Saturday, 13 July 2013

The backlash against Merkel's wind energy madness is growing in Germany

The insanity of the Angela Merkel's energy policy - with tens of thousands of soon up to 300 meter high ugly, inefficient, bird and bat killing subsidized wind turbines destroying the historic landscape - is now becoming increasingly apparent to ordinary German taxpayers: 

The wind turbine, an Enercon E-82, has been there for over a year. When it was inaugurated, the local shooting club, the "Black Hunters", fired their guns in celebration, and the local priest delivered a sermon on protecting God's creation.
But not everyone is happy. Some are angry at the way the landscape, celebrated by German Romantic poets such as Hölderlin and Mörike, is being butchered. The opponents protest with images of the Grim Reaper holding a wind turbine rather than his traditional scythe.
The situation in Husarenhof can be found across Germany. After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima and Germany's swift decision to abandon nuclear energy and embrace renewable energy as part of its so-calledEnergiewende, the country's 16 federal states reacted with a sort of excessive zeal. The northeastern state of Brandenburg plans to set aside 2 percent of its land for wind farms. The western state of Rhineland-Palatinate intends to more than double the amount of wind power it generates. North Rhine-Westphalia, its neighbor to the north, is planning an increase of more than 300 percent.
The winds of change are blowing in Germany -- and hard. Flat-bed trucks laden with tower segments make their way slowly across boggy fields. Cranes crawl up narrow forest paths to set up outsized wind turbines on the tops of mountains. Germany aims to increase its production of wind power from 31,000 to 45,000 megawatts over the next seven years. By the middle of the century, it hopes to be generating 85,000 megawatts in wind power

With the prime coastal locations already taken, operators are increasingly turning their attention to areas further inland. Even valuable tourist regions -- such as the Moselle valley, the Allgäu and the foothills of the Alps -- are to be sacrificed. Sites have even been earmarked by Lake Constance and near Starnberg, where the Bavarian King Ludwig II drowned.

At the moment, things are still in the planning, reporting and application stage. Local authorities' filing cabinets are overflowing with authorization documents and wind strength measurements. Plans call for some 60,000 new turbines to be erected in Germany -- and completely alter its appearance.
But what's really going on? Are politicians wisely creating the tools needed to prevent the end of the world as we know it? Or are they simply marring the countryside?
More than 700 citizens' initiatives have been founded in Germany to campaign against what they describe as "forests of masts", "visual emissions" and the "widespread devastation of our highland summits."
The opponents carry coffins symbolizing the death of environmental protection. They organize petitions on an almost daily basis. Local residents by Lake Starnberg have even filed a legal complaint alleging that the wind turbines violate Germany's constitution.
The underlying divide is basic and irreconcilable. On one side stand environmentalists and animal rights activists passionate about protecting the tranquility of nature. On the other are progressively minded champions of renewable energy and climate activists determined to secure the long-term survival of the planet.
The question is: How many forests must be sacrificed, how many horizons dotted with wind turbines, to meet Germany's new energy targets? Where is the line between thoughtful activism and excessive zeal? At what point is taxpayer money simply being thrown away?--

So, might we one day see wind turbines with blades stretching up almost 300 meters into the clouds -- a somber memorial to Germany's nuclear phase-out? Even hip urban fans of renewable energy think that would take some getting used to.
Recent studies by bird protectors reveal how the giant blades chop up the air in brutal fashion. "Golden plovers avoid the wind turbines," says Potsdam-based ornithologist Jörg Lippert. Swallows and storks, on the other hand, fly straight into them. The barbastelle bat's lungs collapse as it flies by. A "terrible future" awaits the lesser spotted eagle and red kite, Lippert says.

Read the entire article here

All this has happened because ordinary people have been brainwashed by the global warming alarmists and the wind energy lobby. Fortunately the backlash against subsidized wind turbines is growing everywhere. Future generations will remember people like Merkel, Obama and Cameron mainly for their totally failed energy policies. The sooner the wind energy madness is stopped, the better. 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Google hosting a lunch for Senator James Inhofe - Greenies totally lose control

Google's decision to host a lunch for Senator James Inhofe has led to a total loss of control among latte liberals and greenies:

But you'll have to go elsewhere to hear about its support for Senator James Inhofe, described by a San Francisco Chronicle columnist as "the delusional or dishonest Oklahoma Republican" who has called global warming the "greatest hoax."
The "Green" giant is helping to raise lots of green for his re-election by hosting a lunch at its Washington office on July 11, costing as much as $2,500 per plate. Google has a large data center in Oklahoma, the senator's home state.
James Temple, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, called it a "shameful act of corporate hypocrisy."
He pointed out that the senator has tried McCarthy-like tactics in accusations against 17 top climate scientists of violating the Federal False Statements Act, which could result in five years in prison over their global warming claims.
Mr Temple wrote,"This is the type of person whom reasonable, thoughtful people — people who supposedly cherish science, data, and reason — call out as dangerous and unfit for public office."
Vice's Brian Merchant, writing on Motherboard, pointed out that Google was the largest donor to the Competitive Enterprise Institute's recent fundraising dinner, writing a check of $50,000 to the anti-science conservative think tank.
Forecast the Facts is collecting signatures for a petition asking CEO Larry Page to cancel the lunch.
Hopefully somebody now organizes a collection of signatures asking the Google CEO to double the funding for the lunch! 

