The Generation Professionals Group is for utility professionals who work in biomass, coal, gas/oil, hydro, natural gas, or nuclear power generation fields. 


It looks like a long month of the dreaded "Dunkelflaute" is finally drawing to a close with winds returning to Germany

image credit: Schalk Cloete
Schalk Cloete's picture
Research Scientist, Independent

My work on the Energy Collective is focused on the great 21st century sustainability challenge: quadrupling the size of the global economy, while reducing CO2 emissions to zero. I seek to...

  • Member since 2018
  • 1,015 items added with 421,727 views
  • Dec 20, 2022

It looks like a long month of the dreaded "Dunkelflaute" is finally drawing to a close with winds returning to Germany. This is just one of the many problems ( with the green ideal, especially applicable to Northern regions: No matter how much capacity is installed, there will always be times when wind and solar generate very little power for weeks on end.

The push to greater electrification will only make this problem worse. For example, transitioning from gas boilers to heat pumps will strongly increase winter peak load, requiring expensive expansions of transmission and distribution networks and backup power plants to secure supply during the Dunkelflaute. Electric vehicles also become considerably less efficient in winter, adding further load at the least convenient times.

How will the 55 GW of generation from coal, gas, and nuclear be replaced during weeks of wind-still winter in mid-century Germany? Batteries are a complete no-go for energy storage over such long timescales and power-to-H2-to-power will be super expensive due to the low round-trip efficiency and the cost of storing hydrogen. Most probably, natural gas and even coal will stick around much longer than green advocates envision.

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Dec 27, 2022

I suspect the future for the average European citizen will continue to deteriorate and become bleak as Europe becomes an economic backwater more or less subservient to China, which will become the world’s superpower.

Unlike Europe, China is not mindlessly embracing the  “zero” carbon dogma of the green energy religion. The world’s goods will be produced primarily in China at costs far lower than Europe can possibly match. Europe will not produce anything of particular value, leading to mass unemployment.

A similar bleak future will also overtake the U.S., but at a slower pace. We do have the necessary energy natural resources. However, those resources are being strangled to death by the corrupt Democratic Party that uses federal money to subsidize the green energy mafia. That powerful crime syndicate then feeds the subsidies back to Democrats and a few Rhino Republicans. All this revolves around politicians that become more powerful (richer) because they can buy elections and can never be removed from office. This power also allows the corrupt to takeover the government

A far-fetched right-wing conspiracy claim? Maybe not. The above analysis is based on the simple logic of “follow-the-money” and greed. “Green Energy” is just the latest embodiment of similar corruptive influences that have periodically erupted. Simply put, the elite use their power to feed off everybody else, thus further enriching the elite. Has occurred at various intensities throughout history.

Seem like a hopeless situation? In the U.S., term limits would help curb the corruption. Europe, however, is likely doomed to violence, as has occurred there on-and-off (including now in Ukraine) for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Dec 28, 2022

Two points regarding the predicted (and obviously hoped for)  imminent demise of Europe and elsewhere:

1. Offshore wind is far less vulnerable to «Dunkelflaute» than land based wind. Development of offshore wind resources has started in earnest. The US is showing signs of joining in. They better do so soon or risk falling badly behind Europe, China and Japan. The Inflation Reduction Act seems to have gotten the ball rolling.

2. There is no shortage of natural gas. Far from it. I wish there were. There’s plenty left to cook the planet. Europe’s mistakes were failing to develop alternative sources of gas and relying on French nuclear. Giant gas fields are already available in Mediterranean countries. Plenty more are available in Asia/Pacific as well as North and South America, not to mention the Middle East. The danger is that bringing those sources to Europe, once the infrastructure to do so is complete (in 2023-24), will crater the price of gas and threaten to stall investment in renewables.

Of course, the new portability of natural gas will encourage formation of cartels to control prices.

It is to be hoped that Europe and the US press ahead with replacing fossil fuels with renewables, free itself from fossil fuel cartels and the inevitable destabilizing boom-bust cycles of price and supply,  as well as catastrophic climate change and all of its repercussions.

However, I do agree with you on two (and only two) points:

«All this revolves around politicians that become more powerful (richer) because they can buy elections and can never be removed from office. This power also allows the corrupt to takeover the government.»


«In the U.S., term limits would help curb the corruption.»

Elections (so far) may yet serve to put the US on a better track.

The rest will have to be discussed in a more appropriate forum.


Schalk Cloete's picture
Thank Schalk for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network® is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »