Europe’s Power Crisis Overtaking Gas Crisis

From NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

This latest analysis from Timera dovetails with my piece on the broken electricity market yesterday:

Europe’s power crisis overtaking gas crisis

Europe is now facing a parallel gas & power crisis. The influence of the rising cost of gas driving up power prices is well understood.  What is receiving less attention is a rapidly accelerating power crisis which is driving a renewed surge in gas prices.

The geopolitics of Russian supply dynamics is currently dominating global headlines. The current conflict has exposed the extent of Europe’s dependence on cheap hydrocarbons from a hostile neighbour. Russia cutting supply to Europe has been the primary driver of the surge in gas prices across Europe in H1 2022.

Europe’s parallel power crisis has gathered pace across the summer. This is being driven by nuclear availability issues, depleted hydro levels & declining thermal output (both due to fuel access issues & plant closures). Power prices across Europe are surging to record levels, now materially outstripping the rise in gas prices.

The price of TTF gas for 2023 delivery closed last week above 237 €/MWh (70 $/mmbtu), up 120% since the beginning of July!  Power prices rises across the same period were much more aggressive. We’ve run out of adjectives to describe the pace of this price surge.

Acute power market tightness across Europe has been a key factor dragging up forward gas prices across the last 6 weeks. Europe needs more generation output to keep the lights on and the only remaining option is gas.

In today’s article we look at the circular pricing dynamics that are driving an upwards spiral of demand destruction in European gas & power prices.

Forward gas curve surge

We rarely publish the same chart in consecutive feature articles. However to emphasise the scale of the move up in gas prices across the summer, Chart 1 is an update of the chart we showed in July.

Chart 1: The surge in TTF forward prices since early July

There is a lot of media attention on the front of the TTF curve. Prices for Sep 22 delivery are up around 35% since we published this chart (green line vs dark blue line).

Of far greater consequence is the fact that the price for delivery of gas across Calendar 2023 has risen 120% since the start of July. A pause to let that sink in… the already extremely elevated price for delivery of gas next year has more than doubled in the last 6 weeks. And it is the same for Calendar 2024 (also more than doubled).

These are seismic shifts in the energy cost base of the European economy. They point to impending broad-based industrial demand destruction and a substantial increase in the probability of administered gas rationing.

Europe’s growing power crisis

The primary factor driving rising European power prices across the first half of 2022 has been the surge in gas prices. CCGTs dominate marginal power price setting across European power markets. As a result gas price rises flow directly into higher power prices.

A separate European power crisis has been gathering steam into the summer. The drivers of behind this are:

  1. Very low French nuclear availability (EDF recently scaled back its output guidance for 2023 to 300-330TWh and is now facing cooling issues that are impacting an already weak 2022 availability)
  2. Historically low hydro storage levels from Scandinavia to Iberia (given widespread drought conditions)
  3. Thermal plant closures across Western Europe (across ageing coal, nuclear & gas plants)
  4. Fuel supply logistics driven by a combination of very low Rhine water levels (e.g. impacting barge coal delivery to German power stations) & logistical issues driven by the Russian conflict
  5. Periods of low wind & solar output where the factors above are driving a deficit in residual generation.

The combination of these factors is pushing the power crisis onto centre stage.

Power crisis now driving the gas crisis

Europe is short molecules of gas across the next 3 years. Given lack of any material supply response across this period (in the absence of a return to higher Russian flows), there are three demand side reduction options to balance the market:

  1. Industrial demand (already facing destruction of ~15% so far in 2022 due to higher prices)
  2. Power sector demand
  3. Residential & commercial demand (the sector that governments are most likely to try and protect in case of rationing).

Normally very high gas prices would incentivise reduced demand from the power sector. But going forward Europe is now short electrons as well a molecules.  And the marginal source of incremental electrons comes from burning molecules.

In other words in order to keep the lights on, Europe has no alternative but to burn more gas, aside from intervention to reduce power demand which may also be coming.

A barometer for power vs gas crisis impact

The market pricing barometer that best reflects the severity of the power vs gas crisis is the Clean Spark Spread (CSS).  This is the spread between power prices and the variable generation cost of CCGT plants (i.e. CCGT generation margins).  Chart 2 shows how much French CSS has exploded since the start of 2022 (much of this in recent weeks).

Chart 2: French forward Baseload CSS in Jan 22 vs Aug 22

Source: Timera Energy, ICE

If CSS is rising it means that power price increases are outstripping the cost pass through of rising gas prices. This has been happening in spades this summer. It is most acute in the French market but forward CSS is also surging to record levels across most European markets. Chart 3 shows CSS in France versus two other key markets: UK & Germany.

Chart 2: Forward Baseload CSS in France vs UK vs Germany (18Aug22)

The UK & German forward CSS levels may look small relative to the French ones. Don’t be fooled… these are also at record levels. For example German Baseload CSS typically ranges from negative levels to low single digits vs more than 80 €/MWh currently for Winter 2023.

CSS transmission and the liquidity challenge

Forward CSS is a key transmission mechanism that is seeing rising power prices drag up the TTF gas curve. As forward CSS surges, it increases the incentive for gas generators to hedge forward generation. This involves forward selling of power and buying of gas (& carbon).

In other words entirely rational generation hedging is bidding up the cost of forward gas in response to higher power prices (& CSS).

Movements in both gas & power prices are currently being exacerbated by very poor market liquidity. This is a function of:

  1. Margin & collateral issues which are constraining the ability of market players to trade forward
  2. Risk capacity (e.g. VaR / limit) issues limiting forward exposures.

In a market with bids spiralling higher, there is very little offer liquidity to dampen price rises. These conditions are set to continue to support extreme price volatility. Market moves are not only in one direction. For example any increase in Russian supply would likely cause forward markets to gap lower.

One key piece of information the market is searching for is some clarity on the structure of policy intervention e.g. in the form of rationing or auctioning industrial volumes.  This information is a key input into trying to quantify the volumes & pricing of required demand destruction to clear markets.

A significant portion of current forward power & gas price levels is driven by risk premium reflecting this uncertainty. Markets are used to pricing electrons & molecules based on supply side flexibility, not demand side destruction & intervention.

Extreme prices create extreme incentives for all energy consumers to cut demand. Whatever form rationing takes, let’s hope it embraces market price signals rather than trying to dampen or cancel them.

There are a couple of take home messages:

1) Lack of power capacity is driving up demand for gas, and therefore gas prices, which of course drives up power prices in turn.

2) High gas prices look set to continue for at least the next three years.

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Oldseadog
August 23, 2022 2:11 am

In GB we’re all right, Jack, ( maybe that should read we’re all right, Blue ), we have just received a shipment of Australian gas most of which apparently we are going to sell to the EU, and a big gas field has just been found just south of Cyprus which is also a member of The Commonwealth so we’ll get mates’ rates.
S/.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Oldseadog
August 23, 2022 3:56 am

Track the ship – aptly named Attalos – here

https://www.vesselfinder.com/?imo=9862920

It has been at anchor off North Kent for a couple of days and has yet to discharge. Using it as storage is evidently paying for now.

