Wednesday, October 27, 2021

EU: France and Germany strike deal on future usage of nuclear in Europe

 In an emergency summit of EU- energy secretaries, which was convened to work out responses to the high energy prices the participants agreed that nuclear will still be part of the european energy mix. The french government got its way against detractors of nuclear energy in other goverment of the Bloc writes WELT:

The subject was not on the agenda, but the advocates of nuclear power did not allow themselves to be dissuaded. At the emergency summit of the EU energy ministers, a show event at which the high energy prices should be publicized, the camp of the pro-nuclear countries spoke up anyway.

"Many delegations" have demanded that Brussels take a quick position on nuclear power, said the Slovenian Minister of Infrastructure Jernej Vrtovec on Tuesday afternoon after the meeting.

Nord Stream 2: deadline for application for operating licence exceeded

After completion of the pipeline in September 2021 the project stills lacks the required operating licence. This constitutes an obstacle for the startup procedure of the pipeline because the deadline for application at the Federal Network Agency of Germany (Bundesnetzagentur) was march 3rd 2013 as stipulated in the german Energy Industry Act (Energiewirtschaftsgesetz). However the application for Nord Stream 2 arrived on June 24 2021. Lawyers are at strife on how to deal with this issue, writes BILD:

New problems for the Putin pipeline Nord Stream 2!

Completely built, but still without an operating license and without certification, the billion-dollar pipeline lies in the Baltic Sea. In order to change that and soon Russia's gas will flow through the pipe, Nord Stream 2 AG, based in Switzerland, submitted an application to the Federal Network Agency on June 24th for “certification as an independent transmission system operator”.

In its application for certification, Nord Stream 2 AG refers to the German Energy Industry Act (EnWG), which is the only possible legal basis for certification in Germany. But this is exactly where the problem lies.

Because in Article 4b, paragraph 1 of the law: "Transport network operators (...) must submit the application for certification to the regulatory authority by March 3, 2013 at the latest."

Monday, October 25, 2021

France: transmission system operator publishes study on energy sources by 2050

 French transmission system operator Réseau de transport d'électricité (RTE) has published a strategy with different scenarios on energy consumption in France and the required energy sources for the coming decades until 2050, writes Le Monde:

It is an understatement to say that this work was expected, and that it will be commented on. The national manager of the Electricity Transmission Network (RTE) published on Monday, October 25, the main findings of a vast study aimed at defining the future of the French electricity system. Launched in 2019 at the request of the government, this forward-looking exercise entitled "Energy Futures 2050" sets out six scenarios that are supposed to make it possible to achieve carbon neutrality within thirty years, and therefore to fight against climate change.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Nord Stream 2: german politicians blame chancellor Merkel for high energy prices

 Several politicians blamed the hiking energy on Merkel's inactivity and naivity in dealing with russian president Putin, thus enabling him to blackmail Europeans with gas prices, writes german newspaper BILD

The signs couldn't have been clearer.

For years, experts and politicians, who know how Russia repeatedly uses energy as a weapon, have warned that the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea will come with a political price. Not only for Ukraine, but above all for Germany.

Doubling the Russian-German gas transport capacity by bypassing all European partners would not result in a diversification of the sources of supply, as Chancellor Merkel and her foreign and economic ministers have been claiming for years. Instead, it creates one-sided dependencies, gives Putin influence over German politics and, above all, the power to freeze ourselves and others if we don't play by his rules.

But Angela Merkel (67) ignored all warnings.

Even when the completion of Nord Stream 2 was about to begin in the summer and Putin began to implement his plan, Merkel did what she did so often in crisis situations over the years - nothing.

► Nothing happened when Russia's state gas giant Gazprom announced in June that from October it would only feed half as much gas into the “Yamal” pipe via Belarus and Poland.

► Nothing happened when Gazprom announced in August that it would also drastically reduce additional bookings through Ukraine from October.

► Even when the Kremlin announced just one week after the completion of the Baltic Sea pipeline in September that “the fastest possible commissioning of Nord Stream 2 would of course compensate for natural gas prices in Europe”, Merkel did nothing to avert the impending catastrophe at the last second .

Today gas at the European trading point in the Netherlands costs twice as much as when the extortion tube was completed five weeks ago, and Vladimir Putin only made it clear on Wednesday that without the commissioning of Nord Stream 2, "the tensions on the European energy market" would persist .

What threatens is an extremely expensive winter, for which experts hold the Chancellor partly responsible.

"Germany's precarious situation results from various wrong decisions by the governments under Ms. Merkel," says Ostpolitik expert Jan Behrends (51) from the Leibniz Center for Contemporary History in Potsdam. These include "the hasty nuclear phase-out, the construction of the Nord Stream pipelines and the failed policy on Russia," the Russia expert told BILD.

The Eastern Europe expert Renata Alt (56, FDP) also goes tough with the Chancellor in court.

