Thursday, January 17, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Environmentalists Fear Trump’s Pick Will Reverse World Bank’s Climate Change Focus

Ocean Warming: Inadequate Data, Unknown Errors

In this newsletter:

1) Environmentalists Fear Trump’s Pick Will Reverse World Bank’s Climate Change Focus
Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, 15 January 2019 

2) Terence Corcoran: The Battle For A New World Bank President
Financial Post, 12 January 2019

3) Ocean Warming: Inadequate Data, Unknown Errors
GWPF Observatory, 15 January 2019 
4) New Allegations Of ‘Fishy’ Climate Science
Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 15 January 2019 

5) Detroit Show Has SUVs, Horsepower, But Electric Cars Are Few
AP 15 January 2019

6) The Growing Absurdities Of The German Energiewende
Christoph Eisenring, Neue Zürcher Zeitung 13 January 2019 
7) More Than 1000 Citizen Wind Energy Protest Groups: Germany “On Path To The Unknown”
NoTricksZone, 15 January 2019 

Full details:

1) Environmentalists Fear Trump’s Pick Will Reverse World Bank’s Climate Change Focus
Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, 15 January 2019 

With Ivanka Trump out of the running for the World Bank’s top job, all eyes are on President Trump to see whether he will use the vacancy to shift the multilateral lender’s focus from fighting climate change to providing developing nations with cheap, reliable fossil-fuel energy.

The White House said Monday that Ms. Trump, while not under consideration, will help choose a successor to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, who shocked onlookers last week by announcing that he will step down as of Feb. 1, three years before the end of his five-year term.

Given Mr. Trump’s record of shaking up the international order — he has moved to pull the U.S. out of UNESCO and the Paris climate accord — it would come as no surprise if he replaces the climate-conscious Mr. Kim with an executive eager to bring coal-fired power to Africa and Asia.

Myron Ebell, a member of the Trump transition team on the Environmental Protection Agency, said the opportunity comes not a moment too soon.

“I have been disappointed that the Trump administration has been slow to challenge the anti-fossil-fuel policies of the World Bank,” said Mr. Ebell, an analyst with the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute. “Now that Dr. Kim has resigned or been forced to resign, I hope the administration will insist that the next president be someone who has publicly advocated overturning these policies.”

Appointed in 2012 by President Obama and reappointed in 2017, Mr. Kim plans to join the private equity firm Global Infrastructure Partners to specialize on projects in the developing world.

Ms. Trump will “help manage the U.S. nomination process as she’s worked closely with the World Bank’s leadership for the past two years — however, reports that she is under consideration are false,” White House spokeswoman Jessica Ditto said in a statement.

While speculation swirls over whether Mr. Kim is leaving voluntarily — he was “not pushed out,” according to sources cited by Reuters news agency — his departure has raised alarm on the left.

“After World Bank chief resigns, worries of a Trump-appointed leader abound,” said a recent CNBC headline.
Julien Vincent, executive director for the environmental group Market Forces in Australia, said that any “appointment that upholds Trump’s views on climate change would be a disaster for the World Bank.”

Peter McCawley, a former director of the Asian Development Bank Institute, said Mr. Kim’s exit was “an unexpected gift to Donald Trump” but warned the president against overplaying his hand.

“Across the world, the Bank is currently seen as a credible institution,” Mr. McCawley said in a post for Australia’s Lowy Institute. “If a new president, appointed by Donald Trump, were to try to introduce a strong conservative agenda into the work of the World Bank, the institution would soon lose credibility.”

Among free-marketers, however, the view is that the next president could hardly be worse than Mr. Kim, a Korean-born U.S. physician who has been accused of turning the 189-member international development agency into a “green think tank.”

“In my view, Dr. Kim had been acting against the interests of developing nations by prioritizing global climate policies over the provision of universal energy access,” said Rupert Darwall, a British energy consultant. “It’s one or the other.”

Mr. Darwall wrote an October 2017 report, “The Anti-Development Bank: The World Bank’s regressive energy policies,” which said the World Bank “abandons the poor” for the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London.

