Would Europe's use of significant power imports from Africa and the Middle East be "completely barmy" ?

 (Some clarifications and extensions made since earlier version)

 A number of people have made comments similar to this:

“I have found Czisch’s plan for an Inter-Continental Grid, with Europe as its centre, unrealistic, politically. The idea that Europe should rely on power imports from Africa and the Middle East is completely barmy.
The recent panic over supplies of natural gas from Russia, coming through the Ukraine, show just what might be expected. And of course electricity can be turned off at the drop of a switch.”
Others have said that it is “madness” even in principle to consider importing electricity from North Africa.

(Note – Czisch has performed a massive cost optimisation looking at all viable technologies for the whole of Europe and North Africa, which includes, hydro,PV, CSP, wind, biomass, and the conclusion is that the least cost option is at the moment 70% wind and 30% biomass for a totally renewable system.  CSP he calculates would have to come down in price considerably to start displacing wind – which it may of course do. His cheapest scenario does not solely rely on wind energy from North Africa as some people suppose but from all over Europe. Only 42% is imported, and that is not all from North Africa but from a variety of countries around the European borders such as Ukraine, Khazakstan, Russia etc.
This above view is questioned for the following reasons
1. Back up argument.
No one is suggesting (as the question implies) that we close all our existing fossil stations and rely totally on wind or CSP in North Africa which would be highly risky.  He proposes that a substantial  proportion comes from North Africa, but also from renewables all over Europe. As has been repeatedly argued, the sensible thing would be to retain the existing fleet of European fossil stations – these can be readily maintained with a 9 months stock of coal, and the two weeks worth of gas for gas fired stations. Czisch is also assuming large interconnection with existing hydro storage. We can also assume increased demand management (such as the French EJP tarrif and their 5 GW of diesels which back up their nuclear), more use of diesels as per UK, storage in vehicle batteries; This reduces the risk of sudden disconnection by sabotage or other means down to manageable proportions. subject to proper risk analysis and evaluation. Note – half the UKs fleet of nuclear power stations are currently inoperable due to unscheduled downtime, but this has not caused any prolonged supply disconnection.
2. Precedent argument
The criticism ignores the fact that in Europe we already import vast amounts of material, particularly oil.  Most of our oil comes form the Middle East, but this  has not of recent times caused us any problems of a sudden nature – the Saudis are only too keen to sell us the oil, and we have quite happily built up our economy based upon it. If importing power from “Africa and the Middle East is completely barmy” then so too is importing oil from Nigeria, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia”, iron ore from Australia etc. We are simply saying, that it is not an argument on its own, “that we don’t want to import energy” since we already do it on a vast scale.
3. The scenario argument
The critics ignore the fact that Czisch isn’t only advocating wind or CSP power being imported form North Africa – it’s just one scenario and is not a key part of his work. He has run a number of different scenarios, covering all renewables and the North African import scenario is merely one. His work clearly shows that constructing an HVDC grid for Europe, irrespective of any North African input is economically viable in its own right, due to 1.  The smoothing effect of geographical source dispersion, and 2. the ability to shut down stations that will become redundant as a direct result. (As happened when the UK National Grid was constructed and vast numbers of duplicated standby and peaking stations were no longer needed). Note: such a grid will be necessary any way in a nuclear future for the same smoothing reasons. If people remain nervous about investing in North Africa, his conclusion that we could go largely renewable just in Europe, ie without North Africa, albeit somewhat (but not a lot) more expensive is still valid.
4. The economic incentive argument
If Europe were to fund and build these plants – much as say the 500 MW Shaba copper mine  and the 1500 km HVDC line constructed to the Inga Dam, was constructed in the 80’s, in a war zone, by US capital why would the local politicians / war lords etc. not want the income? Should they turn the power off, they would lose a vast amount of revenue. The same as the Russians recent posturing vis a vis the Ukrainians was doomed to be short lived due to the need for the Russians to keep hauling in the revenue. One only has to look at Africa to see how keen the various war lords are to grab the ore/diamonds/gold and sell it to the west to maintain their local hegemony. (Not that we are advocating it )
5. The wires argument
The big difference between importing oil and power, is that once the sites have been built, and connected to Europe, the only market it can then go to is Europe.  With LNG or oil, cargoes can be sold and shifted elsewhere instantly with little financial loss to the sender – this is not the case with power stations wired to Europe – it can only go one way ie along the wires put in by the people who paid for it – there are no alternative markets. Of course – they could build aluminium smelters etc and use the power locally – but that takes time – allowing plenty of time for us to adapt – and the number of smelters needed to absorb ALL the power is unrealistically large – 500 MW Wylfa in Anglesey does most of UK aluminium for example.
6. The counter blackmail argument – supposing the assets were taken over by the host country?
It has been suggested that malign governments might take over the assets and then hold us to ransom – but this does not stack up. In reality, the economic boot is on the other foot here – with our existing power stations and stocks of coal, since we can run for months without using any wind that puts us in a very strong bargaining position – and as before – who else can they sell the stuff to? Andy why would they not want to continue to sell it to us? Unlike say with the oil suppliers who can of course sell it elsewhere of they don’t like the deal we are offering. Note the West paid for all the Middle East oil infrastructure, since taken over by the host countries (Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia – all countries brought into being by the UK government, (including drawing the boundaries, and installing or buying of a suitable ruling elite, at the time of the big switch to oil in the early part of last century, to suit our own purposes) without any significant economic disruption. Some of these countries have had regimes – Iraq and Iran, who detest the West, but that doesn’t stop them selling the oil, because they desperately need the revenue.
7. The hoarding argument.
Oil and gas, like grain, can be hoarded, and this is a classic method of forcing prices up – arguably this has been going on to an extent recently with oil – since there is only a finite amount of oil and gas, it makes sense to limit the supply in order to keep the price up and spin out the supply (except in stupid countries like UK and our squandered North Sea reserves) – it doesn’t decay. Whereas it is not possible to store wind energy on site. It cannot thus be hoarded and if it is not sold when it is available, the revenue is irretrievably lost.
 
