Saturday, November 11, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Green Energy Crash

World's Second Biggest Wind Turbine Maker To Cut 6,000 Jobs

In this newsletter:

1) Green Energy Crash: Wind Turbine Maker Siemens Gamesa To Cut 6,000 Jobs
Financial Times, 7 November 2017
2) GWPF Launches Podcast For Global Listeners
GWPF Podcast, 7 November 2017

3) David Whitehouse: 2017 Global Temperature - Too Early To Tell
GWPF Observatory, 7 November 2017
4) Reconciling CO2 Concentrations With Emissions and Energy Consumption
Climate Scepticism, 6 November 2017 
5) Matt Ridley: The Green Movement Has Broken In Two: What Happens Next?
Reaction, 7 November 2017

Full details:

1) Green Energy Crash: Wind Turbine Maker Siemens Gamesa To Cut 6,000 Jobs
Financial Times, 7 November 2017

Siemens Gamesa is to cut 6,000 of its 27,000-strong workforce as part of a restructuring plan “to consolidate its position as a market leader”, the company said on Monday. Since Siemens took full control earlier this year, the wind company’s shares have fallen 46 per cent.

Green collapse: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy CA (GAM)

The world’s second-largest maker of wind turbines announced the job cuts as it released disappointing earnings and a 2018 outlook that was below forecasts.

“The guidance for next year is 14 per cent lower than the street had expected,” said Gurpreet Gujral, analyst at Macquarie, referring to operating profits.

Gamesa, the Spanish wind and renewable energy group acquired by Siemens this year, projected 2018 revenues of between €9bn and €9.6bn — about €1bn lower than the median consensus — while operating margins were targeted at between 7 per cent and 8 per cent, a modest projection relative to forecasts of 7.9 per cent.

Mr Gujral said the projections implied an underlying operating profit next year of €698m, well below forecasts of €814m.

The second half of the year, including the six months since April when Siemens completed its takeover, was hampered by a downturn in India and an inventory impairment in the US and South Africa. Sales in the six months declined 12 per cent, while underlying operating profit fell 63 per cent to €192m.

Management problems at Gamesa emerged in April when Ignacio Martín, chief executive, abruptly indicated he would not be staying on once the deal was complete. Siemens’ embarrassment over its inability to retain senior management was exacerbated by two profit warnings this year.

Full story

2) GWPF Launches Podcast For Global Listeners
GWPF Podcast, 7 November 2017

Dr David Whitehouse & Dr Benny Peiser discuss recent developments and controversies in climate science.

Listen here

3) David Whitehouse: 2017 Global Temperature - Too Early To Tell
GWPF Observatory, 7 November 2017
Dr David Whitehouse, GWPF Science Editor

It is far too early to judge this year’s global temperature developments and their significance regarding the long-term warming trend.

The United Nations climate change conference, held in Bonn this year, is always the cue for press releases from the World Meteorological Office and the UK Met Office in which they give their assessment of the year based on 9-10 months of data.

Dealing with the El Nino of recent years (and don’t forget the ‘Pacific Blob’ before that) they have had difficulty with explaining what part of the record temperature was due to El Nino and natural, and what was anthropogenic. Now that the El Nino has subsided and temperatures have dropped a little the WMO and the Met Office are clearer about what is going on, but behind the headlines there are many contradictions.

According to the WMO: “The past three years have all been in the top three years in terms of temperature records. This is part of a long term warming trend,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

The UK Met Office says; Although 2017 isn’t likely to break the record global mean surface temperatures set over the previous two years, climate scientists regard this year’s figure as noteworthy because it will be the warmest year in the series which hasn’t been influenced by an El Niño – the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation in the tropical Pacific.

So 2017 is significant because it hasn’t been influenced by the El Nino?

The recent El Nino was the strongest on record and took the global temperature way above what it was during the period from 2001 when there had been no statistically significant change. It’s a periodic weather event, and the global temperature was always expected to go straight up and come down again. Many at its inception proclaimed it was the start of a new global warming trend even though it was obvious what was happening. In any case its rate of temperature increase was far too rapid to be due to global warming.

Looking at the graph the WMO provided the recent El Nino is obvious (click on the image to enlarge). It is the only El Nino event, in this graph, that spans more than one year (although the graph is confusing). According to the WMO and the Met Office the temperature of the world in 2017 is independent of the El Nino, 2017 hasn’t been influenced by it is what they say.

Does 2017 look unrelated to 2016 and 2015 to you? With the record amount of heat the El Nino pumped into the system should we have expected the Earth to cool within months. There are only two other El Nino events, in the early 1980s and in 1998, that we have for a comparison, and all have their differences.

Compare it to recent UK Met Office HadCRUT4 global temperature data (click on image to enlarge).

