Planned German coal exit boosts case for Nord Stream 2

From euobserver

  • Anti-coal protest in Germany in June 2018, days ahead of the coal commission’s first meeting. The commission published its report over the weekend (Photo: mw238)

By Peter Teffer

Brussels, 28. Jan, 09:24

Germany should gradually close down its coal-fired power plants by 2038, an advisory commission has said in its final report, published at the weekend.

“We made it. … This is a historic effort,” said the commission’s chairman Ronald Pofalla on Saturday (26 January).

While the 336-page coal phase-out plan still needs approval from the German government, it would be a surprise if it were rejected.

The commission was appointed by chancellor Angela Merkel last year and consisted of various interest groups: the 28 members came from industry, environmentalist groups, government, and civil society.

In 2018, 22.5 percent of Germany’s electricity was produced by lignite, and 12.8 percent by hard coal – in total, a full third of power coming from coal, the most CO2-intensive fossil fuel.

The plan to phase out coal would be a big step for Germany to reduce its CO2 emissions, which have stagnated in recent years.

(Photo: Clean Energy Wire)

A challenge is that Germany has already embarked on a mission to phase out nuclear power, which despite its other environmental concerns is relatively clean when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions.

A large share of Germany’s electricity comes from wind and solar power, but technology has not yet advanced far enough for renewable energy to be stored for periods when there is no sun and wind.

Countries therefore need some kind of back-up power, which in Germany has been coal.

It looks likely that partially that will be replaced by natural gas from Russia.

“We have a very difficult problem, namely that almost the only sources of energy that will be able to provide baseload power are coal and lignite,” said Merkel in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week.

Nord Stream 2

That speech gave a hint of how Merkel would combine two policy challenges: the coal phase-out and the controversial Nord Stream 2 project.

Nord Stream 2 is a planned pipeline, through which state-owned Russian gas company Gazprom would provide Germany with natural gas.

Several of Germany’s EU allies and the US are strongly against the gas pipeline, because they fear it will both undercut Ukraine and make Europe too dependent on Russian gas.

Germany however is in favour of the project, for which construction began in Germany last year.

Read the rest of the article here.


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January 29, 2019 2:04 pm

Two questions:
What is the age of the installed solar portfolio?
How many forests are clear cut for the biomass?

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 30, 2019 12:11 am

German biomass is NOT the same as UK biomass -it is all domestic wood waste, where wood is used, not pellets imported… but most is crop/manure/farm biomass in anaerobic digesters, not wood burning plants.

(The UK so called biomass is NOt green and should be shut down, in my opinion and that of UK green groups)

Reply to  griff
January 30, 2019 3:06 am

This post is so dumb I could throw up!

In Griff’s greeny greeny mind it never occured to him, how people transfer their “waste” to those magnificent German “digesters”!
Let me tell you my observations, because there is one very close to the workshop!
Yes THEY STINK, so nimby applies.
Have you ever seen one in the main street of Frankfurt?
OF COURSE, they would love it!

“most is crop/manure/farm biomass in anaerobic digesters, not wood burning plants”

Yes Mr Dumb idiot!
People GET INTO THEIR SUVs, LARGE CARS, TRACTORS, LORRIES, and drive 30km to this marvellous pie in the sky piece of crap, thereby generating far more environmental pollution and energy waste than that thing will ever manage to produce in “renewables”.

Ever realised how stupid that is?
Vee must do our bit for zee planet JA!


Reply to  griff
February 1, 2019 10:38 am

German Biomass for electricity is mostly corn/maize, specially grown for that. Heavily fertilised and farmed using fossil fuel. No net CO2 savings.

Robert W Turner
January 29, 2019 2:10 pm

Seems like Russia has been running Europe and the DNC for decades now.

M Courtney
Reply to  Robert W Turner
January 29, 2019 2:22 pm

Don’t know if Russia has interfered with your election in the USA but they clearly have had success in Germany.

Bryan A
Reply to  M Courtney
January 29, 2019 10:52 pm
Who runs Europe???
Master Blaster runs Europe

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  M Courtney
January 30, 2019 2:30 am

No, the brutal reality is that the Germans are narcissistic idiots who don’t like being beholden to anyone (fair enough generally) but they think they are beholden to the US/NATO. They embrace idiotic options and making themselves Russia’s bitch over the next 20 years is about as idiotic as one might imagine.

