Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici

Germania. È ancora lontana anni dal sostituire la capacità di gas russa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2023-01-26.

2023-01-26__ Replacing Russian Gas 001

«The truth is, there won’t be enough in the next three to four years of LNG production capacity in the world to meet the growing demand»

«La verità è che nei prossimi tre o quattro anni la capacità di produzione di GNL nel mondo non sarà sufficiente a soddisfare la domanda crescente»

* * * * * * *

Il Gru lavora in Germania per mettere Berlino contro l’Ukraina.

Germania. Si ritorna al carbone. Eolico, fotovoltaico e Grüne alle ortiche.

Germania. Si smantella il parco eolico di Garzweiler per ampliare la miniera di lignite.

Russia. Porta la Germania alla implosione. E con essa tutto il blocco europeo.

Germania. Consumatori imbufaliti dalla Shrinkflation. Inflazione mascherata.

Germania. Blocco del gas russo. Effetto domino dei fallimenti. Implosione della Germania.

Germania. Gas russo. Le banche tedesche parlano chiaramente di default.

* * * * * * *

                         Secondo le stime del Ministero dell’Economia, la Germania è ancora lontana dal sostituire le importazioni di gas russo tramite gasdotti con capacità di gas naturale liquefatto.

                         La scorsa settimana il cancelliere Olaf Scholz ha dichiarato a Bloomberg che il Paese ha imparato la lezione della troppa dipendenza dalla Russia. L’obiettivo è ora quello di costruire una capacità che dia alla Germania la possibilità di avere tanto gas quanto ne aveva prima dell’invasione senza doverlo importare dalla Russia.

                         Ma ci vorrà fino al 2026 perché la Germania installi 56 miliardi di metri cubi di capacità di importazione interna di GNL, circa la stessa che ha importato via tubo dalla Russia nel 2021, ha scritto il Ministero dell’Economia in una risposta a una serie di domande del Partito della Sinistra. Entro il 2030 la capacità di importazione di GNL sarà di 76,5 miliardi di metri cubi, pari a circa l’80% del consumo totale di gas in Germania nel 2021.

                         La Germania prevede una capacità di GNL di 56 miliardi di metri cubi nel 2026.

                         Finora, la Germania è riuscita a ridurre la sua dipendenza dalla Russia tagliando il consumo complessivo, importando GNL attraverso i Paesi europei vicini e aumentando le forniture di gasdotti dalla Norvegia e dai Paesi Bassi.

                        Una parte di queste forniture è incerta a causa dei piani di chiusura del giacimento chiave di Groningen il prossimo anno.

                         La verità è che nei prossimi tre o quattro anni la capacità di produzione di GNL nel mondo non sarà sufficiente a soddisfare la domanda crescente, ha dichiarato a Bloomberg Christian Leye, membro del partito di sinistra.

                        Quindi la strategia non dichiarata è che la Germania continuerà a pagare prezzi folli e altri Paesi meno ricchi resteranno a mani vuote.

                         Un portavoce del Ministero dell’Economia ha rifiutato di commentare ulteriormente il documento.

* * * * * * *


Germany Still Years Away From Replacing Russian Gas Capacity.

Jan 23, 2023.

Germany is still years from substituting Russian pipeline gas imports with liquefied natural gas capacities, according to estimates by the country’s Economy Ministry.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Bloomberg last week that the country had learned its lesson from being too dependent on Russia. The goal now was to build capacity that gives Germany the chance to have as much gas as it had before the invasion without importing from Russia, he said.

But it will take until 2026 for Germany to install 56 billion cubic meters of domestic LNG import capacity, about the same it imported by pipe from Russia in 2021, the Economy Ministry wrote in an answer to a set of questions by the Left Party. By 2030 those capacities are seen at 76.5 billion cubic meters, or about 80% of total German gas consumption in 2021.

Germany sees LNG capacity at 56 billion cubic meters in 2026.

So far, Germany has managed to reduce its reliance on Russia by cutting overall consumption, importing LNG via neighboring European countries and increasing pipeline deliveries from Norway and the Netherlands. Some of that supply is uncertain amid plans to shut down the key Groningen gas field next year.

“The truth is, there won’t be enough in the next three to four years of LNG production capacity in the world to meet the growing demand,” Christian Leye, a Left Party lawmaker told Bloomberg. “So the unspoken strategy is that Germany will continue to pay crazy prices and other, less rich countries go empty-handed.”

A spokesperson for the Economy Ministry declined to comment further on the document.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Problemia Energetici

Zimbabwe. Senza corrente, al buio, produzione bloccata.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2023-01-14.

Zimbabwe Britannica 001

                         Sono passate le 10 di sera e la capitale dello Zimbabwe, Harare, è insolitamente buia. Chiacchiere e risate emergono da una piccola fabbrica all’interno del parco industriale di Willowvale. Uomini in tuta da lavoro siedono intorno a un piccolo fuoco al chiaro di luna, in attesa delle poche ore di corrente per poter lavorare. Le interruzioni di corrente sono normali in Zimbabwe, ma raramente sono così gravi.

                         L’elettricità è essenziale per la nostra attività… Da quello che dicono i funzionari del governo, speriamo che la situazione si risolva presto. Se così non fosse, sarebbe un disastro. Anche i cittadini dello Zimbabwe sono costretti a cambiare i loro orari, a svegliarsi a mezzanotte per stirare i vestiti, a usare gli elettrodomestici e a seguire le partite della Coppa del Mondo.

                         Lo Zimbabwe ha investito circa 2 miliardi di dollari (1.6 miliardi di sterline) nella produzione di energia elettrica negli ultimi dieci anni. Ma il Paese è ancora alle prese con interruzioni di corrente. La crisi è arrivata al culmine negli ultimi quindici giorni, quando la Zambezi River Authority ha ordinato alla centrale elettrica di Kariba South dello Zimbabwe di chiudere a causa dei livelli d’acqua pericolosamente bassi nel lago Kariba. Attualmente il Paese produce circa 600 megawatt (MW) di energia a fronte di una richiesta giornaliera di circa 2,000 MW.

                         Un progetto come quello di Batoka [centrale idroelettrica di Gorge] – il nostro regolatore energetico dice di prevederlo tra 10 e 15 anni. Questi sono i grandi progetti necessari per tamponare i problemi che stiamo affrontando. Non se ne esce mai in un breve periodo di tempo. Lo Zimbabwe prevede di importare 500 MW di energia dai vicini Mozambico e Zambia.

                         Il governo ritiene che i problemi siano temporanei e punta a produrre 3,500 MW di energia entro i prossimi due anni. A breve termine, ha dichiarato che entro la fine dell’anno entrerà in funzione un’altra unità della centrale termica di Hwange, che aggiungerà 300MW alla rete, e che il livello dell’acqua sta ricominciando a salire a Kariba.

* * * * * * *

«It is after 10 o’clock at night, and Zimbabwe’s capital Harare is uncharacteristically dark. Chatter and laughter emerge from a small factory inside the Willowvale Industrial Park. Men in overalls sit around a small fire under the moonlight, waiting for the few hours of power so they can work. Outages are normal in Zimbabwe, but rarely are they this severe.»

«Electricity is very essential in our business… From what the government officials are saying we hope this [situation] should turn around soon. If it doesn’t it will be a disaster. Ordinary Zimbabweans are also being forced to change their schedules, to wake up at midnight to iron their clothes, to use electric appliances and to catch up on the World Cup matches»

«Zimbabwe has sunk about $2bn (£1.6bn) into power generation in the last decade. But the country still struggles with outages. The crisis came to a head in the last fortnight, when the Zambezi River Authority ordered Zimbabwe’s Kariba South power station to shut due to dangerously low water levels in Lake Kariba. The country is currently producing about 600 megawatts (MW) of power against a daily demand of about 2,000MW.»

