Monday, May 28, 2012

If You're Wrong By 1,333%, Should You Correct Your 'Mistake'?


The following is based on a story that pogge has been commenting on for some time now....


Not long ago Mr. Gwyn Morgan, wrote a piece in the Globe and Mail belittling solar power efforts generally, and Germany's efforts specifically, noting that the latter country only generates a miniscule 0.3% of its power from the sun. The title of Mr. Morgan's piece was "The Sorry Lessons Of Green Power Subsidies" and much of it was based on information gleaned from a 'study' from a 'scholar' of the Fraser Institute, upon which he, Mr. Morgan, sits as a director.

Here is the lede from Mr. Morgan's Globe piece that was published on April 29th of this year:

A recent study, co-authored by Fraser Institute energy economist Gerry Angevine, found that Ontario residents will pay an average of $285-million more for electricity each year for the next 20 years as a result of subsidies to renewable energy companies....

And here is the paragraph on Germany:

"...Several European countries began doling out subsidies nearly a decade ago. Germany has given away $130-billion, mostly to solar-power companies. Yet solar power makes up a minuscule 0.3 per cent of German power supply, while doing almost nothing toward the original objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions..."

But here's the thing...

It turns out that, with that Mr. Morgan's '0.3%' figure for Germany was off by more than an order of magnitude (ie. more than ten times).

On the low side.

Eric Kirschbaum of Reuters has the goods in the backstory to a recent solar power success story from Germany:

German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity - through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.

The German government decided to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, closing eight plants immediately and shutting down the remaining nine by 2022....

{snippety doo-dah}

Germany has nearly as much installed solar power generation capacity as the rest of the world combined and gets about four percent of its overall annual electricity needs from the sun alone...."

Please note, that 4% number is the real deal as it is based on 'overall annual' electricity needs, sans cherry-picking.

So, using fourth grade math.... 4.0/0.3 X100% = 1,333.3%.

Which is pretty far wrong don't you think?

And then if you go the cherry-picker route (which we did not in our header)...

Again from the Reuters piece:

"...(T)he 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour fed into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50 percent of the (German) nation's midday electricity needs."...

Well, if  take that 50% number, and reverse cherry-pick without context the way certain, oh I dunno, 'scholars' at vested interest-funded think-tanks sometimes do accidentally, but never, of course, on purpose, well....

Some might say that the good Mr. Morgan was actually off, at least in the singular moment it was happening (eg. at midday, on the weekend when overall consumption is low), by more than...

 ....15,000 percent.



The real issue here is that the story from Reuters strongly suggests, based on real, actual data with hard production numbers them behind them, that Germany's green subsidy programs are really and truly making it possible for that country to start powering-up alternatively.

And, ya, that kind of thing does cost money.

But, I for one, am willing to spend more (see Mr. Morgan's lede at the top of the post) on something that helps gets us off the teats of the greenhouse-gas emitters that are cooking our world to a crisp for no good reason at all.

Now, given all that.

Perhaps this is the time for readers, not to mention editors, of The Globe everywhere to ask themselves the following:

Does the good Mr. Morgan himself have any vested interest in keeping us suckling at the pig whose soft economic underbelly houses all those noxious teats?

Again, just asking.




Anonymous said...

Harper's greed comes first, to the point to where, logistics have totally abandoned him. He pitches fits and tantrums, saying foreign countries are giving money to groups, trying to stop the dirty tar sands oil. In fact, Oliver calls them terrorists.

In Durban at the meeting of the Nations for global warming. There was deep concern about climate change. Harper attended the meeting, to try and bully other country's into accepting the dirty oil. He also embarrassed us in Copenhagen. He pulled Canada out of the Kyoto Accord.

Canada should be investing in renewable energy. A company in Vancouver has found, Vanadium is an excellent substance to store renewable energy. Harper could be in a panic, to get the dirty oil to China. China has an abundance of Vanadium.

karen said...

I don't know a single thinking person who does not roll their eyes when confronted with a report by The Fraser Institute. It is all so clearly biased, even before one begins to check the facts. I found it endlessly amusing (but only in order not to cry) to read a post this last winter on Sixth Estate about the members listed on the FI board who are actually dead.

Anonymous said...

Fraser Institute writers:

The Province on May 25th, and The Vancouver Sun on ..... May 25th,...

The Province article was written by Mark Milke, a Senior Fellow, on "How to unclog holiday highways" Toll Them!"

The Vancouver Sun article was written by Joel Wood, an Economist, on "Congestion pricing is needed"... for our highways

Tag teaming Fraser Institute writers be damned!

WAC Bennett removed tolls because he wanted to open up development, his son, Bill put the tolls on the Coquihalla and then he got a bridge named after him.

Next year, Christy's Port Mann Bridge will be costing motorists $30 a week just to drive in from the Valley, to work in Metro Vancouver....

RossK said...


Vested interests are him?



I'm sure it was all just an oversight on their part. Afterall, the fine folks at the FI would never think of trolling for estate dollars, right?

(great site you have by the way - added to blogroll; thanks for stopping by)


But you won't have to pay the tolls on Feb 11, 2013....Aren't you at least thankful for and/or bamboozled by that bit o' families first fluff?


cfvua said...

Mr. Morgan's disdain for subsidies must be something new as when he was boss of Company "E" an addiction to royalty credits and all manner of "incentives" was created. And willingly financed by Gordon Campbell and deputy Clark. $Billions worth.
In between when he was enabling poofing of "E's" assets.
Clearly indicating subsidies are only ok if they are for producing hydro carbons or party friendly IPP projects. But not for some yokel that wants to generate his own power and live off grid.

lenin's ghost said...

lol.....Fraser Institute/prostitutes 'scholar'!!!

anyone connected to FI are least mentally and morally....poopheads!!!!

lenin's ghost said...

I applaud our German friends for their use of solar power but they are full of poop on the nuclear issue as the French are gearing up their nuclear power production to sell to the germans to make up for the plants closing in Germany.

A least they are going in the right direction.

I remember seeing so many wind turbines flying from Geneva to Berlin......while we make no attempts at all here......we are poopheads!