Russia’s Ukrainian Invasion Equation: Europe Ditches Wind & Solar Transition

Like a jilted bride, wind and solar have lost all love and favour as Europe scrambles for reliable and affordable energy.

Now it seems that the only inevitable thing about the ‘inevitable transition’ is that when people are forced to choose between electricity delivered reliably and affordably and the purportedly clean and green kind, they couldn’t care less about where it comes from.

Even Germany’s Greens have backflipped on their policy to kill off its nuclear and coal-fired plants; all of a sudden infantile ideology has given way to necessity and sound engineering.

Who would have thought that a modern Stalin would herald the end for chaotically intermittent wind and solar?

Hitherto the model was fairly simple: Europe would ditch its reliable and affordable generation systems; squander billions of euros on subsidies to inherently unreliable wind and solar; and use Russian oil and gas to run highly inefficient gas turbines and diesel generators to respond instantly to the inevitable collapses in wind and solar output.

Now that the brutal reality of expansionary geopolitics has overtaken the touchy-feely realm of green-politic, the smart money is on fossil fuels of all descriptions. Coal, oil and gas prices are off the charts, despite claims that their days are numbered.

The politicos have also been forced to rethink nonsensical net-zero carbon oxide gas emissions targets, central to which is a massive expansion of subsidies to intermittent wind and solar.

Andrew Tettenborn takes a look at the end of Europe’s love affair with wind and solar.

We need to talk about energy
Spiked
Andrew Tettenborn
27 February 2022

When Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, the UK government immediately thought in high-flown terms of foreign policy. What it didn’t mention is a problem much closer to home. What does all this mean for energy policy, Net Zero and the government’s determination to phase out the production and use of fossil fuels?

Until now, the government has successfully ridden two horses on the subject of energy. It has merrily appeased the green lobby with promises to ditch fossil fuels and end their production domestically. And yet it knows perfectly well that when push comes to shove, it can’t make good on these promises. The replacement energy source just isn’t there. Nuclear might have worked, but successive governments have run it down – nearly half of the UK’s current capacity is due to be retired by 2025. And wind, solar and so on help, but they are expensive, unreliable and take up lots of valuable land.

Without a viable replacement for fossil fuels, if the government were to impose Net Zero, as promised to the green lobby, it would likely cause a cliff-edge drop to most people’s living standards.

Of course, the government could always backtrack on abandoning fossil fuels, seek a compromise and preserve people’s living standards. However, our ability to backtrack on this relies on one key factor: the continued ready availability of coal, oil and gas. You might have thought that a canny government would recognise this and keep our short-term options open by producing as much fossil-fuel energy as possible at home. Other European countries have done just that. Poland, for example, has fought tenaciously to keep open the Turów lignite mine in the face of EU pressure, on the simple basis that if it doesn’t then the lights would go out for millions of Poles.

Unfortunately, in the past few years, the government has succumbed to environmentalist pressure. True, a few traditional energy sources are being quietly opened up or extended – for example, the oil fields at Wytch Farm in Dorset, Horse Hill in Surrey, and the Abigail field off eastern Scotland. But at COP26 the UK pledged to abandon all use of coal, whether home-produced or not, for electricity. Further, having previously encouraged fracking, which, although not ideal, produces fairly large quantities of usable gas, the government earlier this month ordered its abandonment. On Wednesday the parliamentary Climate Change Committee made it clear that it opposed any further licences for North Sea oil production. At the same time the devolved governments have brandished their green credentials, with the SNP turning lukewarm on offshore oil and the Welsh Labour government flatly opposing any expansion of mining in the south Wales valleys.

Before the Ukraine invasion all this could be dismissed as silly green virtue-signalling exercises. After all, if things went seriously wrong with the great green future, we could still buy fossil fuels on the world market as long as we needed to.

But since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, all bets are now off when it comes to sourcing supplies of hydrocarbons, especially in Europe. The first casualty of the Ukraine debacle was inevitably the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany. At the same time, Brent crude oil hit a high of $104 per barrel. Whatever happens in Ukraine over the next few months, we will not be able to depend on gas and oil supplies from Russia for the foreseeable future. We are therefore increasingly on our own. In an emergency like this, the case for allowing fracking to go ahead is now irresistible, as is that for allowing further offshore gas developments.

What of the environmental lobby? The government must, however painful this may be, face it down. If it doesn’t, and we continue to run down our own fossil-fuel capabilities in order to keep the greens on side, we risk catastrophe in two ways. First, it is increasingly likely that we won’t be able to keep the lights on. And second, the damage to democracy will be immense if the government has to tell very large numbers of working people that they will have to put up with a disastrous drop in their living standards because successive governments, cheered on by a green minority, have closed off potentially more preferable options.

Meanwhile the government needs to say, bluntly, that times have changed, that fracking and offshore oil are unpleasant necessities, and that they will proceed. It must then set about protecting people’s living standards against the shocks of an unstable world. And it must show that it is on the side of the people, and not that of vocal pressure groups.
Spiked

The anti-human doomsdayers face their own extinction.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Current inconvenient truths:
    Anti-Nuclear Energy=Loss of Energy Independence-Germany betrayed Ukraine &EU
    A/N=Energy poverty apologist-no funding of 3rd world FFs
    A/N=Envir. footprint balloons-Fly over Ger lately?
    A/N=1 Dankelflaute away from Energy crisis-S&W dropped 25% in 2021

  2. Jim@JimWiegand.com says:

    New wind energy calculations show 4-5 times less energy available for Production Tax Credits

    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/new-wind-energy-calculations-show-4-5-times-less-energy-available

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: