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Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby M_B_S » Wed 14 Sep 2016, 04:55:03

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-14/g ... et/7840578

Germany's dirty little coal secret

Image
Germany's reputation as a pioneer of clean, green energy seems a far cry from the reality on the ground in the village of Atterwasch.

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/0 ... s-in-2015/

Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions increased by an estimated 10 million tonnes from 2014 to 2015, in a blow to the country’s claims to climate leadership.

Higher demand for heating oil and diesel, plus use of lignite (brown coal) for power generation, were behind the 1.1% bounce, according to Green Budget Germany.

The think tank warned this set Europe’s largest economy off course for its 2020 target of a 40% cut from 1990 levels. Berlin needs to find 18% cuts in the next five years....
****************

So there is NO better climate morality in Germany under Merkel
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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby GASMON » Wed 14 Sep 2016, 06:20:00

This is interesting, from 2013.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24987657

A 13-mile tailback formed on the M4 in Wiltshire when a huge transporter carried a transformer from the decommissioned Didcot coal fired power station. The unusual load was limited to driving at a maximum of 10mph from Didcot to Avonmouth Docks. The generator transformer is the second of three being removed and shipped to Germany

Didcot was closed due to an EU directive aimed at reducing pollution.

The Germans are closing all their nuclear stations, building new coal fired ones. Three to open very soon They burn Lignite to, dirty stuff.

WE (in the UK) are facing power outages this winter, unless we are lucky

All our energy bills are up, Government dithering re green tax, some companies will cut the green tax, some wont, if the gov cut green tax on bills it will be replaced by increases general taxation. Heads they win, tails you lose.

Is it me or has the UK gone stark raving mad ?

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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby forbin » Wed 14 Sep 2016, 06:24:38

They shut down their nuclear reactors and claimed at that time they were ahead of the target .

It seems they have been resting on their laurels since ......

I have always regarded Germany's stance on Nuclear power as a bit hypocritical as they import nuclear 'leccy from France . However they are pushing ( or have pushed ) ahead with clean generation.

can the USA do the same ?

methinks they could do better

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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby M_B_S » Wed 14 Sep 2016, 07:08:16

forbin wrote:They shut down their nuclear reactors and claimed at that time they were ahead of the target .

It seems they have been resting on their laurels since ......

I have always regarded Germany's stance on Nuclear power as a bit hypocritical as they import nuclear 'leccy from France . However they are pushing ( or have pushed ) ahead with clean generation.

can the USA do the same ?

methinks they could do better

Forbin

*************************



Germany have to go 100% carbon free before 2030 to give a positive example for the world that a high tech power could do the must do job.

But Merkels Coalition failed..

Now the world climate is doomed so YOU and I

The world is heading toward six degrees global warming this means Climate Armageddon

Maybe this is the real reason for Merkels "There will be no ASYL Limit" ( meaning climate refugees storming to the North)
I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.

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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby regardingpo » Wed 14 Sep 2016, 07:40:05

It's even worse how they're burning wood and pretending that it's good for the environment. Whenever you read "Germany generates xx% energy from renewables" there are two things to know:

1. it's not energy, it's electricity (this is their favorite "mistake")
2. a lot of it comes from biomass which is worse than burning coal

Wood accounts for a majority of renewable energy generation in Poland and Finland, and nearly 40 percent in Germany...

After years in which European governments have boasted about their high-tech, low-carbon energy revolution, the main beneficiary seems to be the favored fuel of pre-industrial societies...

“Burning very few wood fuels shows any carbon benefit over coal,” says Scot Quaranda a spokesperson for the Dogwood Alliance, an anti-deforestation group in Asheville, N.C. “In most cases it’s actually worse than coal or natural gas.”

http://grist.org/climate-energy/europe- ... wait-what/
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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby dissident » Wed 14 Sep 2016, 20:44:08

regardingpo wrote:It's even worse how they're burning wood and pretending that it's good for the environment. Whenever you read "Germany generates xx% energy from renewables" there are two things to know:

1. it's not energy, it's electricity (this is their favorite "mistake")
2. a lot of it comes from biomass which is worse than burning coal

Wood accounts for a majority of renewable energy generation in Poland and Finland, and nearly 40 percent in Germany...

After years in which European governments have boasted about their high-tech, low-carbon energy revolution, the main beneficiary seems to be the favored fuel of pre-industrial societies...

