Corona Crisis: Federation Of German Industry Calls On EU To Review Unilateral 2030 Climate Goals


By: - Climate DepotApril 28, 2020 12:26 PM with 0 comments

https://mailchi.mp/152adb7c6d76/corona-crisis-federation-of-german-industry-calls-on-eu-to-review-unilateral-2030-climate-goals-176749?e=f4e33fdd1e

GWPF Newsletter 28/04/20
Corona Crisis

Federation Of German Industry Calls On EU To Review Unilateral 2030 Climate Goals

Renewable Energy Loses Steam As Asian Nations Scale Back Subsidies

1) Corona Crisis: Federation Of German Industry Calls On EU To Review Unilateral 2030 Climate Goals
Federation of German Industry (BDI), 27 April 2020

2) Post-Pandemic: Europe’s Choice Between Very Cheap Fossil Fuels & Expensive Renewables
Bloomberg, 27 April 2020

3) Renewable Energy Loses Steam As Asian Nations Scale Back Subsidies
Nikkei Asian Review, 25 April 2020

4) Mann Vs Moore: Climate Extremists Want Michael Moore’s Documentary Banned, Say It’s Chock Full Of Misinformation
The Daily Caller, 26 April 2020

5) Civil War On The Left: Michael Moore Against The Greens
Steven Hayward, PowerLine, 27 April 2020 

6) Harry Wilkinson: Macron’s Luddite Charter: Grimly Predictable And Utterly Unworkable
Global Vision, 27 April 2020

7) Mark Mills: Our Love Of The Cloud Is Making A Green Energy Future Impossible
Tech Crunch, 25 April 2020

8) John Constable: Low Electricity Demand and System Balancing Problems during The UK’s Coronavirus Lockdown
Dr John Constable, GWPF Energy Editor, 25 April 2020

9) Simon Abundance Index Confirms Julian Simon: Basic Commodities Much More Abundant Than 40 Years Ago
Human Progress, 22 April 2020

10) And Finally: Scottish Government Plans Compulsory Climate Education To Make Urgent Changes To Society
The Herald, 25 April 2020

1) Corona Crisis: Federation Of German Industry Calls On EU To Review Unilateral 2030 Climate Goals
Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V., 27 April 2020

‘EU restart needs globally comparable ambitions in climate protection’

In a statement, Holger Lösch, deputy general manager of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), comments on the 11th Petersberg Climate Dialogue:

“It is right and important that the Petersberg Climate Dialogue deals extensively with the topic of climate finance. The restart of the global economy after the Corona crisis needs globally comparable ambitions in climate protection. The political tendencies against cooperative and multilateral action must not increase any further.

German industry is sticking to the EU’s 2050 goal of climate neutrality. The interim climate goals for 2030 urgently need to be put to the test due to the changed economic situation.

State budgets, company balance sheets and private households will have considerably less scope for investments of all kinds in the future. Therefore, the EU Green Deal must become a Smart Deal, in which growth, employment and ambitious climate protection goals are linked as efficiently as possible through an intelligent investment and relief package.

Building renovation, digitalization, energy efficiency, circular economy and, in particular, hydrogen and CO2-neutral fuels could be fields in which there is a good chance of sustainable growth with the intelligent use of the remaining capital. “

Full post (in German)

see also Costly Climate Policies Must Be Abandoned To Save Economy

2) Post-Pandemic: Europe’s Choice Between Very Cheap Fossil Fuels & Expensive Renewables
Bloomberg, 27 April 2020

(Bloomberg) — Europe’s hopes that green power will soon beat out fossil-fuels on costs will fade unless governments implement shrewd policies to support renewable after the coronavirus crisis.

Propped up over decades by hundreds of billions of euros of government subsidies, power from wind and solar was slated to undercut coal, and even natural gas as soon as a year. But those estimates were made before the health crisis gutted energy demand and sent oil prices below zero for the first time, according to according to a report by BloombergNEF.

In a worst-case scenario where coal and gas prices plummet and environmental subsidies slip down the agenda, renewable energy’s competitive edge over fossil fuels could be delayed to as late as 2025, they said.

Before the pandemic, the outlook for clean power reflected expectations of ever-improving technology, falling costs, and generous government subsidies at a time when it became less profitable to burn coal. Renewable energy’s move to becoming consistently cheaper than coal or gas was expected from around 2021, BNEF forecast.

As the evidence mounts that the world is headed for a prolonged recession from the devastating effects of the coronavirus, policymakers may be tempted to back away from renewable energy subsidies, focusing instead on rebuilding their economies, BNEF analysts Dario Traum and Andreas Gandolfo said in the report.

