

The 27% refers to the total annual demand. The overproduction refers to the demand of the moment.

Now, myself, I’m not sure whether the 27% is after accounting for the forced export from those periods when overproduction is happening. If not, the portion of actual annual demand from German consumers that is being supplied by “renewables” is quite a bit smaller. Like “nameplate” capacity compared to actual generation, the percentage of annual demand is subject to fudging by Green governments.

Tasfay Martinov
December 21, 2018 11:06 am

All that excess German wind and solar energy at peak times, just needs a bit of liebensraum.

Non Nomen
Reply to  Tasfay Martinov
December 21, 2018 11:31 am

“liebensraum” = love room
“Lebensraum” = living-room, or, with a different, not pc connotation “Lebensraum” (im Osten…)

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Non Nomen
December 21, 2018 12:11 pm

Not to be confused with Liebestraum (by Liszt), which I used to play fairly well.

Non Nomen
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 21, 2018 1:18 pm

Those who were obsessed with Lebensraum loved his”Préludes” a bit too much.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8dvw1kzgsg
(14:20)

Tasfay Martinov
Reply to  Non Nomen
December 21, 2018 1:27 pm

jorge
If you played Liszt you must be good.
Once I could just about make it to the end of Beethoven’s moonlight sonata.
But I was never any good at sight-reading.

Tasfay Martinov
Reply to  Tasfay Martinov
December 21, 2018 11:44 am

Thanks for the language correction.
Electrons have feelings too though.
What is life without love?

DonM
Reply to  Tasfay Martinov
December 21, 2018 1:59 pm

AlGore

Javert Chip
Reply to  DonM
December 21, 2018 3:53 pm

OUCH! That had to hurt.

Jeff
December 21, 2018 11:06 am

‘Germany took on that challenge, to show the world how to build a society based entirely on “green, renewable” energy.’

Costa Rica tried to go 100% renewable, but if you speak to anyone that’s ever visited or lived there for more than a day in recent years one of the first things they’ll tell you is the that blackouts are an everyday clockwork-like occurrence.

beng135
December 21, 2018 11:15 am

If Germany gets excess power, they can just install two humongous electrodes in the Baltic Sea and boil sea-water/cook fish.

Ashby Lynch
December 21, 2018 11:16 am

The negative prices would be a great opportunity to make glaciers. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a piece of mountain property that was rigged to make snow when the prices go negative. Create your own private glaciers.

Henning Nielsen
December 21, 2018 11:16 am

“… the country only manages to produce around 27% of its annual electric power needs from these sources.”

I doubt that. “Renewable”, ok, but this includes hydro and biomass. Solar and wind are about 15%.

comment image
(renewables from 20111, wind and solar are larger today)

Stevek
December 21, 2018 11:17 am

If green energy actually worked capitalism would have proved it long ago. Especially wind which isn’t exactly new technology.

John Endicott
Reply to  Stevek
December 21, 2018 11:38 am

Indeed, there are reasons why mankind moved away from wind-power in previous centuries. Mainly to do with better, more reliable sources of energy (such as from fossil fuels) being available.

Non Nomen
December 21, 2018 11:21 am

Germany became a nation of green morons. Hard coal under German soil is said to last for 200 years minimum.
But the time of “home grown” hard coal is finally over. Germany just shut down their remaining two hard coal mines once and for good bad. Instead, they chose to chop down the Hambach Forest for a brand-new open-cast lignite coal mine. This time, the green blob went berserk rightfully but couldn’t change a thing.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Non Nomen
December 21, 2018 12:13 pm

The green blob fosters Frankensteins beyond their control.

Menicholas
Reply to  Non Nomen
December 21, 2018 7:00 pm

As for those closed for good coal mines…I doubt it.
Freezing to death and starving has a way of concentrating the mind.
It is only a matter of time.

Non Nomen
Reply to  Menicholas
December 22, 2018 1:23 am

History shows that it is wise to have a reserve or backup. Even when not needed, these reserves or backups provide and preserve the knowledge of mining, in this case. If something goes terribly wrong, there will be no hard- coal miner left who has learned the art of digging for coal. These politruks are giving away technology and knowledge collected in hundreds of years w/o anything in return. It’s a shame.

MarkW
Reply to  Non Nomen
December 22, 2018 7:10 am

Don’t worry, the Chinese will buy the mines and bring in their own people to run them.
/sarc

Russ Wood
Reply to  MarkW
December 24, 2018 3:22 am

Chinese? Apparently happening right now in South Africa. AND they are going to build their own, private, coal-fired power station to feed their own, private, industrial estate, which, in a country with a 28% (and counting) unemployment rate, will be most likely be staffed with their own, private, countrymen!

Menicholas
Reply to  Non Nomen
December 22, 2018 12:55 pm

Digging is not difficult.
People hundreds of years ago figured out how to do it on a large scale, and figured it out very quickly.
And even with no such thing as electric lamps or power tools, within a short time country after country learned how to mine coal on a huge scale.
I am not disagreeing that it is good to have back-ups, or anything like that.
I am saying that when people start dying or even suffering greatly, well, it may not be a great idear to be the person trying to prevent getting at what is needed.
People do not like being forced to suffer because someone else said so.
And history is replete with examples of what happens when the masses have had enough.

anorak2
Reply to  Non Nomen
December 22, 2018 4:45 am

The shutdown of hard coal mining in Germany is not motivated by green ideology but by economics, even though I’m sure the greens love it.

The hard coal layers in Germany’s largest mining region, the Ruhr conurbation, are rather deep and at an angle. The most accessible ones in the south of the Ruhr area were mined in the 19th century and have long been exploited. Through the 20th century mining moved slowly north where the layers get deeper. It’s now at the northern edge of the Ruhr conurbation where it’s already very deep and expensive to mine. They could go further north, there’s enough coal there. But for cost reasons it was decided to shut it all down. Cheaper hard coal is imported instead.

Most mines have been running at a loss from the 1960s/70s on, and therefore probably they’d all have shut decades ago if it wasn’t for government subsidies. To cushion the blow for the mining regions, and for strategic reasons, huge subsidies went into hard coal mining from the 1970s onwards, but the idea was to shut it down eventually, just later than capitalism would have done otherwhise.