In the report’s foreword, former World Bank research administrator Deepak Lal, a UCLA economics professor, slammed the 2013 World Bank decision to cut back financing of coal-fired plants, saying Mr. Kim had overruled his own staff’s cost-benefit analysis to place “the green agenda over its core developmental mission of poverty reduction.”

“If you prioritize climate programs, you will have more expensive electricity and you will have less-reliable energy and fewer people will have it. It’s as simple as that,” Mr. Darwall said.

Critics have also accused the World Bank of boosting China by promoting green energy policies, which favor the country’s solar panel industry, and by blocking coal projects, making loans from Beijing the fallback for many developing nations seeking fossil fuel energy infrastructure.

“[Many] big fossil-fuel-based power plants in Africa in particular, but also in large sections of Asia, are being funded by [Chinese banks] and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is basically a Chinese-funded bank,” said Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. “The price they have to pay is that they are basically becoming part of the Chinese empire, and the dependency on China becomes quite significant.”

Mr. Darwall called it “just bizarre, given that the U.S. is the largest funder of the World Bank. Effectively, he was using American taxpayers’ dollars to subsidize China’s solar [photovoltaic] industry.”

Those mentioned as possible successors to Mr. Kim include former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and Treasury Department official David Malpass, according to the Financial Times, although there has been a push to end the tradition of a U.S. leader in favor of one from the developing world.

Since the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement, the United States has selected the World Bank president, described by Mr. McCawley as “the pope of the international development community,” and Europeans have headed the International Monetary Fund.

German global development analyst Hans Dembowski said Mr. Trump’s pick may be less influential than predicted because the World Bank “does not simply obey the orders of its top leader.”

“Whoever becomes the next World Bank president, he or she will only be able to introduce the kind of gradual change with which most governments can be comfortable,” Mr. Dembowski said in a post on Development and Cooperation. “U-turns on issues like climate change are extremely unlikely.”

Whomever the Trump administration picks, said Mr. Peiser, “I think it will certainly lead to a shift in focus and hopefully a return to proper cost-effective policies that are actually looking at the costs and benefits rather than the ideology.

“Otherwise,” he said, “developing countries will continue to suffer.”

Full story

2) Terence Corcoran: The Battle For A New World Bank President
Financial Post, 12 January 2019

The surprise early resignation of World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Monday has produced a flurry of reactions from the bank’s supporters and critics, although none have come close to outlining the best option for a post-Second World War institution that long ago outlived its original purposes.

Does a 21st-century world economy awash in massive flows of investment cash really need a meddling, bureaucratic, multi-tentacled, government-backed fake financial institution that has, under Kim, been transformed into (among other things) a raging green lending machine that aims to deny developing countries poverty-relieving investment in fossil fuels and other resources in favour of windmills and solar panels?

The most radical idea circulating through the media portals in the wake of Kim’s announcement is that it is time to end the United States’ “stranglehold” on the presidency of the institution. All of the bank’s 12 presidents to date have been U.S. nationals, the result of a complicated history of global power alignments and the fact that America is the bank’s largest funder.

Kim, however, was hardly one to accuse of putting the bank in an America First stranglehold. His 2012 nomination by former president Barack Obama was heralded particularly by the moderate left, from Bill Clinton to development economist Jeffrey Sachs, who congratulated Obama for “nominating a world-class development leader.”

While some developing nation’s objected that it was time to let a non-American lead the bank, Kim sailed through to unanimous approval by the board of directors. He breezed on to a second-term extension in 2016, despite some objections about continued U.S. domination.

But that was then. With Donald Trump in the Oval Office, a more aggressive movement to overturn five decades of U.S. domination is underway. “The U.S shouldn’t get to pick the head of the World Bank. And not just because Trump is president,” said a Slate commentary by Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. Media reports warn that Kim’s departure, three years before the end of his term, “tees up a battle between the Trump administration… and critics seeking to break the U.S. stranglehold” on the bank’s presidency.

Maybe the critics of U.S. domination should be granted their wish.

