Il Nordrhein-Westfalen è uno dei Land tedeschi che meglio evidenzia quanto il quadro politico sia evoluto nel tempo.
Nelle elezioni del 18 settembre 2005 la Cdu ottenne il 34.4%, la Spd il 40.0% ed i Grüne il 10.0% dei voti.
Nelle elezioni del 22 settembre 2009 la Cdu ottenne il 33.1%, la Spd il 28.5% ed i Grüne il 14.9%dei voti validi.
Nelle elezioni del 24 settembre 2017 la Cdu ottenne il 32.6%, la Spd il 26.0% ed i Grüne il 13.1%dei voti validi.
Secondo le più recenti propensioni al voto la Cdu si attesterebbe al 34%, la Spd al 21%, ed i Grüne all’11%. AfD varrebbe il 9%.
L’elemento che salta agli occhi immediatamente è sia la sostanziale tenuta della Cdu e dei Grüne, sia il crollo della Spd.
Se è vero che a livello mondiale è in corso la devoluzione dell’ideologia liberal socialista, sarebbe anche vero il dover constatare la deindustrializzazione lenta ma costante e significativa di questo bacino economico. In altri termini, il declino della Spd in questa zone avrebbe due sostanziosi moventi, simultanei e sinergici.
L’industria pesante ha progressivamente lasciato questo enclave produttivo, sia delocalizzando le produzioni sia essendo stato acquisito da capitali stranieri interessati più al know-how che a mantener viva la produzione tedesca: nel converso non è stato possibile impiantare una qualche forma di nuova industria.
L’attuale governo federale proprio non ha feeling con l’industria, che guarda financo con sospetto: è estasiato dalle nuove tecnologie al punto tale dal crederle già disponibili e non solo future. Le suppone anche economicamente gratificanti.
«In November 2018 compared with November 2017, industrial production fell by 3.3% in the euro area and by 2.2% in the EU28 …. Among Member States for which data are available, the largest decreases in industrial production were observed in Ireland (-9.1%), Germany (-5.1%)»
La Germania è in crisi o, più verosimilmente, in recessione.
I periodi della vacche grasse sembrerebbero essere terminati.
Prendiamo atto come proprio in un momento così delicato il Governo tedesco intenda abbandonare il carbone quale combustibile per alimentare le centrali elettriche. Se è vero che ognuno sia libero di fare ciò che vuole, sarebbe anche vero il ricordare come lo stato di salute dell’economia tedesca sia strettamente legato a quello dell’Europa e, quindi, anche dell’Italia.
I tedeschi hanno una grande abbondanza di carbone, ancorché buon quota sia costituita dalla lignite. Sarebbero da questo punto di vista autosufficienti energeticamente.
Abbandonare l’uso del carbone implica necessariamente la sostituzione con un qualche altro tipo di combustibile, che necessariamente dovrebbe essere importato.
Non a caso la Cina ha dichiarato di voler incrementare del 25% la quota di corrente elettrica prodotta bruciando carbone: è più economico di altri fonti energetiche.
Il Land Nordrhein-Westfalen è uno dei grandi produttori tedeschi di lignite: la chiusura di questa industria estrattiva comporterebbe un gran danno per il sistema economico di questa enclave: il governo statale reclamerebbe quindi almeno 11.5 miliardi di Usd quali refusione alla chiusura coatta degli impianti, in ossequio al ‘clima’.
Il Governo federale pagherebbe così tre volte la bolletta energetica: il costo dei combustibili acquistati all’estero, i rimborsi di mancato guadagno in patria, i costi di impianto ed esercizio delle nuove centrali non a carbone.
Anche i Länder della Germania dell’est sono grandi estrattori di carbone: se refusione alla chiusura fosse dovuta al Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, anche i Länder orientale dovrebbero essere rimborsati.
Di rimborsi si potrebbe arrivare a delle cifre da capogiro: tra i trenta ed i quaranta miliardi di euro.
Stare alla moda ha un costo, come sanno bene tutte le giovin signore in tiro.
Ma ha un suo costo anche il voler seguire la moda di cambiar tipo di centrale elettrica al mutare dell’ideologia dominante.
«Supported by Germany and the EU».
In parole povere, l’Unione Europea, Italia compresa, dovrebbe assecondare i capricci di Frau Merkel, mettendo mano al portafoglio.
Duesseldorf (Reuters) – North Rhine-Westphalia, one of Germany’s coal-mining states, is demanding at least 10 billion euros ($11.5 billion) in structural support if coal-fired power stations are phased out, its economy minister said.
Germany is hammering out plans for how to abandon polluting coal stations in favor of renewables, which accounted for more than 40 percent of the energy mix last year, beating coal for the first time.
The German cabinet has appointed a coal commission to find a compromise on how operators of these assets and the regions they are located in could be compensated. The commission aims to wrap up its work on Feb. 1.
“For North Rhine-Westphalia, we expect a double-digit billion euro amount for structural change and infrastructure over the next decades,” North Rhine-Westphalia’s Economy Minister Andreas Pinkwart told journalists on Friday.
He said the exact sum could not be determined yet but added it would certainly be more than 10 billion euros. “Supported by Germany and the EU, the coal district can evolve into a model for how to safeguard energy and other resources.”
North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, is home to some of the country’s largest energy groups, including RWE, Uniper and Steag, which all operate coal-fired power plants.
So far, Germany’s governing coalition has agreed to spend 1.5 billion euros to help regions affected by the planned exit from coal.
«Weak demand in Europe and China along with ramping up of global output from recent capacity additions and upgrades will be the main overhang for EU coal prices next year»
«EU coal for 2019 increased 1.7% through Dec. 21»
«Coal use faces more headwinds from the EU’s emissions market. Carbon allowances tripled this year and are forecast to jump again in 2019 when market reforms to reduce a glut kick in next year»
«The story of coal is a tale of two worlds with climate action policies and economic forces leading to closing coal power plants in some countries, while coal continues to play a part in securing access to affordable energy in others»
«Extra 259GW capacity from coal in pipeline despite Beijing’s restrictions on plants. ….
