Tuesday, January 9, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Emergency Costs For German Energiewende Explode








Many Europeans ‘Too Poor’ To Heat Their Homes

In this newsletter:

1) Emergency Costs For German Energiewende Explode
Alex Reichmuth, Basler Zeitung, 6 January 2018
 
2) Brave Green World: Many Europeans ‘Too Poor’ To Heat Their Homes
Euronews, 4 January 2018


 
3) German Energiewende: “We Can’t Afford This Insanity For Much Longer.”
Spiegel Online, 3 January 2018
 
4) German Wind Energy Market Faces Implosion
Handelsblatt, 7 January 2018
 
5) Matt Ridley: Global Cooling Is Not Worth Shivering About
Matt Ridley, The Times, 8 January 2017
 
6) Too Frigid For Global Warming? This Is Why They Rebranded It ‘Climate Change’
Rex Murphy, National Post, 6 January 2018
 
7) Precautionary Principle Upside Down: How To Save The Planet From A Little Ice Age?
Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, 6 January 2018
 
8) Last Chance To Place Your Global Temperature Bet For 2018
GWPF Temperature Prediction 2018


Full details:

1) Emergency Costs For German Energiewende Explode
Alex Reichmuth, Basler Zeitung, 6 January 2018

Irregular and unpredictable wind and solar power is increasingly becoming a problem for Germany’s power grid. Utility company Tennet TSO spent almost a billion euros last year on emergency interventions to stabilize the national grid.

That’s what the company announced earlier this week. The costs were thus about 50% higher than in 2016 (660 million euros) and around forty percent higher than in 2015 (710 million). Tennet is responsible for the electricity supply in an area that extends from Schleswig-Holstein in the north to Bavaria in the south of Germany and accounts for around forty percent of Germany’s total area. In particular, Tennet is responsible for important north-south transmission routes.

The reason for the increase in emergency interventions is the rising number of solar projects and wind turbines in Germany. The share of renewable energy increased from 29 to 33 percent of the electricity supply last year. Wind and solar power are irregular and often unpredictable. This makes the network increasingly unstable.

Supplied and the demanded electricity must always match – otherwise it comes to blackouts. When imbalances threaten, the German network operators are forced to direct gas, coal or nuclear power plants  to ramp up or throttle their power supply. Sometimes, they have to ask foreign power plants for support. It can also help to instruct wind power and solar plant operators to temporarily stop their production. However, network operators are liable for compensation because there is a purchase guarantee for alternative electricity. Tennet pays money for stopping wind turbines.

Translation GWPF

Full story (in German)
 

2) Brave Green World: Many Europeans ‘Too Poor’ To Heat Their Homes
Euronews, 4 January 2018

Almost 9% of Europeans can’t afford to heat their homes



Every country in Europe has people living in fuel poverty. Figures from a study published by the EU agency, Eurostat which surveyed people from across the continent, showed Bulgaria with 39% of its population unable to afford to heat their homes properly.

Lithuania and Greece followed with 29% of people making the claims. At the other end of the scale, less than 2% of the population face the same problems in Luxembourg and Finland.

Full story
 

see also: To Eat Or Heat? That’s The EU’s Question
 
3) German Energiewende: “We Can’t Afford This Insanity For Much Longer.”
Spiegel Online, 3 January 2018

Germany has to send electricity to neighbouring countries – and has to pay for it



Germany is giving away electricity to its neighbors electricity.  According to a report by “Handelsblatt” several thousand megawatt hours flowed over the borders on New Year’s Day. And not even free of charge: whoever accepted Germany’s electricity gift was paid to take it.

Germany is increasingly selling electricity at negative prices. On New Year’s Day, according to the report, it peaked at € 76 per megawatt hour. In recent years, the number of hours in which electricity had to be exported in this way has increased. In 2008, the phenomenon occurred on 15 hours per year,  in 2017 it was already happening during 146 hours, according to Federal Network Agency.

The cost of having to pay for the exports are carried  to a significant part by German electricity consumers. Transmission system operators also have to purchase electricity from renewable sources, even if there is no demand. In these situations, electricity prices go negative. The costs for this are transferred by the operators to the consumers.