Under Kim, the World Bank accelerated its transformation from a do-gooding financial institution nominally dedicated to fighting poverty by aiding development in Third World countries, into an environmental crusader. No more loans for coal projects, Kim decreed — even as China, India and others were expanding coal production. In 2016, the World Bank introduced a “fundamental shift” in policy from fighting poverty to fighting fossil fuels. In 2017, the bank announced it would end financial support for oil and gas extraction by 2019.

Kim was not the first bank president to overturn the World Bank’s objectives. He was merely an extension of a policy drift introduced years earlier under previous leaders selected by Washington.

Back in 2003, the bank produced a review of “extractive industries” and concluded that it should get out of all funding of investments in petroleum and coal. The bank’s then president was James Wolfensohn, a Bill Clinton nominee and a global operator who — as FP Comment columnist Peter Foster has previously pointed out — was an associate of the late Canadian Maurice Strong, mastermind of modern United Nations green globalism.

When he took over, Wolfensohn began squeezing the bank into his and Strong’s extreme-green stranglehold. One journalist would later describe how “Wolfensohn was critical of Bank projects he considered environmentally harmful … Strong watched approvingly as Wolfensohn instituted environmentalist-friendly policies, including the appointment of environmental NGOs to World Bank advisory committees.”

Ah, those ugly Americans. They gotta be stopped. Get them out of there.

The global political scramble to replace Kim promises to be an ideological free-for-all. Politicians in developing countries want more control over the bank, radicals on the left and right want to shut it down, while Western globalists and an army of crawling bureaucrats and UN operatives are keen to keep the operation going. Meanwhile, some of the bank’s former supporters — including former World Bank research administrator Deepak Lal — believe the bank has become an obstacle to growth in developing countries.

As for Trump, he may or may not want to shake the place up. Some members of his team have in the past suggested closing the World Bank down. John Bolton, the president’s national security adviser, has suggested it should be scaled back, if not shuttered completely.

Full post

3) Ocean Warming: Inadequate Data, Unknown Errors
GWPF Observatory, 15 January 2019 
Dr David Whitehouse, GWPF Science Editor

The oceans are warming, they have to be. If they were not then climate science would be in trouble. If ocean warming is not accelerating then climate science is also in trouble.

The warming of the oceans is one of the key topics in climate change. The Earth’s climate system is responding to an energy imbalance. Any positive imbalance in the world’s energy budget is bound to show up in the oceans as a rise in temperature because the source of the excess energy – heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – overlies much more ocean than land.

Reading some recent papers on ocean warming you might be forgiven for thinking they are behaving as predicted by some, warming more than expected, possibly with the warming accelerating. It has been said that we understand the oceans. For me this is premature. As we look ever closer at the oceans we are seeing more of what we don’t understand.

One such paper is replete with encouraging words to support their stance in the face of difficulties expressed elsewhere but unmentioned in the paper. The data “resemble models,” and “models reliably predict,” even, it is becoming “increasingly clear.”

That the oceans are warming is a conclusion of over a century of observations made in a variety of ways and connecting together these disparate datasets is difficult.

Temperature measurements have been made from a variety of probes whose characteristics changed over time, or by different types of water inlets in ships, or by buckets and thermometers. They all give different results and have all been analysed and reanalysed and adjusted again and again and will certainly continue to do so in the future. Once their was a bump in ocean temperature during the 1940s, then it went away as it was an instrumental effect.

The only way around this problem is to consider a more coherent dataset – the Argo array of 6,000 or so buoys that started being distributed in 2006. The problem with that empirical data is that it is not yet really long enough, and what we have doesn’t agree with the data obtained by other means. The inhomogeneity of the data before the Argo array is a major problem, and the jump seen in Ocean Heat Content (OHC) with the introduction of the Argo array is another.

Measuring Ocean Heat Content is a subject struggling with inadequate data. It involves measuring the temperature of vast oceans (indeed reducing them to one temperature) to an accuracy at the limits of our ability to detect, in some cases a thousandth of a degree. Measurements that are made with no real understanding of the errors be they random or systematic.

