Blowout week 105

This week’s Blowout features the plight of two of Europe’s major electric power suppliers – RWE and EON – who because of market pricing mechanisms that favor renewable energy over fossil fuel generation are rapidly losing value. What happens if they are driven out of business? Plus Saudi Arabia budgeting for $29 oil in 2016, bad years for natural gas, nuclear in China and Belgium, Wylfa shut down, France distributes iodine tablets, the Chinese coal mine moratorium, different perspectives on the Paris climate agreement (including how George W. Bush saved it), San Diego votes to go green, a barge loose in the North Sea and how climate change will make ten of your favorite foods disappear while causing 200 million Americans to suffer severe psychological distress.

Bloomberg:  This €1 Billion Power Plant May Never Be Switched on

Germany’s unprecedented energy shift is turning newly built power plants into white elephants that will never produce any electricity. Once the backbone that underpinned growth in Europe’s biggest economy, coal and gas plants are being marginalized in a new world where solar and wind are all the rage…..

…..With electricity prices at their lowest level in more than a decade, the outlook is now so bad that RWE AG will never start its 1 billion-euro ($1.1 billion) Westfalen-D plant, while EON SE applied this year to close two new unprofitable gas-fired units. Essen-based RWE, which lost more than half its market value this year, said Friday it wasn’t “economically viable” to complete the unit, which has been dogged by delays and defects including a chemical leak. EON SE earlier this year filed to temporarily close two unprofitable units in Bavaria, now kept in reserve to ensure the country has enough supply to meet demand. Irsching-4 was commissioned in 2011, while Irsching-5 started a year earlier.

Bloomberg:  Coal Glut, Renewables Make EU Power Cheapest in Decade

Record-low coal prices and increased wind and solar generation that pushed European power prices to their lowest in a decade may cause further declines in 2016. Average day-ahead electricity prices in Germany, Europe’s biggest market, fell 3.3 percent to 31.68 euros ($34.62) per megawatt-hour in 2015, the least since 2004 on the Epex Spot SE exchange in Paris. Northwest Europe coal fell 33 percent while the share of Germany’s energy demand met by renewable output increased by four percentage points to 30 percent, according to preliminary figures by utility lobby BDEW. The decline is set to con-tinue across Europe as prices for fuel and carbon emissions remain low, according to Christian Holtz, an analyst at consulting firm Sweco AB. German power for next year, a European benchmark, Wednesday traded at 28.13 euros per megawatt-hour, 11 percent below the 2015 delivery price, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg.

Energy & Carbon:  Backing up renewables is proving cheaper than we thought

The UK Capacity Mechanism was designed to procure the cheapest way of maintaining adequate generating reliability for the system. Some have complained that the scheme has actually ended up incentivising lots of small, diesel power plants. What has been lost in that debate over the merits, or otherwise, of diesel has been the success of the Mechanism: for the second year running, it has achieved grid reliability at costs much lower than predicted. The December 2015 auction, for capacity delivered in 2019/20, cleared at a price of £18/kW per year. Only eighteen months earlier, the government had predicted the “cost of new entry” at two and half times this level, at £49/kW. Backing up renewable energy is proving a lot cheaper than most people thought.

Washington Post:  Wind, solar power soar in spite of bargain prices for fossil fuels

In normal times, a months-long slide in energy prices would be enough to rattle a man who makes wind turbines for a living. Yet amid a worldwide glut of cheap fossil fuels, business is blowing strong for Vestas Wind Systems and its CEO, Anders Runevad. The company posted record gains in 2015 and inked major deals to build wind farms in the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia. That boom in turbine sales was part of a global surge for wind and solar energy, which occurred despite oil, coal and natural gas selling at bargain rates. “We’re seeing very good momentum across the board globally,” said Runevad, a soft-spoken Swede whose firm is now the world’s biggest producer of wind turbines. “We’re seeing growth in every region.” Vestas’s performance is emblematic of the changing fortunes for renewable energy, an industry that achieved a number of mile-stones this year. Massive new projects are under construction from China and India to Texas, which now far outpaces California as the nation’s leading wind-power state. Just this month, the United States crossed the 70-gigawatt threshold in wind-generated electricity, with 50,000 spinning turbines producing enough power to light up 19 million homes.

Clean Technica:  Solar Could Produce As Much Electricity As Hinkley C For Much Less Money

Last October, The Guardian estimated that 30 million electricity customers would be on the hook for at least £4.4 billion for the new nuclear power plant, with potentially £20 billion in government subsidies. Around the same time, the UK’s Solar Trade Association also weighed in with an assessment of the damages. The STA solar power analysis is an interesting attempt to calculate how much subsidy solar power would need to achieve an electricity output equal to that of Hinkley Point C over its 35-year subsidy period. STA points out that Hinkley C was awarded a “strike price” of £92.50 per megawatt-hour at 2012 prices, under a 35-year contract. The Guardian points out that’s twice the going market rate. The analysis found that compared to an overall subsidy cost of £29.7 billion for Hinkley Point C, a total subsidy of only £14.7 billion would be needed for an equivalent output of electricity sourced from solar, including the solar facilities themselves, energy storage facilities, and other balancing mechanisms that complement solar power.

Courier:  Scottish solar power capacity increases

Solar power systems rose by 28% in Scotland last year, but the Scottish Government has been challenged to make prospects for sun energy even brighter. WWF Scotland and the Solar Trade Association Scotland have revealed that the total installed capacity of solar photo-voltaic (PV) systems north of the Border has now reached 179 megawatts (MW). More than 40,000 homes and 850 business premises in Scotland now have solar PV arrays. The total installed solar PV capacity on homes now stands at 159MW. WWF Scot-land director Lang Banks said: “Despite the challenges facing the industry, it’s fantastic to see so many homes and businesses embracing solar power. Although the total installed solar capacity is small when compared to wind energy, we should remember that collec-tively these solar panels are helping to prevent thousands of tonnes of emissions every year.”

US News:  Saudi Arabia posts $98B budget deficit in 2015

Saudi Arabia on Monday said this year’s budget deficit amounted to $98 billion (367 billion riyals) as lower oil prices cut into the government’s main source of revenue, prompting the kingdom to scale back spending for the coming year and hike up petrol prices. For two consecutive years the kingdom has posted a deficit, and it is planning for another budget shortfall next year, projected at $87 billion (326 billion riyals). The Saudi government has been digging into its large foreign reserves, built up during years of higher oil prices. To cover the difference between its spending and revenue over the past year, Saudi Arabia has drawn its reserves down from $728 billion at the end of last year to around $640 billion.

