Sunday, 12 June 2016

On the myth of the transition to renewable energy

The most ecologically-"progressive" country, Germany is moving from public investment in renewables to a "free market" approach.

Of course it was always a lie, not only because all renewables are based on oil derivatives but also because it is dependent on large European countries exploiting smaller countries' resources (such as deforesting Ukraine)

Rich countries were able to reduce their own greenhouse emissions by exporting them tc countries like China.

The reality, invisible to deluded idealists such as Robertscribbler is that no one who runs the ship has any ideas of moving away from an economy dependent on easy energy.

The main reason is they CAN'T (not without collapsing the economy which is already bearly functioning).

No body in the "green" movement has any idea about the realities of Peak Oil.

German cabinet puts brakes on clean energy transition

The German government has agreed on a new reform of electricity markets. It's likely to slow down the transition to a clean energy future, removing wind from the sails of the German Energiewende. Critics are appalled.

Jacobsdorf wind energy park, Germany

9 June, 2016
The German federal cabinet has agreed to new rules governing how electricity from renewable sources will be compensated in the future. The new rules amount to a major reform of the Renewable Energy Law of 2000 (EEG in German).
That law established Germany's aggressive feed-in tariff subsidy system, under which electricity transmission utilities were required to buy power offered by any wind or solar electricity generator, at a "tariff" or flat rate per kilowatt-hour, guaranteed over a 20-year contract.
The tariff was deliberately set high in the earlier years, in order to make renewable energy projects profitable at a time when wind turbines and solar panels were still very expensive. Regulators gradually reduced the feed-in tariff rate for new wind and solar capacity since then, as renewable technologies have become more cost-efficient.
Over the past 16 years, the EEG system supported a sustained boom in Germany's wind and solar power production. Although renewable electricity amounted to just 6 percent of all electricity produced in 1999, this increased to 17 percent by 2010, and reached 33 percent in 2015 - as a direct result of the EEG.
Infographic: Energy mix in Germany in 2015
From public investment in renewables, to free market approach
Germany's EEG indirectly set off a world-wide renewables boom as well - because by creating a large, guaranteed market for renewable power, it motivated massive investments and continual improvements in efficiency of wind and solar power technologies. Several other countries followed Germany's example, adopting EEG laws of their own.
Germany has long been a global role-model for the transition to renewable energy.
But now, the German government has decided to scrap the existing system of administered prices for wind and solar power. Instead, beginning in January 2017, it will operate competitive bidding systems in which the right to develop a particular wind or solar project will go to whichever credible bidder agrees to accept the lowest revenue per kWh on a 20-year contract.
The net effect: The cost to consumers of additional clean power should steadily decline.
In a speech introducing the reforms, Energy and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, vice-chancellor and leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party, described the move as a "paradigm shift" in energy policy.
Germany would be leaving behind a system of government-mandated prices, and moving toward a more free-market pricing system, he said.
Reform caps build-out of clean power
More controversially, the reform will limit the construction of new wind farms in northern Germany by setting a government-mandated upper limit on the amount of new capacity permitted each year.
The motivation for setting the limit, according to the government, is to make sure the build-out of northern Germany's wind power generating capacity doesn't exceed the pace of construction of new power transmission lines needed to move electricity from the north to industrialized regions in southern Germany, where power demand is highest.
Demonstration against the proposed EEG reform in Berlin
Green campaign groups and renewable energy industries opposed the reform - the renewables industry directly employs more than 350,000 people

"Last year, grid operators had to pay a billion euros for wind power capacity that went unused," Gabriel said.
The government's solution is to throttle back the construction of new wind generators in regions where there are transmission-grid bottlenecks, until grid expansion has had time to catch up. "That sets up an incentive to speed up the construction of grid capacity," Gabriel argued.
Green Party energy expert Oliver Krischer disagrees vehemently. He urged the government to take a closer look at the reasons for bottlenecks in transmission grid capacity.

"Transmission grid problems could be defused if big coal- and gas-fired power generators reacted flexibly to temporary overcapacity," which can occur on windy or sunny days, "or if [coal] disappeared from the market altogether," Krischer said.
But the governing coalition sought to avoid a debate over this policy option - because, Krischer argued, it wanted to avoid any clash with vested interests, whose jobs and balance sheets were heavily invested in fossil-fueled power generation.
By the numbers
The government wants to keep renewables to less than 45 percent of Germany's total electricity production until 2025. This is meant to stabilize the retail price of electricity by allowing utilities to continue to burn large quantities of cheap coal.
Wind turbines visible behind power lines in Germany (Photo: Getty Images/S. Gallup)
The cap on wind capacity is a response to electricity infrastructure not having been able to keep up