More detail on the Cyprus find here

https://www.tovima.gr/2022/08/22/international/totalenergies-eni-large-natural-gas-field-off-the-coast-of-cyprus/

2.5Tcf is certainly useful. The water is quite deep at over 2,200 metres. I would guess they might look at floating LNG, like in Australia offshore, but maybe a pipeline to shore works. The difficulty is the onward pipeline via Turkey, given the local politics, so perhaps onshore LNG is the alternative with other fields contributing. Because it is Total and ENI the French and Italians will have first dibs on the production. But every little helps if it means they aren’t having to buy from elsewhere.

More on previous Cyprus discoveries (now up to 20Tcf) and the export dilemmas here

https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/cyprus-gas-discovery-could-be-east-mediterranean-game-changer

M Courtney
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
August 23, 2022 11:56 pm

We have to use tankers as storage and then sell the gas on from the UK because the UK has closed its as storage.
This was one of those cuts to infrastructure by the magic of privatisation that ideologues think would boost an economy.
They are wrong.

MarkW
Reply to  M Courtney
August 24, 2022 12:29 pm

Socialism has always failed. Unwinding socialism always involves cost.

M Courtney
Reply to  MarkW
August 24, 2022 3:00 pm

If the cost is surrender to Russia I’m not willing to pay.

Matthew Sykes
Reply to  Oldseadog
August 23, 2022 4:44 am

We have loads of frackable gas in the UK. We need to use that!

Redge
Reply to  Matthew Sykes
August 23, 2022 5:15 am

^This^

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Oldseadog
August 23, 2022 4:47 am

I hate acronyms without a definition to accompany… in 50+ years never heard of TTF!!

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
August 23, 2022 5:17 am

It stands for Title Transfer Facility, a gas hub in the Netherlands and much like Henry Hub in the US it has become the dominant basis point for European gas prices.

Those who are British and familiar with the radio show from WW II called ITMA (It’s that man again) will recall the acronym TTFN.

Ta-ta for now.

Oldseadog
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
August 23, 2022 5:45 am

I have never heard of TTF either, and didn’t mention it, so not sure what your point is, Bigfoot.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Oldseadog
August 23, 2022 7:22 am

Old sea dog are you that dense….salt water rotted your brain??
The point is that somewhere in the body of the article, preferably the first time the acronym is used, the full text needs to be provided.
You get the Billy Andrade award for stupidity today.

Mr.
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
August 23, 2022 7:35 am

Your comment would have received an uptick from me if you had omitted your first and last paragraphs 🙁

MarkW
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
August 23, 2022 7:56 am

Oldseadog has no responsibility for either the article or the post that mentions the article. So why are you snapping at him?

Oldseadog
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
August 23, 2022 8:10 am

I had never heard of Billy Andrade either so had to look him up, and being of the belief that playing golf is a waste of a good walk I suppose that some may find him stupid but I can’t find any reference to linking him to a stupidity award. Please enlighten.
But I also agree with you that acronyms should be explained the first time they are used. I just don’t understand why you think this is relevant to my original comment rather than to the paper.

Last edited 3 months ago by Oldseadog
Smart Rock
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
August 23, 2022 9:50 am

Also, quoting gas prices in units of MWh is a bit obtuse. It assumes a specific efficiency in generating electricity from gas, and AFAIK not all generators are equal.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Smart Rock
August 23, 2022 10:24 am

No. It’s quite a logical way to sell and price gas. It gets around all the adjustments for temperature and pressure and calorific value that may otherwise have to be made in evaluating a price. $/MMBtu is similar: a price for a given quantity of energy. If you have an idea of the efficiency of a CCGT plant you can also get a handle on what power price it needs to run. A useful starting point is 50%, so the power price must be at least twice the gas price. If it’s a lot more that suggests capacity shortages, not gas prices are driving the power price. If it’s less then a different option is more competitive.

Ron Long
August 23, 2022 2:41 am

This whole Orwellian energy availability/cost exercise in Europe will test the question: with low energy availability and high cost do more persons die from heat (CAGW advocates say yes) or do more persons die from cold (wait for winter 22/23)? What an unfortunate circumstance Europe finds itself in. Couldn’t happen elsewhere? Wait for it.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Ron Long
August 23, 2022 2:48 am

Cold weather kills ten times as many people as hot weather.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(21)00081-4/fulltext

MarkW
Reply to  Bill Toland
August 23, 2022 8:00 am

On a per capita basis it’s probably even worse, since a lot more people live where it’s hot vs living where it’s cold.

Quelgeek
Reply to  Ron Long
August 23, 2022 3:07 am

Cold kills vulnerable people, no doubt, and that is sad for the friends and relatives. But lack of afforfdable energy kills industry and economies.

When those die they are gone for good just as surely as people are. Then what?

Usually when systems collapse we hear those who were in charge at the time asking “Who could have seen it coming?” The answer is usually: lots of people; what did you think was going to happen?

Many of us here had a pretty good inkling that depending on Russia was excessively gutsy (and that shutting down nuclear plants because the Japanese cut corners and got burnt was eccentric to say the least). At least we can revel in that, even if our children and grandchildren will never prosper.

Quelgeek
Reply to  Quelgeek
August 23, 2022 3:09 am

I should add that I am thinking from a European perspective here. I am more optimistic for North America and Africa.

Drake
Reply to  Quelgeek
August 23, 2022 9:31 am

Nice save with “more optimistic for North America…”.

Your “When those (industry and economies) die they are gone for good” was drawing a response from me since that is what Obama said, and TRUMP! proved him wrong in the US. And even with all the Democrats legislation against the US economy, TRUMP! policies brought another over 1/4 million manufacturing jobs brought back to the US so far this year.

Richard Page
Reply to  Quelgeek
August 23, 2022 1:08 pm

I’m just wondering what the relationship between USA and EU will be like when Biden’s promised LNG fails to arrive. It’s likely to get a bit testy.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Quelgeek
August 23, 2022 3:59 am

I don’t think the Japanese cut corners. They failed to anticipate that a tsunami could inundate their backup generators.

Quelgeek
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
August 23, 2022 5:05 am

They put their generators on a shore known to be at risk of tsunamis. I’ve designed DR infrastructure and colocating the backup with the thing you are protecting only makes sense for airliners.

Maybe they didn’t cut corners. Maybe they were just criminally negiligent. Either way, not a good enough reason for Germany to retire its fleet.

[Edit, repeating myself: “Who could have seen it coming?” The answer is usually: lots of people.]

