Germany’s Coming Green Energy “Economic Miracle”


I’m old enough to remember the German post-World War II “economic miracle.” (Their term was “Wirtschaftswunder.”). After more than ten years of government direction of the economy under the Nazis, followed by the devastation of the war, Germany after 1945, under economics minister Ludwig Erhard, adopted the model of low taxes and light regulation. The economy boomed for decades on end.

But Germany then gradually turned away from Erhard’s prescriptions. Today Germany is twenty or so years into the most aggressive green energy “transition” of any country with a large economy, with the government firmly in charge of picking the winners and losers in the energy sector. At this writing, Germany’s consumer electricity rates are in the range of triple the U.S. average. My January 3, 2023 post quoted a German energy market guru named Mirko Scholssarczyk forecasting yet further big increases:

“40 cents per kilowatt-hour [is] likely to be the new normal in 2023 and 2024, and . . . prices could even rise to 50 cents per kilowatt-hour after that.”

That would put German consumer electricity rates at about 4 to 5 times the U.S. average — assuming that the U.S. does not go down the same path and drive rates up the way Germany has.

Is anybody over there in Germany learning anything? Don’t count on it. A March 10 post at the site No Tricks Zone has the title “As German Economy Reels, Chancellor Promises Going Green Will Lead To ‘Economic Miracle.’” Yes, it will be a new “economic miracle” — but this time not led by free market entrepreneurialism, but rather by a government-directed and taxpayer-subsidized energy transition. Or at least that’s what German Chancellor Olaf Scholz claims to believe. NTZ links to a German-language site called, and provides translations of the key passages:

“Chancellor Olaf Scholz is now promising a new economic miracle through investment in climate protection, regardless of the miserable economic situation in which the Federal Republic finds itself,” reports Germany’s new, critical online news site, . . . “Because of the high investments in climate protection, Germany will be able to achieve growth rates for some time, as last seen in the 1950s and 1960s,” said the Chancellor.

In Scholz’s vision, economic growth results from “investments,” so if the government just provides enough billions in compelled “investments” the economy is sure to boom — even if the “investments” are in things that would immediately go bust in an uncompelled and unsubsidized environment, such as wind and solar electricity generation or electric heat pumps for home heating. Basically, Scholz has the same economic vision as our President Biden.

NTZ quotes Pleiteticker’s reaction:

“Real wages most recently fell by 3.7 percent in 2022 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. At the same time, consumer prices rose by 8.6 percent, while food and energy prices increased by around 20 percent. Economists expect German GDP to fall in the first quarter of 2023, which would be the second time in a row – a recession. Major German companies, most recently BASF, are leaving the country.”

Next up in Germany’s energy transition is the full electrification of home heating, to be brought about by compelling everybody to replace gas furnaces with electric heat pumps. On February 28, NTZ reported that Germany Economics Minister Robert Habeck had introduced legislation to ban new gas furnaces beginning in 2024, with existing gas furnaces likely to be allowed only a 30 year life, after which they would be required to be replaced. On March 11, NTZ, citing another German-language source called Blackout News, reports that the government intends to seek fines of 50,000 euros for anyone who doesn’t comply with the requirement to switch to electric heat:

All gas and oil heating systems will need to be replaced after 30 years of operation, with no possibility to repair and keep them going. . . . “Those who fail to comply with the replacement obligation are to pay a fine of up to 50,000 euros,” reports Blackout News here. “Plans to ban gas and oil heating systems from 2024 have taken many Germans by surprise. If a heating system has to be replaced in the coming year – whether due to a defect in the old gas or oil heating system or due to a new building – a climate-friendly alternative must be installed. . . . The measures are intended to serve as a deterrent and ensure that defective systems are actually replaced with more climate-friendly options.”

Has anybody in Germany finally had enough? From NTZ’s March 11 post:

The plans drafted by Habeck and the German government, however, have run up against fierce opposition since they become known. Opposition parties have sharply criticized the plans, and others within the government view the proposed measures as a problem.

Meanwhile, in Britain’s Daily Mail on March 7, there is a big article about the experiences of UK consumers with heat pumps for home heating. The headline is “How heat pumps leave some homes so cold people are ripping them out.” The article notes that the UK has a program offering homeowners a subsidy of up to £ 6000 if they install a heat pump. Unfortunately, when the temperature drops below about 30F, the heat pumps don’t work very well. Excerpt from the Daily Mail article:

Homeowners who have bought homes with heat pumps already installed – or purchased new builds where pumps were part of the package – have told us about a litany of problems associated with the technology. . . . Some have got so fed up with them they have had them removed — or installed additional heating systems to step in when the pumps don’t generate enough heat.

Heat pumps that run on electricity at 5 times U.S. prices, and then don’t keep you warm on the coldest days of the winter. That’s the green idea of an “economic miracle.”

