Tag Archives: Renewable energy

The EU’s Response To Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act Is Finally Here, by Felicity Bradstock

The U.S. government and the EU are engaging in a classic battle to see who can subsidize uneconomical technologies the most. The loser wins. From Felicity Bradstock at oilprice.com:

  • ollowing the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S., pressure grew on the EU to introduce its own legislation to help fund the clean energy push on the continent.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resultant energy security issues in Europe have only added to the pressure on EU politicians to solve the bloc’s energy problems.
  • The EC’s new draft proposal is designed to encourage companies to remain in the EU rather than move operations to the U.S. to take advantage of IRA-related benefits.
When President Biden introduced his Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last summer, he surprised the world with the extent of the climate commitments within it While supposedly aimed at inflation reduction, the legislation also provides extensive political support and funding for the green transition, providing tax cuts, subsidies, and other incentives for companies looking to use cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels. The EU has long been hailed as the leader in the switch to renewable energy, encouraging other countries worldwide to follow in its footsteps when it comes to climate pledges and policies. However, following the introduction of the IRA, pressure on the EU grew to introduce its own far-reaching, region-wide climate policy. After several months, it appears that the EU is ready to launch a transition policy that will provide the funding needed to keep up with the U.S. in the race to green.  The EU has announced plans to reduce restrictions on tax credits for renewable energy projects in response to Biden’s IRA. Following mounting public pressure to expand its climate policy following the introduction of the new U.S. law, the European Commission (EC) has stated that it aims to loosen state aid rules to encourage greater investment in production facilities in the green energy industry. However, this kind of major policy shift requires broad support from its 27 member states, which often slows down the introduction of new laws.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Russian energy, the EU and many other parts of the world have experienced severe energy shortages and rising consumer costs. This has led to greater pressure from the public and policymakers to accelerate the green transition, to ensure the future of the region’s energy security. The EC’s draft proposal reportedly proposes the redirection of some of the $869.8 billion in Covid-19 recovery funding to green tax credits. It states: “The provisions on tax benefits would enable member states to align their national fiscal incentives on a common scheme, and thereby offer greater transparency and predictability to businesses across the EU.”

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The Renewable Energy Problem That No One Talks About, by Peter Castle

Something called frequency control may be the undoing of renewable energy. From Peter Castle at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:

An obvious barrier to adopting wind and solar power for electricity supply is their intermittency – when the wind isn’t blowing, and the sun isn’t shining, substitute sources are required. This issue is given much attention by conservative media, as it should.

Yet one of the less well-known roadblocks for these renewable technologies is frequency control, even though it becomes a critical concern much sooner.

Since the 1890s, electricity networks and devices all around the globe have used alternating current (AC) systems, which means that the flow of electricity in the system is repeatedly changing direction.

In Australia, it alternates 50 times a second, that is, at a frequency of 50 Hertz (in the USA, it is 60 Hertz).

Supplying electricity at a consistent frequency is very important because appliances and electronics on the network are designed for a specific frequency/voltage input. Therefore, they can be damaged by the wrong electricity supply.

As a rule, networks would rather supply no electricity than bad electricity. Automated controls through the electricity system will disconnect the supply if the frequency or voltage is “off-spec.”

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In Overheated Economy, Dems Forced To Cool Climate Messaging, by Susan Crabtree

Rising energy prices are putting a damper on people’s enthusiasm for more expensive green energy. From Susan Crabtree at realclearwire.com:

Eric Sorensen, a Democrat running for an open seat in a northwest Illinois congressional district that Donald Trump narrowly won twice, concluded recently that his campaign website’s top issues section needed a major reshuffling.

A section entitled “Addressing Climate Change,” which was initially leading the page, was relegated to the no. 4 spot, according to a comparison of the archived version of the website. The revamped website’s top two sections were new: “Addressing Rising Costs” and “Securing Reproductive Rights.”

Sorensen’s re-tooled website reflects the purple nature of his district and the shifting realities of the 2022 midterms as candidates head into the final stretch. Democrats are facing severe headwinds when it comes to the economy and inflation, and they can’t afford to dodge the issue or ignore the pain it’s causing many low- and middle-income Americans.

At the same time, Democrats still hope that opposition to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning federal abortion protections continues to resonate enough to hand them wins in tight races around the country.