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
January 30, 2019 10:46 am

And with Germany’s almost non existent and useless army, Russia could walk in and take it over any time. Don’t worry about Poland, they can walk through them as well as they have in the past.

Rich Lambert
January 29, 2019 2:10 pm

Russia will only need a few large valves to control Germany. How economical and convenient.

Reply to  Rich Lambert
January 29, 2019 2:18 pm


Matthew Drobnick
Reply to  Rich Lambert
January 29, 2019 2:49 pm

I don’t know why the hate for Putin from the left… He’s a baller when it comes to diplomacy and protecting his empire.

Look it, I loathe the Patriots but I respect their dominance post spy gate. Anything else is our envy and resentment- you know, the trademarks of collectivists

GREG in Houston
Reply to  Matthew Drobnick
January 29, 2019 3:08 pm

Well, everyone in the States loathes the Patriots, except for those few in New England…. wait… I might be in the wrong blog…

Richard of NZ
Reply to  Rich Lambert
January 29, 2019 5:11 pm

And if Germany was to utilise only U.S. gas, at greater expense than pipelined gas, they would be susceptible to someone in the U.S. stopping shipments. The best idea is to have a number of suppliers who are unlikely to cut off supplies at the same time. We have seen over the years how the U.S. unilaterally applies sanctions to just about anyone who does not do as they are told.

Reply to  Richard of NZ
January 30, 2019 12:18 am

hydrogen from renewable energy is a strong contender… trials on putting this into the existing gas grid are underway. There is also sewage gas, which is generated by UK water companies (UK probably now at max capacity for this). Then of course there is insulation, reducing gas needed for heating…

Reply to  griff
January 30, 2019 1:05 am

hydrogen from renewables is not being pursued by those pushing the idea of a hydrogen economy, which should be informative. Trickle charging electrolytic cells with unreliables isn’t capable of doing the heavy lifting required to substitute the world’s demand for natural gas for heating, industrial and electricity generation, nor the fuel demand for shipping, aviation or heavy haul freight (trucks and trains).
Unless you live somewhere freakish like Iceland, where the combination of prodigious local geothermal and hydroelectric resource coupled with a small domestic demand (primarily the fishing fleet) makes it theoretically possible, note that breezes and sunshine aren’t part of that imagined ‘solution’.
Everywhere else, like the Hydrogen ‘initiative’ planned for the Teeside , the clean, green hydrogen future is reliant on reformation of natural gas in conjunction with CCS. And that in turn means at least doubling the cost of energy since to produce a given energy equivalent volume of H2, you need to start with about double that volume of CH4 and then CCS adds about 15-25% to the energy bill of any industrial process to which is it foisted.
None of the movers and shakers of the imagined H2 economy are wasting their time planning around unreliables as the primary energy source and for those who already have their snouts in the subsidy mining trough of wind and solar, one reason for their relatively low-key H2 sales-pitch to date is that it is seen as be a compelling competitor to their unreliables businesses.
The take away message is ‘if sir MUST insist on needlessly ‘going green’, reforming natgas to H2 is slightly less foolish than dreaming of powering the world economy with breezes and sunshine’. But it still doesn’t hold a candle to reliable energy that already exists in affordable abundance today.

Reply to  Richard of NZ
January 30, 2019 6:31 am

The “best idea” is coal + nuclear, which produce clean, reliable, economical energy on demand, and which (at least for Germany) are not subject to supply interruptions by hostile foreign powers.

They leftists in Germany are trying to defeat a chimera: the supposed harmful effects of CO2 emissions. Those harmful effects simply do not exist.

The harmful effects of “climate change mitigation,” however, are horrendous:


In 2014, there were about 40,000 winter deaths in Europe, because millions of people were no longer able to pay their electricity bills – the so-called energy poverty now affects about ten percent of almost all Europeans. In the past eight years, electricity [cost] in Europe has increased on average by 42 percent, especially in Eastern Europe (according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU).

Higher CO2 levels make agriculture more productive and economical, and make it possible to grow the crops we need on less land. If CO2 levels dropped back to 280 ppmv, we could approximately make up for the resulting loss of agricultural productivity by converting all the world’s rain forests to agricultural use.

Anthropogenic CO2 is also expected to make high-latitude winters slightly milder, and growing seasons slightly longer, which should certainly be welcome in chilly Germany.