Chinese coal-fired power plants, thought to have been cancelled because of government edicts, are still being built and are threatening to “seriously undermine” global climate goals, researchers have warned.
Satellite photos taken in 2018 of locations in China reveal cooling towers and new buildings that were not present a year earlier at plants that were meant to stop operations or be postponed by orders from Beijing.
The projects are part of an “approaching tsunami” of coal plants that would boost China’s existing coal capacity by 25% …. The total capacity of the planned coal power stations is about 259GW, bigger than the American coal fleet and “wildly out of line” with the Paris climate agreement
This new evidence that China’s central government hasn’t been able to stop the runaway coal-fired power plant building is alarming – the planet can’t tolerate another US-sized block of plants to be built ….
Other photographs show water vapour emerging from cooling towers where there was none before, such as at the Zhoukou Longda power station in central China, which indicatesa plant burning coal and generating electricity»
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La Cina brucia al momento il 55.98% del carbone mondiale per generare energia elettrica. Ma aumentando la produzione di corrente aumentando potenza e numero delle centrali a carbone salirà rapidament al 70%.
«coal plants that would boost China’s existing coal capacity by 25%»
Lo fa per il semplice motivo che il costo dell’energia generata con il carbone costa moto meno di tutte le altre soluzioni possibili.
Poi, per amore di quieto vivere proclama che in un futuro sostituirà il carbone con qualcosa di altro, ma nei fatti si comporta all’opposto. Sanno fare i conti: tutto qua.
L’incontro di Davos si preannuncia essere un altro buco nell’acqua. E tra Gilets Jaunes e recessione sia Mr Macron sia Frau Merkel avranno cose ben più importanti a cui pensare: per esempio, la loro sopravvivenza fisica.
Price of the power generation fuel may drop 10% this year in Rotterdam as demand falls in Europe and China.
Coal’s three-year run of blistering gains in Europe is set to end, clobbered by a combination of weakening demand and energy polices aimed at phasing out the dirtiest fossil fuel.
After prices more than doubled since 2016 as Asian importers drove demand, coal is expected to fall more than 10 percent to $76.50 a ton next year in Europe, a Bloomberg survey shows. That’s a far cry from October’s five-year high of $100 a ton.
A return to those levels any time soon may be difficult. Slowing growth in China and other Asian countries is damping demand at a time when India’s mines are set to churn out more supplies. In Europe, pressure to cut use of the fuel in power generation is intensifying, while the cost for polluting is near the highest in a decade and expected to climb further.
“Weak demand in Europe and China along with ramping up of global output from recent capacity additions and upgrades will be the main overhang for EU coal prices next year,” said Elchin Mammadov, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
Since its October high, year-ahead coal contracts on ICE Futures Europe have fallen as low as $83.70 a ton. That reflected an ebb in demand in China after it built up stockpiles needed for winter. In the same period, crude oil, a bellwether for energy prices, collapsed almost 40 percent along with concerns of weakening economic growth and a looming glut.
The global movement against climate change is spurring the push for cleaner alternatives to coal. This has led to several European Union countries setting dates by which they will stop burning the fuel altogether. Britain has committed to phasing out coal completely by 2025. Sweden and France plan to close their last plants by 2023.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government will in February publish a timetable for exiting the world’s most widely used power-plant fuel. The so-called Coal Commission is weighing whether to slow the pace of coal station closures after union leaders and industrial companies objected to rising energy costs.
Coal use faces more headwinds from the EU’s emissions market. Carbon allowances tripled this year and are forecast to jump again in 2019 when market reforms to reduce a glut kick in next year. The rising cost of pollution is likely to boost demand for natural gas, which emits half the carbon of coal.
A Year in the Life of Coal
EU coal for 2019 increased 1.7% through Dec. 21
Demand for coal in Europe has fallen steadily since 2012 and will drop 1.1 percent annually through 2023, International Energy Agency data show. It’s forecast to fall more than 2 percent a year through 2023 in the U.S. and Europe, while China demand will decline.
That contrasts with Southeast Asia and India, where consumption is seen expanding annually by at least 4 percent over the next five years. Newcastle coal, an Asian benchmark, is averaging $106 a ton in 2018, the highest since 2011, and is forecast to average about $95 next year, according to the median of seven estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Coal demand from Southeast Asia and India to continue through 2023
“The story of coal is a tale of two worlds with climate action policies and economic forces leading to closing coal power plants in some countries, while coal continues to play a part in securing access to affordable energy in others,” said Keisuke Sadamori, director of energy markets and security at the Paris-based IEA.
«On May 10, 2017, SolarWorld AG filed for bankruptcy citing “ongoing price distortions” and “no longer a positive forecast for the future”. In May 2016, a lawsuits brought by U.S. silicon supplier Hemlock was reported as “threatening the continued existence of the company” with damage claims up to $770 million.»
L’elenco dei fallimenti sarebbe tristemente lungo.
Ma adesso al fotovoltaico si sta aggiungendo il biogas: un bagno di sangue per i Contribuenti.
Senza il delirio per le alternative, la Germania potrebbe dimezzare le tasse.
* * * * * * *
«More than 9,000 biogas facilities make Germany the No. 1 player in the renewable energy»
«But falling prices and dying subsidies are putting the future of this biofuel into question.»
«German government subsidies will end in 2021, which could mark the end for the entire experiment, but the biogas bubble has already deflated»
«In 2011, 1,500 new biogas facilities opened on farms across Germany. Last year, it was just 120.»
«Once upon a time, biogas was the next big thing, promised a key role in Germany’s transition to renewable energy»
«As nuclear plants have been powered down, biogas has indeed stepped in to fill the gap. Biogas accounts for 8 percent of the country’s renewable energy, powering about 8 million German households. In no other country does biogas play such an important role.»