Conclusion – 1. There is no valid reason to dismiss the Czisch case based on the type of arguments outlined in the first paragraph  (there my be valid other reasons of course – in which case let’s hear them). Europe could quite easily go ahead with building a vast European HVDC grid, taking in wind power (or any other renewable that became viable – wave, PV, CSP etc) from within Europe, there being ample off shore resource to run the whole of Europe, whilst retaining the option to extend if it desired to North Africa at any stage.  (Note. this grid, along with the various load management techniques) would be necessary anyway with a large nuclear / fusion programme) The exact proportions and time scales, and other measures would need to be carefully thought out on a risk management basis. 

Conclusion – 2.Such a move would have high moral content, bringing much needed revenue to many impoverished people, whose only alternative is to attempt to get to Europe in leaky boats.

Conclusion – 3. Whilst we don’t know where we will end up in 30 years time, the direction is clear, and we should start building the grid anyway and the wind power since these are the cheapest and most abundant renewables at the moment. As other technologies come along (they may or may not) we can switch technological horses, with no economic regret since the grid will be needed anyway. This is laid out in more detail in

The Claverton Briefing 

Claverton Statement – Executive Summary

Claverton Briefing Bullet Points

Note – It goes without saying that the above programme needs to be accompanied by an equally massive programme of energy conservation in buildings, (the largest users of energy), and a switch to battery powered cars.  These will all make any energy future more robust

 
From Dave Andrews

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 comments on “Would Europe's use of significant power imports from Africa and the Middle East be "completely barmy" ?

  1. Dave,

    I am in favour of the building CSP in North Africa for a number of reasons. However, I am sorry to say that the points made in this counter-argument are variously irreleveant, specious, immoral or just plain wrong.

    1. The counter-argument constantly refers to North African wind.. let’s at least discuss the main power source we are talking about, which is surely CSP on the whole?

    2. 9 months (or even 9 years) coal stocks would be largely irrelevant in terms of immediately meeeting demand if a significant amount of supply was cut off. Coal-fired power cannot ramp up instantaneouly. European-wide hydro would be of assistance but, again, capacity might be insufficient depending on the size of the resource we would be importing from North Africa. So, in order to to use hydro back-up as an argument we need to be specific about exactly how much power we are talking about importing from North Africa: how many lines, of what capacity, from which country? Diversification of supply with many lines from multiple countries is a better security of supply counter-argument.

