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Putin, Ukraine, and Air Raid Drills
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Waragainstsleep
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Feb 27, 2022, 01:00 AM
 
Slightly surprised theres no thread already but on the other hand what is there that needs saying?

I can't decide whether or not I think Putin is losing the plot. He's always seemed like a very calculated lunatic rather than an unhinged one if that makes sense. But when I think it through he's been in charge of an ultra-corrupt government for a very long time. Its difficult to imagine a more stressful job anywhere. Especially for someone who must have been ultra-paranoid before he even started. And he was KGB before he was president. That level of stress over that many decades must take a toll. He's getting on too. The idea he is cracking at last shouldn't be dismissed.

Its hard to see where this will end up. He's threatened Finland and Sweden already and there are Russian troops massing near the Polish border in Belarus.If he invades Poland then NATO will have to step in with force. Russia's military isn't as big as most people think any more. In a conventional war against all of NATO and Ukraine, they lose pretty easily. The wildcards in that situation are China and nukes.
If China joins Russia then hello WW3. I'm not sure theres enough in it for them to do that. If they don't and Russia start to lose, then Putin's mental state comes into play because if he knows his days are numbered he will launch missiles. Or try to. Hopefully someone will put him out of our misery first.
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reader50
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Feb 27, 2022, 02:04 AM
 
I've heard the theory that (like many autocrats) Putin has surrounded himself with yes men. With the help of their echos, he's become convinced of his own version of reality.

ie - most Ukranians long for the old USSR, and will cheer on his invasion forces. The EU will be paralyzed by arguing, Trump will keep the US confused with BS + fast footwork, and the rest of the world will admire his audacity.

The real danger to the world will come when reality doesn't cooperate. If Ukraine holds out, the RU economy tanks, or something else happens. Putin has committed over 50% of Russian combat forces to Ukraine. That leaves few reserves anywhere else. Like those southern states with Islamist rebel problems. Or if Georgia wants its land back.
     
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Feb 27, 2022, 04:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I can't decide whether or not I think Putin is losing the plot. He's always seemed like a very calculated lunatic rather than an unhinged one if that makes sense.
I have gotten into a friendly arguments with good friends of mine who called Putin crazy. I don’t think he is crazy nor is he cracking. He is executing on a very long term strategy that started over 7 years ago. I have heard that Putin has used that time to harden his economy against sanctions by amassing foreign currency and the like.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Its hard to see where this will end up. He's threatened Finland and Sweden already and there are Russian troops massing near the Polish border in Belarus.If he invades Poland then NATO will have to step in with force. Russia's military isn't as big as most people think any more. In a conventional war against all of NATO and Ukraine, they lose pretty easily. The wildcards in that situation are China and nukes.
I don’t think Finland, Sweden, Romania or Poland are on the table. Putin knows that this will trigger Article 5 and a full-scale response from NATO. I reckon that “at best” a smaller country like Lithuania or Moldavia is on Putin’s agenda, but I think he knows that if he does this now, this will cascade into a full scale war.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
If China joins Russia then hello WW3. I'm not sure theres enough in it for them to do that.
China has, as far as I can tell, been very cautious, they have not cheered Russia on. According to the characterization on German news, their statement on Chinese evening news was subdued and equivocal. To me that makes sense: China knows its economy depends on exporting stuff that is produced in the name of other, often Western companies in China. A cold or hot war between NATO and Russia is not in their interest.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I've heard the theory that (like many autocrats) Putin has surrounded himself with yes men. With the help of their echos, he's become convinced of his own version of reality.
Yes, although I think these aren’t yes men in the way your post suggests: IMHO they are true believers who know their place. They know that their wealth is tied to Putin being in power: they are billionaires now, but if a new person comes to power, they’d likely lose everything.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
ie - most Ukrainians long for the old USSR, and will cheer on his invasion forces.
I know quite a few Ukrainians, including some from the predominantly Russian-speaking part, and that doesn’t jive with my experience. Perhaps there is selection bias going on (I was dealing with people who either emigrated from Ukraine or were living abroad for a longer period), but it seems that most of the Ukrainian citizens in the parts that were under Ukrainian control don’t long for a return to the USSR.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
The EU will be paralyzed by arguing, Trump will keep the US confused with BS + fast footwork, and the rest of the world will admire his audacity.
I’d say it is even more complicated than that: yes, the EU is quite paralyzed in wanting to make hard decisions, but in the past this arrangement has worked very well. Just have a look at the Iranian nuclear deal, the US brought the stick and the EU smoothed out the discord. President Biden’s did IMHO the same thing here: I think it was no coincidence that Germany, France, the US and other players all sounded like they were of different opinions, I think they wanted to have different avenues to Russia. Germany’s offer to leave the Nordstream 2 pipeline in limbo was an olive branch that was supposed to entice Russia back to the negotiating table.

But the US is not without blame either. Trump’s infamous phone call to Zelensky resulted in nothing rather than impeachment. And from the last few years, most countries have gotten the impressions that even long-time allies (like the Kurds) are left out to dry when convenient, i. e. you can’t count on the US either. The US and Europe still support some authoritarian regimes (like Saudi Arabia or, economically at least, China) but condemn others. There is no moral clarity in our politics. If you look at Europe, they are preparing in silence for a withdrawal (of will and intent) of the US — but they aren’t doing a very good job at present.

IMHO this is an onion of failures on all ends. We can start our debate in the 1990s, 2000s, 2013, 2016 or 2021. I find it extremely hard to even formulate my position, because I don’t feel like I know and understand what I should in order to have an informed opinion.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
The real danger to the world will come when reality doesn't cooperate. If Ukraine holds out, the RU economy tanks, or something else happens. Putin has committed over 50% of Russian combat forces to Ukraine. That leaves few reserves anywhere else. Like those southern states with Islamist rebel problems. Or if Georgia wants its land back.
Right now the only natural allies of Putin’s Russia are other authoritarian regimes in the region. Other countries that are degraded democracies with autocrats in power (Poland and Hungary come to mind) lean towards the EU.