Another, unnecessary, problem is that researchers use different units and there is a case for journals imposing common standards among the papers they publish to save researchers having to convert between W m-1 (expressed either for the entire Earth’s surface of for the ocean only), temperature or energy increase (often expressed in ZetaJoules). Also, as is often the case in climate studies, proper error bars are often not used.

Much of the heat, some claim, is stored deep in the ocean depths — but how did it get there? Timescales for ocean circulation are long, meaning that their depth have not yet seen what is happening at the surface. We do not understand centennial and millennial ocean circulation. We are seeing more references to cooling in the ocean depths. Some of our deep oceans appear to be still adjusting to the end of the Little Ice Age. Another significant finding is that the oceans appear to have absorbed as much heat in the early 20th century as in recent decades.

Some simplify and then exaggerate OHC data, a very foolish thing to do considering that as far as the oceans are concerned there is uncertainty at every point of the compass.


4) New Allegations Of ‘Fishy’ Climate Science
Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 15 January 2019 

Veteran marine scientist Walter Starck says generations of researchers have been schooled in a culture wherein threats to the Great Barrier Reef are an unquestionable belief from which all evidence is interpreted.

A collage of 50 lionfish was supposed to dampen questions over concerns around the academic rigour of former star James Cook University research student Oona Lonnstedt. Instead, the colourful photograph has prompted only more questions.

According to colleagues, Lonnstedt, who now lives in Sweden, no longer wants to be con­tacted about her research and, in fact, has abandoned her career in science. What she has left behind is a test case of how the science community deals with concerns about alleged malpractice when they are raised.

Veteran marine scientist Walter Starck, who received a PhD in marine science from the Univer­sity of Miami in 1964, says the Lonnstedt affair is symptomatic of a new era.

Starck says generations of researchers have been schooled in a culture wherein threats to the Great Barrier Reef are an unquestionable belief from which all evidence is interpreted.

“She (Lonnstedt) got into the ocean acidification and global warming and the effect CO2 was going to have on the behaviour of marine animals and she started publishing,” Starck says.

“Immediately the publishers lapped it up. As a graduate student she managed to get as much published in one year as most professors do in a decade.”

Lonnstedt’s work is now being picked apart.

JCU says it has appointed an independent panel to investigate the lionfish study and remains “committed to the highest standards of ethical research”.

“The university takes seriously any allegation that a staff member or student has acted contrary to those standards,” a university spokesman says.

“An external panel will investigate research conducted by Oona Lonnstedt at JCU to determine whether there has been any research misconduct.”

Critics say JCU has been quick to talk but slow to act.

When concerns over Lonnstedt’s work were first raised in December 2017, JCU said “the university intends to review the PhD examiners’ report and determine whether any further investigation is required”.

Marine biologist Oona Lönnstedt, whose research has been called into question.

In May last year, JCU said it was establishing an external panel of experts to investigate.

This week, in response to questions from Inquirer, JCU said: “Membership of the external panel has been finalised. Panel members have accepted the role but have not yet been formally appointed.”

The lionfish affair was first raised when the prestigious journal Biology Letters confirmed it was investigating a discrepancy in the number of lionfish obtained by Lonnstedt at her research facility on Lizard Island in Queensland and the dozens of specimens supposedly used in her experiments.

The Biology Letters investigation followed a finding of “scientific dishonesty” about a 2016 research project conducted by Lonnstedt, this one in the Baltic Sea and showing small fish preferred to eat small pieces of plastic, less than 5mm in diameter, than their normal food, and this made them grow slowly and more likely to be eaten by predators.

Lonnstedt’s paper on the micro­plastic research was published in the journal Science but was retracted after an investigation by Sweden’s Central Ethical Review Board raised the possibility that some of the research described “was not conducted”. Although Lonnstedt and her co-author still strongly defend the paper, they say they decided to retract it. “Science has to rest on solid ground and the results of this study, even if they are correct, will not be trusted as long as a suspicion of misconduct remains,” they said in a statement to the journal Nature.

Before the microplastics study, Lonnstedt had been one of JCU’s most prolific authors before finishing her PhD studies at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, publishing many high-profile papers on fish behaviour. One claimed that when damsel­fish live in degraded corals, which may be caused by climate change, they lose some of their sense of smell and become “fearless” and more sub­ject to being eaten by predators.

