Thursday, September 27, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: How ‘Green’ China Fooled The World As New Coal Boom Continues








Angela Merkel Warns Against Tougher EU CO2 Limits On Cars, Vans

In this newsletter:

1) How ‘Green’ China Fooled The World As New Coal Boom Continues
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 24 September 2018 
 
2) Germany’s Merkel Warns Against Tougher EU CO2 Limits On Cars, Vans
Reuters, 25 September 2018


 
3) Germany’s Renewable Energy Dreams Derailed
Newsweek, 19 September 2018 
 
4) Shale Revolution Could Trigger Lancashire’s Economic Renaissance
Lee Petts, Lancashire Business View, 25 September 2018
 
5) The Green Energy Act Is Dead. Let That Be A Warning To Green Politicians
Rex Murphy, National Post, 21 September 2018


Full details:

1) How ‘Green’ China Fooled The World As New Coal Boom Continues
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 24 September 2018 

China could add as much as 400 million tons of coal capacity over the next two years, according to analysts at the consulting firm Woods Mackenzie.



That’s about a 10 percent increase in China’s coal production capacity, which is a stark contrast to the country’s talk about closing coal mines to reduce excess capacity and fight air pollution, according to Bloomberg. “For all its talk about cutting coal mining capacity, China actually plans to add more,” the news outlet reported on Monday.

Chinese officials made moves to shelve coal projects and increase the use of natural gas for heating — though that left many working poor without heat during the frigid winter. All of these actions are generally put in context of China’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.

China promised to “peak” emissions around 2030, decrease carbon dioxide emissions per unit of economic output and use more green energy. Woods Mackenzie’s analysis released Monday, however, shows that China is far away from a green energy renaissance like many environmental activists hope.

Indeed, China’s greenhouse gas emissions increased 4 percent in the first quarter of 2018, and that was after the country’s emissions jumped 1.7 percent in 2017.

Chinese emissions are rising again after flatlining for a few years. During that time, China signed onto the Paris accord. The Obama administration joined the Paris accord in 2016, pledging to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.

The Paris accord aims to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, but allows countries to set their own emissions targets. President Donald Trump announced last year he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris accord.

China’s efforts to curb pollution is often conflated with the country’s Paris accord pledge to fight global warming, but the two aren’t necessarily compatible, according to a 2015 report.

“Not only do the goals of reducing carbon emissions and air pollution not reinforce each other, they conflict,” Patricia Adams, economist and head of an environmental non-governmental organization, wrote in a 2015 report.



Adams’ argument is that technologies to curb air pollution from coal plants exist and are cost-effective, whole carbon capture and storage equipment has not been proven on an economy-wide scale.

“Efforts to reduce it rely on unproven abatement technologies, and are prohibitively expensive. In contrast, abating air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide rely on proven technologies and are relatively inexpensive,” reads Adams’ report, published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Full story

2) Germany’s Merkel Warns Against Tougher EU Co2 Limits On Cars, Vans
Reuters, 25 September 2018

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that European carmakers could be made uncompetitive if EU targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from cars and vans were set at more than 30 percent by 2030.

 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives to give a statement at the CDU headquarters in Berlin, Germany, September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

European Union lawmakers, supported by Germany’s Environment Ministry, back making the CO2 reduction target for fleets of cars and vans 45 percent less than 2021 levels by 2030, setting the stage for a tough fight with national governments.

Merkel weighed into the battle between climate campaigners and manufacturers by endorsing the EU executive’s initial 30 percent reduction goal.

“The Commission’s suggestion is a sensible foundation,” she told business executives in Berlin.

“Anything that goes beyond that runs the risk of us banishing the car industry from Europe and carmakers then producing cars elsewhere, which we then buy here. I don’t want that,” she said.

Full story

3) Germany’s Renewable Energy Dreams Derailed
Newsweek, 19 September 2018 

The German government has put the brakes on wind power, reducing the number of new contracts for wind farms and curtailing the amount it pays for renewable energy. Advocates of renewables are up in arms, accusing the government of suffocating their industry…



In 2010, Germany announced an ambitious goal of generating 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050. In 2011, it doubled down on the commitment by deciding to shut down every last nuclear power plant in the country by 2022. The German government has paid more than $600 billion to citizens and companies that generate solar and wind power. As a result, the generating capacity from renewable sources has soared: In 2017, a third of the nation’s electricity came from wind, solar, hydropower and biogas, up from 3.6 percent in 1990.

But Germany’s lofty vision has run into a gritty reality: Replacing fossil fuels and nuclear power in one of the largest industrial nations in the world is politically more difficult and expensive than planners thought. It has forced Germany to put the brakes on its ambitious renewables program, ramp up its investments in fossil fuels and, to some extent, put its leadership role in the fight against climate change on hold.

The trouble lies with Germany’s electricity grid. Solar and wind power call for more complex and expensive distribution networks than conventional large power plants do. “What the Germans were good at was getting new technology into the market, like wind and solar power,” said Arne Jungjohann, author of Energy Democracy: Germany’s ENERGIEWENDE to Renewables. To achieve its goals, “Germany needs to overhaul its whole grid.”

The North-South Conundrum

The boom in wind power has created an unanticipated mismatch between supply and demand. Big wind turbines, especially offshore plants such as Arkona, produce powerful, concentrated gusts of energy.