«A project like Batoka [Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station] – our energy regulator says to expect it in 10 to 15 years. These are the large projects you need to dent the problems we are facing. You never come out of it in a short period of time.” Zimbabwe plans to import 500MW of power from neighbouring Mozambique and Zambia.»

«The government believes the problems are temporary and targets 3,500MW of power generation within the next two years. In the short-term it says one more unit at the Hwange thermal power station will be commissioned by the end of the year, adding 300MW to the grid, and that water levels are beginning to rise again at Kariba.»

* * * * * * *


Zimbabwe power outages hit businesses and families.

It is after 10 o’clock at night, and Zimbabwe’s capital Harare is uncharacteristically dark.

Chatter and laughter emerge from a small factory inside the Willowvale Industrial Park.

Men in overalls sit around a small fire under the moonlight, waiting for the few hours of power so they can work.

Outages are normal in Zimbabwe, but rarely are they this severe.

“There is no schedule – yesterday we got it at 10 past 10 but it is passed that time now,” George Sadziwa told the BBC, as he walked around his power-hungry metal fabrication machines. His company Geosad Engineering has orders to make ore grinding mills, fuel and gas storage tanks, but he is worried they could fail to meet the delivery dates.

“Electricity is very essential in our business… From what the government officials are saying we hope this [situation] should turn around soon. If it doesn’t it will be a disaster.”

A phone call to the power utility confirms that there is no schedule for the return of the electricity. He is told to expect the power between 11pm and midnight.

Some of his business colleagues have started working at night too, said Mr Sadziwa. Ordinary Zimbabweans are also being forced to change their schedules, to wake up at midnight to iron their clothes, to use electric appliances and to catch up on the World Cup matches.

Zimbabwe has sunk about $2bn (£1.6bn) into power generation in the last decade. But the country still struggles with outages.

The crisis came to a head in the last fortnight, when the Zambezi River Authority ordered Zimbabwe’s Kariba South power station to shut due to dangerously low water levels in Lake Kariba.

Experts say the country’s coal-powered thermal plants are supposed to supply the baseload power, but the aged generators frequently break down. It has forced authorities to draw heavily on Kariba, exhausting the annual water allocation and eating into neighbouring Zambia’s share. Water levels were already low because of successive droughts.

The country is currently producing about 600 megawatts (MW) of power against a daily demand of about 2,000MW.

Kariba, said Gloria Magombo, the head of the energy ministry. The river authority will review the water levels in early January following the start of the rainy season.

In the crisis, locals are finding humour.

In one social media post an unidentified Zimbabwean demonstrates how to iron their clothes without power – by sliding a pot of boiling water across the garment.

The frustration remains. Just outside the Central Business District in the low income suburb of Mbare, 43-year-old Wella Chidziva struggles to light a fire to warm up her leftovers before the rain and darkness fall.

She has gathered empty plastic packets from the street to start the fire – gas is too expensive, she says. In the last two weeks, Ms Chidziva paused her chicken-selling business because of the outages and after 30 chickens rotted in her fridge.

The electricity comes at midnight, and by 4am there will be no electricity, she told the BBC. The three different families that share the single home are fighting each other for firewood.

“We now give each other chances to cook, one over there and other there,” she said, pointing around the small backyard. “It’s the same as not having electricity because when it comes around [midnight] the children are sleeping. Now we are in [the Christmas period] I don’t know what we are going to do.”

Zimbabwe has spent US$2bn investing in energy products – $533m, financed by China’s Sinohydro, to expand Kariba power station and add 300MW of capacity, and US$1.4bn for new units at the Hwange Thermal power station, to add 600MW to the grid. Hwange however has suffered Covid-19 pandemic-related and payment delays.

“We have not invested when we were supposed to,” according to energy expert Victor Utedzi. He founded the solar farm Centragrid, 30km (19 miles) north-west of the capital, and is in the process of expanding it from a 2.5MW to a 25MW plant.

“There is no easy and quick solution to power problems,” he told the BBC.

“A simple PV solar power plant [takes] three to four years [to set up]. Thermal power plants, to plan and raise financing to build, takes about a decade. A project like Batoka [Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station] – our energy regulator says to expect it in 10 to 15 years. These are the large projects you need to dent the problems we are facing. You never come out of it in a short period of time.” Zimbabwe plans to import 500MW of power from neighbouring Mozambique and Zambia, but crisis-hit South Africa is also competing for the same power to shore up its shortfall. Zimbabwe has already spent over US$1bn in imports over the last decade but financing for renewable energy remains low.

“Investors are not certain they will get their money out,” Mr Utedzi said. “There is a need to create conditions that have attracted financing that others in the region have.”

The government believes the problems are temporary and targets 3,500MW of power generation within the next two years. In the short-term it says one more unit at the Hwange thermal power station will be commissioned by the end of the year, adding 300MW to the grid, and that water levels are beginning to rise again at Kariba.

While these won’t end the power outages, Wella Chidziva hopes that it will enable the lights to be turned back on in time for Christmas.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Problemia Energetici

Energie atomica e carbone. La farsa del ‘clima’ che non esiste.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2023-01-03.

Andrà Tutto Bene 001

Un sistema economico regge sotto la condizione di disporre di energia affidabile ed a costi moderati: il resto sono ubbie.

L’economia ha bisogno di utilizzare l’energia quanto ciò le serva, indipendentemente dal fatto che ci sia vento per alimentare l’eolico oppure sole per il fotovoltaico. Questi sistemi produttivi trovano un loro razionale collocamento laddove non sia richiesta la disponibilità puntuale. Un loro classico esempio è il loro utilizzo per riempire un bacino idrico dal quale poi generare energia elettrica nel momento del bisogno. U sistema ancillare, non primario.

Il così detto ‘clima’ è aria fritta, postulata da persone e realtà sedute su corbe di banconote.

Il nucleare sarebbe un ottimo sistema per produrre energie affidabile a prezzi competitivi.

* * * * * * *

                         La scissione degli atomi può non essere così eccitante come la loro fusione, o come i progetti eolici e solari. Tuttavia, la fissione vecchio stile è pronta a tornare in auge grazie a nuovi reattori innovativi. Dal 2009 al 2021, il costo non sovvenzionato dell’eolico è diminuito del 72% e quello dell’energia solare su scala pubblica del 90%. Tuttavia, in base alle tendenze attuali, tutto questo non è sufficiente. A volte il sole non splende e il vento non soffia.

                         Questa intermittenza richiede capacità di stoccaggio incredibilmente grandi o fonti di energia più affidabili per colmare le lacune. Al momento, si tratta soprattutto di carbone e gas naturale, motivo per cui i combustibili fossili rappresentano ancora circa l’80% dello approvvigionamento energetico primario del mondo.

                         Il nucleare è l’alternativa più ovvia. Un reattore a fissione produce energia pulita, affidabile, efficiente e abbondante, 24 ore al giorno, con la pioggia o il sole. La quota del nucleare nella produzione globale di energia è scesa al 10.1% nel 2020, dal 17.5% del 1996. Negli Stati Uniti, circa una dozzina di reattori sono stati chiusi dal 2013 e altri sono in via di chiusura. Negli ultimi anni, i piccoli reattori modulari (noti come SMR) si stanno avvicinando alla realtà commerciale.

                         Ma la burocrazia ostacola il processo. In particolare, la Commissione di regolamentazione nucleare degli Stati Uniti ha ostacolato i nuovi reattori per decenni, soprattutto a causa di standard di sicurezza obsoleti. Nel 2019, il Congresso ha incaricato la Commissione di creare un nuovo regime di licenze per gli SMR, nella speranza di accelerarne lo sviluppo e la commercializzazione. Affrontare il cambiamento climatico significa riconoscere la dura realtà. Il mondo non può decarbonizzarsi senza l’energia nucleare e non può espandere la propria produzione nucleare senza ripensare le regole. Il tempo stringe.

