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The Power Hungry Podcast: Gail Tverberg

The Power Hungry Podcast: Gail Tverberg

The Global Water Crisis Could Crush The Energy Industry

The Global Water Crisis Could Crush The Energy Industry

  • Water is growing more scarce due to climate change.
  • Water scarcity could derail the green energy boom, and even hinder fossil fuel production.
  • With rising concerns over water scarcity, mainly due to climate change, there are fears that the big transition to renewable energy will be hindered even further.

For years, the energy sector, and almost every other sector, has taken water for granted, viewing it as an abundant resource. But as we move into a new era of renewable energy, the vast amounts of water required to power green energy operations may not be so easy to find. And it’s not just renewables that are under threat from water scarcity, as it also hinders fossil fuel production and threatens food security.

In recent months, we have seen extreme droughts across Europe and the U.S., which are finally making people realise the significance of water security. Stefano Venier, CEO of the Italian energy infrastructure company Snam, highlights the huge impact recent droughts have had on both food security and energy production. Labelled as ‘Europe’s worst drought in 500 years’, the low water levels have restricted shipping capabilities, as well as drying up soil and reducing summer crop yields.

Venier explains, “For a long time, water was considered [as being] for free, as something that is fully available in any quantity.” He went on to say, “Now, we are discovering that with climate change … water can become scarce.” And so, “we have to regain the perception of importance, and the value [that] … the water has, also, with respect to … energy production… we have discovered that without water, enough water, we cannot produce the energy we need, or we can’t ship the fuels for filling the power plants,” he added.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Hilarious Reason Europe Won’t Freeze This Winter

The Hilarious Reason Europe Won’t Freeze This Winter

Europe Cannibalized

Abandoned industrial building. Image credit: Pixabay
List of the most energy intensive businesses. Source: US Energy Information Administration

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

HEAR What 5 New England Utility Execs Are WARNING | Power Outages This Winter

HEAR What 5 New England Utility Execs Are WARNING | Power Outages This Winter

Europe Is Facing Energy Disaster And It’s Going To Bleed Over Into The US

Europe Is Facing Energy Disaster And It’s Going To Bleed Over Into The US

Though the situation is ever changing, currently the Russian government has announced an official shutdown of ALL natural gas exports to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and plans to maintain the shutdown until the EU ends its economic sanctions over the war in Ukraine. This means that around 40% of Europe’s energy resources are now gone, with supply chain issues surrounding the other 60% and prices skyrocketing for households and businesses.

Back in March in an article titled ‘The Biggest Lies (So Far) Surrounding Russia And Ukraine’ I noted that:

…There’s something else the media does not talk about much, which is Europe’s reliance on Russian oil and natural gas. If you want to see actual price inflation caused by Russia, let the EU ban Russian oil imports, or watch as Putin cuts off the supply. Europe is dependent on Russian oil and gas for about 40% of overall energy production. They cannot even survive a single year without it. If Russia retaliated and blocked energy exports to Europe, the the EU would have to siphon oil from many other countries, reducing global supply dramatically. This would cause gas prices to explode to double or even triple current levels.”

Back in April of this year in my article ‘The Media Is Ignoring These Two Events Which Could Cause Economic Collapse’ I predicted that:

…The Russian economy is not about to fold anytime soon, and now the EU, which is reliant on Russian oil and gas exports for 40% of their energy needs, is about to face economic doom unless they submit to paying for energy in rubles (which they won’t) or find a replacement source for gas and oil (which is impossible)…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

This Winter, Europe Plunges Into “The New Dark Ages”

This Winter, Europe Plunges Into “The New Dark Ages”

Could you imagine being sent to prison for three years if you dared to set your thermostat above 66 degrees Fahrenheit?  As you will see below, this is a proposed regulation that is actually being considered in a major European country right now.  If you have not been paying much attention to what is happening in Europe, you need to wake up.  Natural gas in Europe is seven times more expensive than it was early last year, and that is because of the war in Ukraine.  Over the past few decades, the Europeans foolishly allowed themselves to become extremely dependent on gas from Russia.   In fact, more than 55 percent of the natural gas that Germany uses normally comes from Russia.  But now the war has changed everything, and Europe is facing an extremely harsh winter of severe shortages, mandatory rationing and absolutely insane heating bills.

Things are going to get very cold and very dark all over Europe in the months ahead, and those Europeans that choose to rebel against the new restrictions that are being implemented could literally find themselves in prison

Switzerland is considering jailing anyone who heats their rooms above 19C for up to three years if the country is forced to ration gas due to the Ukraine war.

