A Return to Energy Realism?

It is increasingly obvious to everyone who isn’t an idiot (which excludes John Kerry, most of the Biden Administration, and climatistas everywhere) that our anti-fossil fuel holy war has been foolish in the extreme, and weakened the West’s geopolitical strength as well as our economic vitality. Slowly you can hear the gears grinding toward some changes. Start with France declaring two weeks ago that it will build 14 new nuclear reactors over the next decade. This is a reversal of the announcement a few years ago that France would follow Germany in phasing out its nuclear fleet. Maybe Germany will follow.

The media is starting to notice and report that some of the green energy dreams are just that—dreams. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday:

Why All Those EV-Battery ‘Breakthroughs’ You Hear About Aren’t Breaking Through

Type the words “battery” and “breakthrough” into your search engine of choice, and you’ll encounter page after page of links. They include breathless news articles and lofty pronouncements from battery startups.

And yet, according to scientists, engineers, startup founders and analysts, the use of the word “breakthrough” in the context of battery technology is misleading at best. Claims that the latest research finding or startup launch will bear fruit in the near future are almost always nonsense, they say. . .

“People like a breakthrough, but when we write papers we try to avoid using these kinds of words,” says Xin Li, a researcher at Harvard University whose team recently published a paper on a new kind of higher-capacity solid-state battery in the scientific journal Nature. “There are too many battery ‘breakthroughs’ in my opinion in the past 5 years, and not many can be implemented in a commercial product.”.

Then there’s this story on the sudden resilience of coal out of Italy:

Italy will increase the domestic production of gas and may reopen coal-fired power stations under plans to ensure energy security, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Friday.

After Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine on Thursday, the EU announced an initial raft of sanctions against Russia with more expected to follow.

The instability and sanctions are expected to have a wide-ranging impact on gas supplies and prices in Europe, particularly in Germany and Italy, the two European countries most reliant on gas exports from Russia.

Addressing Italy’s parliament on Friday, Draghi laid out plans to offset price increases and turn to alternative sources of energy. “The sanctions require us to carefully consider the impact on our economy,” he said.

“The biggest concern is in the energy sector, which has already been hit by price rises in recent months: around 45 percent of the gas we import comes from Russia, up from 27 percent ten years ago.” Draghi suggested Italy needs to increase its domestic production of gas, which has fallen in recent years, and source more power from existing coal plants.

“The reopening of coal-fired power stations could be used to make up any shortfall in the immediate future,” he said, adding that “the government is ready to intervene to further lower the price of energy, should this be necessary. It is necessary.”

And this from Reuters:

Geopolitical clouds gather over Europe’s climate change plans

BRUSSELS – Soaring energy prices and a geopolitical crisis over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are looming over the European Union’s attempts to agree a raft of tougher climate change laws, raising concerns that some could be delayed or scaled back.

In the weeks after the European Commission unveiled the world’s biggest package of green policies last July, wildfires ripped through the Mediterranean and floods ravaged western Europe. From Greece to Germany, governments called for urgent action to address climate change.

Seven months later, as EU policymakers are negotiating how to turn those proposals into binding laws, the political context is starkly different.

Europeans’ energy bills are soaring. Gas prices ended Thursday 300% higher than in July, pushed upwards as the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Europe’s top gas supplier, sharpened concerns of energy supply shocks. EU carbon prices are near record levels. Eurozone inflation is at an all-time high.

Finally, looks like the big banks that pledged multi-millions in funding for various climate “investment” initiatives at the Glasgow climate summit are stiffing the climatistas:

Climate ETF on brink of failure months after UN summit launch

A UN-backed green investment fund is on the brink of failure three months after its launch during the Glasgow climate summit because institutions including big banks never delivered expected seed funding.

The MSCI Global Climate Select exchange traded fund was unveiled in early November. Trading under the ticker NTZO, it excludes fossil fuel companies and boosts holdings of companies with lower carbon emissions. The fund has amassed less than $2mn and is likely to be wound down as soon as the end of March without further investment, said Ethan Powell, founder of Dallas-based Impact Shares, the fund manager.

Bank of America, Citigroup and Santander, all GISD members, pledged to provide seed money to NTZO but have refused until other investors step up, said Jim Healy and Sudip Thakor, former Credit Suisse bankers who are involved with the fund. “It is a classic case of everyone just going through the motions,” Thakor said. He said he invested $500,000 in the ETF, while Healy and his wife invested $1mn.

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