In my mind we should start playing the long game, too:
  • Resist the temptation to be led by your gut feeling at the moment. We should not let anger cloud our judgement. Russia is a nuclear superpower.
  • Most importantly, we should get our effing priorities in order. Like Russia the West has been repeating mistakes over and over and over again. I’d argue that since WW2 none of the wars started by the West have been righteous affairs. The US — with implicit or explicit support from its allies — has deposed people that it considered inconvenient or ideologically not compliant. Most of these were started with near-term goals and with little regard to the long-term strategy or long-term ramifications. The reason why the Western side won the post-WW2 order was the US’s soft power, not its military arsenal. The US was on the right side of history, and arguably, the Western side more prosperous after WW2. Japanese POWs were surprised that they were treated well by their American captors, for example.
  • We should be clear about what our choices are, and not let our actions be dictated by a bruised ego. If the price for avoiding global nuclear war is Ukraine, we should calculate very carefully what the price for each option is.
  • We should accept any and all Ukrainian refugees. That might be millions. Many of those will not forget what Putin’s Russia did to their country and they will be staunchly in the pro-Western camp.
  • Western governments should simply accept the fallout in terms of e. g. raised energy prices and stunted economic growth.
  • Putin is getting old: he is 69, so these are his last years and he knows it. I believe he wanted to get Ukraine back into the fold before he steps down/is stepped down.
  • A chance will present himself when the power struggle for Putin’s succession ensues. Many of his lieutenants are of similar vintage (Lavrov is 71), the youngest is Medvedev is 56, so perhaps he is one of the candidates.
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Feb 27, 2022, 07:55 PM
 
Just to add to the bullet point: I heard a very apt phrase on Dan Carlin’s podcast, “legislating under the influence”, referring to the period immediately after 9/11. I am not sure whether he is the one who has coined the term, but I found this a very good description of what has happened. We should be cautious and not repeat the same mistakes here.
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Laminar
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Feb 28, 2022, 02:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I have gotten into a friendly arguments with good friends of mine who called Putin crazy. I don’t think he is crazy nor is he cracking. He is executing on a very long term strategy that started over 7 years ago.
I assume that plan involved getting Trump reelected. Can you imagine the absolute shitshow if Trump was still in charge and the world couldn't count on the US to resist Russia at least a little bit.?
     
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Feb 28, 2022, 07:36 PM
 
So far, FIA have cancelled the F1 Russian Grand Prix, FIFA/UEFA have suspended all Russian national teams and clubs from competition, and the International Ice Hockey Federation have kicked-out both Russia and Belarus.

Shell has announced they are pulling out of the Nord Stream 2 project, and is looking to sell all of its stakes in Russian oil and gas projects.

BP announced it is dropping it’s @20% stake in the Russian government-controlled oil company Rosneft.

The Norwegian energy company Equinor announced they are exiting all of their Russian ventures, valued at approx. $1.2 billion.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 1, 2022, 07:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I assume that plan involved getting Trump reelected. Can you imagine the absolute shitshow if Trump was still in charge and the world couldn't count on the US to resist Russia at least a little bit.?
It’d be worse, but the seed of doubt has been sown already. I think Trump — or a Trump-like character — does have a good chance of winning the next Presidential election.

Moreover, if I put my German/EU hat on, the US sort-of withdrawing has been a theme that’s been going on for decades. Let me preface everything I write that I don’t want to compare Trump, whose presidency was singular, to other recent US Presidents directly. But a common theme for the last 20+ years has been that Americans (as in the American electorate) wants to withdraw from parts of its role. George W. Bush ran on a “more humble foreign policy”, Obama wanted to withdraw from the Middle East, Trump’s idea was much more extreme with “America first”. While President Biden set out to rejuvenate the US international connections, he was part of the Obama administration and he has had some serious missteps (the failed French-Australian submarine deal comes to mind and the way it was handled). The EU has taken steps (albeit too few and too slowly) to react to that.

Just to be clear, Europe has also had lots of missteps, and we can talk about those, but we should talk about them separately.

Now I think Russia’s media disinformation strategy was not necessarily about getting one candidate elected over another. I have read numerous times that Russian-paid trolls were on both sides of many arguments. Trump becoming President was clearly a treat for Putin, you have someone who is incompetent with no long-term strategy and no interests in sight but his own versus someone who grew up in the tradition of Cold War chess players.
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reader50
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Mar 1, 2022, 03:16 PM
 
I've been reading and hearing several times that Putin seems different to people who have dealt with him in the past. CNN video page giving French insights after presidential calls between Macron and Putin.

Edit: CNN never posted the video to YouTube, so no embed. Sorry.

It's had me wondering.
• Perhaps Putin has lost it while in isolation during Covid. Reportedly he's mostly been locked up in a private bunker at one of his homes outside Moscow.
• Perhaps medical conditions affecting his judgement. He's 69 years old. Alzheimer's comes to mind.
• Or perhaps, he's been diagnosed as terminal. If he wants to reestablish a Russian empire, he's almost out of time. And has to act now.

I've been thinking the most about #3 - Putin is dying and needs to rush his dreams. But it could be any of those items. Or a combination. Even all three.
( Last edited by reader50; Mar 16, 2022 at 04:30 AM. Reason: video update)
     
subego
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Mar 1, 2022, 03:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Reportedly he's mostly been locked up in a private bunker at one of his homes outside Moscow.
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Mar 1, 2022, 03:34 PM
 
YouTube blocks RT and Sputnik in Europe.
Better late than never, I guess.
     
Doc HM
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Mar 1, 2022, 04:11 PM
 
I can’t see how this ends long term in Russias favour.
It’s obvious they lack force in depth with their military (their entire military budget is on a par with Italy I read). Clearly the Ukrainians are not welcoming them in as they (Putin) seems to have expected.
Do the Russians have the money and forces to effectively occupy Ukraine for year after year. They aren’t going to be able to instal a puppet regeime that the west or Ukrainians will accept.
Can they suppress an effective Ukrainians resistance without becoming so brutal even their own soldiers revolt.
I suspect the Russian military will call time on this before Putin does and where does that leave him. Will the army have to put him down?
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subego
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Mar 1, 2022, 04:17 PM
 
My totally uninformed hot-take is they’ll only keep the heavily separatist regions near Crimea. I was kind of surprised they went for the brass ring in the first place.
     
Thorzdad
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Mar 1, 2022, 04:36 PM
 
     
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Mar 1, 2022, 08:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
It's had me wondering.
• Perhaps Putin has lost it while in isolation during Covid. Reportedly he's mostly been locked up in a private bunker at one of his homes outside Moscow.
• Perhaps medical conditions affecting his judgement. He's 69 years old. Alzheimer's comes to mind.
• Or perhaps, he's been diagnosed as terminal. If he wants to reestablish a Russian empire, he's almost out of time. And has to act now.
I don’t know about this.
Putin is 69, so now is his last chance to do something impactful (to put it neutrally) one way or another. In 5 years the question of his succession will be looming large even if he is as healthy as an ox.

Also, Putin’s behavior, if true, isn’t so different from what many rich people in the West (including e. g. Silicon Valley billionaires) have pursued. Many of them are surrounded by Yes Men (Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey come to mind) who don’t have the spine or the power to say no.

I think you can make a good argument that trying to restore part of Russia’s former Soviet glory (in Putin’s eyes) was a long-term goal of Putin. Not just people like Gary Kasparov have been telling us what Putin is up to for over 10 years, but if you listened to Putin’s early speeches, I think you can make a good argument that this was his plan all along. Of course, we can argue is whether Putin is misjudging the consequences. But even here, I am not sure whether we’d have to suggest cognitive decline. The US thought it could invade Iraq and Afghanistan and “bring peace” to the region. Especially when it comes to Afghanistan, they just needed to open a very-recent history book of the region.

I’m not arguing against this to put any of Putin’s behavior into a different, “better” perspective. I’m doing this, because I think we have to deal with people whose mental acuity is still sharp-as-a-tack differently from someone who is losing grip on reality.
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Mar 1, 2022, 10:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I have gotten into a friendly arguments with good friends of mine who called Putin crazy. I don’t think he is crazy nor is he cracking. He is executing on a very long term strategy that started over 7 years ago. I have heard that Putin has used that time to harden his economy against sanctions by amassing foreign currency and the like.
Its so hard to know whats true coming out of this situation but I've heard a rumour that the US say there is evidence he is ill. I didn't hear if it was mental or physical but a dying Putin is a worrying proposition.
Again, who knows what the truth is but Russian banks have been limiting withdrawals of foreign currency which is in short supply either because they are limiting distribution or because they've run out. Its expensive too. And I think they banned people taking more than $10k out of the country or something like.
I know Visa and Mastercard have cut off payments, has anyone heard anything about Paypal or Western Union?


Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
China has, as far as I can tell, been very cautious, they have not cheered Russia on. According to the characterization on German news, their statement on Chinese evening news was subdued and equivocal. To me that makes sense: China knows its economy depends on exporting stuff that is produced in the name of other, often Western companies in China. A cold or hot war between NATO and Russia is not in their interest.
I can't see that China has done more than agree to allow Putin to bluff with them standing in the background. If it came to actually dragging them into any conflict theres nothing in it for them really. I certainly hope they wouldn't stand for him starting a nuclear war.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Yes, although I think these aren’t yes men in the way your post suggests: IMHO they are true believers who know their place. They know that their wealth is tied to Putin being in power: they are billionaires now, but if a new person comes to power, they’d likely lose everything.
If he starts genuinely hovering over that big red button, I think his yes men will conclude very swiftly that they stand a better chance of holding onto their wealth if it isn't radioactive dust. Maybe they'll even agree amongst themselves who will take over and in a perfect world they'll decide they can make more money in the long run by making friends with the west. Send all the engineers and construction companies they can acquire into Ukraine to help rebuild gets them good will and they can pay themselves another fuckton of government cash. Reclaimed from Putin's stash maybe.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I’d say it is even more complicated than that: yes, the EU is quite paralyzed in wanting to make hard decisions, but in the past this arrangement has worked very well. Just have a look at the Iranian nuclear deal, the US brought the stick and the EU smoothed out the discord. President Biden’s did IMHO the same thing here: I think it was no coincidence that Germany, France, the US and other players all sounded like they were of different opinions, I think they wanted to have different avenues to Russia. Germany’s offer to leave the Nordstream 2 pipeline in limbo was an olive branch that was supposed to entice Russia back to the negotiating table.
I think the point was that Putin expected minimal resistance from Ukraine and disorganised arguing amongst the EU. What he has got is serious resistance from Ukraine (their social media game is beyond spectacular too if you haven't been watching) and Europe has united against him with tremendous coherence and severe sanctions. Even the Swiss have frozen Russian assets.

So Russian success is not there yet, casualties are way higher than anticipated, sanctions are biting harder than he thought, the world is turning against him en mass and his only options are pretty much unthinkable for him because they make him look weak. He thinks a lot like Trump only he's actually smart. Beyond the smart though he has that ego and insecurity that means he's too stubborn to back down. Ultimately he's done for no matter what. Its a question of when not if. And how many other people he takes with him.


Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Right now the only natural allies of Putin’s Russia are other authoritarian regimes in the region. Other countries that are degraded democracies with autocrats in power (Poland and Hungary come to mind) lean towards the EU.
I get the impression the Poles are deeply unimpressed. Hungary is more sympathetic due to its own right wing dictator being in charge, same for Belarus but even both of them have started to switch sides to some extent. Belarus is likely to get sanctioned soon if it hasn't been already for letting him invade via their territory.
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Mar 1, 2022, 11:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Its so hard to know whats true coming out of this situation but I've heard a rumour that the US say there is evidence he is ill. I didn't hear if it was mental or physical but a dying Putin is a worrying proposition.
Completely agreed. I would just caution against putting too much stock in stories that lack evidence, just because it would feel good. It would feel good for some if Putin invaded Ukraine, because he went “crazy” or became “senile” or “sick”.

On the other hand, many people insist that Joe Biden is senile, too, and these are almost always people who disagree with him. And sometimes the same people (illogically) claim that Biden has too much power over them.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I can't see that China has done more than agree to allow Putin to bluff with them standing in the background. If it came to actually dragging them into any conflict theres nothing in it for them really. I certainly hope they wouldn't stand for him starting a nuclear war.
Completely agreed. And in view of the similarities between Ukraine and Taiwan, I think it would be advantageous for them if Putin hadn't tested the West. Unlike the Russians, China's economy has grown from trade with the West, and I think China's leadership believes the stability of its oligarchy depends on delivering a growing economy (to keep the people happy). If the Chinese economy craters, I could easily see China fracturing.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
If he starts genuinely hovering over that big red button, I think his yes men will conclude very swiftly that they stand a better chance of holding onto their wealth if it isn't radioactive dust. Maybe they'll even agree amongst themselves who will take over and in a perfect world they'll decide they can make more money in the long run by making friends with the west. Send all the engineers and construction companies they can acquire into Ukraine to help rebuild gets them good will and they can pay themselves another fuckton of government cash. Reclaimed from Putin's stash maybe.
You make a very astute observation here: people in the upper echelons of the current Russian system are “only” rich* — and that includes Putin and his family. You might be rich, but if you piss of Putin, you might lose everything. And Putin is only rich for as long as he is in power, afterwards all of his wealth might be gone. Given the animosity he has caused, I don't think he can just retire in some nice country where he and his family reside in a fenced compound surrounded by luxury.