The country could also give fines to those who violate the proposed new regulations.

Speaking to Blick, Markus Sporndli, who is a spokesman for the Federal Department of Finance, explained that the rate for fines on a daily basis could start at 30 Swiss Francs (£26).

19 degrees Celsius is just 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you live in Europe, prepare to dress very warmly this winter.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Net zero is dead – so what now?

Net zero is dead – so what now?

There is a deep irony that Europe’s wind turbine factories were among the first to close in the face of our growing energy crisis.  Nevertheless, it goes a long way to demonstrating the fundamental flaw in the net zero project – while the harvested energy of the wind may be renewable, the technologies that do the harvesting are not.  Indeed, these supposedly “green” technologies depend upon complex global supply chains powered by fossil fuels at every stage of their manufacture, transportation, deployment, maintenance, and decommissioning.  But that inconvenient truth was never allowed to get in the way of the technocratic net zero fantasy – aka “the great reset,” “the green new deal,” or “the fourth industrial revolution.”

It wasn’t, you see, just us who were “energy blind.”  Indeed, those at the bottom of the income ladder tend to be more aware of the importance of energy – including having enough calories to ward off hunger – than the technocrats and elites at the top of the pyramid, who tend to believe that they are perched up in the clouds solely due to their own efforts, rather than to having burned their way through a mountain of coal and an ocean of oil to generate their theoretical wealth.  And so, they sold us this children’s story about how complexity and science don’t really matter, and that so long as we all wish hard enough, we could replace all of the coal, gas and oil with sunlight, wind and pixie dust.  And in doing so, nothing would really change, and we would all own nothing but still live happily ever after.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Surprise: Gazprom “Completely Halts” Nord Stream Gas Supplies Due To “Unexpected” Leak

Surprise: Gazprom “Completely Halts” Nord Stream Gas Supplies Due To “Unexpected” Leak

After a 3-day halt, Russian energy giant Gazprom was expected to resume critical supplies of nat gas to Europe via Nord Stream 1 tomorrow, but it appears that Putin is enjoying the game of cat and mouse a little too much, and gas flows won’t be getting restored any time soon, because moments ago Gazprom announced that it had “completely halted” transport of gas to Nord Stream until a previously undetected oil leakage is rectified. That could takes hours, days… or months.

  • GAZPROM ISSUES STATEMENT ON NORD STREAM 1 MAINTENANCE
  • GAZPROM: TRANSPORT OF GAS TO THE NORD STREAM PIPELINE HAS BEEN COMPLETELY HALTED UNTIL FAULTS ARE RECTIFIED
  • GAZPROM: DURING ROUTINE MAINTENANCE WORKS OIL LEAKAGE WAS DETECTED
  • GAS SUPPLIES TO NORD STREAM FULLY STOPPED
  • GAZPROM STATEMENT GIVES NO TIME FRAME FOR RESTART OF GAS SUPPLY THROUGH NORD STREAM 1

To quote Walter Sobchak, “Mark it zero” for the foreseeable future.

That means that Europe will now be forced to rely even more on… well… Russian gas, in the form of much more expensive LNG resold by China. And after tumbling by more than 50% in the past few days, we fully expect European gas prices are about to go super parabolic and take out all time highs as soon as trading returns on Monday.

The news promptly sent spoos sliding back under 4000.

Carbon-Tinted Glasses

Carbon-Tinted Glasses

Most of us have heard the phrase rose-tinted glasses, meaning a tendency to view the world from an optimistic, rosy, point of view.  As we also know, when we look at things through only one perspective, we can gain an unrealistic view of reality.  There is nothing wrong with being optimistic, but if that blinkers us to other aspects of life and the world, then there is no need to work for social change or environmental justice.

Rose-tinted however, are not the only style of glasses we can wear.  Over the past decade or two we have become accustomed to wearing carbon-tinted glasses.  There are many within the climate change movement wearing these glasses, and many too (sadly) within the environmental movement.

What do I mean?  First, I’ll briefly outline how we have come to be wearing carbon-tinted glasses, and then secondly, point out how those glasses blinker us.

What are carbon-tinted glasses?