    3. Comparing power imports to oil or gas imports is ridiculous. The latter two can be stored, the former cannot. Employing such a schoolboy argument merely makes CSP exponents (of which I am one) look stupid.

    4. Can we try to occupy the moral middle ground at the very least, please? Saying that security of supply will be ensured because “they” need our money to buy guns is repugnant. In any case, let’s identify who “they” might be… who is to say who the guns would be used on? Would it be acceptable for us to buy CSP power from Sudan if the money could be used to buy guns to commit genocide in Darfur? And what if “they” are Al Qaeda, and the money buys nuclear, biological or chemical weaponry for use on non-native populations….. ?

    5. With regard to the wires, you appear to be assuming that only governments or “warlords” would have the ability to cut us off. How invulnerable do you think a relatively small diameter cable is? It is not the governments are “warlords” we should be concerned about, more the afore-mentioned Al-Qaeda (or their ilk) who would find it very easy to cut off the lines with a very small amount of explosive.

    6. Counter-blackmail argument. Let me understand this. We pay for and build the infrastructure (multiple billion investment) so that North African countries can harness a free energy source to sell us…. and somehow we have the ability to counter-blackmail them? Their risk is simply opportunity lost, they have no skin in the game at all, no investment to cover, no capex, no opex…. in fact they could simply build their own energy intensive businesses and use the power themselves.

    7. Hoarding. Somewhat kills the argument made in your own point two about “precedent”. Do you thihnk the recent Russia/Ukraine gas situation was not a problem? In the UK we are but a few cold days away from a huge gas supply problem as a result of Russia shutting down the pipes for a couple of weeks.

    In my opinion, we would be better off not trying to make counter-arguments if these are really the best we can come up with.

    Sorry to be so negative.

    regards,
    Nigel

  2. Europe’s reliance on power imports from Africa and the Middle East completely “barmy” as some allege?

    Interesting and, mosty fair comment. Russia has manged to get political power with gas, which it can store (a bit) and sell to the highest bidder. Harder to do with electricity.

    I tried to get this below into the Guardian-but its was evidently too long ( no sign of it so far) . Maybe you can use it for CEG.

    On your book idea. It would need a new title. Earthscan might run with it. There could be wider interest in an exposition on IT and an up to date account of current IT wonders ( Wikipedi, Twitter, Blogs etc) and their shortcomings/advantages for dealing with the eco/energy crisis . But I suppose Id be more interested in an overview of energy policy issues ( which is what I was hoping fr for the Palgrave Macmillian series) , although I can see how the later might be run as a case study for the former . Whether Palgrave would want that is less clear- it keener on critical polcy related commentary.

    Letter to Guardian

    Real energy security

    With the battles continuing over the EU’s access to Russia’s gas supplies via transit arrangement across the Ukraine, it may be worth looking to the future, when a different set of energy options may change the geopolitical realities. Currently we are fighting over the dwindling and increasingly expensive oil and gas reserves in Russia and the Middle East. But soon we will have to look elsewhere for energy. Some look to nuclear energy- but quite apart from the costs and the risks, uranium is a finite resource. Fortunately, the new renewable energy options are not only sustainable, but are getting increasingly economic- and the resource is very large.

    A recent study by Dr Gregor Czisch, from the University of Kassel in Germany, has suggested that the EU should develop a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) super transmission grid across Europe , which would make it possible to distribute and share wind derived power from wind farms in windy areas, including the huge offshore wind resource in the North Sea. With HVDC, energy transmission losses are very low, even over very long distances, so, with suitable extensions, the supergid could also link to remote but even windier regions around the EU – including Kazakhstan, which Czisch says has a wind potential of 210 Giga Watts (GW) and Northern Russia and Western Siberia (350GW). Czisch also looks at the wind potential in Mauritania (105 GW) and Southern Morocco, which he puts at 120 GW. To put these numbers in context, the UK current total electricity generation capacity (all sources) is just under 80GW, while Germany already has around 22GW of wind capacity in place.

