Friday, September 24, 2021

Germany elections 2021, some scenarios

Germany election this coming Sunday, September 26. The top political parties based on various surveys are the socialist SPD, Christian democrats CDU of Merkel, the Greens, the Free democrats FDP, and EU skeptic AfD, in that order. 

My sympathy or support of course is for the FDP -- advocates more private investments and businesses, less government taxes and borrowings, more individual liberty. See for instance this report,

"We want to increase investment in Germany", FDP leader says 
By Tanja Daube and Alexander Ratz   September 13, 2021   11:35 PM PST

FDP leader Christian Lindner said his business-friendly party would not join any coalition government that wanted to increase taxes and soften constitionally enshrined borrowing limits...

"For us it's important that the debt brake in the constitution must be respected," Lindner said, opening the door for reduced deficit-spending in Europe's largest economy.

The Greens in 3rd, I still hope that FDP will overtake them. The reason is that Europe now is wobbling from record high energy prices because the beloved wind power of the Greens and climate activists has low as the wind hardly blows, and Europe depends on gas from Russia and Russia restricted gas exports to W. Europe.

Germany has overtaken Denmark to be #1 as most expensive electricity prices in the world, see 
Energy 155, IEA flip-flop on oil and gas, Germany's high power prices and blackout

This afternoon I attended the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) Philippines IAF alumni virtual gathering. IAF alumni are those who attended 1-2 weeks seminars in IAF, Gummersbach, Germany. I went there in October 2008.

Late part of the program was a lecture by Mr. Thomas Clausen about the upcoming elections. He noted that
* The left (Linke) and socialists (SPD) focus on wage control, rent control, pension control, etc.
* The liberals (FDP) focus on lower taxes, civil liberties, reform of pension system.
* The Greens focus on climate change, Klimaliste activism (by extension, focus on more renewables, exit from fossil fuels and nuke power). 
* The anti-illegal immigration AfD has stabilized, not rising further and now they are strong only in East Germany.

As usual, no single political party will dominate the upcoming elections and form a majority government. It will be a coalition by the #1 with usually #3 and #4, the #2 playing the opposition. FDP can work with CDU but not with the socialists SPD, but it might be a possibility. 

If the SPD dominate and coalesce with the Greens, then Germany will further spring to double #1 in most expensive, unstable and blackout-friendly energy in the world. See these stories, 
Energy 154, Europe rising energy prices, blackout threats, 40 reports.

Energy 155, IEA flip-flop on oil and gas, Germany's high power prices and blackout

The International Energy Agency (IEA), a group of unelected bureaucrats issued a strong report last May telling the OECD member-countries and all other countries around the world to stop investing in oil, gas, coal anymore, starting this year -- to "save the planet." See IEA flip-flops in report #1 vs report #s 2, 3 and 4 below (to save Europe from blackouts, save themselves and their double talk).

(1) Net Zero by 2050   A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector (224 pages)
May 18, 2021

(On page 20 -- no new coal plants, no new oil and gas fields this year 2021; by 2030 phaseout of all coal power plants in rich countries, by 2040 phaseout of all other coal plants even in poor countries.)

(2) IEA urges Opec to increase oil production 
Izabella Kaminska  MAY 20 2011  

The International Energy Agency urged the Opec oil cartel to step up output, saying there was a “clear, urgent need for additional supplies”.

(3) Oil Markets Baffled As The IEA Calls For More Production 
By Cyril Widdershoven - Jun 13, 2021, 6:00 PM CDT

In its latest Monthly Oil Report, the IEA called on OPEC+ to increase production in order to counter higher demand in 2022. 
… after its shocking Net-Zero by 2050 report called for no more investments in oil and gas, stated that “OPEC+ needs to open the taps to keep the world oil markets adequately supplied”.  At the same time, the IEA has also reiterated that market realities are at odds with its proposed strategies to reach net zero-emission levels by 2050.

(4) IEA urges Russia to ramp up gas supply to Europe 
More could be done to fill storage sites ahead of winter heating season, says energy body
David Sheppard in London, Max Seddon in Moscow and Nastassia Astrasheuskaya in Dushanbe September 22, 2021

Some European members of parliament have called for an investigation into Gazprom, Russia’s state-backed monopoly exporter of pipeline gas. Foreign officials and traders have questioned why the company has limited top-up sales in the spot market to Europe, saying that this has fuelled a surge in prices that is raising household bills and threatening industries across the continent.


Suddenly Worried About Gas Prices, Biden Wants OPEC+ To Produce More Oil  
David Blackmon   Aug 12, 2021,09:23am EDT  

U.S. President Joe Biden issued a request on Wednesday to OPEC+ leaders, urging them to ... produce more oil? Really? Just one day after the U.S. Senate voted to approve a massive $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill loaded up with incentives, mandates, subsidies and slush funds designed to stimulate the buildout of electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy in the U.S., the President wants the rest of the world to pump more oil.

Below, Germany power generation. See low wind onshore and offshore output starting late May 2021 to present except mid-August. It's still the conventionals -- coal, nuke, gas -- that save Germany from large-scale blackouts and deindustrialization.

