And The Winner Is, Germany!


Francis Menton

Just over six months ago, in December 2021, I asked the question that was on the tip of the tongue of everybody who follows the subject of the ongoing massive “green” transition to fossil-fuel-free energy. Actually, that’s a lie. The question I asked was not on the tip of the tongue of everybody who follows the subject, or even of most of the people who follow the subject, for reasons that to me are completely inexplicable. The question was : “Which Country Or U.S. State Will Be The First To Hit The Green Energy Wall?”

The candidates that I nominated in that post as potentially the first to hit the “green energy wall” were California, New York, the UK and Germany. At the time, I thought it was obvious that one of those jurisdictions would hit the wall sooner than almost anybody expected. Indeed, I was quite bold in the short time frame that I predicted:

A prolonged period of unfavorable weather (calm and overcast) could cause a serious energy crunch to hit one or both of Germany or the UK as soon as this winter. Or they could get lucky and go another year or two.

Now here we are in June 2022, and I think it’s hard to deny that Germany has in fact hit the “green energy wall.” Let’s consider.

First, here is the definition of the “green energy wall” that I gave in the post:

[O]ne or another of [those states or countries] is highly likely to hit a “wall” — that is, a situation where the electricity system stops functioning, or the price goes through the roof, or both, forcing a drastic alteration or even abandonment of the whole scheme.

And here’s the reason I gave why one or another (or all) of the nominated jurisdictions would soon be hitting the “wall”:

All these places, despite their wealth and seeming sophistication, are embarking on their ambitious plans without ever having conducted any kind of detailed engineering study of how their new proposed energy systems will work or how much they will cost. Sure, a wind/solar electric grid can function with 100% natural gas backup, if you’re willing to have the ratepayers foot the bill for two overlapping and redundant generation systems when you could have had just one. But “net zero” emissions means no more fossil fuel backup. What’s the plan to keep the grid operating 24/7 when the coal and natural gas are gone?

As is (or should be) obvious to everyone, a predominantly wind/solar electricity generation system needs full backup from some source to keep the lights on 24/7. The options are few: fossil fuels plants (coal, oil or natural gas), nuclear, or storage (i.e., batteries). Germany has ruled out the fossil fuel and nuclear options. It never had much in the way of oil-fired electricity generation, and it spent the last ten-plus years phasing out its coal and nuclear plants. So, that leaves storage. Surely, you might think, having embarked on a multi-trillion dollar transition to a predominantly wind/solar electricity system, and having ruled out both fossil fuels and nuclear for backup, Germany must have been focused like a laser beam on the storage issues to make the whole thing work.

You would be wrong. It is truly unbelievable the extent to which Germany — seemingly the country with the most sophisticated engineering in the world — put its head in the sand and ignored the storage problem until it just ran its energy system into the wall.

Let’s compare how much energy storage Germany would need to back up its wind/solar electricity system to the amount of storage actually developed to date or in the pipeline. At this website, I have followed the energy storage question closely, and have discussed and linked to the most competent calculations of how much storage would be needed to back up a predominantly or fully wind/solar electricity system for various jurisdictions, including Germany. In this post in November 2018 I linked to and extensively discussed work by a man named Roger Andrews, who calculated the storage requirement for Germany to back up a fully wind/solar system as approximately 25,000 GWH. In that post, I also examined some reasons why Andrews’s calculation might be low — for example, Andrews assumed a 100% return from energy put into storage (which is unrealistic), and also based his calculations on actual generation and weather data for a particular year (2016), which could prove more favorable than another year. But that said, Andrews’s calculation appeared to me to be in the right ballpark. More recently, in a post in March 2022, I discussed and linked to work of two German scientists named Oliver Ruhnau and Staffan Qvist. Ruhnau and Qvist calculated a storage requirement for Germany to back up a fully wind/solar system as 56,000 GWH.

If you figure that Andrews may be on the low side, and Ruhnau/Qvist on the high side, that would put a good rough estimate of Germany’s need for grid-scale energy storage to back up a wind/solar system somewhere in the range of about 40,000 – 50,000 GWH.

So how much storage does Germany have currently existing or in the pipeline? Here is an April 11, 2022 piece from consultancy Wood Mackenzie reporting excitedly about Europe’s plans to solve the wind/solar intermittency problem with storage, “Europe’s grid-scale energy storage capacity will expand 20-fold by 2031.”:

Europe has set out some of the world’s most ambitious decarbonisation targets. And the pace of change is accelerating. . . . [T]he region’s nascent grid-scale energy storage segment is growing fast. We forecast that total capacity will expand 20-fold between now and 2031.

Here’s their chart showing what that “20-fold expansion” will mean by 2031:

For Germany, this enormous expansion will supposedly mean all of 8.81 GWH of grid-scale energy storage. Is there a decimal place error here? Unfortunately no. Against a requirement of 45,000 GWH +/- of grid-scale storage, they’re not planning on 9000 GWH, or even 900 GWH or 90 GWH, but 9. They’re off by a factor of around 5000 against what they would need.

In other words, they haven’t even begun to solve the storage problem that would need to be solved to make their wind/solar system work, and they will barely if at all have begun to solve it by 2031. Indeed, the problem may not be solvable at all, and as yet they haven’t really put any meaningful effort into trying to figure that out. The result, as we all know, is that they left themselves completely dependent on natural gas from Russia. Now the Russian gas is effectively unavailable, and other potential sources have seen insufficient supply and massive price spikes. Here are a few observations on Germany’s current energy predicament. From Walter Russell Mead in the Wall Street Journal, June 27, “End of the German Idyll”:

As recently as 2020, almost the entire world agreed with the smug German self-assessment that Germany had the world’s most successful economic model, [and] was embarking on the most ambitious—and largely successful—climate initiative in the world. . . . [Now we understand that] German energy policy is a chaotic mess, a shining example to the rest of the world of what not to do. . . . Green energy, despite massive German investment, will be unable to supply German industry with reliable and cheap power for a long time.

From Energy Intelligence Group, June 28, “King Coal Makes Comeback in Europe”:

[German] officials are working on emergency laws that would allow roughly 9-10 gigawatts of idle coal and lignite capacity to return to service until 2024, replacing some of the 16% market share now held by gas. The country is home to seven of the EU’s 10 most polluting power stations, according to NGO Ember. . . . Economy Minister Robert Habeck said laws allowing more coal use and less gas-fired generation should pass the Bundesrat — upper house of parliament — in early July. . . . The government says there are no plans to change the coal phase-out date, with the last units still earmarked for closure by 2030.

It’s a complete reversal of the prior policy of shutting down the coal plants. Economy Minister Habeck says that the reversal is temporary, and that they are still on track to close all the coal plants by 2030. And how exactly are they going to accomplish that, with all of 9 GWH of grid-scale energy storage? There is only one possible method, which is to go back to natural gas, either using alternative suppliers (U.S.?), or because Russia re-enters the good graces of the world. But using natural gas for backup is just as much a complete abandonment of the “net zero” fantasy as is using coal.

So I say that Germany has in fact hit the “green energy wall,” and will not be going back, no matter what they are saying at the moment.

Read the full article here.

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Bill Toland
June 30, 2022 10:08 pm

The British media and politicians are going all out with the narrative that all the problems with our power grid can be solved with more renewable energy. We are all doomed. I have stocked up on candles.

Reply to  Bill Toland
June 30, 2022 10:19 pm

You need a generator with a 5,000gal propane storage tank as well.

Reply to  Bill Toland
June 30, 2022 11:29 pm

Move to a country plot and grow trees. You will be able to take first wood in about 5 years. Big enough block and you can sell wood chips to Drax.

Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 4:00 am

Do you really think he has five years? I’d say that’s quite optimistic.

Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 4:19 am

Unless they pass a law that says you can’t burn wood or coal in your home’s wood stove or fireplace.

As far as calculating backup requirements on anything, take the number you come up with and (at least) double it… and still hope you aren’t too low.

Bill Toland
Reply to  rbabcock
July 1, 2022 5:41 am

It’s probably just a matter of time before wood burning stoves are banned in Britain. In any case, most new houses in Britain don’t have working fireplaces.

Government urged to ban wood-burning stoves by 2027 – Energy Live News

Reply to  Bill Toland
July 1, 2022 5:50 am

They will have to pry my wood burners from my cold, dead hands.

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
July 1, 2022 6:20 am

You’re on their list.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
July 2, 2022 9:06 am

NOW you’re on their list.

There, fixed it. You shouldn’t post comments like that Chas, you know with GOOGLE’s help they are tracking these sites to fill out their data.

Paul C
Reply to  rbabcock
July 2, 2022 8:40 am

They have already banned the sale of house coal in England (still available in Scotland and Wales). Only certified smokeless briquettes can be sold – which has increased the price over virtually identical uncertified briquettes. Only dry firewood can be sold in England, which pushes the price up, and raises the energy to produce it, as the moisture content is only assured in kiln dried wood. So, the price of all commercially available domestic solid fuels has been increased ahead of the current fuel crisis.

Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 5:49 am

Did that 6 years ago. DKUATBT.

Citizen Smith
Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 8:38 am

California hit the wall 35 years ago and continues today. They just won’t learn. There was a big push in California in the mid 80’s to build biomass power plants. Mostly it was a failure. I only know of one survivor in Burney. In 2003 Governor Gray Davis was recalled largely caused by the self inflicted “electricity crisis” and was replaced by The Govenator. Note of irony, Burney, located near Lassen National Park, is close to the center of last year’s Dixie Fire that burned 1500 square miles.

jeff corbin
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 1, 2022 7:43 am

UK natural gas input capacity could increase approximately 25% 35% if there is NG to purchase.