None feared major negative effects are happening. Storms are not worsening, sea-level rise is not accelerating, droughts are not worsening, etc.

It is amazing that some academic fields, like climate science and gender studies, have been completely taken over by crackpots.

Reply to  Dave Burton
January 30, 2019 12:25 pm

“Anthropogenic CO2 is also expected to make high-latitude winters slightly milder, and growing seasons slightly longer, which should certainly be welcome in chilly Germany.”

As anthropogenic CO2 is only 3% of the total CO2. It won’t make a dent in any cup of butter.

Reply to  John
January 30, 2019 4:21 pm

John, to be precise I should have said, “the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2 level.”

Human activity has raised CO2 levels by about 46%, even though it is technically true that only a very small percentage of the CO2 in the atmosphere was produced by man. That sounds like a contradiction, but it isn’t.

The claim that only a very small percentage (perhaps 3%, but I don’t recall) of the CO2 in the atmosphere was produced by man is based on isotope studies, which distinguish “fossil” carbon (from burning fossil fuels) because it contains almost no radioactive 14C. However, isotope studies don’t work well for estimating CO2 emission effects, because isotope ratios are greatly affected by the enormous fluxes of carbon between the atmosphere and other carbon reservoirs. Even when such fluxes are balanced, so that they don’t affect atmospheric CO2 level, they still can greatly effect the carbon isotope ratios.

Carbon isotopes are fungible for most purposes. The low 14C “fossil” carbon we put into the atmosphere is (nearly) bio-equivalent to high-14C carbon, so the plants take up whichever CO2 molecules they encounter. Likewise, the oceans are happy to dissolve either kind of carbon dioxide. So the atmospheric CO2 is constantly being exchanged with carbon in plants, animals, soil, and oceans.

So, even though our CO2 emissions have elevated atmospheric CO2 levels by about 130 ppmv (about 46%), there’s been only a modest drop in 14C percentage (other than the famous 14C bomb spike). That’s not because our emissions aren’t responsible for the increase in CO2 level, it’s because most of the low-14C CO2 we put into the atmosphere has been exchanged for other CO2 in the oceans or biosphere.

It’s as if you had $280 in common $1 bills, and I gave you another $130 in Sacagaweas. At that point, almost 1/3 of your money would be in coins. But then you go play poker all night. You break even, so you still walk out with the same amount of money that you started with ($410), but now you have only a few Sacagaweas, because most of them have been exchanged for other people’s money. (The dollars are analogous to ppmv of CO2, of course.)

The best evidence is that manmade global warming is modest and benign, but the effects of CO2 are not negligible.

Reply to  Rich Lambert
January 30, 2019 12:16 am

50% of UK coal and 7% of its gas comes from Russia. all the more reason to build some more offshore wind…

Rod Evans
Reply to  griff
January 30, 2019 12:32 am

I would have thought mining the coal here in the UK and fracking for the gas would be a more sensible replacement of the Russian imports if stopping imports of coal and gas from Russia is the priority.

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
January 30, 2019 8:07 pm

Absolutely…replace an energy source that produces 24/7/365 with one requiring 1000 fold more space to produce 1/2 the amount of energy necessary 18/3/197 instead.
Ayup makes perfect sense

Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
January 30, 2019 8:08 pm

OK..OK..OK 18/3.7/197

Keith Rowe
January 29, 2019 2:16 pm

To seal the deal. The deal gets reviewed every 3 years.

January 29, 2019 2:36 pm

And people accuse Trump of being a Manchurian candidate

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
January 29, 2019 2:38 pm

So, a new Russo-German agreement; because that turned out so well for the world last time.

iain russell
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
January 29, 2019 5:43 pm

Post of the Day across all blogs!! Dankeschön.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
January 29, 2019 6:11 pm

This time it is Ukraine, not Poland.

Reply to  BobM
January 29, 2019 7:07 pm

This has been going on forever …

Alan the Brit
Reply to  3x2
January 30, 2019 4:12 am

Yes indeed, I always wondered why, when Russia dabbled in the Crimea a few years ago, those intellectual geniuses in the EU claimed that Russia had no historical interest in the region!!!

Wallaby Geoff
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
January 29, 2019 8:42 pm

I was going to say something similar about the irony, Germany giving away a major part of it’s energy security to Russia. The Ruskies have got them nailed a second time. BTW, does not biomass produce CO2? It did when I went to school. I guess it’s different CO2 when it’s a ‘renewable’.