“Burning very few wood fuels shows any carbon benefit over coal,” says Scot Quaranda a spokesperson for the Dogwood Alliance, an anti-deforestation group in Asheville, N.C. “In most cases it’s actually worse than coal or natural gas.”

http://grist.org/climate-energy/europe- ... wait-what/


The closing of the nuclear plants was pure pandering to anti-nuclear hysterics in the wake of Fukushima. The non-nuclear energy sector kills 7 million people per year but the hysterics crap their pants about Fukushima which didn't kill a single human and any associated cancers will be part of the noise considering the spewing of chemical carcinogens into the environment (e.g. dioctyl phthalate) and pollution from coal plants.

The claim that burning wood is no better than burning coal is obvious nonsense. Coal is fossilized carbon that makes a net addition to the CO2 in the atmosphere. Burning wood recycles CO2 that was in the atmosphere in modern times back into it and results in no net CO2 contribution as long as the burned trees are replanted. However, a country the size of Germany cannot sustain itself on wood burning since the amount of wood it can produce is nowhere near its energy needs.
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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 14 Sep 2016, 21:26:02

M_B_S wrote:
Germany's dirty little coal secret


Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions increased by an estimated 10 million tonnes from 2014 to 2015, in a blow to the country’s claims to climate leadership.

Higher demand for heating oil and diesel, plus use of lignite (brown coal) for power generation, were behind the 1.1% bounce, according to Green Budget Germany.

The think tank warned this set Europe’s largest economy off course for its 2020 target of a 40% cut from 1990 levels.
****************

So there is NO better climate morality in Germany under Merkel


Thats OK.

The Paris Accord is purely voluntarily.

There are no penalties if Germany doesn't cut its CO2 emissions as it promised.

Cheers!

"Its a brave new world"
---President Obama, 4/25/16
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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby regardingpo » Thu 15 Sep 2016, 02:03:06

dissident wrote:The claim that burning wood is no better than burning coal is obvious nonsense. Coal is fossilized carbon that makes a net addition to the CO2 in the atmosphere. Burning wood recycles CO2 that was in the atmosphere in modern times back into it and results in no net CO2 contribution as long as the burned trees are replanted.


What you wrote is obviously wrong, which you can easily see if you spend more than 2 seconds thinking about it.
1. The moment you burn a tree you add CO2 to the atmosphere.
2. Let's say you plant another tree in the place of the old tree. You still a have that extra C02 that you put in the air by burning the first tree. That's the difference compared to the situation where you don't burn that tree in the first place.
3. The only way to make the process carbon-neutral is if the new tree is better than the old tree at sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere so that it can make up for the difference over the course of its lifetime. In other words, it's just kicking the can down the road and it doesn't work in practice, which you can see for yourself if you actually read about it.


The fundamental idea behind bioenergy is that it’s carbon-neutral because it releases the carbon that plants absorb when they grow, and thus does not add carbon to the air. Why is this wrong?

It’s a common misunderstanding. Burning biomass of course emits carbon, just like burning fossil fuels. The assumption is that the plant growth to produce that biomass offsets the emissions. But the first requirement for a valid offset, whether for carbon or anything else, is that it is additional. You can’t count plant growth as an offset if it was occurring anyway. Plant growth can only offset energy emissions if it is additional. Counting plants that would grow anyway is a form of double-counting.

http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/ ... Green.html


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed the inference in a 2006 document that evaluated CO2 releases compared to energy produced for 53 different fuels. It determined that wood and wood wastes had a greenhouse emission factor roughly 20 per cent higher than coal.”

http://invw.org/2014/04/23/biomass-fuel ... r-cl-1432/


Biomass electricity generation, a heavily subsidized form of “green” energy that relies primarily on the burning of wood, is more polluting and worse for the climate than coal, according to a new analysis of 88 pollution permits for biomass power plants in 25 states.

"The American Lung Association has opposed granting renewable energy subsidies for biomass combustion precisely because it is so polluting,” said Jeff Seyler, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “Why we are using taxpayer dollars to subsidize power plants that are more polluting than coal?”

http://www.ecowatch.com/biomass-electri ... 84788.html


Cutting and burning forests makes climate change worse. Doing it in the name of “green energy,” as the wood pellet industry does, is one of the environmental crimes of the century.

The biomass industry wants EPA to declare that burning biomass has zero emissions – but the agency isn’t going to do that, because it’s a matter of simple physics that burning wood in power plants generates a lot more carbon pollution than burning gas or coal. Arguments that this carbon pollution shouldn’t “count” rely on the idea that all that carbon pollution will be offset somehow, with new forest growth at some future time, and that’s a problem for the biomass industry – because generally wood-burning power plants don’t have much interest in replanting trees, much less in waiting for them to grow to maturity. All the while, the atmosphere is counting that carbon pollution.

http://www.pfpi.net/usdas-promotion-of- ... mate-goals


Thank you, President Obama, for recognizing biomass isn't "carbon neutral"

Dear Mr. President:
On behalf of our organization that promotes science-based energy policy, we applaud the administration’s public opposition to the “biomass loophole” that would enable utilities to burn wood for electricity while ignoring its carbon pollution...