UK NG consumption: 72 BCM/year
UK Imports 14.67 BCM via pipeline
UK NG production: 17 BCM
UK LNG send out capacity 58 BCM
Two LNG ports started in 2019 and 2018

I like the wood idea

Utilitarian CHIRUSCOM has no problem leveraging fossil fuel to the max as it seeks to unleash a global economic juggernaut in a decade or two, meanwhile the liberal West is hit hard in the head with goofy logic and ideology. Shows you how hard it is to stop a tsunami of ideological propaganda once it gets started. It simply takes on a life of it’s own. Such a powerful weapon.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  jeff corbin
July 2, 2022 2:55 am

“meanwhile the liberal West is hit hard in the head with goofy logic and ideology. Shows you how hard it is to stop a tsunami of ideological propaganda once it gets started. It simply takes on a life of it’s own. Such a powerful weapon.”

It is a powerful weapon wielded by the most dangerous organization in the Western Democracies: The Leftwing Media. They are the creators of the false reality hundreds of millions of people live in today.

The Western Leftwing Media will take all our freedoms away from us if given the chance. They are making progress even as we speak, and are using the unfair, incorrect demonization of CO2 to great effect in this process.

Last edited 3 months ago by Tom Abbott
It doesn't add up...
Reply to  jeff corbin
July 2, 2022 8:48 am

It’s probably helpful to look at how UK gas supply has been achieved and how it has been changing. For some time it has effectively been acting as an offshore LNG temrinal for Europe, piping gas via the pipelines from Bacton in the summer months (previously, North Sea production surpluses from the UK and Norway were piped this way). In fact, the UK has only recently started to depend on LNG for its own consumption. Winter top-ups from the Continent, effectively using it as offshore storage will be a thing of the past with the shortage of pipeline gas from Russia.

UK Gas LNG pipes.png
Reply to  Bill Toland
July 3, 2022 5:08 am

I have gone with the UK as the first to hit the wall but the Eastern States of Australia are making a strong charge at it as well.

Paul Rossiter
June 30, 2022 10:15 pm

But the brilliant Minister for Energy in Australia says you can store electrical energy just like you can raindrops in a dam. God help us all.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Paul Rossiter
June 30, 2022 10:49 pm

There’s a plastic bag for that. Has to be plastic because a paper bag can’t handle it.
The scary part is that I could probably convince a politician of that.

Last edited 3 months ago by Alexy Scherbakoff
Clarky of Oz
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
July 1, 2022 12:27 am

As a Boy Scout so many years ago, one of our challenges was to boil water in a paper bag over an open fire. It can be done. However it is very difficult and is no way a reliable process. The moral of the story is just because it can be done does not make it a good idea.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Clarky of Oz
July 1, 2022 12:52 am

Don’t give them any ideas. We’ll be using paper pots and frypans next.

John in NZ
Reply to  Clarky of Oz
July 1, 2022 1:59 am

I was a scout leader in the 1980s. I taught them how to tie knots, catch rabbits in snares and how to boil water in a paper bag.
But I could not teach anyone how to use non-dispatchable power to maintain a national grid once wind and solar was more than 30% of the power supply.

The thing is, it isn’t that it is not a good idea. It cannot be done.

Reply to  John in NZ
July 1, 2022 5:51 am

Here in the Southwest Power Pool (midwest USA), wind is 29% 0f the generating capacity. However, the generating capacity is about 95,000MW where the peak load is 51,000MW. Coal and natural gas are about 64% of generating capacity and yes, they carry the load most of the time. Right this minute, wind is contributing about 11,000MW to a system load of 31,000MW. When it warms up this afternoon, the contribution will go down. The powers that be are worried about a hot, windless summer. They are keeping a lot of coal on-line.

Reply to  Clarky of Oz
July 1, 2022 12:33 pm

It’s very easy to boil water in a paper cup. The fire burns off everything above the waterline, but the water keeps the paper cup from reaching combustion temperature. Learned that in Boy Scouts (US)

Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
July 1, 2022 2:10 am

Plastic bags? Are you utterly mad? Those are killing our, ehh, sea turtles and, and other stuffs. You could probably sell them the idea of using the skin of Congolese children, but not plastic bags.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Frank
July 1, 2022 3:02 am

Don’t be mad. It wasn’t going to be single-use ones. Those are particularly deadly. Don’t start me on food wrap.

Ketil M
Reply to  Frank
July 3, 2022 9:11 pm

It has been possible to burn plastic just as clean as natural gas for decades. There is just not the political will to use the process.

David A
Reply to  Paul Rossiter
July 1, 2022 5:59 am

This WUWT article barely illustrates the impossible net zero goal. Let’s say all that EV storage is done. ( It absolutely, of course, will not and cannot be done.) Where is the grid to handle all this new EV only world? What will the true storage demand be when every car and truck and war machine and farm machine is running on electricity.
The generation is not possible.
The storage is not possible.
The grid to support it is not possible.

And the 3.9 billion members of BRIC nations will not cooperate, along with the ROW beyond the G7. What cant be done, wont be done.

Reply to  David A
July 1, 2022 7:17 am

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”
― Charles MacKay
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mr.
July 2, 2022 3:16 am

I think that is the situation we have now.

As the Green Energy Plan continues to unravel and fail, there will be more and more people coming to their senses.

Reply to  David A
July 1, 2022 8:03 am

What can be done is being done, and that is to deny all but the wealthy any form of private transportation.

It’s all about population reduction, power, and control over the remaining serfs.

Welcome to the New Feudalism, David A. Same as the old feudalism.

David A
Reply to  H.R.
July 1, 2022 12:02 pm

It will only lead to conflict, poverty, revolution and wars…

Reply to  Paul Rossiter
July 1, 2022 9:24 am

That ‘s already topped by German Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Green Party: Annalena Baerbock. According to her you “can store electric energy in the power grid, that ‘s all already calculated” (she didn’t say by whom). And “in the future electric energy consumers like supermarkets will be electricity producers at night when they for example cool frozen chickens just to -18°C (-0.4°F) instead of -20°C (-4°F).”
The problem is that those fools were actually elected and are setting the political agenda to make sure that we hit the wall.

Randle Dewees
Reply to  Paul Rossiter
July 2, 2022 5:08 am

You use a Little Green Bag to store it

Phillip Bratby
June 30, 2022 10:26 pm

What about Australia?

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
July 1, 2022 7:59 pm

Australia is blindly following Germany down the green drain.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
July 2, 2022 3:21 am

Yes, parts of Australia should be in that climate change crash-test-dummy category, too.

Boff Doff
June 30, 2022 10:31 pm

Over the last year UK electricity demand has averaged 30GWh. But is way out in front with less than one hour’s storage planned even before the increase in demand from EV’s is factored in.

The people doing this are not unintelligent. What is the real plan because they know this way darkness lies.

Ron Long
Reply to  Boff Doff
July 1, 2022 3:33 am

“What is the real plan…” is the big question, and you are right to ask it, BD. If you follow the money you see taxpayer money flowing into nooks and crannies that were not intended (pockets, I’m thinking). If you look for political advantage you get into the axiom for liberals “don’t let a disaster go to waste”, and the idea then becomes control over the population. Here’s an observation from a country now declining into 70% inflation, GDP shrinking, and Country Risk Index above 2,000: the worse the economic survival of the masses becomes the more they vote for the politicians causing the problem, because, meager as it is, these politicians keep giving them some kind of hand-out.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Ron Long
July 1, 2022 6:50 am

And the cruelest part of this joke is that economists are saying the worst part of your inflation may now be “behind” you. Needless to say, no one saves cash money there, do they?

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Boff Doff
July 1, 2022 3:46 am

Not quite:
A quick Google says that the UK uses typically 350 TeraWattHours of elektrikery per year

I get that to be an average demand of 39.95GW

But on top of that will be ‘demand reduction‘ coming from domestic solar panels and small wind turbines in farmers’ fields that aren’t metered by the likes of Elexon, Gridwatch and Energynumbers
In the right weather conditions, do we say they make 5GW, or even more, and in the wrong weather conditions, Diddly Squat
Even worse, they are all connected via solid-state inverters, they have no inertia or spinning reserve and can simply disappear in less than an instant – say during and outbreak of thunderstorms.
If a big strike causes enough little inverters to see a ‘Grid Fault’ of either voltage or frequency, they will switch off and not attempt a reconnect for at least 3 minutes.
If enough go down the grid then falls over in a cascade event, the failed inverters will cause their nearby inverters to trip out etc etc etc.

As the author here stated: ‘Nobody has thought this thing through

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 1, 2022 4:28 am

Very good question. How do you bring the grid back up after a blackout? All those small inverters fighting on the grid for sync will wreak havoc when a large generation plant tries to come back on line – assuming it won’t just keep tripping off because of all the noise on the grid.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 1, 2022 5:57 am

If you have an all solar and wind grid, I don’t think you can actually do a black start.

David A
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
July 1, 2022 8:06 am

…and all the built storage, where will it be when it is recharging everything at night, when the wind does not usually blow, and the sun NEVER shines.

Julian Flood
Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 2, 2022 2:47 am

Dinorwig. Pumped hydro kept topped up for a black start.