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Tom Halla
March 14, 2023 6:15 pm

Heat pumps, or at least air sourced heat pumps, were one of the contributors to the Texas February 2021 near grid crash. Something designed to work with normal winter temperatures in the thirties or forties F ( 0 or so C) went to resistance heat at 0F (-15 or so C), with a vast increase in power demand.
I suppose one could use ground sourced heat pumps, but the cost of those makes them mostly virtue signaling.

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 14, 2023 8:10 pm

In our last house, we had a ground sourced heat pump, which was absolutely brilliant. In spite of having to be imported from Canada to Australia (25 years ago) its price was similar to other heating systems and its high efficiency made it very cost-effective. Its ground source pipes went down 30 metres (100ft) and almost all of that was not influenced at all by seasons or the weather.

Friends of ours in the UK, though, had an air source heat pump, and their experience with that was … um … less than perfect.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
March 14, 2023 8:28 pm

How many of those ground sourced heat pumps can be placed per acre?

Reply to  MarkW
March 15, 2023 5:35 am

Mine fits in my back yard, which is about the size of my house (about 1200 sq. ft.) They would have drilled the wells right underneath the house if they had been able to do it before the foundation was poured, but that was impractical for me. So horizontal space is not a problem when you drill vertical bore holes.

You do need water flow underground to provide efficient heat transfer, though, which my geology has plenty of. If the subterranean geology is too dry, you have to add your own water flow to the system, which would add to the running cost, depending on how cheaply you can get water (it doesn’t have to be drinking water).

It’s a super-efficient system, but due to idiotic government regulations, and my system being based on R-22 which is now effectively outlawed, I may have to replace it with something else entirely when it eventually wears out. Still going strong after 17 years or so, and one evaporator coil replacement, knock on wood!

Reply to  stevekj
March 15, 2023 8:50 am

If you have the hydronic loop intact you can always reuse it with another water heat pump. My mom’s open source system went out after 25 years some time ago. Since the water was not conditioned, contact with the condensing unit heat exchanger, very small since the source of heat is water, finally caused unrepairable leaks.

Her system uses a compressor for heating only, a water coil to cool the house. She doesn’t see temperatures above 90 very often and the unit works great.

Now it is an open system, well water is pumped through the heat exchangers then dumped into a leach field back into the soil. This is on Cape Cod which is essentially a glacial moraine left over from the last glaciation and easily accepts the returned water. I was surprised when the building department allowed her to replace her system without installing a closed loop. The replacement unit is more “factory” and 1/2 the size of the original unit that looked “fabricated”.

BTW, that nasty Republican W Bush installed ground source heat pumps at his Crawford Texas ranch house. A true conservative having done the cost/benefit analysis.

As to putting the loops under your house. You need to be able to remove and replace them if there is a failure.

Finally, The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas has a ground source system that provides water to all the HVAC loads and kitchen and other refrigeration racks that typically would be supplied by a cooling tower and chiller system. The casino is located where the underground aquifer flows from the west, the Spring Mountains, towards the Las Vegas wash. IIRC, they have 4 3 foot diameter 60 feet deep holes with looped piping dropped into the shafts. At the time I was inspecting the building they were only using 2 of the loops/shafts. They planned for the future cooling needs of planned expansion to a neighboring property. The system saved them a bundle and begged the question of why other casinos in DT LV didn’t do the same since that river is under most all of the Fremont street properties. The owners of the Gate are, however, smarter than the average Bear.

BTW 2: Las Vegas, the Meadows, had multiple artesian wells west of where the downtown is now, with surface streams flowing east toward the Colorado river.

Reply to  Drake
March 15, 2023 10:35 am

Thanks for your comment, Drake, and if I had hydronic loops, it would indeed be easy to substitute a different head-end. However, my system is Direct Exchange, which means the refrigerant is circulated from the heat exchanger in my air plenum, through copper loops in the ground, and right back to the compressor. The company doesn’t make these systems any more, possibly for this reason. And I did ask about replacing the refrigerant with a different one in the future, but they said that because the oils in the refrigerants are incompatible with each other and tend to sludge up if they come into contact, and because it’s nearly impossible to remove all the old oil from the existing ground loops, I’m probably going to be SOL on those loops unless I can find a source of under-the-table (and inordinately expensive) R22 somehow. Cue sad trombone…

Reply to  stevekj
March 15, 2023 9:46 am

Horizontal space is always a problem, the question then becomes, how much of a problem.
As you mention, there needs to be a flow of groundwater. This means that any heat pump installed down stream of yours, is going to be sited in water that has already been cooled by your heat pump.
To prevent this from becoming a problem, heat pumps must be placed a certain distance apart.
That’s my question. What is this distance?
Obviously, the presence of ground water, the speed at which the ground water flows, how thick is the layer of groundwater, what type of rock are we dealing with, etc.
All of these factors will influence the answer to that question.