Then some reports of blackout or near-blackouts in Germany, Europe:

(1) European Power Grid Narrowly Misses Widespread Blackout As Frequency Drops Suddenly 
By P Gosselin on 10. January 2021

A European power grid disturbance occurred at around 2 p.m. according to the Austrian Power Grid (APG). The normal frequency for Europe is 50 Hz and on Friday afternoon it dropped sharply to 49.75 Hz.

“A larger supply area must have broken away,” blackout expert Herbert Saurugg told futurezone.

(2) Last-Ditch Effort: Germany Weighs Electricity Rationing Scheme To Stabilize Its Now Shaky Green Power Grid 
By P Gosselin on 19. January 2021

Germany’s Economics Minister Peter Altmaier presented a draft law that would allow electric utilities “to temporarily cut off the charging power for e-cars when there is once again too little electricity available”, an idea known as “peak smoothing”.

“Shutdowns due to power shortages have been practiced for some time. Aluminum smelters, for example, have to put up with having their power cut off for limited periods of time,” reports Tichys Einblick. “These, like refrigerated storage facilities, consume great amounts. It’s a dangerous game because after three hours the molten metal has solidified and the factory is ruined.”

(3) Green Folly: Berlin’s City E-Buses Leave Passengers Out In The Cold…Diesel Buses To The Rescue 
By P Gosselin on 17. February 2021

The Berliner Morgenpost reported some of the green electric buses operated by the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) had been taken out service due to range problems in the extremely cold weather. Up to 23 electric buses had to be replaced by diesel-powered buses last Monday. Ultimately the German capital plans to convert its entire fleet to electric by 2030.

(4) Germany’s ‘Green’ Energy Failure: Germany turns back to coal and natural gas as millions of its solar panels are blanketed in snow and ice 
Laurie Foti  Feb 12, 2021

Sun and wind can’t afford it. Now, we’re replacing it completely with black ones (dirty fossil fuels – emphasis ours).

Professor Harald Schwarz: The guaranteed output of wind energy and photovoltaics is between zero, two, or three percent. So de-facto is zero. You can see that what we have days in the year where there is neither wind.”

(5) This is why we have the most expensive electricity in the world 
Deshalb haben wir den teuersten Strom der Welt
Veröffentlicht am Februar 18, 2021

(6) Germany has the highest electricity price in an international comparison 
Strompreis im internationalen Vergleich
Veröffentlicht am April 4, 2021  

Land               Preis pro KWh in € %

Deutschland      0,33       100,0 
Bermuda            0,31       94,9
Dänemark          0,29       87,2
Belgien, Portugal             0,27       82,1
Irland, Japan     0,25       74,4
Großbritanien, Italien    0,23       69,2
Australien, Österreich, Tschechien          0,21       64,1
Niederlande, Spanien    0,20       61,5
Belize, Griechenland, Schweiz    0,19       59,0
Frankreich          0,19       56,4
Slowakei, Slowenien      0,18       53,8
Kenia, Niederlande, Peru, Polen              0,17       51,3
Finnland, Rumäniem     0,16       48,7
Estland, Schweden         0,15       46,2
Israel    0,14       43,6
Malta    0,14       41,0
Brasilien, Honkong, USA              0,13       38,5
Island   0,12       35,9
Südafrika            0,11       33,3
Südkorea            0,10       30,8
Kanada            0,09       28,2
Norwegen          0,08       25,6
China, Indien     0,07       20,5
Russland            0,05       15,4.


(Related data, from

(7) Electricity prices reach new record 
Published September 9, 2021

(8) Germany: Coal tops wind as primary electricity source 
In the first half of 2021, coal shot up as the biggest contributor to Germany's electric grid, while wind power dropped to its lowest level since 2018. Officials say the weather is partly to blame.
September 13, 2021

In total, conventional energy sources — including coal, natural gas and nuclear energy — comprised 56% of the total electricity fed into Germany's grid in the first half of 2021.

(9) Record Power Prices & Blackouts Hit Germany
By Paul Homewood   SEPTEMBER 19, 2021

The Germans have broken a record again. Drastically increased wholesale prices and expensive emission rights are driving electricity prices in Germany to ever new record levels. In addition, of course, there are also high taxes and levies for renewable energies and the network charges, which we have already listed in our article “This is why we have the most expensive electricity in the world”. 

See also:
Energy 152, BWorld Insights on RE and Nuclear; Global news on renewed coal, gas demand, August 26, 2021 
Energy 153, High natgas and coal prices, September 10, 2021 
Energy 154, Europe rising energy prices, blackout threats, 31 reports, September 21, 2021.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

BWorld 506, Vaccination plateau and rising cases

* My article in BusinessWorld, Sept. 20, 2021.

Vaccination plateau — rapid rise in vaccination rates as percent of population followed by a quick slowdown with the curve nearly flatlining. That is my simple and personal definition as I have not seen other definitions yet when I checked the various search engines. The term has similar connotations to “vaccine ceiling” and “vaccine burnout.”

The best example of a country experiencing a vaccine plateau would be Israel. From the Our World in Data (OWID) excel file, Israel’s vaccination rate as percent of population was 0.1% on Jan. 10, quickly rising to 21.1% on Jan. 31, 38.7% on Feb. 28, and 54.6% on March 31. This rapid rise in the vaccination rate also coincided with a rapid decline in infections and cases, from around 8,000/day in mid-January to only 466 by March 31, then lockdown and mask mandates were slowly removed. And Israel became a poster example of “more vaccination, more protection, less infections.” Good.

Israel’s vaccination rate plateaued in April to June at 58%, with a mild rise to 61% to 63% in July to Sept. 17. Infections and cases started rising in July and peaked on Sept. 1 with 20,500 cases. This rapid rise in cases despite a high vaccination rate has led to a reverse situation of “more vaccination, less protection, more infections.” Israel later ordered a third booster shot for those above 65 years old.

Another example of “more vaccination, more cases” is Singapore. Its vaccination rate was only 0.1% of population on Feb. 2, rose to 6.4% by end-March, 30% by end-May, 57% by end-July, and 77% by Sept. 17. Then Singapore experienced a mild rise in cases in July, which declined in August, but then experienced huge spikes this month with new highs of 1,000+ cases on Sept. 18 and 19.

The Philippines is another example of “more vaccination, more cases,” but a mild version compared to Singapore or South Korea. Mass vaccination officially started on March 1 at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) with Sinovac. A slow roll out, vaccination rate was only 0.2% of population by end-April, 2.4% by end-June, 12.6% by end-August, and 16.2% by Sept. 17. The rise in the number of vaccinations in August and September coincided with a rise in infections, from 5,000-6,000 per day in June-July, it went up to about 15,000/day in August, and about 20,000/day in September. 

See Figures 1 and 2. I arranged the countries into four groups: the rich non-Asians (US, UK, Israel) in column 1, rich Asians (Singapore, South Korea, Japan) in column 2, middle income ASEAN in column 3, and lower income ASEAN in column 4.

Consider also the following numbers from the Open Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS, It is a voluntary reporting system and is estimated to account for only 1% of vaccine injuries. It is built from the US’ Health and Human Services (HHS) data ( As of Sept. 10: there were, a.) 1,519,354 reports of vaccine adverse events, b.) 14,925 vaccine reported deaths, and, c.) 60,741 vaccine reported hospitalizations.

And during the Weekly Huddle of the Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDC PH) on Sept. 11, Dr. Jody Dalmacion, an epidemiologist and retired faculty member of UP College of Medicine (UPCM), said that the current numbers on VAERS are unprecedented in global medical history: a.) COVID-19 vaccine-related deaths in the US are 4,400, higher than all other vaccine-deaths in the last 20 years, b.) COVID-19 vaccine deaths in Europe are more than 10,000, c.) there are 14,000 hospitalizations.

The numbers in Figures 1 and 2, the Open VAERS data, and data from Dr. Dalmacion should be enough reasons for governments, including the Philippines, to pause and re-think their mass vaccination program while infections are either rising or staying at high levels.

CDC PH has been campaigning for early treatment, home-based treatment using old, proven, off-patent drugs like ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, melatonin, budesonide, and immune-boosting supplements to avoid hospitalization.

I am a COVID survivor myself. From the first day of symptoms to the “you’re already cured, you may stop your medicines except supplements Vit. C, D” pronouncement by my doctor-friends, it was 19 days. In my worst days — just walking 10 steps, bed to door and back, I was already desperate for air, with a cough with phlegm or a dry rapid-fire cough, etc. — I was taking up to four ivermectin tablets per day, plus various medicines and a hydrogen peroxide nebulizer, winding down to one tablet a day as I got better. After being cured, Doc Homer Lim, who is the new president of CDC PH and one of my doctors, said I could stop taking ivermectin as I have antibodies against the virus already, long-term protection against different variants.

CDC PH has turned one year old on Sept. 17. One year of tireless volunteer work to promote focused protection for the vulnerable, and early treatment for those with symptoms to avoid hospitalization. It will hold another big press conference on Sept. 30.

See also:
BWorld 503, Ten trends in fossil fuel taxation and power generation, September 07, 2021 
BWorld 504, Budget 2022, borrowings, and OCTA, September 10, 2021 
BWorld 505, ADB’s kill coal plan, government corporations, and power transmission, September 17, 2021.

Macroecon 14, Macro indicators, inflation rates in selected countries

Below, the top 10 largest economies in the world as of 2020, plus big and medium-size East Asian economies.

The PH is 3rd largest economy in the ASEAN, inflation rate in August 2021 at 4.9% highest in Asia big economies except India, budget deficit 2020 at -7.5% is mid-level in Asia, debt/GDP in 2020 at 53% also mid level in Asia.

Below, see the new "classmates" in inflation rate of the US under the new administration. Its former industrialized classmates (plus Vietnam) on the right.


See also:

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Energy 154, Europe rising energy prices, blackout threats, 40 reports

See these stories and reports about the folly of ditching fossil fuels in favor of intermittent wind (and solar) power, case of Europe especially UK. Thanks to TWPF/Benny Peiser for their "Net Zero Samizdat" email service, where many of the stories below were taken.

