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Germany's Renewable Plan Faces Popular Resistance

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the maybe-they-should-try-low-resistance-wire dept.

Earth 176

diegocg writes "Germany has outlined the details of the new 800km (497mi) high voltage power link that will transport renewable power from the north to the industrial south. It is part of the Energiewende plan to replace nuclear power and most other non-renewable energy sources with renewable sources in the next decades. However, the power link is facing a problem: popular resistance from affected neighborhoods."

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176 comments

NIMBY (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#46241371)

Strikes again!

Re:NIMBY (4, Funny)

kheldan (1460303) | about 2 months ago | (#46241417)

It's Germany, fool! "Nicht in meinem Hinterhof" :-)

Re:NIMBY (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241447)

"Nicht in meinem Hinterhof"

That's what your mother said last night!

Re: NIMBY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241813)

wanna know what your mom said last night?
nothing. she had her mouth full.

Re:NIMBY (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about 2 months ago | (#46242477)

..so you're implying that "Hinterhof" is what the kids are calling it these days?

Re:NIMBY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242879)

No, he is implying that this is what the mom of someone posting on Slashdot calls it these days.

Re:NIMBY (2)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 2 months ago | (#46242923)

..so you're implying that "Hinterhof" is what the kids are calling it these days?

...and here I thought that was Hasselhoff..... (evil grin)

Re:NIMBY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242615)

Such a beautiful language.

Re:NIMBY (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 2 months ago | (#46241461)

What?

Re:NIMBY (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241599)

Basically all those environmentalists love nature. Now Nuclear Power is bad for nature, all that radiated stuff and so they don't want it anywhere near them and are all for solar and wind power. Now all these solar panels and wind towers are bad for nature, they take a lot of space where plants could grow, stand out which harms that nice mountainous skyline and of course they harm birds, so they don't want it anywhere near them. Good the politicians say lets have all that stuff somewhere where nobody lives and move the electricity through half Germany, great except this requires more power lines and these take a lot of space, harm the skyline, give off electro magnetic waves, etc. so you do not want them anywhere near you. I hope you see the pattern.

Right now we use more coal power to replace the nuclear power plants, because the coal plants where already there and every environmentally "good" solution gets blocked by environmentalists protecting the nature near them.

Re:NIMBY (1)

macpacheco (1764378) | about 2 months ago | (#46243585)

Until someone proves hormesis wrong, I believe its true.
Consider 1 or 2 aspirin a day is PROVEN to be better than zero. One hundred aspirin a day will eventually kill you.
Hormesis means, a little radiation is good, while too much is bad.
Except that the NRC, EPA, and other government agencies involved with the multiple aspects of nuclear stuff blatantly disagree.
Lets separate two things:
- Small radiation releases even from nuclear power plants are good (alpha, beta, gamma, neutron radiation)
- Releases of radioactive materials that are proven to harm humans, not so much, but as long as that only happens due to an accident, it's not a big deal, the problem is ingesting those materials, not receiving radiation from them
The anti nuke environmentalists mix the whole thing up, add a huge dose of cold war trauma, and presto, we have the any nuclear thing is horrible speech.

So we have two big issues:
1 - Nuclear power is severely over regulated, because it's based on an assumption the inverse of hormesis (any radiation you get from nukes is bad), licensing a nuclear reactor takes over 2 years in North America, most of Europe, and any other developed countries out there, while a coal power plant that outputs one thousand times as much radiation all the time (coal has little amounts of uranium and thorium), however even one part per million out of ten million tons of coal is ten tons, and uranium/thorium is naturally occurring, coal gets a pass, while nuclear gets buried with bureaucracy.
2 - Your average chemical industry is a much worse hazard than a nuke, yet you don't see protests to close them. Specially a terrorist attack on a large chlorine / fluorine tank will kill people by the boatloads if those tanks are within a few miles of a large population, yet the worse, most stupid nuclear accident to ever happen (that will never happen again) Chernobyl killed just one hundred people from direct radiation exposure (several thousands got cancer), but if Chernobyl had the most basic secondary containment structure present in every nuke in a developed country (and most developing countries too), Chernobyl wouldn't be much worse than three mile island (zero radiation deaths, no cancer cases attributed to that event).

Double standard anyone ? The real question is if the environmentalists actually cared about saving the environment, they would go after the true targets, which are coal burning, the most hazardous chemical industries and oil burning. Instead they go after the good guy, cause nukes have prevented millions of deaths due to billions of tons of coal that weren't burned instead, so even if you consider all nuclear tests, the WWII detonations over Japan, and the worse case, most absurd studies on cancer deaths due to all nuclear accidents, still nukes are safer than coal by at least 2 orders of magnitude, and safer than natural gas by at least one order (the deep horizon accident was a natural gas explosion, and if you add up all natural gas related deaths, there are close to one hundred per year worldwide).

My conclusion is, there are no honestly anti nuclear environmentalists, they are all in cahoots with the oil lobby, because they know that solar and wind won't displace home heating, and that electric vehicles will take 15 years before they are 20% of new cars produced (and 30 years before they are 50% of the operating car fleet, best case).

Do you know that many anti nuclear folks in youtube are also climate change denialists ? I tried to argue with a few of them. My login is the same of slashdot and youtube, if you bother you can find the posts.

Finally, I point you one guy that has lots of $$$ (a billion of them) reasons to be anti nuke, Elon Musk, the guy is the largest shareholder of Solar City, yet if you search, you will see him saying the US should be building more nukes. Because he's a true environmentalist that is actually spearheading the electric car revolution.

Re:NIMBY (3, Informative)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 2 months ago | (#46243819)

Logical Fallacy: burden of proof. "Until someone proves hormesis wrong, I believe its true." Well, I believe that eating unicorn flesh is keeping me young, and until someone proves me wrong, I'm going to believe that too. I'd reeaaaally like to see this properly done study showing that a little bit of radiation is good for you. The old Natural Philosophers used to drink mercury too....