In another paper she looked at the effect of high concentrations of carbon dioxide on the ability of damselfish to respond to predators. Lonnstedt found they were likelier to be eaten by predators. Three of the most well-­publicised environmental threats — reef degradation from climate change, changes in ocean’s acidity or alkalinity from carbon dioxide and the impact of microplastics — all, according to Lonnstedt’s work, cause little fish to be eaten by predators.

One paper has been proved to be incorrect because it was found Lonnstedt did not have time to undertake the research she claimed.

The microplastics finding raised questions about Lonnstedt’s other published work, in particular the finding about the behaviour of lionfish. Lonnstedt found lionfish can wave their fins at each other to communicate to go hunting in pairs and take turns in striking at their prey.

After the editors of Biology Letters issued a statement of concern early last year, Lonnstedt’s co-­authors on the lionfish paper wrote a “correction”. Included in the correction was “a collage of 50 lionfish photographs providing evidence of the number of lionfish caught during the study”.

Montage of 50 lion fish used by academic Oona Lonnstedt to defend her research. Picture: Supplied

When it was posted, former JCU marine scientist Peter Ridd analysed the collage of images and found some striking results.

“The big question is how many different fish are in these pictures,” Ridd said. “A careful analysis of the pictures would indicate that it is probably far less than 50.”

By studying the metadata included in the original file names, Ridd has shown that when put into the order that the pictures were taken, it was clear that the same images had been mirror imaged, rotated or manipulated in other ways to appear to be different fish.

Ridd wrote to Lonnstedt’s co-authors alerting them to his discovery. He said the sheer number of problems, plus the manipulation of the images by mirror imaging and colour correction, “makes one wonder what is going on”.

Ridd said given that Lonnstedt had been shown to have deficient data in other research, and given that there seemed to be evidence of modified images, it would not be wise to give the benefit of the doubt in this case.

When put into the order that the pictures were taken, it was clear that the same images had been mirror imaged, rotated or manipulated in other ways to appear to be different fish, a JCU colleague found.

Rather than accept Ridd’s analysis, the co-authors replied that their correction to Biology Letters had been taken out of context by the journal.

“Based on our understanding, it was not her intent for the collage to represent a picture of all of the lionfish she used,” they said. Rather, she was providing it as evidence “that she had lionfish in the laboratory”, the co-­authors said.

“Normally I would suggest that you contact Dr Lonnstedt for further clarification about this paper. However, I am led to believe that she has abandoned her career as a scientist,” co-­author Doug Chivers said.

“We have been asked to stop contacting her with regards to this paper. This leaves us in a tough spot in not being able to answer questions adequately. We will discuss any future actions with the editor of Biology Letters.”

Full story

5) Detroit Show Has SUVs, Horsepower, But Electric Cars Are Few
AP 15 January 2019

DETROIT (AP) — Automakers have promised to start selling hordes of electric cars in the next few years, but only two will be unveiled at the big Detroit auto show that kicks off this week — and those aren’t even ready for production.

Meanwhile, there will be plenty of SUVs and high-horsepower sports cars on display as cheap gasoline helps SUV and truck sales continue their dramatic climb.

So how credible is the industry’s pledge to move toward fuel-efficient vehicles when it keeps cranking out more lucrative trucks and sport utilities?

Some environmental groups contend that companies aren’t really interested in efficiency because they’re making tons of money from the sales of less-efficient SUVs and pickup trucks. These groups also say that without government fuel economy requirements, automakers won’t make progress toward electric vehicles that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Auto executives, however, say they’re already moving to more fuel-efficient trucks and SUVs, some now coming with gas-electric hybrid power systems. Soon there will be many electric SUVs, they say.

“Every one of our SUVs has hybrids somewhere in the future, hybrids or electrified vehicles of some sort,” says Craig Patterson, Ford’s SUV marketing manager.