George Orwell's Ghost
January 29, 2019 2:46 pm

Yes, shut down nuclear to combat climate change…uh wait…no, replace local coal with gas from Russia to combat climate change….um I guess.

M__ S__
January 29, 2019 2:48 pm

When ideologues govern.

January 29, 2019 2:50 pm

So Germany will dump self reliance for dependence and place their ‘jewels’ into a Russian vise. Then they will allow the coal plants to be demolished, further cementing Russia’s grip on their jewels.
…yeah that sounds like a good idea.

January 29, 2019 2:52 pm

It’s not just Gazprom who are rubbing their hands in anticipation of Germany’s imminent energy shortfall, Norwegians are descendants of Vikings who despite being mostly pussified into a nation of politically correct welfare dependents, seem to retain the art of raping and pillaging; and in this case Equinor, nee Statoil, aren’t bothering to be too subtle about it; from Reuters:
“I’m sensing that there is going to be an increasing demand for gas (in Germany),” said Irene Rummelhoff, member of Equinor’s executive committee.
“I think it could be an increasing market for us going forward,” she told Reuters at a German industry event.
“The quicker the phase-out (of coal), the stronger the demand for gas as I see it because there is no other viable alternative,” Rummelhoff said.
That’s actually telling, not just because the opportunistic posture is so blatantly obvious, but also because Irene Rummelhoff was fairly recently part of the oxymoronically named ‘New Energy Solutions’ ( which is apparently Norwegian for ‘Yesterday’s Technology Tomorrow’because it’s the part of Equinor that pedals wind and solar (which is to say, smoke and mirors), and yet here she is quoted saying that when Germany phases out coal there is no other viable alternative to gas. Some vote of confidence in the whirlygigs they’ve been foisting on British energy consumers in the name of saving the planet (in the business of subsidy mining) since 2012.
You heard it from the horse’s mouth (pun intended) right here folks, unreliables are no viable alternative to coal.
Maybe Germany is about to start harvesting a hitherto untapped, renewable, organic source of green energy?

January 29, 2019 2:55 pm

Is it too early to hold a requiem for Germany?

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  RockyRoad
January 29, 2019 4:06 pm

No. They very clearly want to die.

Reply to  RockyRoad
January 30, 2019 2:43 am

Not a chance. Germany will be the LAST nation in the EU. Even Bulgaria will end up bailing out before Germany does.


January 29, 2019 2:57 pm

Hardly a self reliant and resilient country if it goes ahead. Also what is so green and noble about buying someone else’s energy. Nimbly.

Reply to  Macha
January 29, 2019 3:01 pm

Oops. NIMBY.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Macha
January 29, 2019 6:54 pm


January 29, 2019 3:03 pm

“we made it” What does that mean? You wrote a report or are willing to achieve green at any cost?

Several idiocies with this policy

NatGas is a hydrocarbon. Not usually counted as renewable or particularly green.

Russia is not a reliable partner. They have used energy supplies to rattle their saber before.

Germany will still be able to buy coal power from Poland. Believe that is already happening.

While Germany has benefited from the EU this has covered strains in it’s domestic policies. Strains brought about by Merkel’s poor decision making. When the economic cycle turns things will come to a head.

January 29, 2019 3:05 pm

Nord Stream 2 has just started being laid a month or so ago.

January 29, 2019 3:08 pm

Given that America has become a self hobbling culture and China lives on an overpopulation precipice, Russia will become the dominant world power in the coming decades. They ended centuries of self hobbling just 25 years ago. With a third of the world’s resources and no suicidal ideology, they are positioned to succeed.

Reply to  Reggie
January 29, 2019 4:24 pm

You are conveniently forgetting that Russia is hobbling on a depopulation precipice.

Reply to  rd50
January 29, 2019 4:51 pm

As we move into an era of increasing automation, all countries will have a problem dealing with large populations. Nothing will compare to the chaos India and China will experience.

Rod Evans
Reply to  rd50
January 30, 2019 12:41 am

If I had to choose between too many people all getting older and too few people I would opt for the latter any day. Ironically that is what the Greens are demanding too. The difference between me and the Greens is, I don’t advocate mass killing via energy scarcity as an option, while they do.

Reply to  rd50
January 30, 2019 4:10 am

Yes exactly, aided and abetted by the brain drain of the most talented to better paid places.