The rest of your post is just one logical fallacy after another, and a giant stereotyping of environmentals, pretty much so you can bash on them. If you were interested in defending nuculear power, you'd do that. Instead you spend your time bashing environmentalists, which leads me to believe that's what you're actually trying to do..... Perhaps I'm wrong. Either way.... https://yourlogicalfallacyis.c... [yourlogicalfallacyis.com] Look 'em up.

Re:NIMBY (0)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 months ago | (#46243067)

You don't know what NIMBY is? Or you didn't read the subject line?

Of course, it's understandable. You shouldn't have to read a subject line to understand a post.

NIMBY BETA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241467)

Fick beta! Fick it right in the ass!

Get lost boring (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241593)

You are tedious and polluting the comments section.

Re:NIMBY (4, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 months ago | (#46241569)

Give them a choice - Nuclear in their back yard, Coal burning in their back yard or this. The choice of None Of The Above is only an illusion.

Re:NIMBY (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 months ago | (#46242479)

Actually, if you just replaced the local coal power used in the industrial south with more efficient coal co-generation, using the excess waste heat both at the power generation and at the industrial use to generate power from the waste heat, you'd reduce coal use, reduce waste heat (which impacts water supplies), and replace older dirtier industrial production and older dirtier coal usage with more efficient sources.

Reducing the need for new transmission lines in the first place.

But that would be smart.

Re:NIMBY (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 2 months ago | (#46243235)

Give them a choice - Nuclear in their back yard, Coal burning in their back yard or this. The choice of None Of The Above is only an illusion.

The choice is real, it's consequences - rolling blackouts - are fantasy. You regard whatever you're used to as normal, the default state of affairs, even if that something is a grid of social and physical infrastructure that costs billions per year to upkeep. And, regarding it as the default, the idea that it needs to be actively upkept is rejected by the mind - a world without roads and electricity is put to the same category by the brain as worlds with elves or dragons. It's not regarded as something that can actually happen, thus the upkeep cost is classified as "waste" at the emotional level - which is why governments like to "save" by letting the very basis of the economy to slowly crumble - and the idea that you actually need to make new construction to keep the lights on is rejected as absurd.

This happens all the time, and is the main reason why humans suck at making rational choices.

Re:NIMBY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241903)

Well, yes, but this is a little different. The resistance isn't against the power lines as such. It is against overland power lines. The affected regions want buried power lines, which are of course much more expensive, but don't ruin the view, don't have the same devastating effect on property prices and cause fewer health concerns. The conflict is driven in part by the observation that the southern part of Germany has been in opposition to wind power because it would "ruin the landscape", and now they need the wind power from northern Germany, so the middle of Germany, which does not need new power lines for its own benefit, is expected to accept new power lines for the benefit of northern Germany, which is going to sell wind generated power, and southern Germany, to which it is made available. So of course these regions want the version which burdens them the least.

Re:NIMBY (3, Insightful)

macpacheco (1764378) | about 2 months ago | (#46243619)

Large, powerful, long range transmission lines aren't that expensive. My Brazil transmits many tens of GWs worth of electricity over distances around 2000km. They are great if you have a cheap electricity source (large hydro), that you can't really choose where to build (you must build in the strongest flow rivers that have enough vertical gradient).

Instead, old fashioned water cooled nukes can be built anywhere you have a cold water source like the sea, a river, a lake. They only have problems where the water is too hot (like over 30C / 80F in the summer). Proposed high temperature reactors could even be air cooled, and don't require cold air either, so they can be built anywhere. Nuclear isn't cheap, but if you don't have a big old hydro plant, they are the only low cost, reliable, clean electricity source a country can have. Spent nuclear fuel (SNF) is not a real problem, if we build the LFTR / Thorium reactors, since they can burn the uranium SNF (like 95% Thorium for 5% SNF), and there are other solutions to burn the SNF too. If all SNF in the world were fissioned, it would make up for a few decades of our entire electricity supply !

Don't let others tell you that nuclear must be expensive. Half of current nukes cost is a direct consequence of anti nuclear lobby to over regulate nuclear power plants and the cost of multiple stop/resume construction due to political pressure to shutdown nuclear power plant construction. Nukes seem expensive, but when you consider that the uranium is cheap (less than 15% of the total nukes cost) over it's lifetime a nuke is cheaper than coal (don't even need tax breaks, just low interest loans, since the nukes cost is mostly before it starts operating, much like hydro).

Slashdot's Beta Site Faces Popular Resistance (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241381)

So just like Dice is facing resistance with that beta shit?

Fuck beta!!

"popular resistance"? (5, Informative)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 2 months ago | (#46241389)

TFA article does not use the term "popular resistance", but properly labels it "not-in-my-backyard" resistance. TFA notes that "Germanyâ(TM)s Energiewende, or energy transformation, has enjoyed widespread citizen support.".

Submitter and editors either do not know what "popular resistance" means, or deliberately spun this post.

Re:"popular resistance"? (5, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 months ago | (#46241499)

Ohm's law will do that. Popular indeed.

Re:"popular resistance"? (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 months ago | (#46241917)

Yeah. 3,300 Ohm resistors were some of my favorites, but for popularity it's mighty tough to beat the trusty 47 KOhm 5% tolerance 1/4 watt film resistor for popularity.

Re:"popular resistance"? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 months ago | (#46243849)

3,300 Ohm resistors were some of my favorites,

Me too, but eventually, I found that the 3,300 Ohm ones couldn't reproduce the richness of base base I'd come to expect. There also lacked depth and there was a certain tinnyness quality, too.

I found that the 3,301 ohm ones (more expensive, but worth the price) were a substantially better match to my Denon cables.

Re:"popular resistance"? (1)

SomeoneFromBelgium (3420851) | about 2 months ago | (#46243951)

for popularity it's mighty tough to beat the trusty 47 KOhm 5% tolerance 1/4 watt film resistor for popularity.