RT:  Saudis predict $29 oil price in 2016

Saudi Arabia’s 2016 budget is allegedly based on an average crude price of about $29 per barrel, Bloomberg reports, quoting Riyadh-based Jadwa Investment. On Monday, Riyadh posted its next budget for next year that will see a $36 billion cut in spending, based on a $87 billion deficit. On Monday, Saudi Arabia announced a record high $98 billion budget deficit. The country’s earnings in 2016 are forecast at $137 billion, $25 billion down from 2015. This year’s original budget plan projected revenues of almost $191 billion.

Wall Street Journal:  Natural Gas Prices Finish Down 19% for the Year

The natural-gas market posted its second straight year of losses in 2015 due to a growing oversupply of the fuel. After posting a 32% loss in 2014 amid robust production, prices slid another 19% this year due to still-ample output and surprisingly weak demand. A strong El Niño weather pattern has reduced the need for heating fuels in the U.S. in recent months, pushing natural-gas supplies to a record in November. Natural-gas prices fell to a 16-year low on Dec. 17. The market remains oversupplied. Stockpiles stand at 3.756 trillion cubic feet, 14% above the five-year average for this time of year.

San Antonio Express:  Natural gas production set for decline in 2016

Natural gas drillers were battered by the lowest prices in more than a decade and a half in 2015, but they still managed to produce more than ever before. That’s expected to change in 2016, when most analysts predict domestic natural gas production will show its first annual decline since hurricanes Katrina and Rita smashed into the Gulf Coast in 2005. Next year’s decline will be driven by a different storm — the financial strain of 12 months of $2 natural gas, weak demand and biting cuts to budgets that may overwhelm drillers’ efforts to keep the gas flowing. The reversal could signal a high-water mark for the shale boom that drove U.S. natural gas production to new heights and ultimately sent prices to 16-year lows. “We’re probably going to see an acceleration of bankruptcies and consolidations,” said Sam Andrus, the leader of consulting group IHS Energy’s natural gas group. “People who have been kicking the can down the road are going to run out of rope.”

China Daily:  China has world’s largest nuclear power capacity under construction

China boasts the world’s largest nuclear power capacity under construction as it strives to reduce pollution from coal-burning generators, an official said Tuesday. Nuclear power projects approved and under construction will be able to provide 32.03 million kilowatts, said Nur Bekri, head of the National Energy Administration. In 2015, 8.2 million kilowatts were put into operation and 8.8 million kilowatts were approved for construction, he said. China currently has a 25.5 million kilowatt operating capacity. The country aims to raise total installed nuclear power to 58 million kilowatts by 2020, according to an energy development action plan released by the State Council in 2014. China saw rapid nuclear power growth in recent years, but it suspended approval of new programs after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. The country restarted nuclear power plant construction in 2014 as it tries to make energy production and consumption greener.

Daily Star Lebanon:  Wylfa 1 shuts down

Britain closed its oldest nuclear reactor, Wylfa 1, after nearly 45 years of operation on Wednesday, operator Magnox Ltd said. “Wylfa Nuclear Power Station closed down, marking the conclusion of Magnox reactor generation in the U.K.,” it said in a statement. The nuclear reactor in Wales was scheduled to shut down at the end of September 2014, but operations were extended until this week. The 490-megawatt nuclear reactor started operating in 1971 next to its twin Wylfa 2 reactor which was permanently shut down in April 2012.

Deutsche Welle:  Belgium restarts controversial aging nuclear reactor

Belgium has restarted an aging reactor at its Tihange nuclear power plant near the border with Germany. Environmentalists and the German government have voiced concern over the plant’s safety. Energy company Electrabel, which operates seven reactors at the Tihange and Doel nuclear power plants, restarted the Tihange 1 reactor on Saturday only a week after a fire in a non-nuclear section of the plant forced it to shut down. Built in 1975, the Tihange 1 reactor is the oldest at the power plant, located about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the German border city of Aachen. The plant was scheduled to close down in 2015 but due to the country’s heavy reliance on nuclear power the government extended the plant’s life to 2025 to provide time to develop other energy sources. Earlier in December another reactor at the facility, the Tihange 2, went back online after almost a two-year shutdown following the discovery of thousands of micro-cracks in the reactor casings. Energy company Electrabel, which operates seven reactors at the Tihange and Doel nuclear power plants, restarted the Tihange 1 reactor on Saturday only a week after a fire in a non-nuclear section of the plant forced it to shut down. Built in 1975, the Tihange 1 reactor is the oldest at the power plant, located about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the German border city of Aachen.

RFI:  France to distribute iodine tablets near nuclear power stations

France’s nuclear safety watchdog is to distribute iodine tablets to people living near the country’s 19 nuclear power stations, warning that an accident is possible but not probable. In the fifth such distribution campaign since they began in 1997, the Nuclear Security Authority (ASN) will make iodine tablets available to 400,000 households and 2,000 establishments, such as schools, businesses and local government offices, in a radius of 10 kilometres of a nuclear power station. Potassium iodide is a “simple and efficient” way to protect the thyroid gland against the effects of radioactive iodine, which can lead to cancer, if it is released into the air by a nuclear accident. The tablets have a life span of seven years and the last distribution campaign was in 2009. Nearly five years after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, “we know that a nuclear accident is possible in France, even if it is not probable, far from it”, ASN joint director-general Alain Delmestre told the AFP news agency.

Bloomberg:  China to Halt New Coal Mine Approvals

China will stop approving new coal mines for the next three years and continue to trim production capacity as the world’s biggest energy consumer tries to shift away from the fuel as it grapples with pollution. China will suspend the approval of new mines starting in 2016 and will cut coal’s share of its energy consumption to 62.6 percent next year, from 64.4 percent now, Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday, citing National Energy Administration head Nur Bekri. It’s the first time the government has suspended the approval of new coal mines, according to Deng Shun, an analyst with ICIS China. “This new policy, along with efforts to eliminate inefficient mines, may help to ease the severe domestic oversupply” of coal, Deng said by phone from Guangzhou. “It will take several years to take effect.”

CNS News:  Kerry: Paris Climate Change Deal Tops Obama Administration’s List of Accomplishments in 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry says the climate change deal he helped broker in Paris was the Obama administration’s most “important” accomplishment in 2015. “As one year gives way to the next, international leaders have an opportunity to build on several major achievements of 2015,” Kerry wrote in an oped published Tuesday in the Boston Globe in which he also listed the nuclear deal with Iran, signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba. “Of these, none is more important than the recent global agreement in Paris to prevent the most harmful impacts of climate change.” Kerry wrote. “We have a shared responsibility now to sustain the momentum generated in Paris, so that the targets established there are considered not a ceiling on what we can accomplish, but rather the platform upon which we can make further gains,” Kerry wrote.