I hope you are right that the self-preservation instinct kicks in, and I think your scenario is quite possible.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I think the point was that Putin expected minimal resistance from Ukraine and disorganised arguing amongst the EU. What he has got is serious resistance from Ukraine (their social media game is beyond spectacular too if you haven't been watching) and Europe has united against him with tremendous coherence and severe sanctions. Even the Swiss have frozen Russian assets.
Yes, and this is where Putin made a biiiig mistake: even if Ukraine surrenders, I don't think he will be able to hold onto it apart from the Russian-speaking parts that have been under Russian control for long. Just ask Soviet vets of Afghanistan or Americans on how well the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan went. And the US spent a lot more money than Russia ever can.

My feeling is that this will bring all the countries neighboring Ukraine into the European fold, especially smaller countries. They will ask for EU troops to be stationed there for the foreseeable future. If you are from Europe, you realize how big a deal this is, the idea of German troops in your country and asking Germany to please take a more active role isn't something that many thought was ever desirable and more of a over-my-dead-body-type of deal.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
So Russian success is not there yet, casualties are way higher than anticipated, sanctions are biting harder than he thought, the world is turning against him en mass and his only options are pretty much unthinkable for him because they make him look weak.
My expectation is that over the next few days or weeks, the capital and Charkiv (not sure about the spelling in English) will fall. Both cities are relatively close to Russia, which leaves the interior. I expect Putin to not spare the population, I think he thinks he must win this at all cost. President Zelenski will be captured and/or killed, but this will make him a martyr. Putin will try to hold on to Ukraine, but whatever good will he has had from a share of the population, I think most of it is gone now. Russia will not be able to hold Ukraine. Perhaps the occupation will last 1 year, 5 years or 20 years, but I don't think it is sustainable.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
He thinks a lot like Trump only he's actually smart. Beyond the smart though he has that ego and insecurity that means he's too stubborn to back down. Ultimately he's done for no matter what. Its a question of when not if. And how many other people he takes with him.
To me Trump's defining feature is his narcissism, and I am not sure whether Putin is a narcissist. He has his insecurities, clearly, he wants to be seen as a strong manly man, as someone who kills bears with his bare hands before breakfast. More than smart, I think he has shown to be capable. This invasion has been over 8 years in the making, at first with small steps where he still had plausible deniability.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I get the impression the Poles are deeply unimpressed. Hungary is more sympathetic due to its own right wing dictator being in charge, same for Belarus but even both of them have started to switch sides to some extent. Belarus is likely to get sanctioned soon if it hasn't been already for letting him invade via their territory.
Poland likewise has a very weak democracy due to the long-time rule of the Kacinski brothers and their PiS party. Like Hungary, they are strongly at odds with the EU over their lack of a functioning democracy, which is why I counted them among the list. It will be interesting to see how both countries will react and what prices they are willing to pay to rekindle their relationship to the EU. (One of the reasons why it was impossible for the EU to impose sanctions on Poland or Hungary is that this required unanimity of the remaining member states — and Poland would object to Hungary being punished and vice versa.)

I think Macron's push for a European army will see renewed interest. I am sure this idea will appeal to the German government for many reasons, e. g. to have access to France's nuclear umbrella and not being seen as the Germany from 110 or 85 years ago.
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Mar 2, 2022, 04:50 AM
 
Worth noting that Germany has already chosen to massively increase its defence/military spending after decades of refusing to do so. Another unseen consequence of Putin's vanity project war.
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Mar 2, 2022, 04:52 AM
 
Just read that Apple has ceased sales and limited services in Russia.
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Mar 2, 2022, 08:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Worth noting that Germany has already chosen to massively increase its defence/military spending after decades of refusing to do so. Another unseen consequence of Putin's vanity project war.
True, and since this is supported by a center-left government, it has buy-in from all parties but one (the Left Party). But even the Left Party has acknowledged that its view of the situation pre-invasion was completely wrong. So I expect that this will stick for at least a generation. However, given the dilapidated state of the military (most of German military equipment isn’t operational, including main battle tanks and helicopters), a sensible first step is to get the stuff that Germany has running.

Part of me is concerned, though, I’m a pacifist at heart. Not a blind pacifist, but I believe countries that have weapons find it tempting to use them.
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Mar 2, 2022, 09:31 AM
 
Visa and Mastercard have blocked Russian banks from their system.

Euroclear has stopped accepting payments in rubles.
     
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Mar 3, 2022, 03:39 AM
 
Good to see the UK’s post Brexit flexibility being used to advantage here. While the US and EU sanction Russian businesses and businessmen(Germany just got itself a new super yacht) the UK is “drawing up a list” that the prime minister won’t comment on specifically, and getting ready to implement its “world leading” sanctions… in around 18 months time.
Should give Abramovich (who switched from trying to hide Chelsea FC to selling it) and others plenty of time to off load those fortunes to where they can redonare a portion back to the Conservative party after all this “inconvenience” Blows over.

Yay us!
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Mar 8, 2022, 04:09 AM
 
It seems like we might be missing a piece of the puzzle here.
Pre invasion the EU paid Russia €190 million for gas and oil.
Now that we have some small sanctions to “cripple the Russian economy” the EU is sending €620 million a day thanks to the increase in oil prices. I’m not sure how long the Russian economy will be able to sustain this terrible windfall for?

Also, the worlds supply of oil and gas hasn’t changed. Neither has the demand. If the west stops buying Russian oil the Russians will sell it elsewhere (China, India) which would leave their current supplies available. It’s just a financial merry go round with the oil companies reaping huge rewards.

War! What is it good for? Absolutely no… err wait a minute.
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Mar 8, 2022, 08:23 AM
 
Haven't you heard? In the US President's top left drawer there's a secret Gas Price box with up and down buttons. Trump, being an empathetic, sincere, down-to-earth Man of the People, faithfully, with the help of Jesus Christ, hit that Down button, keeping the price of gas low for all of the good, honest, hard-working Americans. The Communist Comrade Biden, being a pedophelic, senile, out-of-touch, coastal elite, holier-than-thou, rich, 1% moron who is beholden to Russia, has been absolutely mashing that Up button in a direct, concerted effort to tear America apart and defile its entire structure while taking a shit on all of the statues of the Founding Fathers.

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Mar 8, 2022, 02:48 PM
 
The dress bargains make it all worthwhile though.
     
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Mar 8, 2022, 02:49 PM
 
It's sure a pity that the Trucker Convoy is spending all that money on gas right now.
     