    Wind is the cheapest of the new renewables and there is a major resource in and around the EU- including in several of the new EU countries (Bulgaria, Romania and Poland in particular) as well as in some countries which may yet join the EU (e.g. Turkey and the Ukraine). However there are also other options. The supergird could also link into the huge hydro resource in Norway, which could help balance variations in wind availability. And longer term there is a huge wave and tidal current flow resource in the North Sea. In addition, the supergrird could link into the even larger solar resource available in desert areas of North Africa and the Middle East- harvested using giant focussed-solar power plants, with molten salt heat stores to allow for continued generation overnight. Several of these so called Concentrating Solar Power plants have already been built in Spain and the USA, and similar projects are underway or planned in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan and elsewhere, with undersea grid links being developed across the Mediterranean. They will use some of the power locally, e.g. for desalination, but they will have some available for export.

    The European Commission has indicated that a pan -EU supergrid ought to have a high priority to help ensure energy security long term, and the availability of these massive renewable resources on the periphery of the EU, coupled with the very large renewable resources within the EU, offers us the hope that we can move beyond the current energy battles and on to a sustainable energy future. It would take time and money, and would open up some new geopolitical issues. The EU would still be partly reliant on imported energy, but fair trade arrangements could be negotiated to avoid exploitation and reduce the risk of being cut off. However, if we want energy security, and to limit climate change then this new approach, coupled of course with a proper attention to reducing waste and using energy more efficiently, looks like a key way ahead.

    Prof. David Elliott
    Energy and Environment Research Unit,
    The Open University,
    Milton Keynes, MK 76AA
    Tel: 01908 65 3197
    E Mail: D.A.Elliott@open.ac.uk.

  3. From Dr Fred Starr.

    Dear Dave,

    I think you miss the point that I also keep making.

    The important thing is the build the renewables first in each of the EU countries, instead of talking about long distance grids.

    The other point I also keep making is that a huge intercontinetal network like the one proposed by Gregor is also of considerable benefit to fossil and nuclear power…… Both the French, Germans and Danes already make use of European networks to dump “surplus power” in surrounding countries, as you yourself have commented.

    Please remember tha the National Grid was built after we had power stations….not before.

    Fred

  4. Climate change is a world problem. Trade has a civilizing influence, as against isolationism, which does not usually support peaceful co-existence and advancement. The world has experienced too many wars recently. Countries should co-operate with each other to achieve the best outcome for the world as a whole.
    The proposed inter-continental grid makes good sense. Back-up provisions are always needed, whatever is done. Nothing can ever be guaranteed absolutely.

  5. Hi Dave,

    Well done!

    By the way, there are not “30% biomass” in my base case scenario. In

    Low Cost but Totally Renewable Electricity Supply for a Huge Supply Area
    – a European/Trans-European Example –
    http://www.iset.uni-kassel.de/abt/w3-w/projekte/LowCostEuropElSup_revised_for_AKE_2006.pdf

    I wrote:

    “Biomass and existing hydroelectric power plants provide most of the backup requirements within the supply area, in which the individual regions are strongly interconnected via HVDC transmission lines.”

    In fact this does not tell exactly how much is produced from Biomass and from hydropower. The figures are:

    18% of the el. production is from biomass
    14.7% of the el. production is from existing hydropower
    1.5% of the el. production is from solar thermal power
    66% of the el. production is from wind

    There are further arguments:

    Security of supply with intrinsic redundancy:

