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I agree with Merkel that she can't be blamed for engaging with Russia (though it can be argued that engagement should have been conditional on evolution towards genuine democracy).
Perhaps if she could have imagined the current incredible act of self-harm on the part of Russia,  she might have made a strategic décision to keep German nuclear power, rather than relying so heavily on gas from the east?
Those who can be blamed are the wannabe oligarchs of the SPD, paid agents of Russian semi-soft power.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Jun 12th, 2022 at 10:01:54 AM EST
I'm not one to defend the SPD out of general principle, but for what exactly are you blaming them? Not building gas pipelines around half the globe to noted non genocidal regimes Saudi Arabia and the USA?
by generic on Sun Jun 12th, 2022 at 11:00:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm talking about Schröder, and his SDP henchpersons who stacked the board of the German Nord Stream company

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder becomes chairman of Russian state-controlled Nord Stream pipeline company directly after leaving office

In November 2005, just weeks before stepping down as Germany's chancellor, Gerhard Schröder signed the controversial North European Gas Pipeline deal (later renamed "Nord Stream") with Russia. Directly after leaving office, Schröder accepted the nomination as chairman of the Russian state-controlled company (a subsidiary of Gazprom) responsible for the project, leading to allegations of corruption and cronyism. Members on both sides of the aisle in Germany denounced Mr. Schröder's actions.

The geostrategic decision to deepen Germany's energy dependence on Russia is one thing... but...

The presumption of corruption is unequivocal, and in any decent democracy such an act would be illegal.

(if anyone knows of such of a democracy, please let me know. Are there any Nordic countries which would have given him a pass?)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jun 21st, 2022 at 11:44:47 AM EST
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United States revolving door military leadership and Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon, contracts ...

The Pentagon's Revolving Door Keeps Spinning: 2021 in Review | POGO - Jan. 20, 2022 |

The Industry Agenda: Military-Industrial Complex

The largest among them include Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and United Technologies. These groups in turn fund networks of think tanks including the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), New America Foundation, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Council on Foreign Relations, Brookings, Heritage, and more. A recent report
from the Revolving Door Project found that CNAS, one of these think tanks, repeatedly advocated for policies that would enrich or benefit top arms manufacturers without formally disclosing its receipt of donations from these companies.

Post-EU career ex-Commission president Barroso and Gold-plated revolving door | Aug. 2016 |

The Dutch under Mark Rutte has not complied with EU principle for a cooling off period of his ministers to a lobbying position.

PM Mark Rutte and special relationship Royal Dutch British Shell and Unilever ... dividend tax and relocation HQ to London.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Jun 21st, 2022 at 02:43:45 PM EST
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Block the revolving door: why we need to stop EU officials becoming lobbyists

Germany should have had a cooling off period in place ... I have no qualm for Europeans on the board of business enterprises in Russia, from the moment of clear risk of a military intervention, he should have stepped down

Nord Stream 2 was a joint business venture between Dutch Gasunie, Russian Gazprom and a German consortium. Nothing illegal or against EU principles, on the contrary. Close cooperation works both ways, Russia has been under unilateral U.S. sanctions for more than a decade.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Jun 21st, 2022 at 02:44:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Diplomatic War Between Rutte and Putin | Oct. 16, 2013 |

The rhetoric around the Sochi Winter Games was another pivot to harass Putin and Russia by the West.

Ahh ... even Abu Dhabi had joined the fossil fuel investment fun ...

TAQA and Gazprom export sign MoU to partner on Dutch Bergermeer gas storage | Dec. 2008 |

The EU's core tasks

The Dutch government believes that the EU should limit itself to areas in which it adds value, such as security, or climate and the environment. Matters like pensions, taxes, culture, education and health care should be the domain of the member states themselves. There is no need for EU legislation in these areas.

Related reading ...

Lifting the Lid On Lobbying Enhancing Trust In Public Decision-Making In The Netherlands

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Jun 21st, 2022 at 02:48:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
she might have made a strategic décision to keep German nuclear power, rather than relying so heavily on gas from the east?

In Germany gas is mainly used for heating, then for industrial purposes and only 10.5% (2021) for generating power. Why this focus on "keeping nuclear power" then? Merkel killed the German wind and solar industries. That is the strategic decision she must be blamed for, but not for the decision to eventually end nuclear power when there was a large majority demanding this end. Even before Fukushima there was a lot of fury in the environmentalist movement when she tried to prolong the lives of nukes. The movement built up rapidly. There was a lot of creativity spent on actions against nukes. It was lovely to see the growth of resistance against her decision. We expected to have a lot of fun and a lot of success. Ha! Then Fukushima... Only a complete idiot would have prolonged nuclear power generation after that, and she is not an idiot.

All this has nothing whatsoever to do with Russia or with German foreign policy, by the way.

by Katrin on Sun Jun 12th, 2022 at 08:43:18 PM EST
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To clarify (I put that ambiguously): only 10.5 % of electric power is generated by gas plants.
by Katrin on Sun Jun 12th, 2022 at 08:44:53 PM EST
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To add to your points, the importance of gas for electricity is as topload - the regulating source of power. You can easily increase and decrease amount of gas burned. Similar with hydro, where you can easily increase and decrease amount of water flowing, and thus balance the load.

This isn't true for wind or solar, but neither is it for nuclear.

by fjallstrom on Fri Jun 17th, 2022 at 09:15:34 AM EST
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In the case of wind and solar, you over-provision to enable dispatching. There's plenty of curtailment of wind turbines (in the US, at least) due to limitations of grid or lack of sufficient demand. Obviously it doesn't work if the wind's not blowing or the Sun's not shining.

Similarly, nukes get curtailed when the weather is hot and their cooling systems become the limiting factor. And coal plants are notorious for going off line just when you need them.

"Dispatchable power" is a slippery term.

by asdf on Fri Jun 17th, 2022 at 03:50:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While power generation from solar and wind has grown, Alison Silverstein, an electric system reliability consultant and researcher, said insufficient transmission and infrastructure makes it harder for consumers to receive energy from renewables.

A lack of transmission causes bottlenecks on the grid, affecting available energy produced by low cost wind and solar generation, boosting energy costs. And the impact is greater on renewables than on thermal power generators, she said.

Texas ERCOT getting bailed out by wind and solar.

by asdf on Fri Jun 17th, 2022 at 03:54:00 PM EST
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This is undoubtedly true in the USA. However, it is becoming a matter of the past in the EU, as trans-border links allow dispatching of Scandinavian wind or Iberian sun.

EU states are more integrated in this respect than the United ones of America, or is that just a superficial impression?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jun 21st, 2022 at 11:49:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 "Similarly, nukes get curtailed when the weather is hot and their cooling systems become the limiting factor. "

Indeed. The minority of French nukes that was technically still able to operate now mostly has been shut due to the heat wave, but we must talk about how renewables, and only renewables, depend on the weather.

by Katrin on Fri Jun 17th, 2022 at 07:43:08 PM EST
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Another point is that after three decades of engagement by the west, Russia has shown that it is, for whatever reason, not a reliable partner. Any future engagement should come with very substantial prerequisites, enforcement, verification, etc.

China is up for review next. My guess is that the west is in big trouble in that case, because the engagement is much more comprehensive.

by asdf on Mon Jun 13th, 2022 at 03:24:51 PM EST
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