.
You are outright populistic! A crowd pleaser with no vision whatsoever! Someone really caring about others would at least mention that resistive and capacitive balasts must be balanced!

You rightwing chauvenist pig! You!

Re:"popular resistance"? (3, Funny)

plover (150551) | about 2 months ago | (#46242919)

Submitter and editors either do not know what "popular resistance" means, or deliberately spun this post.

It's obvious: popular resistance = popular voltage / popular current.

But I can't help but wonder if the author intended to refer to popular impedance.

Look, all energy has downsides (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 months ago | (#46241423)

Seriously, all energy transmission involves impacts. Visual impacts, noise impacts, perceived risk factors from electromagnetic effects.

The only way around that is on-site generation and co-generation.

Maybe they should stop making "more" transmission lines for power and start using co-generation of their waste heat in the industrial south so that they "need" less energy.

And slap some solar panels and some passive solar on those buildings, reducing the cooling power usage by better building and manufacturing designs.

That would be wiser.

And less dependent on stolen Greek money by German banks that never paid WW II reparations for looting Greece.

Re:Look, all energy has downsides (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 months ago | (#46241521)

Or just use the excess geothermal power available from up north... Since it can provide base load power, unlike solar.

Re:Look, all energy has downsides (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 2 months ago | (#46241623)

Or just use the excess geothermal power available from up north.

Could you provide more details on this? The only geothermal plants I see in Germany are tiny 5MW deals. It would take 200 of those to replace one nuclear reactor.

Re:Look, all energy has downsides (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 months ago | (#46241663)

Ignores the energy loss due to transmission. Smarter to modernize outdated industrial processes so they use cogeneration on-site. No need for new transmission lines, less vulnerable to terrorism, less vulnerable to 100 year events that climate change is making happen every 2-3 years now.

Easiest way to do that is remove capital depreciation on older plants that don't use cogeneration and provide 1 percent interest capital loans with 5 year payback cycles for installing new cogeneration equipment. Carrot and stick.

Problem solved.

NEXT!

Re:Look, all energy has downsides (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 2 months ago | (#46242285)

Yes, I'm familiar with the concept of co-generation. A 5MW geothermal plant costs about $25M. Replacing a 1GW nuclear reactor with 200 of those would cost $5B. That's a 20%-40% price premium over nuclear.

Re:Look, all energy has downsides (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 months ago | (#46242463)

You're ignoring the increased power cost to build, ship, and regulate loads of power over long distances.

Co-generation allows one to REDUCE power used, REDUCE pollution (since site location means no transmission), and also reduce heat impacts on the environment.

All supposed aims of the German government.

Plus, it's cheaper.

But it does require you to stop subsidizing old inefficient methods of industrial production.

Which, surprisingly, creates more German jobs for Germans.

Can't have that, right?

Re:Look, all energy has downsides (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 2 months ago | (#46242571)

You're ignoring the increased power cost to build, ship, and regulate loads of power over long distances.

Co-generation allows one to REDUCE power used, REDUCE pollution (since site location means no transmission), and also reduce heat impacts on the environment.

All supposed aims of the German government.

Plus, it's cheaper.

But it does require you to stop subsidizing old inefficient methods of industrial production.

Which, surprisingly, creates more German jobs for Germans.

Can't have that, right?

High voltage transmission loses less than 1% per 100 miles. Germany isn't even 500 miles across.

You think that building 200 power stations that involve drilling 5000m deep holes will have no environmental impact?

Re:Look, all energy has downsides (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 months ago | (#46242747)

I think you're focused on the "new" power stations. I'm talking about cogeneration, which is a method used in advanced societies like China and Vietnam, whereby you turn the waste heat at all levels into power.

Perhaps Germany isn't up to that level, sadly, but maybe they can join the 21st Century soon and, instead of making "new" power generation, cut the energy use they currently waste in power generation (coal plants) and in heating/cooling buildings (most can use passive solar to drive fans and cut energy in industrial storage and prefab in half) and in industrial production (cogeneration using waste heat again).

But, hey, I used to be a member of USWA, so what does a former steelworker know about such things that have been around for more than 30 years but never were done because the old methods were/are subsidized .... even if I have college courses in that and am reading all the power generation scientific papers on what's happening in this field in preparation for my doctorate.

No, let's just stick to the old wasteful energy-inefficient tax-subsidized methods and build more power plants and transmission lines we don't need.

There's a reason why we in the Western US (CA,OR,WA,BC) are eating your shorts in terms of GDP per capita. And it has to do with letting go of the past and becoming more efficient.

Re:Look, all energy has downsides (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242967)

Did you check if the industry in the south of Germany produces excess heat that can be harvested?
The big ironworks are in the west of Germany (i.e. NRW). Bavaria is, apart from BMW, mainly high-tech industry.

Hey bigmouth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242073)

Like calling folks idiots? Like this from you troll http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Prove me wrong dumbass http://games.slashdot.org/comm... [slashdot.org]

It works, & gives folks what they want here (no beta site redirect foisted on them without asking, which is WHY I put it up... they did it to me 1 or 2 times, that beat it, & I gave folks what they wanted).

You're also FREE to *try* to disprove 17 points of FACT that use of custom hosts files gives users more speed, security, reliability, & even added anonymity that I list here where you can download it, free -> http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

(Only thing is, on the latter, that FAR more skilled trolls than you have TRIED to, only to get shot down in flames each time, by yours truly)

APK

P.S.=> Come on big talker - go for it: I'll eat you ALIVE here publicly just to laugh @ your DUMB ass even more...apk

Re:Look, all energy has downsides (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#46243325)

Germany has been there and done that. An ancient volcanic structure in southwestern Germany was explored for geothermal potential. Wells were drilled and water was injected. But when a 3.5 earthquake rattled dishes in Basel just across the border, the eco-weenies abandoned geothermal as being another power source too horrendously dangerous to contemplate.