    In the base case scenario about 42% of the electricity generated is transmitted over the HVDC system between the regions within the supply area. Measured against the total electricity costs the cost of the transmission system amounts to 7% of which the main part of 5% is contributed by the transmission lines and cables. HVDC transmission has a higher intrinsic system stability than AC lines. Furthermore the transmission system of the base case scenario is highly redundant due to the fact that the thermal limit of the overhead transmission lines is about twice the rated power and due to the fact that between almost all regions two or more systems are designed to be built parallel. But nevertheless if further redundancy was seen as desirable this could be relatively inexpensively achieved. A somewhat extreme idea would be to erect two whole systems of transmission lines in parallel. This would mean that the costs of transmission lines and cables would double but at the same time the losses would decrease because of the doubled cross-section and thus the overall cost increase would only be about 3% ensuring a degree of immunity against faults and manipulation, which is by far higher than stipulated for today’s systems.
    Security of supply by diversification:
    Obviously it is cheapest to produce renewable electricity at the sites with the highest average production. But the best sites are not found everywhere, their potential is limited just as the number of countries where they are found. Therefore, to go for the cheapest solution brings in some dependency. But if one also takes into account sites which provide a lower average production the potential of renewable production and the number of countries where these sites are found increase very rapidly. Simultaneously the costs of electricity only increase relatively slow, just about reciprocally proportional with the average production. Therefore the situation is totally different from the situation in the field of fossil fuels. Here the potential as well as the number of countries producing decline with the exploitation of the finite potential. At the end this leads to increasing dependency and price explosions while with techno/economic learning the costs of renewable energy declines even if worse sites are used in order to gain diversification.

    Best,

    Gregor

    dave andrews schrieb:

    Hi Gregor – could you have a look at this please?
    http://tx1.fcomet.com/~claverto/cms/europe-should-rely-on-power-imports-from-africa-and-the-middle-east-is-completely-barmy-assertion-challenged.html

    And the comment below.

    Thanks

    Dave Andrews

  6. Nigel Wakefield Said:

    NIGEL AND FRED STARR – IN ESSENCE I AGREE WITH YOU THAT BUYING GAS FROM RUSSIA IS QUITE A RISKY PPROPOSITION – BUT WHAT I BELEIVE I HAVE SHOWN IS THAT IF YOU LOOK AT CZISCH PROPOSAL IN DETAIL, THE RISK OF BLACKMAIL OR SABOTAGE ARE MUCH MUCH LOWER – THE TWO CASES ARE SIMPLY NOT COMPARABLE.

    Dave,

    I am in favour of the building CSP in North Africa for a number of reasons. BUT CZISCH SHOWS THAT AT THE MOMENT WIND IS A MUCH BETTER BET.
    However, I am sorry to say that the points made in this counter-argument are variously irrelevant, specious, immoral or just plain wrong.
    DISAGREE – I DO NOT SEE THAT YOU HAVE ADVANCED ANY EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT YOUR ASSERTION ABOVE..
    1. The counter-argument constantly refers to North African wind.. let’s at least discuss the main power source we are talking about, which is surely CSP on the whole?
    ACCORDING TO CZISCH, AND THE PREVOIUS NOTE FROM MARK BARRETT – AT THE MOMENT, WIND IS FAR CHEAPER THAN CSP – CSP SHOULD BE SUPPORTED AS IT MAY GET CHEAPER BUT IT CERTAINLY ISN’T AT THE MOMENT.
    2. 9 months (or even 9 years) coal stocks would be largely irrelevant in terms of immediately meeting demand if a significant amount of supply was cut off. WHY IRRELEVANT? Coal-fired power cannot ramp up instantaneously. YES WE KNOW THAT, BUT IT DOESN’T NEED TO RAMP UP INSTANTANEOUSLY – VARIOUS EXISTING METHODS CAN SHED LOAD WHILE FOSSIL IS RAMPING UP. ITS MOST UNLIKELY TO LOSE A LARGE PORTION OF CZISCH’S IMPORT ANYWAY SINCE ONLY 42% IS IMPORTED AND THAT IS NOT JUST FROM A SINGLE LINK, BUT 10 OTHERS WITH SIGNIFICANT DUPLICATION. European-wide hydro would be of assistance but, again, capacity might be insufficient depending on the size of the resource we would be importing from North Africa. WE ONLY NEED THE HYDRO BACK UP / LOAD SHEDDING / FAST START DIESELS, FOR A SHORT PERIOD – HOURS WHILST WARMED COAL AND GAS STATIONS START UP So, in order to to use hydro back-up as an argument we need to be specific about exactly how much power we are talking about importing from North Africa: how many lines, of what capacity, from which country? WELL THAT IS UNDERSTOOD AND ALL COVERED IN CZISCH’S PAPER WHERE HE HAS MODELLED WHAT YOU ARE TALING ABOUT Diversification of supply with many lines from multiple countries is a better security of supply counter-argument. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT CZISCH SAYS PLEASE READ HIS PAPERS.
    3. Comparing power imports to oil or gas imports is ridiculous. The latter two can be stored, the former cannot. Employing such a schoolboy argument merely makes CSP exponents (of which I am one) look stupid. THEY WEREN’T BEING COMPARED AS EQUALS MERELY POINTING OUT THAT WE ALREADY RELY ON HUGE IMPORTS, SO THERE IS NO ARGUMENT IN PRINCIPLE AGAINST ENERGY IMPORTS. NO ONE SAID THAT ELECTRICITY CAN BE STORED – IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE BECAUSE YOU CAN SHED LOAD FOR A SHORT PERIOD (AS WE ALREADY DO NOW), AND RESTART FOSSIL STATIONS IN A FEW HOURS, IF WARMED (LOW ENERGY USE).
    4. Can we try to occupy the moral middle ground at the very least, please? Saying that security of supply will be ensured because “they” need our money to buy guns is repugnant. I DON’T MAKE THE POLITICAL REALITIES OR NECESSARILLY SUPPORT THEM – THE ARGUMENT WAS TO COUNTER THOSE WHO SAID THAT MALIGN PEOPLE WOULD WANT TO TAKE OVER THE SUPPLIES THEN HOLD US TO RANSOM – BUT AS IS SHOWN THIS IS SIMPLY NOT A REALISTIC THREAT. SIMPLY BECAUSE I POINT THAT OUT, YOU CANNOT THEN ASSUME THAT I SUPPORT ANYONES IMMMORAL BEHAVOUR – YOU SEEM UNAWARE THAT WE SELL HUGE AMOUNTS OF ARMS TO SAUDI ARABIA AND OTHER COUNTRIES SOME WOULD SAY ARE IMMORAL – E.G. HAWK TRAINERS TO VARIOUS GENOCIDAL REGIMES – DOESN’T MEAN I SUPPORT THEM In any case, let’s identify who “they” might be… who is to say who the guns would be used on? Would it be acceptable for us to buy CSP power from Sudan if the money could be used to buy guns to commit genocide in Darfur? WELL YOUR CAR HAS PETROL IN IT SOME OF WHICH WILL COME FROM NIGERIA WHERE THE LOCALS SUFFER GENOCIDE AT THE HANDS OF THE LOCAL EUROPEAN OIL COMPANY. SO TOO DOES MY CAR, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN I SUPPORT THEM.