On the other hand, lignite mining in Germany is running at a profit. The greenies want to shut that down too, and this time it’s for purely ideological reasons. So far it hasn’t started, but the green media are campaigning for a shutdown.

Saighdear
Reply to  anorak2
December 22, 2018 5:07 am

Oh? I didn’t get that take on it all – this past week, one of the Main TV Channels devoted time to a church service celebrating the closure of the LAST deep mine somewhere in the Ruhr.
AS far as the Lignite / Opencast mining – there’s a big anti-mining effort on the go where MORE Villages are to be destroyed – don’t know where the folk are being decanted to… not the first time some of them have had to move on.
Between Open Cast in populated areas and deep mining leading to Land settling ( as we are becoming increasingly aware of in the UK ) this is a more serious topic for settling than fracking and oil extraction from same IMHO

anorak2
Reply to  Saighdear
December 22, 2018 6:32 am

In the past, villages that had to be abandoned for mining were resettled to a new place somewhere in the same region. The inhabitants get compensated for their lost real estate. Usually the new settlements would be given the same name as the destroyed one. I wonder if this will go on in the future, given the current political climate.

Dennis Sandberg
December 21, 2018 11:39 am

German Utility companies have lost $billions because of renewable grid priority. Without grid priority there wouldn’t be any renewables. Everything about renewables is bad somethings worse than others. Not worthless, worth less than nothing. Amazing what corrupt politicians and willfully uninformed voters can accomplish when they “team up”.
Utility companies shouldn’t be penalized when they are forced by political mandates to contend with “off spec” poor quality power from dozens of wind farms with dozens of turbines all operating at different times and producing different quantities and qualities of electricity.

Wind power causes problems with:
Voltage regulation (magnitude and frequency)
Voltage sags and swells
Harmonics and inter harmonics*
Real and reactive power
Sub synchronous resonance issues due to interaction of the electric network
and the complex shaft/gear system of the wind turbine.

*Harmonic currents can produce a number of problems:
1. Equipment heating
2. Equipment malfunction
3. Equipment failure
4. Communications interference
5. Fuse and breaker mis-operation
6. Process problems
7. Conductor heating.

Alan Tomalty
December 21, 2018 11:43 am

Take off the solar and wind subsidies and both industries crash tomorrow.

Alan Tomalty
December 21, 2018 11:58 am

With world energy demand increasing 1.5% per year, solar and wind cant keep up with just this increase. Right now they total 1.1% of energy supply. And this after 30 years of massive subsidies

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 21, 2018 12:15 pm

There is at least one country doing very well out of all this wind/solar installation: Norway. Because they get almost 100% of their electricity from hydro, they can take other countries’ excess power and just adjust their hydro output to balance. This is why Holland has an HVDC link to Norway and I guess Germany either has one or is building it now.

I’d love to know how much money Norway makes on the split: get paid to take power nobody else can use and then charge spot market rates to sell it back when it’s dark and windless. Norway is functioning as Europe’s battery for excess renewable output.

This allows other European politicians to hide the true cost of their plunge into wind and solar. I don’t think Norway has any pumped hydro (why would they need it?), so they can only take excess power equal to actual domestic usage at any given moment. When highly renewable countries have more excess power than Norway needs, I don’t know what they do; perhaps build a couple of aluminum smelters. If other people pay you to take their excess power, it drives the cost of aluminum production way, way down.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 21, 2018 4:00 pm

Reality check:

Population of Norway = 5.3M;

Population of Europe = 741.4M

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Javert Chip
December 22, 2018 7:20 am

Understood, but remember two things: (1) not every country in Europe has installed large amounts of intermittent sources, and (2) even those that have will only need to dump excess intermittent power at a loss when they have exhausted other balancing measures. Still, the countries which have built or are building HVDC links to Norway are doing so because they have to, not because Norway is asking for it.

When you desperately need something for which there is only one seller, guess who gets the best deal?

What you are pointing out is there is a limit on how much excess power Norway can absorb. If installed intermittent capacity in Europe continues to increase that limit will be reached at some point. Which is why I speculated that new aluminum smelters might be in Norway’s future.

I see that one German aluminum facility is already looking at how they can keep operating with unreliable power. The article title appears to be about a new “green battery”, but it’s really about how to adapt to variable power.

anorak2
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 22, 2018 7:36 am

I don’t understand your logic, it is not desirable for any country to act as a “buffer” for another country’s wether dependent generation, regardless if the buffer is hydro, coal, or nuclear. The temporal shutting down of their own power plants is a cost factor, but they don’t profit from having to do that.

The idea of some of the German greens (maybe elsewhere too) about Norway is something else. They know they need huge storage capacity to run the grid off wind or solar alone, and they’re looking at Norway as a location for pumped storage. So far Norway’s hydro plants are not pumped, just plain reservoirs. The German greens want Norway to transform some of them into pumped storage, build a huge line across the North Sea, and then store German wind/solar energy over in times when there’s a surplus, and retrieve it back in times of low wind and sun.

Of course these installations would first have to be built in Norway, at enormous costs that someone has to pay, and Norway would only let Germany use them at a price. Both of which would ultimately be paid for by the German households, on top of all the green surcharges they already pay on their electricity bills. At this time that plan is cloud cuckoo land, and so far nobody has asked the Norwegian people how they feel about it.

Geir Aaslid
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 22, 2018 12:06 pm

Sorry, but this is a myth:
“Norway is functioning as Europe’s battery for excess renewable output.”

Norways elecricity output (all hydro) is roughly 1 % of the EU output. In a normal year Norway is able to export 10 % of its Hydro output, which is insignificant when it comes to functioning as Europe’s battery.

The Norwegian HVDC links to Holland, Germany, Scotland (being built) are hideously expensive, the bill is sent to Norwegian consumers. Ohms Law is still relevant, so there is a substantial loss in these links.

Norway has plenty of politicians who want to save the world from the CO2 demons changing our climate, so a huge number of windmills are being constructed, with green certificates ensuring the mill owners get paid twice the market value of the energy produced – the bill is again sent to the consumers. Shortly our electricity will be more expensive than in neighboring Denmark.

There is no sane reason for this windmill construction, since 110 % of our electricity consumption is being covered by hydro.