Politicians alerted

The Federal Ministry of Economics does not seem to be concerned about the development. But some policy makers are alarmed, Handelsblatt reports. The issue is likely to play a role in the forthcoming coalition talks between Christian Democrats and the SPD.

“We can’t afford this insanity for much longer. The next coalition governing will have to tackle this issue,” the newspaper quotes Bernd Westphal, the economics spokesperson of the SPD parliamentary group.

The misguided developments of the Energiewende are endangering Germany’s security of supply and its competitiveness, said Thomas BareiƟ, the energy policy coordinator of the Christian Democratic parliamentary party.

Translation GWPF

Full story (in German)
 

4) German Wind Energy Market Faces Implosion
Handelsblatt, 7 January 2018

Last year alone, more than 2,000 employees in the German wind energy sector lost their jobs.

Locations like Carbon Rotec in Lemwerder or Powerblades in Bremerhaven have been closed. The Hamburg wind turbine manufacturer Senvion had to sack 660 full-time employees. Nordex, the second largest wind power company based in Hamburg, intends to cut up to 500 jobs due to eroding profits. And Enercon, the German market leader with more than 20,000 employees worldwide, recently announced “unpopular measures” to cut costs…

Since 2017, the construction of new wind turbines has been regulated via tenders in which companies must compete with each other for the amount of subsidies they receive. The volume is set at 2,800 megawatts per year. Because of a loophole in the rules it is doubtful whether this limited extension will take place at all.

To prevent a supposedly threatening oligopolistic dominance in the market, the federal government has chosen special rules for so-called citizen wind companies. They may, for example, bring projects into the auction process for which they do not yet have any certificates (BImSchG) and have significantly longer time to realise their projects. This has fatal consequences.

In 2017, more than 95 per cent of onshore tenders went to such wind farms which now have four and a half years to actually build their parks. “For 2019 and 2020, a significant gap is expected, which can lead to massive slumps in industrial policy, but also affects planners, project managers, logistics and the service sector,” the Federal Wind Energy Association (BWE) in Berlin warns. In order to prevent a collapse, the BWE is calling for auctioning an additional volume of 1,500 megawatts in two out of four tenders this year.

Translation GWPF

Full story (in German)
 

5) Matt Ridley: Global Cooling Is Not Worth Shivering About
Matt Ridley, The Times, 8 January 2017

The Earth is very slowly slipping back into a proper ice age but technology should enable civilisation to survive it



Record cold in America has brought temperatures as low as minus 44C in North Dakota, frozen sharks in Massachusetts and iguanas falling from trees in Florida.

Al Gore blames global warming, citing one scientist to the effect that this is “exactly what we should expect from the climate crisis”. Others beg to differ: Kevin Trenberth, of America’s National Centre for Atmospheric Research, insists that “winter storms are a manifestation of winter, not climate change”.

Forty-five years ago a run of cold winters caused a “global cooling” scare. “A global deterioration of the climate, by order of magnitude larger than any hitherto experienced by civilised mankind, is a very real possibility and indeed may be due very soon,” read a letter to President Nixon in 1972 from two scientists reporting the views of 42 “top” colleagues.

“The cooling has natural causes and falls within the rank of the processes which caused the last ice age.” The administration replied that it was “seized of the matter”.

In the years that followed, newspapers, magazines and television documentaries rushed to sensationalise the coming ice age. The CIA reported a “growing consensus among leading climatologists that the world is undergoing a cooling trend”. The broadcaster Magnus Magnusson pronounced on a BBC Horizon episode that “unless we learn otherwise, it will be prudent to suppose that the next ice age could begin to bite at any time”.

This alarm about global cooling has largely been forgotten in the age of global warming, but it has not entirely gone away. Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University has suggested that a quiescent sun presages another Little Ice Age like that of 1300-1850. I’m not persuaded. Yet the argument that the world is slowly slipping back into a proper ice age after 10,000 years of balmy warmth is in essence true. Most interglacial periods, or times without large ice sheets, last about that long, and ice cores from Greenland show that each of the past three millennia was cooler than the one before.