«The trouble is that is heavily subsidized by the government»
«When Berlin was paying 25 cents per kilowatt hour for biogas, farmers rushed to invest»
«Currently, about 20 percent of Germany’s arable land is used for biogas, with 20 percent used to grow food, and 60 percent for animal fodder»
«But in the last seven years, almost 20,000 biogas jobs have disappeared, leaving 44,000 employed in the sector.»
«But there are ecological downsides to the sector, not least because it encourages monocultures. Although corn is the most productive biogas crop, there are strict limits on how much corn farmers can grow»
«To qualify for the government’s tenders, he would have to upgrade his plant. For many small farmers, that investment is more than they can afford.»
«he expects half of Germany’s biofuel facilities to disappear after 2021, with considerable loss of flexibility in the energy system»
«So it could be the end of the harvest for more small biofuel farmers»
«The future of biofuel now lies in the hands of politicians»
* * * * * * * *
Lasciamo al Lettore un semplice calcolo: quanto spende in un anno il Governo federale tedesco, che sussidia ai farmer 25 centesimi per ogni kw/h immesso in rete?
Poniamoci alcune domande.
– Senza aiuti di stato il settore delle alternative a biogas è destinato al fallimento. Come rimpiazzerà la Germania l’8% della produzione di energia elettrica che questo comparto produceva?
– La Germania ha indotto a gestire a pascolo il 20% del terreno arabile. È uno sbilanciamento verso la monocultura assai pericoloso. Basterebbe una epidemia di morbo di Johne, di diarrea virale bovina, di mastite streptococcica, oppure di leucosi bovina enzootica e tutto il settore si azzererebbe.
– A margine, i danni sul mercato del latte potrebbero essere enormi.
* * * * * * * *
I settori sostenuti da sovvenzioni statali stanno in piedi fino a tanto che vi siano le sovvenzioni.
Cessate queste, si va al fallimento: muoiono le aziende e crepano i sogni sprovvidi.
Rimettere a coltivazioni il 20% dei terreni arabili sarà cosa ben dura. Si dovranno ricollocare gli addetti al biogas e trovare contadini esperti delle coltivazioni allo stato dell’arte. Per non parlare poi degli squilibri indotti nel piano agricolo comunitario.
More than 9,000 biogas facilities make Germany the No. 1 player in the renewable energy. But falling prices and dying subsidies are putting the future of this biofuel into question.
Seventeen years ago, Thomas Endres was one of the first German farmers to build a biogas plant on his land. Back then, environmentalists thought biogas would be the future of energy.
These days, like many biogas farmers, Endres is thinking about getting out of the business. German government subsidies will end in 2021, which could mark the end for the entire experiment, but the biogas bubble has already deflated. In 2011, 1,500 new biogas facilities opened on farms across Germany. Last year, it was just 120.
Once upon a time, biogas was the next big thing, promised a key role in Germany’s transition to renewable energy. What could be more sustainable than growing your own energy sources?
As nuclear plants have been powered down, biogas has indeed stepped in to fill the gap. Biogas accounts for 8 percent of the country’s renewable energy, powering about 8 million German households. In no other country does biogas play such an important role.
‘Biogas is as good as dead’
The trouble is that is heavily subsidized by the government. When Berlin was paying 25 cents per kilowatt hour for biogas, farmers rushed to invest. The country now has over 9,000 biogas facilities, but the sector has been in crisis since 2014, when subsidies were cut by more than half.
Since last year, the German government no longer automatically subsidizes all players: Instead, biofuel production goes out to tender, with only the best bids winning contracts.
Currently, about 20 percent of Germany’s arable land is used for biogas, with 20 percent used to grow food, and 60 percent for animal fodder. But in the last seven years, almost 20,000 biogas jobs have disappeared, leaving 44,000 employed in the sector.
“Biogas in Germany is as good as dead,” says Jörg Meyer zu Strohe, CEO of PlanET, one of the biggest and oldest biogas plant constructors in Germany. The company now operates almost entirely outside Germany, mostly in France and Belgium.
However, experts still see biofuels as a crucial part of a sustainable energy system. Unlike solar and wind power, it’s dependable and helps even out gaps. The International Energy Agency says biogas could become more important as countries phase out nuclear power.
But there are ecological downsides to the sector, not least because it encourages monocultures. Although corn is the most productive biogas crop, there are strict limits on how much corn farmers can grow.
Endres grows a mixed batch of biofuel crops, including 30 percent corn, but also grass, rye and turnips. Manure from cows, chickens and pigs also flows into the process. The heat generated by the stinking fermentation powers seven houses and some public buildings, as well as his own farm facilities.
In spite of his financial difficulties, Endres still believes in biogas. But now he faces a new obstacle: To qualify for the government’s tenders, he would have to upgrade his plant. For many small farmers, that investment is more than they can afford.
So it could be the end of the harvest for more small biofuel farmers. Meyer zu Strohe says he expects half of Germany’s biofuel facilities to disappear after 2021, with considerable loss of flexibility in the energy system.
The future of biofuel now lies in the hands of politicians, who must soon make yet more decisions about the sustainability of the sector. “We just hope they don’t completely let us down,” Endres says.
Un governo serio dovrebbe quanto meno cercare di ridurre la possibilità di eventi catastrofici così come di aver predisposto piani adeguati nel caso accadessero.
Tuttavia un fatto emerge in modo chiaro: le attuali società industriali presentano un numero talmente elevato di severe vulnerabilità strutturali da poter essere totalmente paralizzate nel breve volgere di qualche decina di minuti. Usando fraseggi differenti, in caso di guerra sarebbe sciocco distruggere l’avversario: sarebbe sufficiente colpire una decina di punti strategici per renderlo inoffensivo.
