Milan Blackouts: EU’s Green Utopia Crashes into Reality
For five days in a row, from June 15 to 19, the city of Milan suffered prolonged blackouts, reaching up to ten hours in several districts, and hitting offices, shops and households, with ice cream melting and thousands of cell phones left uncharged.
Whereas the provider, Unareti, attributed the cause of the blackouts to the increased demand of air conditioning due to the extreme heat, others point to the “greening” of urban mobility which, far from being “sustainable”, cannot be sustained with the current energy capacities. In fact, temperatures in Milan have been high but not record-high, and yet, during the week of June 13-20, the top load of the year was reached on the electric grid, which is an increase of 25% over the previous week.
Automotive specialists draw attention to the fact that, thanks to the EU’s “green transition” policy, the city of Milan has the highest density of electric cars, scooters, bicycles and busses in Italy, a “green fleet” that must be continually recharged with 5-7kWh. That includes one of the largest carsharing fleets in Europe. “We are shifting everything towards electrification with an electric grid that has not operated at the same speed as the energy transition”, commented the magazine mowmag.com.
Thus as temperatures are due to increase in the next week – not because of any global warming, but simply because it’s summer – one of the most industrialized regions of Europe faces a nightmare of continuous blackouts.
As such third-world conditions hit Milan, a voice from Japan again exposed the folly of the transition to electric mobility. Toyota director Shigeki Terashi was asked by an investor why the world’s largest carmaker is not targeting all electric vehicle sales by 2040 as other automoble giants are doing, including in Europe. “It’s too early to concentrate on one option,” he replied. In the years leading up to 2050, he explained, different options, including hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles, need to compete with one another so that the company can make the best choice.
While the Milan blackouts are an early indicator of the folly of planning a massive increase of electricity consumption with out producing it, fresh data about the European energy mix show how the idea of replacing coal with “renewables” (more aptly called “interruptibles”) is a utopian proposition. As reported June 19 by oilprice.com, the use of coal for power and heat increased by 15% this spring in Europe, relative to 2019, despite the carbon tax implemented by Brussels. The reason is that gas supplies are so short that coal has made a comeback, with natural gas stockpiles being 25% below normal levels.
Welcome to the economic zone which has chosen, with the
exception of France, to ban nuclear power and fossil fuels!