There are very few things on earth more stupid than a climate alarmist.
So, what happens when a nation decides to build too many wind and solar plants? ….. exactly as they were warned, it doesn’t work and the nation then has to install more traditional energy plants to make up for the instability of renewable energy.
What happens when a nation decides not to domestically use a resource in abundance in that nation, but, demanded in all parts of the world? ….. exactly as predicted/warned exports will necessarily increase.
Oh, there are plenty other foretold consequences the lunatics ignored, but, we’ll get to a couple of them in a moment.
Today, we have a couple of sources of information. Let’s look an AP story first ……
LUENEN, Germany (AP) — One of Germany’s newest coal-fired power plants rises here from the banks of a 100-year-old canal that once shipped coal mined from the Ruhr Valley to the world.
Now the coal comes the other way.
The 750-megawatt Trianel Kohlekraftwerk Luenen GmbH & Co. power plant relies completely on coal imports, about half from the U.S. Soon, all of Germany’s coal-fired power plants will be dependent on imports, with the country expected to halt coal mining in 2018 when government subsidies end.
Coal mining’s demise in Germany comes as the country is experiencing a resurgence in coal-fired power, one which the U.S. increasingly has helped supply. U.S. exports of power plant-grade coal to Germany have more than doubled since 2008. In 2013, Germany ranked fifth, behind the United Kingdom, Netherlands, South Korea and Italy in imports of U.S. steam coal, the type burned in power plants.
On the American side of the pollution ledger, this fossil fuel trade helps the United States look as if it is making more progress on global warming than it actually is. That’s because it shifts some pollution — and the burden for cleaning it — onto another other country’s balance sheet. …..
“This is a classic case of political greenwashing,” said Dirk Jansen, a spokesman for BUND, a German environmental group. “Obama pretties up his own climate balance, but it doesn’t help the global climate at all if Obama’s carbon dioxide is coming out of chimneys in Germany.” …….
The contribution of this exported pollution to global warming is not something the U.S. administration wants to measure, or even talk about.
….. In 2012, U.S. coal exports comprised 9 percent of the global export market, the most recent data available. …..
Last year, global coal use grew by 3 percent, faster than any other fossil fuel, according to the 2014 BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Some of that growth occurred in the U.S., where higher natural gas prices and a colder-than-average winter caused power plants to burn slightly more coal.
The explanation for Germany’s increase is simple: Coal is cheaper than alternatives, particularly natural gas. So, too, are the prices on the carbon market in Europe. Companies can afford to buy the right to release more pollution. And the country burned more coal in 2013 to meet rising demand for electricity in other countries in Europe. Preliminary figures for 2014 indicate coal use could be down. And Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation are down from their peak in 2007.
Still, Germany has built five new coal plants since 2008, adding 4,286 megawatts of new generation, according to Bundesnetzagentur, the grid supervisor. The country plans to add an additional 6,661 megawatts in coal-fired plants from 2014 through 2018, while retiring older coal plants that produced 3,779 megawatts. ……
In the U.S., the opposite is happening. Until recently, coal was more costly than natural gas, which is booming. Environmental regulations are further pushing the oldest and dirtiest coal-fired plants to retirement by adding more costs, and any new coal-fired power plants will have to capture carbon dioxide and bury it underground if the Obama administration gets its way. Few if any new coal plants are expected to be built.
But the U.S. and other countries have no problem supplying Germany and the world with coal. Last year, U.S. coal exports totaled $11 billion in revenue.
“It’s not taking responsibility,” said Thomas Power, a research professor at the University of Montana in the U.S. who has worked for environmental groups and clean energy foundations and has pushed for a more honest accounting of emissions. “It’s shifting the responsibility to someone else.”
Well, golly. First, to correct some of the withering stupidity in the article, gas was, only for a very brief moment in time, cheaper than coal, and it was only so if the coal was transported for a significant distance. On average, for energy generation, coal has always been cheaper than natural gas. For a brief time, because of a glut of nat gas, it sold for less than the cost of getting it out of the ground.
Were I Germany, I would not end the subsidies to coal mining, at least to the amount of the cost of transport to import all that coal.
But, look at the context, and inferences of the article. It’s some lunatics still crying about something which is good. Germany is increasing the coal imports for two reasons. One, there’s an increase in demand for electricity, which, alternative sources are either too expensive or too intermittent and too expensive. Of course, this article doesn’t say anything about the instability of using renewables.
World demand for coal is up 3%. What this means is that more and more people are modernizing and we’re lifting them out of a perpetually impoverished state. It also means more people are wanting to and doing more things, which is a euphemism for economic growth. It’s weird, but, some parts of the globe are growing, economically, while nations like the US and Germany are stagnate and withering on the vine. One of the reasons for this is because both of us have rejected a cheaper more reliable form of energy production. In the US, we’ve rejected coal, in Germany, they rejected nuclear energy. Because whirly-gigs and sun catchers are woefully inadequate for a national grid supply, one has to use something else. In the US, it’s natural gas. It turns out, it was a good investment for the natural gas energy to invest a few $million to groups like the Sierra Club. Meanwhile, Germany is turning more to coal.
So, the nutters have temporarily won in the US in getting some coal plants shut down and the prospects of building another are dim, under current conditions. But, the same could have been said in Germany just a few years ago.
And, this is the utter stupidity of the lunatics. What they don’t understand is that the energy sources will be used. It’s simply a matter of where, and by whom. The dumbasses blocked the oil from Canada to the US. So, Canada will ship it to China. Or, China will ship it to China. Regardless, it will be used. So, the US has a lot of coal laying around that it’s not using, right now. So, we’re shipping some of it to Germany. It will be used.
But, think of the stupidity in all of this, that the lunatics have caused. Yes, transport increases costs. But, transport also significantly increases energy use on its own! The coal has to be shipped by rail to the ports, and then loaded on a boat like the one in the picture above, and shipped half-way around the world. Canada’ oil is the same story. The lunatics don’t like a pipeline? So, it gets shipped by rail.
Well played, lunatics. Your advocacy has managed to increase CO2 levels rather than your stated goals of decreasing them. Idiots.
Oh, yeh, and here’s another thing not mentioned in the story …….
Coal and gas electricity companies are being paid up to 400x times the wholesale price of power, in return for helping to stabilize the German electricity grid.
According to Bloomberg, “Germany’s push toward renewable energy is causing so many drops and surges from wind and solar power that the government is paying more utilities than ever to help stabilize the country’s electricity grid.”
“At the beginning, this market counted for only a small portion of our earnings,” said Hartmuth Fenn, the head of intraday, market access and dispatch at Vattenfall AB, Sweden’s biggest utility. “Today, we earn 10 percent of our plant profits in the balancing market”.
Full story http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-24/german-utilities-bail-out-electric-grid-at-wind-s-mercy.html
You can read the rest of it at WUWT in the link “Germany’s green tech …..”
So, here’s what the lunatics have managed to do ….. they’ve stymied economic growth in Germany and the US (and many other places). They’ve managed to destroy industries. They harm the stability of energy supply to people and businesses, they’ve increased the costs of electricity, and increased CO2 emissions.
Every bit of that was foretold, over and over and over again.