Putin lied to Russians to try to get the demographic trend better.

Now Russians with children find out all the so called “incentives” were lies & scams, and the much vaunted help for families with children was just bollox.
It’s no wonder the curve has just reversed.

Russia has an economy the size of Italy.
It has similar problems,- neo fascist government, large foreign denominated debts, wealth in ever fewer hands, incurable corruption and a lot of mafia type money laundering.

The only thing that Russia has more of than Italy is nuclear weapons, fostering proxy wars,promoting major world polluting asbestos exporters,while easy oil and gas reserves are exhausting, and allowing places so radioactive you can get a fatal dose in 5 mins.
It’s a record to be proud of.

Reply to  Reggie
January 29, 2019 5:12 pm

OTOH, once Putin leaves the stage, there might be a huge power vacuum. As corrupt as everything is in Russia, a fight for power could to a huge implosion and civil strife. Of course, that would leave Germany in the cold, quite literally.

When you depend on another country for vital services, you not only depend on the fairness of that country, but its stability as well.

Reply to  jtom
January 30, 2019 6:47 am

“once Putin leaves the stage, there might be a huge power vacuum.”
This is exactly the kind of utter bollox the KGB and its successor the FSB play on.
Propaganda again!

Putin has done nothing but make the Russian economy fossilise and fall apart.
Nothing has ever been done about modernising the economy and getting rid of the ONE INDUSTRY cities,- the bane of the USSR.

Putin was a PUTSCH from exactly the same kind of evil people that ran the country for 70 years, then insulted a great country by sticking that cretin Medvedev as a puppet on a string…

When you replace a military junta put in power by a Putsch, the only thing that results, is life gets BETTER. It is like this all over the world.
Dictatorship is not a fatality, it can end.

In this way the media could go back to being independent,- owned by the people.
Evil laws pushed through by the blood sucking United Russia party (“the mad printer”), can be repealed,and go back to being in favour of real people, with an independent justice system.

It’s not hard to deny the old generation USSR culture /ultra conservative orthodox church a role in the future.

The vast oil and gas profits currently monopolised by that b..stard Igor Sechin stolen from Yukos, could actually serve to make ordinary Russians wealthier instead of it stolen en masse by this corrupt elite, making them ordinary Russians work until they drop dead…

A return to the atmosphere of the year 1999, with the wealth of 2007 shared more equitably is possible.
>RUSSIA WITHOUT PUTIN< was suppressed by STATE VIOLENCE, nothing to fear from the protestors, some of them only teenagers.

The longer the current system goes on, the more likely it is to have an explosion with Putin ending up like Ceaucescu against a wall.

For him, a stooge of Honnecker, it's all he deserves, before he starts pleading like Honnecker, old age and infirmity make him untouchable.

All we want is JUSTICE and DIGNITY, all robbed by Putin, Chaika, Sechin, and the whole band of "thieves and robbers".

Albert H Brand
January 29, 2019 3:17 pm

When it gets extremely cold in Germany all the Mideasteners will go back home before they freeze to death. Maybe this is the secret plan to resurrect Germany. Sarc

mike macray
January 29, 2019 3:19 pm

Don’t forget that France is predominently Nuclear powered and would be a great alternative to Russian gas.
Germans can feel safe closing down their own Nuclear power plants and buying elctricity from French Nukes just across the Rhine! Bingo!

Reply to  mike macray
January 29, 2019 5:19 pm

Macron plans to close 14 nuke plants by 2035, and all of the coal plants well before then. Europe seems intent on returning to the ‘dark’ ages.

Rod Evans
Reply to  jtom
January 30, 2019 12:54 am

Europe is well on the way back to the dark ages. Every decision takes us back. We have even adopted the preferred religion of the dark ages. Music is slowly being banned in the places where the imported religion is the majority.
Cartoons are subject to government approval, jokes are banned, in fact comedy is now something even our German cousins have realised is disappearing. Castle walls are being erected around all public buildings and once everyone has been banned from driving vehicles around, the auto based terrorist threat will have been solved.
Progress is now defined as stepping as far into the past as possible. Rubbing sticks together to make fire is being banned in London via the Greens wood burner ban project. It does make you wonder just how far back the future intends to take us?

Reply to  mike macray
January 29, 2019 6:08 pm

Californian style. Occupy the moral high ground by closing down coal fired power stations but buying ‘unclean’ energy from across the border, whether its Polish coal power or French nuclear power. Mama Merkel’s last ditch effort at getting millennial votes.

