Fukushima Five Years Later: Everything The Germans Feared Has Come True

Well, not really. Actually, none of it has. But still.

Fukushima

Let’s see… The reactor is under control – still. There are no cancer deaths or deformed babies to report after the radiation in Japan. Not one. The UN (UNSCEAR) even predicts that there will be no significant increase in the cancer rate in the area at all. The exclusion zone around Fukushima keeps getting smaller and smaller. Japan is not saying no to nuclear energy. Im Gegenteil (on the contrary): After a short break, Japan has returned wholeheartedly to nuclear energy. France and America never contemplated doing away with nuclear energy. Of all the countries that have access to nuclear energy, only Germany has taken such drastic action.

By the way, the fish in the waters around Fukushima have no more higher level of radiation than the fish found in the North Sea. Put that in your Spiegel and smoke it.

But the Atomausstieg (nuclear phase-out) – in Germany – was certainly worth it (this is what Germans still repeat to themselves before going to bed each night).

Well, maybe “worth it” isn’t quite the right term to use, taking into account the outrageous wind and solar energy subsidies that have driven/are still driving energy prices up through the roof here in Germany. But other than that, though, everything seems to be going to plan.

I’ve just got to ask: Are these the same people who planned Germany’s refugee policy, too?

Japan auf Jahrzehnte verseucht, Hunderte verstrahlt, Unzählige an Krebs gestorben. So stellte man sich die Folgen von Fukushima vor. Doch vieles ist anders gekommen.

Time To Say Goodbye

To “clean power rebates” for German industry, that is.

Germany collects surcharges from power users to help fund operators of solar and wind power installations. Heavy electricity users such as cement, steel and some chemical plants are exempt to keep them from being priced out of the global market.

Industry

The EU now wants to change this. And that should make almost everybody happy. Now many of these German industries will get priced out of the market or maybe moving their production facilities to other countries altogether.

MEHR ALS DIE HÄLFTE DES INDUSTRIESTROMS VON UMLAGE BEFREIT

PS: Grid nationalisation in Berlin? Close but no cigar. Nice try but now you’ll just have to grid and bear it.

Berlin Finally Beats Paris And London

And every other major city in the European Union, too. By a long shot. When it comes to paying the most for electricity, that is.

Berlin

Hot damn. No more provincial image here! This German Green Revolution rocks so bad that ich kann nicht soviel fressen wie ich kotzen möchte (I can’t eat as much as I want to barf about it).

In September, Berliners paid an average of nearly $0.40 per kWh of electricity they purchase from the local power grid. To put this in perspective, the highest average electricity price in the continental United States is about $0.18 per kWh in Connecticut, according to the Energy Information Administration.

How Alarming

No, not that shocking IPCC global warming report (yawn). Alarming is just how much of a fiasco Germany’s Energiewende (energy turnaround) is turning out to be.

Wetter

Michael Limburg, vice-president of the European Institute for Climate and Energy, told CNN that the government’s energy targets are “completely unfeasible.”

“Of course, it’s possible to erect tens of thousands of windmills but only at an extreme cost and waste of natural space,” he said. “And still it would not be able to deliver electricity when it is needed.”

Limburg told CNN the rapid transition to renewables is economically “insane,” arguing that wind farms will cost at least 13 times more than traditional coal plants.

He added: “Offshore wind is somewhat better in performance, cost and usability but still you have to spend six times as much as what you have to spend for a conventional power plant.”

Germans are already facing some of the highest energy bills in Europe.

According to the Institute for Energy Research, this year German electricity rates will increase by over 10% due to a surcharge for using more renewable energy and a further 30 to 50% price increase is expected in the next ten years.

Blackouts are another problem facing Germany’s energy industry…

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a report that a hiatus in warming this century, when temperatures have risen more slowly despite growing emissions, was a natural variation that would not last.

The N-Word

You know, it starts with an n and ends with an r*? Do not even think about using it over here in Germany these days, people. Not that you would even want to or anything, even if you could. I’m just sayin’.

Why is this the case? I’ll tell you why. Because everybody’s all touchy these days. German power grids are less stable than they ought to be and nobody wants to address the reason why that is. Folks have gotten all sensitive and defensive because, well, because of that “power networks more unstable since n-word drop-out” thing.  And no, I didn’t think up that subtitle. I’m just quoting it, sort of. Civilized folks don’t use the n-word. And I ain’t a-gonna use it either.