Treating bioenergy as carbon neutral undermines the goal of reducing carbon pollution under the Clean Power Plan. This is not a guess — the European Union (EU) already tried this approach. The EU classified bioenergy as carbon neutral while putting a price on carbon pollution. The result was a massive increase in burning wood for electricity because this practice avoids the carbon price...

http://www.pfpi.net/thank-you-president ... on-neutral

Just thought I'd mentiont Obama for Planty XD.
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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 15 Sep 2016, 07:25:55

forbin - The installed capacity of wind power in Germany was 29,075 MW with wind power producing about 7.7 percent of Germany's total electrical power.

The U.S. nameplate generating capacity for wind power at 75,000 MW which is more than twice that of Germany. This capacity is exceeded only by China. Thus far, US wind power's largest growth in capacity was in 2012, when 11,895 MW of wind power was installed. IOW in just one year this US added 1/3 of the total wind power of Germany. And at 10% Texas supplies a higher portion of its electricity then Germany.

But I do agree with you: the US could and should do much more.
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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby forbin » Thu 15 Sep 2016, 08:41:40

thanks for the update Rockman

wouldnt be a grand day when

http://energytransition.de/2016/05/germ ... on-sunday/

the USA achieves that?

technically possible - do you guys have the will though ?

( ok I know Denmark and NZ claim 100% and this is leccy and not transport fuels )

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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 15 Sep 2016, 10:21:12

forbin - Yes a particularly critical goal given the very disproportionate energy consumption by the US. While small countries might be doing better from a % perspective it matters little from the global point of view.
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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby Simon_R » Thu 15 Sep 2016, 12:27:59

Wood Power

I have a small plot of woodland to heat my house, you tell me I cannot use it, the trees will magically die, and I will use the land for something else more profitable. This is the case for my personal use, and I suspect the Biomass companies, so the argument about trees already growing does not really hold water, especially as there are a lot of woodland areas specifically managed for the resource, which would be farmland otherwise.

As far as the maths goes, I would also take umbrage at this.
A tree takes in carbon to form .. a tree
Cutting down and processing a tree 'may' produce carbon (I use an electric chainsaw)
When burnt you have gases and solid waste (ash)

if the amount of carbon released on burning + the amount used in cutting a processing
is greater than
The amount taken in by the tree in growing + the amount of carbon in the solid waste (ash)

then it is using carbon, else it is either carbon neutral or even acting as a carbon sink

thanks

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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby regardingpo » Thu 15 Sep 2016, 13:05:57

Hey Simon, I don't know about your specific situation, I am talking about biomass companies who are cutting down existing forests and promising to plant new trees afterwards. The old trees were already there before they came.

Compare these two scenarios:

Scenario 1: No biomass burning
1. Old tree lives and takes in carbon during its lifetime (negative emissions)

Scenario 2: With biomass burning
1. You cut down the old tree and burn it and put carbon into the atmosphere (positive emissions)
2. You plant a new tree
3. New tree lives and takes in carbon during its lifetime (negative emissions)

As you can see, the difference is that in scenario 2 you created positive emissions. Negative emissions are there in both scenarios, so the fact that you have negative emissions in scenario 2 doesn't count as a benefit.
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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 15 Sep 2016, 14:07:49

It is true that burning a tree as firewood, emits just as much carbon as that tree absorbed during however many decades it was growing. The small branches, bark, and sawdust either rot on the forest floor - which is just a slower form of chemical oxidation - or in some cases get formed into pellets and burned, or pressed into fireplace logs, along with a wax that all too often is made from petroleum. However, as it rots in the forest, some portion of the carbon is emitted as a gas, but most solid carbon goes right back into the soil in hydrocarbon form.

However, the main purpose of farming wood is not firewood, it is lumber. Such wood is used to build furniture, structures, and in fact any "wooden" object. That carbon is trapped outside of the atmosphere, until the wooden object or lumber is burned or rots away.

Of course corn stalks, bamboo (a grass), and any organic material that is composted (including human and animal wastes) also contain hydrocarbons that ideally should go back into the soil without passing through a gaseous phase in the atmosphere.

Bottom line: trees, food crops, and even ornamental plants all sequester carbon - and if you can avoid burning such materials, it is a good thing. The broadest definition of "burning" is the oxidation of hydrocarbons - which can occur as forest compost, garden compost, animal food and treated sewage, pelletized sawdust in a wood stove, firewood, or a burning house.

