German leaders vow they will make up for these evil CO2 emissions in some way. But at least Germans won’t freeze this Christmas.
Legal Insurrection readers may recall a post I wrote around Christmas of last year, noting that Germany was facing the worst winter in a decade as the energy crisis deepened due to dwindling Russian gas supply. At that point, the country’s socialist-led government urged citizens to reduce heating despite record-low temperatures.
I sensed that this move would be met coldly by most Germans. It turns out that the nation’s leadership is taking a slightly different approach this year.
Government officials in Germany have approved a plan to bring some shuttered coal-fired power plants back online in an effort to avoid energy shortages this winter.
Cabinet members on Oct. 4 said they would support putting on-reserve lignite-fired power plants back online from now until the end of March 2024. It’s another move related to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which resulted in a drop in imports of Russian natural gas to Germany and much of Europe over the past two years.
Germany reactivated some coal-fired power plants last year, and extended their operating lifespans. Government data showed about 1.9 GWh of electricity was generated from coal last winter. Officials said they will study coal-fired generation this winter and decide next summer on plans to offset increases in carbon emissions. They also said they remain committed to a phase-out of all coal-fired generation in the country by 2030.
The country’s economic ministry said several coal-fired units operated by energy companies RWE and LEAG at their Niederaußem, Neurath, and Jaenschwalde power plants will be temporarily reactivated until March of next year to provide more security for Germany’s electricity supply. Those units also operated last winter due to the reduced supply of natural gas from Russia, and were on standby this past summer.
This news item should be added to the list of green energy dominoes that continue to fail in Europe and the United States (i.e., the closure of 3 California fossil fuel-based power plants).
Sweden’s government has ditched plans to go all-in on “green energy,” green-lighting the construction of new nuclear power plants. Fossil fuel giant Shell announced it was scaling back its energy transition plans to focus on . . . gas and oil! Specific wind farm projects began to topple due to strong economic headwinds because the cost of the electricity to be generated was deemed too high.
German leaders vow they will make up for these evil CO2 emissions somehow.
The government in Berlin also said it will make proposals by summer 2024 on how to offset increased CO2 emissions that the reactivated coal-fired power plants will generate during the winter. It also stressed that it remains committed to phasing out all coal-fired power generation in the country by 2030.
Earlier this year, Germany’s electricity supply was further reduced as the country completed its phase-out of nuclear power plants, taking its last three remaining facilities off the grid. The shutdown spelled the end of the 60-year nuclear era in Germany.
I wish them tons of good luck with their goals of weaning themselves away from fossil fuels yet maintaining a sound and healthy economy, especially when they have decided to nix any use of the highly energy-productive nuclear options.
Let’s compare these numbers to less favored and privileged energy sources.
- Coal is a remarkably dense energy source: A single metric ton of coal can produce up to 1,927 kilowatt-hours of electricity. In the United States, 52% of the electricity comes from coal generation. A typical coal fired power plantcan produce 109 kWh/year (1,000,000,000 kWhr/year) of power, the plant burns 14,000 tons of coal every day.
- Nuclear energy takes production up a notch, so the units are in megawatts (1 million watts). As an example of potential capacity, one example reactor operates at 582 MW capacity for 24 hours, and generate 13,968 megawatthours (MWh) during this time. IDuring the year, it would create 5,098,320 MWh.
— Leslie Eastman ☥ (@Mutnodjmet) August 11, 2023
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