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Mar 8, 2022, 07:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
It seems like we might be missing a piece of the puzzle here.
Pre invasion the EU paid Russia €190 million for gas and oil.
Now that we have some small sanctions to “cripple the Russian economy” the EU is sending €620 million a day thanks to the increase in oil prices. I’m not sure how long the Russian economy will be able to sustain this terrible windfall for?
That’s gonna be the thing to watch out for: if Europeans stop oil and gas deliveries, they’ll start to get serious-serious.
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Also, the worlds supply of oil and gas hasn’t changed. Neither has the demand. If the west stops buying Russian oil the Russians will sell it elsewhere (China, India) which would leave their current supplies available. It’s just a financial merry go round with the oil companies reaping huge rewards.
Maybe, but I think it is also an infrastructure problem. Germany, for instance, does not have enough gas terminals to accept gas transported by ship. They are set up to use pipelines. I reckon it’ll be similar on Russia’s end.
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Mar 9, 2022, 04:24 AM
 
The question of sanctions that force the likes of Microsoft and SAP to shut down Russian customers infrastructure is an interesting one. Could potentially cripple a few banks and airlines from what I gather.
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Mar 9, 2022, 05:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The question of sanctions that force the likes of Microsoft and SAP to shut down Russian customers infrastructure is an interesting one. Could potentially cripple a few banks and airlines from what I gather.
While full scale oil and gas sanctions currently look like a step too far for European countries that have addicted their economies to Russian fossil fuels, sending the country back to the pre internet age seems like a good replacement strategy.
I would like to see a LOT more talk about how to spin up renewables rather than jumping straight to “frack more” “pump more” “burn more”. The lesson is, control your energy supply. Germany has got this so so wrong post Fukushima.
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Mar 9, 2022, 01:08 PM
 
Anyone know how hard it would be to spin Germany's reactors back up? Those would release a lot of natural gas from power-plant use, for home heating instead. Lowering the total gas demand.
     
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Mar 9, 2022, 07:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Anyone know how hard it would be to spin Germany's reactors back up? Those would release a lot of natural gas from power-plant use, for home heating instead. Lowering the total gas demand.
I don’t think electricity is the main issue, but heating: AFAIK France predominantly uses electricity to heat its homes whereas in many places in Germany you use gas. On the other hand, Germany has been a net exporter of electricity for years, but even if there were a deficit, it could be plugged by importing electricity from abroad.
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
While full scale oil and gas sanctions currently look like a step too far for European countries that have addicted their economies to Russian fossil fuels, sending the country back to the pre internet age seems like a good replacement strategy.
Yup, and the slowing expansion of renewables and insistence to keep coal power plants running (which are the most expensive) during Merkel’s rain really bites Germany in the rear-end. Commentators seem to focus on Germany exiting nuclear power and its high energy prices, but I think that shows they don’t really understand what has happened in Germany. Renewables have consistently been the cheapest source of power for many years now, coal being the most expensive and nuclear being very expensive. What is worse, rather than looking to satisfy domestic demand, Germany has kept polluting coal power plants online even though Germany was exporting electricity to other countries, including France when it was forced to shut down several of its nuclear power plants because of overheating issues. (So much for nuclear power being a reliable source not impacted by climate change.)
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
I would like to see a LOT more talk about how to spin up renewables rather than jumping straight to “frack more” “pump more” “burn more”. The lesson is, control your energy supply. Germany has got this so so wrong post Fukushima.
Yes. Renewables are cheaper and we have been dragging our heels here. The technology is here. It is cheaper and very often the cheapest source of electricity. We just need to do it.

The German conservatives and the Liberal Party (= our libertarians) are getting on board now, because not switching towards renewables has become a national security risk.
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subego
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Mar 9, 2022, 08:41 PM
 
I mentioned this in the weather thread. Solar and wind aren’t consistent. They’re great supplemental sources, but using them as main sources shoots reliability to hell.

Also, slight detail. France could have kept their reactors running, but it would have caused ecological damage from overheating the rivers they use for cooling.
     
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Mar 9, 2022, 08:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Renewables have consistently been the cheapest source of power for many years now, coal being the most expensive and nuclear being very expensive.
I'm all for renewables, but they take years to roll out. While that goes on, nuclear plants that already exist might be turned on in weeks. To kill Russian oil and/or gas exports, you need alternate power sources that are available "soon". The EU plans to be free of Ru fuels by 2030. I'm sure Putin is loosing sleep already.

Nuclear is very expensive to build, but cheap to operate once it's built. Increasing the electric supply immediately relieves pressure from gas-fueled power plants, and would allow citizens to switch to electric heating wherever practical. If it's enough to cut EU gas usage by 30%, then they can shut off all Russian gas imports immediately.
     
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Mar 9, 2022, 11:00 PM
 
If it helps analysis, here’s the current EIA cost breakdown. It’s for North America, but I’m guessing it’s comparable for France and Germany.

https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/ass.../table_8.2.pdf
     
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Mar 9, 2022, 11:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I'm all for renewables, but they take years to roll out. While that goes on, nuclear plants that already exist might be turned on in weeks.
I'd look at this at different time scales: if there is an immediate lack of electricity, can it be covered by other means? E. g. Germany could import electricity from other countries. But for the long game, renewables need to be built out now for many reasons. I think it is realistic to go from 51 % now to 80+ % in 10 years. For comparison, renewables had an energy share of just 17 % in 2010.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
To kill Russian oil and/or gas exports, you need alternate power sources that are available "soon". The EU plans to be free of Ru fuels by 2030. I'm sure Putin is loosing sleep already.
The bigger issue is heating and energy prices. Replacing furnaces in people's homes happens on the time scale of decades, so there is no quick fix here.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Nuclear is very expensive to build, but cheap to operate once it's built. Increasing the electric supply immediately relieves pressure from gas-fueled power plants, and would allow citizens to switch to electric heating wherever practical. If it's enough to cut EU gas usage by 30%, then they can shut off all Russian gas imports immediately.
It is not clear to me that it is even necessary to switch old reactors back on or extend operating permissions. Just to be clear: I think you can make a very reasonable argument that you should switch off coal and gas power plants first, and only then nuclear power plants.

