Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Germany Faces Energy Crisis

Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Foundation Reports That New Power Plants Are No Longer Economically Viable

Every second power plant planned in Germany is about to fold. The willingness to invest is decreasing rapidly as even the most efficient gas-fired power plants can no longer be operated profitably. 50 existing power plants could be decommissioned later this year. Germany's green energy revolution is at a critical turning point. --Deutsche Mittelstands Nachrichten, 13 April 2015
 
Some 50 power plants have applied for decommissioning in Germany this year, according to Germany's Bundesnetzagentur, February 2015
 
The economic viability of some 53 percent or 39 of the power plants planned for construction in Europe’s largest economy by 2025 has been called into question, German energy industry association BDEW said in a statement on Monday. The association said investors were nervous because of lacking profitability for coal- and gas-fired power stations because of competing energy supplies from subsidised renewable power, and a tougher carbon emissions regime. Germany, which is due to phase out nuclear energy by 2022, could face supply bottlenecks in the next few years. --Vera Eckert, Reuters, 13 April 2015
 
Germany's Irsching gas-fired power plant, one of Europe's newest, is to be shut down in April next year, its operators said on Monday, as competition from renewable energy pushes conventional stations out of business. Irsching is one of many power stations in Germany that are running at a fraction of the time needed to be profitable, replaced by solar and wind energy which has priority access to the grid. The statement, which puts pressure on the German government to come up with a solution for modern but loss-making power plants, did not say what impact the decision would have on jobs. --Reuters, 30 March 2015
 
Of all the unintended consequences of EU climate policy perhaps the most bizarre is the detrimental effect of wind and solar schemes on the price of electricity generated by natural gas. Gas-fired power generation has become uneconomic in the EU, even for some of the most efficient and least carbon-intensive plants. --Benny Peiser, Testimony To U.S. Senate Committee Hearing, 2 December 2014
 
The EU’s dysfunctional political system is turning clean energy companies into a “zombie industry” of the living dead, the head of one of the bloc’s biggest green power groups has warned. Manuel Sánchez Ortega, chief executive of Spain’s Abengoa, said EU politicians are taking so long to decide what sort of energy mix they want, especially in the biofuels sector, that companies do not know if they should keep struggling on or shut down completely. “It’s ridiculous. The EU is creating a zombie industry for clean energy” thanks to bureaucratic delays. --Pilita Clark, Financial Times, 12 April 2015
 
France’s refusal to countenance exploiting shale gas deposits will cost it up to €293 billion and 225,000 jobs over the next three decades, according to a confidential government report. The report, which came down in favour of waterless fracking, was leaked to the media yesterday after it had been shelved by President Hollande’s Socialist-led cabinet. France’s radical shale gas laws make it an offence even to look for the fuel. “Shale gas is no longer on the agenda,” said Ségolène Royal, the environment minister, who is Mr Hollande’s former partner. --Adam Sage, The Times, 8 April 2015
 
New technologies are rapidly revealing the bounty of Britain’s onshore energy resources. The latest find is a field near London’s Gatwick Airport, which could contain 100 billion barrels of oil—if British politicians are willing to drill. That’s a major upgrade from previous assessments of the region, and it follows other recent oil-and-gas discoveries across Britain. Now Britain’s politicians will need to decide whether they value energy security and jobs more highly than environmentalist scare tactics. --Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 10 April 2015
 
Fracking could be used to exploit vast oil reserves discovered under South East England, despite pledges by the company behind the find that it will not use the controversial technique. ‘We reckon five to 15 per cent can be got out of the oil in place,’ David Lenigas said, ‘but we have seen numbers with technology and going to fracking you can get up to 30 to 40 per cent recovery out of some of these things. But I am not interested in doing that.’ Across the Weald basin, which covers much of East and West Sussex and Surrey, the bonanza could hit 100 billion barrels. Even with low recovery rates, the find is the biggest since the North Sea. --Simon Watkins, Mail on Sunday, 12 April 2015
 
More than half of Poland’s new major power generation projects to be built in the next four years will be coal-fired in spite of strict targets imposed by the EU on its member countries, capacity projections show. According to data collected by ICIS, a total of 7.8GW will be added to the Polish electricity grid in the next four years, of which 4.6GW will be coal-fired power plants built by the country’s biggest state-owned utilities. To add to this bearish prediction, the European Commission approved Poland’s Temporary National Plan, under which implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive has been delayed from 2016 to 2020. --ICIS News, 13 April 2015

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