Verschandeln bald Windrad-Müllberge den Osten?

Die Energiewende ist ein großes Experiment. Die Grundidee ist gut, die Vorstellungen jedoch waren naiv, die Planung und Durchführung mangelhaft. Während man anfangs im Ausland über den deutschen Wagemut staunte, ernten wir mittlerweile nur noch ein mildes Lächeln. Die Zahlen sprechen eine deutliche Sprache: Die erhoffte beschleunigte Dekarbonisierung ist ausgeblieben. Die Energiewende hat enttäuscht. Auf WUWT kommentierte Alberto Comendador am 2. Mai 2017 (eine deutsche Übersetzung gibt es bei EIKE):

Numbers don’t lie: Germany’s Energiewende has had zero impact on emissions – at best

[...] We’re now 1/3 through the [Energiewende] plan, so if it’s having any effect one should see:

a) That the decarbonization rate in Germany is higher than in the previous period

b) That this rate is higher than in other countries, which presumably don’t care so much about climate action. Compared with the US the difference should be massive.

Here we can see US decarbonization since 1966, as emissions data starts only in 1965. We can see the same for Germany since 1971, as that’s when the country’s GDP data starts – at least in the World Bank’s website.

Ooops: now only is Germany’s rate about the same as the US’s, it’s also lower than it was before! In fact, to be more precise, the 2000-2015 average is 2.06% for Germany and 2.26% for the US. Over 1971-1999, Germany’s average is 3.13%. But this figure is inflated by the very high increases of 1989-1992, when the formerly communist economy of East Germany shut down most of the CO2-intensive industries (with little effect on GDP). Excluding those four years, Germany’s pre-Energiewende average is still 2.58%, or a bit higher than since 2000 – though one must mention the figures for the 70s are ‘helped’ by high oil prices.

I guess the best one could say is that Germany’s decarbonization rate is about the same as before. Just to be clear: a higher rate of decarbonization is the minimum one could ask of a climate policy. It’s necessary, but not sufficient, because it’s still possible for that policy to cost so much as to make the reduction in emissions not worth it. One shouldn’t automatically consider a higher rate of decarbonization better than a lower one. In other words, one has to consider cost-effectiveness – as with every other thing we spend money on. In Germany’s case there is no point debating the cost-effectiveness of climate policies, because their effectiveness is at best zero. Advocates of emission cuts are entitled to their own opinions, not to their own facts.

Ganzen Artikel auf WUWT lesen.

Natürlich hat man auch in Deutschland bereits gemerkt, dass man sich hier wohl verzockt hat. Ein schönes Beispiel konnte man kürzlich auf der Nordsee-Insel Pellworm bestaunen. Welt am Sonntag am 16. April 2017:

Nordsee-Experiment: Einmal Energiewende und zurück
Pellworm sollte zum Modell für ganz Deutschland werden: E.on wollte auf der Nordseeinsel beweisen, dass sich eine ganze Region selbst mit Energie versorgen kann – dank Strom aus Windkraft und Sonne. Jetzt zieht der Energiekonzern unverrichteter Dinge wieder ab.

Weiterlesen in der Welt am Sonntag

Naiv war man wohl auch bei der Einschätzung der grünen Folgeschäden. zeigte am 15. April 2017 in einem Video die unterschätzten Gefahren auf:

Wenn grüne Energie krank macht

zum Video.

Allerdings sind die Tage der schlimmsten äolischen Krachmacher offenbar gezählt. Für alte Windkraftanlagen läuft demnächst die Förderung aus, so dass hier eine Flurbereinigung zu erwarten ist. Supper illu am 6. April 2017 (pdf):

Verschandeln bald Windrad-Müllberge den Osten?
Langsam drehen sich die Windräder auf den Feldern um Neubrandenburg herum. Sauberer Strom, ökologisch erzeugt. Doch die vermeintliche Idylle könnte bald Risse bekommen. Zwar sind saubere Energiequellen derzeit deutschlandweit auf dem Vormarsch, und die Zahlen beeindrucken: 2016 erzeugten 27270 Anlagen 45911 Megawatt Strom. “Windkraft macht rund 13 Prozent der gesamten deutschen Stromproduktion aus”, sagt Wolfram Axthelm vom Bundesverband Windenergie. Und das Geschäft mit dem Ökostrom ist nach wie vor lukrativ, denn das Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz (EEG) sichert allen vor dem Jahr 2000 errichteten Anlagen eine Einspeisevergütung zu. Doch damit ist Ende 2020 Schluss.

Weiterlesen in der Supper illu (pdf).

Indien und China freuen sich schon auf die vereinbarten Klimaschadensausgleichszahlungen. Da kommt ein dicker Batzen Kohle zusammen. Apropos Kohle. Was macht Indien eigentlich mit dem ganzen Klimaschutzgeld? Die University of California in Irvine hat es herausgefunden. Das Land plant den Bau von 370 Kohlekraftwerken. Hier die Pressemitteilung der Universität vom 25. April 2017:

India’s outsized coal plans would wipe out Paris climate goals

India will not be able to meet its Paris climate agreement commitments in the coming years if it carries through with plans to construct nearly 370 coal-fired power plants, according to University of California, Irvine and CoalSwarm researchers.

“India is facing a dilemma of its own making,” said UCI associate professor of Earth system science Steven Davis, co-author of a study published today in the American Geophysical Union journal Earth’s Future. “The country has vowed to curtail its use of fossil fuels in electricity generation, but it has also put itself on a path to building hundreds of coal-burning power plants to feed its growing industrial economy.” Further, by developing all of the planned coal-fired capacity, India would boost the share of fossil fuels in its energy budget by 123 percent. If the nation also met its goal to produce at least 40 percent of its power from nonfossil sources by 2030, the total power being generated would greatly exceed its own projected future electricity demand.