Albert
December 21, 2018 12:16 pm

I”m so far off-topic you can slap me but;

NASA says we’ve experienced 13% “greening” of the Earth over the last thirty years (due to fossil fuel CO2 emissions).
More CO2 in the atmosphere causes more plant growth which then causes more O2 creation. ?

Are we adding both CO2 and O2 and increasing the volume of our atmosphere?

Just wondering.

Tasfay Martinov
Reply to  Albert
December 21, 2018 1:21 pm

It’s the plants 🌱 that are taking CO2 from the atmosphere and adding O2. O2 allows humans and multicellular life in general to exist. The only reason that there is O2 in the atmosphere is because of plants. And the only reason that there are plants is because of CO2.

But CO2 is bad, because … it’s bad.
So plants that like CO2 must be bad too.
And humans that like plants are also bad, especially vegans.

None of this adds up, so there is this huge excess of righteousness in the biosphere, that allows governments to sell carbon credits and build wind turbines and solar arrays for no reason.

Tasfay Martinov
Reply to  Albert
December 21, 2018 1:29 pm

slap

mario lento
Reply to  Albert
December 21, 2018 2:07 pm

It’s a net zero or zero sums game. H2O and CO2 combine to make hydrocarbon solids, and O2 is expelled as a waste product. So liquid H2O and gaseous CO2 are converted into solids and gas.

Riddle me this: The energy from the sun is converted into solids, changing radiation into stored energy in the form of hydrocarbons… Is this a net endothermic cooling reaction? Does growing plant life cool its surroundings?

Jan Kjetil Andersen
Reply to  mario lento
December 21, 2018 2:18 pm

Riddle me this: The energy from the sun is converted into solids, changing radiation into stored energy in the form of hydrocarbons… Is this a net endothermic cooling reaction? Does growing plant life cool its surrounding

Sure, that is the only way the energy budget can add up
/Jan

mario lento`
Reply to  Jan Kjetil Andersen
December 21, 2018 2:42 pm

I think so too. Would make for an interesting science experiment to devise a mini environment one with plants growing, and the other with all the same ingredients, except similarly colored plastic plants while monitoring temperature.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  mario lento`
December 21, 2018 4:29 pm

There’s no need. The chemistry of photosynthesis demonstrates that net energy is absorbed by plant growth. Conservation of energy must be adhered to, it’s not optional.

Id have to admit that in not certain about the energy budget when decomposition is factored in, however. Working that out should not be difficult, but it’s beyond me.

mario lento
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 21, 2018 4:44 pm

Huh: I understand and agree with you. Still would be a nice science experiment for high school or jr high. growing trees cool the planet… until which time the crackin is released by campfire, wood pellet stoves, or some other evil human conjours up.

Menicholas
Reply to  mario lento`
December 21, 2018 7:08 pm

Slight correction: The sunlight is converted in covalent bonds.
Not a solid.
In fact, electrons barely exist.
Just ask Schrodinger’s cat.

There is no past, and there is no future.
Just one, long, ever-present now. No…now. Wait…now…now…now…now…nownownow…
^dang*

mario lento
Reply to  Menicholas
December 21, 2018 7:23 pm

Someone’s had some eggnog spiked of course 🙂

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  mario lento`
December 22, 2018 10:47 pm

Zig Zag: A pile of mulch will generate heat while decomposing. I don’t know if this is caused by bacteria or if they are incidental. Hey stacks have been known to burst into flame while stacked in a barn if they contain too much moisture when stacked.

mario lento
Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
December 22, 2018 10:54 pm

Mulch with organisms feeding on it is exothermic. Whenever hydrocarbons separate into CO2 heat is released in the “burn”.

MarkW
Reply to  Jan Kjetil Andersen
December 22, 2018 7:13 am

It’s not true eggnog if it hasn’t been spiked.

mario lento
Reply to  MarkW
December 22, 2018 11:24 am

of course…

Albert
Reply to  mario lento
December 21, 2018 3:22 pm

Intuitively, I’d say no. Heat/energy that enters our atmosphere is still here whether as part of a plant or not. Eventually it may leave our planet but not because of plants.

I’m taking the word “surroundings” to mean our entire planet.

mario lento
Reply to  Albert
December 21, 2018 3:54 pm

Temperature and energy are not the same thing. I said if energy gets converted from radiant to hydrocarbon, it should be endothermic and cool it’s surroundings.

Albert
Reply to  mario lento
December 21, 2018 4:16 pm

Thanks, I’m no physicist. Interesting topic.

Jan Kjetil Andersen
Reply to  Albert
December 21, 2018 2:09 pm

Albert,
Oxygen is never created. What plants do is splitting CO2 into Carbon and oxygen. The carbon is combined with hydrogen from water (H2O) to form solid plant material and the oxygen is released into the atmosphere.

Fossil fuel consist mostly of hydrogen and carbon which combines with oxygen in the combustion process to form CO2 and H2O. Since more oxygen is consumed in this combustion than gained in worldwide net plant growth, the atmospheric level of O2 is falling, but that is not much of a problem since we have so much of it.
/Jan

DonM
Reply to  Albert
December 21, 2018 2:10 pm

Change in Volume (or density) is not measurable at the amount theorized.

In theory there is more stuff. But a volume change cannot be estimated within realm of unknowns. Just like temp.

Richard M
Reply to  Albert
December 22, 2018 7:31 am

When fossil fuels are burned it uses O2 in the atmosphere to create the CO2. This cancels out gains from increased plants. Keep in mind were talking about variations of O2 in the .01% range of the 20.95% in the atmosphere.

Joel O’Bryan
December 21, 2018 12:17 pm

Green energy is about power – political power. Thepower to control a poulation. For millenia, food has been tried and usually fails, especially in rural areas.
Now they (the Marxist/Socialists) are attempting to bring rural areas to heel with control of their energy, and the fuels they need to produce food (animals and grains).

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
December 21, 2018 1:27 pm

And the even more sinister effort to control the population, at least in Europe, is with Islamization and the Sharia law to comes with it to erase popular democracy.

As a legal system, the Sharia law is exceptionally broad. While other legal codes regulate public behavior, Sharia regulates public behavior, private behavior, and even private beliefs. Compared to other legal codes, the Sharia law also prioritizes punishment over rehabilitation and favors corporal and capital punishments over incarceration. Of all legal systems in the world today, the Sharia law is the most intrusive and restrictive, especially against women.