Washington Times:  U.N. chief ‘very grateful’ to George W. Bush for Paris Conference success

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he’s “very much grateful” to former President George W. Bush for kick-starting efforts that led to a first-of-its-kind international agreement on climate change. In an interview with The Associated Press, Mr. Ban spoke of a 2007 U.N. climate conference in Bali where the U.S. agreed, albeit reluctantly, to enter negotiations for addressing climate change. “Miraculously, I was able to save this one, but I didn’t know why,” Mr. Ban said. It wasn’t until the end of Mr. Bush’s presidency that he finally found out. In early 2009, Mr. Ban and his wife were invited to dinner at the White House, where Mr. Bush explained that when the Bali meeting reached an impasse, he got a call from the head of the U.S. delegation asking for direction, AP reported. “Suddenly, you came to my mind,” Mr. Ban recalled the president telling him. “Then I told the delegation head, ‘Do what the secretary-general of the U.N. wants to do.’”

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:  Paris Conference nothing but hot air

The hype and hyperbole leading up to the COP 21 Climate Conference last month in Paris was nothing short of amazing. World leaders and other self-described experts attempted to convince people around the world that the conference was critical to the future of the planet, critical to the future of life itself. Noted environmental scientist Pope Francis ominously warned mankind that “we are on the brink of a suicide.” Global warming enthusiasts and President Barack Obama were hoping that the 200 or so nations attending the summit would agree to a compact that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions so that global temperature increases would be limited to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. In reality, they were hoping to create a legally binding agreement that would impose draconian carbon dioxide restrictions on advanced countries such as the United States and, in the process, unplug our modern society and push us back into the stone age. They also wanted contractual language that would have forced the U.S. and other developed nations to pay $100 billion or so a year in extortion money, some called it climate reparations, to the least developed nations of the world.

Huffington Post:  Four climate change myths

Myth 1: We can firmly connect global action on emissions to a temperature rise target: Much time was spent (in Paris) arguing between capping warming at 2 degrees or 1.5 degrees, mostly to appease small island states. However, the climate system has far too many variables to draw a clean mathematical relationship between emissions, sinks and warming.
Myth 2: Resolving climate change is ultimately a question of money: Helping poor countries adapt to climate change is worthwhile, but this is justified by humanitarian and justice concerns and not by reduced emissions. The fact is that a dollar spent reforming the Chinese, Indian — or, for that matter, the American — economy to use less energy would have far greater effect on global emissions than a dollar spent helping a small poor country buy solar panels.
Myth 3: Technology will eventually provide a solution: Despite what many hope, it is not clear what technology the developed world has to offer. Rich countries may eventually invent a new technology that radically changes how we use energy, but this hope is no replacement for a real policy like a carbon tax.
Myth 4: The world can decouple economic growth from the use of fossil fuels. … this is unattainable without radical new technology or nuclear energy (which is usually off the table). How are we supposed to provide electricity for the billions of people who still lack access to reliable energy — a basic right — without using carbon? The International Energy Agency predicts that over 75 percent of the world’s energy in 2040 will still be provided by fossil fuels. A radical shift to renewables is not feasible in the short-term.

San Diego Union Tribune:  San Diego’s climate change plan gets final OK

Raising the bar for municipalities across the country, San Diego on Tuesday adopted one of the nation’s most ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions. The City Council unanimously approved the co-called Climate Action Plan, which requires annual emissions be cut in half during the next two decades based heavily on a strategy to use 100 percent renewable energy within that same timeline. If the city doesn’t follow through on its promise to fight climate change, environmental groups and even the state attorney general could file lawsuits to force elected officials to comply. Several environmental advocates warned at Tuesday’s meeting that they were ready to use legal action if necessary.

CNN:  One killed, oil rigs evacuated, barge drifts loose in violent North Sea weather

Violent weather in the North Sea killed an oil worker for a Norwegian firm and prompted oil companies to evacuate workers after a barge broke loose in the storm. Statoil, a Norwegian company, and COSL — China Oilfield Services Limited — issued a statement say-ing they had learned “with great sadness” that one person had died and two were injured when a wave broke over a drilling rig Wednesday. The rig, called the COSL Innovator, is under contract to Statoil at the Troll field in the North Sea, west of Bergen, a city on Norway’s southwestern coast. The injured people have been taken by helicopter to shore, the statement said. The barge that broke loose had drifted passed BP’s Valhall oil field — but remained unmanned and out of control early Thursday, a rescue operation coordinator said. Efforts to bring it under control were continuing, he said.

Mirror:  10 favourite foods that could disappear due to climate change

Beer, apples, chocolate, coffee, wine, chips, peanut butter, seafood, rice and avocados.

Gizmodo:  200 million Americans will suffer “serious psychological distress” as a direct result of climate change

Natural disasters and extreme weather events will strike many places that are densely populated: 50 per cent of Americans live in coastal regions exposed to storms and sea level rise, 70 per cent of Americans live in cities prone to heat waves; major inland cities lie along rivers that will swell to record heights, and the fastest growing part of the nation is the increasingly arid West. People may, indeed, suffer from anxiety about climate change but not know it. They will have a vague unease about what is happening around them, the changes they see in nature, the weather events and the fact that records are being broken month after month. But they won’t be sufficiently aware of the source. This anxiety will increase as reports of the gravity of our condition become more clear and stark. Our mental healthcare system is not prepared for so many new patients.

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56 Responses to Blowout week 105

  1. Euan Mearns says:

    On the lead story, this post from 2 years ago:

    Parasitic wind killing its host

  2. Euan Mearns says:

    And on UK solar, I’d bring attention to UK Grid Graphed

    Solar produces a little electricity in the middle of the day in summer. Nothing in winter. I vote the Guardian should convert to a 100% solar system and that would give us all a rest from their dangerous propaganda.

    • gweberbv says:


      with respect to grid integration and reliability, solar/PV is much better than wind. You can literally set your clock according to the PV peak. Try this with wind.

      The fact that solar has a minor contribution in the winter is irrelevant for the grid.

      • Roberto says:

        ‘The fact that solar has a minor contribution in the winter is irrelevant for the grid’

        Why so? Elaborate a bit, please.

