Europe asking Russia for more coal is set for disappointment

Posted: September 30, 2021 by oldbrew in Analysis, COP26, Energy, ideology, Incompetence, net zero
Tags: , , ,

German coal: back to the future
[image credit: BBC]

What to do when you need reliable electricity generation *now*? Pay up, look big and burn fuel – if you can get it, and have something to burn it in. Renewables-obsessed governments are struggling to justify their blinkered ‘net zero’ policies now the energy chips are really down. All this with the COP26 climate talks looming.
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It’s not just extra natural gas that Europe’s struggling energy markets are finding tough to get from Russia, says Bloomberg (via

Power producers in the continent are being forced to ask Russia for more coal to ease an energy crunch with winter approaching and record-high gas prices denting profitability, according to officials at two Russian coal companies.

But they may be left stranded as any increase in exports from the country won’t be substantial, they said.

Having largely turned away from coal for years in an attempt to green its electricity generation, Europe is now in a conundrum. The region’s gas storage sites are only partially full, liquefied natural gas suppliers are favoring Asia, and intermittent renewables aren’t able to fully meet demand.

With the winter heating season approaching, the dependence on Russia to keep the lights on is growing.

“If all the European utilities switch to coal, it will result in a huge spike in coal demand that Russia alone cannot provide for on such a short notice,” said Natasha Tyrina, a principal research analyst at Wood Mackenzie in Houston. “That would need supply from other countries as well, from the US for example, but the situation there is similar to everywhere else.”

Europe’s plight highlights the energy supply crisis that’s gripping the world as countries emerge from the pandemic. Demand for oil, gas and electricity is surging, while coal is making a comeback, driven in part by China.

The fuel’s resurgence, and countries’ recent dependence on it to keep their economies running, makes critical climate talks much more complicated with the COP26 meeting just weeks away.

Full article here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    Heating Costs May Triple As Nat Gas, Propane Shortage Looms
    SEP 30, 2021

    There is a real energy crisis in Europe that was created by a combination of political missteps, climate change fear-mongering, and a woke energy policy that could leave much of Europe and Asia undersupplied as they head into winter.

    It is also a foreshadowing of what may happen in the U.S.
    . . .
    Europe made very bad decisions in its rush to get more carbon-neutral without thinking of the longer-term consequences.

    Its leaders also made a huge mistake relying more on Russia and their state-owned oil company Gazprom to supply Europe with natural gas.
    – – –
    Unwise climate-obsessed energy policies were always going to come unstuck at some point, and here we are.

  2. Gamecock says:

    ‘Renewables-obsessed governments are struggling to justify their blinkered ‘net zero’ policies now the energy chips are really down.’

    “Unwise climate-obsessed energy policies were always going to come unstuck at some point, and here we are.”

    No. Seriously. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The policies to date push reduction. Net Zero isn’t reduction; it’s elimination. Net Zero isn’t going to hurt you; it is going to kill you.

  3. oldbrew says:

    Norway to the rescue? In a small way…
    Friday 1 October 2021

    World’s longest under-sea power cables switched on – and they’re bringing hydropower from Norway

    From today, two parallel cables will carry 700 megawatts – increasing to 1,400 megawatts over the next three months. When they reach full capacity they’ll provide enough electricity to power 1.4 million UK households.
    . . .
    Thor Anders, the director of the Norwegian side of the project, said…

    “When the UK has a challenge with too little wind, we can support you with hydropower.

    “And when you have excess wind, we can import it and we don’t have to use up the water in our reservoirs. We can save it.”
    – – –
    ‘enough electricity to power 1.4 million UK households’ — at a build cost of £1.4 billion. It needs to be more reliable than the Western Link project…

    A fact check of SSEN’s cable reliability claims [letter extract]
    23 August 2021
    Offshore wind farm cables have been under the spotlight for outages to repair cable problems, due to manufacturing faults, accidents and other issues.

    In April this year, wind farm operator Orsted said it had put aside £350 million to repair or replace cables within its wind farms that had been damaged due to interaction with the sea floor.

    It seems clear that subsea cables are very unlikely to be as reliable as SSE would have us believe.

    ‘put aside £350 million’ — as you do 🙄

  4. Phoenix44 says:

    The headlong rush to remove low cost and reliable fossil fuels before we have even medium cost and somewhat reliable alternatives just because a handful of often quite mad extremists demand it, has to be the stupidest thing we have ever done.

  5. oldbrew says:

  6. Mack says:

    This is what happens when supposed grown ups allow school truants, subsidy farmers and toy town Marxists to dictate energy policies.

  7. oldbrew says:

    Like dominoes…

    Administrator ‘on hold for a new big collapse in energy market’
    Friday 1 October 2021

    London consulting firm Teneo is reportedly kept on standby to act as a “special administrator” amid fears that one large energy supplier could collapse soon
    . . .
    According to Daily Mail, another five suppliers could go under administration in the next week.

    This week three more energy suppliers, Igloo, Symbio Energy and ENSTROGA went bust.

    It is estimated that until now around 1.7 million British households have been affected by the closures.
    – – –
    Betting on cheap gas forever didn’t work.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Boris Johnson Bets on Wind
    Britain’s energy crisis has been a decade in the making.
    By Rupert Darwall
    September 30, 2021

    Thus Britain’s energy policy came to incorporate two fallacies that, when combined, are fatal. The first is that wind—especially offshore wind—is a substitute for dispatchable generating capacity. As Britain is learning the hard way, you can’t regulate the weather.
    . . .
    The second fallacy is that policies that suppress domestic production of natural gas by delaying license approvals and banning fracking cut demand for natural gas. Although electricity demand was 3% lower in the first quarter of this year, demand for natural gas jumped 8.1%, mainly because lower wind speeds increased demand for gas in electricity generation.

  9. oldbrew says:

    Opinion: Inflation spooks Germans, but there’s no need to panic — yet

    Global growth has caused oil and gas prices to rise exponentially, and in Germany the new CO2 tax is making energy prices even more expensive.
    . . .
    Inflation continues to batter the economic system and there is no relief in sight, even though the monetary guardians of the European Central Bank (ECB) are trying hard to speak of a “temporary phenomenon.”

    However, it’s obvious that the transition to a climate-neutral economy in Germany, for example, is going to be first and foremost a massively expensive project — a project that will definitely not lead to any easing in the skyrocketing prices. [bold added]
    – – –
    It’s ‘a massively expensive project’ that never ends, won’t change the weather, won’t make the wind blow on command, and won’t make the sun shine any more than before.

    Germans and others should be careful what they wish for 😏

  10. oldbrew says:

    Power crunch news…

    German Coal Plant Runs Completely Out Of Coal
    Oct 01, 2021

    German utility Steag halted its coal-fired power plant Bergkamen-A after it ran out of hard coal supplies amid an energy crunch globally and logistics challenges domestically, the company told Bloomberg on Friday.

    “We are short of hard coal,” Steag spokesman Daniel Muhlenfeld told Bloomberg via email.

    “There is a strong demand for coal per se and secondly, there is a strong demand for transport by barge. And since Bergkamen has no rail connection, there are no logistical alternatives available here,” Muhlenfeld said.