(1) Europe’s ambitious net-zero pledges hit home—with eye-watering energy bills 
BY  SOPHIE MELLOR  September 10, 2021 11:55 PM GMT+8  

The continent's gas crunch is causing extreme volatility, with the U.K. on Thursday seeing its electricity price jump 10-fold during one seven-hour period, to a record high of £2,300 ($3,180) per megawatt-hour (MWh), as Ireland, which regularly exports wind energy to the U.K., itself faced supply shortages.

(2) Energy Prices in Europe Hit Records After Wind Stops Blowing 
Heavy reliance on wind power, coupled with a shortage of natural gas, has led to a spike in energy prices
By Joe Wallace   Sept. 13, 2021 6:17 am ET 

(3) EU braced for pandemonium as Yellow Vests chaos to spread across WHOLE of bloc 
BRUSSELS has been warned of increasing discontent across the bloc over fears of EU-wide Yellow Vests protests.
By ALESSANDRA SCOTTO DI SANTOLO  08:38, Mon, Sep 13, 2021

The daily average price of electricity in the wholesale market broke a new historical record last month in Spain, reaching €124.45 per megawatt per hour (MWh).

Carbon dioxide is also getting ever more expensive in Poland topping €60 for a ton, 12 times more than four years ago.

(4) Europe’s Climate Lesson for America 
As wind power flags, energy prices are soaring amid fuel shortages.
By The Editorial Board  Sept. 14, 2021 6:32 pm ET  

Electricity prices in the U.K. this week jumped to a record £354 ($490) per megawatt hour, a 700% increase from the 2010 to 2020 average. Germany’s electricity benchmark has doubled this year. Last month’s 12.3% increase was the largest since 1974 and contributed to the highest inflation reading since 1993. Other economies are experiencing similar spikes.

(5) GWPF warns ministers not to draw the wrong lessons from Europe’s energy crisis 
Date: 15/09/21   Global Warming Policy Forum

As a matter of fact, policy-driven costs are much more important than market prices as is evident when US and European energy prices are compared. In fact, natural gas prices in Europe are more than three times as high ($18/MMBtu) as they are in the US ($5/MMBtu) where fracking is widely used and shale gas is cheap and abundant.

(6) UK electricity prices now most expensive in Europe

(7) Power prices soar after key electricity cable between UK and France catches fire
British electricity prices jumped by 19 per cent to £475 per megawatt hour on Wednesday
Holly Bancroft  September 16, 2021

The fire will reduce imports from France until the end of March 2022, the National Grid has warned. British electricity prices meanwhile jumped by 19 per cent to £475 per megawatt hour on Wednesday. 

(8) Europe Could Turn To More Coal If Gas Crunch Persists 
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Sep 16, 2021, 11:00 AM CDT

In the UK, now a non-EU country, surging natural gas prices and warm and still weather forced the country to fire up last week an old coal plant that was on standby in order to meet its electricity demand.

(9) Energy Crisis Worsens as Rally Hits Europe’s Industry Giants
By William Wilkes, Anna Shiryaevskaya, and Alex Morales
September 17, 2021, 11:00 AM GMT+8 Updated on September 17, 2021, 3:33 PM GMT+8

(10) September 2021 Energy Market Brief
UK Energy Prices Find New Market Highs, As Prices Continue Their Upward Trend

(11) Power Markets In Crisis
By Paul Homewood  SEPTEMBER 17, 2021

The National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios are based around up to 25 GW of interconnector capacity, which amounts to playing Russian Roulette with our energy security. As we have seen this month, when we are short of wind power, the rest of Northern Europe tends to be as well.

(12) UK Gas Price Surge Forces Key Industrial Sites To Close
By City A.M - Sep 17, 2021, 1:30 PM CDT

Two industrial sites that produce a combined 40 percent of the UK’s fertiliser have been forced to halt operations due to recent record gas prices. 

The Times reported that CF Industries had shuttered its plants at Billingham in Teesside and Ince in Cheshire as a direct result of the price spikes.

The closures came as gas prices hit record levels yesterday after a fire at a National Grid facility in Kent forced one of the UK’s crucial power interconnectors to close.

(13) Propane Prices Soar As Inventory Concerns Mount Ahead Of Winter 

(14) Major UK Fertilizer Plants Shuttered Due To Skyrocketing Natural Gas Prices 

(15) Fire At UK-France Subsea Power Cable Could Trigger Winter Blackouts
BY TYLER DURDEN   FRIDAY, SEP 17, 2021 - 02:45 AM

(16) UK Gas Crisis Stuns Poultry Slaughterhouses, May Trigger Higher Chicken Prices

(17) Skyrocketing Energy Prices Could Cripple Europe’s Economy 
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Sep 18, 2021, 6:00 PM CDT

CF Industries, a manufacturer of hydrogen and nitrogen products, said this week it was halting operations at both its Billingham and Ince manufacturing complexes in the UK due to high natural gas prices.

Norway-based Yara, one of the world’s top ammonia producers, is curtailing production due to the record-high gas prices.

(18) EU energy crisis: Brussels faces 'tough' reality check over 'challenging' green policy 
THE EUROPEAN UNION faces the risk a full-blown energy crisis as nations look to phase out fossil fuels to meet the bloc's green energy agenda, an expert has told
By SEBASTIAN KETTLEY  13:01, Sat, Sep 18, 2021

According to Craig Golinowski, managing partner at Carbon Infrastructure Partners (CIP), countries that have vowed to eliminate fossils fuels are at least 50 years out from achieving this goal.