Reply to  MarkW
March 15, 2023 10:30 am

True, MarkW, and I don’t have answers to any of those questions. My installer had some rules of thumb for how much groundwater flow he was looking for, and he said there was quite a bit more than I needed. My installation also didn’t need to be a 4-ton system, they oversized it out of caution, and it could probably have been 2 or 3 instead – so I would be extracting (or adding) less energy from the water if I were using a smaller system too. As you mentioned, the rock itself comes into play also, and it wasn’t clear to me how much of the energy I am transferring is coming from the flowing water, and how much from the surrounding rock (both of which have a significantly higher heat capacity than the air in my house).

Of course, back then, and probably still now, the number of GSHPs in my city could be counted on two hands, so no one was worried about depleting the energy of the groundwater, and inadvertently causing it to either freeze or boil, as the case may be. However, if, as the Brits seem to be proposing, everyone suddenly needs to install such a system, that might become an issue. Some significant thermal engineering analysis would need to be done, and I’m guessing no one is proposing to go to all that trouble! These are Greens we’re talking about, after all 🙂

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Mike Jonas
March 15, 2023 12:21 am

What volume of earth was removed and what was the cost to create the source? As I understand it, and I’ve only talked to one ground source owner, you need a fairly large area.
Say 10×10 metres, this would give a volume of 10000m^3. At 1.5 tonnes per cubic metre that’s a lot of digging. Or was it a vertical array in a trench?

The system I know about was much shallower due to solid rock close to the surface covered by stony soil. The digging was done by a farming family member at no cost.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Mike Jonas
March 15, 2023 2:46 am

What was your underground made of? Rock or sediment?

Reply to  Mike Jonas
March 15, 2023 12:17 pm

Proposed solution.

When building a house bury five septic tanks in the yard. Let waste water run through all five. Fill four of them up with two sets of PVC tubing. Connect the lower set to a water source Solar Heat panel as large as your roof. Connect the Upper set to the Heat pump “Ground Source.” [Heat rises and the top will be warmer than the solar panel heat.] After the Wastewater goes through the tanks let it dump into the sewer. Only let the Solor panels circulate in the Winter when the HP can get warm water to heat with. In the summer, the HP will heat the Wastewater as it provides AC to the home.

HP works at maximum efficiency in all seasons. May still need “Auxiliary heat” or an electric booster coil.

Last edited 5 days ago by usurbrain
Reply to  Tom Halla
March 14, 2023 8:27 pm

The vast majority of heat pumps have switched to resistance heat by the time you get down to 30F (around 0C)

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 14, 2023 8:55 pm

I was running my heat pump in Texas that winter. I took some data comparing using resistance heating vs the heat pump. At 25 F emergency heat was on 2:25 and off 4:15 with the thermostat at 72 F. With the heat pump it was on 14:40 and off 7:10.

So with the heat pump at 25 F the pump was on about 2/3 of the time. With emergency heat it was on about 1/3 of the time. Can’t finish the story because I don’t know the two power draws, but I wouldn’t be surprised if using the heat pump at 25 F was still cheaper than resistance heating.

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 15, 2023 6:13 am

I have a natural gas furnace with an air sourced heat pump. The heat pump turns off at 38 F and the furnace “Aux Heat” takes over. I also have a 5.5 KW (max) solar panel, which powers the heat pump in hot weather.
This works very well year round.
… until the State bans natural gas and the solar panels expire from age.

March 14, 2023 6:36 pm

They don’t tell you that heat pumps get less efficient the colder it gets. You are pumping heat over a greater temperature range. So as your heat pump draws heat from the ground the ground temperature drops and the heat pump becomes less efficient.

A great solution to a non-problem.

Reply to  tmatsci
March 14, 2023 9:09 pm

Yes, but the ground effect is ‘warmish’ 60F water. As your heat pump extracts heat from this water, the water most likely flows. Ground water has a flow. So you’re sending the colder water somewhere, and its being replaced by warmer water.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Michael
March 15, 2023 12:25 am

Does the ground water flow that quickly in compacted earth? Most trenches laid to provide services in the UK don’t fill with water, even those 2 or 3 metres deep

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
March 15, 2023 6:31 am

When they installed my heat pump with vertical bore holes, they were examining the hydrogeology carefully, and they concluded that there was way more water flow than I needed. It sounds like there are entire rivers down there, but don’t ask me to explain how that works. Anyway, in my neighbourhood there’s plenty of water flow. Your mileage may vary 🙂

Reply to  stevekj
March 15, 2023 8:55 am

AND even if the water is somewhat static, unless MANY people begin to install geosourced heat pumps, you will not have an issue.

Reply to  Drake
March 15, 2023 9:53 am

Therein lies the problem. They want everybody to use heat pumps, which means there will be MANY people installing geosourced heat pumps.

