European energy policy is far better than it is given credit for
Pretty surprised by this presentation, which I found almost entirely nonsensical. You are defending the literally indefensible here - as a result of the "sensible" policy, coal use is at a multidecade high and major industrial sites are shutting down (many unlikely to be reopened) and it's not even winter yet.
Blaming "Putin' surprise" for this is simply ridiculous, Europe should never have been put in the position for him to deal this sort of damage.
I am not one to overidolise nuclear, the waste issue is certainly a thing, unlike what many claim, but if you do mention it, please let us have your thoughts on "renewable" waste - panels and turbine blades etc.
It also completely ignores the very valid issues of inability of renewables to provide baseload power for reasons you actually mentioned as well as its energy "return" (i.e. how much it costs to produce in energy terms vs. how much it produces over its lifetime)
With all due respect, Russell, you could not be more wrong in your overall conclusions about renewable energy. Our modern industrial civilization cannot be run on low energy density wind machines that have to be replaced every twenty years or so and utterly fail to meet their nameplate capacity most of the time. You also cannot run it on scaled solar absent a substantial fraction of energy generated as baseload power, e.g. nuclear, NG or coal, or enormous energy storage that is presently in fantasy land as far as current capacities and technologies. Don't take my word for it, please read the latest book from Vaclav Smil, without question the world's leading authority on the global energy system, titled HOW THE WORLD REALLY WORKS.
The point is, that we can invest as much as we want, but new sources of energy will be (much) more expensive and less realiable, so Europe will lose most of energy and gas heavy industries. Most to the benefit of the US, but part will also go to Russia,as they have a very long tradition of heavy industries and now there will be also much more of extremely cheap gas available for mettallurgical, chemical and cheramic industries,fertilizers etc
It is common misinterpretation that flow of gas was (primarily) cut due to Russia. As someone has also said, gas had flown even through times of the cold war. But now the collective west, and especially the main hegemo have made everything possible to prevent current and even longer term (sabotage of pipelines) gas supply to EU. I do not know what will happen to Russia, but I am rather sure, that besides Ukraine, in economic sense, the main victim will be Europe, while a lot of capital, industries and people will leave for the other side of the Atlantic.
Well this was a surprise for sure but extremely well put together. Couple of points I thought might be of interest.
1. The cost effectiveness of a renewable CAPEX program (including enhanced battery capacity) will be dependent on Chinese manufacturing costs but we all know those are growing costs from a commodity extraction and wage inflation basis.
2. The US exports of LNG v Russian NG volumes was only up to 2020. If you run that forward pre invasion you’ll see that Russia increased while the US decreased their volumes.
3. The reason that Germany chose Russian NG and France chose Nuclear was because of the actions of the US dating back to the Suez Crisis with Egypt, when the US basically said hands off the Middle East. Ie US has impacted on these policies.
4. The challenge of reuse or storage of nuclear waste and the challenge of energy dispatch from renewable battery storage have similar attributes. I wonder is the ROI better for nuclear if their challenge was solved or improved over renewables.
Anyway I really enjoyed this one because it made me think which is always a positive things.
Thank you for this presentation. However I have a lot of issues with it from the idea that (1) renewables work every day, (2) Putin's surprise and (3) shutting down nuclear baseload energy. The EU is shutting down nuclear energy but relying more on (a) coal and (b) LNG/gas for baseload energy. This makes no sense. Both are dirtier, cost more to extract and rely on constantly burning the actual fossil. The EU should opt to use the cleanest and most stable source of baseload power which is nuclear. Yes, it costs a lot to build a nuclear power plant but fuel costs are minimal and years of uranium can be stored in the country to secure supplies. Renewables should be added with the possibility to switch to LNG/gas when renewables do not provide enough power. Coal and gas are capital intensive, labor intensive and pay too much money to rogue actors around the world.
LNG importers are mostly the West Cost of Europe (i.e. Portugal, UK, Spain, and of course, Poland, is an exception, for clear reasons) who can't import from Russian pipelines. Otherwise, economically it just does not make sense (or at least, used to be). Plus, no major pipeline connection from West to East to send it over (see the squirmish between Spain and France on new pipeline idea). Further, EU economy, especially the northerners, are mostly based upon industrials where NG is either a feedstock or energy source, if not both. I think, in the long run, they will need and find a way to use Russian NG no matter how hard they try, other than changing the pillars of manufacturing economy, which is difficult, to say the least.
What is your view on grid stability as described here? https://mobile.twitter.com/BurggrabenH/status/1567929340737863680