Self-serving puffery from the wind renewables industry

Andreas Kraemer

Andreas Kraemer

With our European campaign in full flow, I don’t find myself with much time to browse through comments left on my twitter feed. But at the weekend, I happened upon this:

R. Andreas Kraemer ‏@RAKraemer  19h  .@RogerHelmerMEP

Please look at #Germany #Energiewende benefits on energy prices & competitiveness: … @Number10gov.

Having clicked the Link, I found one of the most remarkable and misleading pieces of self-serving puffery for the renewables industry I’d seen for a long time. I suspect few people have invested the time into reading Mr. Kraemer, but I can tell you that if you had, you’d think that renewables were the best thing since sliced bread.

For a more balanced view, I would recommend you try reading Der Spiegel, which has repeatedly covered the disaster being created in Germany by the quest for renewables.

Bear in mind that it was the EU Energy Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, who also happens to be from Germany, that said, “Europe can no longer afford to pursue a unilateral climate policy”. And EU Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani who said that European energy prices, driven by the costs of “green” energy, were creating an “industrial massacre”.  Strong language, but entirely justified.

Perhaps Mr. Kraemer should consider Bjorn Lomborg’s analysis, which accepts the underlying IPCC Global Warming theory, but still concludes that the $100 billion-plus wasted by Germany on solar photo-voltaic will have the effect, by 2100, of delaying the progress of global warming by no more than a few hours. Given that there’s been no global warming for seventeen years, a few hours is effectively zero.

Mr. Kraemer might like to reflect on the FT report “High energy prices drive BMW factory to the USA”  Or on the letter to José Manuel Barroso from the Chief Executive of international chemicals group Solvay and thirteen other leaders of major energy intensive industries, pointing out that high energy prices risk forcing them out of the EU altogether, taking their jobs and their investment with them.

He may like to reflect on BASF’s announcement that they are cutting back investment in the EU, citing energy prices explicitly, and for the first time ever planning to invest more outside Europe than inside. Or on the letter from Jim Ratcliffe, CEO of chemicals group INEOS, arguing that the European chemicals industry “will be extinct in ten years” unless we resolve the energy price issue. 

Kraemer should also consider the experience of Fritz Vahrenholt, former green activist and politician who became a director of Shell, and later ran RWE’s renewables business Innogy in Germany. He became so disillusioned with the performance of German renewables that he took a close look at the underlying theory of climate change, and convinced himself that the IPCC orthodoxy was largely mistaken.  In his book “The Neglected Sun” he argues cogently that the main influence on terrestrial climate is solar and other astronomical cycles, not man-made CO2.  

Kraemer makes much of “Green Jobs”, apparently unaware of repeated research studies, like that by Verso Economics, showing that each green job costs several real jobs in the real economy.  Green policies damage employment.  And in any case most of the green jobs created seem to be in China, at least for solar PV.  He also argues for the benefits of green energy in terms of import substitution and reducing fossil fuel imports, apparently oblivious to studies by Gorgon Hughes of Edinburgh University, and others, showing that intermittent renewables export inefficiency to the essential fossil-fuel back-up, so that to a large extent the savings in fuel used, and in emissions, are off-set by the back-up.

And the final irony?  After years of almost unbelievable investment in green energy, Germany is now rushing to build or refurbish a couple of dozen coal-fired power stations!  It is importing cheap American coal to power them.  And it is increasing its emissions.  Well done guys.  And wake up at the back there, Mr. Kraemer.


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14 Responses to Self-serving puffery from the wind renewables industry

  1. limogerry says:

    Lol-“Wake up at the back”!

  2. Ex-expat Colin says:

    I wouldn’t worry about such wasters really. Some of our Air Forces are getting a bit of unexpected exercise too near Russia. I think energy resources has some leverage in that…and we and the spooks have been playing with CO2 theory.

    We seem to be backed into a corner thanks to the likes of the EU and its supporters. I hope this situation is going to go away shortly and in a nice way. Green won’t matter much when the guns start firing…certainly meaningless in Syria.

  3. Thomas Fox says:

    How can it be that a man with so many qualifications and prominent position in the scientific world can get things so wrong when the average citizen can see the dilemma of uncompetitive energy

  4. cornwallwindwatch says:

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch.

  5. John Kelly says:

    This from the new scientist
    Germany’s energy revolution has gone sour, as have its efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Energiewende” policy aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent between 1990 and 2020, mostly by closing coal-fired power plants and boosting renewable energy. Yet in 2013, coal burning soared to its highest level for more than 20 years.

    Then, last week, economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel said he will slash wind and solar subsidies by a third, to cut rising energy bills. Subsidies for renewables currently cost German consumers €23 billion a year.

    Merkel is also shutting down Germany’s nuclear power plants, its largest source of low-carbon energy. This means emissions, which had fallen by 27 per cent by 2011, are now on the rise.

    At the coalface

    “The Energiewende is moving emissions in the wrong direction,” says Roger Pielke Jr of the University of Colorado in Boulder. He calculates that Germany will have to more than double renewables’ contribution to energy from 17 to 38 per cent to reach the 40 per cent target.