Reply to  Boff Doff
July 1, 2022 4:04 am

Boff, that is the question, isn’t it? They may not be the brightest bulbs in the chandelier but they are not that stupid. What is the plan?

Reply to  .KcTaz
July 1, 2022 1:38 pm

I could probably come up with something. It would require “smart” meters, with battery backup. They would use a similar scheme to the inverters to detect a fault or impending fault and disconnect. They would wait for a random length of time (but not less than 15 minutes), check the network and if it looks ok (voltage and frequency) reconnect. Still wonky Wait longer, original period + another random time. Try again. eventually, just check once every three or four hours.

This removes the load, and re-applies it in a staged fashion.

There are fairly well understood ways to do this sort of thing. If you ask the right people.

Rich Davis
Reply to  .KcTaz
July 4, 2022 7:58 am

What is the plan? The plan is to switch you off.

Switch you off, biologically. Dead serfs waste none of the elites’ resources. Reduce the population by 90% and then conventional energy sources will last for millennia.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Boff Doff
July 1, 2022 9:46 am

Actually, I think you will find that these people are actually that stupid. Yes, they may have some academic certificate to wave around but that doesn’t confer intelligence. Dr Richard North noted that while he worked on the outside of the political bubble he had respect for these people. However, once he started to meet them he was left wondering how they were able to function at all given their stupidity and it has only got worse where you look at the current bunch of Morons of Parliament and fail to see anyone of any use.

John Power
Reply to  Boff Doff
July 1, 2022 10:38 am

‘What is the real plan….’
I don’t think there is one, Boff. Not a consciously worked-out, comprehensive and coherent one anyway, but just an aggregation of vaguely similar ideas, beliefs and interests held by a large collective of diverse groups who have all chosen to agree, for reasons that are essentially arbitrary and subjective, that human GHG-emissions are destabilising the planetary climate system and endangering the whole biosphere. Their mutual agreement about this has led them to form an intellectually tyrannical cult which rewards loyalty with honours, wealth and social status and which punishes dissent with social ostracism, poverty, public ridicule and court prosecutions on whatever spurious pretexts can be dreamt up.
I think the fact that the leaders of the ‘Apocalyptic Climate Change Cult’ (as I call it) are seriously proposing to make all human society totally dependent on ‘renewables’ energy-technology which does not exist in reality because no-one has invented it yet, proves the delusional frame of mind in which they are operating. The only ‘plan’ that I can imagine these prospective inmates of the Galactic Lunatic Asylum producing would be a plan to plunge the world into total, irredeemable conflict, anarchy and chaos which, as far as I can tell, is the state they are already in, so producing it should come naturally and spontaneously to them.
‘…they know this way darkness lies’. Nevertheless, insane as it is, that is evidently where they want to take the world: into the darkness. They may have intelligence, but the cult which they have chosen to join forbids them to use it for any purpose other than the propagation of the Cult and the promotion of its interests. They have already been overtaken by the darkness, I fear.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Power
July 2, 2022 3:30 am

Excellent comment, John.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Boff Doff
July 1, 2022 11:11 am

“What is the real plan ??”

To cause chaos through lack of cheap energy and cheap food. That leads to martial law and dictatorships and authoritarian governments. Those also lead to loss of life and a decline in lifespan. The fewer people, the easier they are to control. They don’t even hide their plans. Read any of World Economic Forum stuff. Klaus Schwaub. Bill Gates. They are all working on different parts which makes Western civilization so successful. Food, energy, medicine, transportation are all being sabotaged. Everything to make life harder for the regular person.

June 30, 2022 10:57 pm

OK, so Germany builds 25,000 or even 56,000 GWH of storage. But then an unusually long wind+solar drought hits. It doesn’t have to be a 100% drought, just a period of low supply gradually depleting the storage (bear in mind that the storage will be used at least every night, and will be used a lot more in winter). Out go the lights. Dead. Everything stops. Until the next puff of wind or cloudless day. And if there’s just a bit of wind and sun before it drops again, the lights are out again. Until the storage has been significantly re-filled, the whole system remains at very high risk of total failure.

That’s a very different prospect to a fuel-based system, where each unit can back up the others, and you can manage your fuel supply always knowing exactly how much you need and when.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
June 30, 2022 11:24 pm

If the storage is batteries, which are DC, what holds up the line frequency?

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
June 30, 2022 11:40 pm

There’s an app for that.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
June 30, 2022 11:43 pm

Synchrones condensers do the millisecond support, batteries can do the 6 second and above better than generator governors. The big batteries in Australia get most of their income from FCAS not price arbitrage. HPR has just been fined for not being able to deliver on FCAS it bid for when the the time came to use. It was a software bug not lack of storage energy.

South Australia has run their network at 100% intermittents since the synchronous condensers were put in. bUt that sill relied on Victoria taking 58MW from gas plant on line to provide running reserve.

Last edited 3 months ago by RickWill
Tim Gorman
Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 4:35 am

You didn’t really answer the question. If you have a total blackout how do you bring the grid back up? Today you shed load until you can bring a single generator back on line to sync up the grid and then you incrementally add load and other generating facilities in an organized manner.

Syncronous condensers don’t offer true generating capacity that can be used to bring a grid back on line after a major failure. Neither do batteries.

So how do you do it with only renewables available?

Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 1, 2022 4:57 am

I was asked what holds up the frequency. The answer is synchnos condensers for the millisecond and batteries for 6 second and higher.

Batteries can also provide black-start capability. My off0grid system has done it just that 6 times in the last decade after batteries went flat. Inverter shits down on low voltage and kicks back in once voltage back to nominated restart voltage.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 5:44 am

You still haven’t answered the grid question. As you said, you have an isolated system. That doesn’t present a similar problem to syncing a grid when there are multiple inverters trying to achieve sync.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
July 1, 2022 4:10 pm

You are not syncing to the grid under black start. The nominated black start generator or generators or batteries are disconnected from the load. Generators and batteries without black start have auxiliaries selectively connected to the re-energised system and then synchronised. Load can be added as connected generation capacity increases.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 4:56 pm

How do you control these inverters that keep trying at regular intervals to restart and connect to the grid? As large industrial users connect to the grid, large reactive loads are going to hit. How do the battery inverters handle the extra power required to handle this load?

Tim Gorman
Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 5:47 am

You are kidding, right? You weren’t trying to sync up an electrical grid with multiple generators (i.e. inverters) trying to individually power the grid and each one fighting the others over frequency!

Why do you think it is so hard to bring up the generation network after a blackout even when we had nothing but inertia generators?

Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 1, 2022 6:19 am

What I have understand from the South Australian collapse a few years ago, is that they start up again with small parts of the network, be it at that time with diesel generators, expanding part by part the grid with other spinning and non-spinning sources.

In fact is possible to do that with a battery back-up as was placed by Elon Musk, as that gives a “virtual” inertia back-up at the right frequency. That system even has got the whole East Australian grid alive when there were multiple trips after each other…

And they are working on individual frequency controllers that maintain the 50 Hz for each converter, so that they aren’t dependable of the 50 Hz of the network with all the problems if there are disturbances on the net…

The latter still is far from implemented and could only work best if there is a central signal that synchronizes all these individual frequency controllers…

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
July 1, 2022 3:21 pm

The problem is not just frequency control. As inductive loads start to pick power off the grid you begin to get phase problems as well as frequency problems. A battery backup system feeding an industrial plant with lots of motors is going to see large inductive loads and voltage and current won’t be in phase. This has to be handled as well. Firing up the grid with a few large inertia-based generators will handle this far better than if you have a multiplicity of non-inertia based generators all trying to sync up to the grid as it exists at their location at any point in time. Just how well are all these inverters going to handle lagging/leading currents with respect to voltage?

I know there is an agenda to try and say that battery-based equipment will handle everything as well as the traditional grid did because this then makes the battery backup more palatable. I am not convinced this is true. Even bringing local grids back on-line requires trained operators and techs or you just wind up with fault protection devices tripping again. This is true even when the large grid generators aren’t directly affected originally.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 1, 2022 4:22 pm

far better than if you have a multiplicity of non-inertia based generators 

That is why synchronous condensers are being installed. As I wrote above, they provide the millisecond kinetic energy to ride system bumps. The batteries can handle 6 second and up better than steam plant governors.

No one costs the synchronous condensers in the initial cost projections of W&S fed grids. They are just another add-on that increase system costs.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  RickWill
July 2, 2022 3:27 am

Synchronous condensers are *not* power generators. They are reactive power correctors.

I think you keep confusing frequency with phase. Reactive power is measured in VAR’s, not Hz. Reactive power requires the load generator to push more current down the line to compensate for the real power loss the reactive power causes.

Since synch condensers can only come on line after the grid has been established but reactive loads exist for the generator immediately. The generator has to be able to handle this. I’m not sure we have a real world example of battery backup systems being able to handle this adequately.

Keeping the grid alive is not the same thing as resuscitating it from death.

I do agree that the costs of ancillary equipment necessitated by the move to unreliable power are not assigned to the costs of the unreliable power. Some of those costs should rightly be assigned to both reliable and unreliable power but some is caused only by unreliable power.

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
July 1, 2022 4:17 pm

All correct. Batteries just replace a diesel or self-start gas turbine.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 1, 2022 4:16 pm

You are kidding, right? 

Certainly not. Black start using battery has already been tested by Siemens.
It is no different to using diesel generator to bring a steam plant auxiliaries into operation.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  RickWill
July 2, 2022 3:34 am

I think you need to read that article more closely. It’s not obvious that you didn’t just cherry-pick the article based on its title.