Since we began to learn about climate change (from the time that it was known as the “greenhouse effect” and on) we have slipped into our western pattern of attributing linear thinking and a simplistic cause and effect mentality.  It goes like this: 1. The atmosphere is warming up, 2. It is warming up because of the build-up of carbon, 3. Carbon is being added to the atmosphere because of human causes, 4. Primarily, the burning of fossil fuels, 5. What is the solution? 6. Replace fossil fuels as the source of energy with “renewable” energy sources (particularly solar and wind.)

Central to this linear thinking is the role of carbon.  Within this tightly framed mindset the issue becomes simply one of reducing carbon.

Thus, we get blinkered by our seeing the world through carbon-tinted glasses.

What are we blinkered to?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

It’s Time to Wake Up – The Currently Known Global Mineral Reserves Will Not Be Sufficient to Supply Enough Metals to Manufacture the Planned Non-fossil Fuel Industrial Systems

It’s Time to Wake Up – The Currently Known Global Mineral Reserves Will Not Be Sufficient to Supply Enough Metals to Manufacture the Planned Non-fossil Fuel Industrial Systems

The research report made by Associate Research Professor Simon Michaux from Geological Survey of Finland GTK shows that if we want to transition away from fossil fuels, mining of minerals and using recycled minerals and metals from industrial waste streams in new ways will have to increase greatly.

No matter what minerals will be needed, we will need large quantities of them as the renewable power sources like wind and solar, require extensive mineral resources to manufacture the infrastructure for fossil-free energy.

And there is a challenge. Given the estimated required number of Electric Vehicles (EV’s) of different vehicle class, it is clear that there are not enough minerals in the currently reported global reserves to build just one generation of batteries for all EV’s and stationary power storage, in the global industrial ecosystem as it is today.

The World needs a new plan to build a genuinely sustainable non-fossil fuel industrial ecosystem

Decisive actions need to be planned to diversify sustainable material/metal/mineral sourcing, where manufacture could be done with parallel technology systems that require different material chemistries. In doing so, current reported mineral reserves may be sufficient for long term supply.

Key elements include developing new ways to utilize minerals, metals and materials of our industrial waste and to promote manufacture of easily recyclable products.

Exploration for new mineral deposits, feasibility studies, and pilot scale tests of existing known deposits will be needed on an unprecedented scale, will be needed all over the world. The restructuring society and the industrial ecosystem to consume less and establish a new relationship with raw materials and energy might be needed.

Metal levels towards low carbon world

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Oil turbulence could last five years, ExxonMobil boss warns

Oil turbulence could last five years, ExxonMobil boss warns

Consumers must be prepared to endure up to five years of turbulent oil markets, the head of ExxonMobil said Tuesday, citing under-investment and the coronavirus pandemic.

Energy markets have been roiled by the Ukraine war as Russia has reduced some exports and faced sanctions while Europe has announced plans to wean itself off dependency on Russian fossil fuels in coming years.

Speaking ahead of ExxonMobil’s unveiling as the fourth international partner for Qatar’s natural gas expansion, chairman and chief executive Darren Woods said major uncertainty lies ahead.

“You are probably looking at three to five years of continued fairly tight markets,” Woods told the Qatar Economic Forum. “How that manifests itself in price will obviously be a big function of demand, which is difficult to predict.”

On top of under-investment in finding new oil sources in 2014-2015, Woods said the pandemic “really sucked a lot of revenues out of the industry”.

Woods said companies and governments needed to think long-term. “We are going to see a lot of volatility and discontinuity in the market place if we don’t get to more thoughtful policies,” he predicted.

Representatives from the Middle East energy industry also renewed calls for better planning in consumer countries.

Sheikh Nawaf Saud al-Sabah, chief executive of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, said the company was supplying all customers, but that multinational oil firms were not matching the investment of national oil enterprises.

– ‘Tremendous disruption’ –

As part of the Gulf state’s response, Kuwait was starting its first offshore oil exploration and building the world’s biggest oil refinery.

“We have never touched the offshore in Kuwait. The first offshore drill rig arrived in Kuwait a week ago and will start soon,” he said.

The new refinery would come online by the end of 2022, Sabah added.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

European Power Prices Spike As Heat Dome Strains Grid 

European Power Prices Spike As Heat Dome Strains Grid 

European day-ahead power prices continue to soar for the third day due to an early-season heat wave driving up cooling demand, lack of renewable energy generation, declining nuclear power, and soaring natural gas costs.

Large swaths of Europe over the weekend experienced temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius). The hottest temperatures were from Spain to Germany to France.