He told "Human beings have not hit peak demand for coal. Oil and natural gas demand will grow for decades. There is no alternative to fossils fuels today, tomorrow and for decades to come.”

(19) Government races to save businesses as energy prices soar 
Food shortages looming after factory closures hit production
Ashley Armstrong, Retail Editor | Emily Gosden, Energy Editor
Saturday September 18 2021, 12.00pm BST

High energy prices prompted the closure of two fertiliser plants in northern England this week, leaving the food and drink industry facing a shortage of carbon dioxide, which is a byproduct of fertiliser manufacturing. The gas is critical to the production and transport of a range of products, from meat and bread to beer and fizzy drinks. It is also used in hospitals and nuclear power stations.

(20) Household bills will soar by more than £1,500 a year with families on the cusp of the biggest spending squeeze in nearly a decade, experts warn 
PUBLISHED: 22:52 BST, 17 September 2021 | UPDATED: 09:40 BST, 18 September 2021

'Perfect storm' of price and tax hikes could push family finances to the limit' 
Energy prices have rocketed this week leading to suppliers pulling deals
And inflation jumped from 2 per cent in July to 3.2 per cent last month

(21) Becalmed wind energy sector has UK turning to coal 
Lack of windy weather over the past two weeks has cut output from 11,000 turbines, which account for more than 20% of power generation
18 SEPTEMBER 2021 - 11:26

Calm weather over the past two weeks has cut output from the country’s 11,000 turbines, which account for more than 20% of electricity generation. Coupled with a Europe-wide gas shortage, the crunch has forced some companies to halt operations, which could hold back the economy if they become more widespread.

(22) Environmental hubris has left Britain vulnerable to Putin’s gas 
September 18, 2021

(23) Suicidal energy policy empower Britain’s enemies 
September 19, 2021

(24) Energy prices will push up inflation across Europe, economists warn 
Higher bills will hurt consumers and threaten the region’s post-pandemic economic recovery
Valentina Romei in London SEPTEMBER 19 2021

“Brace for a surge in eurozone gas inflation,” said Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. Rising energy prices will drive “an acceleration in the eurozone’s headline inflation,” added Daniel Kral, economist at Oxford Economics.

(25) UK energy groups ask for state ‘bad bank’ to weather gas crisis 
Minister holds emergency talks with regulator and suppliers as PM says problems are ‘temporary’
David Sheppard, Sylvia Pfeifer and George Parker in London, Laura Hughes in New York and Nathalie Thomas in Edinburgh  September 20, 2021

Kwasi Kwarteng, UK business and energy secretary, will today meet energy suppliers face to face amid fears that dozens of smaller challenger companies could go bust in the coming weeks because of record wholesale costs of natural gas and electricity.

(26) Gas Crunch Threatens UK Energy Industry With Wave Of Bankruptcies
By Irina Slav - Sep 20, 2021, 9:30 AM CDT

Since the start of the year, seven electricity suppliers in the country have gone under, Bloomberg reports, because of failing to hedge against price hikes. This meant that they sold electricity to clients at lower prices than the current ones. They must now buy it expensively and then sell it cheaply, which is the fastest way to bankruptcy.

(27) British energy firms fear collapse as Europe’s gas crisis sees prices surge 250%

The front-month gas price at the Dutch TTF hub, a European benchmark for natural gas trading, gained on Monday to trade at 73.150 euros ($85.69) per megawatt-hour, hovering close to the record high seen last week.

Since January, the contract has risen more than 250%.

(28) European Gas Prices Soar 10% As Russia Refuses To Open The Taps
By Julianne Geiger - Sep 20, 2021, 1:31 PM CDT

... Russian Gazprom has refused to allow more gas into Europe via Ukraine for October, sending prices soaring another 10 percent Monday. 

Russia’s move to keep flows to Europe at a minimum means the continent cannot store up ahead of the winter months. 

According to Bloomberg, European gas storage is only at 72 percent capacity--a point they have been reduced to at this time of year in over a decade. 

(29) Taxpayers face multibillion-pound bill to bail out failing energy firms, soaring bills AND empty supermarket shelves - amid fears dozens of gas companies could go to the wall in gas supply crisis 
PUBLISHED: 22:31 BST, 19 September 2021 | UPDATED: 07:57 BST, 20 September 2021

Taxpayers could be hit with bill as energy bosses try to ease soaring fuel costs 
UK's biggest power firms calling on Government to remove green subsidies
Comes as Government prepares to take over running small suppliers collapsing
Industry seeking a multi-billion-pound package from Government to help sector

(30) The Dangerous Rally In Natural Gas Prices 
By David Messler - Sep 20, 2021, 7:00 PM CDT

Europe and the UK pay a price for energy “Greening”

One factor is the "greening" of the energy supply around the world, particularly in Europe. Much of the current global environmental impetus culminating in the thinking of Co2 as a harmful gas has its origins on the Continent and has easily spilled over the Channel to the U.K. Over the last decade, European countries have shifted to wind and solar for electricity generation, in pursuit of Paris goals and NetZero carbon in 2050. They have paid a price for this greenness ass you can see in the chart below. By comparison, in much of the U.S. utility rates average around $0.13 per KWH.