From the article: “When an outage occurs and a black start is needed, battery energy storage systems can deliver the boost that power stations need to get turbines back up and running, thereby minimising the effect on consumers, businesses, and public services.”

This is *not* the same thing as bringing the grid back online to serve the customers. It is bringing the turbines that actually provide service to the customers on the grid back up to capacity.

David A
Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 8:07 am

That wont be there if you have all electric vehicles though, yes?

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
July 1, 2022 3:34 am

Utilities will provide DC (lower line losses) to customers who provide their own
inverters (A/R) they can buy @ Inverters”R”Us- problem solved! 😉

Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 1, 2022 4:10 am

How can utilities do that? Can they run AC and DC on the same lines?
Obviously, I know very little about this.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  .KcTaz
July 1, 2022 5:06 am

They can’t – the lines are designed for high voltage AC, stepped down for each business or subdivision using transformers, which only work using AC. DC would melt the transformers and then no one would get any power until thousands of transformers were acquired and replaced. Think of an area after a hurricane knocks down all the power infrastructure but longer since more transformers would be destroyed.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  .KcTaz
July 1, 2022 5:11 am

If they only run DC, the frequency is always zero & is always stable. Hence,
there’s no need for “ballast” to stabilize an AC frequency, a constant problem
with running AC.

My comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek as the utilities would transmit using DC
which has lower line losses & no loss of inverting DC solar power generation
into AC (10%). They could then pass the inversion cost (A/R) & loss onto the
customer. It’s win/win/win for the utilities as the stability problem also

(Resistive heating & motors- big power users- can use DC & don’t need to be inverted to AC.)

Last edited 3 months ago by Old Man Winter
Jim Gorman
Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 1, 2022 5:52 am

DC only has lower line loss if you also run high voltage. That is exactly why AC uses high voltage and steps it down via transformers.

What you are proposing is running high voltage DC lines directly to the end user where inverters at the site will generate AC. That is asking for really dangerous high voltages to be near access to regular customers.

You could do the same thing today by running high voltage, say 5 kV, lines into residences and putting the transformer in the residence.

Nothing good will follow this kind of distribution!

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Jim Gorman
July 1, 2022 7:31 am

It was a bit tongue-in-cheek- 😉 – with the sarc focused on getting rid of
the frequency stability problem without regard to the

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 1, 2022 5:52 am

You aren’t quite on target here. To get lower losses you need to run high voltage dc in order to limit current draw. That high voltage dc will probably not be what is needed to run the typical user demand, e.g. heaters and motors. Thus you have to have some method to convert the high voltage dc to low voltage dc to the end user. Not cheap and not lossless.

Yes, you could force the end user to install inverters to do the voltage conversion but how do you do that for the poor?

Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 1, 2022 8:21 am

Put it on their credit card 😉

Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 1, 2022 6:26 am

Aren’t DC transmission lines very high voltage lines? What would be the voltage of the DC supplied to the house? If the same high voltage, wouldn’t that be dangerous to have in a house? If lower than the transmission line, how would they reduce the voltage and how much would be lost in the conversion?

Last edited 3 months ago by RicDre
Reply to  Mike Jonas
June 30, 2022 11:42 pm

I think they got the idea fro The Matrix. The citizens are going to be the batteries. Construction has started with the mRNA injections.

Reply to  AndyHce
July 1, 2022 10:02 am

Is that machineRNA, Andy? 🙂

Reply to  Mike Jonas
June 30, 2022 11:56 pm

You do not need much dispatchable back-up to reliably get up to 90% penetration of W&S. The economic solution for a given target of W&S always has dispatchable generation in the mix and substantial overbuild of intermittent generation.

If Australia had 80GW of wind, 60GW of solar, 24GW/120GWH battery and 5GW of gas plus existing hydro in Snowy and Tasmania it could supply the average demand of 23GW with peak of 30GW reliably. Solar panels should be tracking arrays north of the Murray river in outback NSW similar to Broken Hill. I do not know if there is enough good wind resource to make the 80GW of wind as good as the 8GW in place now.

None of it makes sense though because it will always be cheaper to make power locally at the load than building expensive transmission lines to get it from outback or remote coastal locations to loads. Or just keep burning coal.

The has been no fundamental engineering due diligence on the driver of this nonsense. CO2 does zip and all the 2000 vintage climate models that forecast tropical ocean temperatures would exceed 30C by 2020 are provably wrong.

It is time for serious due diligence before more money is poured into this fiasco.

Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 3:28 am

Rick, your figure of 120 GWh to backup 30 GW would only provide backup for 4 hours. Surely at least 3 days backup is required, if not 4 days? The wind data for Australia shows occasional wind droughts when the wind drops to 10% or less for up to 72 hours. And if this occurs on very cloudy days, solar won’t help. There is no way Snowy 2 and Tassie hydro could make up the difference.

Last edited 3 months ago by Graeme#4
D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 6:04 am

That simple model study absolutely did not consider wind/solar droughts, only what might be required to match demand and capacity for one 7-day period.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
July 1, 2022 4:28 pm

That simple model study absolutely did not consider wind/solar droughts, 

You did not read the article. It actually uses the time run generation data for wind and solar connected to the NEM and scales it by a factor of 10.

The 120GWh was based on 40 weeks of actual generation and load data. and June was still to come so it may need a bit more. Also it is one specific year and may not be the worst case That said, Australia has been experiencing El Nino effects and that is creating much cloudier conditions than usual.

Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 7:37 pm

That simple model Rick, is frankly crap. At no time does it take into account a wind drought of 3 days, as we all know WILL occur. It’s not a reliability model. It’s just a very poor guess at what could be done under “average” conditions, and you cannot build a reliable energy network based on averages.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Graeme#4
July 2, 2022 5:14 pm

Here’s a 7 day wind drought in the UK last December. To keep the lights on CCGT was maxed out, the little coal we have left ditto, and we paid top dollar to secure imports. Net winter, they won’t be available, and we will get power rationing.

GB Hourly Dec 21.png
Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 3:47 pm

Frankly Rick, that’s a bit of a cop-out to refer to NEM modelling. I thought that I had asked a basic question – how would an all-RE Grid cope with prolonged wind droughts that could, and will, occur at the same time limited or no solar energy is available. There is adequate evidence from wind studies around the world to show that wind droughts can occur for 3 days at least. To achieve grid reliability, surely you would need to design for worst case as a minimum requirement.
So I will reiterate – your calculations are I believe way off the mark.

Last edited 3 months ago by Graeme#4
Reply to  Graeme#4
July 1, 2022 4:36 pm

The modelling is using actual NEM data from existing wind and solar installations. It assumes that the wind and solar are just scaled by the factors nominated and then looks at the required battery size combined with existing hydro and 5GW of gas to ride through any wind and solar lows. There is nothing wrong with the modelling.

Have a look at this work for the German grid that was done some years ago.
Table 1 shows how the storage requirement rises exponentially as the penetration of intermittent generation increases.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  RickWill
July 2, 2022 5:08 pm

Yep, and it’s just as flawed as the modelling by Prof Andrew Blakers a few years back. Assumes the wind picks up when the battery gives out, or that Far North Queensland will miraculously provide wind when the blades aren’t turning in South Australia. It turns out you can’t rely on FNQ.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Mike Jonas
July 1, 2022 8:09 am

During the extended wind drought in Europe in the summer and early autumn of 2021 SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy) UK experienced a 32% drop in power from unreliable assets. Meanwhile the IPCC says wind speeds in Europe will decrease by as much as 10% cos climate change.

Reply to  Dave Andrews
July 1, 2022 3:52 pm

Australia regularly experiences prolonged wind droughts across substantial areas of Australia that often include the entire eastern grid network. During these wind droughts, wind energy can drop to 10% or less. There is a gent in Australia who has been tracking wind drop-outs over 800 days, and 265 instances occurred over this period, on average one every three days.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Dave Andrews
July 2, 2022 5:17 pm

And a 10% drop in wind speed is a 100(1-0.9^3)% drop in wind energy, or 27.1%.

June 30, 2022 11:04 pm

Its remarkable Germany has that much coal-fired capacity that can be restored. I don’t like to think about how many coal-fired plants we have torn down in the US, because we believe in the prairie pinwheels.

Iain Reid
Reply to  roaddog
July 1, 2022 12:16 am

dispatchable back up is inaccurate, and a commonly held misconception. Conventional synchronous generators provide load and demand balancing, not forgetting inertia which aids stability. I believe your figure of 90% to be far too high. Batteries are good for frequency support but cannot cover the intermittency of renewables.
When you say South Australia (uns at 100%, it does not do it as an island grid, without neighbouring grid connections it would fail.
Synchronous condensers provide reactive power control not balancing.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Iain Reid
July 1, 2022 4:36 am


Jim Gorman
Reply to  Iain Reid
July 1, 2022 8:42 am

Batteries do not provide frequency control, the inverters they are tied to do that. This is where the problems begin.

Reply to  Iain Reid
July 1, 2022 4:46 pm

When you say South Australia (uns at 100%, it does not do it as an island grid, without neighbouring grid connections it would fail.

South Australia was islander for two weeks in 2020. The battery recovered almost its full cost in those two weeks providing FRACs. Most of the wind generators stayed disconnected because they were not prepared tp pay for the FRACs required to keep them on line. So a good portion of the power came from gas turbines.