Last edited 3 months ago by Quelgeek
Mason
Reply to  Quelgeek
August 23, 2022 8:31 am

The people that designed their reactors cut corners and did not do real safety analysis. The control rods were not failsafe and when the electricity died the rods did not deploy. When I made a comment in our staff meeting at the time that the rods should have dropped shutting down the reactor, a colleague informed me that the rods required power to raise them in to the reactor. This was also the case for half of the German plants. Additionally, the spent rods were stored high in the building and required pumps to circulate water for cooling and moderation. When the power died, the rods were exposed and the mass was was also exposed to high lateral loads from the wave and earthquake. In the US, the rods are stored in ponds on the ground.

mark
Reply to  Mason
August 23, 2022 10:26 am

Yup – in my industry (international oil and gas ) I don’t think the Fukushima design would have got through the various safety gates…

Reply to  Mason
August 23, 2022 10:53 pm

This is patently not true. All reactors SCRAMMED at Fukushima and were under control for hours until the lack of power to the cooling pumps to remove the decay heat failed..

Reply to  Quelgeek
August 23, 2022 10:51 pm

Neither. They designed for both earthquakes and tsunamis, what they didnt design for, because it makes no sense, is for a reactor to survive a wall of water that killed 20,000 people and enirely wrecked a chunk of Japan. In reality the reactor was simply irrelevant compared to the overall tsunami damage – it killed no one and really wasnt aan issue at all. Media turned it into THE main issue of the tsunami.

Why was that?
Cui Bono?

Now as the overall pattern of interconnmection of the global energy markets is revealing itself, we can answer that question.
Nuclear absolutely threatens the price of gas.
Gas producers have every reason to slap down coal and uranium as fuels. They have every reason to promote ‘green’ technology which as we are now clearly understanding is even more useless without gas than it is with it.

Who financed the CND back in Cold War days?
What is the connection between the CND and the Green Lobby?.
Who is the biggest gas producer in Europe?
Who is the biggest gas producer globally?

World war III started years ago, as a purely propaganda and media war designed to destroy foreign powers. It’s well documented if you dig deep enough.

Mr.
Reply to  Quelgeek
August 23, 2022 7:44 am

Yeah good point about the German government shutting down their nuclear plants because the Japanese ones were ill prepared for a tsunami arriving on their coastline.

Hello?

That’s like me permanently disconnecting my hot water heater because someone on the other side of town had one that rusted out and the bottom fell out.

Lunacy.

mark
Reply to  Mr.
August 23, 2022 10:27 am

And the decision makers clearly knew this. So the decision was political/“eco” driven – not through engineering and power transmission knowhow…….

Reply to  mark
August 23, 2022 10:55 pm

See my explanation above as to why coal and nuclear have been deliberately demonised whilst gas barely got a mention as pointless renewable energy was handed trillions of tax payer money

Crisp
Reply to  Quelgeek
August 24, 2022 6:19 am

They did not cut corners – and there was no chance of a nuclear meltdown or explosion. If some idiot had not decided to close the roof and trapped all the hydrogen being generated, we would never have heard of Fukushima. Like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, the failures were entirely due to human error. Even then, the total number of deaths from these incidents is well short of 100.

Reply to  Ron Long
August 24, 2022 5:30 am

I posted the following in Canada’s “Trudeau-bought” National Post, where it was promptly censored. I then wrote the NP editors a rather sharp note about their competence.

THE BIG CULL OF THE ELDERLY OF EUROPE WILL HAPPEN THIS WINTER
[I hope to be wrong – but rarely am.]

We’ve been watching this systematic culling of the elderly unfold for years, especially in Britain and Germany as green-energy schemes are promoted by the usual suspects and energy costs became unaffordable, especially for pensioners. The elderly Brits call it “Heat or Eat”.

We predicted this loss of life in 2002 and 2013 – it was all terribly costly and wasteful in dollars and lives – all entirely avoidable.
See CorrectPredictions.ca

We said that green energy would fail due to intermittency and diffusivity and that has happened in Britain, Germany and elsewhere.

We correctly predicted this green energy debacle in 2002, and in more detail in 2013 in my Open Letter to Baroness Verma.

We correctly predicted global cooling in 2002 and in 2013 to start circa 2020. Earth has been cooling since Feb2020 or earlier.
See: comment image

The Nino34 Index is a good predictor of global average temperature ~4 months in the future and it is cooling sharply.
comment image

We can expect a very cold winter. Increasing atmospheric CO2 is NOT a major driver of global warming – that’s the 50-year-old climate scam – “wolves stampeding the sheep” for political and financial gain. Now the innocents are paying the price.
Told you so 20 years ago.
A willful squandering of the lives of innocents.
Crimes against humanity.
 
_______________________

Selected references for the above post:

COLD WEATHER KILLS 20 TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE AS HOT WEATHER
By Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae September 4, 2015
‘Cold weather kills. Throughout history and in modern times, many more people succumb to cold exposure than to hot weather, as evidenced in a wide range of cold and warm climates.
Evidence is provided from a study of 74 million deaths in thirteen cold and warm countries including Thailand and Brazil, and studies of the United Kingdom, Europe, the USA, Australia and Canada.
Contrary to popular belief, Earth is colder-than-optimum for human survival. A warmer world, such as was experienced during the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period, is expected to lower winter deaths and a colder world like the Little Ice Age will increase winter mortality, absent adaptive measures. These conclusions have been known for many decades, based on national mortality statistics”.
 
SMALL-AREA ASSESSMENT OF TEMPERATURE-RELATED MORTALITY RISKS IN ENGLAND AND WALES: A CASE TIME SERIES ANALYSIS
A new Lancet study by Gasparrini et al (July 2022) ominously reports that from 2000 to 2019 in England and Wales there were an average of 791 heat-related excess deaths and 60,753 cold-related excess deaths each year. That’s an excess death ratio of about 85 to 1 for cold temperatures.
 
HYPOTHESIS: RADICAL GREENS ARE THE GREAT KILLERS OF OUR AGE 
By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., April 14, 2019

Reply to  Ron Long
August 24, 2022 6:02 am

I recently published:
We’ve been watching this systematic culling of the elderly unfold for years, especially in Britain and Germany as green-energy schemes are promoted by the usual suspects.
Depopulation! First it was the global warming Climate-and-Energy scam, and then it was the Covid-19 Lockdowns-and-Vaccines scam.


Some may say that my above “Depopulation” accusation above is unfair or excessive.
Some may say that the Ruling Classes of Europe are not deliberately trying to cull the elderly through their Climate-and-Covid scams, rather they are just so deeply inbred that this “error” is an unfortunate side-effect of that intellectual deficiency.

The counter-arguments are:
·     The Global Warming-and-Green-Energy narrative is a fifty-year-old fraud, which we published was false nonsense in 2002. Others including the eminent Richard Lindzen at MIT were publicly doubting the global warming falsehoods in the 1990’s. The warmist arguments were never credible, not even remotely so – they were always scary fictions with no basis in science.
·     Uncommon sense says that no rational individual or group could be this wrong, this incredibly obtuse, for this long – the warmists knew they were lying from the start. They promoted their scary CAGW narrative for financial and political gain – “wolves stampeding the sheep”.
 
