…Europe’s Fossil Fuel Shortage…
Europe, with all its efforts to cut the use of fossil fuels, may be about to learn why fossil fuels are important. This is especially true for Germany, which has been the epicenter of Green, Climate Change, net-zero carbon policies.
The prices for natural gas and coal have surged over the summer as demand for electricity has risen and supplies of fossil fuels have lagged behind.
In the face of inadequate supplies of natural gas, resulting in a drawdown of natural gas storage, the wind has also failed to blow.
Wind has generated less electricity than forecast, in spite of the fact that large quantities of new wind capacity were installed this year.
Without enough electricity from wind, Europe has had to rely on coal and natural gas to fill the gap.
Storage levels of natural gas are far below historical levels.
There has been a lack of injections into natural gas storage this summer due to: 1) reduced Russian imports and 2) lack of LNG imports.
LNG is going to Asia, not to Europe, while Russia stands to gain with higher gas prices if there is a cold winter and a resulting shortage of natural gas for generating electricity and for heating.
Meanwhile, Europe is whistling its form of Dixie as it blithely forges ahead with its plans for cutting the use of fossil fuels.
Europe is more worried about establishing a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) than about having enough energy supply. The CBAM mechanism would penalize imports from countries that haven’t established net-zero carbon policies, in an effort to prevent European manufacturers from moving facilities out of Europe, referred to as Carbon Leakage.
Germany is the real story because it has promoted green net-zero carbon policies.
This chart shows that Germany still relies on coal for 26% of its electricity and nuclear for 12%. Both are supposed to be eliminated during the next several years, nuclear by the end of next year, and coal by 2038 at the latest.
And when renewables are examined closely, it’s clear that wind and solar only supply 30% of Germany’s electricity.
Meanwhile, Germans pay 3 to 4 times more for their electricity than does the average American.
Germany’s vaunted energiewende program has actually been a failure.
Watch Germany this winter to see how it reacts if there is an unusually cold winter.
Like California, Germany can import electricity from its neighbors, so don’t expect widespread blackouts.
There is an implied hypocrisy, however, if Germany relies on France’s nuclear power to keep the lights on.
A shortage of natural gas, coupled with a cold winter, could create some political fireworks.
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