* * * * * * *

«Splitting atoms may not be as exciting as fusing them, or as modish as wind and solar projects. Yet old-fashioned fission is poised to make a comeback thanks to innovative new reactor designs. From 2009 to 2021, the unsubsidized cost of wind declined by 72% and that of utility-scale solar fell by 90%. Yet on current trends, none of this is enough. Sometimes the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow»

«Such intermittency requires either implausibly large storage capacities or more reliable sources of power to fill the gaps. At the moment, that’s mostly coal and natural gas — which is why fossil fuels still make up about 80% of the world’s primary energy supply.»

«Nuclear is the obvious alternative. A fission reactor produces clean, reliable, efficient and abundant energy, 24 hours a day, rain or shine. Nuclear’s share of global energy production declined to 10.1% in 2020, from 17.5% in 1996. In the US, about a dozen reactors have shut since 2013 and more are on the chopping block. In recent years, small modular reactors (known as SMRs) have been inching toward commercial reality»

«Yet red tape is standing in the way. In particular, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been obstructing new reactors for decades, thanks largely to outdated safety standards. In 2019, Congress directed the commission to create a new licensing regime for SMRs, in the hopes of speeding their development and commercialization. Confronting climate change means acknowledging hard realities. The world can’t decarbonize without nuclear power — and it can’t expand its nuclear output without rethinking the rules. Time is running short.»

* * * * * * *


Net Zero Isn’t Possible Without Nuclear

December 28, 2022.

Rather quietly, a new age of atomic energy may be approaching. Splitting atoms may not be as exciting as fusing them, or as modish as wind and solar projects. Yet old-fashioned fission is poised to make a comeback thanks to innovative new reactor designs. The world will be better for this revolution — if policymakers allow it.

As the fight against climate change gears up, new-energy progress is everywhere apparent. Variable renewables — wind and solar — are becoming more abundant as technology improves and funding flows. They’re also getting cheaper: From 2009 to 2021, the unsubsidized cost of wind declined by 72% and that of utility-scale solar fell by 90%. Energy storage is likewise getting more affordable.

Yet on current trends, none of this is enough. Sometimes the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Such intermittency requires either implausibly large storage capacities or more reliable sources of power to fill the gaps. At the moment, that’s mostly coal and natural gas — which is why fossil fuels still make up about 80% of the world’s primary energy supply.

Nuclear is the obvious alternative. A fission reactor produces clean, reliable, efficient and abundant energy, 24 hours a day, rain or shine. Despite the alarm raised by rare accidents, such as those at Chernobyl and Fukushima, the risks of nuclear power are exceedingly low per unit of energy produced, and the newest reactor designs are safer still. Similarly, the dangers posed by radioactive waste are quickly receding, thanks to better tools and processes.

To bring global emissions goals within reach, nuclear output will need to roughly double by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency. Unfortunately, the world is moving backward in key respects. Nuclear’s share of global energy production declined to 10.1% in 2020, from 17.5% in 1996. In the US, about a dozen reactors have shut since 2013 and more are on the chopping block. According to the Energy Information Administration, nuclear’s share of US generation will fall from about 19% today to 11% by 2050, even as electricity demand rises. Although renewables will pick up some of the slack, fossil fuels are expected to predominate for decades.

Given the looming risks of climate change — an “existential threat” as President Joe Biden says — these trends are cause for alarm. Worldwide, governments need to extend the lifetimes of existing nuclear plants, work with industry to finance new ones, and redouble efforts to improve waste disposal and otherwise ease the public’s mind about potential risks.

More important, they need to promote nuclear innovation. In recent years, small modular reactors (known as SMRs) have been inching toward commercial reality. Companies are testing dozens of competing designs. These reactors promise a much safer, cheaper and more flexible energy supply to supplement wind and solar. They could leverage economies of scale through standardized manufacturing, while potentially powering everything from homes to factories to transportation.

Yet red tape is standing in the way. In particular, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been obstructing new reactors for decades, thanks largely to outdated safety standards. In 2019, Congress directed the commission to create a new licensing regime for SMRs, in the hopes of speeding their development and commercialization. Instead, the NRC has been busily bloating its own rulebook. Going forward, any increases to the commission’s budget should be conditioned on boosting US nuclear production; if the NRC can’t adapt to this challenge, Congress should push it aside and authorize a new overseer for advanced reactors.

More generally, lawmakers need to revisit their entire approach to nuclear regulation — devised in a different era, with different needs — and return to first principles. Their overriding goals should shift from total risk avoidance to maximizing nuclear power, accelerating innovation, and reducing carbon emissions with technologies old and new.

Confronting climate change means acknowledging hard realities. The world can’t decarbonize without nuclear power — and it can’t expand its nuclear output without rethinking the rules. Time is running short.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Problemia Energetici

Germania. Si smantella il parco eolico di Garzweiler per ampliare la miniera di lignite.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-11-08.

2022-10-29__ Garzweiler 001

                         Un parco eolico in Germania viene smantellato per espandere la miniera di lignite di Garzweiler. Ciononostante, lo Stato tedesco della Renania Settentrionale-Vestfalia ha dichiarato di voler eliminare gradualmente il carbone entro il 2030, così come RWE, la società proprietaria della miniera. Le turbine eoliche vicino alla miniera a cielo aperto di Garzweiler, nello Stato della Renania Settentrionale-Vestfalia, gestita dal gigante tedesco dell’energia RWE, vengono rimosse per far posto a un maggiore sfruttamento della lignite. Energiekontor e wpd, che opera anche nei Balcani, gestiscono l’impianto eolico.

                         Secondo RWE, la produzione annuale di Garzweiler è di 25 milioni di tonnellate. Ha stimato che le riserve di lignite nella zona potrebbero durare fino al 2045. Il combustibile viene fornito principalmente alla vicina centrale termoelettrica di Neurat. La popolazione di diversi comuni dell’area a ovest di Colonia ha dovuto essere trasferita a causa dell’espansione della miniera di Grazweiler. Oltre all’ubicazione del parco eolico, RWE sta occupando un’area all’interno e intorno alla cittadina di Lützerath. Verrà completamente sfrattata e demolita.

                         Il tribunale della città tedesca di Münster si è pronunciato quest’anno a favore dell’espansione della miniera. Gli attivisti per il clima che si oppongono ai piani hanno definito la decisione cinica e ipocrita. Il tribunale ha ritenuto che nessuna miniera di superficie alternativa avrebbe soddisfatto la necessaria domanda di lignite.

* * * * * * *

«A wind farm in Germany is being dismantled to expand the Garzweiler lignite mine. Nevertheless, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia said it would phase out coal by 2030, as did RWE, the company that owns the mine. Wind turbines near the Garzweiler open pit mine in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, run by German energy giant RWE, is being removed to make way for more lignite exploitation. Energiekontor and wpd, which is also active in the Balkans, operate the wind far»

«Garzweiler’s annual production is 25 million tonnes, according to RWE. It estimated that lignite reserves in the area could last until 2045. The fuel is mostly supplied to the nearby Neurat thermal power plant. The population from several municipalities in the area west of Cologne had to be relocated due to the Grazweiler mine expansion. In addition to the location of the wind farm, RWE is taking an area in and around the small town of Lützerath. It will be completely evicted and demolished.»

«The court in the German town of Münster ruled this year in favor of expanding the mine. Climate activists opposed to the plans called the decision cynical and hypocritical. The court found that no alternative surface mines would meet the necessary demand for lignite.»