Which makes Sharia law the ultimate eco-fascist political system. What I find amazing, is the ignorance of European women to the fact that its as the Left embraces Islamic immigration, it holds two diametrically opposed beliefs when its comes to women’s rights on one hand and the restrictive controls on women that comes with Islamization on the other. George Orwell predicted this kind of behavior in the drift towards a totalitarian political system and he called this Double Think.

Menicholas
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 21, 2018 7:18 pm

Fellini Film I tells ya!
Living it.

michael hart
December 21, 2018 12:19 pm

“Germany will not be able to fulfill its self-imposed climate commitments, not by 2020, nor by 2030.”

Nor by 3030.
The best that can be said is that they are teaching the rest of the world to avoid such expensive mistakes made by worshiping the false god of modern environmentalism.

Ossqss
December 21, 2018 12:21 pm

So,,,,,,,,,, Germany is a world leader in providing 5% of their energy needs via wind and solar? 5%, with all the money spent and pain inflicted on their population? 5%? I guess it is a big step up over the global numbers of, what 1%? The only time wind and solar look even remotely good is when the get lumped in the renewable category of which the predominate source of energy in that category comes from the CO2 producing process of burning wood and Dung. Perhaps some Germans should start cooking their dinners with Dung to help with their rediculous targets.

JustAnOldGuy
Reply to  Ossqss
December 21, 2018 1:07 pm

Unfortunately the BS produced by politicians is not combustible. If it were we’d have an endless supply of bio fuel.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Ossqss
December 21, 2018 1:53 pm

Actually wind and solar are made to look good by lumping them together with hydro, which is the ONLY “renewable” electricity worth a damn. Which of course means Eco-Nazis are against it.

Menicholas
Reply to  AGW is not Science
December 21, 2018 7:40 pm

Everything is renewable.
Some are just slower to do so.

Jan Kjetil Andersen
December 21, 2018 12:41 pm

Perhaps more important, the amount of land, concrete, steel, copper, rare earth metals, lithium, cadmium, hydrocarbon-based composites and other raw materials required to do this is astronomical. None of those materials is renewable

That depend on how you define renewable, and I think this is a misleading one. When we use fossil fuel, it is gone forever. Fossil fuel is non-renewable. Oil was formed from dinosaur fat several million years ago. When we burn a gallon of gasoline it will not form new fossil energy again on a human time scale. That is unquestionably a non-renewable resource.

Land-use is not in the same category. After all we do not consume land, we just occupy it for some time period. If our grandchildren want to use the land for some other purposes, they can do that. The land does not vanish because we have built windmills or solar plants there. You may argue that we have occupied it for a long time by bad investments, but the land is still there.

Therefore, I think it is misleading to label land-use as non-renewable resource.

Similar with chemical elements like iron, sink, copper, rare earth elements et cetera, they never disappear. We can use the same chemical elements repeatedly forever. In my opinion that does not qualify as a non-renewable.

/Jan

Tasfay Martinov
Reply to  Jan Kjetil Andersen
December 21, 2018 1:07 pm

Oil from dinosaur fat?
O yes I forgot – we’re not allowed to mention photosynthesis or plants any more, wouldn’t want to risk implying anything good about CO2 would we?
Among their growing litany of lies the Climagisterium have found it necessary, contrary to straightforward evidence such as bomb test nuclide fallout, to assert the fantasy that CO2 in the atmosphere is more or less immortal and never leaves it.
Thus “carbon” in the atmosphere is as stable and durable as carbon in fossil fuels.
So in the atmosphere carbon is still a fossil fuel, just like before.
Thus all carbon is renewable.
Everything on earth comes from a supernova (except hydrogen) and is renewable.

Jan Kjetil Andersen
Reply to  Tasfay Martinov
December 21, 2018 1:31 pm

Thank you Tasfay,
I see that you are right about dinosaurs, I remembered the dinosaur theory from an old school lesson and wrote it without checking. I see now that newer science tells that it was formed by bacteria, not big animals.

However, that does not make any difference for my point. Fossil fuel was formed several million years ago, and when we burn it, it will not return to that form in any human time scale.

That the carbon is stable is beside the point. The value of fossil fuel is in its internal energy, which is released when we burn it. That energy is only released only once, and therefore the energy is non-renewable.

/Jan

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Jan Kjetil Andersen
December 21, 2018 2:09 pm

At the end of the day, what’s the issue? You’re kind of arguing that, having found yourself marooned on an island, you should stop burning the sticks and branches you forage up to keep yourself warm during the cold nights just because the trees don’t grow fast enough (and drop branches and twigs that dry quick enough) to replenish them at the rate of what you burn, all while slowly becoming ill and dying of exposure to the cold. Better to keep burning the sticks and branches while you figure out other ways to warm yourself, rather than die fretting over the notion that someday you’ll run out of sticks and branches to burn.

Fossil fuels are sustainable until they run out. Since we’re nowhere near that point, we should continue to use them until we come up with something better. Newsflash – windmills and solar panels ain’t it.

Menicholas
Reply to  Jan Kjetil Andersen
December 22, 2018 1:16 am

The geological formations from which we are able to economically extract oil is not the source of th4e supply, and does not represent the amount of oil in the ground.
Under those oil bearing formations are the layers of rock that contain the real reservoir, and they are many times larger then the amounts that we can get out immediately. Some oil bearing formations fill from below as fast as oil is pumped out of them. Some wells that went dry decades ago can be reopened and more oil pumped, already. Give it a hundred years and better technology.
Besides, there is surely many times what experts tell us is left…as has been the case for over 100 years.
And beyond that, making gasoline or another liquid fuel is just a question of energy.
Right now we can dig it and drill it and pump it for very cheap prices.
Does it seem strange that the places like the US where we spend a lot of time and money looking for oil, we find giant amounts of it? Ever more.
Ten years ago experts, some of them anyway, said there was not enough oil under the US to bother looking for, and now we are again the leading producer in the world.
And all the increase is on private lands, and public lands are enormous by comparison, and entire regions known to be some of the richest plays are off limits.
There is a lot of sedimentary rocks under the ground and under the seafloor…and likely more oil than even the most optimistic have speculated. We pump more than ever in more places than ever and yet we have more known reserves and estimates of oil in place than ever and the price is getting cheaper.
Accounting for inflation, it is getting towards the low end of the historical range since WWII, and falling fast, which large producers slashing production to prop up prices, and yet it falls anyway.
We will never pump the last barrel of oil…ever.
Chemistry aint voodoo and it aint rocket surgery neither.
We can make it if we needed to, and we do not need to.