Tranne pochissime nazioni, la quasi totalità dispone per il traffico telefonico di non più di una decina di concentratori, colpiti i quali l’intero sistema andrebbe fuori uso.
Similmente, la rete di distribuzione della corrente elettrica presenta punti strategicamente vulnerabili ma talmente importanti da bloccare tutto.
Per esempio, per lasciare tutta l’Italia senza corrente elettrica basterebbe colpire tre soli punti della connessione. Ossia, con tre razzetti da quattro soldi l’Italia interna resterebbe senza corrente elettrica per almeno una settimana. Il rapporto prestazioni / costi è lampante. Sarebbe del tutto antieconomico bombardare Milano, Torino, Roma e città di tal livello.
* * * * * * *
La struttura della produzione energetica tedesca sembrerebbe essere stata progettata da un androide.
Pur essendo una nazione ricca di carbone, ha speso, e spende tuttora, quantità rilevanti di risorse nei metodi alternativi di generazione di corrente. A ciò consegue che i grandi parchi eolici sono messi ove vi sia vento a sufficienza, ossia nel nord del paese. Di qui la necessità di allestire elettrodotti di lunga percorrenza, lungo i quali la corrente è in buona parte dissipata.
Il sud ovest industrializzato è ricorso ad un escamotage. L’Austria importa di notte il surplus delle centrali atomiche dei paesi viciniori e usa questa energia per riempire i suoi bacini idrici, vendendo alla Baviera la mattina seguente energia idroelettrica, considerata così energia pulita. In altri termini, la Germania del sud dipende energeticamente dall’import.
L’alta dispersione lungo gli elettrodotti ha portato come conseguenza negli altri paesi alla costruzione di centrali elettriche relativamente poco potenti ma distribuite in modo equidistanziato, così da ridurre al massimo le dispersioni.
Un denso network di centrali elettriche è inoltre molto robusto nel sostenere guasti ai quali conseguirebbero blackout. Meno la distribuzione delle centrali è densa maggiori sono i rischi di blackout di grandi dimensioni. Ad una centrale elettriche andata improvvisamente in avaria, il sistema deve reagire riequilibrando la produzione, cosa che risulterebbe essere impossibile nei sistemi altamente concentrati.
La storia dei blackout dovrebbe aver insegnato qualcosa.
Il nove novembre 1965 un contatto nella centrale del Niagara Falls mandò in tilt tutta la centrale. Nel giro di soli dodici minuti primi il blackout si estese dapprima nello stato di New York, quindi nel Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire e due province canadesi: furono interessati oltre 200,000 kilometri quadrati densamente popolati.
Il 14 luglio 1977 un fulmine disattivò una centrale di trasformazione a New York, generando una reazione a catena di chiusure. La città restò al buio: la polizia arresto oltre quattromila persone che si stavano dedicando al saccheggio.
Il 28 settembre 2003 alle ore 3:01 un albero troppo vecchio per stare in piedi da solo crollò sulla linea ad altissima tensione Lavorgo-Mettlen, interrompendo l’importazione di energia dalla Svizzera all’Italia. Nel breve volgere di qualche minuto tutta l’Italia, Sicilia compresa, restò al buio. Treni ed ascensori fermi, ospedali senza corrente: il chaos generalizzato.
«According to an internal report by Germany’s civil protection agency, prolonged power shortages would disrupt the supply of vital goods in the country»
«The country lacks the necessary contigency plans for such an event»
«Prolonged, large-scale power shortages in Germany would cause a significant lack supplies, which could have “catastrophic” effects on the country»
«The alarm was raised by Germany’s Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) in an internal position paper»
* * * * * * * *
Cerchiamo di ragionare.
Un corto circuito banale a Niagara Falls ha indotto un blackout immane in quasi tutto il nordest americano. Un albero caduto su di un elettrodotto ha lasciato per due giorni l’Italia senza corrente.
Ma cosa mai succederebbe se i guasti fossero plurimi e simultanei?
Ma cosa mai potrebbe succedere se le interruzioni delle linee fossero artatamente indotte, mettiamo un sabotaggio ben organizzato?
E cosa mai potrebbe accadere in coso di un conflitto? Forse che i potenziali nemici non siano a conoscenza di questi colli di bottiglia? Sarebbero sufficienti sette cruise di piccola potenza per bloccare una intera nazione.
According to an internal report by Germany’s civil protection agency, prolonged power shortages would disrupt the supply of vital goods in the country. The country lacks the necessary contigency plans for such an event.
Prolonged, large-scale power shortages in Germany would cause a significant lack supplies, which could have “catastrophic” effects on the country.
In the research paper, the BBK reportedly wrote that a big power failure would result in a “significant distribution problem for important, sometimes vital goods” in almost all areas of society.
Electricity supply safe, but citizens and services unprepared
According to the report, this is also due to a lack of contingency plans for the distribution of fuel, food and medicines, particularly at the state and local level.
“Most of the gas stations wouldn’t provide any fuel. In a matter of hours, telephones and the internet could no longer be used. One would no longer be able to get a hold of any cash,” says the BBK’s paper.
Medical supplies could also only be provided for a short period of time, while critical infrastructure like the supply of energy, food and water, transport, telecommunications and finance would be affected.
But despite it ringing the alarm bell, the BBK believes such a catastrophic scenario in Germany isn’t imminent.
In fact, in its report the agency writes that the country’s electricity supply is “very safe,” and praised recent measures that improved IT security and increased the number of emergency power generators.
The BBK’s website advises that in case of a prolonged power shortage, citizens should wear warm clothes and light a fire with a supply of coal or wood to make up for the lack of heating.
It also advises to keep a stock of candles and flashlights, to prepare meals on a camping stove, and to have a sufficient reserve of cash in the house in case ATMs stop working due to the power failure.
Tutte le comodità, per non parlare poi dei lussi, hanno un loro costo.