    NO DOUBT YOU BUY STUFF FROM CHINA A LOT OF WHICH IS MADE FROM OIL OBTAINED FROM SUDAN. And what if “they” are Al Qaeda, and the money buys nuclear, biological or chemical weaponry for use on non-native populations….. ? WASN’T BIN LADEN A SAUDI, AND FUNDED FROM THE SAME COUNTRY WE GET OIL FROM?
    5. With regard to the wires, you appear to be assuming that only governments or “warlords” would have the ability to cut us off. How invulnerable do you think a relatively small diameter cable is? It is not the governments are “warlords” we should be concerned about, more the afore-mentioned Al-Qaeda (or their ilk) who would find it very easy to cut off the lines with a very small amount of explosive. AS POINTED OUT, THESE LINES ARE DUPLICATED, AND WE HAVE HOME BASED BACK UP. IF WE PAID A DECENT PRICE TO THE LOCALS THEY WOULD DEPLOY THERE ARMY TO PROTECT THE LINES, AS THE SAUDIS AND THE US GOVERNMENT SPENDS A FORTUNE ON PROTECTING VULNERABLE OIL INSTALLATIONS.
    IT ONLY TAKES A FEW DAYS/ WEEK TO REBUILT AND RESTRING A LARGE TOWER.
    ANY CASE, THEY COULD JUST AS EASILY BLOW UP TOWERS IN THIS COUNTRY (AND DON’T) OR ANYWHERE ELSE IN EUROPE – WHY DO IT IN A DESERT WHERE YOU WOULD BE HIGHLY VISIBLE?
    6. Counter-blackmail argument. Let me understand this. We pay for and build the infrastructure (multiple billion investment) so that North African countries can harness a free energy source to sell us…. and somehow we have the ability to counter-blackmail them? NO YOU HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD THIS POINT. SOME PEOPLE HAVE SUGGESTED THAT BAD PEOPLE WOULD TAKE OVER THE WIND FARMS AND THEN BLACK MAIL US.
    I HAVE MERELY POINTED OUT THAT THIS WON’T WORK SINCE WE WILL MERELY SWITCH BACK TO FOSSIL TILL THEY GET TIRED OF THE LOSS OF CASH. OR WE WILL INVADE INSTALL A SUITABLE REGIME – AS IN AFGHANISTAN / IRAQ, ETC Their risk is simply opportunity lost, they have no skin in the game at all, OF COURSE THEY DO – THEY WANT THE REVENUE FROM THE ASSETTS no investment to cover, no capex, no opex…. in fact they could simply build their own energy intensive businesses and use the power themselves. THAT’S RIDICULOUS – IT TAKES YEAR TO BUILD AN ENERGY INTENSIVE BUSINESS – WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANY MALIGN PEOPLE, WHY TOOK OVER The ASSETS NOT WANT TO CONTINUE EARNING CASH FROM THEM? DID THE SAUDIS OR IRANIANS STOP SENDING THE OIL WHEN THEY NATIONALISED “OUR ASSETS”
    7. Hoarding. Somewhat kills the argument made in your own point two about “precedent”. NOT AT ALL Do you think the recent Russia/Ukraine gas situation was not a problem? WELL IT WASN’T A PROBLEM FOR MOST OF US – A FEW PEOPLE GOT COLD IN BULGARIA WHO DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH STORAGE TO RIDE THE BLACKMAIL OUT.In the UK we are but a few cold days away from a huge gas supply problem as a result of Russia shutting down the pipes for a couple of weeks. AGAIN YOU DON’T GET IT. THE RUSSIANS COULD HOARD THE STUFF AND SELL IT LATER AT A HIGHER PRICE….BUT YOU CAN’T HOARD ELECTRICITY – IF A MALIGN POWER TURNED THE STUFF OFF, WE WOULD JUST SWITCH TO COAL AND GAS TILL THEY GOT FED UP NOT HAVING THE CASH (AS THE RUSSIANS DID – GAZPROM IS BASICALLY BANKRUPT)
    In my opinion, we would be better off not trying to make counter-arguments if these are really the best we can come up with. WELL I DON’T THINK YOU HAVE SHOWN YOU UNDERSTOOD THE ARGUMENTS WHICH WERE MEANT TO COUNTER SOME FAIRLY ODD ARGUMENTS PUT FORWARD BY OTHER PEOPLE, NOT ME.