So relax.
comment image

Richard
Reply to  Menicholas
December 22, 2018 8:35 pm

For generations we drilled right through the rock – shale! – that held unimagined tanker loads of hydrocarbon, oil that we are now able to harvest cheaply, safely and abundantly with today’s tools. I wonder what else we are drilling right through?

Russ R.
December 21, 2018 12:52 pm

So Germany is now “the dog that caught the car”. And instead of reevaluating the decisions that led to this situation, they are doubling down on stupid.
They think if they just work harder at doing more “stupid” they can drag this car home, and impress the neighbors with their “skills”.
Sad to see a public psychosis take hold of those in power. And watch as economic chaos starts a downward spiral. Take a good look at Venezuela. They are further along this process, but that is where “doubling down on stupid” will take you.

ResourceGuy
December 21, 2018 1:08 pm

Has anyone thought to check (audit) the power output from old solar rooftop panels in Germany. They weren’t very efficient to begin with and started declines in year two. By 2020 they will amount to rooftop virtue signaling tiles.

John Hardy
December 21, 2018 1:10 pm

To give a sense of scale on grid storage; according to Wikipedia, Germany’s installed electrical generating capacity is about 198 gigawatt. 10 days of power output at this level is 198 x 24 x 10 = 47,520 Gw-hr. By contrast WORLD output of lithium ion batteries is of the order of a couple of hundred Gw-hr a year

We are nowhere close to the point where lithium batteries can make any significant dent in time-shifting grid-scale energy. They may have a role in supplying the grid for a matter of seconds whilst other facilities come on line.

As regular readers may know I am a fan of EVs but I detest grid scale windmills. A lot of structure, a lot of maintenance, a lot of visual blight for negligible return

Russ R.
Reply to  John Hardy
December 21, 2018 1:47 pm

And the potential for bidding up the price for Lithium. Storage of electricity is a critical factor for many electrical systems, and electronic products. The more they depend on Lithium, the greater the risk of price spikes crushing those use massive quantities of Lithium, and compete against products that don’t require those batteries. EVs are vulnerable to a bidding war Lithium.
What if Russia and other countries dependent on oil sales, decide to buy up worldwide supplies of Lithium? Who is going to stop them?

SMS
Reply to  John Hardy
December 21, 2018 1:54 pm

You make a very good point. And until the time that renewable energy can be made to act as “dispatchable” it will fail as a reliable power source. Reliable renewable power will not happen until a cheap (very cheap), small, quick charging, extended life battery with the potential to hold significantly more power than the present batteries can hold is invented. We are talking about several quantum leaps in battery technology. When this happens we will most likely have another form of energy generation that makes the present wind and solar efforts look primitive. In the mean time, all solar and wind farm generation facilities are just monuments to stupidity.

Menicholas
Reply to  SMS
December 22, 2018 1:38 am

It will never happen that batteries become more efficient by orders of magnitude.
Try looking up how much batteries have improved since back when doctors scoffed at the notion of germs causing diseases, and the telegraph was wondrous technology.
We have made more progress on flying cars, ray guns, and communicators just since the first episode of Star Trek aired than we have made in battery tech in three times that long.
Like fusion, just because someone can think of it, does not mean it is only a matter of time before it is a reality.
And capacity is only the first problem with batteries. They cost out the wazoo, waste a lot of power, and then become useless after a few years or a few hundred to at best a few thousand duty cycles. Grid scale battery storage is a pipe dream. Aint happening, unless someone can figure out how to make ones that are dirt cheap and use iron or sand or something.
IOW…likely never.
*cue the person assuring us they have it almost licked*

AGW is not Science
Reply to  John Hardy
December 21, 2018 2:13 pm

A lot of visual blight and health problems for those who live close to them, and for NEGATIVE returns, when ALL COSTS are considered (they seldom are, as their champions endlessly “promote” them to the next round of suckers).

trafamadore
December 21, 2018 1:59 pm

Everyone knows that solar power doesnt work. That’s why the ISS is powered by coal, but they don’t tell anyone.

Russ R.
Reply to  trafamadore
December 21, 2018 6:35 pm

Are you under the impression that the ISS is equivalent to cities in Europe? I did not see anyone saying that solar power doesn’t work. I did see many who think it is not an appropriate source of electricity for the modern world. It is fine for remote locations, that don’t have access to base load electricity. Especially those locations that have to “bring your own atmosphere”.

anorak2
Reply to  trafamadore
December 22, 2018 5:00 am

A space station is very different from an industrialised country.

The ISS:

– Has sunlight not obstructed by the atmosphere or weather nearly 100% of the time.
– Rechargeable batteries for the short periods of sunout need not have a huge capacity.
– Its surface/electricity consumtion ratio is very favourable
– There are few workable options: It’s either solar, nuclear or not have a space station at all. There are spacecraft and probes that use nuclear.
– Cost is not really an issue, so they go for whatever works at whatever it costs.

vboring
December 21, 2018 2:12 pm

This isn’t entirely wrong, but it is misleading.

Part of the reason why they haven’t achieved emissions reductions is because they are replacing nuclear energy with wind and solar. After Fukushima, Germany decided to shut down their nuclear fleet – completely unrelated to the goals of expanding wind and solar.

The same basic thing is happening in California.

Every organization with serious decarbonization goals realizes that nuclear is needed. Wind and solar are optional add-ons. Unless magic season-scale storage is invented, the foundation of any electric sector decarbonization plan has to be nuclear.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  vboring
December 21, 2018 2:28 pm

Yeah but nuclear WORKS and provides useful energy. Similar to hydro, the Eco-Nazis just won’t have it.

Menicholas
Reply to  vboring
December 22, 2018 1:22 am

Exactly.
The people pushing climate change fearmongering are against any real solutions.
And besides for that, CO2 is the essential basis of the entire biosphere and it is a tiny trace gas.
Rounded to the nearest 1/10th of 1%, the amount in the air is zero.
That sounds very low for something that, if it every ran out, would mean the end of every plant and animal on Earth, forever.

