“Progress has been limited…”

Oh, I dunno. Depends upon how you look at it.

Progress

In 2011, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the country was turning away from nuclear energy in favor of a renewable future. Since then, however, progress has been limited. Berlin has wasted billions of euros and resistance is mounting…

But there’s been plenty of change here, although I wouldn’t call it progress. Lots of people can’t afford to pay their power bills in Germany – the country with the highest energy costs for consumers in Europe. Could there possibly be a connection to the “energy turnaround” here?

More than 340,000 electricity customers across Germany have their power cut off each year for failing to pay bills. A new proposal from one political party aims to change this.

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German Of The Day: Mangelhaft

That means deficient. As in the deficient quality of the oil being imported to Europe via a Russian pipeline – this import having now been suspended by Poland?

Oil

That means Germany can’t get the oil, either. It’s not like Germany’s dependency on Russian gas and oil is deficient, however. That’s as high a quality dependency as you can get.

Germany and Poland have suspended imports of Russian oil amid contamination concerns, prompting a rare crisis over supply from the world’s second-largest exporter.

The sudden suspension of imports from the Soviet-built Druzhba pipeline, which runs from Russia via Belarus to central Europe, risks starving major European refineries of their major source of crude.

Händler großer Ölkonzerne, die Raffinerien in Deutschland betreiben, bestätigten dies: Die Versorgung über die noch von der Sowjetunion gebauten “Druschba”, auf Deutsch “Freundschaft”, sei gestoppt.

Forget About Jane’s Addiction

Germany has the real problem.

Nord Stream 2

And France is going to help the Germans score… Right?

Nord Stream 2 pipeline row highlights Germany’s energy dependence on Russia – Almost a third of the new Nord Stream gas pipeline has been laid across the Baltic Sea. There is, however, growing opposition to the pipeline — and Brussels is having difficulty figuring out how to deal with the project…

Germany is pressuring other European capitals to block an EU proposal to regulate Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline ahead of a key meeting on Friday, diplomatic sources said, but may fail to convince France, threatening the project’s construction.

No Subsidies, No Service

Twenty years of government subsidies apparently aren’t enough to make German wind parks profitable.

Wind Parks

Once the subsidies run out in 2020 thousands of perfectly functioning wind turbines will have to be taken out of service. You can only make money with this technology if its subsidized by the tax payer? Maybe there’s something wrong with this business model.

Doch damit ist Ende 2020 Schluss – die Förderung gibt es nur für zwanzig Jahre. Was tun? Die Anlagen einfach abreißen, obwohl sie noch bestens in Schuss sind? Oder lässt sich mit ihnen auch ohne staatliche Unterstützung Geld verdienen?

Warn?

Warn? Sure. But nothing will change.

Warn

German Conservatives Warn on Russian Pipeline Project – Contenders for Angela Merkel’s seat as head of the CDU question controversial project amid mounting Kremlin aggression.

An official close to Ms. Merkel said the German government wouldn’t have any legal means of stopping the pipeline as authorities have already issued permits and construction was under way.

How convenient.

“Many people inside Germany are coming to realize what most people outside of Germany already know: It is unwise to give Russia more influence over Europe’s energy security,”

The Future Looks C-C-Cold

In Germany. In the winter.

Cold

Thousands of people marched Saturday in Berlin to demand that Germany speed up its exit from coal-fired power plants, a day before the opening of a U.N. climate summit in neighboring Poland.

“Stop Coal!” is the rallying call today. “Stop nuclear power!” was yesterday. The Germans have already shut down their nuclear power industry due to an earthquake in Japan. Don’t ask.

Some of these demonstrators have clearly thought all of this through, however. That’s why they’re wearing those polar bear suits. “Somebody turn on the freakin’ heat already!” Will by the rallying cry of the future.

“The future is coal-free.”

German Of The Day: Preiserhöhung

That means price rise. For German electricity bills, in this case. Another big one on the way. Wonder why?

Energy

Keen to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transform its energy sector, German leaders adopted a vast program called Energiewende eight years ago and the country prides itself on setting the pace for change in the European Union…

But earlier this year, officials admitted the country will not hit the 2020 goal, saying it would reach 32 percent at best (40 percent was the goal).

Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany have not decreased for the last nine years and emissions from the transportation sector have not fallen since 1990. In fact, the United States has reduced carbon emissions more than Germany, in both real and nominal terms…

The growing pains have led to higher prices, largely shouldered by residential power customers.

Between 2015 and 2017, Germany inched ahead of Denmark for the highest electricity prices for household customers (35 cents per kilowatt-hour, in U.S. currency), according to the statistical office of the European Union.

Viele deutsche Haushalte müssen im kommenden Jahr deutlich mehr für Strom bezahlen. Berechnungen von Online-Vergleichsportalen zeigen, dass die Preise in der Grundversorgung um durchschnittlich vier bis fünf Prozent steigen werden.

Irresistible Filth?

I guess that’s one thing you could call it.

Filth

As previously reported, the Germans are having big problems meeting their ambitious CO2 emissions targets these days. One of the reasons for this dirty little secret – after having turned off most of their nuclear power plants due to a tsunami in Japan (don’t ask) – is their burning need to burn dirty, filthy, dreckig brown coal, aka lignite.

It is mined in vast, open pits that devour landscapes and villages, leaving Martian vistas of desolation roamed by gigantic excavators straight out of “Mad Max”.

Brown coal made up about 23% of the country’s energy supply last year, and black coal another 14%, according to the Economy Ministry. Renewable energy sources made up 33%—up from 6% in 2000.

Hey, whatever gets you through the dark as black coal night.

“The image of Germany as a country leading on the renewable energy transition is very, very wrong,”

The Short Answer Is No

Not without nuclear energy.

If Germany Can’t Quit Coal, Can Anyone Else?

Coal

It would seem like a major step toward Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent of 1990 totals by 2020. But German utilities just can’t seem to quit burning coal. Some power plants are switching to cheaper imported black coal from the United States, Russia, or Colombia. And at the same time, Germany is also digging more lignite, or brown coal. Lignite is 50 percent water and yields much less energy than the shiny black anthracite. But lignite is easy to bulldoze from massive strip mines that dot Germany’s northwest and eastern border with Poland. Among Europe’s power plants, Germany’s brown coal stations constitute six out of 10 of the worst polluters.

“It’s like organizing your own funeral.”

 

I Got The Power

Electricity bills, actually. Big ones. And talk about renewable. These bills just keep on coming and coming and growing and growing…

Power

Voter support for Angela Merkel’s long-standing pledge for climate protection risks being undermined by stubbornly high pollution levels and power prices.

Average retail power costs are set to climb 111 percent since 2000, when guaranteed subsidies for wind, solar and biomass power first started being added to consumers’ bills, forecasts from the BDEW utilities federation showed last week. Germany may for the first time move up a notch to share with Denmark the highest household energy bills in the EU.

It’s more evidence that gains in wind and solar power competitiveness have yet to trickle down to consumers, frustrating the aim of keeping Merkel’s green energy transition affordable.

“I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”