Tuesday, August 11, 2015


RWE (Rheinisch-Westfälischen Elektrizitätswerk) is one of the largest electrical power companies in biggest soft coal (aka dirt or lignite) mining operations in the world.  It is also home base for Fritz Varenholt, one of Germany's most active solar fans (nonono, not wind energy, he don't like that or solar power either, but the sun, the sun, not greenhouse gases are the thing for Fritz).  Anyhow RWE is in big trouble because of the Energiewende, folks are not paying as much for what they make because they are using less of it and RWE is deep into coal and gas power generators.
Germany and operators of one of the largest lignite (brown coal, aka dirt) mines in the world

The Sueddeutsche brings news of a major reorganization typical of a failing concern that had overexpanded in the fat times.  Many of the 100 formerly more or less independently operating subsidiaries, with their own boards, are being hovered up into 32 and what is left will be directly controlled by the mothership. The command module will, of course, expand.  The large pink elephant of a headquarters building has been sold off, from which bunnies gather that they are turning stuff into cash as fast as they can.

What will make this change hard is that RWE has large public ownership, the cities of the Ruhr own great chunks of stock and depend on the profits cast off from the company for significant parts of their budget and, of course, while upper management grows, employment will shrink, which makes the unions happy.

Eli was thinking of this today when he read a re tweet from 350.org

Dortmund, Essen and the like are too deeply dug into RWE to get out.  OTOH, the fat times are over.  The lignite mines may have taken their last church.


afeman said...

Finally Bagger 288 can be returned to the global defence role for which it was intended.

John Hughes said...

Bagger 288 -- the only thing that scares Godzilla.

Or maybe it turns him on?

KAP said...

The post is in need of some serious edit corrections.

First paragraph: part of the first sentence has been moved to the end of the graph.

"he don't like that or solar power either" -- I think you meant "or nuclear power either" but I'm not sure. The sentence as written implies Fritz is both for AND against solar.

Second paragraph. "Suddeutsch" is actually "Suddeutsch Zeitung". The error would be like referring to the "New York Times" as the "New York". Then "hovered up" should be "hoovered up", and "pink elephant" should be "white elephant".

EliRabett said...

KAP not to criticize or defend but Eli has a certain style, so the first paragraph is straight Rabett.

Second paragraph, ue is another way of writing ü.

Also Time instead of Time magazine, for example, is common same with the Sueddeutsche (or if you prefer die Süddeutsche)

Howard said...

"The lignite mines may have taken their last church."
Hope Springs eternal every easter.

Not sure Der Fadderlund matters in the grand scheme. ALthough, it is heart warming to see the 350-folks appeasing their white guilt with meaningless gestures. How else is a boomer dude going to nail a millennial mama?


It would be nice to see how survivable a "sustainable" lifestyle could be absent China's 3,500 Mt coal burnage.

Fernando Leanme said...

I suppose Germany will be making an effort to cut back on lignite and use a green coal such as good ole all American brand? After all, USA coal prices are in the dumps as USA coal customers shift to clean burning methane. This is very good for the environment and should reduce emissions. In a sense, at a planet wide level what we see is lignite being replaced by USA natural gas, thanks to the Obama plan.

Aaron said...

We will see a lot of pain and turmoil as investors in fossil fuels (including natural gas) internalize the fact that "proven resources" have no value in a time of global warming and should be written down.

My guess is that the decline in the value of fossil fuels will be what convinces the GOP that AGW is real and here.

Fernando Leanme said...

There's no such thing as "proven resources" in the nomenclature. The term we use is "proven reserves". My technical and economic analysis shows management incompetence is more likely to impact oil and gas reserves (over the long term) than global warming. The possible exception would be very heavy oil reserves held by the Venezuelan dictatorship. Those ought to be boycotted by all freedom loving peoples.

Hank Roberts said...


Blogger profile said...

"There's no such thing as "proven resources" "

Yes there is.

When someone claims they have an oilfield holding a trillion barrels and you're not allowed to look that is an unproven claim of resources. If you're allowed to check and their claim holds up to investigation, that is called proven resources.

Before making claims on what is or is not true, please do like investigators of OPEC do: prove your claim is actually true.

You will not, however, because this is devastating to both your case and your ego. And it is clear that honesty and truth are not worth considering for you in your holy crusade against those who don't obey pure capitalisms' edicts.

Hank Roberts said...

Google just makes this shit up, you know.
Just because they say industry used the term doesn't mean it happened.

Remember to use "verbatim" search tool to be precise.

Unknown said...

Hmmm, weird.

As an accounting term, "proven resource" has no worth whatsoever. It's not used in the SPE's (Society of Petroleum Engineer's) reserves and resources guidelines, pretty much the bible in how a company is supposed to estimate how much oil and gas they have.

That some companies have used this term might say alot about hucksterism and communications folks getting controls of the wheels as opposed to technical staff.

Blogger profile said...

"That some companies have used this term might say alot"

Well it says that your claim "As an accounting term, "proven resource" has no worth whatsoever." is bollocks.

Russell Seitz said...

Essen may not be the best place to own a Tesla, but I suspect RWE could earn tax credits with a battery powered lignite excavator.

Hank Roberts said...

So line the north slope of the pit with mirrors and make the pit into a big solar thermal collector, eh?

It ought to at least power the work needed to pump water out of the pit and purify and deliver it, rather than leaving a toxic site.

Russell Seitz said...

It's extraordinary what brewers can do with springwater from a landscape entirely overlain by lignite measures- every extra thousand aeons of rainwater filtration seems to make a difference

Blogger profile said...

More Jenny McCarthy reasoning.

EliRabett said...

BF, JOHN McCarthy, late inventor of LISP and a major influence in information technology. Good times in the old sci.environment.

Russell Seitz said...

BP's touching refusal to do arithmetic has been noted elsewhere

Blogger profile said...

Russel's touching children has been noted elsewhere.

(hey, if you're going to make stuff up, why not me? I'm just better at thinking of an insulting thing you might be doing)

Even Jenny would be wondering what you're "thinking", Russ.