Europe’s Renewables Reckoning: Power Rationing & Punishing Power Prices Killing Thousands

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For the poorest and most vulnerable, staying warm in winter is a daily battle for survival. Thanks to Europe’s (literally suicidal) wind and solar ‘transition’, power prices have spiralled out of control and in Germany power rationing is now routine, likewise in Britain.

The Germans, of course, led the charge when it came to throwing subsidies at chaotically intermittent wind and solar, with Britain in close pursuit.

In each case, it’s the poor and elderly who end up the victims of an ideological obsession.

German power prices are now the highest in Europe and thousands of households have been disconnected from the grid, unable to pay their power bills. Britain isn’t far behind.

The cost in human mortality is staggering. A study carried out by the Economist reckons that some 68,000 Europeans perished last winter thanks to spiralling energy costs. Their data shows that wind and solar-obsessed Britain and Germany suffered the worst mortality amongst their energy-deprived citizens. Had the winter been as bitter as the year before, the numbers would have been greater still.

In the first piece, Noah Carl looks at the (glaringly obvious) relationship between energy poverty and excess mortality. In the second piece, Pierre Gosselin reports on Germany’s plans to restrict access to energy and engage in more power rationing which, in a nutshell, means thousands more will perish next winter. Welcome to the grand wind and solar transition!

High Energy Prices Killed 68,000 Europeans Last Winter, Claims The Economist
Daily Sceptic
Noah Carl
15 May 2023

Last winter’s energy crisis was much less bad than many had predicted – thanks in large part to unusually warm weather. Indeed, 2022-23 was Europe’s “joint-second warmest winter on record”, so demand for natural gas was much lower than it might have otherwise been.

However, it was still cold and people still had to heat their homes. Yet according to the Economist, high gas prices discouraged many Europeans from doing so, leading to 68,000 excess deaths across the continent. The magazine had actually predicted that this would happen and was proven correct – or so it claims.

How did its analysts get to the figure of 68,000? They begin by noting that there were 149,000 excess deaths between November 2022 and February 2023 – which is 8% higher than the five-year average from 2015-2019. About 60,000 were officially recorded as Covid deaths, so these were subtracted from the total.

They then looked to see whether energy prices were correlated with the non-Covid excess deaths rate across European countries, and found that they were – as shown in the chart below.

There’s a strong positive association between energy prices and non-Covid excess deaths per 100,000. Note that Britain had among the highest energy prices and among the highest non-Covid excess deaths.

The Economist ran a model controlling for various factors, and found that “a price rise of around €0.10 per kwh” was associated with “an increase in a country’s weekly mortality of around 2.2%”. Which implies that if energy prices had not risen, there would have been 68,000 fewer deaths in Europe.

Now, I have one quibble with their methodology: they appear to have used the absolute number of excess deaths per 100,000 as their outcome measure – which doesn’t really account for ageing and ‘rewards’ countries with lower birth rates. However, the biases aren’t huge, and it’s unlikely to have seriously affected their analysis. (The true figure might be 10-15% lower.)

Incidentally, they also estimate how many lives were saved by energy subsidies, and come up with a figure of 26,600. Given that subsidies were on the order of €600 billion, that works out to around €25 million per life saved – well-above standard estimates of the ‘value of a statistical life’.

The rise in energy prices last year was partly due to uncertainty sparked by Russia’s invasion, and was therefore probably inevitable. However, it was also due to Europe’s self-imposed sanctions on Russian energy, along with Russia’s decision to cut gas supplies (before the Nord Stream sabotage).

As the Spectator noted in a recent editorial, the sanctions on Russia have largely failed. They haven’t stopped Russia waging war let alone “turned the rouble to rubble”. And they’ve helped the Chinese, our supposed rivals, who’ve been able to buy energy at a discount.

On top of all that, it seems, they got elderly Europeans killed.
Daily Sceptic

Germany’s Federal Network Agency Plans To Ration Electricity As Electric Power Crisis Heightens
No Tricks Zone
Pierre Gosselin
16 May 2023

Nowadays it seems Germany is doing everything possible to warp-speed ruin itself.

If today’s German leaders were driving a car and wanted to go faster, they would ease off the gas pedal and slam on the brakes – and hope it works! That’s basically how they’re handling the country’s energy crisis. Some would understandably equate it all to lunacy.

Going electric while shutting down power plants
While leaders demand citizens quickly switch over to electric mobility and heat pump systems, thus placing ever huger demands on the power grid, they are reacting by shutting off nuclear and fossil fuel power plants, thus making electricity even more scarce than it already is.

Rationing becoming unavoidable
As Germany’s energy shortages intensify, it’s no surprise that rationing is becoming only way out. And so the Federal Network Agency now proposes that grid operators be allowed to ration electricity in the future to avoid possible overloads caused by charging e-cars and heat pumps. This is how grid overloads are to be avoided in the future.

Nightmare for companies
Companies planning to set up shop in Germany may want to think again if they plan on using electricity. Firstly prices have soared and are among the highest in the world, and secondly: don’t expect the supply to be reliable as brownouts are now in the plans.

Even worse for private citizens
For private consumers, it gets even worse. According to the plan, beginning already in 2024, grid operators are to be empowered “to temporarily restrict electricity purchases from private charging stations and heat pumps to avoid peak loads,” reports Blackout News.

Have blankets ready
“If it is proven that the grid could be overloaded, the distribution grid operator has the right to reduce the power,” said Klaus Müller, head of the Federal Network Agency in an interview with BR24. In other words, if it’s January and -10°C outside, your heat pump may be remotely switched off. Have blankets ready.

Power grid totally inadequate
Another problem is the lack of power grid upgrades that are necessary to handle the huge extra demand for power that heat pumps and electric cars will create. The result: severe supply bottlenecks and overloads. Again, the only measure available for the challenge will be rationing.

Lower electric rates for those who have to freeze
“In order to avoid delays in the connection of heat pumps and charging stations, an additional control option by the distribution grid operator is necessary, reports Blackout News. “In the end, a corresponding control means nothing other than a rationing of electricity purchases. As compensation for the affected consumers, it is envisaged that they will receive a reduction in their grid fees.”

Criticism mounts (finally) A number of industry associations have widely criticized the “unilateral and unlimited throttling” of the power supply and warn this would mean “considerable restrictions for consumers and thus also limit consumer acceptance of heat pumps and electric cars”.

Unless Germany radically changes course in its energy policy, citizens who heat their homes with heat pumps and travel with electric cars may find themselves often stranded in unheated homes in the wintertime.

Greatest energy folly of all time?
No one could have imagined a folly of this scale less than 2 years ago, just before the current Socialist-Green government took over the reins of power at the end of 2021. Other countries may want to avoid the idiotic German path.
No Tricks Zone