In unpredictable, ultra-competitive races like Sorensen’s, Democrats are deliberating over every move in the final weeks. The race for the seat held by retiring Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos pits Sorensen against Republican Esther Joy King, a U.S. Army JAG officer reservist running a campaign focused on combating inflation.

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Beyond the Peak, by John Michael Greer

For various reasons primarily related to physics, none of the proposed alternatives to fossil fuels cut it. From John Michael Greer at ecosophia.net:

Earlier this week I spent a while looking through some of the early posts I put up on my original blog, The Archdruid Report.  Maybe it’s just the rose-colored reactions of middle age gazing back on the follies of youth, but it all seems so innocent now. I was part of a movement in those days, the peak oil movement, which hoped to shake people out of their fond delusion that an infinite amount of fossil fuels can be extracted from a finite planet. The last attempt along those lines, back in the 1970s, was far enough in the past that many of us managed to convince ourselves that this time, we could get people to notice that the laws of physics really do matter.

We were wrong. There’s no kinder way to put it. While we helped some people to grapple with the hard realities of fossil fuel depletion and come to terms with the consequences, they were very much in the minority. Most people dismissed the peak oil message out of hand.  They had plenty of help doing this, because a certain loud fraction of peak oilers ignored the hard lessons of history, and insisted that fossil fuel depletion would cause the entire world to crash to ruin sometime very soon.  Those of us who knew better, and said so, were shoved aside in the rush to proclaim the apocalypse, which inevitably failed to arrive.  That failure was then systematically used to discredit the movement as a whole. It’s an old, ugly story.

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A Great Bull Market in Inflation Has Just Begun.. And It Has Its Origins in ESG, by Chris MacIntosh

You knock some forms of energy out of the market and the price of the energy that’s left goes up. How about that? From Chris MacIntosh at internationalman.com:

As of 2019, almost 6% of Europe’s electricity was generated by burning wood chips (trees), which is almost twice the amount of electricity generated by solar.

Roughly 30% of the wood-chips came from Russia.

Sanctions have put a halt to this and additional supply cannot be made up by the US and Canada (the other two big wood-chip suppliers to Europe). You probably know where we are heading here… About 2% of Europe’s base load electricity production is gone, putting additional demand on electricity generated by gas, coal and nuclear.

Burning wood is quite literally retarded, but these muppets have decided in their wisdom that wood chips are actually “green”. In any event, they’ve now lost 30% of this wonderful “green, renewable” energy source.

Gas can’t be increased (for obvious reasons) and neither can nuclear (those nuke plants that haven’t been shuttered are operating at full capacity). So that leaves coal, which needs to come from South Africa, the US, Indonesia, or Australia — not that there was much spare capacity from these producers even before the sanctions went on… and that was with Russian thermal coal exports. Oh, what a pickle!

When looking at the components of European energy, it is literally impossible to come away without a view that their energy crisis has no realistic viable solutions on the horizon.

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The Biden Administration’s Ignorant Energy Policies: Higher Gas Prices Are Only the Beginning, by Doug French

The stupidity compounds. From Doug French at mises.org:

While Americans angrily grit their teeth while filling their gas tanks, the very first United States special presidential envoy for climate said:

This year, we have to implement those promises and what it means is that we have to decarbonize the power sector five times faster than we are right now. We have to deploy renewables five times faster than we are right now. We have to transition to electric vehicles about 20 times faster than we are right now. And we have to fully transition to a resilient Net Zero economy faster.

If reality was beyond his reach before, John Kerry surely lost touch when he married into the Heinz condiment colossus in 1995. He talks as if he were ordering lunch from his harried house staff, “Faster, Jeeves. Can’t you hurry up and decarbonize already?” All of this service to the country has left Kerry clueless as to physics, not to mention economics.

“And to say it is to expose a level of ignorance that is scary,” the green cartoon chicken known as Doomberg told Tony Greer on Real Vision:

Actually, that our politicians would think despite all the evidence before them, that somehow, we can wave a magic wand and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles by a factor of 20 when we don’t have enough lithium, nickel or cobalt to even support the current growth trajectory. It’s just crazy. Where’s the diesel going to come from to mine all the cobalt and nickel and lithium that we’re going to need?