(31) Enabled by Biden, Putin declares energy war on Europe 
by Tom Rogan, Commentary Writer |   | September 20, 2021 01:49 PM

… Gazprom booked only a third of available capacity through Poland and roughly a tenth of available capacity through Ukraine. This has sent energy prices soaring even higher, now above $900 per 1,000 cubic meters. Gazprom's move follows similar supply cuts earlier this summer… Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller is a Putin puppet risen from the Russian leader's old guard in St. Petersburg.

(32) THE SUN SAYS We should have got cracking with fracking to keep Britain powered and not surrender to eco protesters 
21:36, 20 Sep 2021Updated: 21:36, 20 Sep 2021  

So we banned fracking, closed power plants and let our nuclear energy ­programme decline.

Then we blithely committed to zero emissions by 2050, a laudable aim but without a thought given to how households will pay for it.

(33) Energy crisis could erupt into 'biggest political issue of decade', Tories warn 
September 20, 2021

The energy price crisis, broader inflationary pressures and a double-whammy of tax rises and benefit cuts threaten to create a challenging winter for Britons. A study by the Legatum Institute warned that ending the uplift to Universal Credit next month will push a further 800,000 people into poverty.

(34) Britain’s energy woes catch vulnerable sector in perfect storm
Suppliers have been battered by external forces but their plight also stems from policy flaws
Nathalie Thomas in Edinburgh and David Sheppard and Jim Pickard in London   21 September 2021

Five smaller suppliers have collapsed in the past six weeks, with four or five more expected to join them in the next 10 days as the industry is battered by unprecedented surges in wholesale electricity and gas prices. 

Observers are predicting as few as 10 suppliers will make it through the winter, implying 40 could go bust. Some executives have privately suggested the sector could go back to a big four, five or six companies.

(35) ‘Absolutely no question of lights going out’ this winter over hike in energy prices, cabinet minister says 
Government will not be ‘bailing out’ failed energy companies, business secretary adds
Ashley Cowburn  21 September 2021

(36) Energy crisis – live: Government strikes deal to restart CO2 production as price cap could rise by £178 
Chiara Giordano,  Celine Wadhera  September 21, 2021

Cornwall Insight’s researchers expect the price cap will be raised to £1,455 for the six months from the beginning of April next year.

This would be a 14 per cent rise from the already record-breaking £1,277 that customers will pay between October and April, and up £317 from current levels.

(37) British Steel warns of up to 50-fold increase in power prices 
Sylvia Pfeifer and Harry Dempsey in London  September 21, 2021

Steelmaking is highly energy-intensive; electricity costs can represent up to 20 per cent of the costs of converting the basic raw materials into steel. UK Steel, the industry association, said last week that some producers were suspending their operations for limited periods at peak times.

British Steel, which is owned by Chinese industrial conglomerate Jingye, said it was now being quoted a maximum price at peak times of “up to £2,500” per megawatt hour, compared with an average rate of £50/MWh in April.

(38) Energy price rises: Dozens of firms will be left to collapse 
Households face higher bills after ministers reject bailouts
Steven Swinford, Political Editor | Emily Gosden, Energy Editor
Tuesday September 21 2021, 9.05am BST

Ministers are instead considering underwriting billions of pounds in loans to cover the cost of companies taking customers from those that go bust. Suppliers that take these customers are expected to charge them the maximum allowed under the energy price cap at £1,277 a year for a typical household.

(39) EU Energy Crisis A Preview of Biden Policy, Critics Say 
by Chris Woodward September 21, 2021

“Europe’s experience is the product of foolish energy policy,” says Gordon Tomb, senior fellow for Pensylvania-based Commonwealth Foundation. “Germany, for example, moved away from fossil fuels and nuclear in favor of wind and solar and its electricity now costs twice that of France’s nuclear-generated power.

“Reliability and affordability of the electric system has to be paramount, even as we look at how we’re making this energy transition, which our members are fully engaged in,” Todd Snitchler of Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) told InsideSources.

(40) Power mad: Visions of an eco apocalypse have been used to justify a headlong charge to carbon zero for years... but this current crisis is a mere harbinger of the candle-lit future that awaits us if we do not change course, says MATT RIDLEY 
PUBLISHED: 22:34 BST, 20 September 2021 | UPDATED: 09:24 BST, 21 September 2021

But the root of the crisis lies in the monomaniacal way in which this government and its recent predecessors have pursued decarbonisation at the expense of other priorities including reliability and affordability of energy. 
Yet this crisis is a mere harbinger of the candle-lit future that awaits us if we do not change course. 
Energy is not just another product: it’s what makes civilisation possible.

Related stories: 

(1) Germany: Coal tops wind as primary electricity source 
In the first half of 2021, coal shot up as the biggest contributor to Germany's electric grid, while wind power dropped to its lowest level since 2018. Officials say the weather is partly to blame.
September 13, 2021

In total, conventional energy sources — including coal, natural gas and nuclear energy — comprised 56% of the total electricity fed into Germany's grid in the first half of 2021.
Coal was the leader out of the conventional energy sources, comprising over 27% of Germany's electricity. 