Re:Look, all energy has downsides (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 2 months ago | (#46241533)

Maybe they should stop making "more" transmission lines for power and start using co-generation of their waste heat in the industrial south so that they "need" less energy.

Partly right. If they don't want transmission lines then perhaps they should answer "NIMBY" by using wireless microwave transmission instead?

Not exactly (4, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 months ago | (#46241445)

"Germany's Renewable Plan Faces Popular Resistance" implies that Germans in general are opposing renewables. In fact it is a simple case of objection to a particular development project by the specific people who live in its path. It's no different than if somebody were building a shopping mall or a road; some people are adversely impacted and they want to be compensated or block the development altogether.

Re:Not exactly (2)

PPH (736903) | about 2 months ago | (#46241507)

This.

Its a poor use of the word "popular" which can mean "of the people as a whole". Resistance by affected neighborhoods' residents doesn't imply that it is common or shared by the German population in general.

Re:Not exactly (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 2 months ago | (#46241763)

Depends as with the flooding in the UK are these important people with big houses in rich areas or poor people in rented accommodation.

Re:Not exactly (2)

Dorianny (1847922) | about 2 months ago | (#46241669)

The opposition to this project is in fact just local opposition by people being affected by its construction but unfortunately it underscores a big problem that switching to Renweable Energy faces, namely the need for a lot of land and ugly infrastructure. In industrialized nations where land is expense, property rights are strong and citizens are very vocal in their opposition its almost impossible to envision a large scale sustained switch to Renweables.

Re:Not exactly (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 months ago | (#46242277)

Oilfields and strip mines aren't particularly attractive either, and the problem faced by the Germans in the path of this power line are no different than those in the path of the new Keystone XL pipeline, except that a power line can't burst open and flood your property with flammable toxins. I happened to be visiting Canada last year when this happened [ap.org] and people were not amused.

It's true that solar and wind aren't very dense, on the other hand you can use the same plot of land indefinitely instead of stripping it and moving on to consume yet more land, and solar can use rooftops that are wasted space (in fact we pay good money to get rid of the heat they collect). This also generates power onsite so their is no long-haul infrastructure. Here in New Mexico a lot of people are putting up solar panels on their homes. It is real.

the transmission would go further (4, Interesting)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | about 2 months ago | (#46241465)

Norway (and Denmark iirc) have plans on laying down more (sea) cables to Germany so I guess this link in reality would connect southern Germany to Norway.
The countries are already trading energy and I would guess they would need this as a mini super grid to make a larger percentage of the energy renewable.

Bonus nerd info. Heres a link to a almost live view of the input and output of electricity and natural gas from Denmark: http://www.energinet.dk/Flash/... [energinet.dk]

Ah the Germans, they're really bad at this! (0, Troll)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about 2 months ago | (#46241495)

It appears that no source of power is clean enough for the Germans, except brown coal (the shittiest, dirtiest, world-destroying-est source of electricity of all time). In order to make up for the closure of non-polluting nuclear powerplants, they built brown coal burning plants, and yet they still felt all smug about it - as their carbon footprint went from bad to terrible. And now this. Germans!!!! (fist shaking)

You already have the most expensive electricity in Europe, and since your Atomaussteig, you also have some of the dirtiest electricity in (Western) Europe (in emissions per MW). You're not good at this game!

Re:Ah the Germans, they're really bad at this! (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 months ago | (#46241549)

Price is the reason they're burning brown coal instead of gas.

Hey bigmouth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242097)

Like calling folks idiots? Like this from you troll http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Prove me wrong dumbass http://games.slashdot.org/comm... [slashdot.org]

It works, & gives folks what they want here (no beta site redirect foisted on them without asking, which is WHY I put it up... they did it to me 1 or 2 times, that beat it, & I gave folks what they wanted).

You're also FREE to *try* to disprove 17 points of FACT that use of custom hosts files gives users more speed, security, reliability, & even added anonymity that I list here where you can download it, free -> http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

(Only thing is, on the latter, that FAR more skilled trolls than you have TRIED to, only to get shot down in flames each time, by yours truly)

APK

P.S.=> Come on big talker - go for it: I'll eat you ALIVE here publicly just to laugh @ your DUMB ass even more...apk

Re:Ah the Germans, they're really bad at this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242987)

Subsidized local industry is the reason they're burning brown coal instead of gas.

Re:Ah the Germans, they're really bad at this! (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 2 months ago | (#46243561)

If the governments of this world took all the subsidies and concessions and things away from the coal, oil and gas industries, coal wouldn't be as cheap and the incentives to use better alternatives to generate electricity would be higher.

Re:Ah the Germans, they're really bad at this! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241567)

Don't forget ceding sovereignty to Russia in return for natural gas. Those pipes get turned off, there will have to be major emergency precautions taken to prevent tens of thousands of Germans from freezing.

Re:Ah the Germans, they're really bad at this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241625)

In California we're facing much the same dilemma. State law is calling for fully one-third of all electricity generated in the State to be from renewable sources in less than 10 years. This simply won't happen and it'll be very interesting to see what happens when the legislature is faced with this reality.

Re:Ah the Germans, they're really bad at this! (1)

jafac (1449) | about 2 months ago | (#46242091)

Same thing they do on every other issue.

"Fuck you" to the rural communities, and "whatver you want/need" to the big cities, and especially the Prison Guards' and Police Unions.

Re:Ah the Germans, they're really bad at this! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241667)

So you're saying a policy where you replace 20% of your power generation with eco darling renewables and offset the cost of those extravagantly expensive sources with the cheapest, filthiest crap on Earth for the 80% part isn't particularly admirable?

but, but, but Germany is a Leader in Green Energy and so is our bestie friend China Leading the way to Green Energy herp derp not the stupid fat merica and the dirty pollute they make no!!!1

Re:Ah the Germans, they're really bad at this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241759)

It appears that no source of power is clean enough for the Germans, except brown coal (the shittiest, dirtiest, world-destroying-est source of electricity of all time). In order to make up for the closure of non-polluting nuclear powerplants, they built brown coal burning plants, and yet they still felt all smug about it - as their carbon footprint went from bad to terrible. And now this. Germans!!!! (fist shaking)

You already have the most expensive electricity in Europe, and since your Atomaussteig, you also have some of the dirtiest electricity in (Western) Europe (in emissions per MW). You're not good at this game!