It is possible that both the above interpretations are correct – Nuremberg2.0 trials are appropriate.
________________________________
 
For the record, 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.”

For the record, I published in 2013:
AN OPEN LETTER TO BARONESS VERMA
British Undersecretary for Energy and Climate Change, 31Oct2013
By Allan MacRae, B.A.Sc.(Eng.), M.Eng.
[excerpt]
“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.”

See CorrectPredictions.ca for references.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
August 24, 2022 11:17 am

As I recall, the green-energy madness in Britain was started by Tony Blair and in Germany by Angela Merkel. It is probable that Blair and Merkel will be responsible for enormous death and suffering in their countries, second only to the death tolls of the Second World War. Congrats all around!

Tony Blair had a law degree, so it is understandable that he had no technical competence and was easily duped (or bribed?) into supporting Britain’s deadly green energy scam. Tony’s father was reportedly illegitimate, but it appears that Tony was the real bastard in the family.

Angela Merkel reportedly had a doctorate in quantum chemistry, so it is inexplicable how she could have made such an enormous blunder in her avid promotion of the German Energiewende disaster. E.On Netz excellent “Wind Report 2005” clearly outlined the limitations of German grid-connected wind power. E.On Netz took this report off its website years ago. See especially Fig. 5, 6 and 7.

References:

“Tony Blair was born at Queen Mary Maternity Home in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 6 May 1953. He was the second son of Leo and Hazel (née Corscadden) Blair. Leo Blair was the illegitimate son of two entertainers and was adopted as a baby by Glasgow shipyard worker James Blair and his wife, Mary…
With his parents basing their family in Durham, Blair attended the Chorister School from 1961 to 1966. Aged 13, he was sent to spend his school term-time boarding at Fettes College in Edinburgh from 1966 to 1971.[14] Blair is reported to have hated his time at Fettes. His teachers were unimpressed with him; his biographer, John Rentoul, reported that ‘All the teachers I spoke to when researching the book said he was a complete pain in the backside and they were very glad to see the back of him.’” [Wiki]
 
“Angela Merkel was born in Hamburg in then-West Germany, moving to East Germany as an infant when her father, a Lutheran clergyman, received a pastorate in Perleberg. She obtained a doctorate in quantum chemistry in 1986 and worked as a research scientist until 1989.”[Wiki]

Ben Kellett
August 23, 2022 2:59 am

Not to worry!!!
Europe will bask in exceptional warmth this and next winter, due to…… runaway global warming……!!? Seriously though, better if the warming trend of the last few decades shields Europe this winter. Unfortunately, even in mild winters, many parts of Europe still experience sub-zero temperatures for long periods.
If a cold winter in Europe (or even just a cold few weeks), I dread to contemplate the consequences!

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Ben Kellett
August 23, 2022 10:56 am

Sub zero and parity….
Euro falls below parity with the dollar. What’s the impact? – ABC News (go.com)

They will not be able to export their way out of this mess, not with sky high energy costs in the production.

Rusty
Reply to  Ben Kellett
August 23, 2022 1:38 pm

I’m hoping for a very bitter and cold winter even though I’ll be affected by it. The reason is simple: the sooner collapse happens the quicker it gets rectified.

Look how fast governments moved when covid struck. Sure, lockdowns were bad and part of the reason we are seeing inflation, but they moved with lightning speed with respect to legislation, policing, healthcare, vaccines etc.

If European governments don’t start producing their own natural gas, cold, hungry people will either vote in new parties or simply riot and replace existing government by force.

Reply to  Rusty
August 23, 2022 11:21 pm

Yes, I am 100% with you there, Rusty. Until the crisis is so obvious even a politician can’t lie his way out of it, nothing will be done. Even then the EU will likely take about 5 years of committees and discussions and QUANGOs and lobby groups and expense account meals with large quantities of wine, to arrive at the wrong decision anyway.

It is not easy to even discern what the way forward is – fracking is obviously a medium term fix and the opening up of new gas supply chains is helping in the short term, but the longer term is really difficult to predict the right mix of technologies to use in a society where fossil fuels have become broadly too expensive to burn.
The USA has sufficient coal not to have to face that question until Europe has found a way.

The optimal thing to do would be to phase out all subsidies on energy and let the market decide what mix worked at the lowest cost.

But that takes a broadly libertarian conservative Right leaning government, and they are in short supply. The whole point of the EU was originally to protect European industry from the market – to create a closed market with high import tariffs to allow European businesses to prosper and become completely uncompetitive. The EU hates a free market.

The lead is likely to come from those Eastern European countries that are less enamored of the EU – Poland, Hungary and to an extent Czech and Slovak republics, and Slovenia, as well as Ukraine. And of course the European countries that are not in the EU – Switzerland, Norway, and of course Britain.

Poland has huge coal reserves, and Ukraine has coal oil and gas in the region coincidentally annexed by Russia (whoda thunk it, nothing to do with Neo Nazis after all!). But everywhere else at least as far as electricity goes the obvious solution seems to be a nuclear/hydro mix. If you can use nuclear for baseload and hydro for load following you can in fact create an almost 100% carbon free grid. And most importantly, at a similar or better cost than gas.

That’s the objective view of cost benefit accounting and current technology. What we have that works, is thermal power stations and hydro. As fossil fuel rises in cost, the cost of Uranium has actually fallen. And its dirt cheap anyway. All that costs is the building of nuclear power stations, especially in a modern bureaucratic environment when massively powerful deeply funded lobby groups are strirring up anti nuclear sentiment with false and misleading information.

Hence the interest being shown world wide in mass produced type appioved small modular reactors.

Of course the precursor to a sane European energy policy has to be the complete abandonemnt of all renewable energy, as it shows itself to be the single most expensive mistake ever made by humanity.

TonyG
Reply to  Rusty
August 24, 2022 7:18 am

the sooner collapse happens the quicker it gets rectified.
Look how fast governments moved when covid struck.

Given their track record, I would expect said governments to take the absolute wrong course of action and make the problem even worse. The hope is, as noted, that the people realize their governments are screwing it up and force them to actually do things right for a change.

(hungry people will either vote in new parties or simply riot and replace existing government by force.)