However, those ice cores, and others from Antarctica, can now put our minds to rest. They reveal that interglacials start abruptly with sudden and rapid warming but end gradually with many thousands of years of slow and erratic cooling. They have also begun to clarify the cause. It is a story that reminds us how vulnerable our civilisation is. If we aspire to keep the show on the road for another 10,000 years, we will have to understand ice ages. […]

In 1976 Nicholas Shackleton, a Cambridge physicist, and his colleagues published evidence from deep-sea cores of cycles in the warming and cooling of the Earth over the past half million years which fitted Milankovich’s orbital wobbles. Precession, which decides whether the Earth is closer to the sun in July or in January, is on a 23,000-year cycle; obliquity, which decides how tilted the axis of the Earth is and therefore how warm the summer is, is on a 41,000-year cycle; and eccentricity, which decides how rounded or elongated the Earth’s orbit is and therefore how close to the sun the planet gets, is on a 100,000-year cycle. When these combine to make a “great summer” in the north, the ice caps shrink.

Game, set and match to Milankovich? Not quite. The Antarctic ice cores, going back 800,000 years, then revealed that there were some great summers when the Milankovich wobbles should have produced an interglacial warming, but did not. To explain these “missing interglacials”, a recent paper in Geoscience Frontiers by Ralph Ellis and Michael Palmer argues we need carbon dioxide back on the stage, not as a greenhouse gas but as plant food.

The argument goes like this. Colder oceans evaporate less moisture and rainfall decreases. At the depth of the last ice age, Africa suffered long mega-droughts; only small pockets of rainforest remained. Crucially, the longer an ice age lasts, the more carbon dioxide is dissolved in the cold oceans. When the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere drops below 200 parts per million (0.02 per cent), plants struggle to grow at all, especially at high altitudes. Deserts expand. Dust storms grow more frequent and larger. In the Antarctic ice cores, dust increased markedly whenever carbon dioxide levels got below 200 ppm. The dust would have begun to accumulate on the ice caps, especially those of Eurasia and North America, which were close to deserts. Next time a Milankovich great summer came along, and the ice caps began to melt, the ice would have grown dirtier and dirtier, years of deposited dust coming together as the ice shrank. The darker ice would have absorbed more heat from the sun and a runaway process of collapsing ice caps would have begun.

All of human civilisation happened in an interglacial period, with a relatively stable climate, plentiful rainfall and high enough levels of carbon dioxide to allow the vigorous growth of plants. Agriculture was probably impossible before then, and without its hugely expanded energy supply, none of the subsequent flowering of human culture would have happened.

That interglacial will end. Today the northern summer sunshine is again slightly weaker than the southern. In a few tens of thousands of years, our descendants will probably be struggling with volatile weather, dust storms and air that cannot support many crops. But that is a very long way off, and by then technology should be more advanced, unless we prevent it developing. The key will be energy. With plentiful and cheap energy our successors could thrive even in a future ice age, growing crops, watering deserts, maintaining rainforests and even melting ice caps.

Full post & comments
 

6) Too Frigid For Global Warming? This Is Why They Rebranded It ‘Climate Change’
Rex Murphy, National Post, 6 January 2018

Any variety of weather whatsoever can be traced, if you keep the grants flowing and the contradictions unexamined, to the One Holy Underlying Theory of All Weather




Of course I believe in global warming. How could I not? It happens even in the meteorological riot ward I know as home, dear, cruel Newfoundland. Yes, even in Newfoundland you see it every year. It’s cold and dirty and heartbreaking in February, and yet by June, well — sometimes a little later, say July to be safe — it is actually measurably warmer. In places. Sometimes. Most years. Once every decade, for sure.

With a few exceptions. There are parts of Placentia Bay in mid-June, when the fog is in, the wind onshore, and an iceberg in the harbour, that could freeze the nuts off a banker’s conscience. But, as we in the warming communion remind both heretics and hecklers — that’s weather, not climate, you dummies. Overall though, fairly regularly, most likely on the west coast, it warms up in the summer (as we like to call the late weeks of June and bits of July) and then tapers off for the rest of the year.