* * * * * * *


Wind farm in Germany is being dismantled to expand coal mine.

A wind farm in Germany is being dismantled to expand the Garzweiler lignite mine. One of eight turbines installed at the location in 2001 has already been removed. Nevertheless, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia said it would phase out coal by 2030, as did RWE, the company that owns the mine.

Wind turbines near the Garzweiler open pit mine in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, run by German energy giant RWE, is being removed to make way for more lignite exploitation.

The turbines were in operation since 2001, and government subsidies have expired. Energiekontor and wpd, which is also active in the Balkans, operate the wind farm.

It is unknown how long the deconstruction would take. So far, one wind turbine has been removed.

                         Lignite for electricity production will be extracted where the wind turbines are now located

Garzweiler’s annual production is 25 million tonnes, according to RWE. It estimated that lignite reserves in the area could last until 2045. The fuel is mostly supplied to the nearby Neurat thermal power plant.

The excavation was initially limited to an area of 66 square kilometers in the Garzweiler 1 area. The complex was extended in 2006 to the Garzweiler 2 sector over an area of 48 square kilometers.

Displacement due to coal mine expansion

The population from several municipalities in the area west of Cologne had to be relocated due to the Grazweiler mine expansion. In addition to the location of the wind farm, RWE is taking an area in and around the small town of Lützerath. It will be completely evicted and demolished.

The town has become a symbolic battlefield for climate activists in Germany.

The decision to demolish Lützerath was made in accordance with the country’s new coal policy to temporarily increase the use of lignitefor electricity production during the energy crisis, Clean Energy Wire reported.

Nevertheless, North Rhine-Westphalia has announced it would stop using fossil fuels by 2030, as did RWE.

The court in the German town of Münster ruled this year in favor of expanding the mine. Climate activists opposed to the plans called the decision cynical and hypocritical.

The court found that no alternative surface mines would meet the necessary demand for lignite. Security of supply is currently the priority while “climate protection remains one of the key challenges of our time,” RWE pointed out and declared it seeks to support both, the article adds.

                         Security of supply is currently the priority, according to RWE

The Ministry of Economy of North Rhine-Westphalia elaborated on the paradoxical situation, saying the move would enable the recultivation of former coal pits, the shutdown of Garzweiler and a coal phaseout.

“If Lützerath were to be preserved, the production volume required to maintain the security of supply over the next eight years could not be achieved, the stability of the opencast mine could not be guaranteed and the necessary recultivation could not be carried out,” it said.

Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck has said negotiations on the country’s coal phaseout were underway with operators of other mines and eight thermal power plants.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Europea, Problemia Energetici

Finlandia. L’Inverno si avvicina ed il blackout energetico sarà la norma.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-11-03.

2022-10-30__ Finlandia 001

                         Nel cuore dell’inverno, la Finlandia può essere un luogo miserabile. Le temperature scendono spesso sotto i -20°C e, nei mesi più bui dell’anno, Helsinki riceve meno di sei ore di luce al giorno. Per combattere gli elementi, la Finlandia è diventata l’economia più energivora dell’UE. Ma con l’avvicinarsi dell’inverno, il Paese si sta preparando ad affrontare i blackout programmati in risposta ai tagli energetici russi. Sebbene l’energia russa rappresenti solo una piccola parte dell’approvvigionamento totale della Finlandia, la sua perdita rischia di avere un impatto enorme e i finlandesi sono costretti a scegliere tra opzioni sbagliate.

                         Se le interruzioni programmate non dovessero avere luogo, ha dichiarato Arto Pahkin, responsabile delle operazioni di rete presso la Fingrid Oyj, che sovrintende alla rete elettrica del Paese, si verificherebbe un’interruzione nazionale su larga scala e la gente potrebbe morire. La Finlandia è al centro della crisi energetica europea. A maggio, la Russia ha interrotto la vendita di elettricità e gas al Paese come evidente ritorsione per la sua opposizione alla guerra in Ucraina e per la decisione di aderire alla NATO. Mentre i Paesi della regione si preparano ad affrontare un inverno difficile, la Finlandia è particolarmente a rischio, poiché una perdita di energia potrebbe esporre i residenti a condizioni minacciose nel giro di poche ore.

                         Tuttavia, un po’ di sollievo potrebbe arrivare nei prossimi mesi, quando il piccolo Paese nordico metterà finalmente in funzione il più grande reattore nucleare d’Europa, dopo un ritardo di quasi 14 anni. Fino ad allora, i finlandesi stanno facendo scorta di legna da ardere, stufe a gas e generatori diesel, e stanno prendendo in mano la situazione riducendo l’uso dell’elettricità. Ha fatto scorta di cibo, preferendo le tortillas e i taco alla pasta e al riso. Ho un sacco a pelo che può tenermi al caldo fino a -20°C, ha aggiunto. Lo tirerò fuori se ne avrò bisogno.

* * * * * * *

«In the dead of winter, Finland can be a miserable place. Temperatures often dip below -20C, and in the darkest months of the year, Helsinki gets less than six hours of light a day. To fight the elements, Finland has become the most energy-intensive economy in the EU. But with winter approaching, the country is bracing for rolling blackouts, planned in response to Russian energy cuts. Although Russian energy only made up a small fraction of Finland’s total supply, its loss threatens to have a huge impact, and Finns are being forced to choose between bad options.»

«If the planned outages don’t take place, said Arto Pahkin, a network operations manager at Fingrid Oyj, which oversees the country’s electricity grid, there would a national large-scale disruption and people could die. Finland is at the sharp end of Europe’s energy crisis. In May, Russia stopped selling the country electricity and gas as evident retaliation for its opposition to the war in Ukraine and decision to join NATO. While countries across the region are bracing for a difficult winter, Finland is especially at risk as a loss of energy could expose residents to threatening conditions in a matter of hours»

«Some relief could come in the next few months, however, when the small Nordic country finally brings Europe’s biggest nuclear reactor into regular use after an almost 14-year delay. Until then, Finns are stocking up on firewood, gas heaters and diesel generators, and taking matters into their own hands by reducing electricity use. She’s stocked up on food, opting for tortillas and taco fillings over pasta and rice. I have a sleeping bag that can keep me warm to -20C,” she added. I’ll pull that out if I need to.»

* * * * * * *


Darkest Days of Winter Have Finland Bracing for Blackouts

Authorities have warned Nordic country may see rolling outages

End of Russian power imports have made Finland more vulnerable

* * * * * * *

In the dead of winter, Finland can be a miserable place. Temperatures often dip below -20C, and in the darkest months of the year, Helsinki gets less than six hours of light a day. 

To fight the elements, Finland has become the most energy-intensive economy in the EU. But with winter approaching, the country is bracing for rolling blackouts, planned in response to Russian energy cuts. Although Russian energy only made up a small fraction of Finland’s total supply, its loss threatens to have a huge impact, and Finns are being forced to choose between bad options.  

If the planned outages don’t take place, said Arto Pahkin, a network operations manager at Fingrid Oyj, which oversees the country’s electricity grid, there would a national large-scale disruption and “people could die.” 

Finland is at the sharp end of Europe’s energy crisis. In May, Russia stopped selling the country electricity and gas as evident retaliation for its opposition to the war in Ukraine and decision to join NATO. While countries across the region are bracing for a difficult winter, Finland is especially at risk as a loss of energy could expose residents to threatening conditions in a matter of hours. 

At the same time, perhaps no country is better prepared to deal with the consequences if the power stays off.

For years, the defense ministry has published booklets about what to do in the event of a power failure, advising people to keep battery-operated radios at home, along with enough food, water and medical supplies to last 72 hours. Even before the war in Ukraine, an estimated third of Finnish citizens had these supplies on hand. 