Chris Hanley
January 29, 2019 3:33 pm

‘Clean Energy Wire’, nuclear power is “relatively clean”, what is clean energy?
Does that mean that householders who use ‘clean energy’ have less dusting to do in their homes?
I’m reminded of James Thurber’s grandmother who:
“… lived the latter years of her life in the horrible suspicion that electricity was dripping invisibly all over the house. It leaked, she contended, out of empty sockets if the wall switch had been left on. She would go around screwing in bulbs, and if they lighted up she would hastily and fearfully turn off the wall switch and go back to her Pearson’s or Everybody’s, happy in the satisfaction that she had stopped not only a costly but a dangerous leakage …” (My Life and Hard Times).
All energy is clean, the term ‘clean energy’ is just Orwellian Newspeak designed to confound the public by conflating CO2 emissions with genuine air pollution.
Coal producers have been forced into using the same rhetoric by referring to ‘clean coal’ to describe coal-fired generating plant with reduced beneficial CO2 emissions.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
January 29, 2019 5:19 pm

and LOL
They might as well call it gluten free or fat free.
The mining industry should market coal as …organic and all natural!

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Chris Hanley
January 29, 2019 8:51 pm

Rocket, coal IS …organic and all natural!

January 29, 2019 3:44 pm

And when this fails, the Merkel government should remember Matthias Erzberger.

Reply to  roger
January 29, 2019 4:13 pm

And the rest of the German population should remember Quisling.

Gary Pearse
January 29, 2019 4:07 pm

Wow, I think I must be a good pundit! Under the thread a few days ago “Germany Kills Coal”. I opined that what was happening was that the Germans are going to follow Americans in reducing CO2 by switching to gas ( from Russia) and solving their energy nightmare as well. It seemed obvious, but here everyone’s only beginning to speculate on this. Merk says we need gas to back up renoobles, but hey, what else is she going to tell the German people “Sorry folks we screwed up with the wind and solar bigtime” – I don’t think so! Remember even with coal back-up the enterprise was a screw up. Gas won’t change that, but generating a lot more gas electricity will at a low cost will keep the people happy.

Also, stopping German companies from shifting to America for cheap energy is a consideration and and knowing competing with America with Unicorn power is a no go. The world’s largest BMW plant is on South Carolina already.

Regarding Russia, the hatred and fake news created by the left has captured the imagination of the right and even the usually sceptical. The DC swamp rose up with a vengeance and the DNC invented the the Russian boogeyman. Europe cottoned on to this papering over all its failures with the meme. Is America interfering in Venezuela’s – of course they are! Chili’s many years ago, Grenada’s … Crimea was Russia’s for centuries before Kruschev gave it as a gift to Ukraine. Prominent is a statue of Katherine the Great whose fleet was famously stationed there. Gee taking back a gift is really a bad thing but I can understand that in this world of ours.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
January 30, 2019 1:24 am

Gary, it’s good to see there a few out there who see through this recent ‘scary Russian bogeyman’ misdirection.
The only valid worry about Russia’s influence on Europe is who or what will succeed Vladimir Putin.
Love him (like most Russians I know living in Russia) or hate him (like some Russians I know living outside of Russia), he’s dragged the Russian Federation out of the mess left in the wake of diving into the deep end of the Perestroyka pool followed by the vacuuous leadership offered by Yeltsin when he wasn’t paralytic.
Another power vacuum at the end of Putin’s current term could put the place right back in the brown sticky stuff, in which case unreliable ‘transit partners’ in Ukraine will be the least of Germany’s gas supply worries.

Reply to  Erny72
January 30, 2019 7:11 am

You are working for the St Petersburg troll factory??
If you think that Russians love Putin, you have never ever been there.
The new generation of children, like in Romania will bring him down.
The future belongs to them and they hate him, and a lying poverty stricken Russia caused by him.

“dragged the Russian Federation out of the mess”, you are out of your mind!
The only thing that propelled Russia out of poverty was becoming the world’s gas station which was well underway under drunken Yeltsin.
The Russian recovery would have happened anyway, and much better if Russia had not thrown it all away in wars and capital flight.

Putin was put in by Yeltsin.
Putin being from KGB, knew how to blackmail him and his family.
As a result, Yeltsin was guaranteed as a peaceful alcoholic and his family left untouchable.