Gerald
August 23, 2022 3:18 am

I (as an Austrian) can only confirm the article. The soaring energy prices are the result of the Green Energy transition agenda pushed in recent years by a bunch of technically clueless politicians, journalists and NGOs and last but not least the EU administration. The EU (with Germany in the lead) shut-down lots of reliable electric power plants and replaced it with unreliable windmills/PVs or gas generated power plants. Because that’s the Energy transition plan of the EU. Stop of all coal or oil power plants and have gas only accepted in the interim period until we are all riding into the 100% renewable energy land on a rainbow-unicorn. This dumb strategy also increased the dependency on Russian gas since the Russians have their pipelines installed since decades and other potential suppliers (like Israel or Egypt with the Leviathan gas field) were not interested in investing billions in pipelines to supply a customer telling them that he wants to get rid of the gas supply in a few years. Also fracking technology was banned in all EU countries already a couple of years ago and is now not available. In 2011 the CEO of Austrian mineral oil company OMV said that Austria(!) has shale gas reserves to satisfy domestic demand for 30-40 years (I bet that also other EU countries have plenty of shale gas). At the University of Leoben (specialized in mining) was a research project about “biological fracking” to frack without chemicals, just with sand and water. After no interest by the politicians and push of the Green agenda the project was stopped. In the meantime we shut-off the last coal power plant. Our minister of Climate (no joke, we have one since end of 2019) proudly brought the last lump of coal from the last coal power plant 2021 in a museum. Now she urgently tries to bring this power plant back into operation. But since the staff already looked for other jobs and small things like conveyor belts are already dismantled it wont be before end of 2023. Another shut-down coal plant is already dismantled beyond recovery. The same (shut-down of coal power plants) was ongoing in Germany but additionally they also decided to shut-down their nuclear power plants. The last 3 most modern of them are scheduled to be switched off by 31st of december and the German minister from the Green party blocks all requests to keep them running. With such morons in place and such strategic failures it’s no wonder that Putins invasion in Ukraine cought us pants down and coming cold season in Europe will be grim. At least the Eastern European countries kept their coal and nuclear power plants running and thus will maybe prevent this time the EU from a full catastrophe of the Green Energy transition.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Gerald
August 23, 2022 4:10 am

Not so sure that the Eastern European countries can rescue the rest of Europe. Only Czechia has a clear surplus, keeping the lights on in Vienna with nuclear power. Map from the excellent pfbach.dk

Bear in mind that the big exporters in 2021 (France, Germany) are now often importers.

european_flows_2021.jpg
Gerald
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
August 23, 2022 5:24 am

Thank you for the interesting graph. Ironically it’s the war torn Ukraine which might have a big surplus. With the beginning of the Russian invasion Ukraines power grid was synchronized with the European (and desynchronized with the Russian). Ukraine has some powerful nuclear power plants and currently due to war destruction a reduced consumption. Ukraine already offered to deliver more electric energy in exchange for weapons and has also high interest to keep the lights on in Europe. Since a blackout ridden Europe wont be able to provide any further support. Unfortunately the biggest nuclear and thermal power plant of Ukraine (in Enerhodar/Zaporizhzhia) are in Russian hands and they are already fudging around with the nuclear pp to extort concessions. Another big coal power plant in Vuhlehirsk is most likely completely destroyed after weeks of intense fighting on plants ground. But the other 3 operational nuclear power plants, hydroelectric and most of coal pps are still safe.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Gerald
August 23, 2022 5:39 am

Ukraine ‘s export links are of rather limited size (max 1.7GW) for obvious historic reasons. They are not going to be able to rejig the grid to increase them in a hurry.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/energy/ukraine-taps-european-energy-market-kyiv-exporting-electricity

“Additional technical measures” probably means a 3-5 year project.

Last edited 3 months ago by It doesnot add up
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
August 23, 2022 11:31 pm

I am afraid that I can only agree with you. Ukraine is going to be a really useful mid term player in energy, but short term it looks like the only way to replace Russian gas is with someone else’s gas. Unfortunately Europe is pipelined to take it from Russia and send it westwards.

However the UK (and to be fair, I think Holland) is the one nation that has significant gas import facilities, and it looks like shipments of LNG from Australia and the USA as well as Qatar, may replace more than Russian gas (UK doesnt import much of that) and allow the pipelines to reverse a little to feed imported gas back to the continental mainland.

USA needs to build more oil terminals. Massive export potential – it has the surplus gas, but not the ports to take the LNG tankers.

To an extent the very high gas prices have been created by LNG tankers sitting in the Atlantic and North Sea waiting to see who would bid the highest. That looks set to fall back as they make landfall, to merely excruciatingly high prices.

Heigh Ho! What a life eh?
And then you die.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Gerald
August 23, 2022 11:02 am

In addition, China added many unit trains per month to Europe through Russia to feed the EU with lower cost goods made with coal-fired electricity and in some cases forced labor behind very high fences and guard towers.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 23, 2022 11:32 pm

Er no, it didn’t.
Imports from China are all by air or by sea.
Sea transport is way cheaper than rail, and doesn’t take a huge amount longer.

2hotel9
August 23, 2022 3:23 am

Why is anyone surprised at this? It is exactly what the political left has been saying they were going to do for decades. Bunch morons.

tgasloli
Reply to  2hotel9
August 23, 2022 3:30 am

And exactly what people voted for.

2hotel9
Reply to  tgasloli
August 23, 2022 4:10 am

Yes, a bunch of morons.

Graemethecat
Reply to  2hotel9
August 23, 2022 5:45 am

The Leftists knew exactly what they were doing. This disaster was planned. They’re evil, not moronic.

RevJay4
Reply to  Graemethecat
August 23, 2022 6:51 am

Could be evil morons. I agree that this disaster has been planned by the left, of all stripes and colors. They are still running the show in the EU and UK, etc. And ecstatic over the looming winter death figures, if a severe season happens.
They are morons cuz they haven’t figured out, yet, that the really big guys behind all this chaos consider them to be useful idiots. And expendable.

2hotel9
Reply to  Graemethecat
August 23, 2022 5:50 pm

The stunningly moronic idiots who are surprised at all by this, and the stunningly moronic “voters” who allow it to happen. The leftards orchestrating it are quite clever, even cunning. That is as far as their intelligence goes.

Reply to  2hotel9
August 23, 2022 11:33 pm

Useful idiots all being paid handsomely by…certain gas interests?

August 23, 2022 4:02 am

“Russia cutting supply to Europe has been the primary driver of the surge in gas prices across Europe in H1 2022.:

Confuses result with cause:
CAUSE:
EU banking sanctions make Euros worthless to Russian companies
This invalidates energy contracts specifying payments in Euros
Russian companies logically respond by demanding payments in Rubles
Many EU nations, including Germany, refuse, to punish Russia
RESULT:
Gazprom reduces natural gas exports and has no logical reason to supply any natural gas imports to nations refusing to pay in Rubles

This is not a supply disruption caused by the suppliers

It is a supply disruption caused by customers refusing to pay for natural gas in a currency that has value for Russian companies that WANT to export as much natural gas as possible. It is the customers themselves who made the Euros worthless for Russian companies.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 23, 2022 5:28 am

Your knowledge of contract law appears a bit sketchy. The contracts provide for payment in euros on particular pricing bases. The Russians have no right to change that. They can ask for a change, but it must be agreed. Of course they have made copious use of other contract provisions to find excuses not to deliver normal contractual volumes unless buyers acquiesce to rouble invoicing. Germany has being paying for gas in roubles since April, so the supply cutbacks on Nordstream have nothing to do with that. They are simply further arm twisting by Putin using a bunch of concocted pretexts.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
August 23, 2022 8:28 am

Nordstream supply is the sum of the orange and blue lines which show the volumes shipped out of Griefswald on the distribution pipelines. Supply was not cut until late July, after Germany had already been paying in roubles since the beginning of April.

chart (1).png
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
August 23, 2022 11:10 am

A lot of German companies are already refusing to pay in rubles, and Germany has already reduced gas imports from Russia by at least 50%. The percentage may reach 100% in mid-2014 — then no German company will be paying for gas with rubles.
Refusing to buy gas from Gazprom is the same as refusing to pay Gazprom with rubles

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 23, 2022 12:55 pm

Name some.

