Germany relies on Russia for 55% of its natural gas and 50% of its coal. Germany’s Chancellor refuses to boycott Russian energy, saying it “would mean plunging our country and all of Europe into recession.”
Although Germany has lots of renewable energy, as of 2020 it still relied on non-renewables for 49% of its energy needs.
The Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory opened yesterday, located just outside of Berlin. The factory plans to generate power through solar panels, but the factory isn’t finished yet. To what extent are the gigafactory’s operations and the gigafactory’s construction process relying on the German power grid, which relies on Russian imports and finances the invasion of Ukraine?
Berlin gets 1727 hours of sunshine per year on average. That’s less sunshine than Seattle gets. It’s also less sunshine than other Gigafactory locations.
- Buffalo = 2206 hours
- Austin = 2643 hours
- San Francisco (near Fremont) = 3061 hours
- Reno = 3645 hours
Berlin gets less than half the sunshine that GigaNevada gets, and what’s worse is the February and March are particularly bad months for Berlin, averaging only 3-4 hours of sunshine per day.
Furthermore, Tesla’s promises and the reality are not the same. For example, GigaNevada had only 3.2MW of solar panels in August 2021 out of a planned 70 MW solar array. By the end of 2022, they plan to grow to 24 MW.
The logical assumption would be that GigaBerlin is behind GigaNevada, and that Berlin has less than 3.2MW of installed solar capacity. With 4 hours of sunshine per day and less than 3.2 MW of capacity, you would generate something around 500 kWh of power per day. That’s enough power for 10 houses per day. Hardly enough power to produce 1,000 cars a week.
For context, BMW’s plant in Regensburg Germany has used 168 MWh in a year, which would be 460,000 kWh per day. So how much solar generating capacity would GigaBerlin need?
168,000 MWh / 365 / 24 = 19.17 MW power generating capacity needed, twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. That’s 7 times GigaNevada’s installed capacity. Also the sun doesn’t shine 24/7, even in Nevada.
For Berlin to generate that much electricity from solar panels in March, they would need to install 120 MW of capacity–40 times what is currently installed in Nevada. (You would also need a massive battery system to discharge power when the sun isn’t shining). I have a feeling that if Berlin had installed that many solar panels, Elon would be talking about it all day long. He’s not.
Conclusion: There’s no fucking way that Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory is net-zero. They’re running off of German electricity, which means Russian gas.
Putin wants Germany to pay for energy imports using Rubles. Not only is Germany going to finance the Russian war machine, it’s also going to help prop up the Ruble–working directly against the sanctions that the rest of the world is trying to use to stop the war.
Positions: Long-Dated Puts on TSLA. Remember my name.
I’m anticipating some counterarguments from people who don’t understand how electricity works:
German Electric Grid
Some people might argue that the area of Brandenburg generates a lot of renewable energy. That’s true. It’s also irrelevant. It doesn’t matter where you connect to the grid–you’re either a net consumer or a net contributor. If the national electricity demand rises because you’re a net consumer, then the coal, gas, and nuclear plants will increase their output by adding more fuel. Solar and wind plants can’t do that because they rely on nature, not fuel. Here’s the definition of an opportunity cost for the apes who don’t understand.
These cut electricity costs. They don’t generate power.
Submitted March 24, 2022 at 04:28AM by xX_Jay_Clayton_Xx
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