    I AGREE WITH YOU, WE ARE VULNERABLE TO RUSSIA CUTTING OF OUR GAS SUPPLY, BUT THE ESSENCE OF MY PIECE WAS TO SHOW THAT BUYING POWER FORM WIND FARMS DISTRIBUTED AROUND EUROPE IS NOT AT ALL COMPARALBE TO THE VERY REAL RISKS WE ARE RUNNNG FROM CONTINUING TO IMPORT GAS FROM RUSSIA AND FOSSIL FUELS FROM ELSWHERE.

    I HOPE YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THE ABOVE COMMENTS IN THE LIGHT OF MY BELIEF THAT YOUR CRIICISMS ARE BASED ON MISUNDERSTANDING PREVOUS WRITINGS, AND I ALSO THINK THAT THE ARGUMENT IS COVERED IN CZISCH’S PAPERS.

    REGARDS DAVE A

    Sorry to be so negative.
    regards,
    Nigel
    Comment made on January 22nd, 2009 at 12:36 pm e

    Comment made on January 25th, 2009 at 3:08 pm e

  7. I think Nigel need not worry about where Al Quaeda and Mr Bin Laden get there funds from.

    I think he will find, that Bin Laden, being a Saudi, got / gets most his funding from rich Saudis.

    Of course he was originally funded to fight the Russians in Afghanistan.

    Ironically, the reason Al Quaeda is fighting the west, is to get American troops out of the sacred lands of Saudi Arabia.

    Why are they there? Well – to protect Americas oil supplies of course.

    Regards

    Gary Bloke.

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