Full story

3) Renewable Energy Loses Steam As Asian Nations Scale Back Subsidies
Nikkei Asian Review, 25 April 2020

TOKYO — Global capacity for renewable energy ended 17 years of growth in 2019, as Asian governments scaled back expensive subsidies designed to make their power grids greener.

The trend could continue in 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak forces factory shutdowns for producers of the necessary equipment, delaying future green power projects and slowing the international shift away from fossil fuels.

Roughly 176 gigawatts of renewable generating capacity was added worldwide last year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency, 2% less than in 2018.

New solar power capacity totaled 97.68 GW, or 2.5% less than in 2018.

Asia was a major contributor to the slowdown, with the continent adding 12% less renewable power capacity than in 2018. China and Japan logged declines of 15% and 40%, respectively.

Global renewable capacity has grown continuously since 2003, as governments introduced feed-in tariffs and other incentives to promote green energy.

But these efforts carry an upfront expense. Japan’s feed-in tariffs have cost the public more than 2 trillion yen ($18.6 billion) so far. The country plans a switch to a feed-in premium system, where renewable energy producers receive a premium on top of market rates. China has reduced government subsidies for renewables.

“Even if we want to build new renewable plants, we have no choice but to be cautious,” an industry insider said.

The pandemic has upended the supply chain for renewable energy equipment.

Denmark’s Vestas, the world’s leading producer of wind turbines, suspended production at two Spanish plants due to the virus outbreak. Rival Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy halted work at six of its 10 Spanish factories.

In China, factory utilization rates for solar panel producers fell to about 60% in February. The figure has since rebounded, but many worry about the long-term effects of disruptions in the country, which produces 70% of the world’s solar panels.

Full story

4) Mann Vs Moore: Climate Extremists Want Michael Moore’s Documentary Banned, Say It’s Chock Full Of Misinformation
The Daily Caller, 26 April 2020

Anti-fossil fuel activists unsuccessfully attempted to lobby to remove Michael Moore’s documentary panning green energy over claims that it contains pro-oil industry misinformation.

Activist Josh Fox, climate scientist Michael Mann and other environmentalists signed onto a petition Friday asking the producer to take down “Planet of the Humans,” saying Moore’s film relies on old data to claim solar and wind energy is dependent on fossil fuels. Films for Action, which claimed credit for the film, said in a statement Saturday that it nixed the film before putting it back online, saying the move was meant to engage in debate.

“We are disheartened and dismayed to report that the film is full of misinformation — so much so that for half a day we removed the film from the site,” Films for Action noted in a press statement Saturday. “Ultimately, we decided to put it back up because we believe media literacy, critique and debate is the best solution to misinformation.”

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5) Civil War On The Left: Michael Moore Against The Greens
Steven Hayward, PowerLine, 27 April 2020

Moore’s film not only exposes the green energy frauds, but reveals all too plainly the greens’ latent misanthropy.

As John has already noted, the environmental left (aka, “the left”) is losing its lunch about the new Michael Moore-produced documentary “Planet of the Humans.” I have seen the the whole thing, and you might want to take it in, too, if you have 90 minutes to spare. If not, I have prepared a 10-minute highlight reel below that has a few (but only a very few!) of the best bits bashing “green energy.” In any case, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the film removed from YouTube and suppressed completely within the next few days, just as the ABC docudrama “The Path to 9/11” was suppressed because it made the Clintons look bad.

The beauty of the film is that it makes a devastating case against so-called “renewable energy” entirely with left-wing observers, and does not feature any of the long-time critics from our camp. Overall, however, the film is a red-hot mess, because its central point is the old fashioned, undisguised Malthusianism that there are too many humans on the planet, and that we have to give up growth and shrink our material existence. The greens these days are frantially trying to disguise their fundamentalism by calling it “degrowth,” but it’s the same old recycled doom and gloom and plea for green authoritarianism.

How this “degrowth” should be done the film does not say, and perhaps its real sin from the point of view of the environmentalists is that Moore’s film not only exposes their green energy frauds, but reveals all too plainly their latent misanthropy. And given that we’re all going through a sample of what “degrowth” means right now, this film is very poorly timed.

By the way, I think the greens have only begun to exploit the virus crisis, but have no idea what a disaster it is for them.