She told BILD: “The current gas price explosion is not least due to the naivety of the two grand coalitions under Angela Merkel's chancellorship. Anyone who sows naivety in dealing with Vladimir Putin's system will reap dependency and an energy crisis. "

Alt further criticized the outgoing Chancellor: “For a project that has no added value for Germany, Ms. Merkel has jeopardized our relations with EU partners such as Poland and the Baltic states. There is nothing to explain this ingratiation to Russia and nothing to excuse. "

Germany: return to nuclear could reduce energy dependency from Russia

This is the assertion that french scholar Thierry Bros develops in a conversation with german newspaper BILD

“Putin is the only one who could prevent blackouts in Europe. That is a position of power. "

This simple but accurate statement by energy expert Professor Thierry Bros (54) from the University of Institut d’études politiques de Parisciences (Sciences Po) in the “Wall Street Journal” shows the whole misery of German energy policy! Whether for heating, power supply or gasoline - Germany is dependent on the Kremlin, because the strongest energy suppliers, the state-owned companies Gazprom and Rosneft, are at least indirectly controlled by Russia's head of state.

But how can Germany end the misery it has created itself?

BILD spoke to energy expert Thierry Bros about Germany's dependence on Russian gas and the most obvious way to rise from Putin's shadow - nuclear power, which is so frowned upon in this country, but which dominates in France.

BILD: Does Germany risk power outages if Berlin doesn't play by Putin's rules?

Thierry Bros: “Definitely! As a Frenchman, I would say that Germany is relying on a dangerous free ticket to the EU solidarity mechanism and, in the event of a large-scale power failure, will ask its neighbors to shut down their industries in order to provide emergency power for German households. "

BILD: Does Germany risk power outages if Berlin doesn't play by Putin's rules?

Thierry Bros: “Definitely! As a Frenchman, I would say that Germany is relying on a dangerous free ticket to the EU solidarity mechanism and, in the event of a large-scale power failure, will ask its neighbors to shut down their industries in order to provide emergency power for German households. "

How do we escape this addiction?

Bros: “The decommissioning of German nuclear power plants in 2011 led to more coal being burned from 2011 to 2014. If you shut down the last six plants now, more Russian gas would have to be burned, which is also crazy for the climate. Since there is no way to switch from nuclear power plants to renewable energies overnight, both the climate and the citizens would thank the next federal government if Germany postpones its nuclear power plant closings and reopens decommissioned safe nuclear power plants. "

Could that also reduce Putin's influence in Germany?

Bros: "Of course! The more energy is offered on the German market, the greater the competition. This leads to lower prices for German consumers and curtails Putin's power over German politics. "

Nord Stream 2: former chancellor Gerhard Schröder takes over Gazprom's narrative

 Former german chancellor Gerhard Schröder turned mouth-piece for Gazprom justifies the corporations policies. German newspaper BILD debunks the inacurracies:

Kremlin manager and ex-chancellor Gerhard Schröder (77) is again protecting the gas policy of his friend Vladimir Putin (69). And is, once again, clearly next to the (whole) truth:

► Schröder writes in the “Handelsblatt” that Russian gas exports to Germany increased by 40 percent in 2021.

Fact: Gazprom itself has only reported a 33.2 percent increase since January. And that in comparison to the Corona minus year 2020, in which all exports collapsed

► Schröder suggests that Asia's “increased demand” makes gas more expensive.

Fact: Russia uses other gas fields for China and could easily deliver more to Europe. The total gas exports from Russia to China this year corresponds roughly to the volume of exports to Hungary or Slovakia and is therefore hardly relevant for the price.

► Schröder claims that every new pipeline (Nord Stream 2) will dampen price increases.

It is true that the Kremlin hardly uses the existing gas pipes. Because of political reasons! In October 2021, only 43 percent of the possible capacity will come via Belarus and Poland, and only 29 percent via Ukraine.

"Gerhard Schröder, Putin's gas lobbyist, is doing what he is paid for again: In view of the gas price crisis, he is grumbling at the USA and releasing his boss in the Kremlin from any responsibility," Reinhard Bütikofer (68, Greens) told BILD. "In contrast, the head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, recently stressed that Russia could do more to combat this crisis."

Bütikofer continues: “It was to be expected that Gerhard Schröder would use the gas crisis to advertise Nord Stream 2. But he cannot really deny the Russian blackmail attempt. Because the gas that it promises via Nord Stream 2 could long ago come to us via existing pipelines - through Ukraine. But what do Schröder care about the facts? After all, he's paid as a lobbyist. "

China: energy savings decree cause magnesium shortage in Germany

 As previously reported, China's Dual Control of Energy Consumption decree forces magnesium producing facilities to phase down their activity, leading to a shortage of magnesium in the world. A severe blow for germany automotive industrie who depend heavily on this chemical element, writes german newspaper WELT:

On a Monday in mid-September in Yulin County, Fugu County, People's Republic of China, the county's "Development and Reform Commission" sent out a decree. Subject: "Double control of energy consumption."

In Germany, this inconspicuous arrangement by a distant authority triggers a nervous, almost panic-like reaction. The reason: the decree temporarily prevents magnesium deliveries to the Federal Republic.

The Federal Ministry of Economics and the Foreign Office in Berlin are now dealing with the events in the Chinese province. Because the Yulin Decree threatens the supply of raw materials to the entire metal industry at a particularly sensitive weak point. There is a threat of a production stop in large German plants before Christmas.