Seichin was the hit man that stole all of Yukos and Khordokovski’s assets for the precise reason M K was financing the kind of true democracy which true authoritarians cannot stand.

Yukos’s theft was the beginning of Russia to descend into nightmares, poverty and chaos which you are now seeing in oil rich Venezuela.

Russia today is a fascist state.
It was said, the new fascists would be those that say “it’s all the others are fascists and putschists”.
That came true when Ukraine actually wanted to be free not run by a corrupt Moscow crony (Yanukovitch backed by that A-hole MANAFORT).

The proof is,- Russian started a war there, both hot and in the media then claimed it was the CIA to blame.

Walter Sobchak
January 29, 2019 4:10 pm

This is simply a surrender to the Russians. If this goes on, Russia will run Germany, and Germany will run the EU.

Brits should get down on their knees and thank the Lord for delivering them from the EU.

The US should dissolve NATO, and tell the Germans they are on their own.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
January 29, 2019 4:15 pm

And Britain should tell the French the next time they are invaded by Germany they are on their own.

Gary Pearse
January 29, 2019 4:11 pm

Gee mods, my post was very much on point with no ad hominems regarding the real purpose of the German gas deal. I did mention that a lot of the Russian hatred was DNC fske news generated, but surely that is not verboten.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
January 30, 2019 12:50 am

The mods are on to you Gary, we all know you’re a Russian Bot. 😉

January 29, 2019 4:15 pm

What if someone blows up part of the pipeline ? Will they have gas stored for backup ?

January 29, 2019 4:20 pm

Complete idiots. Glad the Russians will own them.

Chris Hanley
January 29, 2019 4:23 pm

“The plan to phase out coal would be a big step for Germany to reduce its CO2 emissions, which have stagnated in recent years …”.
Quite so.
From the same source (Clean Energy Wire) renewables in Germany have leapt from 15% to 36% of gross power consumption from 2009 to 2017 with absolutely no effect on greenhouse gas emissions viz. 908 in 2009 and 907 in 2017 (CO2 equivalents in million tonnes).

January 29, 2019 4:31 pm

You are conveniently forgetting that Russia is hobbling on a depopulation precipice.

January 29, 2019 4:53 pm

Sometimes you can win by refraining from the stupid actions of your competitors. This will be like that. Aka. What China’s leadership is thinking.

January 29, 2019 5:07 pm

Has anyone in Germany asked about the vast amount of CO2 coming from both India and China, plus S/E Asia.

Or is Mercal simply into Virtue signalling.

Of course Germany can use Gas as a means of smoothing out the ups and downs of the Green electricity, Norway with its Hydro is v” also very useful, but it must add to the cost of electricity, so what are Germanys manufactories doing about this price increase ?


Reply to  Michael
January 30, 2019 1:30 am

Michael “so what are Germany’s manufacturers doing about this price increase ?”
…packing up their bats and balls and relocating abroad.
It’s not just the car makers (reference a comment above about BMW in Carolina), but the steel makers in Germany and Austria were warning several years ago about the influence inflated EU energy costs were having on their decision to invest in upgrading domestic steel mills in Europe versus spending the money building new facilities abroad. At the time the preferred option was investing in the USA, even with Obummer doing his best to scuttle his own country’s competitive advantage.

January 29, 2019 5:14 pm

The ramifications of this go well beyond Russia having Germany’s knackers in a vice any time they want to. There’s a major economic hit also.

Coal generates jobs, and other economic activity in Germany. Read that as “major tax revenue”. Germany’s tax base will shrink. Worse, what used to be in country economic activity will turn into mass export of German currency to Russia. Big tilt in balance of trade.

Other economic effects. With Germany as a customer, Russia doesn’t have to play nice anymore with the rest of its customers. Get prepared Ukraine and others. Prices for them will rise. Although that will attract other suppliers into the market, like the undersea pipeline from Israel for example.

Germany is self inflicting a major economic wound and the secondary effects will be felt across the continent. As for Russia, the giant influx of new money will do nothing to constrain their meddling in world affairs.