Last edited 5 days ago by MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
March 15, 2023 10:42 am

All true. Fortunately for me, the cost of installing these systems is prohibitive for most people who still have cheaper (in capital cost) hydrocarbon-based alternatives available (drilling 100 foot deep holes is a lot more work than just hauling in a natural-gas-burning furnace unit), and I doubt even the government could foot the bill for such a project for everyone without crashing the economy even harder than they are already doing. I’m probably safe 🙂

(If worst comes to worst, they tell me that there are air-source units available now that can be nearly as efficient as my ground-source unit in winter time, but I am going to be skeptical about that until I see some engineering numbers – the physics don’t seem to add up)

Reply to  Michael
March 15, 2023 9:52 am

If everyone had ground loop heat pumps, that cooled water would be flowing past someone else’s heat pump, making that unit less efficient.

Curious George
Reply to  Michael
March 15, 2023 1:27 pm

As your heat pump extracts heat from this water, the water most likely flows.” Or, maybe, freezes and shifts the ground.

Reply to  tmatsci
March 15, 2023 5:59 am

They also provide air conditioning.

March 14, 2023 6:44 pm

So, basically, the nazis want another bite at the apple, they failed to kill millions MORE people they hate and now they see this as their big shot to eradicate all the inferior people they have always hated. Got it.

Elliot W
March 14, 2023 7:04 pm

After all, it’s not like Germany has a history of killing off people the authorities consider undesirable, right?
But what else but mass death is the end goal here when laws are made to electrify everything (heating, stoves, transportation,) and then further plans to make the needed electricity unreliable?

March 14, 2023 7:12 pm

“All gas and oil heating systems will need to be replaced after 30 years of operation, with no possibility to repair and keep them going”

If they update their gas/oil heating in 2023 they should have 30 years of staying warm. That is enough time for the whole net zero con to be exposed. I just hope the german gas infrastructure keeps going for 30 years.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Mariner
March 15, 2023 12:26 am

Until a government bans the sale of gas to domestic customers

CD in Wisconsin
March 14, 2023 7:17 pm

“Chancellor Olaf Scholz is now promising a new economic miracle through investment in climate protection, regardless of the miserable economic situation in which the Federal Republic finds itself,” reports Germany’s new, critical online news site, . . . “Because of the high investments in climate protection, Germany will be able to achieve growth rates for some time, as last seen in the 1950s and 1960s,” said the Chancellor.


Let’s see. When was it in German history that Germany’s leader promised its people something that didn’t happen? Perhaps it was something about the Third Reich lasting 1,000 years?

As ABBA says in its hit song Waterloo, “the history book on the shelf is always repeating itself…..”.

Mark Luhman
March 14, 2023 7:27 pm

This war against the most efficient way to heat a home or business’ does not make any sense. Gas fired high efficient furnaces are about over 97% efficient. Noting else approaches that. Of course most bureaucrats and politicians must be like the Maricopa air quality board. They state electricity has zero emissions, what a laugh as if coal gas and renewables are not part of the mix. All emit one way or another with renewable being one of the worse. Granted some places power plants are mile away outside of the county. That is untrue for Maricopa county since the county had a large number of gas powerplants running in the county.

Reply to  Mark Luhman
March 15, 2023 6:33 am

My ground source heat pump is about 400% efficient, so yes, it beats a 97% efficient gas furnace 🙂 (Not that I have anything against gas furnaces, and I certainly don’t support outlawing them!)

Reply to  stevekj
March 15, 2023 8:45 am

My ground source heat pump is about 400% efficient

It produces more energy than is put in?

Reply to  Tony_G
March 15, 2023 10:44 am

Indeed it does. That’s why I installed it. It’s not “producing” energy, it’s just moving it from somewhere else. But at the point where I need the energy, inside my house, there is more of it than what I supplied as electrical input.

Reply to  stevekj
March 15, 2023 9:07 am

My mom’s unit, that gets its water from the single domestic water well and dumps the water into slightly enlarged leach field, was relatively inexpensive to install compared to a regular heat pump. The well was not oversized and he leach field was a couple (2) extra 20 foot runs of leach pipe and bedding, not much expense at all. I know power power bills are low for Mass.

That dumb @ss state shut down their perfectly good nuclear plant.

How much extra did your system cost? Just curious.

Reply to  Drake
March 15, 2023 10:52 am

The cost of my system had various deductions applied to it. So the base cost was about $25k (Canadian dollars, in around 2007) for a 4-ton (4-loop) system. The 4 tons is oversized, and I don’t really need more than 3, so the system started off oversized and overpriced. But countering that, I got a discount from the government’s energy efficiency program (a bit over $1k), an inadvertent discount from the installer (around $5k), a resale from my nearly-new gas furnace that I replaced (I don’t remember exactly what I got for that, but maybe around $2k?), and an offset from the fact that I didn’t need to install a brand-new air-sourced air conditioning system (those run around $5k or so, for good ones, I think, or at least back then they did). So I’m going to call the “extra” cost something in the neighbourhood of about $12k. Not too outlandish. I calculated that my payback period would be under 12 years.