Uncle Max
December 21, 2018 2:19 pm

It’s a religion. No sacrifice too great. To be pure, you must submit and pay moar.

Jon Scott
December 21, 2018 3:35 pm

Well WHO with a science education (16 years) would have guessed otherwise? Why do I see Nuremberg Rallies in my mind every time i see a climate conference?

John Sandhofner
December 21, 2018 3:46 pm

“Germany has installed solar and wind power to such an extent that it should theoretically be able to satisfy the power requirement on any day that provides sufficient sunshine and wind. However, since sun and wind are often lacking ” Anyone with half a brain would know this was going to happen. How intelligent people can wildly rush down a road with so many pitfalls is beyond me. And as far as establishing the 50Hz frequency, that is usually anchored by your largest base loaded generator, most like a coal or nuclear steam plant. If none of those units are on line, none of the wind or solar units are big enough to keep the system in line. Where are the electrical engineers who know what the problems will be when you push it this far? Reading the article it was one major problem after another that was not adequately thought through.

dave
December 21, 2018 4:10 pm

Yeah, the energy price doubled in the last 18 years from 0,14 € kWh to 0,30 € kWh in Germany. Last year 344.000 households couldn’t pay their energy bill and their energy was turned off. The mass media still propagates this climate alarmism and brainwashes the people to pay co2 taxes and subsides.

Roger Knights
Reply to  dave
December 21, 2018 6:52 pm

“Last year 344.000 households couldn’t pay their energy bill and their energy was turned off.”

Maybe the government should tell them to keep warm in yellow vests.

bonbon
Reply to  Roger Knights
December 22, 2018 8:28 am

And some still wonder at the collapse of traditional political party coalitions. It is really amazing!

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Roger Knights
December 22, 2018 10:58 pm

I would love to know how anybody gets by with their power turned off. I would do it myself, but food is the main difficulty that I can’t solve. Buying food every day would easily get more expensive than being connected and having a fridge.

Tasfay Martinov
December 21, 2018 4:11 pm

This leads to major energy losses and forced power exports to neighboring countries (“load shedding”) at negative electricity prices, below the cost of generating the power.

If they sell excess renewable-generated electricity at a negative price – i.e. pay neighbors to take it – isn’t it a tad redundant to say that such a negative price is “below the cost of generating the power”?

I can’t see how cost of generation could also be negative. Maybe Griff could help us with that?

anorak2
Reply to  Tasfay Martinov
December 22, 2018 5:23 am

“I can’t see how cost of generation could also be negative.”

It’s a propaganda smokescreen helped by the fact that the entire electricity pricing and subsidy system is a complicated nexus.

Coal, nuclear and gas power plants can sell their electricity at market prices that usually hover around 3 Ct/kWh. Wind and solar farms get prices defined in a law, how much they get depends on technology and year of installation, but usually at double digit Cent/kWh. However, this wind/solar electricity is also traded at market prices. The difference of (whatever the market price is), and the price fixed in the law, is paid by end consumers as part of their electricity bill.

So superficially wind and solar can “compete” at market prices — because someone else is made to pay the bulk of their actual costs against their will. Which green advocates usually forget to mention.

Another regulation is that solar and wind electricity must be bought even at times when the load is not high enough. In those times there is defacto overproduction mandated by law, and the grid management has to shed power to prevent the system from collapsing. So they pay money to next door countries just to get rid of the surplus power, that only exists because wind/solar farms enjoy privileges and inflated subsidies. In market economy terminology that’s a “negative price”.

December 21, 2018 4:19 pm

What I don’t understand is why is Germany doing all this Green nonsense. It must affect their manufacturing of goods at a price that the world is prepared to pay. So why is their no pressure from the big business lobby.

Having experienced at first hand the myth of Communism following WW2, why are they heading down the road of a repeat of the Weimer republic following WW1. That lead to WW2.

Hitler and the NAZI party did “Save ” them from Communism in the 1930 tees but at a terrible cost, but these Green ideas are now doing the same thing, all over again.

If you cannot learn from the past, then you are doomed to repeat them.

MJE

bonbon
Reply to  Michael
December 22, 2018 8:22 am

See comment below and learn, if you dare.

Flight Level
December 21, 2018 4:23 pm

The announcement many dream to perform:

-Ladies and Gentlemen, this your captain speaking, may I have your attention please ?
We are now overflying the area once known as “Borkum North” scattered with countless wind turbine wrecks.
Now preserved by the UNESCO as a memorial to the consequences of organized international large scale intellectual terrorism, corruption and crime against humanity.
On behalf of our crew I wish you a pleasant flight.

Roger Knights
December 21, 2018 6:45 pm

If/when these developments get commercialized, they’ll make renewables less absurdly over-priced and risky.

From “The Electrochemical Society (ECS)” at https://www.electrochem.org/redcat-blog/hondas-battery-breakthrough/?utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=ECS+Website:

Honda’s Battery Breakthrough
Posted on December 13, 2018 by Jennifer Ortiz

The search for the next level, new, and improved electric vehicle battery is an ongoing one. And it’s one Honda may have found. According to The Drive(http://www.thedrive.com/tech/25354/honda-claims-breakthrough-in-new-battery-tech-that-offers-longer-range-greener-operation), the Japanese automaker claims to have developed a new battery chemistry called fluoride-ion that could outperform current lithium-ion batteries.

Honda says fluoride-ion batteries offer 10 times greater energy density, meaning more storage and range for electric vehicles, thanks to the low atomic weight of fluorine that makes fluoride-ion batteries’ increased performance possible.

According to Left Lane News (https://www.leftlanenews.com/honda/honda-announces-promising-new-battery-tech/), chief scientist at the Honda Research Institute Christopher Brooks says, “Unlike Li-ion batteries, FIBs do not pose a safety risk due to overheating, and obtaining the source materials for FIBs creates considerably less environmental impact than the extraction process for lithium and cobalt.”

It’s not exactly a new idea; the benefits of fluorine were previously known. However, it required temperatures of around 302 degrees Fahrenheit to work, which presented a problem when putting into everyday use.

But now, thanks to a new fluoride electrolyte developed by researchers, Honda says they’ve found a way that allows the batteries to operate at room temperature. Results have proven successful within the lab, the question now is will it work in the real world and will the technology be commercialized?