Una cosa è il desiderare un qualcosa, ed una totalmente differente l’essere disposti a pagarne i costi.
Se è vero che la Polonia genera energia elettrica usando per l’80% il carbone come combustibile, è anche vero che la estrae in gran parte da miniere locate sul suo territorio: in altri termini, è energeticamente sufficiente, almeno per quanto riguarda questo settore.
Sicuramente differenziare il combustibile usato sarebbe cosa del tutto ragionevole, ma servirebbe tenere presente che allora la Polonia dovrebbe importare la materia prima.
La scelta è davvero non facile.
Tra i molti aspetti da menzionare, uno salta immediatamente agli occhi. La Polonia ha un basso tasso di fertilità e soffre anche di un consistente fenomeno emigratorio. In altri termini, Nel lungo termine avrà una popolazione consistentemente ridotta e, con essa, sarà anche ridotta la richiesta energetica. Questo è un fattore i non poco conto nel progettare nuove centrali elettriche, dato anche il fatto che la loro costruzione richiede in media una decina di anni.
Ma non solo: a popolazione ridotta corrisponde anche un pil ridotto ed uno squilibrio tra vecchi e giovani, almeno nel periodo del transitorio.
Un precoce abbandono del carbone potrebbe esitare in un aumento insostenibile del costo dell’energia elettrica generata.
A latere, vi è il problema della riconversione di tutti gli addetti alla estrazione e trattamento del carbone. Problema questo non da poco.
«Currently, around 80 percent of Polish electricity is generated by burning coal»
«Poland will not have stopped burning coal for energy production by 2050, a senior local politician predicted in an interview with EUobserver»
«Witold Stepien, ‘marshal’ (a Polish local government term for head) of the Lodz region from 2010 until last month, told EUobserver that while he thought Poland would have “considerably less coal” in its energy mix by 2050, it will not have completely phased it out.»
«”I don’t think by 2050 we can eliminate the use of coal to zero,” Stepien told this website through an interpreter. “We will need 10 to 15 years more.”»
* * * * * * * *
Mr Stepien è “a member of the Lodz regional assembly, affiliated with the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), and a member of the Committee of the Regions, a Brussels-based advisory institution“
Se è vero che al momento attuale gli attuali dirigenti europei e taluni capi di stato siano totalmente a favore della decarbonizzazione dell’Unione Europea, sarebbe altrettanto vero ricordar sia che a maggio si voterà, sia che non è assolutamente detto che i governi subentranti abbiano eguale visione sul comparto energetico.
Poland will not have stopped burning coal for energy production by 2050, a senior local politician predicted in an interview with EUobserver.
Witold Stepien, ‘marshal’ (a Polish local government term for head) of the Lodz region from 2010 until last month, told EUobserver that while he thought Poland would have “considerably less coal” in its energy mix by 2050, it will not have completely phased it out.
“I don’t think by 2050 we can eliminate the use of coal to zero,” Stepien told this website through an interpreter. “We will need 10 to 15 years more.”
Stepien is still a member of the Lodz regional assembly, affiliated with the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), and a member of the Committee of the Regions, a Brussels-based advisory institution.
But a coal phase-out date of somewhere around 2065 is not quite in line with what the European Commission has in mind.
«The EPR is a third generation pressurised water reactor (PWR) design. It has been designed and developed mainly by Framatome (part of Areva between 2001 and 2017) and Électricité de France (EDF) in France, and Siemens in Germany. In Europe this reactor design was called European Pressurised Reactor, and the internationalised name was Evolutionary Power Reactor, but it is now simply named EPR.
The first two EPR units, at Olkiluoto in Finland and Flamanville in France, are both facing costly construction delays (to at least 2020). Construction commenced on two Chinese units at Taishan in 2009 and 2010. Taishan 1 achieved criticality on 6 June 2018. Taishan 2 is expected to begin operation in 2019. Two units at Hinkley Point in the United Kingdom received final approval in September 2016 and are expected to be completed by 2025.
EDF has acknowledged severe difficulties in building the EPR design. In September 2015 EDF stated that the design of a “New Model” EPR was being worked on, which will be easier and cheaper to build.»
Il grande problema dei reattori Epr è costituto dai costi di costruzione, che li rendono ad oggi più una scommessa sul futuro piuttosto che un’opzione al momento economicamente competitiva.
D’altra parte però una nazione grande quanto un intero continente deve differenziare le tipologie di reattori in uso e può tollerare la conseguente disparità di costi unitari.
Da notare infine che la China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) è entrata nel progetto al 75% rilevando anche una parte di brevetti e know-how. Nei fatti, se è vero che il progetto iniziale sia europeo, si dovrebbe ammettere che questa installazione funzionante sia a prevalente tecnologia cinese.
Si potrebbe essere facili profeti nel prognosticare che tra non molto tempo tutte le tecnologie nucleari saranno passate in mano a russi e cinesi, con tutte le conseguenze del caso.
Gli europei avevano fatto cospicui investimenti nel nucleare, poi virtualmente abbandonato per motivi di ideologie politiche. Scelte gravi e pesanti e, purtroppo, le colpe dei padri ricadranno sui figli.
BEIJING (Reuters) – The world’s first third-generation “Evolutionary Power Reactor” (EPR) has gone into operation at Taishan in China’s Guangdong province, the French and Chinese developers behind the project announced on Friday.
The 1,750-megawatt EPR, formerly known as the “European Pressurised Reactor” and designed by France’s Areva, completed a 168-hour trial run on Thursday evening, said state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN).
Its commercial launch can be “a source of inspiration” for other next-generation reactors, Guo Limin, general manager of the Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company, said at a press briefing in Beijing.
The technology is also being deployed in France, Finland and the China-invested Hinkley Point C project in Britain. It was connected to China’s power grid on a trial basis for the first time in June.