Right now Germany wants to buy more Russian gas and to be assured of continuing supply over the winter. Gazprom is refusing to deliver the volumes the Germans want.

Reply to  It doesn't add up...
August 23, 2022 11:06 am

Many German companies are already refusing to pay for Russian gas with rubles, or any other currency. German reliance on gas imports from Russia is already down at least 50%.

It is a German goal to eliminate all purchases of Russian gas by mid-2024. Obviously, a lot of German companies are already refusing to pay in rubles, and more will be refusing in the next year, as soon as alternative sources are found.

What right does the EU have to make Euros worthless to Russian companies? EU nations cutting demand for Russian gas should shrink the supply of Russian gas.
If EU nations / companies refuse to buy Russian gas, there will be less Russian gas produced. The result will be a smaller supply of natural gas in the world –and without a matching decline in demand, that will raise gas prices.

Last edited 3 months ago by Richard Greene
Philip
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 23, 2022 11:36 am

Might be true if EU were the only market for gas. However, there are many other countries (India, China, Asian countries, Africa, S. America) who buy and use gas. They may well be happy to buy Russian gas, paying in Rubles.

Doing that would reduce the demand for gas priced in dollars. Which just might persuade gas producers pricing in dollars to start pricing in rubles, to get a better price, in what is looking more and more to be a more stable currency.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Philip
August 23, 2022 12:45 pm

The price you get for gas depends on what a competing supplier might charge if available, otherwise on what the buyer is prepared to pay. It has nothing to do with currency of payment, which is largely a matter of convenience. Forex transactions change one currency into another.

The key to international currency is being able to borrow in your own currency. That allows the finance of trade deficits and denomination of others debts and asset purchases abroad. If you accumulate capital balances (either credit or debit) in a foreign currency you lose control over their worth and the ability to depreciate debts.

Richard Page
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
August 23, 2022 1:19 pm

There are 2 mechanisms going on with the Russian Gas – Germany has a contract with Gazprom to supply a certain amount of gas which (to the best of my knowledge) is being honoured. German companies and Germany have been trying to buy gas from Gazprom over and above the contracted amounts and it is this amount that has proved a problem, Gazprom insisting on roubles for gas which some companies are paying and some aren’t. I think that’s the issue although it’s hugely confusing.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 23, 2022 11:36 pm

Oh dear, three Kremlin trolls on here today.
Why has the West sanctioned Russia?
Bceause invasion of Ukriane. The fact that you have got upvotes clearly demonstrates my thesis that Russia is all ober the social media spreading lies and disinformation. And in fact has been for years, which is why we are in this mess.

michael hart
Reply to  Leo Smith
August 25, 2022 3:06 pm

Yeah, righhht. And a few Russian trolls/agents spent $16,000 on a few Facebook adverts in 2016, allegedly swamping the political effect of the Clinton campaign spending circa $1Billion??

Russia has not been an effective economic, strategic, or military competitor for the US since before the fall of the Berlin Wall. So why does it suit some in the West to loudly pretend otherwise?

However when, say, a Uranium mine in Canada is up for sale, Russia does, like the Ukraine, provide excellent money-laundering opportunities for certain well known US (D) politicians.

Meanwhile, China quietly gets on with its ambitions. Only they are increasingly less quiet.

Ben Vorlich
August 23, 2022 4:05 am

It’s a sum even Arts Graduate Politicians, but possibly not Griff, can do.
Maximum installed.
Gas Generation 32GW
Coal 4GW
Nuclear 6.5 GW
Biomass 7GW
Hydro (exc Pumped) 2GW

Total that doesn’t rely on the weather or interconnectors ~52GW which is less than maximum demand even if we’re cutting back because we can’t afford to use electricity, but that will be countered by charging of EVs. Most UK heating and cooking is predominantly non-electrical.

Any flow of electrons on the interconnectors will be out rather than into the UK. Despite the fact that today we’re getting as much from the interconnectors as from wind.

Scissor
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 23, 2022 4:54 am

Just add those charging stations and transition.

It doesn't add up...
August 23, 2022 4:47 am

In other news for the UK we have the prospect of consumers being paid £6/kWh not to use electricity at peak times.

https://news.sky.com/story/cost-of-living-people-could-be-paid-for-not-using-electric-appliances-during-peak-hours-12678402

I’m sure people will work out how to game the system.

The same price (£6,000/MWh) is being touted as a price cap on interconnector bids following the recent case where UK consumers paid almost £10,000/MWh to Belgium so we could export to France. Of course if the Europeans outbid that during Dunkelflaute it’s lights out time as we get an 11GW swing between imports and exports.

Yooper
August 23, 2022 5:26 am

Good comment from Cap this morning:

Mother Nature is a no-sh*t-giving bitch who eats dumb ideologies for breakfast–as is only right. This is her planet, after all, why would she ever cater to the will of idiots.

fretslider
August 23, 2022 5:29 am

Well, generation, supply and cost are huge issues, but I stumbled on this by chance.

“England would use up the entirety of its 1.5C carbon budget on housing alone if the government sticks to its pledge to build 300,000 homes a year, according to a new study.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/23/englands-housing-strategy-would-blow-entire-carbon-budget-says-study

We need to build at least three million new homes. at 300,000 a year that’s almost 10 years.

You will own nothing and be happy, especially with this loony tune rationing.

“Radically retrofitting existing houses, cutting the number of second homes, stopping people from buying houses as financial investments and making people live in smaller buildings would be more sustainable ways to address the housing crisis, the paper says.”

The paper is idiotic. It’s far cheaper to knock it down and start again.

In a cost of living crisis who can afford to move out of their house while it’s reduced to a shell and retrofitted. Has anybody got a spare £100,000 or so down the back of the sofa?

Thought not.

Last edited 3 months ago by strativarius
MarkW
Reply to  fretslider
August 23, 2022 8:16 am

Stopping people, making people.

Don’t you just love how the left always goes for the dictatorial solutions?

cerescokid
August 23, 2022 5:38 am

Perfect storm? No. Black Swan? No.
Perfectly predictable? Of course. Who didn’t see this one coming.

Richard Page
Reply to  cerescokid
August 23, 2022 1:23 pm

You saw the drought conditions ahead of time? Wow, I’m impressed!

M Courtney
Reply to  Richard Page
August 24, 2022 12:02 am

I knew there would be a drought.
Didn’t know which year but I knew it was coming, sometime.