For now, the future seems a bit unclear, but Honda is working hard at making FIBs a reality, as they believe it’s the future of not only electric vehicles but of smaller power products.
—————

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Dark-Horse-In-Battery-Tech-Could-Beat-Tesla.html
Dark Horse In Battery Tech Could Beat Tesla
By Jon LeSage – Dec 19, 2018, 5:00 PM CST

Battery maker 24M just received funding for its SemiSolid lithium-ion battery that could have Tesla and other electric carmakers beat in energy storage and electric vehicle driving range.

The company, made up of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientists and a former A123 Systems co-founder, secured nearly $22 million that will take the battery pack to a commercial plant next year with delivery of batteries available in 2020. That funding goes to battery technology with more energy density and storage capacity than what Tesla offers.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., a few blocks away from MIT, 24M brought in two Japanese companies to lead the funding round. That backing comes from ceramics and electronics giant Kyocera Group and Itochu, a textiles and trading business.

Tesla’s electric vehicles use battery technology that carries electrode current into and out of a battery cell. They’re arranged in a series of layers that become wound up into what auto engineers call a jelly roll. The way 24M’s battery varies is that it uses different materials that are four-to-five times thicker than what Tesla and other automakers offer. The SemiSolid can immediately pair up the anodes and cathodes together in a cell.

This will speed up the manufacturing process by cutting out a number of steps typically used in EV battery production. Li-ion batteries typically go through a multistep process that involves mixing, coating, drying, and recovering a solvent that eventually fills the battery with electrolyte. 24M’s battery uses the electrolyte as the solvent to deposit that ingredient onto both sides of the battery, cutting out the typical time and cost needed for production.

It also cuts down the need for inactive materials such as copper, aluminum, and plastics. That will bring down the battery’s costs and the amount of energy needed to charge it up. The company’s process also helps guarantee that more of the electrodes go to storing energy — helping 24M enter another profitable market segment that Tesla thrives in through its Tesla Energy unit.

Menicholas
Reply to  Roger Knights
December 22, 2018 1:42 am

A123 guy?
Is that for real?
Well there you go.
Lets let him fleece us again, eh?
Hey, what happened to the compact fusion reactor that fits in the back of a pickup truck and was a few years away several years ago?

MarkW
Reply to  Roger Knights
December 22, 2018 7:24 am

Let me see if I have this straight. It is your contention that once renewables stop being subsidized, they will get cheaper.

BTW, I love the way EV advocates take every positive press release as proof that nirvana is just around the corner.

Roger Knights
Reply to  MarkW
December 22, 2018 3:21 pm

I realize that there have been many false dawns regarding battery breakthroughs. But these two are very recent and hence newsworthy, and they sound more credible than earlier ones. So we here should be aware of them. They would make EV cars more affordable, but I doubt that they’d replace the need for backup spinning reserve for large-scale renewables.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Roger Knights
December 22, 2018 3:35 pm

Having worked for Honda in the mid-1990’s if Honda have developed this new battery I can believe it. Honda binned their F1 business as well as Rover to free up money for investment elsewhere. If you want to see what happens to the EV market watch what Honda does.

December 21, 2018 11:24 pm

As one reader mentioned windmill are usually a long way from the users, so that means long and expensive transmission lines. So what are the energy losses of the flow of the electrons from the windmill to the users.

All of this has to be added to the cost of running windmills, distance and the , cost of the transmission . In the big blackout in SA, it was said to be a 1 in a 100 year weather event . Not mentioned was the flimsly construction of the towers from the windmills to the main grid, look at the photos of the towers.

The measurement of the energy from windmills should be at the point where it meets the main grid, not at the site of the windmill.

MJ E

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Michael
December 22, 2018 7:35 am

+10

Thanks!

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Michael
December 23, 2018 7:24 am

South Australia is no Germany. If the Germans can’t do it, then tell me what are others going to be bringing to the problem that will. Chances are products of Siemens Electric of Germany are to be found in South Australia, too, as they are in Canada and other Western Countries.

This note is valid for much of the world. Can you imagine the Third World trying to cope with the insoluble issues that wiped out the “dream” (cauchemar in French and Russian – кошмар) having no experience with even conventional reliable grids? Germany definitely is the canary in the renoobles coal mine.

Charlie
December 22, 2018 2:27 am

Whenever Energiewende is mentioned, my thoughts turn to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0DVAtYp0-E

BBC viewers wonder how such a thing is allowed to appear on a German pubic service channel. You won’t see anything like this on the BBC.

bonbon
December 22, 2018 8:14 am

Germany’s WBGU, World in Transition – A Social Contract for Sustainability, was run by Dr. John Schellnhuber, the decarbonizer, awarded his Commander of the British Empire, CBE, in 2004 personally by the Queen at the Berlin Embassy.
The WBGU has succeeded with the Morgenthau Plan which intended the complete de-industrialization of Germany after WWII. The Marshall Plan and the KfW Reconstruction Credit Corp, based on FDR’s New Deal methods stopped that until the EU, Maastricht and the CBE finished the job.

The irony in all this is the deindustrialization of Britain itself brought Brexit down on their own heads. Look at the spectacle at Westminster! They really played the sorcerer’s apprentice of Goethe’s famous poem.

The Commander is an apprentice.

Jaap Titulaer
December 22, 2018 8:38 am

A solution would be to store the excess energy and only take energy when needed from secondary circuit. Such as the Lievense plan, which stores energy by pumping water from one lower lake (A) to another higher (B) and which has electro-generating turbines between B and A to release the water back to the lower lake and generate electric energy.
You need a pretty big lake of course, and some hefty dykes. I think I know a few people who could build it 🙂

https://books.google.nl/books?id=qq6GBPoHQpAC&pg=PA85&dq=dutch&lr=&as_pt=MAGAZINES&ei=g93JSum2B6XEzgTIl6WRBA&hl=nl&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=dutch&f=false
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_Lievense

Jaap Titulaer
Reply to  Jaap Titulaer
December 22, 2018 8:43 am

For those who do not read Dutch:

Plan Lievense was a plan for energy storage with the aid of a water buffer in the Markermeer when the intention to impolder to Markerwaard was off the track. In 1981, L.W. Lievense an alternative plan for the Markerwaard. The core of the plan was to make the Markermeer a buffer for the production of electricity. This lake should be filled with water in times of low demand and a large supply of electricity. The overcapacity that then exists in electricity production had to be used to raise the water level in the lake. When there was little supply and a lot of demand, the turbines of the lake would supply electricity. This plan was devised in connection with the problems of electricity generation with wind energy. The supply of electricity by wind turbines is erratic due to the greatly varying wind speeds and has little to do with the demand. Lievense hoped to overcome this problem by constructing this reservoir.

