Energy Management

Yesterday being the first day of the "calendar" spring with 12 hours of light, and what with global warming, we should be seeing the gladioli blooms. But as we were repeatedly to hear on the radio and TV in Bavaria, this morning was the coldest start to spring since official records began 134 years ago. Bet Trump love that news.

For days now we have been having very small amounts of snow, just a centimetre or two which quickly melts from the relatively warm paved surfaces, even largely from the grass but very unwillingly from the solar PV panels.

Temperature is dropping to around -5°C at night when the snow comes and at best getting to +3°C so the central heating wants to run all day. Yesterday afternoon we eventually got some sun and this managed to get rid of the snow on the roof and thus between 15:00 and 17:00 some electricity was produced. Today was a bit better as the sun was up from the start and managed to even clear a good portion of the east facing panels. Tonight though we will be down to -10°C and the central heating will presumably start itself up again shortly after midnight when it gets under -5°C.

And our CO² friendly wood pellet bunker is empty exactly as the price is at it's highest. Luckily have now found a relatively inexpensive source of 15kg bagged pellets but of course in wonderful plastic bags.

On Sunday and Monday, we produced no electricity but last Friday were whacking the stuff out and saving the planet. It has been a bad autumn and winter for PV this heating season. November, December and January were record-breaking dark months. So we haven't been achieving what the prognosis calculation expected. We have however just managed to produce more than we have consumed and saved the planet 4.6 tons of CO².

Sadly we can't get any credit against our NO² balance. We run two diesel cars and the tractor. My 2002 Jeep is no longer allowed inside the inner ring road of Munich and many other cities. Angie's 2005 Renault is at the moment OK but the talk is of a total ban of all diesels in the cities.

Makes me mad that some organisations think they can change rules overnight and that ordinary people are quite easily able to exchange their now worthless cars for shiny new ones. Incentives and the simple course of foreseeable time will solve much of the problem.

Angie had to pick up some very large items in Munich on Saturday. She had to drive 1.4km inside the inner ring (4 minutes) and the same back again. Her legal car could not transport the goods, my illegal car could but wasn't allowed to. I won't admit in writing what she did eventually do.

The new legal limit of NO², while she was on the road for 8 minutes, was 40 micrograms. She spent about 3 hours in her office where the legal limit is 60 micrograms - if she worked in a production environment 950 micrograms would have been fine and that for 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. Follow that logic.

We need to tackle all these issues and fast but getting the backs up  of around 40% of the population (registered diesel car % in UK & Germany) is not a good move. Especially when the bodies that be, ignore the far more significant environmental dangers: the 15 biggest ships in the world produce as much NO² as 750 million cars! In total there are some 90,000 ships.

I think the German government is indeed trying to find a pragmatic solution. Today Mrs Merkel gave her first state of the nation speech but I haven't heard it yet and what, if anything, she said about the environment. She and almost all the other opposition parties who then replied, all called for a more sensible, respectful and truthful dialogue amongst all parties and the ability to listen to the issues of others.

I sadly did watch about 15 minutes of PMQs from the House of Commons. What a disgrace again - evil, nasty May and incompetent Corbyn. Aren't there any limits to what people have to tolerate coming out of "That Place"? Far more dangerous than any diesel.

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