Um, let's compare to the US, shall we? Germany, 2013, 810 million tons CO2, 607 million MW h / yr. US, 2010, 5,369 million tons CO2, 3,886 million MW h / yr. Germany is more efficient in power per CO2 emissions.

Don't feel bad, though, because whoever wrote the summary is also ignorant -- it is the north, not the south, that is most industrial.

Re:Ah the Germans, they're really bad at this! (4, Informative)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 months ago | (#46242223)

Um, let's compare to the US, shall we? Germany, 2013, 810 million tons CO2, 607 million MW h / yr. US, 2010, 5,369 million tons CO2, 3,886 million MW h / yr. Germany is more efficient in power per CO2 emissions.

Don't feel bad, though, because whoever wrote the summary is also ignorant -- it is the north, not the south, that is most industrial.

I don't know where you got your numbers, but here's what is on Wikipedia for CO2 [wikipedia.org] And GWh generated. [wikipedia.org] Let's at least compare the same year for each country.

  • US: CO2 6,750,000 / 4,256,100 GWh=1.59 tons of CO2 per GWh
  • Germany: CO2-810,000 / 617,600 GWh=1.31 tons of CO2 per GWh

It's certainly better than the US, but considering this big push the Germany is in for clean energy and the US is only half-ass moving in that direction, I'm a little surprised it is as close as it is.

France is on the better side of this by far at: CO2-370,000 / 560,500 GWh=0.66 tons of CO2 per GWh

On the other side of the scale you have India: CO2-7,440,000 / 1,053,900 GWh= 7.06 tones of CO2 per GWh.

Re:Ah the Germans, they're really bad at this! (3, Insightful)

Kohlrabi82 (1672654) | about 2 months ago | (#46243943)

I don't know where you got your numbers, but here's what is on Wikipedia for CO2 [wikipedia.org] And GWh generated. [wikipedia.org] Let's at least compare the same year for each country.

  • US: CO2 6,750,000 / 4,256,100 GWh=1.59 tons of CO2 per GWh
  • Germany: CO2-810,000 / 617,600 GWh=1.31 tons of CO2 per GWh

It's certainly better than the US, but considering this big push the Germany is in for clean energy and the US is only half-ass moving in that direction, I'm a little surprised it is as close as it is.

This is because Germany now uses coal power plants instead of nuclear plants to produce the necessary electricity.

France is on the better side of this by far at: CO2-370,000 / 560,500 GWh=0.66 tons of CO2 per GWh

How surprising, nuclear energy is green energy.

Re:Ah the Germans, they're really bad at this! (1)

mischi_amnesiac (837989) | about 2 months ago | (#46241913)

Just a small correction. It's Atomausstieg. Ie is a prolonged i. Ei is similar to the english "I" as in "I am ".

"Non-polluting nuclear"??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46244059)

Ahhh, I see...
All this radioactive waste, which we cannot get rid of and cannot store safely, that is of course no pollution!
Better ask the Japanese or the Ukrainians about radioactive pollution.
Then please tell us your solution to the storage problem.

Fuck Beta (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241523)

Fuck You Dice

F Jackie (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46241597)

The beta is great!

I love it.

And don't believe the story. There's an agenda.

As usual (-1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 2 months ago | (#46241645)

As usual, people are all up and excited about something right up until they actually have to make a sacrifice of their own. Then it's all no no no no no, we can't do that!

And then these same people have the audacity to complain that nothing ever gets done.

Use an underground cable (3, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 2 months ago | (#46241659)

Use an underground cable. They build underwater HVDC lines all the time, so you can build underground lines. One of the nice things about HVDC is that the capacitance between conductors doesn't cause losses, so you can put the conductors close to each other as long as you have sufficient insulation.

IIRC in the past the problem w/ buried HVDC lines is that the cables were so thick, and couldn't be bent too much, so you needed cable reels so big that they could only fit on a ship. I believe that problem has been solved, and you can now use cable reels that will fit on a truck.

Re:Use an underground cable (1)

Rhywden (1940872) | about 2 months ago | (#46241791)

I'm all for it - as long as the guys opposing the "normal" cables also pay for the increased costs. Last time I looked DC high voltage cabling was about triple the costs of AC, all things considered (like the need to convert from AC to DC to AC)

Re:Use an underground cable (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 2 months ago | (#46242033)

HVDC cost is a function of line length. If it was always higher why would anyone use HVDC? The converters are expensive, but the actual cables are cheaper. The electrical losses are also lower for long distances, so that saves money too. Breakeven point for cables on land is about 500-600km, and this is an 800km link. The article doesn't say one way or another, but it'd be surprising if they weren't planning on using HVDC anyway. The cost of underground and overhead HVDC lines is about the same. It's actually surprising that the overhead isn't more expensive, considering the cost of building the towers.

Ah, the perennial ice storm argument... (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#46242155)

Underground electrical is more expensive to install.

Underground burial greatly reduces heat transfer from transmission lines, as the surrounding earth eventually becomes a saturated heat sink.

Underground repairs are more common and more expensive than aerial repairs, so unless freezing rain is a seasonal issue, it doesn't pay once the initial investment is surrendered.

Underground service lines are not free of problems, and fail with more frequently due to lightning strike and flooding.

Legacy lines are mostly overhead, so we're talking massive outlays of money to rebuild a new grid.

Re:Ah, the perennial ice storm argument... (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 2 months ago | (#46242783)

Legacy lines are mostly overhead, so we're talking massive outlays of money to rebuild a new grid.

We're talking about the construction of an entirely new line, not rebuilding an old legacy one.