        • gweberbv says:


          for solar you need a backup anyways (because of the night, you know). The sole fact that you can harvest much less power during winter times compared to summer does not add further problems.
          Wind is much more of a problem because i) peaks and valleys in production have a much bigger variation in length than solar ii) forecast has more uncertainties iii) most wind farms are usually far away from the centers of demand.

          • robertok06 says:

            “The sole fact that you can harvest much less power during winter times compared to summer does not add further problems.”

            Are you kidding me??? Of course it does!… for balancing from one day to the other you just need few tens GWh… for balancing summer to winter you need tens of times more, need to store electricity during 4 sunny months to be used during winter months (and in the meantime cope with evaporation losses).

            That’s why PV is worse than wind, not the other way around.
            Look at Denmark… they can store their excess wind electricity in Norway’s and Sweden’s hydro plants, since they need only few days of storage to cover wind lulls, wait until your country will have more of the useless PV and then you’ll see… no way to store for months, apart from the physical sense there is no economical sense to do it… think about the Norwegians, they should pay the Germans for all that surplus electricity (months of consumption worth) to then get the money back months later?… are you kidding me?… they will never do it, in addition to that they will not have to follow the EU diktat, since they don’t belong to EU.
            Magic Energiewende, uh! Just wait and see (and in the meantime pay).

          • gweberbv says:


            there is no need to store electricity from PV or wind unless their production exceeds demand – which is not the case. And of course nobody will ever store significant amounts of energy over a period of months. What you call ‘storing’ is simply to avoid the usage of other ressources such as hydro or fossil fuels.
            Electricity from PV is used when it is there – and when it is not there, you need to use something else to power your iMac.

            With respect to the usefulness: German PV production yields (slightly) higher market prices than wind production (keeping in mind: the gap between market prices and feed-in tariff is covered by an additional fee on the retail electricity price). Because it coincides to some extend with spikes in demand and the production is easier to predict than wind, thus avoiding very low market prices due to overproduction. And – also important – PV does not require grid extensions as does wind.

            As a result PV will in most cases be a much better deal for the costumers than (offshore) wind. Of course, for maximizing the usage of renewables you also need to expand wind, hydro and geothermal whenever possible. But the bashing of solar in this blog is simply out of place.

          • robertok06 says:



            there is no need to store electricity from PV or wind unless their production exceeds demand – which is not the case.”

            Guenter: are you toying around with me or what???… that the PRESENT level of penetration of wind and PV in Germany doesn’t demand storage is clear to everybody here… my comment was towards the oximoronic energy policy known as “Energiewende”, which calls for 80% or more of all electricity produced via wind and PV within 24 years.

          • gweberbv says:


            we both do not see the 80% renewables goal being reached. However, I think it is also worthwhile (and not really expensive) to go for maybe 60%.

          • robertok06 says:


            “However, I think it is also worthwhile (and not really expensive) to go for maybe 60%.”

            60% is way too high for not needing storage of the excess power, Guenter.
            60% of the electricity, say 10% bioenergy (which still has emissions and his baseload), with the remaining 50% shared between wind and PV (30/20 or 35/15) means doubling or more the amount of turbines/panels installed right now, which would necessarily exceed demand during several hundred hours of the year (especially low-demand weekends and nights)… so either you store it or you throw it away.

            In both cases… who pays for it?… I’m getting more and more afraid that the losses will be “socialized” within the entire EU… I see a political trend in that direction, namely the “need” for new costly across-the-border transmission lines.

            Intermittent renewables simply won’t work, it’s physically impossible.


          • gweberbv says:


            you are too pessimistic.

            PV installations could be doubled without a major problem. Already now, PV installations have either to install a hardware cut-off at 70% of nameplate capacity (which results only in a few percent losses of average production as PV) or have to agree that they can be curtailed via remote by the grid operators. Moreover, sunny days usually coincide with low wind production.
            However, the recent adjustment of the feed-in tariff scheme shrinked PV installations down to a level near to only sustaining the current capacity (assuming that the complete solar fleet as to be replaced every 30 years). So, we won’t see much growth here.

            Offshore wind (dozens of kilometers away from the coast) is also not problematic with respect to production spikes because the expected capacity factors between 40% and 50% result in high yields without high peaking power (the first German offshore wind farm reached 55% in 2012). But of course, the grid has to be put in place from scratch which costs time and money.
            ‘Only’ 20 GW of offshore wind could already bring us from 30% to near 50%. Let’s see what happens.

            For onshore wind the nice places where wind turbines are allowed are already occupied. Probably, repowering of old wind farms makes more sense than developping new projects. And due to the low capacity factor coupled with the strong correlation we indeed run into the problem of excess production.

            What to do with this production? At the moment, it is basicly sold across the borders. Possible for Germany, less possible for ‘island grids’. Probably for much higher excess production the best way is to use it for the heating market which is at the moment dominated by gas. Converting electricity to heat is nearly 100% efficient. And as long as a single cuicmeter of gas is burned somewhere in the country, it makes more sense to replace it with electrictiy than to generate gas out of electrcity, effectively throwing away 60% to 70% of it (while at same time supporting a costly infrastructure for the synthesis).

          • robertok06 says:



            you are too pessimistic.

            PV installations could be doubled without a major problem. ”

            No way. Now you have about 39 GWp installed, so you’re saying that 80 GWp would not have a problem to be integrated into the German network?
            They would still generate little electricity for 4 full months every year (the equivalent of less than 5% their nominal power, i.e. 4 GW electric)… and this is problem 1, while problem 2 is that during may/july they could sometimes generate 55 or more GW of power at times when the demand is much less (Sundays afternoon, or holidays).

            Problem 3 is that the neighbouring countries at some point will be fed up with this “I don’t know what to do with it, YOU deal with it” attitude… and will simply say “no” to your request to buy the excess energy.

            The moral of the story is that you’ll still have to keep the smoky ones running…. basically forever… cough!… cough!… cough!…


          • gweberbv says:


            the highest PV peak production in Germany this year was 25 GW. For a single hour on a single day in the year. If we had twice the PV capacity installed, this could savely be curtailed to maybe 40 to 45 GW (depending on how much wind we have). Of course, using the excess energy for heating is preferable (warm/hot water is needed also in the summer).
            There is no problem to sell a good portion of the electricity to our neighbours. We are currently facing the situation, that Austria often wants to buy two times more electricity in Germany (because of low prices) than can be transported via the interconnectors.

            And yes, of course we will need to keep a lot of the conventional power plants as a backup.