Mervi Pirttikoski-Takala, an accountant who lives in the Helsinki metropolitan area, said she is already cutting back on electricity use by turning off her underfloor heating when it isn’t needed.

“We have added extra carpets on the floors and purchased flashlights,” said the 53-year-old, noting that the cold is “a small trouble” compared to what Ukrainians are going through. 

What’s happening now is the culmination of years of planning. In September 2014, officials cut power to 70,000 people in the Arctic town of Rovaniemi to see how an abrupt, large-scale power failures would play out in real life. The exercise was designed to let authorities practice a so-called blackstart, in which the power system is brought back up without any help from imported energy. According to Pahkin, who participated in the activity, it was a wake-up call, prompting authorities to overhaul their approach.  

Had that not happened, “we’d be in dire straits,” he said. Training exercises have been regularly scheduled ever since, with the most recent held this September in Helsinki.

While Finland hasn’t experienced a blackout stemming from a national grid failure since 1974, the threat remains present if imports can’t be secured. Unlike neighbors Sweden and Norway, which enjoy plentiful hydro-power reserves, Finland has few domestic energy resources, buys almost all of its fossil energy, and relies on imports to cover shortfalls. Some relief could come in the next few months, however, when the small Nordic country finally brings Europe’s biggest nuclear reactor into regular use after an almost 14-year delay. 

Until then, Finns are stocking up on firewood, gas heaters and diesel generators, and taking matters into their own hands by reducing electricity use. In addition to asking people to lower indoor temperatures, take shorter showers and use more public transportation, the government has adopted its own energy-saving initiatives, which include shortening the hours of the parliament’s in-house sauna.    

The attitude of Marja Lyhty, a 52-year-old former peacekeeper, captures the blend of resignation and resourcefulness that has come to characterize the Finnish approach. She’s stocked up on food, opting for tortillas and taco fillings over pasta and rice.

“I have a sleeping bag that can keep me warm to -20C,” she added. “I’ll pull that out if I need to.”

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Geopolitica Europea, Problemia Energetici, Russia

Russia. La distruzione delle forniture elettriche spinge i rifugiati congelati verso l’UE.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-10-28.

gatto_001__

                         La distruzione delle forniture elettriche dell’Ucraina da parte della Russia ha lo scopo di spingere i rifugiati congelati verso l’UE, ha avvertito Kiev.

                         La Russia sta prendendo di mira esclusivamente le infrastrutture civili per provocare un disastro totale che potrebbe portare a una nuova ondata migratoria di cittadini ucraini verso l’UE L’aggressore sta bombardando non solo le sottostazioni chiave di Ukrenergo, l’operatore di rete dell’Ucraina, ma anche le apparecchiature di generazione / infrastruttura di rete delle centrali termiche e degli impianti di cogenerazione chiave.

                         Gli operatori energetici russi stanno contribuendo a distruggere il sistema energetico ucraino. Consigliano i militari su quali oggetti colpire per primi, poiché conoscono il sistema energetico ucraino fin dall’epoca dell’Unione Sovietica (URSS). La Russia sta provocando una nuova ondata migratoria di ucraini verso i Paesi dell’Unione Europea.

                         I missili russi hanno continuato a colpire obiettivi ucraini per l’approvvigionamento energetico durante il fine settimana.

                         Si prevede che altri 750,000 ucraini ancora all’interno del Paese si sposteranno in cerca di riscaldamento e di un alloggio a causa dell’abbassamento delle temperature. Alla vigilia della stagione invernale, centinaia di migliaia di famiglie [ucraine] rimangono senza elettricità e gas.

* * * * * * *

«Russia’s destruction of Ukraine’s power supplies is meant to push freezing refugees into the EU, Kyiv has warned.

Russia is targeting exclusively civil infrastructure to provoke a total disaster that could lead to a new wave of migration of Ukrainian citizens to the EU The aggressor is shelling not only the key substations of Ukrenergo, Ukraine’s grid operator, but the generating equipment/grid infrastructure of thermal power plants and key co-generation plants as well»

«Russian energy workers are helping to destroy Ukraine’s energy system. They advise the military on which objects to hit first as they know Ukraine’s energy system since the epoch of Soviet Union (USSR). Russia is provoking a new wave of migration of Ukrainians to European Union countries.»

«Russian missiles continued to strike Ukrainian power-supply targets over the weekend.»

«Another 750,000 more still inside the country were expected to move in seek of heating and housing as temperatures fell. “On the eve of the winter season, hundreds of thousands of [Ukrainian] households remain without electricity and gas»

* * * * * * *

Putin weaponising winter against the EU, Kyiv warns

Russia’s destruction of Ukraine’s power supplies is meant to push freezing refugees into the EU, Kyiv has warned.

“Russia is targeting exclusively civil infrastructure to provoke a total disaster that could lead to a new wave of migration of Ukrainian citizens to the EU,” Ukraine said in a diplomatic note circulated in Brussels on Friday (21 October) in the margins of the EU summit and seen by EUobserver.

“The aggressor is shelling not only the key substations of Ukrenergo, Ukraine’s grid operator, but the generating equipment/grid infrastructure of thermal power plants and key co-generation plants as well,” the memo said.

“This attack was unprovoked, had no military purpose other than to terrorise the people of Ukraine and create a total disaster in the country,” it said.

“Russian energy workers are helping to destroy Ukraine’s energy system. They advise the military on which objects to hit first as they know Ukraine’s energy system since the epoch of Soviet Union (USSR),” it added, highlighting the systematic nature of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s campaign.

The message was also pressed home by Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky personally in his video-address to EU leaders.

“Russia is provoking a new wave of migration of Ukrainians to European Union countries,” he said on Thursday (20 October).

Russian missiles continued to strike Ukrainian power-supply targets over the weekend.

Temperatures in parts of Ukraine fall to below minus 30 degrees Celsius in winter.

Some 4.3 million Ukrainians have already fled to the EU since Russia invaded in February.

Another 750,000 more still inside the country were expected to move in seek of heating and housing as temperatures fell, the Czech EU presidency estimated in mid-October, in a figure likely to have ballooned by now.

“On the eve of the winter season, hundreds of thousands of [Ukrainian] households remain without electricity and gas,” the Ukrainian memo also said.

Europeans have been welcoming toward Ukrainian refugees so far.

But soaring living costs and energy prices in Europe meant “EU citizens may find it more difficult to continue providing temporary shelter in their own homes” as winter approaches, the Czechs warned.

Russian disinformation was also trying to stigmatise refugees, it added.

Putin has a track record of using migration to try to destabilise the EU, by provoking clashes between right and left-wing politicians.

His ally, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka, forced tens of thousands of mostly Arab migrants into Poland and the Baltic states in 2021, in what the EU at the time called “hybrid warfare”.

Putin’s bombing of civilian targets in Syria in 2016 to push people to the EU via Turkey was described at the time by US general Philip Breedlove as “deliberately weaponising migration”.

Kyiv listed power-supply items, such as transformers, that Ukraine needed from the EU to keep the lights on.

It also listed the dozens of Ukrainian energy infrastructure pieces that Russia had demolished, writing before this weekend’s latest attacks.

“We need to cut the flow of Russia’s fossil revenues. Since the start of the war, EU payments for Russian fuel are over €100 billion,” Ukraine said, as EU countries continue to buy Russian oil and gas for now.

“We call on our international partners to establish an escrow account and to repurpose payments for Russian gas to the needs of repair of damages to Ukrainian infrastructure,” Zelensky’s government said.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici, Stati Uniti

Biden. L’Arabia Saudita lo sberleffa alla grande.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-10-18.