Also, are you talking about underground distribution in general, or HVDC in particular? They're different issues.

Re:Use an underground cable (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#46242339)

I was with you till you said underground. If you had the kind of money to lay underground transmission lines across an entire country you may as well fund free solar and battery storage on every roof of every house.

Re:Use an underground cable (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 2 months ago | (#46242771)

Do you have an estimate of the cost for these two approaches? I don't, and unless you do, how can you decide which is cheaper?

Re:Use an underground cable (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#46243209)

I don't, but it wouldn't be too much of a difference. It's one thing to dig a small hole in your yard. It's quite another for a major government project to do it. Burying stuff is unbelievably expensive when done as a major project. If I want to provide power to the shed I get a shovel and start digging. If the government does it they get soil tests, get the lawyers to look into if they can, do underground surveys, and the project blows out before they even scratch the dirt.

I say this as someone who works and costs such major projects. We recently built a large overhead bridge structure to support a 6" oil pipeline, complete with wireless sensors to detect and alert large trucks of the obstruction because it was cheaper than digging under 3m of road.

Then you have the major problem of digging anything in Germany which is every time you dig into the ground near a city you end up uncovering an unexploded ordinance left over from the war. Going underground is at least an order of magnitude more expensive than going overhead, if not closer to 2 orders of magnitude.

Re:Use an underground cable (1)

SomeoneFromBelgium (3420851) | about 2 months ago | (#46244025)

I was with you till you said underground.

Since 'undergroud' was the third word in his post, you weren't with him for a long time, it seems ;-)

Do what the Swedes do (5, Interesting)

carlhaagen (1021273) | about 2 months ago | (#46241737)

Dig the power lines down instead of hanging them on pylons. In addition to pandering towards the senses of complaining house owners, it also solves the problem of critical outtages during storm seasons, which is why the Swedes are in the middle of dismantling pylons and moving their grid under the surface.

Re:Do what the Swedes do (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242765)

Dig the power lines down instead of hanging them on pylons. In addition to pandering towards the senses of complaining house owners, it also solves the problem of critical outtages during storm seasons, which is why the Swedes are in the middle of dismantling pylons and moving their grid under the surface.

Moving the cable underground has drawbacks. First of all it involves a whole lot of slow and expensive digging. Later you will have to dig again to check/repair the cable.

However there is a non-financial side to it as well. Using a ground cable mean the cable has to be insulated and that there is a ground connector on the other side of the insulation. This makes a crude capacitor, which knocks voltage and current out of phase. The more they are out of phase, the bigger the energy loss in the cable. This makes buried cables a bad idea for the environment. You can get around this issue by using DC as only AC is affected by capacitance. However using DC means expensive investments in ACDC converters.

The positive part about buried cables is that they are more resistant to storms. The most common cause of storm problems is trees falling over and Sweden has a lot of trees. Way more than Germany. This mean the risk is noteworthy lower in Germany, which is an important factor to remember when considering if it's worth the price to start digging. It's also claimed that they should be immune to lighting strikes. However lighting has a nasty habit of finding and melting underground cables meaning this problem will not go away. In fact I suspect the grounded wire on top of high voltage lines serves as better protection against lighting.

Another thing the Swedes do is use nuclear power (4 plants). However they are often out of the action due to maintenance or repairs and Sweden imports quite a lot of electricity. This mean even though Sweden claim not to use coal, it only mean they don't burn the coal themselves. They happily (ignorantly?) use electricity produced by burning coal elsewhere. Around 10 years ago a nuclear powerplant was kicked off the power grid. Another kicked in to save the voltage, but it shorted something and was kicked off as well. The result was a blackout for hours in the entire southern Sweden and Eastern Denmark. Both powerplant failures were due to lack of maintenance of the transformers at the plants.

All in all I'm not sure "just do like they do in Sweden" is a valid argument in an investment in the scale of billions. They (hopefully) do consider quite a lot before spending the money.

Re:Do what the Swedes do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243169)

"First of all it involves a whole lot of slow and expensive digging. Later you will have to dig again to check/repair the cable."

compared to a whole lot of slow and expensive pylon raising/repairing and a whole lot of slow and expensive pylon construction+setup, you mean? and check the cable when? it's protected under ground, in a concrete pipe tunnel, inside a thick, cozy and insulating pvc pipe. are you stupid or something?

"The most common cause of storm problems is trees falling over and Sweden has a lot of trees. Way more than Germany. This mean the risk is noteworthy lower in Germany, which is an important factor to remember when considering if it's worth the price to start digging."

that passage in your post was so stupid, on so many levels, that i don't know where to begin. you write that as if any country on the planet decides to put up powerlines right next to trees without thinking about the risks. you must be trolling.

"However they are often out of the action due to maintenance or repairs"

no, they are not out of action often, or even rarely.

"They happily (ignorantly?) use electricity produced by burning coal elsewhere

"they" don't power their country on any noteworthy amount of that. e.on, the biggest seller of electricity in sweden, imports a -tiny fraction- of coal power into their grid to drive the so-called spot price up, since coal is more expensive in sweden due to environmental taxes. it's a trick that e.on - not sweden, but one actor on the market - use to get to sell their hydro/wind/nuclear power for a higher price. the fraction of coal power imported is somewhere in the region of a hundredth of a percent of the total annual consumption.

but hey, it's just a country known to have among the finest engineers, economists and city planners in the world. they should just have their govt's infrastructural planning organ hire you to do the maths on this instead.

Re:Do what the Swedes do (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243941)

I have worked in Germany on energy grid connection projects both onshore and offshore.
Two of the very few international companies that have the capability to do what is needed are ABB (Sweden) and Siemens (Germany).

Let's just say that laying HVDC cables onshore and offshore is a different beast. And we are talking about the big ones here, with integral effects on net stability.