The Taishan nuclear project is 70 percent-owned by CGN, with Electricite de France (EDF) controlling the rest. Areva, designer of the new reactor, is now known as Framatome, which is owned 75.5 percent by EDF.
Construction on two EPR units began at Taishan in 2009 with the first originally scheduled to be completed in 2013, but the design has been beset by a series of technical hitches and big cost overruns in China and elsewhere.
Taishan’s second unit is expected to go into full operation in the fourth quarter of 2019. Guo said construction was still ongoing and remained within the expected timeframe.
The EPR’s main foreign rival, the AP1000 designed by U.S.-based Westinghouse, has also made its global debut in China this year after a four-year construction delay.
The two models were originally expected to play a big role in China’s ambitious nuclear reactor building plans, but the hold-ups mean they must now compete with Russia’s VVER-1200 design, as well as China’s home-grown “Hualong One” brand.
Fabrice Fourcade, EDF’s chief representative in China, said the firm would be “very happy” to build more EPRs in China but this would depend on CGN and the Chinese government.
Though China aims to bring total installed nuclear power capacity to 58 gigawatts by the end of 2020 and have another 30 GW under construction, it has not given the go-ahead for any new conventional reactor projects in around three years.
Poland is seeking to reduce its dependence on Russia and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for its LNG supplies. The deal should provide for 15 percent of Poland’s daily gas needs over the next 20 years.
The deal announced on Wednesday between Poland’s state gas company PGNiG and Port Arthur LNG, part of Sempra Energy, is just one of several the EU state has signed with US gas suppliers in recent weeks.
The agreement is for the supply of 2.7 billion cubic meters (95.3 billion cubic feet) per year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Poland over a 20-year period. LNG is gas super-chilled to liquid form for shipment by sea.
Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz met with US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan in Warsaw on Wednesday and described Germany’s support for Nord Stream 2 as “anti-European.” He said the project was “harmful to the security of all of the European Union.”
Czaputowicz also criticized Austria for failing to allow EU discussion of Nord Stream 2 during the Vienna government’s six-month presidency.
US gas exports
“This agreement marks an important step toward Poland’s energy independence and security,” US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said.
In recent weeks, Poland has also signed long-term deals for gas with US supplier Cheniere in Houston Texas, as well as Venture Global Calcasieu Pass and Venture Global Plaquemines, both in Louisiana.
In July, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to work towards shipping more US gas to Europe. After a meeting at the White House, US President Donald Trump said: “The European Union wants to import more liquefied natural gas, LNG, from the United States and they’re going to be a very very big buyer.”
Juncker said the EU would build more terminals to import LNG. There are currently about 30 LNG terminals in Europe.
«Qatar has announced it is pulling out of the Opec oil producers’ cartel, just days before the group meets in Vienna»
«Qatar produces around 650,000 of barrels of oil a day, compared with Russia’s 11.37 million barrels a day.»
«The Gulf state, which joined Opec in 1961, said it would leave the cartel in January and would focus on gas production»
«Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquified natural gas, has been boycotted by some Arab neighbours over allegations that it funds terrorism»
«Opec is expected to cut oil supply at this week’s meeting»
«We don’t have great potential (in oil), we are very realistic. Our potential is gas»
«Expectations are high that there will be agreement on output after Russian President Vladmir Putin said at the weekend that he and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “have agreed to extend our agreement” to limit production»
* * * * * * * *
Il braccio di ferro è evidente.
Da una parte i paesi produttori vorrebbero poter spuntare prezzi alti, e quindi sono favorevoli ad una riduzione della estrazione; dall’altra parte i paesi consumatori vorrebbero poter ottenere i prodotti petroliferi a basso costo.
Recentemente Mr Trump aveva constato come un basso costo del petrolio fosse equivalente negli Stati Uniti ad una riduzione delle tasse, ma i produttori avevano obiettato che il ragionamento era corretto, ma che loro non erano sicuramente di accordo nel dover pagarne il costo per conto degli gli americani.
Per quanto riguarda il mercato del gas naturale liquefatto, gli osservatori fanno notare che, essendo gli americani degli esportatori, avrebbero tutto da guadagnare da prezzi elevati. Da questo punto di vista il Qatar si sarebbe trovato un socio di non poco peso.
Qatar has announced it is pulling out of the Opec oil producers’ cartel, just days before the group meets in Vienna.
The Gulf state, which joined Opec in 1961, said it would leave the cartel in January and would focus on gas production.
Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquified natural gas, has been boycotted by some Arab neighbours over allegations that it funds terrorism.
Opec is expected to cut oil supply at this week’s meeting.
Explaining Qatar’s decision, Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi said: “We don’t have great potential (in oil), we are very realistic. Our potential is gas.”
He said geopolitics was not factor in the decision.
Since June 2017, Qatar has been cut off by some of its powerful Arab neighbours, particularly Saudi Arabia, over its alleged support for terrorism.
Qatar’s withdrawal from Opec may not have any lasting impact on the price of oil as it a relatively small producer.
But this week’s meeting of Opec is being closely watched by markets for any agreement over cuts to production after the oil price fell sharply in November.
Expectations are high that there will be agreement on output after Russian President Vladmir Putin said at the weekend that he and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “have agreed to extend our agreement” to limit production.
Russia is not a member of Opec but is the biggest oil producer outside the group.
Mr Putin’s comments pushed oil prices higher. In early trading on Monday, Brent crude was $2.60 higher at $62.06 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate oil rose $2.42 to $53.35 a barrel.
Tradizionalmente, a fine gennaio si teneva nella ridente cittadina di Davos il World Economic Forum.
