World Energy: There Is No Energy Transition, Just Unreliable Energy Addition

While wind and solar power are slowly taking a larger piece of a growing world primary energy pie, fossil fuels are expected to have more absolute growth through 2050, per US Energy Information Agency, EIA

Leen Weijers, VP Engineering, Liberty Energy

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As Liberty Energy CEO Chris Wright explained in his viral video a few weeks ago, dishonest terminology surrounds the climate debate.  One of these terms is “Energy Transition”. 

The term’s use gives the impression that there exists a quick, easy and scalable alternative to eliminate fossil fuel use without serious impact on people. 

Current primary energy distribution, by source, and forecasts by organizations, such as the EIA in their International Energy Outlook 2021, show that this “energy transition” is non-existent. 

SEE URL FOR A BETTER RESOLUTION GRAPH

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2023/03/12/there-is-no-energy-transitio...

Also see Liberty’s ESG report on Bettering Human Lives,

No present quantity of primary energy generated by oil or gas or coal is currently replaced by renewables. 

A couple of headlines from the Liberty report that you don’t hear a lot:

  • Global primary energy use is about to grow by almost 50% between 2020 – 2050, due to impoverished people rising from poverty;
  • Oil consumption rises in all EIA scenarios. In their “Reference Scenario”, oil consumption rises at about 1 million barrels of oil per year for the next 30 years, almost the same steady yearly increase of the last 5 decades;
  • Natural gas consumption will continue to growth through 2050.

The reason for this growth is simple: fossil fuels are abundant, cheap and efficient to provide reliable and dense energy at scale

They have helped to generate a quality-of-life revolution for a portion of humanity, THE GOLDEN BILLION.

 people in poverty who have missed out on this blessing rightfully want what you and I already have.

Sadly, few entities report on this blessing we take for granted.

Good news about renewables is breaking records, however, much of it is bogus. 

There are marketing strategies/ruses renewable advocates have used that make it appear as if renewables have a larger market share than in reality:

1) The first way to misrepresent is to use the word “energy” or “power” when they mean “electricity”. 

Take this Reuters report as an example: “Renewable energy is expected to account for around 46% of German power consumption this year….

This sounds like Germans are running on renewables for almost half of their energy needs. 

But this is JUST for electricity. 

According to the 2022 BP Statistical Review, and graphed below by OurWorldInData.org worldwide electricity represents only 17% of all primary power

That is, in fact, the case in Germany. In 2021, Germany’s top three primary energy sources were oil, natural gas and coal. 


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2) A second way to misrepresent is reporting renewable records with...as when on a sunny windy day, renewables provide up to 85% of electricity demand FOR JUST A HALF HOUR

But like the electricity primary power sources reported in the plot below reported by Timera Energy, records in wind and solar don’t last very long, and there are times when they don’t provide so little, it is hardly worth talking about. 

Fossil fuel power plants, and hydro plants with huge reservoirs, as in Norway and Quebec, are there to counteract the ups and downs of wind and solar, 24/7/365, year after year. 

Reliable electricity service is a 24/7/365 marathon, not a one-hour sprint.

COMMENT ON BELOW GRAPH OF GERMANY

The below graph, for a windy/sunny day in March 2019 (week 10), shows the total output of all generators, MW, fed to the German HV grid, aka grid load

The graph is extremely misleading.

Most of that MW is for serving in-Germany electricity daily demand

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NOT SHOWN ON GRAPH

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The total output, MW, is increased by imports or decreased by exports, MW, as needed, to maintain stability on the grid, due to the VARIABLE outputs of wind and solar, 24/7/365, year after year.

Germany no longer has enough power plants to balance its own wind and solar WITHIN Germany, especially on windy days, so it uses/abuses nearby grids to help out

Poland has blocked Germany's electricity exports, because they upset the Polish grid….

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LOW-COST EXPORTS, HIGH-COST IMPORTS

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Exports means electricity surpluses, which means low export wholesale prices, even negative wholesale prices, so these nearby countries love the German exports, because they are, on average, nearly for free,

They also love it when Germany, an 800-lb gorilla, imports, due to low wind/solar, because that means scarcity and high wholesale prices.

Mind you, these cheap exports and expensive imports came about, due to huge German subsidies for wind and solar.

HOUSEHOLDS GETTING SCREWED

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These, and numerous other items, imposed an enormous ADDITIONAL cost on German households, which have the SECOND highest electric rates in Europe. 

Denmark, another country besotten about wind, is a close THIRD

Recently, the UK became number ONE, because it has totally screwed up its electrical sector, aka mismanagement

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3) A third way ro misrepresent is reporting power capacity, not ene...

If you have ever spent time in western Europe, you will know that t...

What to do during the remaining 136 hours that week?

You need to build a lot of solar systems to harvest a little energy. 

As per BP Statistical Review, the world capacity factor for solar i...

