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Finally, Bloomberg Admits Renewables Mania Caused Energy Shortages

By Michael Shellenberger

Between 2017 and 2021, Environmental Progress and I researched and published dozens of articles, testified before Congress, and authored a book, Apocalypse Never, arguing that weather-dependent renewables were making electricity increasingly unreliable and expensive, and making the United States, Europe, and Asia, dangerously dependent on natural gas. In response, there was an organized and somewhat successful effort by progressive climate-renewables activists to cut off our fundingcensor us on Facebook, and prevent me from testifying before Congress.

But now, one of the biggest boosters of natural gas and renewables, media giant Bloomberg, whose owner, Michael Bloomberg, is directly invested in natural gas and renewables, has published an article conceding and substantiating almost every single point we have made over the years. “Europe Sleepwalked Into an Energy Crisis That Could Last Years,” screams the headline. The article concludes that the crisis was “years in the making” because Europe is “shutting down coal-fired electricity plants and increasing its reliance on renewables.”

Bloomberg still pulls its punches and misdescribes the situation in some ways. The article, like many other Bloomberg articles, mislabels the deployment of renewables as an “energy transition” similar to past transitions from wood to coal and coal to natural gas, failing to acknowledge that the poor physics of energy-dilute renewables make that impossible. And it suggests that Europe’s energy crisis is the result of ignorance. “The energy crisis hit the bloc,” notes a renewable energy PR person, “when security of supply was not on the menu of EU policymakers,” ignoring the reality that I and others warned EU policymakers of this very crisis.

But, to its credit, the article acknowledges that the energy crisis is a direct result of Europe over-investing in unreliable renewables and under-investing in reliable energy sources. “Wind and solar are cleaner but sometimes fickle,” the authors admit, in the understatement of the year, “as illustrated by the sudden drop in turbine-generated power the continent recorded last year.” (I was the first U.S. journalist to report Germany saw its emissions rise 25% in the first half of 2021 due to lack of wind.)

Now, a new analysis from Environmental Progress finds Germany increased its emissions last year and will likely increase them again this year. This year, German electricity generation coming from fossil fuels will be 44% compared to 39% in 2021 and 37 percent in 2020, assuming weather conditions and electricity demand are similar to 2021. Emissions from Germany’s power sector will rise from 244 million tons in 2021 to 264 million tons in 2022.