Had a good idea about Russia invading Ukraine as well (although I thought the war would be more limited and a lot quicker).

Pat from kerbob
August 23, 2022 5:46 am

But it’s ok because German chancellor henceforth known as moron#2 just met Justin Trudeau, always moron#1, and they just solved the crisis by talking about exports of clean hydrogen.
Which might occur in 2055 or earlier.

Moron#1 also announced that canadian regulatory hurdles to LNG might be lifted if a business case can be made for exports to Europe.
Yes, he really said that.
And yes, you might say I’m going easy on Justin, calling him moron #1 is being far too generous.

And some people actually wonder why europe is so screwed.

ResourceGuy
August 23, 2022 5:48 am

Step back a minute and recall that the financial leap of faith for rapid transition to EVs is coming amidst this set of crises. That represents more than just a simple recession and recovery process. Dismantling the ICE vehicle industry was a big part of the plan and there will be no jobs to turn to, including Hillary’s flippant forced coding advice. I suppose a lot of collapse scenarios of past civilizations involved cascading factors also.

IanE
Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 23, 2022 5:50 am

Yep – and those ‘in charge’ are still on the fiddle.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 23, 2022 11:40 pm

EVs will wither and largely die. Not enough lithium

ResourceGuy
August 23, 2022 5:58 am

Wait a minute, I thought the Griff interconnects would save the day.

observa
August 23, 2022 6:12 am

There’s the odd voice being raised in Oz against the current insanity-
Lack of ‘base load power’ is leading to massive energy price increases (msn.com)

max
August 23, 2022 6:47 am

Weren’t we assured, just days ago, that Germany would not be needing their remaining nuclear plant, since it would only save about 2% on electricity, which they didn’t really need? Did that idiot actually understand the situation? That’s a special kind of stupid.

Saighdear
August 23, 2022 6:48 am

Meanwhile the two German Numpties have been on a boondoggle to see Trudeau in Nova Scotia to get cheap Green Hydrogen … Anything but bite the bullet. So trudeau isn’t just “in” with the Dutch, but edging in to the Germans …. following on from their Servicing of the NordStream Turbine Service. Payback time, eh?

RevJay4
August 23, 2022 7:15 am

To me, its interesting to watch the changes which have taken place in the energy marketplace since Jan. 21, 2021. What does that date represent, you might ask. It was the date Biden was installed as the President of the United States. Shortly after that date, he announced the war on “fossil fuels”. With executive orders to shutdown or restrict any and all sources of the dreaded oil, natural gas, and coal industries.
Prior to that date, Trump had opened up almost all possibilities for exploration and tapping of the known sources for all sorts of dependable energy. With Trump still in office in the US, there may not have been any of the present faux energy shortages, thereby, no crisis.
Think about it.

Call me a skeptic
Reply to  RevJay4
August 23, 2022 8:13 am

There wouldn’t be an energy crisis. We the people are responsible for letting these climate change politicians take office. The western world needs to wake up. Meanwhile the Chinese are laughing at us

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Call me a skeptic
August 23, 2022 9:49 am

You’re on point except that we the people are not responsible for the climate change politicians. There is a concerted effort to install them in positions of power and not just in politics. They are following the Marxist ideolog’s playbook of corrupting a society by placing like-minded people in schools, media, and industry as well as governmental offices.
Besides that, the last presidential election was obviously fraudulently conducted with the subsequent disaster we are experiencing now.

Call me a skeptic
Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 23, 2022 6:23 pm

I disagree with your premise. We the people are silent about the Biden election. If we the people protested every night all over America like BLM did a tipping point would be reached. We the people sat on our hands and didn’t let our feet and our speech do the talking. Democracy is a fragile thing.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Call me a skeptic
August 23, 2022 9:58 pm

Democracy is mob rule where the majority rules. We are a republic that is supposed to follow the rule of law, not a democracy. I have no intention of lowering myself to the standards of BLM, Antifa, or other leftists. We are not silent either. We just don’t get the airtime from the leftist media.

We have to prove our case to the people and the courts by getting representatives that will force the issue. There are multiple outlets that are spreading the truth through factual reporting, like the documentary 2000 Mules.
It is not an easy process but, to retain the principles of our founding fathers, it must be done. If that process fails to bring about justice, there are other avenues to exploit.

Call me a skeptic
Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 24, 2022 8:57 am

The problem with your method is it lacks results. Unless we fix the mail in ballot scam and the internet based voting machines we have no shot of winning. All ballots should be in person paper ballots where mail in ballots should be minimized.and rare To attempt to adjudicate the last election in court is a losing proposition. The government only stands because we the people allow it to stand. The masses who oppose what’s happening have not been heard from yet. No corrupt government or corrupt media outlets could stop we the people. The power is in our hands.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Call me a skeptic
August 24, 2022 9:30 am

I agree that trying to reverse the last election is not feasible. That doesn’t mean we can’t prosecute and jail those that engaged in and benefitted from the corruption.
I would not advocate for mass destruction like BLM and Antifa did.
Gathering in masses would attract agents of destruction like BLM or Antifa plus corrupted members of the FBI, CIA, DOJ or some para-military group that would set us up as being responsible for the destruction.
We need to maintain the good will of the people that are not brainwashed by the leftists and making the rest aware of the corruption. That means lawfully removing the agents of destruction and locking them away from civil society in as peaceful a method as possible.

The power is in our hands and we should wield it carefully because power corrupts.

Call me a skeptic
Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 24, 2022 11:03 am

Who is going to hold those responsible? Certainly not the current DOJ or FBI. No one is going to prosecute unless of course you are aligned with the opposition party.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Call me a skeptic
August 24, 2022 11:27 am

Getting to that point will not be easy or quick. To think otherwise is not realistic and the attempt would be just as destructive as what the leftists are doing. Quick and easy implies violent methods which would play into the hands of the leftists.

First we need to elect representatives to replace the leftists. We need change the representation in all levels of government from school districts and local offices to the highest levels.

TonyG
Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 25, 2022 8:06 am

Brad, I’m ever the pessimist, but Miami-Dade school district flipped conservative, of all places. Who knows?

Brad-DXT
Reply to  TonyG
August 25, 2022 8:41 am

The power is in our hands, we just have to use it.
That Miami-Dade flipped shows that there are more conservative citizens than leftists in most places – even in typically leftist strongholds.

Reply to  Call me a skeptic
August 23, 2022 11:56 pm

To be fair as an ardent campaigner for a sane energy policy, I have resorted to spoilt ballot papers – there literally is no one with any chance of winning an election who appears to understand, let alone take on board as policy, the necessity of cleaning up the most godawful bugger’s muddle that political interference in the free market has ever created.

No one voted for this – there was simply no way to vote against it. Believe me, I’ve been campaigning at every level against renewable energy and other green tech that doesn’t work, for over a decade. No one has seen any political capital whatsoever in going against Big Green – they were simply too well funded and too powerful.