Therefore, if you see a historical power capacity growth curve, divide the solar curve’s curve by 7 and the wind curve’s curve by 4 to get power level output that helps meet demand, MW. 

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Consumers pay for energy, MWh, and capacity, MW, and transmission, and subsidies to make expensive wind and solar LOOK good.

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4) A fourth way to misrepresent is lumping in “traditional biofuels” to boost the share of renewables, as part of total energy needs. 

These traditional biofuels kill millions of people yearly through PM2.5 particle release during indoor cooking. 

If there is a “transition” humanity needs ASAP, it is the transition from the traditional renewable cooking fuels to clean-burning fossil cooking fuels.

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These unfair misrepresentation have led to confusion and a belief that an “Energy Transition” is currently in the making.  It is not even close

The EIA primary energy forecast for the next 30 years shows that ALL sources of energy are growing.

While renewables claim a larger fraction of a growing pie, fossil fuels are expected to grow faster in absolute terms.

Russia, Iran, The Middle East, Argentina, the North Pole area (controlled by Russia), etc., have vast quantities of fossil fuels, that will last at least 100 to 200 years.

Recently, a spark of sanity has returned to the debate about nuclea... Robert Bryce in his book Power Hungry

In the near-term, we need more natural gas, which reduces our CO2 footprint and is cheap, reliable and abundant. 

For the long-term, we need to build at least 5 million MW of nuclear plants.

Before that, let’s hope a spark of sanity returns to the discussion about the “Energy Transition”.

APPENDIX

Bureaucratic Idiots

In 2021, well before Ukraine, the EU bureaucracy in Brussels ordained no more long-term natural gas contracts with Russia, because it looked bad from a green point of view. 

That meant increased buying on the SPOT market, which sent natural gas prices through the roof

BTW, Russia delivers gas only under long-term contracts, per worldwide standard practice for decades.

Mother Nature is Fickle

In 2021, most of Europe had lots of clear skies but very little wind and rain and snow. 

It had plenty of solar power during a few hours of the day, but not any at night!!!!

It had almost no wind power for months

Hydro plant reservoirs and rivers had low water levels,

Consequences

Barge traffic on the Rhine River came to a near halt, which delayed deliveries of materials to German industries 

France, Switzerland, and Norway had to curtail hydro production, plus they had to curtail electricity exports, to save water!

Typically, Norway exports to Germany
Typically, France exports to Germany and the UK

Norway increased its household electric rates and EV charging rates by a factor of three, to reduce domestic consumption

Some nuclear plants in France had to shut down, because of a lack of cooling water.

Some were shut down, because maintenance had been deferred, and could no longer be deferred.

Germany stopped the scheduled shutdown of its 3 remaining nuclear plants, and restarted retired coal plants.

Norway, a maven of EVs, increased electric rates at the charging stations to 40 to 50 c/kWh 
This meant all those bragged-about EVs became much more expensive to drive than gasoline vehicles!

Ukraine Enters the Picture in 2022

Ten to twenty-three percent inflation, people freezing in the dark, in Europe, before Ukraine.

Then came Ukraine, the poorest and most corrupt country in Europe, BY FAR, which made the above worse and more expensive, courtesy of the unforeseen consequences of the US-financed/instigated Kiev coup d'etat in 2014.

Brussels wants more of the dysfunctional/unreliable wind and solar going forward, even though a very mild winter “saved” Europe

Europe had near-zero, real-growth of GDP in 2022, because it uses much less primary energy than before, with much of industry not operating at more normal levels

An all-around bummer.

There Is Only One Winner In The Ukrainian War: The US



Many are surprised by Russia’s sudden and violent reaction, which is to be expected if one pays attention to the processes and not just the details.

Already in 2007, in the Europe for Peace declaration, it was said that Europe would be plunged into a serious conflict if it continued to support Washington’s policy.


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Comment by Willem Post on March 12, 2023 at 9:03pm

Monique, thank you.

 
The article is by Leen Weijers, a Dutch engineer.

I posted it, augmented with my comments, for additional context

The article is highly applicable to the US condition.

Whereas Europe is resource/energy poor, the US, with friendly Canada and Mexico, are resource/energy rich

What is suitable to Europe, is not suitable to the US.

The Brussels bureaucracy used the “blame Russia game” as a diversion to hide their naive, unworkable, ideological decisions, somewhat similar to what Augusta, Montpelier, etc., bureaucrats do.

Comment by Monique Aniel Thurston on March 12, 2023 at 8:36pm

Thank you for this piece Willem . I too watch the European news everyday and if you bypass the state owned news in France, Belgium or Germany you can have a pretty good view of the collapse of the middle  class due to Brussels EU destructive policies .

Sadly what seems to be the modus operandi of Ursula Van de Von der Leyen and her cohort as well as those form  the current owner of the White House or the Blue States legislatures would be summarized as "Everything is possible when you do not know what you are talking about " as so well said by US senator John  Kennedy of Louisiana.

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

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