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Gone are the "good old days": Gazprom not anymore able to dictate prices to its European customers

Russia's Gazprom is more and more looking like a giant with feet of clay. No longer (fortunately) is Putin's money machine able to dictate gas prices to its European customers, as it used to do in the "good old days": 

In a landmark case, German energy company RWE has won the rights to amends its contracts with Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas exporter which has refused to budge on pricing for 40 years.
Gazprom CEO Aleksandr Medvedev said on Tuesday that the Moscow-based company will amend its contract with Germany’s second largest utility provider as well as adjust the gas pricing formula.

"We'll do this within a month. We are interested in doing this quicker because amendments will be made before final documents are signed," Medvedev said in Gazprom’s first public comment since the arbitration ruling.
Gazprom’s sudden change of heart on pricing follows a tribunal ruling last Thursday that RWE had overpaid Gazprom for spot marking prices, which forced the Dusseldorf-based company to slash over 11,000 jobs and sent profits plummeting as they lost money on consumer sales.

"It is another sign that the balance of power between Gazprom and its consumers is shifting in favor of the consumers and Gazprom is not ready for that," UBS analyst Konstantin Cherepanov said, Reuters reported.

Germany’s RWE won $1.3 billion (1 billion euros) in compensation in the dispute over pricing for long-term gas-supply against Gazprom, which now has to make retroactive payments dating back to May 2010.

At its annual shareholder meeting, Gazprom announced it has reserved approximately $6 billion (200 billion roubles) to pay off this years’ rebates. 
Read the entire article here

Shale gas exploration in Poland: Foreign investors need a better regulatory framework

The Economist has an interesting analysis of the state of shale gas exploration in Poland. Apparently there is an urgent need for the Polish government to adjust the regulatory framework in order to make it possible for investors to continue drilling: 

ExxonMobil quit Poland in June last year after drilling just two wells. In May of this year Canada’s Talisman and Marathon Oil, an American firm, also withdrew from Polish exploration citing unsatisfactory results. Operators admit the technology of extracting gas from Polish shale has proved harder to crack than they anticipated.
Even so, Pawel Poprawa, a geologist from the Energy Studies Institute, who authored the Polish Geological Institute’s estimate of the country’s shale gas reserves, says far too few wells have been drilled to draw conclusions about the rocks. Only four horizontal wells have undergone multi-stage hydraulic fracturing, the best indicator of a field’s reserves. The government’s proposed fiscal and regulatory framework is the main reason why companies slowed the pace of their exploration in recent months, says Mr Poprawa says. It was variously described to our correspondent as “mad” and “a mess” by industry executives.
The current regulations are inadequate. It can take over a year for companies to obtain the permits to change their work programme and drill a well deeper for example. The government wants to increase its take from a commercial shale gas industry. It has proposed new taxation capping the government take at 40% of an operator’s profits. Companies acknowledge new taxes will be introduced but argue that talk of figures is premature given no one knows yet if shale gas will prove to be commercially viable in Poland. The ministry of finance has eased matters by saying it will postpone the collection of any new taxes from 2015 to 2020.
More controversial are the draft regulations proposed by the environment ministry that will create the state-owned company, NOKE, to take stakes in all future production concessions as a way of guaranteeing the state’s interest in future production. Operators are concerned they are being forced to take on a partner in NOKE that, unlike the Norwegian state company it is based on, will be staffed by public administrators with no experience of unconventional hydrocarbons.
Companies that have already invested millions of dollars drilling wells are also worried the proposals do not give them a legal guarantee to transfer their existing exploration licenses into production licenses without taking part in a competitive tender.  “If there is a change in the government’s approach then it is not too late for this industry to patiently work its way through the problems with some realistic prospect of success. If we continue on the road we’re on at the moment, this industry will be very modest and will not fulfil its potential,” said Tomasz Maj, until recently Talisman’s Poland manager.
Read the entire article here

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Putin's loyal friends given Moscow's most expensive flats

Putin's friends can enjoy the lights of Moscow from the city's most expensive  flats.

To be a friend of dictator Vladimir Putin comes with certain benefits: 
House No. 3 on Shvedskiy Tupik, or Swedish Blind Alley, is under the protection of Russia’s version of the U.S. Secret Service because many of its occupants are Putin’s most powerful allies, including OAO Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin, VTB Group CEO Andrey Kostin, Gunvor Group oil-trading billionaire Gennady Timchenko and former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, according to two residents who asked not to be identified because the information is private. ---
Other Putin colleagues with apartments in the building include Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Prikhodko, OAO Transneft CEO Nikolay Tokarev, OAO Sovcomflot Chairman Ilya Klebanov and former Communications Minister Leonid Reiman, one resident said.---
Two of the building’s three dozen apartments, one 1,000 square meters (10,800 square feet) and the other 846 square meters, have been vacant for more than a year and are priced at $50 million and $42 million, respectively, according to Justified Quality Estate and Mayfair Properties, the agents for the unidentified sellers.
That makes them the most expensive flats in Moscow per meter, said Alexander Pypin, chief analyst at real estate researcher
“Those prices protect the inhabitants from outsiders,” said Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a former member of Putin’s United Russia party who studies the elite at the Russian Academy of Sciences. “Residents are guaranteed to never meet anyone they would consider rabble.” --
It’s not clear if Putin’s allies bought the apartments or got them for free. Once an official is assigned a flat, it usually remains state property for a year before the occupant is allowed to privatize it at no cost, Kryshtanovskaya said.
Read the entire article here.