(2) “Insulate Britain” Climate Activists Blamed for Motorway Crash
Eric Worrall  September 16, 2021

(3) WATCH: Climate Loons ‘Insulate Britain’ Block off Parts of UK’s Busiest Motorway for Second Time This Week

(4) What climate emergency? Norway’s new socialist government expected to keep drilling for oil and gas 
Date: 15/09/21  Global Warming Policy Forum

(5) Norway to hold firm on oil, gas, energy transition under new government 
Author  Nick Coleman,  Editor    Richard Rubin

(6) BP’s Renewable Projects Continue To Post Losses
By Charles Kennedy - Sep 20, 2021, 11:30 AM CDT

Earlier this year, BP sold 20 percent of its 60-percent stake in a gas block in Oman to Thailand’s national oil company for US$2.6 billion as part of its plan to receive US$25 billion in divestment proceeds by 2025.  

(7) World’s Biggest Battery In California Overheats, Shuts Down 
By Daniel Khmelev September 15, 2021 

See also:
Energy 151, Coal at $160/ton, electricity price spikes in Europe, August 07, 2021 
Energy 152, BWorld Insights on RE and Nuclear; Global news on renewed coal, gas demand, August 26, 2021 
Energy 153, High natgas and coal prices, September 10, 2021.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Covid 56, Dr. Jody Dalmacion on vaccine development, breakthrough infections, herd immunity

These are my screen shots of Doc Jody Dalmacion talk at the Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDC Ph) weekly huddle last week. The full program here, enjoy.

CDC Ph Weekly Huddle, Sept 11, 2021
“We Don't Want To Say, We Told You So”, 


See also:
Covid 54, Dr. Jody Dalmacion on vaccine, Ivermectin, other Covid treatments, August 29, 2021 
Covid 54, Boycott and discriminate Joey Concepcion businesses, September 07, 2021 
Covid 55, Vax injuries, some testimonies and news reports, September 11, 2021.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Macroecon 13, More economic damages of strict indefinite lockdown

Former NEDA Secretary Ciel Habito wrote in his column at PDI last Sept. 14 "Pathetic laggard", about the Philippines as back to being the "sick man of Asia."

He cited our low FDI level, lower agriculture growth, compared to our neighbors in the region. But one thing missing -- he not mention the hard, strict, indefinite lockdown as a major reason for being the "sick man of Asia."

Sure the virus also hit TH, ID, MY, SG, CM, JP, KR, ... But how come their economic contraction in 2020 were lower than PH (at -9.6%)? Some of them already had growth in Q1 2021 while PH has -4.2%. Perhaps because Ciel also supported the hard lockdown?

It is true that the PH has low FDI, low agri growth compared to neighbors. But despite those, PH was adding some P1.1 trillion/year (real prices) in GDP size.

PH's GDP size in 2020 was P17.5 trillion, lower than 2018's P18.2 trillion and nearly touched 2017's P17.3 trillion (at constant 2018 prices), numbers in Table 2,

The PH's Q2 2021 GDP size of P4.2 trillion was lower than Q2 2018's P4.7 trillion, lower than Q2 2017's P4.4 trillion, and nearly reached Q2 2016's P4.1 trillion. All at constant 2018 prices.

I have a feeling that with these endless dictatorial lockdowns, curfew and vax discrimination, Q3 2021 will again be lower than Q3 2018's P4.4 trillion, might approximate  Q3 2017's P4.1 trillion.

Two important reports recently: 

(1) Sales, profits fall amid lockdown 
Louella Desiderio  September 14, 2021 | 12:00am

The PwC MAP 2021 Philippine CEO survey presented to the media yesterday showed 70 percent of the CEOs said their average daily sales and profits declined by at least 10 percent each time the country is placed under a lockdown.

Conducted from July to August, the survey had 178 CEOs as respondents, the highest number so far.

(2) Moody’s downgrades PHL growth forecast 
Luz Wendy T. Noble  September 17, 2021 | 12:33 am  

MOODY’S Investors Service once again cut its economic growth forecast for the Philippines to 4.8% this year, citing the impact of stricter lockdowns and the sluggish vaccine rollout on recovery.

Moody’s latest estimate is slower than the 5.8% it gave in July, which was also downgraded from the original 6.3% target. It falls within the government’s 4-5% full-year growth target.

On (1), similar to NEDA estimates of impact of ECQ, etc.

Source: Weekly impact of lockdowns in NCR plus - BusinessWorld (, August 27, 2021.

And this screen shot of Mr. Lacson interview, July 29, 2021.

On (2), if Moody's projection 4.8% growth 2021 is correct, then GDP level 2021 will be P18.34 trillion, similar to 2018 level P18.26 trillion. Three years of econ performance erased despite popn rising by 5 M people.

Note that 2020 GDP level P17.53 trillion was slightly higher than 2017 level P17.18 trillion.