  3. Willem Post says:


    A tale of two countries:

    China generated 25.5 TWh of nuclear in 2014, will be generating 57.53 TWh from 58,000 MW in 2020

    The US generated 797 TWh of nuclear from about 95,000 MW in 2014, will be generating ???? from ???? in 2020.

    • Roger Andrews says:

      Willem: I think you might have slipped a zero on your China TWh numbers.

      • Willem Post says:

        China generated 255 TWh of nuclear in 2014, will be generating 575 TWh from 58,000 MW in 2020

        The US generated 797 TWh of nuclear from about 95,000 MW in 2014, will be generating ???? from ???? in 2020.

  4. Rob says:

    “Backing up renewables is proving cheaper than we thought” is this the case I thought conventional power stations were struggling is it worth doing an update to article ” Parasitic wind killing its hoast’
    Green Peace saying wind is now the cheapest new build electricity generation based on last auction for onshore wind.

  5. Rob says:

    Seems a conserted effort to prove wind power cheap and intermittency costs negligible

  6. garethbeer says:

    Everything is (the fault of) climate change at the moment, really does the cause no good, they’re doubling down it would seem?
    Solar is really pointless for anything other than keeping Chinese factories knocking them out…

  7. burnsider says:

    I think the word ‘renewables’ should by default be in quotes. The energy (kinetic energy of wind or water, photon energy of sunlight, etc) may be cheap/free and (to some extent at least) readily available, but the mechanisms for converting this energy into useful power are demonstrably not renewable and certainly not cheap/free.

    A wind turbine, for instance, would qualify as ‘renewable’ if the electric power alone from a first tranche of turbines (built using fossil energy input) was used to build further turbines. This should include the mining of iron ore, transport to a smelter, steelmaking, fabrication, transport to site, erection, etc, plus the same for copper, concrete, rare earths for the magnets in the alternator and so on. I suspect that even if the challenge was confined to fabrication, transport and erection with the mining and ore transport being done with fossil fuels, it would be difficult or impossible to achieve anything approaching ‘renewable’ status.

    • Jim Brough says:

      How true, Burnsider.
      Problem is that while solar and wind are free their conversion to useable energy and cheap electricity is not without significant cost of CO2 emissions.
      Which are greater than nuclear.

      • garethbeer says:

        And it would seem these ‘turbines’ require a lot more maintencence not to mention full replacement especially at sea than any humanities graduate would ever imagined…

        Bottom line, electricity from these things is 2 to 3 times more expensive than gas or coal generation – no matter how many times a convert preaches: it’s free it free it’s free! Ignoring intermittency as well…

  8. chrisale says:

    I love the data on this site, but I do have to say that the cynicism about addressing climate change grates on me. So here’s a challenge for you Euan or any of the other excellent minds (and I mean that absolutely sincerely with no ill will): Devise a way for us to meet the 1.5ºC target, which, according to the SEI International page linked, will require the world to reduce emissions to less than 10GtCO2e per year by 2040 from the current 52GtCO2e per year.

    We need solutions, not cynicism. So come on ladies and gents, we’re all pretty smart here. Solve the problem!

    • Willem Post says:

      Wind 18%, solar 18% and nuclear 60%, with wave, tide, geo and hydro 4% as a side dish for ALL energy not just electrical energy.

    • A C Osborn says:

      Are you talking about “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming”, if so, even though CO2 has drastically (according to some) increased over the last 18 years there has been no Global Warming, just global greening.
      So meeting the 1.5 degree limit is no problem at all at the current rate of temperature increase.

    • robertok06 says:

      Hello Chris:

      unfortunately you too are citing the 1.5 deg C (often quoted as 2C)”below which we MUST absolutely stay”… fact is… such a value has no meaning at all, as well explained in this very recent paper published in Nature Geoscience:

      “The world’s governments agreed to limit global mean temperature change to below 2 °C compared with pre-industrial levels in the years following the 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen.

      This 2 °C warming target is perceived by the public as a universally accepted goal, identified by scientists as a safe limit that avoids dangerous climate change.
      This perception is incorrect: no scientific assessment has clearly justified or defended the 2 °C target as a safe level of warming, and indeed, this is not a problem that science alone can address.

      We argue that global temperature is the best climate target quantity, but it is unclear what level can be considered safe.

      The 2 °C target is useful for anchoring discussions, but has been ineffective in triggering the required emission reductions; debates on considering a lower target are strongly at odds with the current real-world level of action.

      These debates are moot, however, as the decisions that need to be taken now to limit warming to 1.5 or 2 °C are very similar. We need to agree how to start, not where to end mitigation.”

      • JerryC says:

        The whole idea of politicians getting together to decide what the global temperature will be is stupid beyond belief. Even Lysenkoism wasn’t this obviously wrong.

    • My apologies. i went and mentioned a link and then forgot to copy it in.

      As for the argument of whether 1.5°C pr 2°C is bad or good is largely irrelevant. It is a benchmark, we have to shoot for something. Forget I mentioned a tempersture. Go for the Gigstonne per year mark instead. How do we reduce Anthropogenic CO2 emissions 10GT/yr or less which would be near the Earth’s capability of absorbing naturally without any increase in overall atmospheric concentrations or ocean acification.

      And for the record, I am one year into a political career myself, as a councillor on a City council. But don’t let that stop you deriding politicians, many are deserving. 😉

      • robertok06 says:

        “And for the record, I am one year into a political career myself, as a councillor on a City council. But don’t let that stop you deriding politicians, many are deserving. ”

        I have not derided anybody… the CV of Mrs Hendricks is real.. a PhD in development of margarine industry…

        I’m afraid that for your political career you’ll have to make a clear-cut choice: either you get into the program and align your positions to the current mantra (“less than 1.5 C or we’re all dead”) or you keep at least a bit of a skeptical position. Why -10 Gtons/year? Who said it would be enough? Enough for doing what exactly? Most of the particulate emitted on the planet comes from “renewable” wood combustion, but the current green mantra points its finger to Volkswagen… what more fitting example one could make?

        Good luck for your future endeavors, anyway.


      • robertok06 says:

        Sorry, my last one on this:

        “As for the argument of whether 1.5°C pr 2°C is bad or good is largely irrelevant. It is a benchmark, we have to shoot for something.”

        Well… first of all we should make sure we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot, what do you mean it is IRRELEVANT???? The idea of COP21, in the minds of the green intellighentsia, was to committ the world to spending trillions of dollars/euros/etc… in order to keep the concentration of the “pollutant” CO2 lower than a limit which has no meaning at all!… how can you possibly call this “irrelevant”???