But these decisions were made for political reasons similar to the US: somehow 20,000 coal workers have much more political clout than the renewable industry that was decimated by various decisions (e. g. the German photovoltaics industry was sacrificed to protect German car manufacturers selling cars in China).
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I mentioned this in the weather thread. Solar and wind aren’t consistent. They’re great supplemental sources, but using them as main sources shoots reliability to hell.
That's not really an issue for several reasons: first of all, the power grid of much of Europe is connected, so you can transfer power from one country to another without any difficulties. Yes, you might have less wind in a region, but not across a whole continent. Like I pointed out above, Germany has been exporting electricity. The other two factors are a smarter grid, which is being built now, that allows for more transport of electricity across large distances and offshore wind farms that have much more stable winds.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Also, slight detail. France could have kept their reactors running, but it would have caused ecological damage from overheating the rivers they use for cooling.
I know: they were shut off to prevent damage to the ecosystem in the rivers in accordance to environmental regulations. That seems like a worthwhile criterion to me and of practical relevance.
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Mar 9, 2022, 11:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If it helps analysis, here’s the current EIA cost breakdown. It’s for North America, but I’m guessing it’s comparable for France and Germany.

https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/ass.../table_8.2.pdf
Yes, broadly speaking it seems they are comparable: photovoltaics and onshore wind are the cheapest, offshore wind is more expensive than those two, but still cheaper than nuclear power. Hydro power is relatively cheap, but is not an option in many places. (In Canada it seems so common that confusingly people say “hydro” (as in bills) when they mean electricity.)

The only caveat is that Germany's energy grid is moving away from a base load-mid load-peak load-based grid to a grid that can transport energy more flexibly with more delocalized energy production.
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Mar 10, 2022, 12:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
That's not really an issue for several reasons: first of all, the power grid of much of Europe is connected, so you can transfer power from one country to another without any difficulties. Yes, you might have less wind in a region, but not across a whole continent. Like I pointed out above, Germany has been exporting electricity. The other two factors are a smarter grid, which is being built now, that allows for more transport of electricity across large distances and offshore wind farms that have much more stable winds.
The farther you have to push the electricity, the less efficient it is.

Renewables are cheap, except for offshore wind. Saltwater is a bitch, and you have to push it far.

Didn’t Germany have the capacity to spare to France because it’s kept its coal-powered generators operational?
     
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Mar 10, 2022, 01:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The farther you have to push the electricity, the less efficient it is.
It is a tradeoff, yes, but one that seems worth making. We transport gas and oil over long distances, too. The US has several wind corridors, too, where it would make sense to produce electricity. Due to the lower population density, it would be even easier. Surplus power could be stored in hydrogen that is expected to have lots of applications, too, e. g. in steel mills and perhaps for long-range transport with trucks and other commercial vehicles.

Renewables also tend to delocalize energy production. Ideally, Germany should expand wind power everywhere. But most states (especially conservative-led states) have blocked the expansion with so-called 10h rules: wind mills must at least be a distance of ten times their height to the nearest dwelling. Basically, that excludes 99 % of the area. This was one of the main reasons why expansion of wind power has ground to a halt in recent years. Subsidies for solar panels were also reduced and then stopped, too. Dumb decisions that bite us in the rear end.

Another barrier are big power companies: in a delocalized power grid, they are losing power.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Renewables are cheap, except for offshore wind. Saltwater is a bitch, and you have to push it far.
Which is one of the reasons offshore wind is more expensive. As far as I understand, the cost structure is closer (but not identical to) a bigger “traditional” power plant, i. e. more upfront investment and you need experts to take care of them.

But wind patterns are more stable at coasts, so it is still a worthwhile investment, I think. Countries like Denmark rely a lot on offshore wind and have gained a lot of experience with it. Ditto for Chile. I asked the daughter of a friend (who is an environmental engineer and builds wind and solar parks in the Chilean desert) if earthquakes were an issue, and surprisingly, she said no.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Didn’t Germany have the capacity to spare to France because it’s kept its coal-powered generators operational?
Yes, that's what I mentioned earlier, too. Germany has been exporting electricity for years. We have been polluting the planet for a quick buck. If it focussed on satisfying domestic demand only, it could have shut down several coal power plants. For the same reason, there were no problems when Germany temporarily shut down all nuclear power plants after 3/11. No brownouts or blackouts, nothing.

IMHO all coal power plants should be shut down now. They are by far the dirtiest way to produce electricity.

Coming back to the situation, I think it is important to keep a few carrots in the basket for Russia. Gas seems like an important carrot.
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Mar 10, 2022, 01:34 AM
 
I see “focus on satisfying domestic demand only” as incongruent with “depend on our neighbors to make up for the unreliability of renewables”.
     
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Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
IMHO all coal power plants should be shut down now. They are by far the dirtiest way to produce electricity.
How does Texas (for example) do this? Their grid is chronically on the edge of collapse.
     
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Mar 10, 2022, 02:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
But wind patterns are more stable at coasts, so it is still a worthwhile investment, I think.
Oh, I totally agree. It’s purely a question of reliability.

The ideal use of a non-hydro renewables as I see it is that when the weather is cooperative we can spin-down the polluting methods. The way offshore wind fits into that is it lets us spin-down more often. This does not change its status from supplemental to primary.
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Mar 10, 2022, 03:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
How does Texas (for example) do this? Their grid is chronically on the edge of collapse.
As far as I understand, the Texan grid is largely separate from the power grid of the rest of the United States, because Texas. (No stupid federal regulations for Texans!) For example, the issues last winter came from the fact that Texan energy facilities (also, but not limited to renewables) were not sufficiently winterized. And because the Texan grid is separate, this demand could not be met by important electricity from out of state.

That is in contrast to Europe's power grid, which is tightly integrated across the entire continent. There exists a “stock exchange for electricity” that allows power companies to buy and sell electricity virtually on the market. I would also suspect that the regulations that apply to power plants and the power grid in Europe are much more stringent than in Texas.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Oh, I totally agree. It’s purely a question of reliability.

The ideal use of a non-hydro renewables as I see it is that when the weather is cooperative we can spin-down the polluting methods. The way offshore wind fits into that is it lets us spin-down more often. This does not change its status from supplemental to primary.
It is not necessary to spin anything up and down. Denmark got over 86.4 % in 2020 of its power from renewables, mostly wind. In 2017, 50 % of the total power was generated from wind turbins. And Denmark did not have a power problem in recent years that I am aware of: you flip your light switch and the light switches on. This idea that you need to spin things up and down is a myth.