Patterson will help show off a new version of the Ford Explorer big SUV at the auto show starting Monday, and it will have an optional hybrid power system. It is Ford’s first hybrid SUV in six years, and the company also has plans for a fully electric SUV based on the Mustang sometime next year. Seven battery-powered vehicles are planned for the U.S. by 2022, even a hybrid pickup truck.

General Motors plans a Cadillac electric vehicle in 2021, and more than 20 that run on batteries or hydrogen in four years. Volkswagen, the world’s largest automaker, wants to increase the number of electric models from six to over 50 by 2025. Other brands such as Audi, BMW and Porsche and Jaguar are rolling out electric vehicles.

But in December, almost 72 percent of new vehicles sold in the U.S. were SUVs and trucks, up from 49 percent at the end of 2012. Because of the shift, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors are canceling some or all of their sedan lines. At the same time, they are hedging their bets by planning electrics and hybrids to give people fuel-efficient SUV options should gas prices rise from the current national average of around $2.24 per gallon.

Full story

6) The Growing Absurdities Of The German Energiewende
Christoph Eisenring, Neue Zürcher Zeitung 13 January 2019 

In Bavaria, two gas-fired power plants of the latest generation stand around as investment ruins. Nevertheless, one of the operators wants to build a third one at the same location. This can only be understood against the background of the misguided German Energiewende.

At the beginning of the year, the number of successful reports on renewable energies in Germany is increasing: The Agora Energiewende think tank writes that their 35% share of electricity production is the same as that of electricity from coal-fired power plants for the first time. By 2030, the German government even wants to increase the share of renewables to 65%.

However, people often forget to mention that the availability of electricity varies greatly, depending on whether it is produced with sun and wind or from conventional sources. The large-scale use of storage facilities for renewables is also a long way off. There is therefore no getting around keeping a conventional power plant park in the back of one’s hand at all times, which can take over in times of “dark lulls” such as when there is little sun and wind.

Expensive interventions in the power grid

In the Bavarian town of Irsching near Ingolstadt, electricity producer Uniper and its partners have commissioned two state-of-the-art gas-fired power plants as of 2010. Nevertheless, the bill did not add up: The glut of subsidised eco-electricity put pressure on stock market prices. And a higher price for CO2 emissions had been expected, which would have given gas-fired power plants advantages over coal-fired power plants. The two units cannot be operated profitably.

To do this, the CO2 price in emissions trading would have to rise to over €40 per tonne, which is currently half as high. However, the German Electricity Grid Agency demands that the two blocks be kept in reserve. Although the two gas-fired power plants are investment ruins, Uniper is now building a third gas-fired power plant at the same location. Has the company learned nothing?

No, this time it might even be a good deal. Uniper was awarded the construction contract in an auction by the electricity network operator Tennet. The power plant with a capacity of 300 megawatts is to produce “not for the market”, but only in emergency situations to stabilize the grid. And for this emergency service, Uniper receives a remuneration that makes the construction worthwhile. Tennet can ultimately pass the costs on to consumers. The power plant will be available from October 2022. This is no coincidence: the last nuclear power plants in Germany will be shut down that year, but security of supply must continue to be guaranteed. Now, however, the strongly fluctuating wind power is generated especially in the north. In order to transport it to the south, where the industrial heart of Germany beats, new power lines are needed. But the Minister of Economic Affairs, Peter Altmaier, admitted a few months ago that the construction of this line was “catastrophically behind schedule”. Of the planned 7670 kilometers of power lines, only 950 kilometers are in operation.

Consumers pay twice

The number of interventions in the grid has increased due to the volatile feed-in of renewable energies and the lack of transport possibilities. This also includes regulating wind turbines when the grid is overloaded. In 2017, these measures already cost €1.4 billion. Consumers have to pay for these expenses via their electricity bills. These grid charges are now higher than the levies for green electricity. German consumers therefore pay one of the highest electricity prices in Europe.

