Monday, February 11, 2013

Green energy policies produce more greenhouse emissions.

Washington Post: Demand for coal in Germany has been rising since a May 2011 move to phase out nuclear power by 2022. The shutdown was spurred by the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan as well as long-standing German concerns about safety. But nuclear energy, which is low in greenhouse gas emissions, has been partially replaced by brown coal. Lignite supplied 25.6 percent of Germany’s electricity in 2012, up from 22.7 percent in 2010. Hard black coal supplied an additional 19.1 percent last year, and it was also on the rise.

A good illustration of the difference between a problem and a puzzle. Governments thought to solve the greenhouse gas problem as a fixed puzzle, i.e. substitute one of its piece with another (nuclear with renewables).
In reality, the situation is an open-ended problem where consumption, production, and technologies can change over time. A combination of the recession and shale gas discoveries/production in the US created a new situation, dramatically different from the original "puzzle" assumptions. As a result, the puzzle-based green energy solutions made the problem worse.

tags: problem, puzzle, solution, energy, control

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