Reply to  stevekj
March 15, 2023 9:55 am

It may be 400% efficient, but once all your neighbors also install ground sourced heat pumps, there will be a lot less heat for it to extract.

Reply to  MarkW
March 15, 2023 10:56 am

True! I’m prepared to deal with that situation one way or another, should it arise, but it doesn’t keep me up at night 🙂

Reply to  stevekj
March 15, 2023 11:59 am

Steve, at a book 400% efficiency you are providing 4 times the heat that an electric resistance heater would. But making electricity is not 100% efficient, nor is moving it from the generating station(s) to your house. You get 4 times the (heat) energy you paid for, but the utility had to burn fuel to make (.6)(.8) about twice the heat energy you used. (60% efficiency combined cycle generator, 80% distribution network ball park figures). So yes, you’re paying for 1/4 the heat energy, but the net system gain is close to 2, not 4. Good deal for you, but not as good as it sounds. At least you have a net gain (assuming efficient generation and distribution.) There are plenty of green schemes that have net losses.

Reply to  John_C
March 15, 2023 6:16 pm

True, John, but that net gain calculation applies to any other form of heat, too. So if you are using pure electric resistance heat, for example, although it looks 100% efficient at face value, your estimates would put it at a net 50%. And any hydrocarbon fuel has all kinds of costs and losses involved in getting it out of the ground and to your house to burn. So given that I can only directly control the usage of the energy that arrives at my house, I might as well choose a 400% efficient use rather than a 97% or 100% efficient one.

March 14, 2023 7:34 pm

The Germans need to kick Scholz out now. Don’t wait. If he asks why he is out say because he is a liar and a cheat, we don’t need any other reason. It’s got to happen even really stupid people don’t like to freeze in the dark eating raw food.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Bob
March 15, 2023 1:58 am

I prefer to start with Habeck.

Jeff L
March 14, 2023 7:36 pm

The real enemy here and the common denominator in most problems discussed on this site is the environmentalists. The number of problems they are causing are almost too many to list now. It is high time they are called out. They have overplayed their hand and it is time we all band together & push back hard on them

Steve Case
Reply to  Jeff L
March 14, 2023 11:37 pm

“The real enemy here and the common denominator in most problems discussed on this site is the environmentalists.”

The real enemy here and the common denominator in most problems discussed on this site is leftists in environmentalist’s clothing.

Reply to  Steve Case
March 15, 2023 12:55 am

The solutions chosen by environmentalist’s are usually right-wing, not left.

Windfarms benefit large landowners and corporations.
Solar farms are the same.
Most Green arguments are about defending our land from “pollution”. They are nativist, “Our race in our place imagery”. That’s not class-based thinking.

Busses are greener in every way than private cars. So subsidised bus transport everywhere should be demanded by left-wing greens.
But there are no left-wing greens.

Reply to  MCourtney
March 15, 2023 2:57 am

The solutions proposed by environmentalists are almost always coercive and Collectivist, and thus Marxist, rather than free-market and individualist.

Reply to  Graemethecat
March 15, 2023 9:59 am

MCourtney is one of those people who define ideology based on how much money you have.
If you have money, you are a capitalist. If you are a capitalist you are by definition a right winger.

Reply to  Graemethecat
March 15, 2023 10:03 am

Sorry for my rant below. I just went into more detail.

Your comment is short, succinct and correct and I applaud your brevity.

I was, at a time, a college instructor, and tend to go into detail when I see or hear ignorance espoused, whatever the subject. I hope MCourtney does some research and comes to the same conclusion you and I have.

Reply to  MCourtney
March 15, 2023 9:57 am

Anything involving a business is by definition right wing?

Looks like you are once again fitting the definition to define what you want, rather than what is.

Reply to  MCourtney
March 15, 2023 9:59 am

Yep those busses work real good in Montana, Eastern Washington and Oregon, N and S Dakota, Wyoming, most of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Much of California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, and on and on.

Busses in cities are largely subsidized by gas taxed paid for by the drivers in the rural states. SO the left wing greens and democrats already do the subsidizing of busses and look at any major city and see all the bike lanes stripped on the roadways, often times reducing auto lanes, also mostly paid for out of gas taxes, which bikes do not pay. Often times separate overpasses are built for bike lanes. Sit and watch one any day and see that they are mostly empty. The many paying much for the very few. As with LG>>>> and RAC!SM expenditures, much spent for NO benefit. Race relations are worse now than when the first half black POTUS was in office because greed is rampant. See San Fran to give black people 5 mill for being black.

