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Electric Maybe-land

03 Jul 2024 | OP ED Watch

A recent headline from The Australian reads: “Blackout risks: A nation lost in energy transition”. Oh dear. And what seems to be the problem? Well um: “Electricity users face a heightened risk of blackouts during peak ­demand in NSW and Victoria this summer, with the energy market operator forced to bid for emergency supplies amid delays in new transmission lines and ­renewables projects.” But let’s not pick on Oz. Every Western industrialized country is busy engineering blackouts and power shortages.

From New York the Manhattan Contrarian writes sardonically about his state “Catching Up To Germany, The ‘Climate Leader’”, given New York liberal politicians’ obsession not with having good policy but with being leaders. To which he retorts:

“So sorry, New York. Germany is the true ‘climate leader.’ Perhaps we should check in on how it is going over there.”

Badly. Including on the transparency and good sense front. He cites a Reuters piece from early this year saying “Renewable energy’s share on German power grids reaches 55% in 2023.” And, he notes:

“The achievement elicited some self-congratulatory happy talk from Environment Minister (and Green Party member) Robert Habeck: ‘We have broken the 50% mark for renewables for the first time,’ Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement. ‘Our measures to simplify planning and approvals are starting to take effect.’”

Or not, because if you read on, the Contrarian points out:

“you find out that only 43.2% of the 55% came from wind and solar generators. Most of the rest (8.4%) came from ‘biomass,’ otherwise known as wood chips imported from the U.S. – probably not what you were thinking of as the supposedly emissions-free ‘renewables.’”

So much effort and spending, so little to show. And at what cost? Here he quotes Eurostat on energy prices from the second half of 2023, the most recent:

“For household consumers in the EU (defined for the purpose of this article as medium-sized consumers with an annual consumption between 2 500 Kilowatt hours (KWh) and 5 000 KWh), electricity prices in the second half of 2023 were highest in Germany (€0.4020 per KWh), Ireland (€0.3794 per KWh), Belgium (€0.3778 per KWh) and Denmark (€0.3554 per KWh).”

So the more you spend the more you save… NOT! Indeed that German figure is more than twice the American one, helping explain why industry is fleeing once-mighty Deutschland leaving, well, government. In 2023 Germany’s economy grew by minus 0.3%.

The funny thing is, the alarmists know it’s all falling to bits. Thus Reuters “Sustainable Switch” whinges that “World falling behind on environment, health and hunger goals, UN report says” and that:

“The U.N.’s annual Sustainable Development Report ranks the performance of its 193 member states in implementing 17 wide-ranging ‘sustainable development goals’ (SDGs), which also include improving access to education and health care, providing clean energy and protecting biodiversity. It found that none of the 17 goals were on course to be met by 2030, with most targets showing ‘limited or a reversal of progress’.”

So basically you’re a bunch of pontificating windbags who don’t know what you’re doing or how to do it? Heck no. It’s a snap:

“It urged countries to address chronic funding shortfalls and also revamp the U.N. system itself.”

So it’s failing badly and we should dump more money into it, as soon as we totally change it we know not how. Now there’s a plan.

Oh, by the way, after saying “China has also made faster than average progress” the story ends:

“The report also assessed countries on their willingness to cooperate globally through U.N. institutions. The United States was ranked in last place.”

Sweet land of liberty.

Still, let’s pick on Oz a bit. The Australian also just warned, under the not-much-to-the-imagination hed “Lights out: green power falling short, says AEMO”, that:

“Australia faces power blackouts unless regional communities back the acceleration of renewable ­energy and construction of 10,000km of transmission lines, with authorities raising the alarm that not enough green electricity will be built before coal exits the grid by 2038.”

Australia has options including natural gas. So of course, leaping into zealotry, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese picked an anti-nuclear diehard to head the “Climate Change Authority with the usual babble. As The Australian noted:

“Anthony Albanese has escalated his campaign against nuclear power by appointing Matt Kean to chair the Climate Change Authority, with the former NSW Liberal treasurer and energy minister declaring he had rejected the technology because he didn’t want to bankrupt Australia’s most populous state. The Prime Minister, who said he had ‘no plans whatsoever’ to repeal John Howard’s federal moratorium on nuclear, said Mr Kean understood ‘the folly that walking away from the renewables transition represents for our nation’.”

Whereas the folly of running into it, discarding the one renewable you can really count on in Australia where hydro isn’t a big option, and blacking out the nation escapes both men entirely.

P.S. Opposition leader Peter Dutton is for nuclear, indeed calling the next general Australian election a referendum on it and planning seven atomic power plants by 2050 as well, alas, as more government ownership in the electric field. So who knows? Voters there may actually get a choice, and take it.

3 comments on “Electric Maybe-land”

  1. Again,every country that goes gung-ho with renewables sees their energy costs go thru the roof.And again,the wind and solar cabal keep telling us that the costs of wind and solar are getting cheaper all the time.Not for the consumer,apparently.

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