Aaron W Edwards
January 29, 2019 6:40 pm

This is actually a grand dry run for the efficacy of solar and wind. No more excuses no more fancy theories. When Deutschland rips coal out of the equation and substitutes natural gas as
the Atlas holding the Globe of renewables in orbit three startling realities will be unmasked. For all to see. First, base load power from another reliable source is a fundamental requirement that will never change. Secondly, gas is cheap, clean and abundant and is not radioactive or snuffed out by droughts as hydro would be so is the natural choice for producing this baseload power for the Vaterland. Thirdly, wind and solar hardware wears out quickly and performance drops each year engendering high predictable maintenance costs. Gas turbines are well understood highly efficient mechanical devices especially coupled with steam cogen technologies. Simple to build, cheap to maintain, last longer and highly reliable if the source gas is highly reliable. That last bit is the bugaboo for the jolly green giant Germans and will ultimately be their undoing.

John Pickens
January 29, 2019 8:30 pm

On a more immediate level, increased fuel and electricity prices in Germany have led to my German friends cutting down trees and burning them at a vastly increased rate. My buddy with a small farm has purchased a PTO wood chipper which can handle 40cm diameter logs. He has a massive wood chip pile which he feeds to his auger driven wood furnace. All the farmland around him is growing maize. Not for cattle or human feed, but to be burned in a bio-fed electrical power plant. It used to burn coal.

I’m not a fan of the US corn to ethanol mandate, but at least it produces a significant foodstuff byproduct, 40% by weight of distillers grains, used as animal feed. The German maize to energy plants destroy all food value of the maize.

It is perverse.

Reply to  John Pickens
January 30, 2019 12:13 am

The maize is not burned… it is added to anaerobic digesters. Yes, this is an undesirable part of anaerobic digestion… but on the other hand it reduces farm waste and produces fertilizer.

John Doran
Reply to  griff
January 30, 2019 4:28 am

But no food for people, the ultimate polluters, eh?

John Doran.

michael hart
January 29, 2019 11:41 pm

Well, the global warmers in Germany and elsewhere are always keen to ratchet up the price of energy if the customer is bent over a barrel. So I guess it makes sense that they are OK if Russia offers to lend them a helping hand at some point in the future. Why put up the price of energy yourself if you can get somebody else to do it for you.

Tbh, I’m sure that the Russians will be equally keen to ensure that the money keeps flowing in the opposite direction to the gas. It seems more interesting that this is essentially a commitment to continue using fossil fuels as the most important energy source. As in the US and UK, gas can achieve some reduction in CO2 emissions per unit of energy, but the amount is limited and it cannot achieve the ultimate green dream of phasing out fossil fuels entirely.

It strikes me as a case of today’s politicians just making some token short- and medium-term gestures to mollify those asking for extreme de-carbonization measures but who also apparently don’t realize yet that they can never reach their promised land on this route. They took the wrong turning at the fork in the road when the road-sign said “Nuclear this way”.

January 30, 2019 12:15 am

Well we’ll see…

I note that Germany no longer mines hard coal and that all that fuel has to be imported. I am unsure whether like the UK it gets coal from Russia (50% of UK supply) or Columbia, with its mining human rights issues, like Eire.

January 30, 2019 5:14 am

As we ready our yellow jackets in the face of this political idiocy, might I suggest they are printed with one word – “PROSPERITY”

Tom Abbott
January 30, 2019 5:41 am

From the article: ““We have a very difficult problem, namely that almost the only sources of energy that will be able to provide baseload power are coal and lignite,” said Merkel in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week.”

The real problem Germany has is its leaders are delusional.

Nuclear power would allow Germany to reach all their power and CO2 goals. So what do German leaders do? They close their existing nuclear powerplants for no good reason, and then pretend that nuclear power is not a viable option for the future.

Some people can see the trainwreck coming and some people can’t. Germany has leaders who can’t see the trainwreck coming.

We live in a world where large portions of the population live in completely different realities. One group or the other is delusional. It looks to me like the group Angela Merkel belongs to is the one that is delusional.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 30, 2019 8:08 am

Germany has leaders who are pedal-to-the-metal to get the biggest train wreck.

James Bull
January 30, 2019 6:36 am

“Venezuela here we come” they sing as they march off into a dark future.

James Bull

Jon Beard
January 30, 2019 11:30 am

France has a large potential for fracked gas but they have had a moratorium on fracking since 2011. The Ukraine has large potential but the upheaval there has put exploration on hold. You would think nations that suffered through two world wars would welcome energy independence instead they seem to want to leave themselves vulnerable to a hostile potential enemy in order to stay loyal the Church of Global Warming.

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