The folks back home are pretty steady on this. Come winter, no matter how often the water pipes freeze up, the lights go out from another sleet storm, the snow piles up such that you can’t get out the door, and the Witless Bay Line is clogged from Holyrood to Bay Bulls with the latest blizzard, our folks show no slack. “Cursed weather,” they exclaim. “Cold as a nun’s beads.” (Ed. note: a necessary edit has been made here. For the children.)

No. The faith is strong. They curse the weather. But they never blame the climate.

During the most savage Hyperborean blasts and numbing cold even the little ones busy themselves with exercises to remind themselves of the truth of things. Children in schools hang up posters of the Amazon rainforest, check the temperature in Tanzania, have revivalist reruns of An Inconvenient Truth to keep the sense of global peril fresh in their anxious empty little heads. They gather round the red-hot, pot-bellied stoves in the outport schools and plan a Thousand Acts of Green for when the snow clears. And pin little green David Suzuki and Bono buttons on their survival suits to manifest their creed.

I wish I could say things were as healthy, attitude-wise, on this front up in Ontario right now. As I peck away at this incomparable aria there’s a huge sheet of frost mist stretching full across Lake Ontario, half a mile high. Generated, beyond question, by the terrible, fierce, glacial pall that has lain over the province for the past 10 days or so, the mist is a shroud of pure ghostly frigidity, “as cold,” in Mr. Swinburne’s evocative couplet “as a winter wave/In the wind from a wide-mouthed grave.” Cheerful lad, was old Algernon.

It is so cold that the downtown scalpers in Toronto are selling tickets for next year’s March of the Penguins, which it is anticipated will start in Buffalo and terminate just off the Toronto Islands. David Attenborough will MC.

“Colder than when Mike Harris was Premier,” says a local Liberal. Up here folks are tending — a curious turn I agree — to a more lukewarm stance on the crucial climate/weather distinction. So too, in other ice-embalmed regions of the country and continent. There are mutters from icicled lips of “this is not what we were promised.” A like sentiment prompted a little-attended (it was too cold) labour protest recently that featured plaintive cries of: What do we want? Global Warming! When do we want it? Now.”

Of course the absolutely hopeless global warming skeptics are making great fun of all this, taunting the faithful, mocking the past predictions of snow-free winters, glaciers melting in 30 years, the fading industry of ski resorts. In equally bad form, they call up all the hot summer days of years past when even the TV meteorologists or “weather specialists” as they delight to call themselves, marked every humid breeze, every tilt upwards of a degree, the start of forest fires, the demands on air conditioning as “yet another sign,” another proof of the incontestable fact of our ever-heating globe. Not so much talk during those torrid days of the great cleavage between Climate and Weather. For some reason on hot days it is not thought necessary to make the distinction. Scientific scruple, I guess.

Fortunately, the Jesuitical mandarins of Pembina and Greenpeace and Sierra, assisted by the sovereign intellects of Bill Nye (your smarmy weather guy), Neil Young, Prince Charles and the concentrated brain power of the entire Green Party (Elizabeth May Inc.) are on the case: batting away their simplistic mockeries and confounding them with whole buckets of settled science and clips from We Day. And reminding everyone that they have long ago “rebranded” Global Warming so it does not mean that anymore. It’s Climate Change now, up, down, across and around. Climate Change, meteorology’s ToE (Theory of Everything).

We are fortunate to have such guardians, to direct us away from our senses, and beckon us back on the road to faith. Climate Change can cause cold temperatures, too, they intone. And wet weather. And dry. Hurricanes and cyclones. Droughts and floods. In fact, any variety of weather whatsoever can be traced, if you but model hard and often enough, keep the grants flowing and the contradictions unexamined, to the One Holy Underlying Theory of All Weather. Climate Change, everything proves it. It’s the scientific method at its best.

Full post
 

7) Precautionary Principle Upside Down: How To Save The Planet From A Little Ice Age?

Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, 6 January 2018

With some scientists increasingly predicting a long period of global cooling, we may need incentives to put additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

A carbon tax has a solid theoretical basis in economics, which is why a great many economists favour it to address global warming. If you want more of something, they explain, provide incentives. If you want less of something — in this case carbon dioxide — tax it. As economists like to say, incentives matter.

Honest, intellectually rigorous economists — I’m excluding those who tout carbon taxes to promote an ideological global warming agenda — may soon need to put their climate models through new paces, however.

To date, they’ve debated the economic cost of damage resulting from carbon dioxide emissions and the size of the tax needed to persuade individuals and industry to curb their emissions — should it be $50 a tonne, or $100 or $200 a tonne? With scientists increasingly pondering, and predicting, a long-lived period of global cooling, the debate may soon shift to whether we should be offering a bounty of $50, $100 or $200 a tonne to those willing to put additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

One scientist who sees global warming receding as a threat — at least until the 2050s — is Valentina Zharkova at Northumbria University in the U.K., whose research indicates that Earth will soon enter a new Little Ice Age that will last decades. Her findings, which were first presented to the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting in Wales in 2015, have since gathered support from hundreds of researchers. They build on the work of numerous others around the world who in recent decades have been studying how diminished solar activity — most dramatically the absence of sunspots — affects Earth’s climate.

They, in turn, are building on the work of Galileo and the newly invented telescope of the early 1600s which began the concerted study of sunspots, and of British astronomer Edward Walter Maunder, who in the late 1800s linked the absence of sunspots to the depths of the last Little Ice Age two centuries earlier. Our Sun these days, ominously, is sometimes spotless.

In past little ice ages — “they keep repeating every 350-400 years because the Sun goes through this minimum activity,” Zharkova explains — crops failed and people suffered. She believes global warming may prevent the worst of a new Little Ice Age from occurring and that it may even bring a silver lining, at least temporarily. “I hope global warming will be overridden by this effect, giving humankind and the Earth 30 years” to find solutions, she said.

Other scientists, such as Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at the Russian Academy of Science’s Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg and the author of the 2016 study, “The New Little Ice Age Has Started,” believes the Little Ice Age will last longer — about 100 years. The reliability of Abdussamatov’s model — informed by Earth’s 18 earlier little ice ages over the past 7,500 years, six of them in the last thousand years — have been repeatedly affirmed by real events, such as irradiance measurements from the Sun. The robustness of Abdussamatov’s model allowed him to predict in 2003 the advent of a new ice age by 2015 (sic). The models of all the scientists predicting warming, in contrast, have been proven by real events to be abject failures.

Economists who today propose a carbon tax to prevent global warming do so in the belief that the science on global warming is settled, and that a tax is required to mitigate the damage from carbon dioxide emissions. But if the science on global warming gets settled differently — with a new consensus that we face a protracted period of global cooling — these economists would want to change the incentives to encourage the carbon dioxide emissions believed needed to offset harm.

The bounties could come in the form of subsidies to the tar sands and coal mining industries, to pipelines and fracking operations, to encourage the production needed to fossil-fuel the factories and steel mills of tomorrow. Punitive taxes at the gasoline pump would be dropped, as would mileage standards on cars. Rather than the “cash for clunkers” programs of old, governments might incent the scrapping of fuel-efficient compact cars while subsidizing the purchase of SUVs. Rather than banning the incandescent light bulb, governments on the advice of economists might ban compact fluorescents.

Simultaneously, these economists would want to eliminate the many perversely-given bounties to conservation programs, solar and wind power, nuclear reactors and Tesla vehicles.

Full post
 

8) Last Chance To Place Your Global Temperature Bet For 2018
GWPF Temperature Prediction 2018

Our Global Temperature Poll will close on 12 January. This is your last chance to

place your bet here:

https://formlets.com/forms/ABIBDtzpPE1tRUD7/ 

The winner will get a bottle of House of Lords Scotch and a copy of Bernie Lewin’s brand-new book. What better incentive could you want?


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 www.thegwpf.com.

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