Underground cables of this dimension are unpopular. Securing the rights to lay down this kind of length is really hard, you need contracts with almost all land owners and deowning for others (which is a bitch of course). Then, you need to do the actual laying on a tight schedule for every land owner individually. Anyone who has worked on this with (doesn't matterr if Swedish, German or Danish company doing it) knows this is impossible.
Another issue is that digging up earth is quite often easily more regulated and time consuming for environmental issues than building a few masts.
You think you could plan this all out, but you just can't.
Then, there's the issue of cable maintenance and net stability for these "backbone" grid connections. There's a lot of clever shit available, but if the whole system isn't n-asmuchaspossible, everyone is really, really unsure about the project. Germany has excellent net stability, almost no blackouts. The population really has no tolerance for power outages...
Combine that with the challenges of the Energiewende (Conventional energy is now close to unprofitable, nuclear in the south is shut down, renewable is only relatively stablle in the north)...

Shit ain't easy

How much is this going to cost? (1)

blindseer (891256) | about 2 months ago | (#46241779)

I think "green" energy would be great if it didn't cost so much. I may be mistaken but I recall that Germany has some of the most expensive power in Europe. The prices would be higher if they weren't buying electricity from France.

Part of what makes wind and solar expensive is that it is almost never where you need it. People like to live by water, fresh water to drink, sea water for cheap transport of goods. Industry likes to be where the raw materials are or can be transported to cheaply, by water usually. This may not always be where the wind blows, and sun shines. Granted, being by water can mean power from the natural flow of that water. If that was enough they they would not be running these power lines.

It's these long power lines that add to the expense of the power. I assume that over time people might move to where the power is cheap but then you now have a long transport line for food, water, clothing, whatever.

I see one of two things happening. "Green" energy is going to have some great leap in technology and there won't be arguments over power lines, we'll be able to produce the power where the people are because wind and solar will be so cheap and efficient. The other option is that people will change their minds on nuclear power. The status quo on burning coal, oil, and natural gas will only last so long as we can find it cheaper than wind and solar.

Last I checked wind costs twice as much as coal. Solar three times as much. Natural gas costs about the same as coal, unless used for peaking power then the price doubles. Electricity from burning oil costs about three times what coal power does so that's only done in special cases. Nuclear power costs about the same as coal power. With Germany rejecting nuclear power means that they will continue to have high electricity costs, and they'll only go up.

Government subsidies for "green" energy only mask the true costs, they will still be paying more but it will show on their tax bill instead of their utility bill. Subsidies don't lower the costs, it raises them, because now you have the government as a middleman. Nuclear is the only real option I see. Some leap in "green" energy technology might change that but it hasn't happened yet.

Re:How much is this going to cost? (1)

carlhaagen (1021273) | about 2 months ago | (#46242335)

The argument isn't over power lines, it's over house owners on the countryside not wanting their scenery ruined.

Re:How much is this going to cost? (1)

blindseer (891256) | about 2 months ago | (#46243557)

Windmills and solar panels will change the scenery. Whether they "ruin" it is a matter of opinion. The power lines to connect them are inherent side effect to a power source dependent on location.

Nuclear power plants can be placed where the power is needed. Doesn't always remove the need to run ugly power lines but it does reduce it. Nuclear power plants could also be put underground if that is what people want. They can and have been put under water too.

The argument is about power lines now. It will be about windmills next time. Building delays, court cases, advertising, and other PR issues will add to the cost. As I pointed out before the cost for "green" power is already high and this will only drive it higher. I'm thinking that at some point these tree huggers will have an epiphany and BEG for nuclear power. The other options are freezing to death or pushing over trees to make room for windmills, power lines, and solar panels.

That "green" power isn't sounding so "green" any more, am I right?

Re:How much is this going to cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46244045)

I may be mistaken but I recall that Germany has some of the most expensive power in Europe. The prices would be higher if they weren't buying electricity from France.

First part is right, second is grossly false.
Actually, Germany is exporting much more power than importing (if viewed over the year).
Especially in hot summer and cold winter the French nuclear grid is prone to outages - they are not allowed to overheat the rivers in summer and in winter they have similar problems with ice. Very unreliable!
The hot summer time on the other hand is great for German solar output while in winterly weather the windmills almost saturate the net.

Why is the power still so expensive, you might ask? (1/4 € per kWh)
Well, same explanation as for the gas price (1,6 € / Litre, thats over 7 $ / gallon). Someone makes great profit. And the state cashes in the taxes, benefitting from these high price.

Actually, the renewable energies are the only practical solution for decreasing prices in the middle and long sight.

Put money where mouth is (4, Interesting)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 2 months ago | (#46241883)

My algorithm for NIMBY is "I'll let this be in _my_ backyard, for n dollars/euros," where you set n to zero and slowly increase it until you get a combination of bids that can be assembled into a working solution. Then you charge the NIMBYers whatever cost that is, to pay the bids. You wanna pay an extra 7 cents per KWh to have the lines be somewhere else? Ok. You don't want to pay it? Ok, you get the lines, and lower energy costs than your stuck-up neighbors.

How does everyone not win (or at least break even) in such a scenario?

Re:Put money where mouth is (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#46242359)

Unionising. When you start at zero and work your way up you'll meet group resistance from the people affected. We had this here recently with tunnel projects. The properties which needed to be reclaimed at the tunnel exit were eventually all sold to the government for nearly 8 times their actual value.

I would love a government to try and build a HV transmission line in my backyard. I should get nearly $8m for my property if history is anything to go by.

Re:Put money where mouth is (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 2 months ago | (#46242885)

I would love a government to try and build a HV transmission line in my backyard. I should get nearly $8m for my property if history is anything to go by.

And everyone lived happily ever after. Take the $8M if that's what everyone insists upon shoving in your face. The people who paid it, feel good. I'd add "comma chump sucker" to the end of that, but everyone (including you) is laughing their asses off, so it's hard to type. That is how appropriate the "everyone lived happily ever after" thing is.

how do you say... (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 months ago | (#46242081)

What's the German translate of boo-fucking-hoo you whiney, self-important, stuck up assholes? When a global warming-induced hurricane makes landfall so far it hits Germany, that might have a bigger effect on their house than a construction crew and some wires to look at.