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Chris, welcome dialogue. But here’s some pointers. 1) The climate models used to work out how much we must reduce emissions by to achieve x˚C warming are all already proven to be flawed / wrong, and are therefore to be ignored. That is sterile territory to explore. 2) we are in an inter-glacial where climatic fluctuations on a natural quasi 1000 to 1500 Y cycle (Bond cycle or D-O cycle) swings our N hemisphere climate between warm and cold phases whether we like it or not. Its possible we warm 2˚C from here no matter what we do. It will become less stormy*, with an expansion of cropping area and lengthening of growing season. 3) the RR minds operating here have already come up with the solution to your challenge:

      Its just that Green minds, academics, utilities and politicians do not want to embrace the simple solution in favour of pursuing their own multitude of self-serving goals on a money-go-round paid for by and impoverishing society.

      * warming poles reduces the temperature gradient with tropics and will inevitably lead to more quiescent periods as experienced during the Roman and Medieval warm periods. How else do you think the Vikings managed to sail to New Found Land?

      • chrisale says:

        Euan, I am rather shocked and very disappointed in your position. As with Peak Oil, Climate Change and AGW science and knowledge has been around for the better part of a century (even more so for the chemistry side of things) and is extremely well proven.

        I am not here to get into a debate about the merits of the science because, as with the natural cycles of an oil field, the science and math behind CO2s effects on the atmosphere and oceans are experimentally and observationally proven. The warming sensitivity of CO2 was first calculated in the 1890s and has not changed much in the intervening 120 years. That should tell you right there that the science is solid and we clearly must reduce our emissions or face serious consequences.

        I would implore you to deepen your research of the effects of CO2 on the ocean, air and land particularly the earlier research that is devoid of the extreme politicization of the past 15 years that has been driven in fact by the energy companies you so faithful keep tabs on.

        It is your blog so you are free to post what appeals to you so I will retreat into lurking land.


        • Cameron Rose says:

          I appreciate your engaging with views which challenge your own. The beguiling concept of Peak Oil is without substance in any practical terms. Notwithstanding ominous predictions and warnings for a generation, the world is awash with oil with no prospect of a peak in sight. The over supply is one of the main reasons for the low oil price.

          • chrisale says:

            It is certainly true that the predictions of doom from an interminable decline in oil production did not come to fruition. Or Did it? (Great Recession)

            However, the full impact of that reality failed to occur not because the “theory” of all wells having a peak in production was false. Indeed since the turn of the century we have witnessed some of the worlds greatest oil fields succumb to peak production and go into decline. What surprised everyone was the lengths and costs, environmental and financial, and particularly the US and Canada companies and governments would go to to increase production from unconventional sources in order to at least partially meet demand. This was only partially successful since rising costs still led to rising prices and a much more volatile market. If peak oil did not exist for conventional fields we would not have experienced this.

            Further, were it not for concerns about fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions leading to technologies with greater efficiencies or even outright demand destruction I don’t think we would be seeing the scale of the over supply in the market that we are today nor the decline in global markets.

            Most Economies around the world remain constrained to very low growth rates due in part to all of the pressures on oil and energy production and inability to grow that production at the desired rate of economic growth. That all points to structural changes in the oil production picture and can all be linked to the plateau of conventional crude production that we have been on since 2005.

            All that said, by coincidence or not, fate has determined that peak oil and climate change are competing for attention at the same time and it seems as though peak oil has come to late for us to “naturally” be forced to reduce our oil consumption.

            So if we finally smarten up, shut the fossil fuel lobbyist in a dark room, and reduce our fossil fuel consumption at the required 5-9% a year globally to stay under our safety threshold for carbon emissions by 2050 then the argument over peak oils practical effects on us will be rendered moot and we will all live happily ever after. 😉


        • robertok06 says:

          “As with Peak Oil, Climate Change and AGW science and knowledge has been around for the better part of a century (even more so for the chemistry side of things) and is extremely well proven.”

          Extremely what? You’ve got to be kidding!… if it were extremely well known and proven for a better part of a century, why would the different reports of the IPCC (we are now at the 5th issue) have different numbers in them?… C’mon, get real.

  9. Jim Brough says:

    My early years were spent in Scotland, Liverpool and Wales. Living in Australia I can not justify investing in solar panels unless there is considerable government subsidy so I can’t see it a matter of rejoicing when Scotland solar energy has increased to a piddling 157MW peak output with no mention of its capacity factor.
    In sunny Australia a solar farm near Canberra managed about 20 % of its rated output.
    Can we run electrically powered railway systems on solar and wind ?
    Fat chance , its a dream.
    I often wonder why many people want or need to hide contributions behind strange names.

    I often wonder…. if CO2 emissions are a problem, why do we shut down our nuclear power stations.
    I have been told that there is a carbon-neutral brick but the makers did not answer , let alone tell me how it was achieved.

    Regards, Jim Brough

  10. robertok06 says:

    Hello everybody:

    I’d like to point out the Cleantechnica article on the comparison between the cost of electricity from Hinkley Point and an equivalent amount of PV panels… in particular the document linked on the Solar Trade association web site… I have hardly read more BS in one single document!…

    They claim that HP’s electricity would cost, during 35 years, more than 2x as much as the PV case, while at the same time saying that (footnote pag.2)

    “Our analysis does not include inter-seasonal storage to match Hinkley’s winter output. The storage and balancing aims to both smooth and shift the solar output to more closely match electricity demand. From a broader renewable energy perspective, solar generation can be complemented by wind power whose output peaks in the winter months.”

    … so, basically, they say that PV would cost much less, but only if supported by an undefined amount of intermittent wind power… without considering the cost of such large amount of wind power, and/or the unavoidable need for storage even if wind power would assist, as there are plenty of nights with little/no wind during the year.

    I’m astonished.

    • garethbeer says:

      Sadly it’s a (new) religion, their hearts are longing for something to give meaning (to their lives), this is filled with co2 (the devil) & solar panels, wind turbines are the saviour (Jesus) and the Earth is their god…

      No amount of (heretic) will get in the way of the facts, if the arch bishop says Solar panels work at night, then it is true…!

  11. oldbrew says:

    Re ‘Deutsche Welle: Belgium restarts controversial aging nuclear reactor’

    As you say, the Germans are not impressed.

    ‘Germans claim Belgian nuclear reactors are “falling to bits” ‘

    The re-started reactor shut down after 3 days according to news reports yesterday.