If the global temperature of 2017 was unrelated to the previous years then looking at pre-El Nino years it would entail a temperature jump of 0.13°C in three years – a substantial change. The years 2017 is a warm year and it is clearly not just a coincidence that it is adjacent to the recent record-setting El Nino years. It is far too early to judge its proper place and significance regarding the long-term warming trend.

However, Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of WMO, said at the Bonn conference that he saw little likelihood of the warming trend being reversed in the short term. “This trend can be expected to continue for the coming 50 years. In this system, once you reach a certain level it does not drop soon.”

It will be interesting to see if the next few years bear out his certainty.


4) Reconciling CO2 Concentrations With Emissions and Energy Consumption
Climate Scepticism, 6 November 2017 
Thomas Fuller

According to the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, in 2016 the world consumed 580.7 quadrillion British Thermal Units, lovingly known as ‘quads.’ In 2010 we consumed 512 quads, a growth rate of about 2% per year.

Reported emissions of greenhouse gases have plateaued for the past three years and have not risen much since 2010. March 2017: “For the third year in a row, the carbon dioxide emissions that drive climate change worldwide have been level.

The emissions pause is particularly noteworthy because it comes despite a growing global economy, the International Energy Agency announced. That’s a sign that carbon emissions are “decoupling” from the economy as other sources of energy come online.”

And yet, concentrations of CO2 have risen sharply over this period. Whereas in the past century, concentrations rose by about 0.5 ppm per year, they are now routinely rising by over 2 ppm. And the last two years have been worse: “For the second year in a row, carbon dioxide concentrations as measured at Mauna Loa Observatory rose at a record-fast clip, according to new data released by the Environmental System Research Laboratory (ESRL). The annual growth of 3 parts per million in 2016 is the slightest shade below the jump in 2015 of 3.03 ppm.”

This is despite the ‘greening’ of the planet, the increase in vegetative cover due in no small part to an increase of CO2. This greening draws CO2 out of the air and should work to lower concentrations.

There is a clear disconnect here. But it’s fairly easy to explain.

There is no automatic meter on power plants or cars measuring their emissions. Statisticians take reports of national energy consumption (and sometimes sales of fossil fuels, when they have to) as proxies for emissions.

They can spot some errors in national data and work hard to be as accurate as possible. But they cannot overcome the difficulties caused by intentional misreporting of data.

Widespread misreporting of harmful gas emissions by Chinese electricity firms is threatening the country’s attempts to rein in pollution, with government policies aimed at generating cleaner power struggling to halt the practice.

… No official data on the extent of the problem has been released since a government audit in 2013 found hundreds of power firms had falsified emissions data, although authorities have continued to name and shame individual operators.

“There is no guarantee of avoiding under-reporting (of emissions) at local plants located far away from supervisory bodies. Coal data is very fuzzy,” said a manager with a state-owned power company, who did not want to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.”

Let’s be clear about what I’m writing. China is not lying about their CO2 emissions. Chinese coal companies are lying about how much they emit conventional pollution. However, those who spend their days trying to figure out how much in the way of greenhouse gases we are emitting end up using these statistics.

If concentrations of CO2 are rising higher than we perhaps expected, that might be the reason. If we need to look elsewhere, we might find that other countries are doing the same. And let’s not even start to examine the effect of perverse incentives caused by Emission Trading Schemes in places like the European Union.

It is hard enough to discuss climate change and human contributions to it when we trust the numbers. What happens when we can no longer do so?

5) Matt Ridley: The Green Movement Has Broken In Two: What Happens Next?
Reaction, 7 November 2017 

You can always tell when there is a United Nations Climate Conference of the Parties (COP) coming up, because there are any number of carefully timed press releases about how hot it has been or is going to get in the future. The media has been snowed under with such things for a while now, and sure enough, this week sees the gathering in Bonn of the usual circus of thousands of diplomats, bureaucrats, quangocrats, envirocrats and twittercrats.

Sceptics and lukewarmers are not welcome, despite the falling poll numbers for alarmism: in Britain public “concern” over climate change has dropped steadily from 82% in 2005 to 60% today – which is in line with the scientific evidence that warming is proving slower and less harmful than the models predicted. As Professor Myles Allen of Oxford University said in September “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven’t seen that in the observations.” It’s nice to have that confirmed authoritatively, but of course the public has known the truth for some time.

Meanwhile, NASA says the globe has 14% more green vegetation than 33 years ago, largely because of extra carbon dioxide in the air, which makes plants grow faster and use less water doing so, in all ecosystems from the arctic to the tropics.

Germany is an inappropriate, even embarrassing, place for the climate circus to meet. Its “Energiewende” is probably the most expensive, ambitious and comprehensive carbon-reduction policy in the world, for the size of the country. But it has been a pretty big disaster, in its own terms (emissions remain stubbornly high), as well as economically and ecologically. It is the main sticking point in the talks between political parties to form a new “Jamaica” coalition, with the Green party trying to take the “coal” out of coalition and the Free Democrats trying to keep it in.