Now as to your supposition that the solutions are usually “right wing”. No they are ALL crony capitalist, which is STATIST policy, which is for the benefit of the political class, and thus by the vary definition is not “right wing”, no more than H!tler and Naz!sm were right wing, or Stalin and Pol Pot who were right wing.


The Left is all about control and power, see the China Biden dictates, his new GUNS executive order that will take 3 years to overturn in the courts, no school choice so that they can use taxpayers money to indoctrinate MOST of the nations schoolchildren, on ad nauseam.

Steve Case
Reply to  MCourtney
March 17, 2023 1:41 am

“Busses are greener in every way than private cars.”

When I’m out and about, I do a little audit of city busses. They drive around Milwaukee nearly empty at all hours of the day. Passenger miles per gallon of diesel must be rather low. Claiming they are “Green” is wishful thinking.

March 14, 2023 7:52 pm

They are supposed to replace gas with heat pumps. My heat pump at the last place had 140A of breakers… so they need a panel upgrade and maybe even new power lines. In strip heat (aux) mode it was costing me $2 an hour in power to heat the home.

We moved and in this new home I replaced 2 heat pumps with 5 mini-splits and removed a 40A breaker. Much better, but really hard to fit to an existing home. You have a chunk of lines for each unit. I have a few areas I couldn’t quite cover so on really cold days there are 2 cool zones. Mini-splits can only go down to -4F so there goes northern climates.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Adam
March 15, 2023 9:19 am

Yep. The UK has around 300,000 Low Voltage substations and 450,000kms of buried cables.

About 80% of this network is built for ‘lighting plus’ (c. 1.2kW ) not the 7kW Electric Vehicle or the 9kW heat pump and will need replacing. This will involve digging up most of the non motorway roads in the country. Some years back it was estimated that this would cost £60 billion. Much more now.

Reply to  Adam
March 15, 2023 10:06 am

If you have an existing gas central heating system, you can just keep that and install the mini-splits for the 90% of the time they work well. This is speaking of when living in a cold climate.

John Hultquist
March 14, 2023 8:00 pm

 I have a heat pump. When really cold temperatures occur it switches to resistor heating. That uses more electricity and is more costly. Apparently the ones that leave some homes so cold people are ripping them out do not have electric resistor heating elements.
My unit is 15 years old. New ones are more efficient. The house was built with 100% electric concepts – insulation, under floor duct work, and an alcove for a wood stove. Electricity is not expensive because of dams on the Columbia River – central Washington, USA.
When electricity goes off an emergency source of heat is necessary.

Reply to  John Hultquist
March 15, 2023 8:45 am

That sums up the problem nicely – they only work on properties designed to use them, although I note the stove provision. To convert properties is prohibitively expensive.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  gezza1298
March 15, 2023 9:27 am

Hot Scot who regularly posts here said when he looked into installing a heat pump in his Victorian (?) terraced property the cost to do it properly was over £80,000 ($96,000).

Beta Blocker
Reply to  John Hultquist
March 15, 2023 9:00 am

Where we live in the drylands of the US Northwest, our heat pump with resistance heating works off the pump roughly ten months of the year for heating and for AC. The other two months it is mostly resistance. We cool to 80 in the hottest part of the summer and heat only to 66 in the coldest part of the winter.

Our unit is also fifteen years old and cost $9,000 for the outside pump unit and the matching inside air handler with electrostatic air filter. I deliberately oversized the pump by roughly 20% and had to sign an addendum to the purchase order saying that I knew it was theoretically overspecified. It is a Trane model which had been in production more than a decade at the time it was purchased in 2008 and had a long history of reliable service.

My local Trane dealer tells me that an equivalent replacement in the year 2023 will cost $25,000 and that the replacement cost is rising with every passing month. He also tells me that new federal energy regulations are likely to raise the price to $30,000 within the next several years. The legacy pump has run reliably for fifteen years and we won’t replace it until a component which is no longer available fails.

In other news, the DOE-subsidized Xe-100 SMR reactor project which had been slated for construction in central Washington State in Grant County in the late 2020’s has now been moved to the US Southeast to a DOW chemical plant along the Gulf Coast. Their SMR will be used for industrial process heat as well as for power generation.

My prediction remains that we will be seeing a shortfall of electricity here in the US Northwest beginning in the late 2020’s as the coal-fired power plants which serve the region are retired without reliable 24/7/365 replacement. Out future is wool sweaters and long underwear.

Last edited 5 days ago by Beta Blocker
Reply to  John Hultquist
March 15, 2023 12:23 pm

For now, the electricity is inexpensive. But, the “Greens” will push to add solar and wind to the generation mix, which will drive up utility infrastructure, operation, and maintenance costs, which will allow them to raise the price. Also, there will be a push to remove the dams and save the salmon, or steelhead. or the SS Minnow, …

March 14, 2023 8:02 pm

Another country volunteering to be a climate crash test dummy.