Full post

6) Harry Wilkinson: Macron’s Luddite Charter: Grimly Predictable And Utterly Unworkable
Global Vision, 27 April 2020

Harry Wilkinson is Head of Policy at the Global Warming Policy Forum

President Macron had a cunning plan. Riled by the gilets jaunes, he desperately needed to shift responsibility for the controversial and expensive climate policies that had driven the French people to the streets. And so he turned to La Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat (citizens assembly on climate), a body of 150 randomly chosen members of the public, hoping that they could provide a veneer of democratic legitimacy for his ambitious emissions targets.

How naïve that strategy has turned out to be. We have just been given a first look at the assembly’s disastrous plan. Dictated by green activists, the assembly’s proposals bear all the hallmarks of the anti-technology, anti-population mindset that has come to characterise the green movement. This is a luddite’s charter for the 21st century.

Grimly predictable. Utterly unworkable, they leave Macron facing exactly the same awkward balancing act of trying to appease the green mob while protecting the economy, only now with a global recession to deal with too.

At the root of this delusion is a fundamental failure to appreciate the benefits of specialisation and the prosperity that it gives rise to.

The plan is extensive, and will only grow in scope. So far, only 50 out of an eventual 150 proposals have been published, but they reveal a backward-looking attempt to apply the principles of organic farming to the entire economy.

Shopping, travelling and indeed food production are all affected. Out-of-town hypermarkets will be closed to encourage shopping locally, and the 5G network is to be abandoned because it uses more electricity than the existing infrastructure. 50% of agricultural land will be made to adhere to ‘agro-ecology’ practices by 2040.

The panel also intends to ban cars that emit more than 110g of CO2 per kilometre by 2025. This is far below the level permitted by most existing vehicles, and leaves little time for people to purchase new vehicles. Effectively, it means that driving becomes a luxury enjoyed only by a tiny minority.

Advertising hoardings too will be banned, to deter people buying products that the assembly deem ‘they do not need’. Television, radio, internet and press advertisements for products generating high levels of CO2 are all to be banned, and those that are authorised will have to carry the sinister warning: “Do you really need this? Overconsumption harms the planet.”

The luddite resistance to the division of labour is being neatly mirrored by modern environmentalists, who envisage unravelling highly specialised global supply chains. With le bon sauvage in mind, they invoke the fantasy of returning to an imagined sustainable past in which the profit motive does not exist, everything is produced locally, and people only consume what they ‘need’.

This is economic illiteracy. In practice, the mere attempt to reach this supposed utopia would condemn the poor to higher prices and intolerable levels of coercion. At the root of this delusion is a fundamental failure to appreciate the benefits of specialisation and the prosperity that it gives rise to. That specialisation also allows for the more efficient production of all goods, to the extent that in many developed countries resource use is now falling. The forced localisation of production would have the opposite effect, leading to greater land use and greater resource consumption.

It is no surprise that the Convention Citoyenne came to such conclusions, for it has been carefully engineered to deliver a particular outcome. At its heart is the governance committee, which has been conveniently co-chaired by the CEO of the European Climate Foundation, a prominent and well-funded green lobby group, and the CEO of Terra Nova, a left wing think tank. With control of the agenda, they have been allowed to shape the discussions and invite experts of their choosing.

If you thought this sort of thing could not happen in Britain, think again. The European Climate Foundation is also playing a significant role in Britain’s own version of this charade: Climate Assembly UK. It is not only providing a significant share of the funding, but also has strong links to many of the invited speakers and participating organisations. We can expect that body to come up with similarly absurd suggestions.

Make no mistake, climate assemblies are not balanced forums for open debate, but an elaborate ploy by politicians desperate to shift responsibility for policies they know will be costly and damaging. Radical green groups have quickly capitalised on this opportunity to give a false democratic legitimacy to their backward-looking neo-luddite agenda. Genuine environmental progress does not need to come with perpetual green austerity. It’s time to stop this dangerous anti-growth movement in its tracks.

7) Mark Mills: Our Love Of The Cloud Is Making A Green Energy Future Impossible
Tech Crunch, 25 April 2020

Regardless of the issues and debates around the technologies used to make electricity, the priority for operators of the information infrastructure will increasingly, and necessarily, shift to its availability. That’s because the cloud is rapidly becoming even more inextricably linked to our economic health, as well as our mental and physical health.

An epic number of citizens are video-conferencing to work in these lockdown times. But as they trade in a gas-burning commute for digital connectivity, their personal energy use for each two hours of video is greater than the share of fuel they would have consumed on a four-mile train ride. Add to this, millions of students ‘driving’ to class on the internet instead of walking.

Meanwhile in other corners of the digital universe, scientists furiously deploy algorithms to accelerate research. Yet, the pattern-learning phase for a single artificial intelligence application can consume more compute energy than 10,000 cars do in a day.