Now that SA has synchronous condensers, the demand for FRACs in the system has reduced dramatically and much less gas generation is required to keep the system stable under all conditions.

All the issues that intermittent generation throw up can be solved technically providing enough money is thrown at it.

What they all miss is that it is unsustainable. The ERoEI for W&S and storage are simply too low for systems built using coal to be replicated. Wind turbines and solar panels are essentially hard coal that will not produce as much useful energy as the coal held to create them.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  RickWill
July 2, 2022 5:21 pm

so we have the truth…. most of the power came from dispatchable generation. Without that capacity, SA would again have suffered state wide blackouts.

June 30, 2022 11:10 pm

Speaking of nonsense, how does the EIA justify classifying “batteries” as a source of power generation?

June 30, 2022 11:18 pm

Not to worry, we’re in the queue.

June 30, 2022 11:25 pm

Ruhnau and Qvist calculated a storage requirement for Germany to back up a fully wind/solar system as 56,000 GWH.

This is just silly numbers. No one will ever have a grid 100% W&S plus storage. It only takes a small amount of dispatchable power to dramatically reduce the the storage requirement.

This is a bvery good paper on the German situation:

It arrives at a figure of 16,00GWh for 89% penetration of W&S. That is still an enormous amount but a fraction of the 56,000GWH quoted.

There is some fair work on this link for the Australian NEM. Average demand around 23GW and solar is a lot better in winter in Australia than Germany. This fellow has arrives at just 24GW/120GWh batter to get to 90% penetration of W&S.

My time run data based on the worst month for Solar in Australia was 250GW of solar and 750GWh of battery to supply the actual demand that averages 23GW. But that is high reliability at 100% penetration. Throw in a little dispatchable power and storage requirement plummet.

Last edited 3 months ago by RickWill
Reply to  RickWill
June 30, 2022 11:53 pm

“This is just silly numbers. No one will ever have a grid 100% W&S plus storage. It only takes a small amount of dispatchable power to dramatically reduce the the storage requirement.”
Indeed so. Complete straw man. The Contrarian makes up some silly numbers, and says
“So I say that Germany has in fact hit the “green energy wall,”
So what was that “wall”? What happened? Nothing at all.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 1, 2022 1:10 am

Nick, I think that you should read the article more carefully. Here is a direct quote from the article.

First, here is the definition of the “green energy wall” that I gave in the post:
[O]ne or another of [those states or countries] is highly likely to hit a “wall” — that is, a situation where the electricity system stops functioning, or the price goes through the roof, or both, forcing a drastic alteration or even abandonment of the whole scheme.

Reply to  Bill Toland
July 1, 2022 4:24 am

The system functions, and while the price has risen steeply, that very obviously tracks the cost of fuel.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 1, 2022 5:10 am

Very weak response, Nick. You obviously misread the article but you just cannot admit it.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 1, 2022 5:41 pm

the system functions but only because it relies on fossel fuel backup

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 3, 2022 7:31 am

Actually we are now seeing rising instances of hours that are not priced according to fuel cost, but according to demand destruction prices at which industry ceases to operate, because there is simply a capacity shortage and inability to meet demand. These are going to become a lot more common across Europe next winter. Already, French peak power prices are trading as high as €1,500/MWh for winter months, which you can consider as an average expectation. Some hours on some days may be OK if the wind is blowing, with prices still set by marginal fuel costs plus costs of international transmission. But in shortage the prices will be much higher. Furthermore, balancing costs are not just about the marginal cost of fuel: it’s the cost of providing grid stabilisation and paying for backup capacity availability.

Much the same has been seen in the NEM, with dispatchable capacity shortage pricing becoming increasingly evident. The outrageous FCAS earnings of the Hornsdale Power Reserve show what happens to prices when you have a capacity shortage.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 1, 2022 1:21 am

Nick, I think you should read the German paper that Menton links to. Its a serious piece of work based on analysis of the real weather in Germany over a period of years.

The problem it addresses, and which gives rise to the very high numbers, is this, as quoted by Menton:

While our time series analysis supports previous findings that periods with persistently scarce supply last no longer than two weeks, we find that the maximum energy deficit occurs over a much longer period of nine weeks. This is because multiple scarce periods can closely follow each other. When considering storage losses and charging limitations, the period defining storage requirements extends over as much as 12 weeks. For this longer period, the cost-optimal storage capacity is about three times larger compared to the energy deficit of the scarcest two weeks.

YOu can also see this if you go to the Templar site for the UK

Take a look at the two charts in the bottom left. You can see that wind outages are longer and more frequent than the Australian model. And that they often occur in peak demand season, winter.

Ruhnau and Qvist address another problem, which is the question of how much extra wind capacity do you need in order to make the storage work?

Their answer is a very big number. Menton says:

However, to get to the 24 day result, R&Q require massive overbuilding of the wind/solar system, to the point where its nameplate “capacity” is about triple Germany’s peak electricity demand, and five times average demand. The result is a system where vast amounts of surplus electricity on sunny/windy days must be discarded or “curtailed.”

They have tried to lower the amount of storage required by overbuilding generating capacity in their model.

The argument is that you either build more backup for a given level of generation, or you overbuild capacity, which can somewhat reduce the storage requirement. To get to the right numbers though you have to look at how the system as a whole would operate, as Ruhnau and Qvist do, and provide both for repeated wind and solar famines, and the need to recharge the storage.

Earlier on this site there was a discussion of a piece by the Guardian which showed long term Australian plans of installation of 122GW of wind and solar, and 45GW (GWh not specified) of storage. This is roughly compatible with the Ruhnau and Qvist estimates, its a huge overbuild of capacity.

There is a very considerable reason for optimism in all this. We are now finally admitting that storage is a critical parameter for intermittent generation systems, and that its an increasing problem as the intermittent sources become a higher proportion of total generation. This is a great advance from recent years, when on sites such as Ars or the Guardian anyone suggesting storage and intermittency might be issues was denounced as a denier and summarily banned.

We are now at least at the point where its being admitted that its a problem, and the only argument is about the scale of the parameter.

Reply to  michel
July 1, 2022 4:22 am

Their answer is a very big number.”
And as RickWill says, it is a silly number. Germany is nowhere near 100% yet, so they have not hit that “green wall”. They are in a region where they can profitably add renewables in a mixed system. Furthermore, they are not on their own. Germany is part of a large grid. They don’t have to have storage to guard against the wind failing in just Germany.

Storage will be a part of future systems. So will be backup gas generators, at least for a long time. But the particular strain in Germany at the moment isn’t anything green. It is simply the cost of fuel, and its potential unavailability from Russia. For that they need all the wind and sun they can get.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 1, 2022 5:37 am

“For that they need all the wind and sun they can get. “

At night when there is no wind.?

Or a blocking weather pattern with clouds and no wind for a few days.?

Your brain is addled and curdled, Nick.

Your cult-like belief has caused you to cease to think in a rational manner.

Any sign of past intelligence, has all but disappeared.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 1, 2022 6:02 am

No, its not a silly number. Read the paper. Also, Germany can’t count on ability to import at need, because blocking highs in northern Europe winters are very wide. If all of Europe gets as dependent on wind as the activists would like, there will be very little spare power available for Germany to import.

You are right to say that the particular strain in Germany at the moment is the cost of fuel. But wrong to say its not anything green. The closure of nuclear (9.5GW) was certainly green, as was the program to close the (now reopening) coal plants.

Menton is right to say they have adopted a plan of close first, replace later, and that this (green motivated) plan actually resulted not in more green energy but in more gas powered energy.

All the wind and the sun they can get will not help, unless they have the storage to make it usable. Ruhnau and Qvist may have got their estimates too high, but its a serious piece of work and needs to be shown to be wrong, it cannot simply be dismissed out of hand.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 1, 2022 6:51 am


You underestimate the fact that almost whole Europe can suffer from a high pressure block in the middle of the winter for several days, where solar panels only give 10% of their summer capacity during a few hours…
Some 2-3 times per month there is less than 10% output of the installed wind capacity all over Europe. Thus neighboring countries can’t help Germany at that moment, if they follow the same course as Germany did (Belgium is following stupidly…)
Installing more wind and sun doesn’t help as that only increases the overcapacity at that moment and you have not sufficient storage… For the moment they can dump their overcapacity in all countries around them, but all are expanding their wind and sun capacity, making the overcapacity problem even worse…

63 GW wind installed that delivers less than 5 GW for days and 61 GW of solar installed that delivers 0.0 GW every night…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
July 1, 2022 7:47 am

The problem is that people who write analyses like the one in this article are not actually trying to find a realistic solution. They just want to generate silly numbers. What will really happen is something like:
1. Improve the grid so that energy can be traded more widely. As you say. that won’t work 100%. So
2. Upgrade hydro. You can’t create more rivers, but you can increase the momentary output. Then you use hydro only when the enhanced wind/solar system can’t cope, making best use of the water you have. That is basically what our Snowy 2.0 is doing. Plus, of course, incorporating pumped hydro. Even our Snowy 1.0 did that.
3. Maintain reserve gas-fired capacity. Of course the objective is to minimise gas usage, for reasons of both CO2 and cost of gas. But it doesn’t have to go to zero immediately.
4. Variant of 1 – build wires to get solar electricity from sunnier places. True, it won’t work at night. But it can be pretty reliable during the day, which reduces storage requirement to hours rather than days.

