Thursday, 20 October 2011

The man behind Merkel´s failed energy policy

Now we know why the German energy policy has been such a massive failure. It appears that Angela Merkel has let herself  be guided by Jeremy Rifkin, a Wharton Business School professor who is said to have been Merkel´s adviser for six years.

And no wonder that the "green" Spanish energy policy, with huge subsidies to solar and wind energy also has been a catastrophy - the same Rifkin has also been socialist PM Zapatero´s adviser. In addition Rifkin has, according to Bloomberg, also advised French president Sarkozy and the European Commission, central players in the failed EU energy and climate change policy.

This is how Rifkin now is "advising" Merkel and the other EU leaders:

Angela Merkel won’t allow the euro region to split because she understands that could cause “a dark age” by wrecking the bloc’s energy markets as oil supplies dwindle, said an adviser to the German chancellor.
Europe’s 500 million residents, the wealthiest market on Earth, have led the development of technologies in clean energy, transport and communications that can drive global growth that doesn’t rely on oil, said Jeremy Rifkin, a Wharton Business School professor who has advised Merkel for six years.
Rifkin, in the Spanish capital to speak today at a Rafael del Pino Foundation conference, has advised Merkel, French Premier Nicolas Sarkozy and Spain’s Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero that the global economy’s fundamental problem stems from the end of a growth model based on fossil fuels.
Sustainable expansion will only return when officials and executives can produce “the third industrial revolution,” the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School professor argues in a book of the same title due to be published next month.
The shift will involve harnessing Internet technology to manage a decentralized network of renewable power generators based in homes and offices, Rifkin said. Domestic hydrogen batteries and computer software will allow consumers to buy and sell power over a smart network, he said.

Read the entire article here

The question is, how long Merkel and co can afford to follow this false prophet. Rifkin´s "third industrial revolution" is - and will remain - a pipe dream for the foreseeable future. Surely nobody who is serious about future global energy needs can take this guy speaking about "domestic hydrogen batteries" seriously.

The sooner Merkel and the other EU leaders find a new energy adviser, the better!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

EU to launch first two Galileo satellites

"one of the EU's most megalomaniac follies"

On Thursday there will be a live transmission outside the European Parliament in Brussels when the two first satellites of EU´s senseless Galileo GPS project are set to take off.

Twenty eight more satellites are needed for the system to become functional. The Galileo system was supposed to be fully operational already by next year, all kinds of funding issues, scandals and technical delays have pushed the date forward at least to 2019.

We all remember e.g. when Berry Smutny, CEO of the German firm making the satellites for Galileo was fired last January because he had called the whole project "a stupid idea" intended only to serve French interests, according to a leaked WikiLeaks cable.

Christopher Booker then wrote a column about this "one of the EU's most megalomaniac follies":

The cover story for Galileo, from the time of its launch in 2000, was that it was a civil project, largely to be paid for by private investors, who could then charge its users. GPS, on the other hand, is funded by US taxpayers as an openly military project, which is why its spin-off uses, such as to the owners of sat-navs, are free. It was hoped that Galileo could be paid for through a satellite-based road-charging scheme across the EU. But in 2007, after it became clear that this was not viable, the private partners pulled out, landing the entire, ever-rising bill on EU taxpayers.

The real story of Galileo, however – as a French defence minister admitted in 2004, and as I have been reporting here for years – is that it has always been pushed by France as a military system which in time of war could operate independently of the US system. It is seen as the key to France selling billions of pounds worth of satellite-guided missiles, above all to China, which in 2003 bought a 20 per cent share in Galileo.

Meanwhile the EU bureaucracy is wasting both money and time on trying to promote the madness by organising "The Galileo Drawing Competition" for children in all member countries.

Here is a report from Malta:

A national jury comprising Dr. Angelo Chetcuti, from the European Commission Representation in Malta, Ian Busuttil Naudi, presenter of the television programme ‘Gadget’, and Tony Tanti, Public Relations Officer of the Malta Society of Astronomy, will be responsible for assessing the entries and selecting the Maltese winning drawing in a pan-European competition on “Space and Aeronautics”.

Maltese children aged between 9 and 11 years are encouraged to participate in this competition, which is being organized by the European Commission. The winners, one from each EU Member State, will eventually have a Galileo Programme satellite named after them.

We are told that the first satellite is to be named after a Belgian child. It will be interesting to see, whether the satallite will be Walloon or Flemish.