This grand ‘experiment’ in shifting societal energy use is visible, at least indirectly, in one high-level fact set. By the first week of April, U.S. gasoline use had collapsed by 30 percent, but overall electric demand was down less than seven percent. That dynamic is in fact indicative of an underlying trend for the future. While transportation fuel use will eventually rebound, real economic growth is tied to our electrically fueled digital future.

The COVID-19 crisis highlights just how much more sophisticated and robust the 2020 internet is from what existed as recently as 2008 when the economy last collapsed, an internet ‘century’ ago. If a national lockdown had occurred back then, most of the tens of millions who now telecommute would have joined the nearly 20 million who got laid off. Nor would it have been nearly as practical for universities and schools to have tens of millions of students learning from home.

Analysts have widely documented massive increases in internet traffic from all manner of stay-at-home activities. Digital traffic measures have spiked for everything from online groceries to video games and movie streaming. So far, the system has ably handled it all, and the cloud has been continuously available, minus the occasional hiccup.

There’s more to the cloud’s role during the COVID-19 crisis than one-click teleconferencing and video chatting. Telemedicine has finally been unleashed. And we’ve seen, for example, apps quickly emerge to help self-evaluate symptoms and AI tools put to work to enhance X-ray diagnoses and to help with contact tracing. The cloud has also allowed researchers to rapidly create “data lakes” of clinical information to fuel the astronomical capacities of today’s supercomputers deployed in pursuit of therapeutics and vaccines.

The future of AI and the cloud will bring us a lot more of the above, along with practical home diagnostics and useful VR-based telemedicine, not to mention hyper-accelerated clinical trials for new therapies. And this says nothing about what the cloud will yet enable in the 80 percent of the economy that’s not part of healthcare.

For all of the excitement that these new capabilities offer us though, the bedrock behind all of that cloud computing will remain consistent — and consistently increasing — demand for energy. Far from saving energy, our AI-enabled workplace future uses more energy than ever before, a challenge the tech industry rapidly needs to assess and consider in the years ahead. […]

Will digital energy priorities shift?

Which brings us to a related question: Will cloud companies in the post-coronavirus era continue to focus spending on energy indulgences or on availability? By indulgences, I mean those corporate investments made in wind/solar generation somewhere else (including overseas) other than to directly power one’s own facility. Those remote investments are ‘credited’ to a local facility to claim it is green powered, even though it doesn’t actually power the facility.

Nothing prevents any green-seeking firm from physically disconnecting from the conventional grid and building their own local wind/solar generation – except that to do so and ensure 24/7 availability would result in a roughly 400 percent increase in that facility’s electricity costs.

As it stands today regarding the prospects for purchased indulgences, it’s useful to know that the global information infrastructure already consumes more electricity than is produced by all of the world’s solar and wind farms combined. Thus there isn’t enough wind/solar power on the planet for tech companies — much less anyone else — to buy as ‘credits’ to offset all digital energy use.

The handful of researchers who are studying digital energy trends expect that cloud fuel use could rise at least 300 percent in the coming decade, and that was before our global pandemic. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency forecasts a ‘mere’ doubling in global renewable electricity over that timeframe. That forecast was also made in the pre-coronavirus economy. The IEA now worries that the recession will drain fiscal enthusiasm for expensive green plans.

Regardless of the issues and debates around the technologies used to make electricity, the priority for operators of the information infrastructure will increasingly, and necessarily, shift to its availability. That’s because the cloud is rapidly becoming even more inextricably linked to our economic health, as well as our mental and physical health.

All this should make us optimistic about what comes on the other side of the recovery from the pandemic and unprecedented shutdown of our economy. Credit Microsoft, in its pre-COVID 19 energy manifesto, for observing that “advances in human prosperity … are inextricably tied to the use of energy.” Our cloud centric 21st century infrastructure will be no different. And that will turn out to be a good thing.

Full post

8) John Constable: Low Electricity Demand and System Balancing Problems during The UK’s Coronavirus Lockdown
Dr John Constable, GWPF Energy Editor, 25 April 2020

The restrictions on economic and personal activity imposed to address the spread of the coronavirus are reducing electricity demand in the UK to unusually low levels, increasing the difficulties of operating the system, particularly in the presence of embedded solar and wind generation. 

As a result of the restrictions on economic activity and personal movement, designed to reduce the rate of transmission of Covid-19, there are striking anomalies in the British electricity markets. The following chart, drawn by the author from BM Reports data, shows daily electrical energy (MWh) transmitted over the network, and gives evidence of a substantial fall in electricity consumption. Domestic consumption may be rising as a result of the Stay at Home policy, but it is nowhere near offsetting the fall in industrial and commercial consumption.