    • robertok06 says:

      Actually, as far as I know, the whole “falling to bits” accident is non existent… the owning company has simply postponed the restart by few days due to administrative reasons (that’s what they claim on their web site)….

      As the time goes on, I am more and more convinced that the German media, in general, when dealing with nuclear issues are simply patented liars… not worth reading/following them at all.

      Same goes for Mrs Hendricks, the environment minister with a prestigious PhD in “The development of the margarine industry on the lower Rhine”… if she really worries about the health and safety of her fellow countrimen and women, all she has to do is to shut down IMMEDIATELY the tens of GW of coal and lignite plants which, statistically speaking, every few days kill tens of people in Germany (and neighbouring countries like Belgium as well) during regular operation, no need to wait for accidents.

      • A C Osborn says:

        Have you actually got some Facts to prove “the tens of GW of coal and lignite plants which, statistically speaking, every few days kill tens of people in Germany (and neighbouring countries like Belgium as well)”

        • robertok06 says:

          Of course I do… and I have already posted here, probably more than once, the relevant references to peer-reviewed papers… I’m on vacation now, and I do not have them on this tablet… but I can tell you that one is “Electricity generation and health”, around 2007, or the endless number of paper of the series EXterne, where different countries have looked at the epidemiological impact of particulate and SO2, and NOx, and mercury, and heavy metals, etc… emissions from coal power stations. There is then a study of around 2009 edited by the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, and contributed by PSI, Univ. of Tokyo, Univ. of Beijing, and others… looking at the impact of coal burning in China (millions of YOLLs)… all point in the same direction, i.e. that for each TWh of electricity generated burning coal (coals of all types, lignite included) there is a number of deaths associated to it, and about 10x as many chronic illnesses, and even more temporary illnesses (leading to missing work, school, seeing doctors… etc).

          That the emissions of Germany’s coal/lignite power stations affect the quality of the air as far (and beyond) Paris is well known too, and documented, by satellite measurements.


          • A C Osborn says:

            Well I have a bit of a problem with those studies that use words like estimated, likelyhood etc.
            Because they use exactly the same terminology as Climate Science.
            They also use the same terminology as the old Stomach Ulcer studies, overturned by the helicobacter pylori studies.
            The Saturated Fat/Unsaturated fat fiasco and the CarbohydrateDiet fiasco, the Mutliple Vaccination causes Autism fraud.
            They were all wrong.
            What makes me question those studies is personal experience, I grew up in London during the Smog days, which were far worse than anything you see today, even in China. You literally could not see further than an arms length on a bad day, you could smell the sulphur and carbon (not co2) in the yellow smog.
            But out of our whole school only 1 (one) child had Athsma and hardly anyone suffered with Hay Fever, now fast forward to today where we get more electricity from Gas, Nuclear, Wind & Solar and nobody burns coal in their open fireplaces, just in my immediate family my Grandson has both Asthma and suffers with Hay Fever along with a few of his class mates, my own son has developed Adult Hay Fever, my Niece suffers from Adult Asthma, as does her husband.
            So the air is much much cleaner now, but there are very many more people suffering from Asthma, breathing difficulties and Allergies.
            So how do they blame it all on Burning Coal?

          • robertok06 says:

            Sear A C Osborn,

            you can believe or not believe whatever you want. I also know a guy who died in his late 80s and had smoked everyday since age 10 at least 2 packs of cigarettes… he died killed by a car while crossing the road… so no adverse effects from cigarettes, right?

            I also happen to be a good friend of a doctor who works as epidemiologist, he collects and processes all health data for norther Italy, he got his second degree in statistics from the University of Milan 3 years ago… and he assures me that the correlation between high-particulate concentration in the air and mortality/morbidity is extremely good. Same for SO2, NOx, or the tons and tons of heavy metals and arsenic which are embedded into the discharge of coal power stations… or coal burning in general. The area around the ILVA metal works factory in Taranto (southern Italy), the biggest of its kind in Europe, where coal combustion is used mainly to make pig iron (or whatever it is called in English, my apologies if it’s not the right term) has cancer rates way above the italian average… I wonder why….

            The fact that it’s a probabilistic effect and uses probabilistic terms does not change much… “likelihood” is also used in describing the probability of electronic transitions in quantum mechanics, or decay channels of the Higgs boson… just to mention a few things I’m quite familiar with… are we going to cancel all of quantum mechanics just because of that? Hope not.


          • Euan Mearns says:

            @ Roberto, I find this a rather interesting discussion. We had had comments discussion about this a couple of years ago, shortly after the blog began. I recall reading a couple of reports on pollution from coal and dismissed them as anti FF propaganda – and that’s one important point, where does the truth lie?

            No doubt that thousands are being killed in China by coal pollution. But those are dirty plants built in cities where H2S + sunlight causes smog (I think). I’ve never seen evidence for pollution around Longannet, that sits on the Firth of Forth. But there again I’ve never looked.

            If we need to phase out coal because it is dirty and because it kills, then that should be the reason given for doing it.

            A guest post on this would be welcome.

          • A C Osborn says:

            What you have described about Taranto is a classic example of lumping all Coal Burning together.
            The controls required in most modern societies for Energy generated by Coal or Gas are extensive, what emmission controls are placed on a coal powered smelter in comparison?
            I have a similar Steel making plant at Port Talbot just 12 miles down the road from me and yes you can see a lot more polution in the air than you would ever see at a power station.
            In my child hood Coal was burnt indoors in open Fire Places, due to high energy costs from renewable market distortion we are now seeing the same thing in modern villages/towns along with the burning of wood, this has been highlighted in Germany.
            Controlled burning is by far preferable to uncontrolled burning.

            You have still not in any way answered the question of why Lung and Bronchial deseases and Allergic Reactions are far more prevelant in the clean air of today than they were 60 years ago when the air was very dirty.
            Perhaps it has to do with different types of dirty air, or something entirely different, like food additives.

          • robertok06 says:

            @A C Osborn

            “You have still not in any way answered the question of why Lung and Bronchial deseases and Allergic Reactions are far more prevelant in the clean air of today than they were 60 years ago when the air was very dirty.”

            Well, I wish I could answer that, but I am not an epidemiologist or medicine doctor… and most of the stuff I’ve read on this issue concerns the adverse effects of radiation and nuclear accidents.
            One things is clear though: coal always contains trace amounts of heavy metals, sulfur, arsenic, and other stuff… and the toxicology of heavy metals and arsenic is certainly known, as is the effect of sulfur in the atmosphere for the formation of acid rains, and their effect on health and plants.
            Just to give you one more example… I ve read a paper where the concentration of mercury in tuna fish was linked with the discharges of the same chemical element from coal burning in power stations… I’ll try to find it again.