Bloomberg notes power grids were under stress as wind generation in Germany and Italy plunged, forcing the need to increase the capacity of fossil fuel power generators to make up for the lost power. This placed a bid under electricity prices as the cost to generate power soars because of tightening supplies due to declining Russian flows.

“Already high gas prices, combined with low wind output will require less efficient, higher cost gas plants to fire up, pushing up prices,” BloombergNEF’s Andreas Gandolfo said. 

Day-ahead power prices in France traded at 383.14 euros ($404.08) a megawatt-hour, up more than 64% from last week.

Besides tight fossil fuel supplies and a lack of renewable power from Germany and Italy, half of France’s 56 nuclear reactors are offline. France was the biggest net exporter of power last year, supplying many European countries.

French nuclear power is needed when renewable energy is lacking. Also, Brussels’ drive for net-zero carbon emissions and weening off Russian fossil fuels has made the energy crisis on the continent worse.

To avert a more profound crisis, German Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Sunday that the country is increasing coal generation to increase power output.

The decision comes just days after Russian gas company Gazprom announced that it was reducing supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for “technical reasons.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Australia’s Energy Crisis Worsens As Gov’t Ask People To Keep Lights Off To Avert Blackouts

Australia’s Energy Crisis Worsens As Gov’t Ask People To Keep Lights Off To Avert Blackouts

Australia’s energy minister asked Sydney and the New South Wales (eastern part of the country) residents to turn off lights and energy-intensive appliances in the evening to prevent power blackouts due to an ongoing energy crunch, The Independent reports.

The federal energy minister, Chris Bowen, asked residents in a televised address to turn off energy-intensive devices between “6 to 8 [pm]” to mitigate risks of a spike in power during peak hours. He pointed to several offline coal-fired plants because of maintenance and unexpected issues.

Reuters notes that 65% of eastern Australia’s power is generated by coal, but more than a quarter of that capacity is offline.

Wholesale electricity prices have soared and on Monday exceeded the capped price of A$300 per megawatt-hour. Above A$300, coal power generation plants lost money and forced some operators to shutter power generation units, thus removing energy capacity off the grid and sending prices even higher. The rise of power prices began when coal prices jumped following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Bowen snapped at a journalist when asked if more coal power is the answer the energy crunch.

“The situation in recent days has posed challenges to the entire energy industry, and suspending the market would simplify operations during the significant outages across the energy supply chain,” Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) chief executive Daniel Westerman said in a statement.

“It was understandable generators had held back supply in light of the price caps along with unplanned outages and supply challenges with coal and gas, but having to direct generators to provide supply had made it impossible to maintain normal market operations,” Westerman said. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Harsh Reality of Energy TINA Strikes the US and Europe

The Harsh Reality of Energy TINA Strikes the US and Europe

Hello EU and President Biden “There Is No Alternative” to Russian energy.
Natural gas chart courtesy of Trading Economics, annotations by Mish.

Natural gas chart courtesy of Trading Economics, annotations by Mish.

Some European Factories, Long Dependent on Cheap Russian Energy, Are Shutting Down

The Wall Street Journal reports Some European Factories, Long Dependent on Cheap Russian Energy, Are Shutting Down

For decades, European industry relied on Russia to supply low-cost oil and natural gas that kept the continent’s factories humming.

Now Europe’s industrial energy costs are soaring in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine, hobbling manufacturers’ ability to compete in the global marketplace. Factories are scrambling to find alternatives to Russian energy under threat that Moscow could abruptly turn off the gas spigot, bringing production to a halt.

Europe’s producers of chemicals, fertilizer, steel and other energy-intensive goods have come under pressure over the last eight months as tensions with Russia climbed ahead of the February invasion. Some producers are shutting down in the face of competition from factories in the U.S., the Middle East and other regions where energy costs are much lower than in Europe. Natural-gas prices are now nearly three times higher in Europe than in the U.S.

 

The Sanction Impact

Global map from Nations Online Project, annotations by Mish

Global map from Nations Online Project, annotations by Mish

De-Globalization: New Supply Chains Are Inefficient and Will Drive Up Inflation

On April 4, I wrote De-Globalization: New Supply Chains Are Inefficient and Will Drive Up Inflation

What I called “proposed” then is happening now.

The EU does not want to use Russian oil or natural gas.

So instead, the EU gets oil from Saudi Arabia and has turned to the US for liquid natural gas (LNG).

This economic madness is driving up the price of natural gas in the US as well.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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