India has pledged to the international community to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released per unit of gross domestic product by as much as 35 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and to increase renewable energy in its power grids. The construction of 65 gigawatts’ worth of coal-burning generation facilities with an additional 178 gigawatts in the planning stages would make it nearly impossible for India to fulfill those climate promises, the researchers said. “In looking closely at all of India’s active coal plant proposals, we found they are already incompatible with the country’s international climate commitments and are simply unneeded,” said the study’s lead author, Christine Shearer, a senior researcher with CoalSwarm. “These plants therefore risk either locking out the country’s renewable electricity goals or becoming stranded assets operating well below optimal rates and leading to financial losses.”

Davis added: “We’ve done calculations to figure out that India’s Paris pledges might be met if it built these plants and only ran them 40 percent of the time, but that’d be a colossal waste of money, and once built, there’d be huge incentives to run the plants more despite the nation’s contrary climate goals.” India relies heavily on coal; 70 percent of the country’s power comes from plants burning the fuel. Because of its historically low cost and accessibility (India has large domestic coal reserves), it’s seen as furthering India’s quest to become a manufacturing and economic powerhouse and as a way to provide electricity to the roughly 300 million people in the nation who don’t have it. But the UCI and CoalSwarm researchers stressed that there are significant downsides to the fossil fuel habit. In addition to spewing harmful soot and other types of air pollution coal-burning power plants are the largest source of carbon dioxide on Earth, accounting for 41 percent of all CO2 emissions in 2015. Choices that individual countries make in regard to their energy mix have planetwide consequences. “India’s proposed coal plants will almost single-handedly jeopardize the internationally agreed-upon climate target of avoiding more than 1.5 degrees Celsius of mean global warming,” Davis said.

Abschließend noch eine gute Nachricht. Forscher arbeiten derzeit an einem Konzept, Energie aus Abfallwärme zurückzugewinnen. Pressemitteilung der Optical Society vom 13. April 2017:

New Infrared-Emitting Device Could Allow Energy Harvesting from Waste Heat

Researchers create first MEMS metamaterial device that displays infrared patterns that can be quickly changed

A new reconfigurable device that emits patterns of thermal infrared light in a fully controllable manner could one day make it possible to collect waste heat at infrared wavelengths and turn it into usable energy. The new technology could be used to improve thermophotovoltaics, a type of solar cell that uses infrared light, or heat, rather than the visible light absorbed by traditional solar cells. Scientists have been working to create thermophotovoltaics that are practical enough to harvest the heat energy found in hot areas, such as around furnaces and kilns used by the glass industry. They could also be used to turn heat coming from vehicle engines into energy to charge a car battery, for example. “Because the infrared energy emission, or intensity, is controllable, this new infrared emitter could provide a tailored way to collect and use energy from heat,” said Willie J. Padilla of Duke University, North Carolina. “There is a great deal of interest in utilizing waste heat, and our technology could improve this process.”

The new device is based on metamaterials, synthetic materials that exhibit exotic properties not available from natural materials. Padilla and doctoral student Xinyu Liu used a metamaterial engineered to absorb and emit infrared wavelengths with very high efficiency. By combining it with the electronically controlled movement available from microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), the researchers created the first metamaterial device with infrared emission properties that can be quickly changed on a pixel-by-pixel basis.  As reported in The Optical Society’s journal for high impact research, Optica, the new infrared-emitting device consists of an 8 × 8 array of individually controllable pixels, each measuring 120 X 120 microns. They demonstrated the MEMS metamaterial device by creating a “D” that is visible with an infrared camera. The researchers report that their infrared emitter can achieve a range of infrared intensities and can display patterns at speeds of up to 110 kHz, or more than 100,000 times per second. Scaling up the technology could allow it to be used to create dynamic infrared patterns for friend or foe identification during combat.

No heat involved
In contrast to methods typically used to achieve variable infrared emission, the new technology emits tunable infrared energies without any change in temperature. Since the material is neither heated nor cooled, the device can be used at room temperature while other methods require high operating temperatures. Although experiments with natural materials have been successful at room-temperature, they are limited to narrow infrared spectral ranges. “In addition to allowing room-temperature operation, using metamaterials makes it simple to scale throughout the infrared wavelength range and into the visible or lower frequencies,” said Padilla. “This is because the device’s properties are achieved by the geometry, not by the chemical nature of the constituent materials that we’re using.” The new reconfigurable infrared emitter consists of a movable top layer of patterned metallic metamaterial and a bottom metallic layer that remains stationary. The device absorbs infrared photons and emits them with high efficiency when the two layers are touching but emits less infrared energy when the two layers are apart. An applied voltage controls the movement of the top layer, and the amount of infrared energy emitted depends on the exact voltage applied.

Dynamic infrared emission
Using an infrared camera, the researchers demonstrated that they could dynamically modify the number of infrared photons coming off the surface of the MEMS metamaterial over a range of intensities equivalent to a temperature change of nearly 20 degrees Celsius. The researchers say that they could modify the metamaterial patterns used in the top layer to create different colored infrared pixels that would be each be tunable in intensity. This could allow the creation of infrared pixels that are similar to the RGB pixels used in a TV. They are now working to scale up the technology by making a device with more pixels — as many as 128 X 128 — and increasing the size of the pixels. “In principle, an approach similar to ours could be used to create many kinds of dynamic effects from reconfigurable metamaterials,” said Padilla. “This could be used to achieve a dynamic infrared optical cloak or a negative refractive index in the infrared, for example.”  

Paper: X. Liu, W.J. Padilla, “Reconfigurable room temperature metamaterial infrared emitter,” Optica, Volume 4, Issue 4, 430-433 (2017). DOI: 10.1364/optica.4.000430