What is happening now, is that politicians – always the last to know – are realising that taking the Green coin in the brown envelopes may just not be the wisest career move right now. The myth that ‘renewable energy will save the planet’ isn’t that handy if it’s killed off half your prospective voters in the process, and the rest are out of work burning your effigy in Parliament Square (subsitute your local equivalent here).

In short, corruption, and political inertia pushed the Green agenda to the top and the sane agenda got trampled on.

But now the truth can’t be hidden, even from the Useful Idiots of the chattering classes.

When even the BBC starts to question energy policy, you know that a sea change is happening.

markl
August 23, 2022 10:33 am

Another “denier” prediction being realized.

Peta of Newark
August 23, 2022 11:12 am

I may have misplaced a decimal point but my sums suggest that burning Kerosene instead of gas might be cheaper

Assume Kerosene is presently 100pence per litre = 11pence per kWh
Nat. Gas at $70 per mmbtu (taking $=£) gives 23pence per kWh

All that happens in the Power Station is that gas in fed into modified jet engines, the modification being that they were converted from burning Kerosene to burning gas.
Just convert them back – the original fuel injectors will be on a shelf somewhere.
Yank the gas injectors out, tweak the air-intake and put the kerosene injectors back in and Ta-DahHalf Price Elecktrikery

Or is that too easy.
Lemme guess, it needs to be signed in triplicate qaudruplicate googlicate by a legion of bureaucratic Little Hilters

Otherwise, did I miss something there…..

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Peta of Newark
August 23, 2022 1:10 pm

Right now power station gas is about 15p/kWh, having recently been much lower. Scroll down here for a chart

https://mip-prd-web.azurewebsites.net/DailySummaryReport#PriceTable

The gas turbines have been designed to run on methane, including extracting every last ounce of energy via the exhaust turbines. Because of the different burning characteristics you would get a much less efficient operation on jet fuel, so you have to figure that in, along with arranging the fuel supply including finding space for tankage, perhaps rail sidings or a pipeline. Do it across a fleet of CCGT plants and kero prices would soar, along with airline tickets. It would take quite some time to fix it all up.

Jet engines are open cycle, not combined cycle. That makes them less efficient generators even when optimised.

In short – nice idea, but I doubt it would be a risk the industry chooses to run.

Dan
August 23, 2022 1:00 pm

Coming soon to a country in the Western hemisphere near you.

US natural gas prices are 3x-4x what they were when Joe Biden took office. American production has increased to all time highs, but demand for our exports has pushed prices up even more as new LNG export capacity comes on line. We are in for a rough winter, but Europeans will be impoverished by their energy shortage and coming rationing.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Dan
August 23, 2022 3:00 pm

Just don’t ask for a new pipeline to get to port or domestic customers.

Bob
August 23, 2022 6:26 pm

I did not find this article helpful. It needs to be rewritten in straightforward layman’s language and fewer abbreviations and initials. If you must use unhelpful industry jargon then supply definitions.

No mention of reopening closed plants, drilling your own gas, mining and burning more coal or opening closed nuclear plants and building new ones. No none of that, just accept the poor decisions made up to this point and do the best you can with bad decisions. That is just stupid. Whether Russia sees fit to ship more or less gas is not the issue. The problem is you have a bunch of chumps making terrible decisions that are hurting a lot of people for no good reason whatsoever. It is a insane.

Reply to  Bob
August 24, 2022 12:22 am

I think the article was good in that it highlights the short term issues. Realistically, as most commentators have pointed out, you can’t modify infrastructure overnight, so the only short term solution to lack of Russian gas is someone else’s gas.

That of course does not solve the more long term issues of how we supply an energy intensive population with energy, in future. The fantasy that we can all live wonderful lives at one tenth the energy is patently absurd. Go to Africa and see for yourself. And that isn’t cold in winter, mostly.

The fantasy that second and third hand nuclear energy using sunlight or the wind as an intermediate stage can do the job is also being shown up for what it is.

Fossil fuels are by definition a finite resource and are not being created as fast as they are being used, so the Cornucopian fantasy that there will always be more gas, oil and coal, because there always has been, up to now, is just as dangerous as the renewable fantasy.

Fissile and fertile elements – Uranium and Thorium – are enough to power today’s population levels for 10,000 years. At economically viable costs.

Almost no technically aware person would disagree with the above (let’s call them TWOKEs).

If government were what it purports to be, intelligent people taking the advice of other intelligent people with specialised knowledge, and developing policies that were best
for societies as a whole – we wouldn’t be here.

Unfortunately, given the lack of sophistication of populations, the natural tendency is for the best liars and con men to seek public office with the prestige and salary and kickbacks and the hot chicks that flock towards the flame of celebrity and power…and totally disregard the job of actually managing the country.

This is a natural result of the lack of sophistication of populations: And that is why governments actively seek to lower educational standards. Because the antidote to all this is education. Yea, even unto politicians. If politicians themselves realised that not only were they risking their careers supporting insane energy policies, but also their own lifestyles and their own families, they might be incentivised to raise the questions politically and get some consensus.
Profitable propaganda can only be countered with education so that people at least learn to think for themselves. Mostly they are too lazy, but if the alternative is dying of cold next winter, they might just wake up loing enough to get something done. And if they do die of cold, well that’s one massively moronic and lazy section of the population removed.,

Bob
Reply to  Leo Smith
August 24, 2022 3:07 pm

Leo, thanks for your thoughts. Pointing out our short term problems is useful I suppose. The point is that there is a reason we are dealing with short term problems, it is plain and simple, very poor, dangerous and hurtful decisions made by administrators, bureaucrats and politicians who will face no consequences for what they have done. If we would only open the generating plants we closed and not close anymore almost all of our problems would be solved. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, all we have to do is put the wheels we took off back on. Problem solved. As far as fossil fuels being a finite resource it doesn’t matter. As long as we can access them at a reasonably affordable price we should. I am fed up with hearing how we can live and or adjust to the terrible decisions we have been asked to accept. To hell with that. Junk the bad decisions and the bad decision makers. As for education it sounds good, we are spending an outrageous amount of money currently on education. The problem is we aren’t getting educated kids, we are getting indoctrinated kids. That has to stop.

M Courtney
August 24, 2022 12:08 am

This article seems a little pessimistic as it does not distinguish between short-term problems (such as the drought), medium term problems (such as Russian military adventurism) and long-term problems (such as not having enough power plants).

Coal deliveries down the Rhine, cooling water for French nuclear and low hydro levels will be fixed in 6 months with no action required except the weather doing it’s thing.

Within three years the market will adapt to Russia being China’s toy instead of Germany’s.

But we will still need to build power plants to replace the thermal plants that are old and tired. Intermittent wind and solar is not a replacement. So we are very much behind the game here.

Bruce Parr
August 24, 2022 1:30 am

Germany could solve their energy problem by joining the Russian Federation.

LdB
Reply to  Bruce Parr
August 24, 2022 7:54 am

By allowing the Russian Federation to install a puppet government … fixed it for you

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