I expect that a key piece to a smart grid are new and affordable forms of energy storage like battery farms. They are much better than old peak power plants, they can react in fractions of a second rather than of the order of seconds.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I see “focus on satisfying domestic demand only” as incongruent with “depend on our neighbors to make up for the unreliability of renewables”.
I think you conflate a systematic lack of capacity with short-term fluctuations: you always have short-term fluctuations, even with old-style power plants, that need to be compensated for. That's why relatively expensive peak power plants exist in the first place: electricity is much more expensive, but they are necessary to satisfy demand or take power out when there is additional or less demand. In principle, renewables do not change much here, just that the fluctuations are larger and is not completely under our control (you can switch wind mills off or reduce the power you take out, but you cannot make the wind blow).

The second and completely separate issue is a net lack of capacity to satisfy demand. And here it is France, the country with tons of nuclear power plants, that has notoriously had to import electricity from abroad. Whereas Germany, the country that is shutting down its nuclear power plants has been a net exporter for years. Reducing excess capacity (and letting our neighbors know) is not in contradiction to anything or selfish, this should be done to reduce the number of emissions. But that does not have to come at the expense of our ability to mitigate intermittent and localized fluctuations in demand.

You keep on bringing up one point that I do not see any evidence for, namely that renewables are much more unreliable and that this causes essential problems. Wind patterns are quite stable, and since wind power plants are sufficiently spread over a wide geographic region, you can make good guesstimates in terms of averages. Ditto for photovoltaics, I think it is relatively predictable when they will be delivering electricity and when they won't. An important point about photovoltaics is that they actually decrease the load on the power grid, because houses with photovoltaic cells on their roofs simply have to take less (or no) electricity from the grid.
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Mar 10, 2022, 01:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I'd look at this at different time scales: if there is an immediate lack of electricity, can it be covered by other means? E. g. Germany could import electricity from other countries. But for the long game, renewables need to be built out now for many reasons. I think it is realistic to go from 51 % now to 80+ % in 10 years. For comparison, renewables had an energy share of just 17 % in 2010.
There may be a misunderstanding here. I'm advocating to build renewables as fast as possible. In addition to turning the nuclear plants back on. Not instead of.
Originally Posted by OreoCookie
The bigger issue is heating and energy prices. Replacing furnaces in people's homes happens on the time scale of decades, so there is no quick fix here.
Electric spot heaters. Most people have them. And often, some supplemental heat is all you need. Today, if you plug in electric heat instead of gas, you just increase demand on a fossil fuel plant somewhere. With a good chunk of that fuel coming from Russia.
Originally Posted by OreoCookie
Just to be clear: I think you can make a very reasonable argument that you should switch off coal and gas power plants first, and only then nuclear power plants.
Yes, exactly. Turn the nukes back on now, encourage citizens to use more electric heat and less gas heating (as practical and as citizens are willing). And retire the fossil fuel load today instead. If you can just reduce gas demand by 30%, you can stop buying from Putin. Today. When it will help Ukraine, instead of in 5-10 years.
     
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Mar 10, 2022, 04:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
And because the Texan grid is separate, this demand could not be met by important electricity from out of state.
The analysis I read (which of course is not gospel) said this had very little to do with the problem. Neighboring regions were also on the ropes from the storm and had no extra capacity to spare. If they shared with Texas, they risked collapsing their own grid.

Even if that particular analysis is incorrect, the scenario is plausible and needs to be taken into account when judging reliability. Just like the wind may not be blowing that day, or there’s thick cloud cover, a neighbor may not juice to spare.

Phun phact: during the Texas storm, nuclear was far and away the most reliable.
( Last edited by subego; Mar 10, 2022 at 04:56 PM. )
     
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Mar 10, 2022, 04:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You keep on bringing up one point that I do not see any evidence for, namely that renewables are much more unreliable and that this causes essential problems.



For evidence, look at any competent reliability assessment.

Every single one I’ve ever read presents low-output scenarios for regions which make extensive use of wind and solar.
     
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Mar 10, 2022, 08:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
There may be a misunderstanding here. I'm advocating to build renewables as fast as possible. In addition to turning the nuclear plants back on. Not instead of.
What would nuclear power plants be necessary for if they are more expensive and have a whole host of other disadvantages?
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Electric spot heaters. Most people have them.
Not in Germany. German houses are almost exclusively heated by hot water radiators. If you are really fancy, you have floor heating. I don’t think I have seen any electric spot heaters. And relying on spot heaters would cause a lot of issues: most German houses are well-insulated, and if you don’t keep the walls at a high enough temperature, you get problems with mold and such.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Today, if you plug in electric heat instead of gas, you just increase demand on a fossil fuel plant somewhere. With a good chunk of that fuel coming from Russia.
Right. But I think it is fair to say that the transition will take time. However, apart from substantial price hikes I don’t think Germany will have people freezing to death if push comes to shove.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Yes, exactly. Turn the nukes back on now, encourage citizens to use more electric heat and less gas heating (as practical and as citizens are willing). And retire the fossil fuel load today instead. If you can just reduce gas demand by 30%, you can stop buying from Putin. Today. When it will help Ukraine, instead of in 5-10 years.
At least in my mind this is just an argument about how to transition to 100 % renewables with no nuclear power plants in the end. You seem to want to keep nuclear power going, correct? If so, why?
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Mar 10, 2022, 08:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The analysis I read (which of course is not gospel) said this had very little to do with the problem. Neighboring regions were also on the ropes from the storm and had no extra capacity to spare. If they shared with Texas, they risked collapsing their own grid.
The issue with Texas wasn’t renewables, it was lack of preparedness for cold temperatures. Being able to draw from other power grids helps stability, too, although you are right that other grids were also under stress.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Even if that particular analysis is incorrect, the scenario is plausible and needs to be taken into account when judging reliability.
Reliability of what? You seem to be under the impression that it was lack of winter readiness of renewable power plants even though renewables only had a marginal impact in Texas.

Have a look at the final report by FERC, the relevant federal agency. I quote:
Originally Posted by Final Report by FERC
Notably, a combination of freezing issues (44.2 percent) and fuel issues (31.4 percent) caused 75.6 percent of the unplanned generating unit outages, derates and failures to start. […] Natural gas-fired units represented 58 percent of all generating units experiencing unplanned outages, derates or failures to start. The remaining portion was comprised of wind (27 percent), coal (6 percent), solar (2 percent) and other generation types (7 percent), with four nuclear units making up less than 1 percent. […]
[*] 87 percent of unplanned generation outages due to fuel issues were related to natural gas, predominantly related to production and processing issues, while 13 percent involved issues with other fuels such as coal or fuel oil.[*] Natural gas fuel supply issues were caused by natural gas production declines, with 43.3 percent of natural gas production declines caused by freezing temperatures and weather, and 21.5 percent caused by midstream, wellhead or gathering facility power losses, which could be attributed either to rolling blackouts or weather-related outages such as downed power lines.
So most of the outages were due to natural gas plants and frozen equipment, not because of renewables. Photovoltaics were almost as reliable as nuclear power plants in that storm. The way I understand “freezing issues with equipment” was that it was the ancillary equipment that was disabled, not the power plant itself.