Chris Hanley
March 14, 2023 8:41 pm

I’m old enough to remember the German post-World War II “economic miracle”

“BASF (European multinational chemical company and the largest chemical producer in the world) is to wind down several of its plants in Germany as the world’s largest chemical group by revenue struggles with high energy costs in Europe and plans increased production in China” (London FT).
There wouldn’t be many around who remember the Morgenthau Plan to forcibly de-industrialize Germany after defeat in WW2, it was a powerful deterrent to surrender pointlessly costing many lives.
It seems the German Government itself is determined belatedly to implement it.

Last edited 6 days ago by Chris Hanley
Krishna Gans
Reply to  Chris Hanley
March 15, 2023 2:04 am

On the other hand they will reduce farming and prohibit fertiliser.
One can’t handle it in both ways – beside Greens are involved.

March 14, 2023 9:14 pm

“What a horrible way to have to live.” —as I throw another log into the wood stove.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Michael
March 15, 2023 12:35 am

Don’t be too smug Michael. I too have a log burner and woodlands sufficient to keep it independently fed. Remember fascism has a way of collecting everyone.
‘First they came for the Gas boilers’…. you know the rest.

Reply to  Michael
March 15, 2023 12:09 pm

Yep, getting caught doing that in the Southern California Air Resources Board’s jurisdiction will cost you a lot of time and money.

March 14, 2023 9:50 pm

Olaf Scholz might be so ignorant he believes broken windows (or government renewables investment) will stimulate the economy. From Bastiat’s “Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas” (1850):

Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation – “It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?”

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade – that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs – I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 15, 2023 3:00 am

Bastiat was a great political and economic philosopher whose works should be more widely known.

John V. Wright
March 14, 2023 11:40 pm

In the U.K. we are subject to the illogical insanity of Net Zero – one of the consequences being that our highly-efficient domestic gas boilers will be phased out in favour of expensive heat pumps.

Home heating in our country accounts for 17% of U.K. manmade CO2 emissions. That equates to 0.00000204% of the global atmosphere.Needless to say, we can’t get a single journalist to write a perspective piece about this. Meanwhile, we have at least 50 years – and probably 100 years – of untapped gas beneath our feet which we should have started exploiting 10 years but can’t because our government has banned fracking.

It’s almost as if our politicians mean to do us harm. The intellectual poverty of our politicians (on both sides of the House) is woeful.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  John V. Wright
March 15, 2023 12:33 am

They think they are Jean-Luc Picard and “Make it so” actually works

Ben Vorlich
March 15, 2023 12:30 am

This was all over the UK news yesterday

Tiny computer server the size of a washing machine is being used to heat a public SWIMMING POOL in Devon – and experts predict it will save £20,000/YEAR on energy bills

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
March 15, 2023 2:11 am

The other way will be a cooling / freezing room, and the liquify-unit is taken as heat exchanger.
What you have to do, is filling the cooling room with, let’s say wood, next day change these frozen pieces with unfrozen…. 😀

Last edited 5 days ago by Krishna Gans
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
March 15, 2023 4:07 am

In the few minutes I could take out of my day job I wasn’t able to get a whole lot of information about this “tiny server”. But working back from £20k per year I guesstimate that server must have on the order of a hundred CPUs. If it’s that small they’re really packed in. I’m wondering if it’s a crypto mining rig.

I am all for putting otherwise wasted heat to good use. And I have no strong feelings about crypto one way or the other, but I wonder if something is being left out of the news coverage.

Another thing being left out is the net energy bill. Is £20k/year a lot? I suspect we’re being invited to think the waste heat is making a much bigger difference than it is.

Reply to  quelgeek
March 16, 2023 6:11 am

The electricity bill for running the server must be enormous.

Ed Zuiderwijk
March 15, 2023 2:43 am

‘Schultz lebt in Bollerbue’ says pleitiker. He lives in CloudCuckooLand.

If ever fascism returns to Europe it will have been caused by green idiocy.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
March 15, 2023 4:47 am

It is already here and is definitely Green idiocy in charge.
There threat is the virtually the same as it once was
‘We have ways of making you…woke!’

Krishna Gans
March 15, 2023 3:46 am

Heat pumps need a cooling gaz to work.
These are now a point of discussion in Germany because they may be dangerous for the climate….

March 15, 2023 4:24 am

The Americans, especially, should not forget the benefits to the West German economy of the Marshall Plan (1948 to 1952).

March 15, 2023 4:58 am

I fear that folks who know about the mechanics of so called “green” sources of energy, by continuing to argue the minutiae of Air vs Ground source are missing the fundamental point – my opinion as a non scientist for sure.