The annual cap on additional land-based wind power capacity will be set at 2,900 megawatts. That corresponds to between 600 and 900 new wind generators per year, depending on the size of the units.
For offshore wind parks, the rules remain as they were: From now until the year 2030, a cumulative total of 15,000 megawatts will enjoy a generous feed-in tariff rate. That's about as much power as would be produced by 15 coal-fired power stations.
For the photovoltaic solar power sector, 600 megawatts of capacity will be assigned through the new project development bidding process annually, and for biogas, 150 megawatts annually.
Happy fossils, unhappy Greens
Critics say Germany's transition to a clean-energy future will be strangled, not just throttled, by the caps. This will cause many renewable-energy sector jobs to be lost - along with Germany's technological leadership in wind turbines and photovoltaic solar systems.
Hermann Albers, president of the German Wind Energy Association, said: "Instead of restrictions, regulations and caps, what's needed is a stable dynamic of capacity expansion and a transfer of the responsibility for energy generation [away from coal and nuclear] to renewables."
In contrast, the government's electricity market reform was praised by industry associations representing heavy electricity users - and by the VKU, Germany's association for municipal enterprises, which includes many electricity producers invested in fossil-fueled power plants.
"An affordable energy transition is only possible if competitive tenders are the rule," said VKU CEO Katherina Reiche.
Climate targets in doubt
Germany's climate policy goals - targets for rapid reductions in carbon dioxide emissions - will be put into serious jeopardy as a result of the government's proposed reforms, according to Claudia Kemfert, senior energy economist at DIW, the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin.
Vice Chancellor Gabriel disagreed, saying: "We will only achieve these [climate] targets if we make as strong progress in [decarbonizing] other fields, including heating and transportation, as we have made at building capacity in renewable electricity generation."
The proposed EEG reform has been agreed by Germany's federal cabinet, and will be discussed in the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, in the coming weeks. It is expected to be decided before the summer recess starts on July 8.

Sunny Nevada Just Killed the Solar Industry with 40% Tax Hike, Derailing the Off-Grid Movement

While Nevadans were celebrating the holidays under solar-powered lights, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously to increase a monthly fee on solar customers by 40% while reducing the amount they get paid for excess power sold to the grid. Adding insult to injury, they made the rate changes retroactive, sabotaging consumer investments in solar energy.

This single move by government regulators will effectively kill the solar industry in Nevada and put an end to the surge of people seeking to detach from the grid by harnessing their own energy from the sun. Just as importantly, it serves to protect the profits of Nevada’s public utility company, NV Energy.

A group of organisations today expressed shock at the fact that a New Zealand energy company is introducing a tax of up to 26% on solar power and batteries from today, April 1.

North Island energy provider Unison Energy will quietly introduce higher user lines and electricity charges on any new rooftop solar or battery system in the Hawkes Bay, Rotorua and Taupo area installed from 1 April. The tax will be extended to all solar power users on April 1, 2019. It will increase customers’ bills by up to 26%, increasing them by between $128 and $258 a year.

Unison has held private, one-on-one meetings with solar energy companies, informing them of the move.

Solar customers have already suffered after the power companies slashed the rate they pay for solar energy fed back into the grid. People are saving money and energy by installing solar power, doing their bit for the climate,” said Kevin Hunter of local Hawkes Bay solar business Cellpower. “Isn’t this what we should all be working towards to limit climate change and reduce electricity costs?”

Today might be April 1, but this is no joke,” said Executive Director of Greenpeace New Zealand, Russel Norman. “That, in 2016, only months after the world agreed in Paris to reduce emissions to stop climate change, a New Zealand company is specifically taxing solar energy users is extraordinary – and wrong.”

Meanwhile for every two good article Robertscribbler writes one delusional article arguing that the oil, gas and coal era is over and "renewables" are going to save civilisation

Peak oil, gas, and coal.

It’s a possibility that many who believe the fossil fuel industry’s false dependency mantra look at with fear and trembling. Because, for years, that industry, through various public relations efforts, has perpetuated a myth that a loss of access to fossil fuels would ruin the modern global economy. That fossil fuels were so high-quality no other energy source could effectively replace them.

It’s a myth that, in many ways, competes with the threat of human-caused climate change for space in the public’s collective imagination. One that is not without a few valid supports. For the shifting of energy use away from one set of sources and on toward another set is a massive, disruptive undertaking even in the case where the new energy sources are superior to the old.

1 comment:

  1. I used to really respect Robertscribbler enormously but as our climate change disaster spirals out of control he is now grasping at straws like a drowning man.