September 14

Renewables Regret: Power-Starved Europeans Rue Their Governments’ Wind & Solar Obsession

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September 14, 2022 by stopthesethings Leave a Comment

Eating cold baked beans in the dark might not be everyone’s idea of fun, but power-starved Europeans are getting used to that kind of indignity.

German households and businesses are already suffering Europe’s highest power prices; since Putin’s Ukrainian adventure began, German power prices have rocketed, further still, recently hitting a record 40 US cents per kWh. Power rationing is already routine, with worse to come.

Equally wind and solar-obsessed Britain, power prices have more than doubled in 12 months and, like their German cousins, will face power rationing this winter.

John Hinderaker delves into the utterly breathtaking stupidity that led to Europe’s power pricing and supply calamity.

The West’s Energy Disaster WorsensPowerlineJohn Hinderaker31 August 2022

There is no excuse for advanced economies to experience a shortage of electricity, or of energy generally. The world has more than ample supplies of fossil fuels. And, if you buy the global warming hype, nuclear energy is the obvious alternative, although that implies universal use of electric vehicles that are devastating to the environment.

Nevertheless, an electricity crisis is upon us. From the U.K.: “Energy could be rationed ‘for years.’”

Europe faces years of energy rationing without Russian gas, the boss of Shell has warned. Ben van Beurden said it was a “fantasy” to think that Europe’s energy crisis would be resolved soon and he warned that if Moscow were to cut off all supplies, life would be “very hard”.***Gas prices for Britain for this winter closed on Friday at a record high of 827p per therm, more than 16 times higher than the average prices over the decade pre-crisis. Soaring wholesale gas and power prices have already fed through to record household bills, which are due to increase by 80 per cent to £3,549 a year from October.

The current crisis in Western Europe is due in part to the threatened cutoff of Russian natural gas. But countries like Britain and Germany are vulnerable to such a cutoff because they fecklessly failed to provide for their own energy self-sufficiency. That was an incredibly stupid policy, but one that is now being pursued by the Biden administration despite having the Western European example before it.

But how about France? France gets the bulk of its electricity from nuclear power, so Russia’s natural gas should be irrelevant. Right? France 24 reports: “French PM says companies may face energy ‘rationing’ this winter.”

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne warned company bosses on Monday about the risk of energy rationing this winter and urged them to take steps to reduce their consumption.***She said the government was already drawing up contingency plans which included a “quota trading system” that would enable companies to buy and sell power quotas.

How can this be, given France’s unique investment in nuclear power?

France is more sheltered than many European countries from the surge in gas prices caused by Russia’s decision to reduce its exports to Europe after its invasion of Ukraine in February.

France generates some 70 percent of its electricity from a fleet of 56 nuclear reactors, but 32 are currently offline either for routine maintenance or to evaluate corrosion risks.

Not sure what is going on there. But governments, including France’s, welcome the current energy crisis because they think it will facilitate their pet project:

“Every company needs to mobilise and act. I call on everyone to establish their own energy-saving plans in September,” she said, while stressing that the crisis caused by record-high energy prices would help the transition away from fossil fuels.

“The months ahead are just a step in the bigger transition that we need to make,” she said.

No such transition is occurring, nor will it. The chimera of wind and solar energy is a bad joke, but one for which citizens of developed countries are about to pay dearly. This is a topic we have written on many times, but this graphic, which Steve recently posted, conveys the big picture at a glance:

Meanwhile, here in the U.S., we had energy independence–not just independence, but dominance–only a few years ago. It took a concerted effort by the Biden administration to screw it up. But the Left’s war on our prosperity and our way of life is only beginning. In Gavin Newsom’s California, sale of gasoline-powered vehicles is supposedly banned by 2035. Of course, that won’t happen. But the idea is that all vehicles, not just the current tiny percentage, will be electric. So how will all those EVs be charged? Not during the usual charging times, at least for the time being:

Hoping to avoid blackouts, the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid, warned Tuesday that it probably will issue a series of Flex Alerts over the next several days. Flex Alerts are voluntary calls for conservation during the afternoon and evening hours, when energy use tends to soar. Residents will be asked to turn up their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoid using dishwashers or other large appliances, and hold off on charging their electric vehicles, all during the 4-9 p.m. time frame.

There is no excuse for blackouts in a developed country, but with regard to energy pretty much the entire West is regressing. We have ample sources of reliable energy, but are inexplicably choosing to depend on inherently unreliable, ridiculously expensive, and environmentally damaging sources instead. Eventually Western countries, including the U.S., will come to our senses, but the harm done in the meantime will be incalculable. And you know who isn’t “transitioning” away from reliable sources of power, like coal? China.Powerline

No self-inflicted power supply crisis in China.

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