Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun!

On the double! And no, you’re not seeing double. Electricity prices have nearly doubled for German consumers since 2000.

Double

So I guess this famous German Energiewende (energy turnaround) is what one could call a two-edged sword. You know, something having a double meaning?

Germans are leading a double life if you ask me. If they still think that this is going to work, I mean. So stop the double-talk already, people. Get this Energiewende nonsense over with on the double before you end up doubled up with laughter – and those men in the white coats come to take you away.

Etwas läuft schief am deutschen Strommarkt: Während Stadtwerke sich seit Jahren über sinkende Strompreise freuen, hat sich der Preis für Verbraucher einer Studie zufolge seit 2000 fast verdoppelt.

Red Carpet Treatment

For the guy with the gas. From Qatar.

Qatar

Who cares that Qatar funds ISIS terror and revels in exploiting its expatriate slave laborers ahead of the 2022 World Cup (to name just two minor points)? It is also the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). And these days, with Germany’s good buddy Putin getting all uppity about passing his Russian gas (and currently suffering from a 35% Russian gas import addition) LPG looks like the next best drug of choice.

Economic ties remain key to Germany’s relationship with Qatar, one of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ energy-rich members. The partnership increasingly encompasses energy interests, especially in light of the crisis in Ukraine and potential threats to Europe’s gas supplies.

Speaking Of The Energiewende…

Or German energy turnaround… It’s really working great!

Strom

The price of electricity for private households in Germany has gone up 38 percent since 2008.

It’s easy to do, all you other countries out there. Just follow Germany’s example and shut down all of your nuclear power plants in a panic and then force through the construction of renewable wind and solar energy plants that are neither energy nor cost-efficient enough and then have them heavily subsidized by these households. That turns things around in no time.

Der Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft (BDEW) erklärte, der starke Anstieg der staatlich verordneten Steuern, Abgaben und Umlagen in den vergangenen Jahren sei der Grund für den Anstieg der Strompreise für Haushaltskunden. «Hinzu kommen die gestiegenen Kosten für den Netzausbau, der mit dem weiteren Ausbau der erneuerbaren Energien notwendig ist», sagte ein Sprecher des BDEW in Berlin.

Russia Passing Less Gas Than Usual

To Europe, I mean. Do to a “technical disturbance,” it seems. Some 20 to 24 percent less natural gas than agreed to. All of a sudden-like.

Gas

Thank goodness countries like Germany thought ahead and only import a mere 35 percent of the natural gas they need from Russia. Otherwise a dangerous dependency might have developed that could have eventually even threatened the Energiewende itself!

Seit Montag seien die Lieferungen um 20 bis 24 Prozent geringer als in den Vereinbarungen mit dem russischen Energiekonzern Gazprom festgelegt.

German Energy Turnaround Finally Turned Around For Good?

As in your classic “tango uniform” turnaround? She is way too expensive, señor.

Turnaround

The German Energiewende (energy transition) – once an international model – threatens to disintegrate…

The Handelsblatt Research Institute monitored 24 industrialised and newly industrialising countries over a span of 5 years, looking at 51 different indicators. In the end, the researchers condensed the data into two overall rankings: mapping the status quo, and tracing the trend of the past 5 years.

Good news first: Germany’s current ranking is a respectable 8. Only smaller states with “good topographies” had better results, explained Rürup during the presentation of the study. Sweden holds first place, followed by Norway, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark. But even France – due to its high share of nuclear power – and Spain outranked Germany.

But for Germany, the results of the second category are even worse. Here, in the “dynamic ranking”, which reflects the developing trend during the examination period, Germany came in last place.

The reason for this, according to the study, are rising CO2 emissions and high per capita energy consumption. Energy prices have also risen significantly in recent years; nowhere, do households spend more on their energy bills than in Germany.

Nach der Bund-Länder-Einigung auf die Ausgestaltung der Energiewende droht Gabriel neues Ungemach. Grund sind die hohen Kosten für das Projekt.

