The Beer: Still waiting for my 15 gallon fermenter and other things to start brewing again.
The Bicycle: I might get out for 20 later today. Still a little sore from finishing the fence yesterday. (Thanks for the help, Jim)
The VRWC: Following the disaster at Fukushima, Germany caved to the anti-nuclear luddites and decided to begin a phase-out of nuclear capacity. The propaganda was that it would be replaced with "green" alternatives. The reality appears to be different.
The German Energy Agency doesn't seem to keep easy-to-find statistics on its website, but articles from DW and Reuters indicate Germany is somewhat over-capacitized. Even with a phaseout of nuclear power, Germany has been able to continue exports to other EU members notably, Austria, Netherlands and Switerland. Germany also imports from France. But the real "kicker" here is how Germany is replacing its nuclear capacity: Coal.
Now, I have no issue with coal-fired power generation, though I agree it is the least clean of the alternatives. But the irony in shutting down safe and reliable nuclear generation only to replace it with coal is more than delicious. After shutting down 50 TWh of nuclear and Germany replaced it with 50 TWh of "renewables" and about 25 TWh of coal.
So why coal? Coal is cheap an abundant and Germany is awash in the stuff (as is most of the world). But more importantly, knowing that as much "renewable" was installed as nuclear was removed, it speaks to the unreliability of wind and solar.
I will add that of the 3800 TWh available in Germany, almost twice as much is imported from France as is generated by Germany.
Keep all of this in mind as the Obama Administration pushes their carbon taxes, "green energy" initiatives and their hatred of all energies fossil or nuclear.