Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Europes Energy Crisis Is Down To Policy Mismanagement, Not Putin


Authored by By Cyril Widdershoven via OilPrice.com,

Although UK news media is frantically blaming a shortage of tanker drivers for the current shortage of petrol at UK filling stations not only is the crisis not only affecting petrol but gas supplies and electricity generation,rope wide. After two decades of green virtue signalling and pandeing to nutters like greta Thunberg, gas storage volumes have shrunk to 10-year lows on the promises of pseudo scientists whose mathematical models indicate enough electricity for all out needs can be generated by wind turbines. Not only have the pseudo scientists become so besotted with computers and mathematical models they have lost touch with reality, they have also completely failed to understand that in mathematical models it is A possible harsh winter could lead to severe energy shortages and possible shutdowns of large parts of the economy. easy to make winds blow at a constant speed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making nature dance to their tune is not quite so easy.

While the UK media pushes their tanker driver shortage diversion, the main issue in Europe is focused on the role of Russia in the energy crisis, another rerun of that cold war narrative "The Russians are coming. Once again when western politicians screw up the fall - back position is "Blame the Russians."

 The Dutch government, one of the most green obsessed in Europe under its virtue sugnalling Prime Minister Mark Ruttte this week indicated that the Groningen gas field, Europe’s largest onshore gas field, could temporarily be reopened in the event of a cold winter. It seems that the term Dutch Disease could get a new meaning, from being the paradox of a rentier state suffering from plentiful resources to a show of Europe’s lack of realism when it comes to energy transition risks and current market powers.   

Dutch Energy Minister Stef Blok indicated that he is considering the potential reopening of the field's five  wellmost productive wells, especially the one at Slochteren, as indicated by Johan Attema, director of the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM), the operator of the Groningen field. The reopening of the field, even in the case of an emergency or an energy crisis, is politically controversial given Dutch and EU committments to reduce carbon emissions.

Dutch news  media are speculating that minister Blok will be touting a possible reopening of the Groningen field before October 1. If the Minister and his colleagues decide to reverse the decision to shutdown Groningen the whole fiasco will be prolonged and it will put the Dutch government even more at loggerheads with Brussels than they are now. 

Given current deplorable situation of the European energy sector (with Russian gas prices having almost doubled overrnight at the time of writing,) few would argue that Groningen still has a role top play in Europen energy supply. The ongoing energy crunch, which could easily have been avoided had politicians not been more interested in green virtue signalling than in managing the infrastructure of the nations they serve, must now inevitably have disastrous consequences for the economic and social fabric of EU member states, changing the narratives in Brussels and the respective European capitals.

Until recently, the plan was that Groningen would be closed completely by 2023, ending the large-scale gas production and export by the Netherlands completely but green pipe dreams (what do these hippies fill their pies with?) about eliminating carbon dioxide producubng fuels, plus a failure to develop reliable althernatives (nuclear, hydrogen,) and the idiotic belief of scientists in their mathematical models of reality have combined to leave national distribution grids and generating plant close to collapse.

A similarly controversial decision to the Dutch government's reopening of Groningen gas field was that of the UK government to fire up the coal burning power plant as West Burton, Lincolnshire during a recent extended period of almost windless weather in UK. The inability of the wind farms to generate when wind conditions are not right (wind must be strong enough to turn the vanes when the turbine is in gear, and under 42 kph for theses towers to be feeding the grid, they don't work well in gusty conditions or in extreme cold) was starkly demonstrated during a period of sustained high pressure over the North Atlantic recently and now, with a cold winter and fuel shortages forecast officials are making plans to open more of the nation's stock of mothballed coal burning power stations.

Meanwhile Germany, currently paralysed politically by yet another inconclusive election, is in an even more vulnrerable position. Reliant on Russian gas to get it through the winter, because Hausrau Volksfuher Merkel, under pressure from Green Party leaders whose support she needed to hold her fragile coalition together, abandoned nuclear power and began winding down Germany's stock of coal fired generating plants, Germany is in a dangerously weak position.  France, with its energy network based on zero CO2 emitting nuclear generators looks to be the only major EU nation able to weather a few windless days in the cold, dark depths of winter. But the French have their own problems with the Gilets Jaunes protests over rising living costs having resumed and the country on the verge of civil unrest due to President Macron's authoritarian imposition of vaccines passports on top of many other unpopular and ineffective measures to deal with the COVID pandemic.

While the EU (and the UK and other nations) should most certainly have dialogue with Russia, it is vital to speak from as strong a position as possible and Merkel's complacency has made that position untenable.

The lack of supply of natural gas by Russia (or the political will to supply more), the difficulty of ramping up Norwegian gas or other gas imports quickly and the dithering over completion of the Nordstream 2 trans Baltic pipeline, is jeopardizing Europe’s energy situation. At the same time, a possible shutdown of several electricity-intensive industries in Europe, such as fertilizers, chemicals, and steel/aluminum production is on the table due to green energy policies, poor management and America's provocations of Russia.

Political leaders will have to face the social and economic implications of higher energy bills or possible energy deficits for consumers and the industry. Both could lead to protests or political landslides during upcoming elections, with civil unrest growing around the pandemic responses, rising living costs, mass immigration and more green bollocks. 

It remains unclear, however, whether European politicians are aware of the role that their own policies have played in creating this crisis. Even with the partial restart of the Groningen field, which could relieve some of the pain in Western Europe, there is a larger problem that must be addressed. 

By opening up the gas market for liberalization and pushing for a spot market, instability was introduced into the system. Geopolitical power being played with energy prices, while utilities and European suppliers have received from their governments.

The greens woke fanaticism ,whilst at odds with China’s human rights issues , has a similar authoritarian bent as the Chinese communist party, different issues but similar methodology. The Greens still wave Chairman Mao's  little red book, they just hide it in a green jacket, so we should not delude ourselves that the green agenda embraced by so many of our politicians is really anything to do with concern for the environment, it is quite simply about power and control.

Threats of an energy crisis are being discussed widely, but nobody is offering any solutions except the lower of taxes to help the poor. Such is the effect of eco - terrorist groups like Extinction Rebellion that no politician dares to say energy policies for the future hve been dictated not by experienced analysts but by unrealistic ideologues. Due to higher energy costs, a possible record price level of $100 MMBtu or $250 per barrel of crude oil equivalent is very bad news for politicians, especially in the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the UK but they have brought the consequences on themselves.  Russia should be engaged with as a neighbour and friend not as an enemy because of America,s need for a threat to demonise, the U.K. should follow along this path The US is a declining ally we should keep our distance and far too much of its economy is controlled by the real destabilising threat to the west, China.

None of this seems to concern any of our leaders overmuch, they seem far too interested in trying to earn the favour of multi-billionaire "philanthropists like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jack Dorsey, gfeorge Soros and Mark Zuckerberg to step back and see that while they have been worming their way into the pockets of such sociopathic power addicts they have been digging themselves and their countries ever deeper into a hole on energy and by association industrial policy. Gates, Bezos & Co don't particularly care where their income is generated while it suits the corporations these billionaires have their money invested in to export more and more work to the low labour cost economies of the far east.
This has left China as the potential hedgemon in the far east while Putin, with Russia's vast oil and gas resources as leverage, can manipulate markets and prices and jerk the European economies around like so many puppets.




[ Europe ] ... [ Europe Unglues ] ... [ Energy ] ... [The Russians Are Coming ] ... [ Green Dreams ]


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