            “Perhaps it has to do with different types of dirty air, or something entirely different, like food additives.”

            I think it is reasonable to assume that other causes affect the allergic reactions, but I am not sure that they are actually increasing… it is simply that today they are more and more recognized as such, while “back then” they were not. I’ve grown up and lived for almost 30 years in a very polluted area… a huge shipyard with a 800 MW thermal power station next to it… the latter burning coal, animal carcasse, gas, oil (not at the same time, they have modified the 3 separate burning units over the years)… and since I lived there I was always, each and every winter, sick (3x penumonia, several bronchitis, sore throat, etc..)… but the day I emigrated… POF!… everything has disappeared, I hardly get sick. The area near my city is one of the worst hit in terms of lung diseases, also due to a combination of local weather/climate conditions.


  12. robertok06 says:


    Yesterday I’ve bumped into an intervention at the Italian Senate committee on energy and environment of 2014, by the physics Nobel prize C. Rubbia (who is a Senator-for-life). Unfortunately it is in Italian, and therefore I don’t link it, but at the same time I’ve found a presentation by him made in the same year, where he outlines his ideas about how to cover the world’s energy demand in the future, and where he basically says the same things that he’s saying in words in the Italian video.

    Here are the links to the meeting where he made the presentation, and the presentation itself:


  13. Erica Skoko says:

    Well as a chemist, I can not agree with all those fear mongering politicians who believe the world will end if the temperature rises by 2 degrees. According to Don J. Easterbrook’s article “Global cooling is here” (Easterbrook is Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University) CO2 has only increased in the atmosphere by 0.008% since the so-called expansion of the developing nation economies, and in no way can this tiny additional amount, think scale here people, will cause the climate to change and prove that the temperature will rise and never come down. And to all you bleeding hearts whom believe the CO2 myth with such fervour, the earth’s temperature hasn’t risen even 1 lousy degree, no, we have actually gotten colder people, and I live in a winter climate and would love to have experienced some of this so called global warming.
    Today it is -22 C with a big snow storm coming. I have been skiing since Remembrance day, yes, our ski hills have had plenty of snow since Nov. 11.

    I live in Calgary Alberta, and both my husband whom works for Shell, my brother-in-law whom works for Suncor etc, my brother who is a geologist who’s company just went bankrupt, (I work in the environmental field as a hazardous waste specialist) are all under the cross hairs as to whether they will have a living or not due to the combined efforts of these greenies(who make their money by being subsidized by real industry) whom have the ear of politicians who are only educated in law,(they all quit studying science after the age of 14 because it was too hard) and an over supply on the market by a zealous Saudi Arabia, and a China that has come to a grinding halt. Obama is a crap president too. So we are heading into a very cold winter, with no job security for partners and we have a stupid lawyer woman for a premier who has introduced a carbon tax and has brought the industry in Alberta to a grinding halt and we will probably never recover for 20 years. To top off that, she is determined to get rid of our coal industry by 2030, yep, 40% of our electricity comes from there. And Alberta Health Services patted her on the back by saying how many lives they will save by not having coal emissions (Alberta hasn’t ever had a bad air day in 55 years from pollution, only from forest fires!). So with this policy and tax. Albertans will now pay the most for electricity in all of Canada, around $2000 a year (carbon tax will increase it by $400 per year) and we will no longer have a secure supply. Ya know, when it is cold and pitch black at 4 pm, you kind of want heat by natural gas(because it is warm and gives off lots of BTUs) and light so you can cook your supper on your electric stove or gas stove.

    Since I work for the municipality as part of landfill operations, I can tell you there is no way to dispose of solar panels! They are big, heavy, full of toxic metals, worse then burning coal. When you buy one, there is no Enviro Fee, no extended producer responsibility to take it back and recycle it, no, lets just throw it in the garbage. Yeah all your panels are so environmentally friendly, such BS. Wind Turbines killing massive populations of migrating birds, no one ever talks about that.

    Maybe in high density places like Germany, but Alberta can hold 6 England’s, and we only have a population of 2.5 million for the whole province, very long transmission lines. I am just so sick and tired of the rhetoric, and my 18 year old boy is not going to have a future, all you climate change fanatics want to destroy modern day society, sad really.

    • Syndroma says:

      It’s -20C outside, and we have snow since mid-October. I had high hopes for Global Warming to turn my land from a deep frozen taiga to a temperate forest, but reading this blog shattered my dreams. Very little warming for me in my lifetime. 🙁

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Hi Erica, the increase in CO2 from 260 to 400 ppm = 140 ppm which is 0.014% 😉 The snow is piling up in the Grampian Mountains too. Years ago we were told that global warming would make snow a thing of the past. Now we are told global warming means the air can hold more moisture that will lead to more snow. I’m looking forward to skiing once the arctic high moves in and they rebuild the road that got swept away in our recent and on-going floods 🙁

      You have my sympathy! Things are really tough here in Aberdeen, worse than Alberta since our industry no longer has a rosy future. Brent hit a new low today, things are about to get worse me thinks, before they begin to turn around towards the end of the year.

    • robertok06 says:

      “I am just so sick and tired of the rhetoric, and my 18 year old boy is not going to have a future, all you climate change fanatics want to destroy modern day society, sad really.”

      …. “you climate change fanatics”… US here on this blog?
      You must of posted here by mistake…. here climate change fanatics and lovers of renewable energies are like black sheep… rare… veeeery rare! 🙂

    • PhilH says:

      I take the comment to be a lament for the parlous state of the oil industry, particularly the Albertan tar sands producers, due to the current low price of oil, which puts at risk the jobs of the commenter’s relatives amongst others.

      In addition to pointing the finger at Saudi Arabia’s oversupply and China’s weakening demand growth, should be added US shale producers for continuing to produce even when the economics indicate that they shouldn’t.

      It’s not really logical to include renewables in this list of culprits, as they mainly generate electricity, which doesn’t compete much with oil, and so have a minimal effect on oil’s price.

      The main exception I can see to this is the growing use of electric vehicles (EVs), which will diminish the demand for oil in favour of other fuels. Perhaps EV manufacturers and owners should be financially penalised, in order to boost the income of the struggling oil companies (similarly to the proposals to financially penalise solar PV owners in order to boost the income of the struggling electricity companies)?

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