I think that 99% of all economists in this country have supported the prolonged lockdown even if they knew 100% that such policy will shrink the economy hard. Some even rejoiced and commended "burning down our ships to the ground." That only vax-vax-vax is the solution, no natural immunity, no Ivermectin or HCQ or other proven and old but repurposed drugs.

Meanwhile, the vax-vax-vax countries, have they succeeded in reducing high infections and cases? From these countries below, the answer is NO.

Their vaccination rates as % of population as of September 14, 2021:

UK 71.0%, Germany 66.1%;
Israel 68.9%, Iran 27.0%;
Japan 64.7%, Malaysia 66.1%.

I included Iran above despite its low vax rate because it's the country in the MidEast with the largest number of cases and infections.

So the persistent lobby and pressure towards mass vaccination is more political, not medical move. To justify those countries' huge budget for vax procurement and logistics (transpo, storage, etc), the indefinite lockdown, mask mandate.

End the lockdown. End the mandatory vaccination pressure.

See also:
Macroecon 10, Inflation rates June 2021 of the US, PH, July 14, 2021 
Macroecon 11, PH budget 2022 initial numbers, July 28, 2021 
Macroecon 12, August 2021 inflation rate highest since Dec. 2018, September 07, 2021.

BWorld 505, ADB’s kill coal plan, government corporations, and power transmission

* My column in BusinessWorld, Sept. 13, 2021. 

The past two weeks, these stories in BusinessWorld caught my attention: “ADB studying feasibility of acquiring, retiring coal plants in PHL” (Aug. 30), “DoF to support shift to low-carbon energy production” (Aug. 31), “ADB urged to rule out investment in fossil fuel” (Sept. 2), “Gov’t think tank backs stimulus to be directed to ‘green recovery’” (Sept. 2).

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is planning to acquire coal power plants in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia, and retire them early, to be replaced by renewables like biomass, solar, and wind. This a joint lobby by European countries and four private finance institutions — Prudential UK, Citi, HSBC and BlackRock.

How much will they spend for this? They will be spending $16 billion to $29 billion for half of Indonesia’s coal capacity, $9 billion to $17 billion for Vietnam’s, and $5 billion to $9 billion for the Philippines’.

The Department of Finance (DoF), the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), and many environmental NGOs jumped in to support the ADB plan. These institutions and groups are blind to certain facts so they made that irrational proposal.

One, they repeatedly bully smaller Asian economies like the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia but not China and India. For instance, the combined coal consumption of these three countries in 2019 was 6.21 exajoules (1 EJ = 277.78 terawatt-hours), which was only 33.4% of India’s and 7.6% of China’s coal consumption.

Two, the coal consumption of these five Asian countries contributed to their huge expansion. They relied on cheap, stable coal power, and their 2019 consumption is 3.7 times to 24 times their 1990 coal consumption.

Three, by way of contrast, three large European countries — Germany, Italy, and the UK — shrank their coal consumption in 2019 to only 0.1 to 0.5 times their 1990 level, and their GDP expansion was only 1.7 times to 2.4 times in 2019 what it had been in  1990.

Four, in comparison also with two other European countries, Poland and Turkey, that keep their coal consumption high, their GDP expansion was 3.7 times to 9.6 times from 1990 to 2019 (see Table 1).

The ADB plan, when finally implemented, will not happen right away, of course. It will take several years. But ADB and its partners will appear hypocritical about their pronouncements on economic recovery. How can countries have sustained economic recovery when there are frequent blackouts, with the big manufacturing plants, hotels, and malls running their own gensets? At night, more blackouts mean more road accidents, more rapes, murders, and other crimes.

Last week, this column discussed the 2022 budget and huge borrowings (, Sept. 6). We follow this up with the huge budgetary subsidy of many government corporations — they are supposed to contribute to the national treasury but are seeking high taxpayers’ subsidies instead. For instance, the Social Security System (SSS) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) got subsidies of P51 billion and P38 billion in 2020.

The subsidy to Department of Energy (DoE) corporations are nearly six times the budget of the DoE itself. Many losing and failing private electric cooperatives are being subsidized by taxpayers via the higher budget allotted to the National Electrification Administration (see Table 2).

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., better known as PSALM, is supposed to bring more billions to the Treasury via the privatization of the remaining government-owned power plants, but instead, PSALM will seek P16 billion this year and next year. Why?

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is very strict in regulating the competitive power generation sector, but is lax when it comes to huge monopoly power transmission. There are many transmission issues, newly commissioned power plants that are not sufficiently connected to the grid, and yet the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) hardly gets a strict warning or regulations from the ERC.

The Philippines has huge outstanding public debt — P7.73 trillion in 2019, P9.80 trillion in 2020, P11.73 trillion in 2021, P13.4 trillion in 2022. How to reduce this and avoid large-scale tax hikes in the coming years?

One alternative is to have large-scale privatization of many government corporations. Candidates are those listed above, and others with huge total assets (2022 levels): the National Transmission Corp. (TransCo), P324.86 billion; the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), P1.16 trillion; and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), P1.607 trillion.

See also:
BWorld 502, My whole family got COVID, August 29, 2021 
BWorld 503, Ten trends in fossil fuel taxation and power generation, September 07, 2021 
BWorld 504, Budget 2022, borrowings, and OCTA, September 10, 2021.