Green Europe may be on the verge of blackouts

Posted: May 17, 2018 by oldbrew in Energy, opinion
Tags: ,

We’re supposed to believe that coal-hungry Germany and forest-clearing biomass-burning Britain are impressively ‘green’. Their obsessive renewables bias has made new gas-fired power stations hard to justify for energy firms.

Europe is facing power generation capacity shortages and may even risk blackouts without additional use of natural gas, one of the continent’s biggest producers of the fuel said.

“A severe shortage” in generation capacity is expected in the U.K., Germany, and Belgium, Tor Martin Anfinnsen, senior vice president for marketing and trading at Statoil ASA, said in an interview at a conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

Those countries are phasing out or cutting coal-generation fleet and Germany and Belgium are also turning away from nuclear power.

“If you have a dangerous bend in the road and everyone knows there is a dangerous bend but nothing is done with it unless there is an accident in the road,” Anfinnsen said. “Is that what we will see in Europe in power generation as well? Will we have to see blackouts before you see a change in policies? That remains to be seen but we are getting dangerously close in many markets.”

Reduced capacity reserve means higher use of gas to produce electricity, also supported by higher carbon prices that discourage dirtier-burning fuels.

“It is very difficult to see that there is any other way of fixing that up to 2030 by other means than increasing gas-fired power generation,” Anfinnsen said. “Not only through higher utilization of existing capacity but also adding new gas-based generation.”

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  1. tom0mason says:

    The future is dark, the future is Green.

  2. TinyCO2 says:

    Blackouts are likely to be part of some other event eg Russia cutting supply or a problem with French nuclear or an epidemic taking out key employees for a crucial few weeks or a strike. If everything runs smoothly the system stays up. Likely that the first few blackouts would be blamed on those outside impacts.

  3. oldbrew says:

    Before blackouts there are other sticking plasters to apply, e.g. voluntary industry shutdowns (volunteer orgs get paid in advance and for any emergency situation) and brownouts.

    Whether an industrialised country can get away with stuff like that forever is another question. As is the effect of any electric car policy.

  4. oldbrew says:

    British government offers Hitachi’s UK nuclear project £13 billion – media
    Reuters 17 May 2018

    The British government is offering the support in loans and other ways to cover a large proportion of the cost of the project and Hitachi will make a decision as early as this week on whether to go ahead, Kyodo News reported–sector.html

    Dare the EU put a spanner in the works?

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    For your reuters link per “EU Rules” in the way:

    To make changes to state aid rules, the Commission would have to go through a lengthy consultation process with member states and other parties that could take between one-and-a-half and two years, Fouquet of Becker Buettner Held said.

    Or just wait 10 months and do whatever a Sovereign UK wants to do after Brexit…

    I suspect Her Majesty The Queen can just declare electricity a National Defense issue and command it to be done… (IIRC she has some powers to declare wars and commandeer equipment, like when the QE2 was commandeered for the Falklands war).

    You folks need to get done with the getting free as quick as you can…

  6. Stephen Richards says:

    Getting worse. The greenpiss fanatic environment minister in france now wants everyone to put solar panels on their roofs with subsidies paid for by taxes.

    The EU is going down with the UK. No economy can withstand this much stupidity. Just a matter of who goes first.

  7. Gamecock says:

    Buy yourself a standby generator for your home . . . while you still can.