Monday, November 25, 2019

The Climate Wars, an Update

At the Manhattan Contrarian Francis Menton asks who is winning the climate wars. (via Maggie’s Farm) He points out sagely that a gulf has opened up between the green propaganda that we read in the media and the reality on the ground.

Take the notion that China is weaning itself off of coal power. Take the idea that China is going all-in on renewables.

Well, think again. Menton reports:

Actually, out there in the world, reality continues to trump hysteria. Do you remember reports from a couple of years ago that China was ceasing to develop fossil fuel power and was becoming a “climate leader” by going all in for trendy renewables wind and solar? Well, that was to fool the dopes. Just this month, something called Global Energy Monitor is out with a new report on what’s going on on the ground in China. Bottom line: 148 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity under active construction or with construction being resumed after suspension. The Global Energy Monitor people (who seem to be associated with the End Coal campaign) could not be more horrified:

[A] permitting spree [from 2014 to 2016] brought a cohort of 245 GW of new projects nearly equivalent to the U.S. coal fleet (254 GW) into the developmental pipeline, inflating what was already an overbuilt coal power fleet, with the average running hours for China’s coal plants hovering around 50% since 2015. Today, 147.7 GW of coal plants are either under active construction or under suspension and likely to be revived—an amount nearly equal to the existing coal power capacity of the European Union (150 GW). . . . Coal and power industry groups are proposing the central government increase total coal power capacity by 20 to 40% to between 1,200 and 1,400 GW as part of China’s 2035 infrastructure plan.

At 1400 GW of coal power capacity, China would be closing in on 6 times U.S. coal power capacity. Why again are we bothering with this whole decarbonization thing?

As for Germany, you recall that the singularly inept Chancellor Merkel decided to shut down the nation’s coal and nuclear power plants in order to switch to renewables. How is that one working out?

And over in Germany, the fantasy that wind power can be competitive with fossil fuel power also keeps running into the wall of the real world. Der Spiegel reported on November 19 that the end of certain subsidies, along with opposition from local environmentalists who don’t want forests of ugly wind turbines in their localities, has put the German (and European) wind industry in “free fall”:

The manufacturers of turbines and solar panels are dropping like flies, as subsidies are rolled back across Europe. So-called ‘green’ jobs are a case of easy come, easy go. The wind and solar ‘industries’ that gave birth to those jobs simply can’t survive without massive and endless subsidies, which means their days are numbered. With the axe being taken to subsidies across the globe, their ultimate demise is a matter of when, not if. The wind back in subsidies across Europe has all but destroyed the wind industry: in Germany this year a trifling 35 onshore wind turbines have been erected, so far. Twelve countries in the European Union (EU) failed to install “a single wind turbine” last year.

Happily for Germany, the nation is still building a pipeline with Russia, the better to become dependent on Vladimir Putin for its energy supply. Menton closes by noting that petrostates like Venezuela and Russia and even Saudi Arabia are having problems. All the while American fracking is providing our nation with a plentiful supply of fuel. Or at least it will until President Warren shuts it all down.


UbuMaccabee said...

China did the math and understood that green will not run their industry--or any other industry. It's a big, fat lie. So they passed that lie along like a joint and encouraged their competitors to go "all in" on innumeracy--while they went 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Everyone who bought into the green energy sector wrecked their economy. The Germans always get it wrong, always.

We have ducked a bullet for now with the arrival of the Great Orange Emperor and his side-kick, West Texas Rick. Our energy sector is the envy of the world.

More useful news that the leftist elites never seem to know about. Great link, Stuart.

sleepyoldbear1 said...

Menton, not Minton.

David Foster said...

Note also that China is now a major supplier of steam that they can now build these new coal plants using largely their own production