That’s good when the factory that needs that energy is nearby and the wind kicks up during working hours. It’s another matter when factories are hundreds of miles away. In Germany, wind farms tend to be located in the blustery north. Many of the nation’s big factories lie in the south, which also happens to be where most of the country’s nuclear plants are being mothballed.

Getting that power from north to south is problematic. On windy days, northern wind farms generate too much energy for the grid to handle. Power lines get overloaded. To cope, grid operators ask wind farms to disconnect their turbines from the grid—those elegant blades that tourists so admired sit idle. To ensure a supply of power, operators  employ backup generators at great expense. These so-called re-dispatching costs ran to 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion) last year.
 

The solution is to build more power transmission lines to take the excess wind from northern wind farms to southern factories. A grid expansion project is underway to do exactly that. Nearly 5,000 miles of new transmission lines, at a cost of billions of euros, will be paid for by utility customers. So far, less than a fifth of the lines have been built.

The grid expansion is “catastrophically behind schedule,” Energy Minister Peter Altmaier told the Handelsblatt business newspaper in August. Among the setbacks: citizens living along the route of four high-voltage power lines have demanded the cables be buried underground, which has added to the time and expense. The lines won’t be finished before 2025—three years after the last nuclear power plant is due to close down.

With this backlog, the government has put the brakes on wind power, reducing the number of new contracts for farms and curtailing the amount it pays for renewable energy. “In the past, we have focused too much on the mere expansion of renewable energy capacity,” Joachim Pfeiffer, a spokesman for the Christian Democratic Union, wrote to Newsweek. “We failed to synchronize this expansion of generation with grid expansion.”

Advocates of renewables are up in arms, accusing the government of suffocating their industry and making planning impossible. Thousands of people lost their jobs in the wind industry, according to Wolfram Axthelm, CEO of the German Wind Energy Association. “For 2019 and 2020, we see a highly problematic situation for the industry,” he wrote in an email.

Full story

4) Shale Revolution Could Trigger Lancashire’s Economic Renaissance
Lee Petts, Lancashire Business View, 25 September 2018

Lancashire is no stranger to industrial and energy ‘firsts’, and it’s currently on the cusp of another that has more potential to transform the county’s economy than anything else right now: shale gas.

Cuadrilla has completed the drilling of the UK’s first horizontal shale gas wells at its Preston New Road site and has also obtained the final permission it needs to hydraulically fracture or ‘frack’ the first of them, which it expects to do in Q3 of 2018.

If gas flows prove substantial, there’s a good chance we’ll see exploration move into production and that’s where the BIG opportunities lie; over £10m has already been spent with local firms just to drill two wells, imagine what that spend could look like if activity scales-up substantially – producing billions of cubic metres of gas for local homes and businesses will result in billions of pounds flowing into the Lancashire economy.

Almost a thousand local businesspeople have registered as supporters of the industry with Lancashire For Shale over the years because they are excited about the jobs and supply chain prospects that a successful fracking sector promises – now is the time to join them…

It’s high time Lancashire caught up with its nearest regional neighbours, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside, and experienced its own economic renaissance.

Full post

5) The Green Energy Act Is Dead. Let That Be A Warning To Green Politicians
Rex Murphy, National Post, 21 September 2018

The Green Energy and Green Economy Act, which the Ford government announced Thursday it would officially cancel, was one of the most monumental government follies of our time. 

It was a hydra-headed monster of regulations and fiat that bludgeoned Ontario’s rural communities, stripped Ontario’s municipalities of every right to the slightest participation in their own planning, placed a darkling pall over the manufacturing industry, and imposed the highest electricity costs in all North America on some of Ontario’s lowest-income citizens.

It is a challenge to give a comprehensive account of its many follies. A saga that started in 2009 under then Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty, received a full and smothering embrace by his successor, Kathleen Wynne, that subsidized at dizzying multiples the electricity provided by the most inefficient sources, put the small towns and outlying cities of the province under a green iron fist, stimulated both the construction of gas plants and their subsequent abrupt election-inspired cancellation, produced power it had to give away or pay other jurisdictions to take, castrated small businesses, burdened the most impoverished of the province with a choice between power and bread, and then precipitated the greatest slaughter of the Liberal Party of Ontario in modern-day history, cannot be encompassed in a column.

All in all, it was the most staggering story involving hallucinations about windmills since the great Cervantes inscribed — to give the full, elegant title — “El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de La Mancha,” which an obliging Google amanuensis translates as “The ingenious knight Don Quixote of La Mancha.”

It’s quite queasy being a green. The story of the McGuinty/Wynne crusade to impose, at any cost, full green moralism on Ontarians should serve as a drastic caution to politicians everywhere that “going green” isn’t the innocent, costless Boy-Scoutism it is always portrayed as. That it is never quite enough to keep telling your citizens in the condescending tones of the Sunday morning TV evangelists to “take your medicine, it’s for your own good.”

It is an amazing thing how often politicians elected to serve a particular jurisdiction — could be municipal or provincial — set themselves these grand glorious and green global agendas. “Sorry. Can’t fix the potholes, clear the drains before a storm, unlock the traffic snarling every street and expressway or get the streetcars here on time — but, hey, we’re banning plastic straws and grocery bags and we’re going solar on the billboards.” If you can’t run the city, leave the planet saving for another day. If you’ve got to send out government money to private citizens to allow them to pay their power bills because your policies are the very ones that drove power bills to a level they cannot pay, then reconsider the delusion that global warming is what you were elected to fix.

Full post


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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