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Biden’s “Incredible Transition”: High Gas Prices, Supply Shortages Part Of Plan To Unleash Green Economy, by Joshua Phlipp and Frank Fang

The only way you can make renewable energy competitive with fossil fuels is to artificially elevate the price of the latter. From Joshua Phlipp and Frank Fang at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:

As Americans bear the brunt of a sagging economy, the Biden administration appears to be  framing this as a good thing, believing that citizens will be better off in the future if current supply shortages and high gas prices spiral out of control.

The United States, according to President Joe Biden, is in the midst of an “incredible transition”—one that will pave the way for a green economy.

While the administration may tout the benefits of a sustainable future, the question remains as to what will happen to average Americans while this “transition” takes place.

More importantly, what’s the endgame of all this that Americans don’t know about?

Biden, during a May 23 joint press conference in Japan with the country’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, used the word “transition” to seemingly admit that soaring gasoline prices are just part of his administration’s overall plan for moving from hydrocarbons to renewables.

“When it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over,” Biden said.

The comment seems to suggest that ensuring the country’s gas supply is not high on Biden’s agenda, though the administration did announce to release of 1 million barrels of crude oil a day for six months between May and August.

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How Many of the World’s 8 Billion Will Survive Without Fossil Fuels? Ronald Stein

If the green energy crowd gets their wish and outlaws fossil fuels, there will be a lot fewer humans on the planet. That, too, is their wish. From Ronald Stein at lewrockwell.com:

The economic and technological advances over the last 200 years have transformed how we produce and consume energy. From the 1800’s, the fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas now support more than 80 percent of the world’s energy supply to meet the world’s population demands for more than 6,000 products in our daily lives, made from the oil derivatives manufactured out of crude oil, that did not exist before the 1900’s, and the fuels to move the heavy-weight and long-range needs of more than 50,000 jets and more than 50,000 merchant ships, and the military and space programs. To the left is a pictorial history of these energy transitions over the years.

Recent outlooks published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Energy Information Administration (EIA) paint a clear picture that global energy needs are going to rise significantly in the decades to come, reflecting population growth, more nations progressing out of poverty, and the expansion of transportation and technology systems worldwide. Products derived from crude oil will continue to satisfy a significant share of this growing demand.

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European Environmentalists Have Made Energy Independence Impossible, by Daniel Lacalle

Renewables and present battery technology are just not going to get Europe anywhere close to energy self-sufficient . . . and freedom from Russian energy. From Daniel Lacalle at mises.org:

Europe is not going to achieve a competitive energy transition with the current interventionist policies. Europe does not depend on Russian gas due to a coincidence, but because of a chain of mistaken policies: banning nuclear in Germany, prohibiting the development of domestic natural gas resources throughout the European Union, added to a massive and expensive renewable rollout without building a reliable backup.

Solar and wind do not reduce dependency on Russian natural gas. They are necessary but volatile and intermittent. They need backup from nuclear, hydro, and natural gas for security of energy supply. Dependency on these backup sources rises in periods of low wind and little sun, just when prices are highest.

“Solar goes to zero for twelve hours a day, and that is guaranteed. The wind blows sometimes, and sometimes it does not, also guaranteed. They both depend on weather, which is 100% out of human control. They are on their best day a supplement,” wrote a Navy pilot follower.

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Why Renewables Can’t Solve Europe’s Energy Crisis, by Irina Slav

European energy was in crisis that renewables couldn’t address before Russia invaded Ukraine. From Irina Slav at oilprice.com:

  • Europe has been aggressively pursuing a clean energy future and the end of fossil fuels, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the shortcomings of renewables.
  • The soaring prices of key metals and the length of time it takes to implement renewable energy projects have meant Europe is turning to fossil fuels to solve its energy crisis.
  • The EU is planning to replace Russian gas with LNG imports, coal, and even fuel oil, with a relatively small amount of the gas to be replaced by wind and solar.

Germany is preparing for gas rationing. France’s power grid operator is asking consumers to use less electricity. In the UK, protests are breaking out over the latest electricity price hike that plunged millions of households into what one local think tank called fuel stress. Europe has a serious energy problem.

The problem dates back years and points to a persistent complacency on the part of European governments that whatever happens, there will always be gas from Russia. After all, even during the Cold War Russia pumped billions of cubic meters of gas to European countries. Now, things are different, and it’s not just because of the war in Ukraine.

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