In addition to Uniper, the Nürnberg utility N-Ergie also has a 25.2% stake in one of the two existing gas power plants in Irsching. Its boss, Josef Hasler, is now sharply critical of the implementation of the energy turnaround. He points out that all three power plants ultimately served grid stability. It is even so that the again planned power station comes only as last to the course. However, the two existing units are only connected to the grid a few hours a year. This could lead to the absurd situation that the new power plant will never be used, he says. However, while the new unit will now be fully compensated, the two existing units will only be remunerated for the few hours during which they are in operation. The same task is thus compensated quite differently in Hasler’s judgment. The annual loss for the block, in which N-Ergie is involved, amounts to a two-digit million amount.

It would therefore be better to shut it down today than tomorrow. But the power plants had been “forcibly shut down” and should not be shut down. Hasler complains that consumers, who are burdened with rising grid charges, are ultimately the victims of the misguided energy policy. In Irsching, three large gas-fired power plants, which are rarely in use, will be in operation in a few years’ time. The consumers thus paid twice, namely for the massive expansion of the electricity transmission grids and the construction of new power plants, the N-Ergie boss points out. This will certainly not contribute to the acceptance of the energy system transformation.

Full story (in German)

7) More Than 1000 Citizen Wind Energy Protest Groups: Germany “On Path To The Unknown”
NoTricksZone, 15 January 2019 
P Gosselin

Although resistance to littering the landscape with industrial wind turbines continues to grow strongly and the power grid is becoming ever more unstable, the German government refuses to back off its expansion of wind and solar energy.

Jonas Herrmann of the Swiss NZZ here comments how Germany “is struggling with its wind turbines”.

It started 28 years ago, when the German government enacted a law that forced power companies to buy up any green power produced, pay exorbitant prices for it and feed it into the power grid whether it was needed or not. Over time the installation of solar panels and wind turbines exploded and today many parts of the countryside have become littered with unsightly wind parks.

Ruined landscape, yet a long way to go

Yet, Germany today remains far away from supplying its energy needs through “green” sources.

The NZZ comments: “The landscape has changed in many places as a result. A longer drive through Germany inevitably leads past dozens of wind turbines.”

Moreover, every community has been impacted, Nikolai Ziegler, says the chairman of resistance group Vernunftkraft, which is the major umbrella association of wind power opponents. According to Ziegler:

“In Germany there are more than 1000 citizens’ initiatives that are mobilizing against wind energy” and that these groups are getting involved in politics.

Wind and sun will never be able to do the job

Not only are wind turbines ruining Germany’s idyllic landscape, but the NZZ writes that much of the resistance is also based on wind energy’s technical unreliability as a power supply. The Herrmann at NZZ cites engineering expert Dr. Detlef Ahlborn, who says wind energy is too erratic and thus unreliable.

According to the NZZ;

With the umbrella organization Vernunftkraft, everyone is convinced that wind and solar energy will never be able to ensure a secure power supply.”

Proponents in denial

This is a claim that the German government and green energy proponents refuse to acknowledge. Proponents in Germany believe that the problems with green energies will somehow go away and the supply will miraculously somehow smooth out if more and more volatile wind and sun capacity gets installed.

Critics like Nikolai Ziegler also criticize that there really hasn’t even been any real Energiewende (transition the green energies) so far because electricity is only one fifth of Germany’s total energy demand. Green energies provide only one third of that one measly fifth, and so “it’s relatively meaningless”.

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

1 comment:

Sam Esler said...
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It never seems to amaze me when one considers the hypocritic antics of the world bank and the IMF. The African continent is sitting on millions of cubic metres of coal, are they allowed to mine it, no way according to the saviours of the planet. They would rather see 3-4 year old kids die from respiratory disease caused by the smoke from fires that their mothers have to light in their mud huts to cook a meal. This is a double edged sword, the lack of firewood causes the bush to be decimated, thus causing problems for the native animals, as well as causing the above medical problems. If the IMF and the world bank would lend money to build coal fired power stations to produce electricity at 4-6 cents a kilowatt hour, which the people can afford, rather than 50-60 cents for solar and wind power, the local population would overtime become affluent enough to buy this "renewable" resource. Instead these clowns in charge of these money institutions would rather see more misery heaped on the poor rather than using cheaper power sources to help bring up the prosperity of these African nations.