Figure 1: Daily electrical energy (GWh) transmitted over the British electricity network, from 1st of January to 23rd April 2020 (red line), compared to the historical norm (grey line). Source: Chart by the author, data from BM Reports.

Of course, that decline has to be understood against the background of what is normal for the time year, and the grey line shows that demand normally begins to fall from January onwards. The red line shows that this year was no exception, with the decline beginning even in January well before the first warnings about Covid-19 were given.

Furthermore, demand was already low relative to the historical norm for these months, because of unusually warm weather. Consequently, some part of the decline seen towards the end of the charted is to be expected. Nevertheless, even when these factors are taken into account the abrupt nature of the decline in consumption after the 23rd of March is obvious.

Furthermore, there is a clear loss of the familiar structure in the pattern of demand, a feature which is still more evident in the pattern of instantaneous load (MW) on the network by half-hourly settlement period. Compare the following two charts, the first of which graphs load from the 1st of January to the 24th of February, while the second charts the period from the 1st of March to the 23rd of April. […]

Before the lockdown the pattern of load is highly but regularly variable, exhibiting repetitive periodicities on several timescales, all patterns well known to the grid operators. The second chart shows the regularly and highly differentiated pattern of electricity demand both falling and becoming temporarily more chaotic as it moves towards a new and less differentiated equilibrium at a lower level. This is not only new and unfamiliar territory for the system operators, but has accelerated the arrival of problems with the large and inflexible renewables fleets, problems for which the system is probably not quite ready.

Full post

9) Simon Abundance Index Confirms Julian Simon: Basic Commodities Much More Abundant Than 40 Years Ago
Human Progress, 22 April 2020

The Earth was 570.9 percent more abundant in 2019 than it was in 1980

Introduction: Last year saw the mainstreaming of a Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (Vhemt). According to its American founder who goes by Les U. Knight, “I’ve seen more and more articles about people choosing to remain child-free or to not add more to their existing family than ever.” He is right. In recent years, articles embracing the benefits of human extinction included The New Yorker magazine’s “The Case for Not Being Born,” NBC News’ “Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them” and The New York Times polemic “Would Human Extinction Be a Tragedy?” A CNN report on the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services findings noted that “we must act now, consuming less, polluting less, having fewer children.” But are people really that bad for the planet?

In 2018, we co-authored a study titled, The Simon Abundance Index: A New Way to Measure Availability of Resources. In that paper we looked at the prices of 50 basic commodities between 1980 and 2017. Counterintuitively, we found that resources have become more, not less, abundant. Our calculations confirmed the insights of the University of Maryland economist Julian Simon who observed in his 1981 book The Ultimate Resource that humans are intelligent beings, capable of innovating their way out of shortages through greater efficiency, increased supply and the development of substitutes. To arrive at our conclusions, we came up with four new concepts: Time Price Toolkit (i.e., time price, abundance multiplier, percentage change in abundance, compound annual growth rate in abundance and years to double abundance), Price Elasticity of Population, Simon Abundance Framework and Simon Abundance Index. […]

Conclusion: Julian Simon’s revolutionary insights with regard to the mutually beneficial interaction between population growth and availability of natural resources, which our research confirms, may be counterintuitive, but they are real. The world’s resources are finite in the same way that the number of piano keys is finite. The instrument has only 88 notes, but those can be played in an infinite variety of ways. The same applies to our planet. The Earth’s atoms may be fixed, but the possible combinations of those atoms are infinite. What matters, then, is not the physical limits of our planet, but human freedom to experiment and reimagine the use of resources that we have. To learn more, please visit  www.humanprogress.org/simonproject.

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10) And Finally: Scottish Government Plans Compulsory Climate Education To Make Urgent Changes To Society
The Herald, 25 April 2020

MSPs, business leaders and newly enrolled university students may be asked to take mandatory climate change studies if plans currently under consideration are adopted.

The studies would help arm them with facts and knowledge to make urgent changes to society as it emerges from COVID-19 lockdown. The Scottish Government has already committed to enrolling at least 100 senior officials to the Climate Solutions course.

The news comes just days before Tuesday’s one-year anniversary of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon declaring a climate emergency.

The course was devised by experts at the Perth-based Royal Scottish Geographical Society in partnership with the Institute of Directors, Stirling University’s Business School and the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Carbon Innovation.

Among the main areas the course looks at are issues around transport, energy use, supply chains, social behaviours, mitigation and planning for the future.

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