Re:how do you say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243041)

Btw., we learnt from the three little pigs decades ago.

Cut them off (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242145)

Take them off the grid a few hours. Then come back and ask the question again.

Why is renewable power centralized? (4, Interesting)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 months ago | (#46242519)

It doesn't need to be and shouldn't be centralized.

I can't power my home with a personal coal power plant or power my home with a personal nuclear power plant. But I CAN power my home with a personal solar array or wind mill or whatever. Renewable power should be decentralized.

Rather then pushing these big renewable plants, instead give home owners a machine that lets they use locally sourced power in their home electrical grid. So the system will take from local power before it draws from the grid.

This makes more sense for a lot of reasons.

1. The land required for renewable energy is huge. But if everyone uses a little of their roof space then its no big deal. And they don't need to supplant ALL energy consumption just some of it.

2. You don't waste energy in transmission or over supply. The point should be to have homes be more self sufficient so they don't need as much power from the grid. Not to supply the grid with their power. That isn't economical. Rather simply have people need less because they produce some of their own power.

3. Personally sourced power is largely immune to price fixing, political blackmail, and other attempts to control people through energy supply. This is because the power is supplied by solar cells and other similar things that can be bought from many sources. The issue with the Russian pipeline is really only the best known example. There are many examples on a daily basis all over the world.

4. Nothing is as likely to get renewable energy installed and maintained then personal participation in it. The world is littered with failed green energy projects on all continents. But the solar power cells on people's roofs... those work. Those are maintained.

etc...

It shouldn't be centralized. Renewable energy should be decentralized.

Re:Why is renewable power centralized? (3, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 2 months ago | (#46242581)

Because of efficiency. Renewables aren't magically less prone to efficiency benefits with scale. Large-scale solar plants don't use the same photovoltaic cells that you will on your roof because they're absolutely terrible for efficiency (in terms of space, but more importantly cost) - they'll use large-scale reflectors and water tanks. The wind mill you put in your backyard will never reach the same peak capacity that industrial wind mills get; it's too small and not high enough. Let's not even talk about hydro, which isn't trendy but still is a renewable by all accounts.

There are advantages to distributed power, and they can be combined, but relying purely on distributed renewables is a bad idea.

Re:Why is renewable power centralized? (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 months ago | (#46242845)

You lose a lot of that efficiency in the rest of the system.

Panels on your house don't need hundreds of miles of cable. They don't need big transformer stations. They don't need the grid itself. There is so much cost added and efficiency lost in the transmission that you really are playing a zero sum game.

And if you supply even a SMALL amount of power locally it adds up.

Re:Why is renewable power centralized? (1)

SomeoneFromBelgium (3420851) | about 2 months ago | (#46244037)

I can't power my home with a personal coal power plant or power my home with a personal nuclear power plant. But I CAN power my home with a personal solar array or wind mill or whatever.

Those who complain about a powerline close to their home are certainly not be willing to have a huge windmill close by. And for your information: a small windmill in your backyard isn't going to cut it. You need a big industrial mill to get any meaningfull power output. This was the outcome of a study ordered by the dutch government where they were comparing several types of small windmills to see wich was best (none of them, they are all crap).

I guess it's high voltage direct current (2)

mc6809e (214243) | about 2 months ago | (#46242541)

Otherwise we'd be talking about the project facing popular impedance [wikipedia.org] rather than popular resistance.

Thinking laterally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46242767)

Why don't they just move the industry to where the power now is? The only reason the south is industrialised is because that's where the coal is.

Re:Thinking laterally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243065)

The coal is not in the south of Germany, there is industry in the north, and it would be very strange if BMW left Bavaria.
Seriously, the south doesn't have more industry. It just makes more money.

The government is sabotaging the switch to renewab (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243927)

Together with the established power companies the do everything they can to stop renewables.
Corruption at the highest level, otherwise Merkel and her ministers would do something about it.

But they all hope for a warm seat after their political "career".

The new power line faces resistance from the people because it was deliberately designed to run close to residential areas and protected habitats.

The german population WANTS to shift to green energy. We are even willing to pay a little bit more for energy if we can shift from coal and nuclear power.

Sketchy Purpose (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46243949)

What the article fails to mention (as do most german publications):
This DC high voltage overhead power lines are not primarily intended to transport renewable wind energy from the baltic sea wind parks to southern Germany - their primary use will be to transport power from the gigantic new coal power plants in eastern Germany to the south.

Still, the protests are likely about NIMBY anyway and not related to the intended use of the lines.

Typisch Deutsch (0)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about 2 months ago | (#46243971)

Typisch Deutsch:
* We don't want nukes
* We care about the environment
* We want big cars
* We want good air quality
* We have a lot of coal so why not use it?
* We want electric cars
* We don't want wind turbine, radioactive waste or power lines in our backyard
* We don't want to reduce our energy consumption
* We understand global warming is a big problem
* We want to fly to Mallorca twice a year
* We want cheap gas
* We want cheap electricity

I'd say most of the German population would agree with all those statements, without realizing that many of them are in direct contradiction.

NIMBY (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 months ago | (#46243995)

Not in my back yard. You can always count on people to pull excuses out of their asses why public infrastructure projects should go somewhere else just so long as it doesn't go through their area. In the case of power lines, all the usual excuses are pulled out - it affects health (no it doesn't), it affects property prices (it might, it might not and compensation might be offered in some cases), it should be buried underground (not always practical and vastly more expensive). And so on.

Ireland is suffering a similar public campaign for an interconnector meant to supply power to the West of Ireland more attractive to business by ensuring adequate power provision. You'd think people in the region would be happy about that since it would mean tens of thousands of jobs but a relatively small number of people affected by the route and politicians scared by the outcry have put the entire project on hold.

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