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Europe Doesn't Need America's Fracked Gas » Dean Baker, CounterPunch
If the goal is to reduce demand for Russian natural gas, the most cost-effective way is to do much more of what Germany and, to a lesser extent, the rest of the EU is already doing: promote conservation and mass transit and further subsidize the cost of installing solar and wind energy. That might not sound as hard-nosed as drilling everywhere, polluting groundwater and exposing people to the dangers of transporting a highly explosive fuel, but it is the solution that makes the most economic sense.
by das monde on Thu Mar 27th, 2014 at 11:23:19 AM EST
Not counting that 'Schland (Germany) is turning it's back on renewables big time... well, actually, just the government. Dinosaurs.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 28th, 2014 at 03:49:07 AM EST
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And they probably count BER and Stuttgart 3000 as investment in mass transit.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Mar 28th, 2014 at 03:50:09 AM EST
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Well, quite frankly, the single most cost-efficient step is probably to flip the switch from "off" to "on" in the German nuclear fleet. That's more than 8000 MW just sitting on the sidelines.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Mar 28th, 2014 at 06:12:20 PM EST
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Um, that will replace neither heating nor peak power... And in fact, one of the stations still running will now be closed early for lack of profitability.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 28th, 2014 at 06:53:11 PM EST
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Cheaper and more abundant electricity should ease fuel switching away from gas. Remember, unlike oil or electricity, gas is not a neccesity but a choice.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Mar 29th, 2014 at 09:15:42 AM EST
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It's not cheaper and you'd need something else other than coal to switch away to.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 29th, 2014 at 03:26:42 PM EST
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Restarting already built and payed offed nukes is very cheap. They are expensive to build, but cheap to run. A lot like wind.

Pretty much anything you can do with gas, you can do with electricity as well. The exception is the kind of petrochemical industry where the alternative to gas is oil.

But heating? No problem. 20 years ago, most free-standing houses around had electrical heating. You might consider that a little wasteful, and it was, but we had the power and it was clean, so why not? With the current higher power prices that doesn't make sense any longer, so now most of those houses have switched either to district heating (in cities), modern advanced wood stoves, or most interestingly, geothermal heat-pumps. You put one kWh of electricity in and get 3-5 kWh of heat back. That's more efficient than gas heating, even if the electricity was generated in a gas-fired power plant. Which it obviously don't need to be when you have 8 GW of nuclear power standing idle...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Mar 29th, 2014 at 05:08:59 PM EST
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Restarting already built and payed offed nukes is very cheap.

Again, running maintenance-heavy old nukes in Germany is not that cheap, as shown by the announced early closure of Grafenrheinfeld for lack of profitability. Not to mention the cost of retrofitting closed nukes for new safety regulations.

Pretty much anything you can do with gas, you can do with electricity as well.

Do you want to generate load-proportional electricity with electricity?... As for heating, re-starting old nukes tomorrow won't result in the instant conversion of home heating equipment. If we talk about the long term, electric heating might be part of a long-term solution, but the example of France shows that this brings its own problems (I think two winters ago a cold spell led to a surge of demand above 100 GW, forcing France to import even with nukes running full-throttle, leading to network problems in Germany which were predictably blamed on wind).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Apr 2nd, 2014 at 06:28:53 AM EST
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