Bob boder
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 1, 2022 8:09 am


The reason they aren’t trying to find a “realistic solutions” is because the whole premise is ridiculous. It’s a political scam designed to solve a non existent problem and questioning the premise lands you in denialism purgatory and if they had their way imprisonment. This is what you are defending and real world people are suffering for it.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 1, 2022 9:03 am

Nick, your argument amounts to this:

1) Just add some storage and backup

2) You won’t need too much for financial viability.

But the paper cited goes into a particular country, Germany, and examines its actual weather at some depth, and concludes that

  • actually you cannot just add storage and backup, you also have to overbuild renewable
  • you do need too much for financial viability.

These are issues on which rigorous quantitative analysis is required, and you’re refusing to do it, and just relying on arm waving and hope. There are whole textbooks on how to do investment analysis. The best is probably still Brealy and Myers.

Why do we never see, by advocates of renewables, the kind of proper investment appraisal that would be common and required before any investment case could come before a finance committee at any major public corporation?

Reply to  michel
July 1, 2022 3:20 pm

” the kind of proper investment appraisal that would be common”
I hope not. It is an appraisal of something that no-one intends to do. Most glaring is the restriction to Germany alone, ignoring it’s status as part of a much larger grid. They acknowledge that:
“First, for simplicity and comparability this study narrowly focuses on Germany, ignoring both international trade and intra-national grid constraints. “
It may be simple and comparable, but it is not how it is. It is the equivalent of “let us suppose a spherical cow”.

The second is the insistence on 100% renewable. I’m sure there are people advocating that, but there is a very long way to go in which gas will play a role, and a more useful way would be to guide us through that process to minimise gas use.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 1, 2022 4:15 pm

It may be simple and comparable, but it is not how it is. It is the equivalent of “let us suppose a spherical cow”.

Nope. As TX found out in 2021, even if it was interconnected no one had excess power to give it to prevent grid failure. The same thing applies to Europe. They are all marching down teh same primrose path – no one will have power to spare when the need is highest. So each country better make sure they are energy independent with sufficient capacity to provide for their citizens. The primrose path is the path to hell!

Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 1, 2022 5:09 pm

“As TX found out in 2021, even if it was interconnected”

That is another spherical cow. The fact is that Texas has its own grid, ERCOT. And that was a large part of the problem:

“Texas is the only state in the continental United States with an independent and isolated grid. That allows the state to avoid federal regulation – but also severely limits its ability to draw emergency power from other grids. ERCOT also operates the only major U.S. grid that does not have a capacity market – a system that provides payments to operators to be on standby to supply power during severe weather events.”

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 2, 2022 3:58 am

What in Pete’s name do you think the phrase “even if it was interconnected” means?

The REAL issue, which you fail to address, is even if TX was interconnected there was no one with spare power to sell TX!

All the nearby grids were having their own problems because of their own wind and solar not keeping up with demand!

The exact same thing will happen in Europe if each country doesn’t spend the money to provide for its own needs.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 2, 2022 12:50 am

You may be right in saying that the pan-European grid, such as it is, makes a big difference to the parameters of the investment equation.

In that case, do the work and show it. I don’t think its at all likely, because of the fact that blocking highs affect most of Northern Europe at once. But you cannot get there by arm waving declarations. That would get you thrown out of any big company finance committee in short order.

You also say they don’t have, or should not have, the idea of getting to Net Zero. That’s partly wrong – this is certainly the idea of the UK project and it was the aim of the Energiewende. But its also a preliminary to further quantitative analysis, not a refutation of the argument in the paper.

If you want to refute the paper’s overall conclusions, you have to show that at 90% or some other level of renewable it all of a sudden becomes doable and affordable.

I don’t think there is any reason to suppose that, because what is being argued in the paper is that what is needed for backing up the intermittent generation, at whatever level, is greater than previously estimated. This is the point, whatever the amount of wind, you have to have far more storage to back it up than people had previously estimated.

Yes, maybe you can reduce the amount of storage by reducing the amount of wind. But its going to fall linearly, and what your argument needs is for storage requirements to fall much faster than the amount of wind.

The right amount of wind and storage, all the evidence now shows, is zero. Wind and solar are a fifth wheel on an otherwise functioning conventional grid.

But if you can show otherwise, get out your Brealy and Myers and write a paper to show it. I would be very interested.

By the way – the Australian numbers seem to back me up. But you could start with them. Reduce planned renewable from 122GW to 100. The new storage now goes from 45GW to what?

Reply to  michel
July 2, 2022 12:57 pm

” That would get you thrown out of any big company finance committee in short order.”
What would get you thrown out is if you present an analysis of a totally unrealistic situation. And that is an isolated Germany at 100% renewables. Germany is far from isolated even now, and the grid will only improve and extend in time. And the rigid insistence on 100% does not reflect any likely policy.

It is not my job to provide a whole of Europe calculation. It is the obligation of these authors to justify ignoring the interconnections.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 3, 2022 8:00 am

The totally unrealistic situation is not having dispatchable backup to cater for zero output from wind and solar.

Reply to  It doesn't add up...
July 4, 2022 12:39 am

And that is what they have analysed. But you can have dispatchable backup. Even hydro goes a long way.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 3, 2022 7:46 am

The problem with hydro is that it depends on rain and snowfall. With no significant change in generation capacity, Norway has seen swings between just over 100TWh of hydro generation to just over 140TWh of generation in a year. It is currently bumping along historic lows of reservoir levels, and considering banning interconnector exports, and certainly back burnering any new interconnectors. It has managed to create some constriction of exports by finding faults with HVDC converter stations. Interconnectors have simply opened up Southern Norway to exposire to the wider European capacity shortages, and imported shortage pricing to Norway. They are not best pleased.

Of course, huge variability in annual generation doesn’t just apply to hydro: wind is subject to large variations too. The reason the European market went beserk last winter was that renewables failed, resulting in substantially increased gas burn, which in turn caused a gas shortage even when there was no interruption to Russian supply. Solar too suffers significant inter year swings.

Unless you plan for the worst case year, and a run of poor years, you will have a system that fails if you rely heavily on renewables. Your backup systems have to be able to cope for the bad cases, not just some average case.

Reply to  It doesn't add up...
July 3, 2022 5:24 pm

“Norway has seen swings between just over 100TWh of hydro generation to just over 140TWh of generation in a year.”
My point is that even that lower figure of 100 TWh is enough to power the entire EU for two weeks, if enough generation capability was provided. IOW, it is far more valuable (to Europe) as a reserve than as baseload power. 

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
July 1, 2022 7:47 am

Yes, this is exactly right. Continuation of the present policies, EV only vehicles coupled with almost only wind and solar grid supply will lead to two things:

1) the closure of the European and UK auto industries, because no-one will be able to afford to buy the much more expensive cars. It will be like Cuba, used ones tinkered with and patched up forever.

2) Fuel rationing.

You cannot get there from here. You cannot double (or triple) power demand and at the same time move to intermittent sources of supply without very serious social and economic consequences. It will produce a decline in living standards of a scale not seen since the 1930s.

It is quite terrifying that the political class in both Europe and the UK seem to be in denial about this. But they are in Australia too, apparently, and at least half of the US political class is too.

The strength of the Ruhnau and Qvist paper is that it considers the real weather that actually happened in Germany, and it sets this against how much storage would actually be needed to deliver a system which could supply existing demand to present standards.

Maybe Nick can find something wrong with it. If so, lets hear it.

The somewhat similar challenge to the Australian policy we were discussing the other day is: Lets see some quantified argument that installing 122GW of solar plus 45GW of new storage backup, which is what seems to be planned, is cheaper than just installing a few 10s of GW of conventional. And lowering demand by keeping the vehicles ICE. China will have plenty of them to export. Its not like they are going to be hard to get.

Lets see it!

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 1, 2022 8:24 am

At least you recognise that back up gas generation will be needed for a long time unlike most climate zealots.

Mark BLR
Reply to  RickWill
July 1, 2022 4:55 am

It arrives at a figure of 16,00GWh [ missing digit or misplaced comma ??? ] for 89% penetration of W&S. That is still an enormous amount but a fraction of the 56,000GWH quoted.

From your paper :

Let us now return to the case where a wind-solar market share of 89% is reached …

… by installing pumped-stores (with frictions) with a volume of 16.3 TWh – 362 times the volume the ESTORAGE project considers feasible for Germany – it would be possible to boost the efficiency to 93.3% so that the 100% renewables case could be reached …

NB : It then goes on to propose using “Norwegian hydro lakes” to make up any shortfall.

It looks like the missing digit in your post was a “3”.

Your paper says the equivalent of 16,300 GWh of various forms of “storage” would be required in a “100% renewable, 89% Wind + Solar” configuration.

The chart in the ATL article shows Germany adding (just under) 9 GWh of “grid-scale energy storage” over the next decade.

What “fraction” of your 16,300 GWh is 9 GWh ?

Reply to  Mark BLR
July 1, 2022 5:11 pm

What “fraction” of your 16,300 GWh is 9 GWh ?

It is not my figure, rather Sinn who authored the paper, but 16,000GWh is a fraction of the 56,000GWh in the article above.

Also Sinn did not consider the potential for overbuild of the intermittent generation.

If you set a target for W&S plus hydro and maybe biofuels penetration then there is an economic mix that includes overbuild, dispatchable generation, synchronous condensers, batteries and transmission assets. It all depends on the target and cost of each element. In Australia, with 3X overbuild in solar and wind you get to 90% penetration of “renewables” using existing 8GW of hydro and just 5GW of gas plus 4 hours of battery backup at peak demand of 30GW or 5 hours at average demand.

The economic mix for 90% penetration in the German grid would be way less than 16,000GWh of storage. I figure around 1,000GWh would get there so a 11X on existing capacity.

My issue is with the target. The only sensible target is zero in most situations. Literally no one has done any due diligence on the premise that there is a GHE or that CO2 has any direct influence on the energy balance. The GHE is a belief and can be whatever you want it to be.

Mark BLR
Reply to  RickWill
July 2, 2022 2:37 am

I figure around 1,000GWh would get there so a 11X on existing capacity.

What fraction of 1 TWh is 9 GWh ?

Tim Gorman
Reply to  RickWill
July 2, 2022 4:07 am

4 hours of battery backup? Woefully short. The old Bell System standard in the US was 3 days of battery backup for locations without an emergency generator and 4 hours for sties with a diesel backup. 4 hours of battery backup simply isn’t enough time to get fossil fuel generators back online and meeting demand loads after a total grid emergency, even assuming they are still available. Small emergency diesel generators like at a major telephone switch location take an hour or more to come up to operating temperature and full power capability and those aren’t grid level generators.

Chris Hanley
June 30, 2022 11:34 pm

… the subject of the ongoing massive “green” transition to fossil-fuel-free energy …

Germany looks like having hit the green energy wall alright, far from a ‘massive “green” transition’ what is surprising is how low the percentage of primary energy from non-fossil non-nuclear fuel sources has been able to bring about that humiliating result.
In 2021 only 16% of primary energy consumption came from non-nuclear and non-fossil sources of which only ~4% came from wind and solar, most (~9%) coming from biomass.
Despite an increase in population (80M – 83M) most of the much-touted reduction in German CO2 emissions has been due to a drop in overall energy consumption since the Energiewende policy was adopted in 2010, no doubt due to increased costs.
Increasing the price of energy is the unstated underlying intent of the push to so-called renewables.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Chris Hanley
June 30, 2022 11:50 pm

The link goes the ‘Clean Energy Wire’ and the top chart purports to show the growth in Germany’s GDP since 2010.
According to Trading Economics site the GDP of Germany has been flat since 2011, the GDP in 2011 was 3744B USD in 2020 was 3846B USD.

Last edited 3 months ago by Chris Hanley
July 1, 2022 12:25 am

Next winter people in most of the “progressive” countries will learn actual physics the very hard way.

July 1, 2022 1:18 am

The Unsayable

There is a fundamental question to be asked and fully answered before any further commitment is made to respond to Climate Change / Global Warming / Net Zero / ESG (Environment Social and Governance)”, etc.

Simply put:  are Man-made CO2 emissions a future problem for Global temperature at all ??

Compared to water vapour and clouds in the atmosphere, CO2 is a minor Greenhouse gas, contributing ~5-10% of the warming of the overall Greenhouse Effect.  For cogent technical reasons, as CO2 concentration increases, its warming capability diminishes.  At its current level of CO2 of ~410parts / million in the atmosphere, CO2’s warming effect is saturated.  Whatever the scale of future Man-made CO2 emissions, those CO2 emissions can have very little warming effect in future.  
    min 24 >

On the other hand, higher levels of atmospheric CO2 have already brought massive positive effects for plant growth and agricultural production Worldwide.

Methane although a more powerful Greenhouse gas than CO2, reacts with Oxygen in the atmosphere and dissipates rapidly on its release, whether from the large natural sources or from Man-made release.  Methane is currently ~1900 ppb, (parts / billion):  it has an insignificant warming effect and like CO2 its effect also diminishes with increasing concentration. 

Beyond the “developed” Western world, all other Nations, including China, India and in Africa, dismiss the fallacy that CO2 is pollution at all.  They have no interest in restraining the advances of their well-being to control what they know is a non-problem.  
Whatever energy self-harm the West indulges in, “to set an example”, the rest of the World, will be unconcerned about emitting whatever CO2 may result.  

In the expectation that Weather-Dependent power generation technologies would reduce emissions of Man-made CO2, the Western policy to combat “is still to install, heavily subsidise and give massive preferential legal support to Weather-Dependent “Renewable” Wind and Solar power for power generation. The Productivity of Weather-Dependent power generation is crucial when comparing the cost of providing an equivalent level of power to the Grid, as provided by conventional power generation technologies. 
In Europe the measured productivity of Weather-Dependent generators over the past 10 years has been:
Onshore Wind  22.5%
Offshore Wind  32.7%
Combined Wind Power  23.5%
Solar PV on grid  11.6%
Combined Weather-Dependent Productivity  18.7% 
Whereas, conventional power generation works 24/7 and can perform at ~90% productivity, just accounting for normal maintenance.

Solar and Wind power technologies are mature:  very little performance improvement can be expected as their power production is now limited by immutable laws of physics. 
When these European productivity values are combined with the capital and long-term costs as assessed by the US EIA in 2022, their comparative results are:
·      Onshore Wind power provision is ~8-9 times the cost of Gas-firing
·      Offshore Wind power is ~16-25 times the cost of Gas-firing.
·      Solar power provision is about ~10-12 times the cost of Gas-firing
Would anyone sane buy a car costing 8 – 25 times the normal price that only works one day in five, when you never know which day that might be ? And then insist that its technology is used to power the whole economy.

The resulting excess expenditures across Europe in 2021 compared to using Gas-firing for power generation can be estimated as:
·      Weather-Dependent “Renewables”  385GW
·      Weather-Dependent power output 2021  69GW
·      in wasted excess capital costs ~630 € billion
·      in wasted excess long-term costs over a 40-year service life ~2,040 € billion.
This is the scale of direct fiscal damage that has been caused by the obstruction of Fracking throughout Europe, just to the benefit Russian Gas exports.

It will be fruitless to continue ever more massive excess expenditures on Weather-Dependent “Renewables” to avert possible minor warming in the distant future.  

Weather-Dependency means that “Renewable” power is intermittent, unreliable and non-dispatchable, so, there will always be times, whatever the scale of future Weather-Dependent generation, when their power output will be virtually nil for Wind power in still Weather and nil for Solar power at night, on cloudy days and throughout the winter.

Euro product.png
July 1, 2022 1:33 am

This is exactly what the Greens, a front for the Great Reset, want!

Coeur de Lion
July 1, 2022 1:37 am

And it’s all pointless. CO2 is going to continue rising at about 2ppm plus per year for the foreseeable future. It will (or already has) be/been shown that ECS is very small and CO2 does not control the weather.

dodgy geezer
July 1, 2022 2:00 am

Surely, you might think,…..Germany must have been focused like a laser beam on the storage issues to make the whole thing work? You would be wrong. 

IF this were being done for engineering reasons, of course Germany would have made all appropriate plans. As would all countries.

The key to understanding this is that this is being done for POLITICAL reasons. Politics works by:

1 – Identifying loud voices demanding some change or other
2 – Stating that a policy will be changed, and allocating budget
3 – Reaping the reward in the form of votes.

At no point is there a concern about the impacts of any policy, social, financial or engineering. The reasons are:

1 – Any country/state-wide policy takes several years to develop
2 – The politicians who agreed it will be long gone by then
3 – The bureaucracy which administers these policies hates success, which means that their jobs are endangered. Their ideal is a slowly failing policy, which means that they are assured of lifetime work addressing the myriad problems of a failing system….

July 1, 2022 2:44 am

it was the west that applied bank sanctions to russia
so Putin will sell as much as they want but they pay in rubles, thats fair enough
Canadian/siemens refusal to return overhauled parts TO russia reduced the flow
again its the west at fault
we are idiots or our leaders are

John Dilks
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 2, 2022 4:30 pm


July 1, 2022 2:56 am

Oh, I do love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning!

July 1, 2022 3:18 am

In addition to their senseless anti-nuclear policy is Germany’s self-destructive anti-Russia policy. They are refusing to pay Gazprom in Rubles for natural gas. Gazprom would like to sell all the natural gas it can to EU nations. Very profitable at current prices. But getting paid in Eoros is like being paid in Monopoly money due to harsh banking sanctions on Russia. Gazprom’s demand for Rubles is sensible — Germany’s refusal to pay in Rubles is not.

Last edited 3 months ago by Richard Greene
It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 3, 2022 11:13 am

They can only pay in roubles if they buy the roubles. They can only buy the roubles by paying for them in euros. Only the Russians are in a position to sell roubles, as other countries do not have a trade surplus with Russia for which they have accepted roubles in payment. So the end result is that a Russian bank ends up with euros for the roubles it sells to pay for the gas, which results in the roubles being returned, and its euro balances increasing.

Art Slartibartfast
July 1, 2022 3:39 am

Germany migh get some gas from the Netherlands, although that is controversial since pumping out the gas causes small eartquakes damaging the houses. The government has been dragging their feet in compensating for the damage.

July 1, 2022 3:58 am

“You would be wrong. It is truly unbelievable the extent to which Germany — seemingly the country with the most sophisticated engineering in the world — put its head in the sand and ignored the storage problem until it just ran its energy system into the wall.”

I do believe Germany’s once famous engineering prowess is a now a glory only of their past.