However, I would agree that burning recently created biomass is better than burning long fossilized forms of carbon such as oil, gas, and coal.
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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby M_B_S » Wed 02 Nov 2016, 03:32:48

Germany under Merkel have NO CO2 reduction plan 2020 (2050) for Marakesh

Merkels CDU/CSU party blocked any reduction targets offered by SPD "Umwelminister"

Thats the brutal stinky truth in Germany under Chancelor Merkels "Great Coalition"

http://de.reuters.com/article/deutschla ... EKBN12W3E6

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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby GASMON » Wed 02 Nov 2016, 04:50:17

Biomass - What a farce.

In the UK, Drax, the largest coal fired power plant has recently started to burn biomass pellets, imported from the USA. Here is the route map

https://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl= ... mrc&uact=8

Image

Cut, processed, loaded onto a train in the USA, transported to a port, loaded onto a ship, transported 4000 miles across the Atlantic to Liverpool, loaded onto a swish new train, transported accross the UK to Drax, unloaded, stored and burned.

And this is green ?????????????

Our new "coal" trains look nice though !!!!!!!!!

Image

Image

And the uk's LAST deep coal mine closed earlier this year. All coal we now burn is imported. (We still have billions of tons still unmined for future generations if needed).

The energy world is a madhouse these days - glad I'm retired !!.

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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby Jupidu » Thu 03 Nov 2016, 16:21:40

I have to correct a little bit the picture which M_B_S had drawn of the energy situation in Germany:
1. The winter 2013/14 was a very, very mild winter or better: It was a no-winter, so there was burnt a really low amount of fossil energy as well as biomass energy. So it is a very bad statistical trick to compare the winter of 2014 with that of 2015. A good comparison at least in Germany is winter 2012/13 with 2014/15.

2. Even after the shutdown of seven nuclear reactors in Germany due to the catastrophe of Fukushima, Germany remained a NET EXPORTER of electricity, for example to France - especially in February 2012 i think.

3. Yes, Germany is constructing new lignite-fired power plant but they are replacing old ones with a lower efficiency.

4. Because of the great surplus of electricity produced by renewable energy the wholesaleprice for maximum capacity around midday is very low. Therefore even very good, very efficient gas power plants (e.g. the biggest and most modern gas power plant in Germany, Irsching, in the federal state of Bavaria) have to run in idle mode at normal days. Not only around midday the wholesale price sale for electricity at the electricity exchange in Leipzig (EEX) is very low, since several years the wholesale price is sinking (around 4 Euro-Cent per kWh).

5. Nevertheless mining of brown coal (huge areas are dug over) isn't as good as growing and using biomass for producing electricity - raw brown coal has a quite low heat value (about 2,2 kWh/kg). After the abandonment of a open brown coal pit the terrain can't be used for decades because of the danger of landslides.
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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 03 Nov 2016, 18:50:46

Thanks for the balancing perspective and ground truthing, Jupidu.

My understanding is that wind generation in the north of the country is quite robust, but that it is hard to get all that power down to the southern cities because of lack of grid infrastructure, which should have been developed long ago, but is way behind schedule for various reasons. Is that your understanding, too?
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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby M_B_S » Fri 04 Nov 2016, 03:54:55

https://www.agora-energiewende.de/filea ... web_EN.pdf

The German
Energiewende and
its Climate Paradox

An Analysis of Power Sector Trends for Renewables,
Coal, Gas, Nuclear Power and CO2
Emissions, 2010–2030

Since 2009 our Co2 Emissions are going up not down.Fig.8

These developments describe an Energiewende paradox:
Despite Germany’s increasing share of renewable energy
sources, its greenhouse gas emissions are rising.


q.e.d.

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Re: Germanys dirty secret under Chancelor Merkel

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 04 Nov 2016, 05:23:43

Thanks for that link, MBS. The third paragraph pretty much confirms what Jupidu was saying:

A quarter of Germany’s 2013 power consumption was
met by renewable energies.
In that and previous years,
electricity production from coal fired power plants rose
significantly whereas the power generation of gas and
nuclear plants decreased. Moreover, net electricity exports
from Germany to its neighbours reached an all-time record
.


It also clearly states:

Despite an increasing share of renewable energy
sources, its greenhouse gas emissions are rising.
The reason for this paradox is not to be found in the decision to phase out nuclear power –

the decrease of nuclear generation is fully offset by an increased generation from renewables.


One wonders if they couldn't have foregone some of the extra coal-fired generation and then kept the renewably generated electricity in the country rather than exporting it, if they had had enough grid infrastructure.
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