Kritisch werden könnte es nach Auffassung von Fachleuten generell vor allem in Süddeutschland, wo der Strom der abgeschalteten Atomkraftwerke fehlt.

* “Nuclear”

These Blackouts Happened All The Time Before The Energy Turnaround Too

Didn’t they?

Munich was the next big German city that suddenly and inexplicably lost power in a big way. But there is absolutely nothing to worry about here, people, because/and I quote: “We do not know what caused the technical problem but it has nothing to do with the energy turnaround or all this talk about unstable power grids.”

Many Munich residents took to social networking site Twitter to voice fears that such power cuts could become more frequent as Germany implements a wide-ranging program to switch from fossil and nuclear fuels to renewable energy.

Stromversorgung in Deutschland laut Netzagentur trotzdem sehr zuverlässig.

“Where Is the Tax Money?”

Here are some recent Desertec headlines – with the stress here on desert (as in to desert a sinking ship):

Bosch quits Desertec

Spain Delays Signing Onto Desertec Sahara Solar Project

Siemens to pull out of Desertec initiative

Algeria puts off decision on Desertec solar project

Desertec’s Promise of Solar Power for Europe Fades

As recently as three years ago, many thought that it was only a matter of time before solar thermal plants in North Africa supplied a significant portion of Europe’s energy needs. But Desertec has hit a road block. Industrial backers are jumping ship, political will is tepid and a key pilot project has suddenly stalled.

…The reasons for the political hesitance are clear. Renewable energy projects remain more expensive than traditional fossil fuel plants and tend to require government subsidies.

“Everybody is staring at each other and nobody moves. In this deadly, sometimes embarrassing silence, everybody is praising the project. And then silence again.”

Who Needs Sandy?

Thanks to this dad gern new-fangled Energiewende (energy turnaround), the power goes out in Germany “mit ohne” (without) a damned hurricane these days.

Es ist 16:32 Uhr, für die meisten ist der Feierabend nicht mehr weit. Da zuckt in den Büros kurz das Licht. Im Stadtteil Griesheim gehen die Lampen sogar ganz aus. Zeitumstellung. Es ist dunkel. Rund um die Innenstadt bricht mitten in der Rush Hour der Verkehr zusammen. Die Ampeln tun – zumindest nördlich des Mains – ihren Dienst nicht mehr. S- und Straßenbahnen bleiben auf offener Strecke stehen. In den U-Bahnen geht die Notbeleuchtung an.

Electric Cars Have Already Reached A Whopping 0.01 Percent Of All Registered Cars In Germany

That’s some, uh, 4,600 vehicles. At this rate, the German government’s plan to have 1 million electric cars on the road by 2020 will be reached easily.

Or maybe not. Because those pesky German consumers still haven’t got the message and think that these babies are too expensive and don’t have a long enough range to make them attractive as, you know, as cars.

So that’s why the German government, flexible as it is, has now said that their goal of 1 million electric cars by 2020 (set last year) has now become a goal of 600,000 electric cars by 2020. I can’t wait to see what next year’s goal for 2020 will be like.

Damn. I’m impressed. This German Energiewende (energy turnaround) is getting easier and easier to reach all the time.

“If we don’t create incentives, then the whole thing is going to fail,” the Green party said in a statement.

German Offshore Wind Farms More Deadly Than Fukushima

Nobody promised the Germans a rose garden when the so-called “energy turnaround” turned around the corner here last year.

So that’s why the three deaths and 80 serious accidents that have taken place so far while building Germany’s so badly needed offshore wind farms are being registered here with such stoic equanimity (or are being ignored altogether). Progress must march on or something. Keine Widerrede (no talking back)!

Do me a favor and wake me once this energy turnaround nonsense has finally turned around (as in over) and died itself.

Der Leiter des Havariekommandos in Cuxhaven, Hans-Werner Monsees, forderte gegenüber FOCUS ein „besseres und dichteres Rettungssystem“. Sonst drohe die Zahl der Toten und Schwerverletzten weiter zu steigen – in den nächsten Jahren werden bis zu 7000 Windräder vor der deutschen Küste installiert.

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