German Engineering Yields New Warship That Isn’t Fit for Sea
Navy refuses to commission frigate after it failed sea trials; critics cite fiasco in conception and execution
Jan. 12, 2018

Defense experts cite the warship’s buggy software and ill-considered arsenal—as well as what was until recently its noticeable list to starboard—as symptoms of deeper, more intractable problems: Shrinking military expertise and growing confusion among German leaders about what the country’s armed forces are for.

A litany of bungled infrastructure projects has tarred Germany’s reputation for engineering prowess. There is still no opening date for Berlin’s new €6 billion ($7.2 billion) airport, which is already 10 years behind schedule, and the redesign of Stuttgart’s railway station remains stalled more than a decade after work on the project started. Observers have blamed these mishaps on poor planning and project management, which also figured in major setbacks for several big military projects.

German military procurement is “one hell of a complete disaster,” said Christian Mölling, a defense-industry expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. “It will take years to sort this problem out.”
The naval fiasco, on a project with a €3 billion price tag, is particularly startling since Europe’s largest exporter relies on open and secure shipping lanes to transport its goods.

Bob boder
Reply to  .KcTaz
July 1, 2022 8:01 am

The infection of socialism.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  .KcTaz
July 2, 2022 4:12 am

“as well as what was until recently its noticeable list to starboard—as symptoms of deeper, more intractable problems”

“list to starboard”! Wow! That would seem to denote something was wrong with the vessel. 🙂

Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

Ray Swadling
July 1, 2022 4:43 am

And unlike Germany, the UK demolished its coal stations quickly after decommissioning.
So we can’t go back to them anyway.
Looked good in photo opportunities to allow politicians to burnish green credentials though.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Ray Swadling
July 3, 2022 11:15 am

At the start of the war to oust Saddam from Kuwait the first action was to blow up the power stations around Baghdad and other major cities. Alok Sharma and Nicola Sturgeon blowing up power stations is a war against their own people.

July 1, 2022 5:09 am

Here’s a German solution: Giant Thermos Bottle to store hot water. Ya gotta wonder…

July 1, 2022 5:20 am

I think you do not know Germans. They are simply stubborn and arrogant (I live in Germany). So it is no surprise that they “put its head in the sand and ignored the storage problem until it just ran its energy system into the wall“. But you know what’s happening here? Well, politicians say that war in Ukraine is guilty for the unstoppable price increase and the electors believe them. It reminds me the not so far past of this country, when people were also believing in a (right) cause…

July 1, 2022 5:57 am

This is on top of the EU and UK not paying fully for their own defense. Their last non-payments are still on our books. And I wonder who will be hit up for another Marshall Plan and Cold War.

July 1, 2022 6:46 am

I agree Francis – Germany wins!
I think not-so-Great Britain is a close second or maybe even a tie with Germany, as we predicted in 2002 and 2013.
Best, Allan
British Undersecretary for Energy and Climate Change, 31Oct2013
By Allan MacRae, B.A.Sc.(Eng.), M.Eng.
So here is my real concern:
IF the Sun does indeed drive temperature, as I suspect, Baroness Verma, then you and your colleagues on both sides of the House may have brewed the perfect storm.
You are claiming that global cooling will NOT happen, AND you have crippled your energy systems with excessive reliance on ineffective grid-connected “green energy” schemes.
I suggest that global cooling probably WILL happen within the next decade or sooner, and Britain will get colder.
I also suggest that the IPCC and the Met Office have NO track record of successful prediction (or “projection”) of global temperature and thus have no scientific credibility.
I suggest that Winter deaths will increase in the UK as cooling progresses.
I suggest that Excess Winter Mortality, the British rate of which is about double the rate in the Scandinavian countries, should provide an estimate of this unfolding tragedy.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Allan MacRae
July 1, 2022 1:11 pm

And that was written 9 years ago!

Reply to  Mike Lowe
July 4, 2022 8:04 am

And we wrote the following 20 years ago:
We published in 2002:
1. “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”
2. “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”
I published on September 1, 2002:
3. “If [as we believe] solar activity is the main driver of surface temperature rather than CO2, we should begin the next cooling period by 2020 to 2030.”

I updated my global cooling prediction in 2013:
3a. “I suggest global cooling starts by 2020 or sooner. Bundle up.”

“The ability to correctly predict is the best objective measure of scientific and technical competence.”
Our predictions on Climate and Covid are infinitely more accurate than mainstream narratives.

The alleged Global Warming (CAGW aka Climate) crisis is supported by scoundrels and imbeciles. It is blatantly false, a ~50-year-old scam!

It is obvious that no rational individual or group could be this wrong for this long – the scoundrels, the leaders of the Climate scam have known they were lying since Day 1; the imbeciles believe them.

Pat from kerbob
July 1, 2022 7:33 am

Germany failed the renewables test a while ago, it’s the Norwegian Blue of energy systems.

Here in Alberta we have ~14GW of reliable generation with an average load of 11GW
Call it 1.3x
We also have 3GW of renewables but those are zero much of the time
Because that’s what they do.

Germany already has 2x grid load of installed renewables, mostly wind and widely dispersed across the country, and yet that still only provided 40% of electricity used in Germany last year.
Doubling the amount installed won’t change anything except make the momentary unusable oversupply even worse. Same amount of wind.

There is also almost 2x installed reliable generation that keeps the lights on.

So they have ~4x load installed vs our ~1.6, and yet their cost and reliability are magnitudes worse.


Reply to  Pat from kerbob
July 1, 2022 9:08 am

Good comparisons there. Germany will keep trying to export their way out the problem though with that 50-year trade model and EU tariff walls while holding down the other EU fringe mob with currency control. They will let Ukraine burn and make Americans pay for defense in the process of forging ahead with renewables defending against climate monster myths.

July 1, 2022 10:11 am

I never could understand the emotional abhorance of nuclear. The only explanation is a primeval fear of things you cannot see – goolies and ghousties and things that go bump in the night of the old Anglican prayer book.

Jon R
Reply to  Fran
July 3, 2022 12:39 pm

There’s peasants that never left the surrounding Chernobyl area and they’re just fine and you could take all the nuclear waste in the world and put it in the end zone of a football field and it only be six or 8 feet tall it’s propaganda very successful propaganda. And no Fukhashimo is not ruining the Pacific Ocean LOL.

July 1, 2022 10:20 am

They will blame it on unavoidable, circumstances, blame it on others and attempt to justify it with a cause. They can tell the population their suffering is for a good cause and must be shared with those whom we have no interest. Then do a quick fix with a time when the fix will expire.

They can pretend to worry about pubic but behind the scene they are secure because the election is predetermined with the public there for show.

July 1, 2022 11:24 am

Aka Let the Americans pay for Ukraine and NATO…..

EU prepares emergency plan to do without Russian energy – ABC News (

Gary Pearse
July 1, 2022 11:36 am

“It is truly unbelievable the extent to which Germany — seemingly the country with the most sophisticated engineering in the world — put its head in the sand and ignored the storage problem until it just ran its energy system into the wall”.

A German company was selected to build Ottawa’s subway system several years ago. The system still doesn’t work as advertised! The city turned down a bid from Bombardier in Montreal who have built premier rail equipment since beginning of the 20th Century from steam to diesel-electric to light rail transport, the latter over 50yrs.

They even built a light rail system in Karlsruhe, Germany! They built a driverless system in Singapore and subway systems in Minneapolis and other North American and European countries. They built systems in Japan and China, including the system connecting Beijing’s airport terminals.

Because of Ottawa and other Canadian cities going elsewhere for the tech, they sold off their rail division and now manufacture the biggest and fastest private jets (mach 0.945)! Yeah, Germany’s old reputation is no more!

Gary Pearse
July 1, 2022 12:22 pm

With the self-created energy crisis and the windfall of being able to blame Russia for everything, I’ve confidentally predicted the end of the socialist putsch meme, Paris Accord, renewables, Great Reset, consensus climate crisis science, and all its accoutrements, the die-back of dysfunctional ‘elite’ universities an impoverishment of the lefty billionaire- welfare set and NGO swamp and a remaking or death of the Democrat/liberal/lefty establishment.

The swiftness of politicos’ jumping back into fossil fuels is a ‘tell’ that they already knew they were in deep trouble and the opportunity to get out was seized upon with glee. Of course, they say it’s only temporary but, trust me, this thing is dead.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Gary Pearse
July 1, 2022 1:15 pm

I hope that is not merely wishful thinking. I really do!

Mike Lowe
July 1, 2022 12:39 pm

It’s time Germany had a win!

July 2, 2022 6:07 am

a situation where the electricity system stops functioning, or the price goes through the roof, or both, forcing a drastic alteration or even abandonment of the whole scheme.

Well Australia would be well in the mix here with rocketing wholesale power prices and the AEMO regulator having to suspend the market and order generation with the NEM and having to reimburse generators’ costs to do so.

As a result the AEMO has been cobbling together an Integrated Service Plan going forward. That largely commits to more and faster renewables rollout and their interconnection and mumbles about a capacity mechanism (code for storage dispatchability) but any reasonable look at what’s required with storage is extremely problematic-
Seasons of low wind and solar output will influence the shape of the NEM – WattClarity

Nothing’s impossible and we can harvest icebergs from Antarctica and grow fields of tulips around Ayers Rock with them too so howsabout a glossy prospectus to get in on the ground floor with?

July 2, 2022 6:26 am

In 2018 during his speech to the UN General Assembly President Donald Trump lodged a warning to Germany about their country’s reliance on Russian energy.
The German delegation ironically laughed on camera at the remarks.
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