Capacity
In the plan a many meters high ring dike would be constructed in the Markermeer where 400 wind turbines with a capacity between 1 and 1.5 MW of power would be installed. If the lake is filled to a height h, a water level rise can increase Δh of energy
{\ displaystyle \ Delta E = \ rho \ cdot g \ cdot A \ cdot h \ cdot \ Delta h} {\ displaystyle \ Delta E = \ rho \ cdot g \ cdot A \ cdot h \ cdot \ Delta h}
be stored in which
ρ: density of water [~ 1000 kg / m³]
g: gravitational acceleration [~ 9.81 m / s² in the Netherlands]
A: surface of the lake [m²]
If this expression (in the form E = ∫ ρ · g · A · h dh) is integrated from height zero to height H, then follows:
{\ displaystyle E = \ textstyle {\ frac {1} {2}} cdot \ rho \ cdot g \ cdot A \ cdot H ^ {2} \ approx 5 \ cdot 10 ^ {3} AH ^ {2}} {\ displaystyle E = \ textstyle {\ frac {1} {2}} cdot \ rho \ cdot g \ cdot A \ cdot H ^ {2} \ approx 5 \ cdot 10 ^ {3} AH ^ {2}}
This means that 350 TJ can be stored at an area of ​​700 km² and a head of 10 m. This is 35% of the average daily national electricity consumption, which is 275 GWh (≈ 1000 TJ). For one day of electricity the lake would have to be pumped up to about 17 meters above NAP.

Objections
There were serious reservations against the plan due to the landscape implications and the possible ecological consequences for the Markermeer.

In the end two considerations were decisive, on the one hand the price but also the safety. A dike breach of a filled Lieven basin would flood Amsterdam. TU Delft still uses the case study of the Lievense plan in its hydraulic engineering course as an example in the category of water disasters. A “reverse reservoir” (see below) prevents this danger.

Revival
By two hydraulic engineering students, it was again calculated in 2006 by the ChristenUnie Flevoland whether the Plan Lievense is now feasible with the new techniques. [1]

The result is a design with two basins on both sides of the ring dike, of which the part on the Markermeer side covers about 60 km2, a small 10% of the total area of ​​the Markermeer, surrounded by a dyke of about 20 meters high. Such a reservoir has an energy capacity of roughly 120 TJ.

Reverse reservoir
Bureau Lievense, together with KEMA, presented a new plan in 2007, in which the idea is reversed: the water is not pumped into the reservoir, but rather out of it, to a depth of 40 m below sea level. [2] At a surface of 40 km² and a water depth varying between 32 and 40 m below sea level, about 20 GWh (≈ 70 TJ) can then be stored. If the plan is implemented in the form of an island off the coast, there is no danger of a possible flooding of Amsterdam.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Jaap Titulaer
December 23, 2018 7:33 am

Jaap, no one seems to consider that it costs plenty, especially from non robust sources of power to even operate the pumped storage and then run it through turbines. There would be frequent times whent the cost would double the already 80 cent/kwh. You would see the need for back-up carbon power for it on many days!!

bonbon
December 22, 2018 8:40 am

The energy theatrics smell of a giant ENRON, the Houston Ranch at the Crooked E, EU style. Enron’s accounting firm, Arthur Anderson, making everything shady legal, dissolved as the scam broke shunting its experts to PwC.

All this energy discussion is missing the point – what flows today is money, derivatives, spot prices, all needing high speed creative accounting, and a bank naturally. Considering Deutsche Bank’s numerous shady deals since it was taken over by London’s Morgan-Grenfell, it would be worth checking it’s role in energy laundering.

Jaap Titulaer
December 22, 2018 8:44 am

>> TU Delft still uses the case study of the Lievense plan in its hydraulic engineering course as an example in the category of water disasters.

LOL.
And trust me those guys know their *sh*t*…

Renatus
December 23, 2018 3:57 am

littlepeaks,

you would be amazed coming bach to Flensburg today.
They just build large solar parks along the Autobahn just south of Flensburg.
Just trust the German government, they know what they do…

Philip Schaeffer
December 26, 2018 8:18 pm

The article says:

“Construction of solar and wind “farms” has already caused massive devastation to Germany’s wildlife habitats, farmlands, ancient forests and historic villages.”

Devastated? Really? Exactly what does that mean? Perhaps someone can point me at some examples of this “devastation”?

Are they talking about devastation like an open cut coal mine in good farmland, or does wind turbines in a paddock count?

anorak2
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
December 26, 2018 11:22 pm

comment image

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mario lento
Reply to  anorak2
December 27, 2018 12:03 am

+10

Philip Schaeffer
December 27, 2018 7:33 pm

Looks like the farms are doing fine.

Can you explain exactly what your point is? What is your definition of devastation?

anorak2
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
December 27, 2018 8:46 pm

Wind farms and solar cells are totally pointless. They cost a lot, they consume resources for their production that cannot be used for production of useful goods, but they save nothing because they can’t replace a single conventional power plants. We still depend on those and no further expansion of wind or solar can change that. The whole endeavour is nothing but waste. If Germany decided today to shut down all conventional power plants, it would mean immediate nationwide blackout and total chaos. If Germany decided today to shut down all wind turbines and solar farms, everything would go on as normal. Nobody would even notice, except electricity prices would suddenly drop about 1/3rd and with any luck we’d have a slight economical boom and unemployment would drop a few months later, thanks to lower energy costs for all companies.

Their ugliness is really just a footnote, but an ironic one given that greenies pretend they care so much for the environment when in reality their policy has really industrialised the countryside and wasted lots of agricultural land for nothing.

mario lento
Reply to  anorak2
December 27, 2018 9:39 pm

that’s the sad truth! —Except, they would not drop prices, rather tax the crap out of the fossil fuel energy to recoup the great losses caused by the boondoggles of wind and solar generation.