Arabia Saudita 001

                         I democratici statunitensi sono fuori controllo. Negli ultimi giorni da Washington si è levato un diluvio di opinioni sulla decisione dell’alleanza dei produttori OPEC+ di ridurre la produzione di petrolio di 2 milioni di barili al giorno a partire da novembre. La natura di tali opinioni – che vanno da ipotesi offensive per l’intelligence a informazioni semplicemente inesatte – porta all’inevitabile conclusione che è ora estremamente difficile prendere sul serio qualsiasi cosa venga detta su questo tema da qualsiasi funzionario statunitense.

                         Secondo il portavoce del Consiglio di Sicurezza Nazionale della Casa Bianca, John Kirby, la visione saudita degli eventi – definita con ammirevole chiarezza in una dichiarazione di giovedì dal Ministero degli Affari Esteri, che ha affermato che la decisione sulla produzione di petrolio era un consenso dell’intera alleanza nell’interesse della stabilità del mercato energetico globale – non è altro che uno spin. Ma in realtà, tutte le illazioni provengono da Washington, che si è lanciata in un’imbarazzante serie di autocontraddizioni.

                         Tom Cotton, il senatore repubblicano dell’Arkansas, ha rivelato che la Casa Bianca non ha obiezioni di principio a un taglio della produzione di petrolio, ma vuole solo che l’annuncio avvenga più tardi per non influenzare le elezioni di metà mandato degli Stati Uniti a novembre. Questa opinione è stata indirettamente confermata dalla dichiarazione del Ministero degli Esteri saudita, che ha affermato che gli Stati Uniti sono stati consultati sulla decisione e hanno chiesto di ritardarla di un mese, ma non di cancellarla.

                         Ciò che non ha davvero senso dal punto di vista economico è l’affermazione di Biden nella sua intervista alla CNN, secondo cui non si aspetta una recessione negli Stati Uniti. Forse il presidente ne sa di più del 70% dei principali economisti accademici intervistati dal Financial Times, che ritengono che l’economia statunitense entrerà in recessione l’anno prossimo.

                         Per quanto riguarda il vero spin, tuttavia, è difficile battere l’affermazione che l’Arabia Saudita, tagliando la produzione di petrolio, stia in qualche modo sostenendo la Russia nella sua guerra contro l’Ucraina. Ma davvero? La stessa Arabia Saudita che mercoledì ha votato alle Nazioni Unite per condannare l’annessione da parte della Russia del territorio ucraino nel Donbas? La stessa Arabia Saudita la cui posizione di principio è valsa la gratitudine dell’ambasciatore ucraino nel Regno? La stessa Arabia Saudita che è stata ringraziata dal presidente ucraino Volodymyr Zelensky – proprio su questo giornale – per il suo ruolo nell’intermediazione di uno scambio di prigionieri?.

                         Il loro compito non è quello di aiutare un particolare partito politico statunitense a raggiungere il successo alle urne, a spese della stabilità del mercato globale del petrolio. Il cielo non crollerà se una delle due camere del Congresso degli Stati Uniti cambierà mano politica. Ma se perdiamo il controllo dei mercati energetici, l’impatto potrebbe essere davvero terribile.

* * * * * * *

«US Democrats are spinning out of control. There has been a deluge of opinion emanating from Washington in the past few days on the subject of the decision by the OPEC+ producers’ alliance to reduce oil output by 2 million barrels a day from November. The nature of that opinion— ranging from intelligence-insulting assumptions to merely inaccurate information — leads to the inevitable conclusion that it is now extremely hard to take anything said on this issue by any US official seriously.»

«According to the White House’s National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, the Saudi view of events — defined with admirable clarity in a statement on Thursday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which said that the oil output decision was a consensus of the whole alliance in the interests of global energy market stability — is no more than spin. But in truth, all the spin is coming from Washington, which has been on an embarrassing spree of self-contradiction.»

«Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas, revealed that the White House had no objection in principle to a cut in oil output — but merely wanted an announcement later so as not to influence the US mid-term elections in November. That view was indirectly confirmed by the Saudi Foreign Ministry statement, which said the US had been consulted about the decision and had asked for it to be delayed for a month, but not canceled.»

«What genuinely makes no economic sense is Biden’s contention in his CNN interview that he does not expect a recession in the US. Perhaps the president knows more than the 70 per cent of leading academic economists polled by the Financial Times, who believe the US economy will tip into a recession next year.»

«For real spin, however, it is hard to beat the assertion that in cutting oil output Saudi Arabia is somehow supporting Russia in its war against Ukraine. Seriously? The same Saudi Arabia that voted at the UN on Wednesday to condemn Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory in the Donbas? The same Saudi Arabia whose principled position earned the gratitude of the Ukrainian ambassador to the Kingdom? The same Saudi Arabia that was thanked by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — in this very newspaper — for its role in a brokering a prisoner swap?»

«What is not their job is to help one particular US political party to achieve success at the ballot box, at the expense of the stability of the global oil market. The sky will not fall in if either house of the US Congress changes political hands. But if we lose control of energy markets, the impact could be truly terrible»

* * * * * * *


Arab News.

US Democrats are spinning out of control

There has been a deluge of opinion emanating from Washington in the past few days on the subject of the decision by the OPEC+ producers’ alliance to reduce oil output by 2 million barrels a day from November. The nature of that opinion— ranging from intelligence-insulting assumptions to merely inaccurate information — leads to the inevitable conclusion that it is now extremely hard to take anything said on this issue by any US official seriously.
According to the White House’s National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, the Saudi view of events — defined with admirable clarity in a statement on Thursday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which said that the oil output decision was a consensus of the whole alliance in the interests of global energy market stability — is no more than “spin.” But in truth, all the “spin” is coming from Washington, which has been on an embarrassing spree of self-contradiction.
For example, despite all the angry rhetoric from Democratic lawmakers who assumed that Saudi Arabia had backed away from its oil price commitments to President Joe Biden, the president himself told CNN on Wednesday that oil was actually NOT discussed during his visit to Saudi Arabia in July, which was rather about US strategic interests in the whole region. 

Furthermore, Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas, revealed that the White House had no objection in principle to a cut in oil output — but merely wanted an announcement later so as not to influence the US mid-term elections in November. That view was indirectly confirmed by the Saudi Foreign Ministry statement, which said the US had been consulted about the decision and had asked for it to be delayed for a month, but not canceled. 

So what we have here is a clear case of the Democratic Party putting its own interests first, dressed up as concern for both Ukraine and the global economy; and if that’s not spin, I don’t know what is. 

Despite their dire warnings about the OPEC+ decision “making no economic sense” — in other words, that oil prices would soar — in fact, precisely the opposite has happened.

What genuinely makes “no economic sense” is Biden’s contention in his CNN interview that he does not expect a recession in the US. Perhaps the president knows more than the 70 per cent of leading academic economists polled by the Financial Times, who believe the US economy will tip into a recession next year. 

For real “spin,” however, it is hard to beat the assertion that in cutting oil output Saudi Arabia is somehow supporting Russia in its war against Ukraine. Seriously? The same Saudi Arabia that voted at the UN on Wednesday to condemn Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory in the Donbas? The same Saudi Arabia whose principled position earned the gratitude of the Ukrainian ambassador to the Kingdom? The same Saudi Arabia that was thanked by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — in this very newspaper — for its role in a brokering a prisoner swap? 

In the end, if Biden and other US politicians wish to say that Saudi Arabia is serving its own interests, or that OPEC+ is serving the interests of the global oil market, then that is not an accusation — it’s a compliment. The Kingdom and the oil alliance would merely be doing their job.

What is not their job is to help one particular US political party to achieve success at the ballot box, at the expense of the stability of the global oil market. The sky will not fall in if either house of the US Congress changes political hands. But if we lose control of energy markets, the impact could be truly terrible.