    “It seems highly unlikely that Germany can hit the reduction target by 2030, much less 2020,” says Pielke, who believes nuclear is “the best tool available for reducing CO2 emissions”.

    The problem is made worse by a continued slump in the price of European Union permits to emit CO2, which act as a tax on dirty fuels like coal. The low cost has allowed coal plants to restart.

    The question now is, how will Germany’s problems affect Europe as a whole? The European Commission is releasing a white paper today announcing revised targets for energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Watch this space for coverage of the European Commission’s plans when they are published

  6. Susan smith says:

    There have been lots of programmes about the scientific research on ‘Sun Spots’ and ‘Pole Shifts’. I agree it seems that European Energy Policy cannot see the ‘wood for the trees’ for all the ‘Hot Air’ while focusing on expensive ‘Green Energy’ that will have little if any effect by 2100, and may cost European Jobs if not more, unless focus of attention switches away from local emissions.

  7. Thanks for that John. All good stuff. Will the Greens never learn?

  8. cerberus says:

    One of the many wondrous outcomes of EU eco-idiocy is the highly polluting non polluting German electric car. BMW have pulled every possible expensive technological trick in the book to offset the quarter ton weight of the battery in their i3 electric car, with carbon fibre body panels and aluminium nuts and bolts, etc. However because 23,000 wind mills and 1.1 million solar panels have proved to be a disaster (as was obvious they would be to any engineer or physicist) they are now building coal fired power stations like there was no tomorrow. And what coal will they burn? Lignite of course the only coal they’ve got. So in reality Germany’s miracle electric car will be powered in large measure by one of the most polluting fossil fuels in existence, brown coal! Result. You couldn’t make it up.

    Another amusing (not) aspect of the miraculously non polluting electric car is the serious pollution in China attendant on mining the graphite required by batteries of the wonderful eco-vehicles. Not a problem of course because eco-lunacy depends on never looking farther than the nose on your face and in this case ignoring the export of serious pollution abroad (jobs as well come to think of it). Then there’s the untreated hydrochloric acid used to process graphite that’s released into the environment in waste water. Naturally all these industrial processes could be cleaned up – at a price. However the cost of doing so would likely be to make the electric car an even more ludicrously uneconomic proposition than it is now, not something greatly to the liking of our planet-saving greenish LibLabCON politicians:

  9. neilfutureboy says:

    In 1431 the Chinese admiral Cheng Ho returned from a series of exploration voyages more than matching those of Vasco do Gama some decades later. He found the Chinese party line had changed and the voyages were stopped and over time limitations were brought in making any sort of Chinese ownership of ocean going vessels illegal.

    The comparison today is with energy Even more than the age of exploration ensured European supremacy, plentiful, reliable inexpensive energy is the driver of economic progress & growth. Europe is being even sillier than the ancient Chinese imperium in binding our industry to declining energy use while china is being more sensible than Europe was in the age of Columbus.

    We could, of course, change that at any time by voting out the ecofascists and voting in the UKIP classic liberals.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Neil: To remove the green/EU spooks would require a move to a military phase. I was going to say vote out but remove is far better, hopefully forever!

      cheque/gun please

      • neilfutureboy says:

        While bayoneting Greens has some attraction, purely as a scientific experiment to find whether they really are green outside/red inside, I don’t think it is necessary.

        Despite massive propaganda support from the state broadcast monopoly they only get about 1% of the vote and, despite asking them, I have NEVER been told of a “Green” activist whose job is something other than government & usually something clearly a makework part of government.

        Indeed, though I hate the way “greenery” has been used to rob the human race of our birthright of progress, I do not believe that what we are seeing is the long march of the ecofascists through the state institutions but the reverse – state parasites, in their endless search for a larger bureaucratic empire and more power, co-opting ecofascism as a “useful idiots” doctrine. The absolute enemy is the endless pressure for ever growing state bureaucracy.

        Presumably the medieval Chinese bureaucracy were also motivated by an understandable desire to stop the Chinese people getting out from under them too.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        The Chinese are deeply suppressed only some of them won’t tell you that as I certainly know. However, the subject is energy and how to get it so that it supports us without big expense or conflict. Sustainable appears here also.

        But energy now is likely to bring conflict closer to home than perhaps once believed. Was once the Middle East and to some extent still is.

        So if you fiddle about while others see you fiddling about I should say that when the stakes are raised you are going to have to back away. Perhaps hope somebody else solves it all for you. And thats the point really, its not going to get solved by that someone else because they have been infected by fiddling about also. The word fiddling needs to be changed to dangerously neglectful !

        I think green is a leg up from clean and could have remained that way…just clean. Unfortunately, its much farther than clean and an awful lot of government fools have neglected to keep it in check. Green has been allowed to threaten us ultimately and as I say much closer to home than would have been expected.

        So in the end we are left with pitchforks and those given the guns will be slaughtered.

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