«Il principale evento organizzato dal Forum economico mondiale è il forum che si tiene con cadenza annuale a fine gennaio presso la cittadina sciistica di Davos, nel Cantone dei Grigioni in Svizzera. L’incontro è a inviti e si tiene a porte chiuse, sebbene venga diffusa la registrazione di specifici eventi, come la sessione plenaria. In occasione dell’incontro, i vertici delle imprese associate alla fondazione incontrano una ristretta platea di leader politici e di organizzazioni non governative, esponenti della comunità scientifica, leader religiosi e giornalisti. Nei cinque giorni dell’evento sono oltre 200 gli eventi in programma, sui temi chiave del dibattito mondiale, quali conflitti internazionali, povertà e problemi ambientali» [Fonte]
«The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters is the foremost creative force for engaging the world’s top leaders in collaborative activities to shape the global, regional and industry agendas at the beginning of each year. For over four decades, the World Economic Forum’s mission – improving the state of the world – has driven the design and development of the Annual Meeting objectives. Annual Meeting participants will come together to address the most pressing issues on the global agenda. They will do so in an exceptional atmosphere – the “Spirit of Davos” – based on interdisciplinary, informal and direct interaction among peers.»
Non si parla più del piano di Mr Al Gore di ricostruire tutte le città senza automobili.
Era un piano da 90,000 miliardi di dollari: avete letto bene, novantamilamiliardi di dollari. Tutto grasso che sarebbe colato nele tasche dei liberal socialisti.
* * * * * * *
«As levels of greenhouse gases reach a new record, concerns are growing about the role of China in global warming»
«For years, the increase in the number of Chinese coal-fired power stations has been criticised»
«China is also backing dozens of coal projects far beyond its borders»
«The Chinese-supported coal projects are under way or planned as far afield as South America, Africa, southeast Asia and the Balkans»
«Contracts and financing for these facilities are often not fully transparent»
«In Serbia, one of the country’s largest coal-fired power stations is being expanded with the help of a loan from a Chinese bank and with the work being led by one of China’s largest construction companies»
«In the next few months a lot of Chinese will come here and this will be a big challenge, …. With Chinese workers and Serbian workers, at the beginning we had some cultural problems but we have overcome them and there is now very good cooperation»
* * * * * * *
– Nel suo intervento al Meeting di Davos del 2015 Mr Al Gore aveva chiaramente riportato come il business attorno al ‘clima‘ si aggirasse attorno ai 90,000 miliardi di dollari americani. Un volume di affari mostruoso.
– La allora dirigenza liberal al governo negli Stati Uniti e nei paesi europei si proponeva di stornare dai bilanci statali cifre di questa entità verso realtà ‘amiche‘, quali per esempio le agenzie, sottratte al controllo elettorale.
– L’elezione di Mr Trump pose fine a questo progetto , attirandogli addosso l’odio mortale dei liberal.
– Con la successiva caduta dei governi liberal socialisti in Europa il ‘clima’ è restato privo di appoggio politico, e sta semplicemente morendo.
– Il comportamento cinese è maieutico: a parole sostiene il ‘clima’, ma nei fatti viaggia a carbone.
As levels of greenhouse gases reach a new record, concerns are growing about the role of China in global warming.
For years, the increase in the number of Chinese coal-fired power stations has been criticised.
Now environmental groups say China is also backing dozens of coal projects far beyond its borders.
Coal is the most damaging of the fossil fuels because of the quantity of carbon dioxide it releases when it’s burned.
Last year, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached its highest level for the past 3-5 million years, according to the latest research by the UN’s weather agency, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
And last month the UN’s climate science panel said that coal must be phased out by 2050 if the world is to have any chance of limiting the rise in temperatures.
The Chinese-supported coal projects are under way or planned as far afield as South America, Africa, southeast Asia and the Balkans.
Contracts and financing for these facilities are often not fully transparent but campaign groups including Bankwatch have tried to keep track.
“You cannot be a world leader in curbing air pollution and at the same time the world’s biggest financier of overseas coal power plants,” the group’s energy coordinator Ioana Ciuta told the BBC.
According to Ms Ciuta, efforts to tackle the dirty air of Chinese cities have led many power companies to limit their ambitions for coal-fired power stations in China itself and to target their technology and labour overseas instead.
“By having China invest in over 60 countries along the Belt and Road Initiative, it’s perpetuating a source of pollution that has been demonstrated to be harmful not just to the climate but also to economies,” she said.
No carbon capture
In Serbia, one of the country’s largest coal-fired power stations is being expanded with the help of a loan from a Chinese bank and with the work being led by one of China’s largest construction companies.
An hour’s drive east of the capital Belgrade, in the coal-rich Danube valley, construction has already started at the site, known as Kostolac B3.
An existing power station towers over the rolling landscape, a steady stream of pollution twisting from a massive smokestack, and conveyor belts ferry coal from a nearby open-cast mine at Drmno.
The power station is run by the national Serbian electricity company, EPS, which provides about 70% of the country’s power by burning coal – the rest comes from hydro-electric schemes.
Now, under a $715m (£560m) contract agreed by the Serbian government and Chinese President Xi Jinping, an extra unit is being added, which will bring 350MW of additional capacity with the latest “super-critical” technology.
When we visit, we catch a brief glimpse of a group of Chinese workers wearing hard hats on their way from the construction site to a vast set of accommodation blocks – by next year, some 1,500 Chinese staff will be here.
Safety signs and notice boards are written in Serbian and Chinese. Equipment and shipping containers carry Chinese labels.
I ask the EPS official running the project, Zeljko Lazovic, what he feels about such a large and important venture being in the hands of Chinese engineers and workers.
“In the next few months a lot of Chinese will come here and this will be a big challenge,” he says.
“With Chinese workers and Serbian workers, at the beginning we had some cultural problems but we have overcome them and there is now very good cooperation.”
When asked about the environmental cost of the new project, Mr Lazovic insisted it would meet all the EU’s standards on pollution by dust, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur.
However, the new unit will not be fitted with any carbon capture technology so it will fit into a pattern of Chinese-backed projects that will add to carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
‘Locked into high emissions’
Christine Shearer is an analyst with the group CoalSwarm, which tracks coal developments, and she is scathing about the implications.
