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Energiewende: This is what happens when you let starry-eyed greens take the reins

Germany’ Failing Energy Policy


By —— Bio and Archives--January 4, 2018

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Germany' Failing Energy Policy
Germans like to think of themselves as the most environmentally friendly people on earth. They see their sophisticated recycling programs, their love of forests, and, most recently the country’s drive to replace both nuclear and coal-fired power production with renewable sources—the so-called Energiewende,—or ‘energy turn’ as evidence of their strong environmental consciousness, especially compared to top polluters like the United States and China. 1

Notes Pierre Gosselin, “Sometimes you have to wonder which is the biggest fraud: Germany’s claim that its cars are clean, or its claim of being a leader in climate protection. Both, it turns out, are very fake and even downright frauds. While German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German activists like going around and scolding Donald Trump for his ‘irresponsible’ stance on ‘greenhouse ’ gas emissions, it is coming to light that Germany’s climate posturing is indeed a total swindle.”2

While USA’s greenhouse gas emissions have declined impressively over the past decade, Germany’s have gone nowhere.

Germany’s energy actions (Energiewende) are a raft of different policies that can be boiled down to the following plan: phase out nuclear energy while boosting wind and solar by guaranteeing producers long-term, above-market rates called feed-in tariffs. It was a plan that from the outset reflected all the unexamined beliefs central to the modern green movement, and it’s been plagued by problems at every step. 3

The plan resulted in aggressive and reckless expansion of wind and solar power, causing German consumers to shoulder the cost of those feed-in tariffs in the form of sky-high electricity bills. Those power bills have encouraged some of Germany’s heavy industries to look around for a better environment in which to do business.

Germany’s Energiewende and its high costs are hammering consumers, many of whom are no longer able to pay their electric bills and are thus losing power by the tens of thousands of households. One study estimates that Energiewende cost Germany 150 billion euros in 2015 alone, and by 2035 it could cost $520 billion euros. 4

Every year 600,000 households (2 million people) are getting their power switched off in Germany because they can’t afford the skyrocketing electric bills. 5 Electricity prices have now reached a level triple those paid in the United States. 6

Renewable power sources have been so unreliable that Germany has been forced to construct numerous new coal plants in an effort to replace the nuclear energy it has taken off line.7

Germany has not been able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the past 8 years, despite tons of billions invested in green energy.

In 2016 wind and solar energy made up only 3.3% of Germany’s primary energy supply. This represents only a ‘thimble’ of the energy that is needed. 8

Here’s some interesting information from Michael Shellenberger: “Last year Germany installed four percent more solar panels but generated three percent less electricity from solar. The reason is just that it wasn’t very sunny last year in Germany. Well, that probably means that it was windier,. Because if it’s not as sunny then maybe there’s more wind and those things can balance each other out. In truth, Germany installed 11 percent more wind turbines in 2016 but got two percent less of its electricity from wind. Same story. Just not very windy.”

He adds, “Here’s the shocking news about emissions. German carbon emissions have gone up since 2000, and up over the last two years, and may go up again this year. And while German emissions have gone down since the 1990s, most of this is because, after reunification, Germany closed the inefficient coal plants from East Germany. Most of its emissions are due to just that.” 9

In December of 2017, Germany got ten hours of sunlight. That’s not a daily figure, that’s the whole month. As Joanne Nova reports, 10 hours of sunlight makes 40 gigawatts of nothing. 10

So, very quietly, Europe and other nations aren’t going so green anymore. The European Union spent an estimated $750 billion on green energy handouts over the past decade, and all it’s brought them is a doubling of power costs. This has given American steel, auto manufacturers, light manufacturers, agriculture businesses and technology firms a big competitive edge in world markets. 6

Summary

Some advice for Merkel: Forget the CO2 reductions. Cutting Germany’s puny 2% global share would theoretically lead to a temperature reduction of 1 or 2 hundredths of a degree Celsius, meaning some 100 trillion euros per degree C. It’s pure economic insanity. 2

If there is a lesson to be learned from Energiewende it’s that it does manage to do some good by serving as a cautionary tale to the rest of the world. This is what happens when you let starry-eyed greens take the reins.

References

  1. Christian Schwagerl, “In drive to cut emissions, Germany confronts its car culture,” e360.yale.edu,  November 14, 2017
  2. Pierre Gosselin, “Germany CO2 reduction fails again for the 9th year running! Merkel exposed as fake climate warrior notrickszone.com, November 17, 2017
  3. “Germany’s Energiewende finds the sour spot,” the-american-interest.com, June 30, 2015
  4. Pierre Gosselin, “Extreme market distortion: German power prices could be negative 1000 hours a year!”, notrickszone.com, May 5, 2017
  5. Pierre Gosselin, “Germany succeeds making energy unaffordable for 15% of its population—600,000 households disconnected annually,” notrickszone.com, May 1, 2012
  6. Stephen Moore, “Europe’s lesson teaches us: don’t go green,” townhall.com, May 14, 2017
  7. Doug L. Hoffman, “Europe’s illusion of a renewable future,” theresilientearth.com.
  8. Pierre Gosselin, “Leading German economist professor calls Germany’s Energiewende an energy policy calamity,” notrickszone.com, October 3, 2017
  9. Michael Shellenberger, “Why I changed my mind about nuclear power,” environmentalprogress,org November 21, 2017
  10. Joanne Nova, “German solar: 10 hours of sun in December makes 40 gigawatts of nothing,” joannenova.com, January 4, 2018

 


Jack Dini -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Jack Dini is author of Challenging Environmental Mythology.  He has also written for American Council on Science and Health, Environment & Climate News, and Hawaii Reporter.


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