Pubblicato in: Agricoltura, Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Problemia Energetici, Unione Europea

Grüne europei. Tornano disperati alla legna da ardere.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-10-11.

Lavron e Putin che ridono 001

I disperati Grüne europei tornano al combustibile più antico del mondo per riscaldarsi. La domanda di legna da ardere aumenta a causa della carenza di gas. Cresce l’ansia in tutta Europa, mentre il continente si prepara a una carenza di energia, e forse a un blackout, quest’inverno.

Il 70% del riscaldamento europeo proviene dal gas naturale e dall’elettricità e, con la drastica riduzione delle forniture russe, la legna – già utilizzata da circa 40 milioni di persone per il riscaldamento – è diventata un bene ricercato. I prezzi dei pellet di legno sono quasi raddoppiati, raggiungendo i 600 euro a tonnellata in Francia, e ci sono segnali di panico nell’acquisto del combustibile più elementare del mondo. L’Ungheria è arrivata a vietare le esportazioni di pellet e la Romania ha imposto un tetto ai prezzi della legna da ardere per sei mesi. Nel frattempo, la consegna delle stufe a legna può richiedere mesi.

Le famiglie in difficoltà in tutta la regione si trovano sempre più spesso a dover scegliere tra il riscaldamento e altri beni di prima necessità. Per molti europei, la preoccupazione principale è fare tutto il necessario per stare al caldo nei prossimi mesi. L’inesperienza è evidente anche in Germania, dove l’associazione degli spazzacamini del Paese è alle prese con una marea di richieste di collegamento di stufe nuove e vecchie, e i clienti si informano sulla combustione di sterco di cavallo e altri combustibili oscuri. La gente è alla ricerca disperata di legna e ne compra più del solito.

Guardiamo all’inverno con grande preoccupazione.

* * * * * * *

«Green desperate europeans return to the world’s oldest fuel for warmth. ‘It’s back to the old days’ as demand for firewood soars due to gas shortage. Growing anxiety across Europe as the continent braces for energy shortfalls, and possibly blackouts, this winter.»

«As much as 70% of European heating comes from natural gas and electricity, and with Russian deliveries drastically reduced, wood — already used by some 40 million people for heating — has become a sought-after commodity. Prices for wood pellets have nearly doubled to 600 euros a ton in France, and there are signs of panic buying of the world’s most basic fuel. Hungary even went so far as to ban exports of pellets, and Romania capped firewood prices for six months. Meanwhile, wood stoves can now take months to deliver.»

«Strapped households across the region are increasingly faced with choosing between heating and other essentials. For many Europeans, the key concern is doing whatever it takes to stay warm in the coming months. Inexperience is also evident in Germany, where the country’s association of chimney sweeps is dealing with a flood of requests to connect new and old stoves, and customers are inquiring about burning horse dung and other obscure fuels. People are desperate for wood, and they are buying more than usual»

«We’re looking ahead to winter with great concern»

* * * * * * *


Green Desperate Europeans Return to the World’s Oldest Fuel for Warmth

‘It’s back to the old days’ as demand for firewood soars due to gas shortage.

Not far from Berlin’s Nazi-era Tempelhof airport, Peter Engelke is putting up a new security gate at his warehouse because of concerns about desperate people pilfering his stock. The precious asset at risk is firewood.

Engelke’s actions reflect growing anxiety across Europe as the continent braces for energy shortfalls, and possibly blackouts, this winter. The apparent sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline is the latest sign of the region’s critical position as Russia slashes supplies in the standoff over the war in Ukraine.

At a summit in Prague on Friday, European Union leaders fell short of agreeing on a price cap for gas amid concerns that any such move could threaten supplies to the region. As much as 70% of European heating comes from natural gas and electricity, and with Russian deliveries drastically reduced, wood — already used by some 40 million people for heating — has become a sought-after commodity.

Prices for wood pellets have nearly doubled to 600 euros a ton in France, and there are signs of panic buying of the world’s most basic fuel. Hungary even went so far as to ban exports of pellets, and Romania capped firewood prices for six months. Meanwhile, wood stoves can now take months to deliver.

Aside from concerns about shortages, the energy crisis is intensifying a surge in living expenses, with euro-zone inflation hitting double digits for the first time ever in September. Strapped households across the region are increasingly faced with choosing between heating and other essentials. 

“It’s back to the old days when people wouldn’t have the whole house heated,” said Nic Snell, managing director at British wholesale firewood retailer Certainly Wood. “They’d sit around the fire and use the heat from the stove or open fire and go off to bed. There will be a lot more of that this winter.”

The trend has meant a boom in demand for Gabriel Kakelugnar AB, a manufacturer of high-end tiled stoves costing an average of 86,000 Swedish kronor ($7,700). The stoves can keep a room warm for 24 hours because of its intricate construction using different channels that hold and distribute the heat.

“During the pandemic, people started to invest more in their homes. That has now of course escalated,” said Jesper Svensson, owner and managing director of the company that’s located less than an hour drive from Sweden’s biggest nuclear reactor. 

Orders have surged more than fourfold, and customers now have to wait until March for delivery, compared with as little as four weeks a year ago.

For many Europeans, the key concern is doing whatever it takes to stay warm in the coming months. The worry has become ever more pressing as the winter chill gets nearer, and the desperation for heat could create health and environmental issues. 

“We are worried that people will just burn what they can get their hands on,” said Roger Sedin, head of the air quality unit at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, warning against poor ventilation and trying to burn wet firewood. “We can see very high pollution levels when you have people burning wood who don’t know how to do it correctly.”

Particulate matter can end up deep in the lungs and cause heart attacks, strokes and asthma, he said, adding that the risk is particularly acute in urban areas. 

“You need to think about your neighbors,” Sedin said.

Inexperience is also evident in Germany, where the country’s association of chimney sweeps is dealing with a flood of requests to connect new and old stoves, and customers are inquiring about burning horse dung and other obscure fuels.

There are also signs of hording. In France, Frederic Coirier, chief executive officer of Poujoulat SA, which makes chimney flues and produces wood fuels, said some clients have bought two tons of wood pellets, when less than one ton is normally enough to head a home for a year. 

“People are desperate for wood, and they are buying more than usual,” said Trond Fjortoft, founder and CEO of Norwegian wood seller Kortreist Ved. “Usually it happens when it starts to get cold, ‘someone says, oh we should order some wood.’ This year, that started in June” — around the time Russia slashed gas supplies.

In Berlin, the crisis creates unsettling echoes of the desolation following World War II. With fuel in short supply, residents chopped down nearly all the trees in the central Tiergarten park for heating. 

While Berliners aren’t going to such extremes now, concerns about staying warm are widespread. Engelke not only put up an extra security gate to protect logs, coal briquettes and heating oil, he also had to stop taking on new customers. 

“We’re looking ahead to winter with great concern,” he said.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Problemia Energetici, Stati Uniti

Usa. 20 milioni di famiglie non pagano le bollette e sono staccati dalla corrente.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-27.

2022-08-26__ 20 Million US Homes Are Behind on Energy Bills 001

«People on the bottom, they can’t pay their electricity bills»

«Le famiglie in difficoltà non riescono a pagare le bollette della elettricità»

I media di regime possono dire e scrivere ciò che vogliono, mentendo, ma la dura realtà è che 20 milioni di famiglie sono nei triboli non avendo i mezzi per pagare le bollette della corrente elettrica e vengono staccati dal servizio.

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Almeno 20 milioni di famiglie, ovvero circa 1 famiglia americana su 6, sono in ritardo con le bollette dell’energia elettrica a causa dell’impennata dei prezzi dell’elettricità che ha scatenato quella che si dice essere la peggiore crisi di sempre nei ritardi di pagamento delle utenze.

