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Thread: Europe’s electricity market: the scam of the century?

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    Ireland Avalon Member aoibhghaire's Avatar
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    Default Europe’s electricity market: the scam of the century?

    I saw this recent video and I was surprised at the level of ignorance by some of the expert participants.

    Winter Is Coming…and Europe is facing a full-blown energy crisis.

    Power companies are hiking the price of electricity, making a tough winter even worse. And this time, it’s not just the poorest who are affected. The middle class is also feeling the squeeze.

    How much of this is due to how our politicians have set up Europe’s energy market, and how much to corporate greed? What other factors are at play? And how can we get out of this mess?

    My Comments:

    It was a good discussion with lots of good points.
    Yes that area is hard to understand, and the complexity is probably deliberate. It makes it hard to see the scams they mention.

    AND there were huge "elephants in the room" that no one mentioned.

    They all showed ignorance about the impact of using renewable (= intermittent, unreliable) energy sources, AND the fact that there is a "green" agenda as the driving factor behind the creation of this energy crisis. The green agenda was discussed overtly by the club of Rome many decades ago, to use environmentalism (supposedly) to drive certain kinds of social & financial change. So yes, this crisis is definitely created. Certainly not by Putin or Ukraine crisis (though the players are global--not any one country doing it, but circles of folks who we don't see.)

    About intermittency--the huge problem with solar and wind (and even hydro) is that they are not reliable. (Vs. coal or natural gas or nuclear or even peat--with all their faults, these are the only energy sources we have at the moment that can provide power reliably 24/7 no matter what.) (OR interconnectors with other countries or regions--but we've learned that this doesn't work either since energy supply problems often hit multiple regions at the same time.)

    While for a household or a small group of households, they could manage with solar/wind and batteries up to a certain point, even so there will be times when they have NO power. What then??? And when you then look to businesses, industries, etc. with complex machinery that you cannot just stop & start on a dime, you cannot have any intermittency.

    What this means is that when the sun isn't shining, and the wind isn't blowing (or is blowing too much and the wind generators have to stop!)--then backup energy is required. If you look at the energy generation statistics for anywhere renewables are used on a bigger scale, you see this intermittency in the energy data. It could be down for seconds or minutes or hours or days or even weeks.

    NO ONE has batteries that can provide backup energy for cities for even say a couple hours.

    So, all the places that use renewables, ironically, become MORE dependent on having 24/7 backup energy supplies so that the "gaps" can be covered. The problem is that these backup kinds of energy (e.g., nuclear, natural gas or coal-fired turbines) all need time to get up and running. E.g., for natural gas it takes a few days to get up to speed to be able to deliver the right quality energy to the grid. Since the grid can't handle a delay like this, it means the backup power generators (gas, nuclear, coal etc.) MUST be kept constantly running at a low setting--which is also not energy efficient for those sources!

    It is so weird. The more renewables (wind, solar) the more the reliability on fossil fuel generators or nuclear!!! OR, the more blackouts! (Australia has experienced this a lot.) PLUS energy costs skyrocket. Why? because many governments, to be environment friendly (supposedly) has been closing down their lower-cost reliable energy generators (coal, nuclear, gas) because of the "green" agenda, and not investing in those technologies or better, cleaner versions. They try to just put up more solar panels and more wind generators. Then oopsie, there's a problem! No wind! Quick, have to buy power from elsewhere at a huge cost! Or there are political games, oopsie, quick, have to buy power from elsewhere at another huge cost! Or there's a lot of snow and those solar panels don't work at all! Oopsie, have to get power from elsewhere at a huge cost. Or the gale winds are blowing and the wind generators exceed their cut-off speed--oopsie, have to get power elsewhere at a huge cost.

    And the timing of many "oopsie" events is completely unpredictable, and there's no way to plan for it when many situations require there be NO break in supply even for a few seconds.

    In Ireland they have got a lot of energy from natural gas from UK. However some of that UK gas was coming from Norway! And now Norway is talking about not wanting to send UK (or Ireland) more gas, because it will need its gas for its own citizens.

    It is bizarre how more renewables ends up leading to the need for more fossil fuels, running them inefficiently, and with hugely inflated power costs. Again, Australia is a great demonstration of this, and that is where I learned a lot about power engineering.

    In my early days I thought that it was simple, if there was no wind in one place one could easily balance it by getting wind from another place. Unfortunately the grid doesn't work like that, and wind (or solar) don't work like that, and interconnectors don't work like that.

    Then you add on all the good points in there discussion-those are also all valid--the scams in how energy production was split into parts, the fake competition, with simulated markets, and how certain folks always benefit somehow but not the people!

    AND simultaneously there is a deliberate creation of various factions! These cause divisions in society--and this is perhaps the more fundamental desired outcome. Keep people arguing, discussing: pro-nuclear, anti-nuclear, pro-fracking, anti-fracking, pro-coal mining, anti-coal-mining.

    NONE of the energy options we are being presented with are good!
    There are doubtless superb energy options but these technologies are carefully suppressed. (Inventors get bought off by governments, or killed, etc.) Hopefully some of these better technologies will find a way to escape into the wild!

    In the meantime, renewable energy sources are not necessarily the most environment friendly. (And that's before one considers the child labour & lack of special metals needed to make solar panels, and the fact that there is not yet any way of recycling wind turbine blades, and the environmental damage both these technologies involve.)

    So, no ideal solutions--yet. But maybe we will come up with something. :-)
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 20th September 2022 at 12:28. Reason: embedded the video

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    Greece Avalon Member
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    Default Re: Europe’s electricity market: the scam of the century?

    Great video, thanks.

    Varoufakis is one of the few bright financial and academic minds which is accompanied with an idealistic heart and a motive to help the people. A rare combination for a person who is not into spirituality. Up until now, he looks uncorrupted and true.

    We were fortunate enough to see him move from academia to politics the past decade, trying to turn that idealism into a reality. So far, he crashed onto the wall of the cabal. But he keeps going. Hopefully, in the next Greek elections, something will change.

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