It is what I refer to as the Lineker Syndrome Effect; comment concentrates on the BBC’s alleged mishandling ( being polite ) and the disaster that has manifested it in the support from his colleagues and elsewhere. All that might be “true” but the real scandal is evident ignorance and woke bias – aligning legislation to prevent, in part, people smuggling and its concomitant exploitation to “1930’s Germany” is world class ignorance as spelt out by Peter Hitchens. In other words Lineker is as ignorant as s*** as are all those who have supported him.

Air vs Ground – a sideshow imho; the mention of this accepts, in one sense, that there is a need which is illusory. The issue is are fossil fuels that kick out CO2 a “bad thing” – rubbish and surely this has to be shot back at those who spout this diatribe. Hit back with the science and proof of why and how CO2 is vital to humans, fauna and flora – there are mountains of it so why not use it. Air vs ground source or CO2…

Remember Trenchard having his ear bent by a Government Minister about the disputed number of German fighters shot down as portrayed by Olivier’s performance – his answer in real life was, by all accounts, crystal clear – fighter numbers shot down = propaganda; planes can be replaced, but pilots if killed could not. German figures vs British figures or pilots ….

AWG/CC > Net Zero or CO2 as a vital irreplaceable element for all life ……

BBC impartiality regs/ “disrepute” offence vs Lineker Twattersphere punditry or Lineker false comments…..

Don’t fall for the psyops driven agenda “folks”….nail the lie first last and always.

Tom in Florida
March 15, 2023 5:08 am

The simpe solution is to move to a warmer place.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
March 15, 2023 12:16 pm

My neighborhood is too populous already, can we send all the climate migrants your way instead? Or maybe just make the safe, efficient, and convenient heating technologies legal again and folks can still live north of the fall-line.

March 15, 2023 8:34 am

There is also discussion on how to limit the amount of electricity your heat pump uses at times of high demand because the grid can’t supply enough power. This also applies to charging your battery car. They will also be subject to an EU rule that all buildings meet energy grade D by 2033 – good luck affording that if your building is pre-20th century. And with their economy being driven into recession where will the tax money come from the pay for this green utopia?

March 15, 2023 9:58 am

Let’s connect the dots here.

That green economic miracle comes with backtracking on security pledges for eastern Europe, another round of carbon excuse taxes, and another round of trade wall construction with the EU.

March 15, 2023 12:50 pm

Heat pumps that run on electricity at 5 times U.S. prices, and then don’t keep you warm on the coldest days of the winter. That’s the green idea of an “economic miracle.”

Heat pumps work soooo well when temperatures are south of 32°F, that when I fire up the wood stove, cat, dog and wife all settle themselves close and soak up heat. Of course the wife settles in with a warm cup of frothy hot chocolate or coffee.

After two to three days of wood stove use, a rather large masonry structure surrounding the chimney warms up enough to heat the entire house, allowing us to reduce how much wood we’re feeding the stove.

Jim Karlock
March 15, 2023 8:38 pm

Possible root cause:

“However, an international campaign known as “Keep It in the Ground” has been pushing an anti-fossil fuel agenda that advances Russia’s geopolitical interests at the expense of the U.S. and America’s allies. The campaign claims support from more than 400 organizations across the globe, with a sizable percentage operating inside the U.S. The campaign is opposed not just to the extraction of fossil fuels, but to any fossil fuel-related project including pipelines, rail transportation, refineries, and energy exploration.

These groups include Greenpeace, the Sierra Club,, the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, the Rainforest Action Network, Earthworks, and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, to name just a few. Some of the larger environmental advocacy groups in the U.S., such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the League of Conservation Voters, don’t appear on the list of 400, yet do support the same anti-fossil policy aims and draw from the same pool of financial supporters.

The common denominator here between many of these groups is the San Francisco-based Sea Change Foundation, which has been identified as the incubator for Russian funding of environmental groups. Another key player is the Energy Foundation, which is also based in San Francisco and appears to be an offshoot of the Sea Change Foundation.”


Russian meddling in Canadian oil pipelines uses old Soviet ‘useful idiots’ ploy

Putin’s Ties to the Keystone XL Pipeline

Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) is sounding the alarm about links between China and an organization that has advocated against the continued use of gas stoves in the United States.

Huizenga sent a letter (pdf) to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Monday, alleging the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an organization that has advocated for increased restrictions on gas stoves—has “considerable documented ties to the Chinese government.”

Russian’ money:
The foundation passed those millions along to some of the nation’s most prominent and politically active environmentalist groups. The Sierra Club, the Natural Resource Defense Council, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for American Progress were among the recipients of Sea Change’s $100 million in grants in 2010 and 2011.

a law firm that tries to block development … Worldwide Fund for Nature… the Natural Resources Defense Council …World Resources Institute…Energy Foundation … Extinction Rebellion

The credits on Gasland say it partly financed by one of the Middle East oil producers.

Reply to  Jim Karlock
March 16, 2023 6:17 am

There’s certainly no shortage of useful idiots.

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