PS: If only they could learn how to harness the power of Berlin’s rising ground water.

“It can’t work without Russian gas”

The German energy turnaround can’t, that is. And that’s why the way things look right now, the turnaround is about to get turned around – yet again.

Power

If Germany makes its goal of having 80 percent of its power come from renewable sources by 2050, there is no question it will add to the country’s energy security. But along the way, as it takes nuclear power plants offline and builds up its renewable network, the country remains reliant on fossil fuels – and that means Russia.

Germany gets some 35 percent of its natural gas and oil from Russia, as well as significant quantities of coal, a dependency that weakens Germany’s energy switchover plan, according to Hans-Werner Sinn, a prominent economist.

“Es wird eine neue Betrachtung der gesamten Energiepolitik geben”

Germany Going To The Dogs

Or is it to the wolves? Or to the foxes maybe? Sheesh. Nature at its finest again.

Flamingos

When wolves aren’t killing deer down in the Bavarian outback these days, foxes are breaking into the Frankfurter Zoo at night and biting the heads off of flamingos. Bad animals! Bad!

Die am Wochenende im Frankfurter Zoo getöteten Flamingos sind keinem Tierquäler zum Opfer gefallen – sondern einem oder mehreren Füchsen.

PS: But now let’s move on to some more like totally unrelated unnatural type stuff. No Nukes, No Russian Gas, No Solar, No Fracking: How Exactly Does Germany Plan to Keep the Lights On?

What The Frack?

US-Amerikan gas has suddenly become a whole lot more attractive to Europeans these days for some strange reason.

Gas

“European nations…will, if no solution to this can be found, recast their approach to energy and economic links with Russia over time. Those are things over time which I think will mean this has been a serious miscalculation [by Russia],” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

Britain buys about 1% of its natural gas from Russia, but other European nations purchase more than a third of their needs, which means they wouldn’t be in a position to simply do without that supply, he said.

Angesichts der anhaltenden Spannungen in der Ukraine drohen europäische Politiker Russland mit Folgen im Energiemarkt. Europäische und amerikanische Politiker werden Verhandlungen über höhere US-Exporte nach Europa aufnehmen, sagte Großbritanniens Außenminister William Hague an.

Sunny, Windy, Costly And Dirty

What’s not to like here?

Super Minister

“Super minister?” I’d say this is more like a job for Superpenner.

The difference between the market price for electricity and the higher fixed price for renewables is passed on to consumers, whose bills have been rising for years. An average household now pays an extra €260 ($355) a year to subsidise renewables: the total cost of renewable subsidies in 2013 was €16 billion. Costs are also going up for companies, making them less competitive than rivals from America, where energy prices are falling thanks to the fracking boom…

Cost is not the only problem with the Energiewende. It has in effect turned the entire German energy industry into a quasi-planned economy with perverse outcomes. At certain times on some days, sun and wind power may provide almost all German electricity. But the sun does not always shine, especially in winter, and the wind is unpredictable. And “batteries”—storage technologies that, for example, convert power to gas and back again to electricity—on a scale sufficient to supply a city are years away. Nuclear-power plants are being phased out (this week’s court decision that the closure of a plant in Hesse was illegal will raise costs even more, as it may entitle the operator to more compensation). So conventional power plants have to stay online in order to assure continuous supply. 

I Got The Power

The power bill, I mean. The Power Bill Blues, actually. Just like everybody else here in Germany.

Power

The electricity prices in Germany are the highest in the EU. A household here shells out 1000 euros annually (approx. $1,370). The French pay half. The EU average is around 700 euros.

Is this what they meant by the Energiewende (energy turnaround)? The power may be renewable here but I’m not sure how much longer the money is going to be.

Well, at least the electricity prices in Germany will be going up even higher again next year.

Bei den Strompreisen gehört Deutschland innerhalb der EU zu den Spitzenreitern. Ein Haushalt zahlt mehr als 1000 Euro, der EU-Schnitt liegt bei 700. Und im kommenden Jahr dürfte es noch teurer werden.

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