The German countryside is now pockmarked with 28,000 wind turbines, rashes of solar farms and lashings of anaerobic digesters making gas out of maize crops. Renewables are now providing more than a third of Germany’s electricity, which sounds like a green triumph. But the cost is enormous. The cost of subsidising all this so far is about €190 billion, and is heading for 500 billion euros in total by 2025.

In spite of that, the impact on emissions has been small, even if you count biogas as low-carbon (which it is not). This is because to back up and balance the renewables, while killing off nuclear (to appease greens scared by Fukushima), the country is unable to reduce and has actually had had to expand its coal-burning sector. It has built 10 gigawatts of coal-burning power stations in the past five years. Last year Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions actually rose.

Meanwhile, the renewables are causing an environmental disaster as well as an economic one. The wind farms kill thousands of rare birds of prey every year, the biogas plants cause run-off and soil erosion, while the solar farms industrialise and denature the land. Many soi-disant ‘environmentalists’ are shamefully silent. “If dead eagles and kites were found next to chemicals plants or nuclear power stations, the public reaction would be fierce and furious,” says Michael Miersch of the German Wildlife Foundation.

As this quotation illustrates, the green movement is fracturing. Half of it is becoming ever more shrill in favour of the renewable-energy industry, a crony-capitalist business that takes money disproportionately from the poor (through poorly controlled levies on consumers) and gives it disproportionately to the rich through rents and dividends. (To declare an interest, my family business does receive money for one wind turbine, which we give away, but has turned down many more offers; we also get money from unsubsidised coal mining.)

Thus adverts have been appearing all over London recently boasting, unconvincingly, about the halving cost of wind power, though not offering to give up the subsidy addiction. They bear the logos of wind companies and big green multinationals like Greenpeace and WWF. Big Green is increasingly behaving like the PR arm of Big Wind.

Other greens and climate scientists, however, have lost faith in renewables, arguing that they have diverted funds from more worthwhile projects and have effectively killed nuclear power in some parts of the world – because nuclear cannot economically be turned on and off to match the intermittent nature of wind output. Globally, wind power produced just 0.7% of total energy use (including transport and heat) last year, showing how minuscule its contribution to decarbonisation is, even after decades of subsidy.

These two tribes – the ones who argue that only nuclear can deliver carbon-free energy on a sufficient scale to make a difference versus the ones who are wedded to a renewable future, whatever the cost – have now fallen out badly inside the scientific establishment. A paper by Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson and colleagues published in December 2015 argued that the continental United States could meet virtually 100% of its energy needs using wind, water and solar power alone by 2050.

A rebuttal paper, published in the same journal (the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) in June this year by Christopher Clack and 20 colleagues from various universities and companies argued that Jacobson had made absurd assumptions to reach his conclusion. For instance America would have to increase its hydro-electric capacity by an implausible amount to back up intermittent wind and solar. This would be unfeasible physically, let alone environmentally – dams are not good for wildlife.

Dr Clack’s paper argues that Dr Jacobson’s paper “contains modeling errors; incorrect, implausible, and/or inadequately supported assumptions; and the application of methods inappropriate to the task. In short, the analysis performed in [it] does not support the claim that such a system would perform at reasonable cost and provide reliable power.”

To the astonishment of the entire world of science, Dr Jacobson has responded by suing the journal and Dr Clack and his colleagues for defamation, demanding $10 million in damages. Jacobson argues that the Clack paper contains “materially misleading errors” and the decision to publish it “has had grave ramifications” for his reputation and career.

The history of science is full of feuds, often bitter ones, going back to Isaac Newton’s vendetta against Gottfried Leibniz and beyond. But that is how science works – through disagreement followed by discussion. Not by taking your enemy to court. “Using court to resolve sci issues? Generally a bad idea” tweeted Gavin Schmidt of NASA – who has none the less defended a similar law suit by the climate scientist Michael Mann against the journalist Mark Steyn.

“Enormously chilling for academic discourse. Would I ever write a paper challenging Jacobson’s analyses, even if they’re wrong? No way” tweeted Professor Roger Pielke of Colorado University in Boulder.

Reality is slowly dawning on at least some of the climatocrats meeting in Bonn, that their success in scaring the world as to future global warming has enabled an eruption of profitable capitalism to occur under the disguise of saving the planet. The economist Bruce Yandle has a phrase for this phenomenon, whereby pious preaching goes along with pure profiteering: “Bootleggers and Baptists”.

During Prohibition in the 1920s, an unholy alliance developed between Baptist preachers and the lucrative bootlegging industry, both of which favoured a ban on alcohol, one through misguided principle, the other because they cynically saw a way of increasing the price of their product and gouging the consumer. After little more than a decade Prohibition collapsed under the weight of its own hypocritical contradictions. Will Green Prohibition go the same way? It certainly deserves to. 

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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