“These projects are not compatible with limiting global warming to 1.5C or 2C,” she said, referring to the two targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
She says that Chinese financial institutions are filling a gap left by Western banks and agencies deciding to limit their involvement in coal.
“These projects, if completed, will lock the countries into high carbon-emitting infrastructure and volatile coal imports precisely at a time when prices for clean energy are starting to fall below that of coal power.”
We tried to contact the Export-Import Bank of China, which is providing the loan, and the China Machinery Engineering Corporation, which is leading the construction, but did not hear back.
For the Serbian power company, EPS, the attraction of a local supply of coal has combined with a cheap Chinese loan and the prospects of valuable exports of electricity.
About 3,500 jobs depend on the Kostolac complex but some local people have become increasingly outspoken about the pollution in the area.
Momir Savic showed me how the conveyor belts carrying coal run close to the villages and he fears a further expansion of the operation.
“The quality of our air and water is very poor. We cannot grow fruit and vegetables. There is also a lot of noise. All this affects the health of people living here, many of whom have respiratory diseases,” he said.
EPS says it is spending hundreds of millions of euros on environmental protection but its track record clearly does not inspire trust.
Pera Markovic, a lawyer with Cekor, an environmental group, is critical of the company’s failure to limit pollution in the local area.
But he concedes that Serbia is heavily dependent on coal for its power.
For how long? “Decades,” Mr Markovic says.
That’s likely to be the same in many other countries too, whatever climate scientists say is needed.
«Saudi daily production increased to 11.2 million barrels»
«”Let’s go lower,” Trump tweeted to the Saudis last week»
«Saudi Arabia is pumping more crude than at any time since its first barrel was extracted 80 years ago, responding to pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to keep driving oil prices lower»
«Brent crude, the global benchmark, already tumbled as much as 33 percent since early October, Trump a week ago tweeted: “Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!”»
«Prices have slumped as the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia increase supply close to a record, at a time when traders are fretting about slowing growth in demand in emerging markets, particularly in Asia.»
«Trump has repeatedly used Twitter to ask Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members to boost production»
«More recently Trump has compared lower oil prices to a tax cut and a tool to keep inflation low, giving the U.S. Federal Reserve the opportunity to stop raising interest rates»
* * * * * * * *
«U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia increase supply close to a record»
Difficile dire che non sia intervenuto un accordo tra questi tre grandi produttori.
* * * * * * * *
Ma ci sono anche altri elementi al contorno. Uno spicca per la sua attualità.
«German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul a “monstrosity” and vowed to halt all German arms exports to Riyadh until the case is cleared up. »
La differenza è semplice. Mr Trump sta governando il mondo, mentre Frau Merkel sta apprestandosi a far fagotto e tornare a casa a fare la calza.
– Saudi daily production increased to 11.2 million barrels
– “Let’s go lower,” Trump tweeted to the Saudis last week
Saudi Arabia is pumping more crude than at any time since its first barrel was extracted 80 years ago, responding to pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to keep driving oil prices lower.
Saudi daily output reached 11.2 million barrels a day, from 10.8-10.9 million barrels earlier this month, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the data is private. While Brent crude, the global benchmark, already tumbled as much as 33 percent since early October, Trump a week ago tweeted: “Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!”
The surge in Saudi supply comes two weeks before the kingdom and its allies in the OPEC+ group meet in Vienna to set policy for 2019. Negotiations have already started and will likely intensify later this week at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Russia and their oil ministers are scheduled to meet. The two nations are the world’s biggest crude exporters.
“In the past, G20 summits have provided the opportunity to negotiate informally the broad contours of the production agreements that OPEC+ members have later ratified,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. in London, said in a note to clients.
Drill Baby Drill
Saudi oil production hits an all-time high above 11 million barrels a day
Brent fell last week to a one-year low of $58.41 a barrel, down from a four-year high of $86.74 in early October. Prices have slumped as the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia increase supply close to a record, at a time when traders are fretting about slowing growth in demand in emerging markets, particularly in Asia.
Trump has repeatedly used Twitter to ask Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members to boost production. In January, Saudi production was below 10 million barrels. More recently Trump has compared lower oil prices to a tax cut and a tool to keep inflation low, giving the U.S. Federal Reserve the opportunity to stop raising interest rates.
Saudi output has also been rising as the kingdom seeks to ensure enough supply as Iranian exports slump following the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions. Buyers of Saudi crude ordered more barrels in early October to guard against a sudden plunge, although in the end the U.S. administration granted more waivers than anyone was expecting.
It’s unclear whether Riyadh plans to keep boosting output and a Saudi oil official declined to comment. The surge this month also means that the kingdom is effectively setting a high baseline for any future cut in output. Saudi Arabia has already said it supports a drop in output and has pledged to reduce oil exports by 500,000 barrels a day in December, compared with November.
Key decision makers will be at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires later this week, in a meeting that may well decide the direction of oil prices in 2019. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who have been working together to manage the oil market for the past two years, both plan to be in the Argentinian capital.
“Both have a common interest in seeing a production cut to mitigate the potential future surplus created by the mismatch between the rise in OPEC+ output and the volume of waivers issued for Iranian oil,” Jeffrey Currie, the head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs Inc., told clients in a note.
Resisting Trump’s desire for lower oil prices would require the Saudi crown prince to go against the White House, just after the president publicly backed him following the killing of Saudi national and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khalid Al-Falih and Alexander Novak, the Saudi and Russian energy ministers, are also scheduled to travel to Buenos Aires, according to people familiar with their plans. Their presence reinforces the impression that Saudi Arabia and Russia will try to reach a deal before the OPEC meeting a few days later.
“We believe OPEC+ countries will come to an agreement despite recent tweets from the U.S. arguing for lower oil prices,” Currie wrote.