It is also important to note that gas power plants provide about twice the power that wind power does in Texas.
Originally Posted by subego View Post


For evidence, look at any competent reliability assessment.

Every single one I’ve ever read presents low-output scenarios for regions which make extensive use of wind and solar.
I’m the one who is confused.
Does Denmark, which generates >50 % of its electricity with wind power have any issues? Do Germany or Chile have issues with their power grid because of their reliance on renewables? I have not heard of any substantial problems due to the shift towards renewables in developed countries. Have you?
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Mar 10, 2022, 10:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
What would nuclear power plants be necessary for if they are more expensive and have a whole host of other disadvantages?
To retire fossil fuel load today, instead of later. So Russian imports can be cut off today, instead of later. The plants are already built and paid for too. Why fund Putin's war, when you can flip a few switches?

Originally Posted by OreoCookie
Not in Germany. {spot heaters}
I'm not referring to built-in spot heaters. Rather, the portable plug-in variety. There are numerous styles (including fan-forced). They're inexpensive, and readily available in stores. At least in the USA. The pictured one is $90, but I've seen compact ones under $20.



Originally Posted by OreoCookie
At least in my mind this is just an argument about how to transition to 100 % renewables with no nuclear power plants in the end. You seem to want to keep nuclear power going, correct? If so, why?
Apparently I'm not arguing well - I haven't stated any opinion on what to do with Germany's nuclear plants once 100% renewables are available. Instead, I'm arguing the time-value of people's lives in Ukraine, and the time-value of cutting carbon emissions sooner rather than later.

Once renewables can handle 100% of the load, in 2030 or whenever, do whatever you like with the nuclear plants. Use them for target practice if you like (remove everything dangerous first). People are dying in Ukraine today. Putin needs to have his revenue cut today. You have a carbon-neutral power source available today, which can reduce Russian fuel imports. Maybe enough for Europe to OK a full sanction on Russian oil and gas exports.

We all know how big projects go. Getting Europe to 100% renewables may happen a year sooner than projected. Or three years later. In the end, you'll get there. But some things are more time sensitive. The sooner Russians gets a leash on Putin, the more lives will be saved. And the more secure all of Europe will be from random attacks.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 10, 2022, 11:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
To retire fossil fuel load today, instead of later. So Russian imports can be cut off today, instead of later. The plants are already built and paid for too. Why fund Putin's war, when you can flip a few switches?
Look, you are preaching to the choir: I'm in favor of shutting down oil and gas imports, and let the chips fall where they may. Perhaps my comments suggest otherwise, but I just wanted to explain the reasoning for e. g. keeping Nordstream 2 in limbo.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I'm not referring to built-in spot heaters. Rather, the portable plug-in variety. There are numerous styles (including fan-forced). They're inexpensive, and readily available in stores. At least in the USA.
I know. We have one at home (in Japan), also from De Longhi, and this time of year use it every night in our bedroom. (Even though our home was built in 2016 and we are living pretty far up north, the insulation is non-existent and only our living room/kitchen is heated by an AC. They are no match for large hot water heaters, it'd the fan equivalent of an asthmatic mouse coughing. On 220 V, I think they max out at 2,200 or 2,300 W off the top of my head. Ours in Japan has 1,200–1,300 W on 110 V (not sure). Perhaps in an emergency these might work, but it is not a long-term solution.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Apparently I'm not arguing well - I haven't stated any opinion on what to do with Germany's nuclear plants once 100% renewables are available. Instead, I'm arguing the time-value of people's lives in Ukraine, and the time-value of cutting carbon emissions sooner rather than later.
Like I said, I am in favor of that.
My sense is that politicians are afraid of the backlash due to the higher prices. They seem to find 100 billion € to modernize our military, but have trouble ponying up a few billion to compensate for these things.

Just to give you an idea, think of US politics. Imagine if Biden drives that point home very hard and manages to convince Europe to stop importing oil and gas from Russia. I think this will invariably drive up gas prices. Many Republicans will push for that option, and then turn around and scold Biden for high gas prices in the mid-terms. Biden knows this, of course, it is not his first Rodeo. The situation in Germany is better, parties are much more about consensus rather than exploiting situations like this.

I still think stopping imports is the right move, but we should put ourselves in the shoes of politicians to understand the practical difficulties.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
We all know how big projects go. Getting Europe to 100% renewables may happen a year sooner than projected. Or three years later. In the end, you'll get there. But some things are more time sensitive. The sooner Russians gets a leash on Putin, the more lives will be saved. And the more secure all of Europe will be from random attacks.
Agreed.
Even though people like I have been arguing for that point for years, now that dependence on oil and gas has become a national security issue, it gets buy in from the conservative party.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Mar 11, 2022, 12:08 AM
 
Getting a little off topic here maybe.

I read Putin sacked 8 of his generals for failing to conquer Ukraine fast enough. I have to think that will begin to motivate others in his administration to think about removing him.
Can't help but think he might have lost any appetite for further invasions, at least in the short term. Another invasion would surely provoke a military response from Nato and I don't think he wants that any more.
So now I wonder how this ends if Putin doesn't escalate outside of Ukraine and NATO doesn't get sufficiently appalled to step in with force. Does he get left alone to grind Ukraine slowly to dust?
I wonder if a few more hospital bombings and some public pressure might inspire NATO to call his bluff by enforcing a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
subego
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Mar 11, 2022, 12:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The issue with Texas wasn’t renewables, it was lack of preparedness for cold temperatures. Being able to draw from other power grids helps stability, too, although you are right that other grids were also under stress.

Reliability of what? You seem to be under the impression that it was lack of winter readiness of renewable power plants even though renewables only had a marginal impact in Texas.
There’s some confusion here.

You said we should drop coal.

I asked how does Texas accomplish this.

You cited interconnects, and noted the impact the lack of interconnects had during Uri. <—This is what I’m challenging.

I cited an analysis I read which said neighboring regions had no electricity to spare during Uri. Interconnects wouldn’t have helped.

I said nothing about renewables causing the failure of the Texas grid (though their failure didn’t help), what I said was interconnects wouldn’t have fixed the problem (in contrast to your claim).
( Last edited by subego; Mar 11, 2022 at 02:21 AM. )
     
 
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