La Neada (National Energy Assistance Directors Association) ha dichiarato che i prezzi dell’elettricità sono aumentati in modo significativo dal 2020, dopo un decennio di stagnazione. Il forte aumento ha portato a miliardi di dollari di bollette scadute.  L’inflazione dell’elettricità è alimentata dall’impennata dei costi dei combustibili fossili, come il gas naturale, il carbone e il petrolio. Il gas naturale alimenta circa il 40% della rete elettrica statunitense e martedì è salito ai livelli più alti dal 2008.

L’elettricità continua a salire a un ritmo vertiginoso del 30% su base annua. [Neada] ha avvertito di uno tsunami di interruzioni di corrente mentre l’inflazione più alta degli ultimi quarant’anni divora i salari e ha devastato finanziariamente i lavoratori poveri. [Essa[ Ha ricevuto un ultimo avviso dalla compagnia elettrica Xcel Energy Inc. che ha staccato la elettricità al suo monolocale di Minneapolis mentre le temperature si avvicinavano alle tre cifre. Le spese per le utenze sono raddoppiate nell’ultimo anno, mentre i prezzi di cibo, alloggio e gas sono saliti alle stelle.

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«At least 20 million households — or about 1 in 6 American homes — are behind on their power bills as soaring electricity prices spark what is said to be the worst-ever crisis in late utility payments»

«Neada (National Energy Assistance Directors Association) said electricity prices had increased significantly since 2020 after a decade of stagnation. The steep rise has resulted in billions of dollars in overdue power bills. 

Electricity inflation is being propelled by soaring costs of fossil fuels, such as natural gas, coal, and petroleum. NatGas fuels about 40% of the US power grid and soared to the highest levels since 2008 on Tuesday.»

«Electricity continues to rise to a blistering 30% year on year. Warned of a tsunami of shutoff as the highest inflation in forty years eats away wages and has financially devastated the working poor. [She] received a final notice from power company Xcel Energy Inc., who turned off the electricity to her studio apartment in Minneapolis as temperatures approached near triple digits. Utility expenses that have doubled over the past year as food, shelter, and gas prices have also skyrocketed.»

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A ‘Tsunami of Shutoffs’: 20 Million US Homes Are Behind on Energy Bills

“Tsunami Of Shutoffs”: 20 Million US Homes Are Behind On Power Bills

At least 20 million households — or about 1 in 6 American homes — are behind on their power bills as soaring electricity prices spark what is said to be the worst-ever crisis in late utility payments, according to Bloomberg, citing data from the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (Neada).

Neada said electricity prices had increased significantly since 2020 after a decade of stagnation. The steep rise has resulted in billions of dollars in overdue power bills.  

Electricity inflation is being propelled by soaring costs of fossil fuels, such as natural gas, coal, and petroleum.

NatGas fuels about 40% of the US power grid and soared to the highest levels since 2008 on Tuesday. 

The chart below shows for the two decades, real electricity prices were relatively flat, except for the commodity boom times around the 2008 GFC. Now CPI less energy has peaked, though electricity continues to rise to a blistering 30% y

year on year. 

Jean Su, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, which tracks utility disconnections across the US, warned of a “tsunami of shutoff” as the highest inflation in forty years eats away wages and has financially devastated the working poor.  

Adrienne Nice is one of those struggling Americans who is more than $3,000 behind on utility bills. Last month, she received a “final notice” from power company Xcel Energy Inc., who turned off the electricity to her studio apartment in Minneapolis as temperatures approached near triple digits. 

Nice found it near impossible to save money for utility expenses that have doubled over the past year as food, shelter, and gas prices have also skyrocketed. Her low-paying job as a housecleaner has left her in energy poverty. 

Readers know that low-tier consumers are financially tapped out. They’ve maxed out credit cards, depleted savings, and have seen wage gains wiped out due to inflation. It comes as no surprise the US is becoming more like Europe, where energy poverty has doomed millions of households. 

It’s only a matter of time before the Biden administration starts handing out stimmy checks for electricity bills. 

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici

Italia. Primo trimestre 2022. Importati 18,698 milioni metri cubi contro i 17,277 del 2021.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-07-30.

2022-07-27__ Italia Gas Primo Trimestre 2022

Nel mese di marzo la domanda è cresciuta del 4,1% sullo stesso mese del 2021.

Le scorte sono scese invece di -6,765 mmc, con un decremento del -4.21% anno su anno.

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Consumi gas in Italia nel primo trimestre 2022: cala l’import dalla Russia

Tra gennaio e marzo la domanda di metano cresce dell’1,2%. Scende l’importazione del gas russo del 19,7%, con 1,4 mld di mc in meno, sopperita dall’aumento nell’utilizzo delle scorte, dal Tap, dall’import del Nord Europa e un po’ dal Gnl.

I primi tre mesi del 2022 sono stati importanti per la questione gas a causa del rincaro dei prezzi della seconda metà del 2021 e per l’invasione dell’Ucraina dal 24 febbraio.

Vediamo allora come sono andati i consumi di metano nel nostro paese secondo i dati forniti dal MiSE-DGSAIE.

Nel mese di marzo la domanda è cresciuta del 4,1% sullo stesso mese del 2021, con quasi 8 miliardi di mc consumati, di cui 6,7 circa importati. Dalla Russia sono arrivati 2,3 mld mc, così come nel marzo 2021 (mentre a febbraio si registrava una diminuzione del 18,7% dell’import da Mosca). Scarsa anche a marzo la produzione nazionale (appena 280 milioni di mc), ma con un export piuttosto elevato rispetto al normale e una crescita significativa nell’utilizzo delle scorte.

Le importazioni di gas naturale nel primo trimestre 2022 crescono dell’8,2% sul periodo gennaio-marzo 2021, circa 1,4 mld mc in più.

Nel complesso del periodo gennaio-marzo 2022 le importazioni dalla Russia calano del 19,7%, all’incirca della stessa quantità dell’import totale di gas estero (-1,36 mld mc), a fronte di un aumento della domanda dell’1,2%.

Diventa primo fornitore di questo inizio anno, sebbene di poco, l’Algeria (5,6 mld di mc) che copre il 30,1% dell’import, peraltro più che raddoppiato rispetto al primo trimestre del 2020, mentre la Russia scende al 29,6%.

Risale fortemente la fornitura dal Nord Europa (+249%), da dove sono arrivati nel primo trimestre 1,3 mld mc di gas in più rispetto allo stesso periodo 2021.

In diminuzione del 44% l’import dalla Libia da cui è arrivato in tre mesi solo mezzo miliardo di metri cubi.

Dal gasdotto che arriva in Puglia, il Tap, sono arrivati 2,3 mld di mc di metano provenienti dai giacimenti dell’Azerbaijan; nel primo trimestre questo gas ha rappresentato il 12,3% dell’import del periodo (era il 5,5% lo scorso anno) e il 9,1% della richiesta del paese. La capacità di trasporto del Tap è di 10 miliardi di metri cubi ogni anno.

Nel complesso si registra un incremento del gas importato dai terminal GNL: si tratta però di soli 767 milioni di mc in più rispetto allo stesso periodo del 2021; nel complesso i circa 3 mld di mc di gas liquefatto costituiscono l’11,8% della domanda nazionale del trimestre.

La produzione nazionale scende ancora: -12,1% sul 2021. Nel primo trimestre rappresenterebbe appena il 3,2% della domanda nazionale.

Secondo fonte Snam il flusso di gas dalla Russia nel mese di aprile in entrata al punto di Tarvisio è stato regolare, probabilmente solo in leggero calo rispetto allo scorso anno, quando si era attestato nel mese intorno a 2,6 mld di mc.