Germany’s Green Planners Confident That Growing Wind And Solar Power Will Lead To Even Higher Power Costs

But who cares, right? There’ still Luft nach oben (room for improvement). Germans are only number two when it comes to paying the highest electricity bills in Europe (only the Danes pay more).

Strom

Germans already footing the second-highest electricity bills in Europe may face even higher costs from the country’s decision to exit nuclear power early next decade. While there’s no risk of blackouts, costs could rise if transmission gaps emerge, according to Germany’s Bnetza regulator. Europe’s biggest power market is closing its last atomic plants in 2022 and is counting on a mix of mothballed lignite plants, wind and solar power expansion and grid stability measures to keep outages down…

Consumers this year may pay about 24 billion euros ($26.4 billion) in compulsory clean-energy-support fees, levies that are added directly to power bills.

“The lights will stay on. Yet there are two risks in bridging power gaps, namely redispatch and intervention in the market to drive generation up or down that may be cost factors.”

The German Renewable Energy Revolution Is Not Only Expensive

It. like, doesn’t “work.”

Money isn’t everything when it comes to renewable energy here. It has to effectively cut greenhouse gas emissions, too.

Energy

Or it ought to. That is, maybe it could at one point but isn’t doing so quite yet. It will one day, though. Honest. We hope.

Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions rose by 4m tonnes to 906m tonnes, an increase of 0.7 per cent, according to a study by Arepo Consult carried out for the opposition Green party.

The Greens said the figures meant it would become “even harder” for Germany to attain its declared goal of reducing greenhouse gas by 40 per cent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels

You Say You Want A Revolution?

An energy revolution? Then pay up front, Germany. It’s going to cost you a zillion dollars and you may not be able to come up with the cash for it later.

Germany

Germany spent 25 billion euros ($26 billion) on renewable energy in 2016, most of which—23 billion euros—consumers paid through a surcharge on their electricity bills. The rise in that surcharge is the single biggest reason that the amount the average German household spent on electricity rose to 1,060 euros in 2016, up 50% from 2007.

Renewable Energy Keeps Renewing Its Price

Ever upward, of course.

Renewable

But Germans don’t mind paying this. That’s just the price they have to pay for, uh, the price they have to pay.

Germany’s green energy levy for 2017, the surcharge in consumers bills that supports renewable energy generators, will increase by 8.3% year-on-year to EUR 0.0688 (USD 0.076) per kWh.

Verbraucher müssen zur Förderung von Strom aus Windkraft und Sonne wohl auch im nächsten Jahr tiefer in die Tasche greifen. Die sogenannte Ökostrom-Umlage wird von derzeit 6,35 Cent auf 6,88 Cent pro Kilowattstunde angehoben.

We Did Nothing Wrong

“We paid our taxes, we paid our wages, we have done what every other company does with its investments.” Then what are you whining about, you fools? That just makes it all the more obvious that you must be punished.

Atom

Power firms brought a legal challenge on Tuesday against a German government decision to shut down the country’s nuclear plants by 2022, a lawsuit that could allow them to claim 19 billion euros ($21 billion) in damages.

The decision deprived the utilities of one of their main sources of profit and pitched them into crisis as the focus moved to renewables and electricity prices tumbled.

“Wir sind als Bundesregierung sehr zuversichtlich, dass unsere Rechtsauffassung obsiegen wird… Die Kernkraft war von Anfang an hoch umstritten. Es musste jederzeit mit der Möglichkeit einer Neubewertung gerechnet werden.”

Speaking Of Friends…

This guy gives me gas for some reason.

Gazprom

And he gives Germany some 35 percent of their natural gas, too (not that mine isn’t). AND he’s got this big cat-shit eating grin on his face right now because he just warned them (and the rest of Europe) about the big Versorgungslücke (gas supply gap) that will soon be hitting them but not to worry one little bit because I got all the gas you want for you right here, pal.

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!

Gazprom warnt “Träumer” im Westen vor Gas-Engpass

Germans Don’t Frack Around

Germany is just about to make German fracking safer. In a country that doesn’t do any fracking in the first place, versteht sich (it’s understood). And they are going to make it safer by banning it altogether. Makes sense to me. When I concentrate really hard and try to think like a German, I mean (can’t do it for very long, though).

Fracking

The new draft law, which now goes to parliament for approval, will impose an outright ban on fracking for shale gas in the next few years and only allow scientific test drilling under strict conditions to assess the risks and environmental impact.

The law could allow commercial shale gas fracking in exceptional cases from 2019 but only after successful test drilling and the approval of a special committee.

Germany’s gas industry has warned restricting fracking could increase the country’s dependence on imported energy at a time when geopolitical concerns, particularly over Ukraine, are growing.

The BDI industry lobby group described the new conditions as “completely over the top”.

Last year, gas imports from Russia accounted for 37 percent of Germany’s supply. Only 12 percent of Germany’s needs were covered by its own reserves, down from almost a fifth a decade earlier.

The Next Thing You Know They’ll Be Selling These On Ebay

Germany’s utilities, battered by the country’s shift to wind turbines and solar panels, would be glad to sell you a power plant on the cheap. They’ll even pack it up and ship it to another country.

Power Plant

The two largest power producers, RWE AG and EON SE, are especially keen to sell their gas-fired plants, rendered uncompetitive by the rise of renewable energy on the one hand and record low coal prices on the other. It’s a relatively easy task to take them apart, move them by truck and ship and reassemble them elsewhere.

“There is a liquid global market for gas turbines. Transport costs are entirely marginal.”

Just Like The Duracell Bunny

Germany’s Energiewende (energy turnaround) just keeps on going.

Not only is the cost part still working: The cost of government subsidies for green energy is passed directly through to consumers. As a result, German households pay twice as much for electricity as their US counterparts.

Coal

The unreliability of renewables keeps on working, too: Berlin has little choice but to rely on electricity generation from dirty coal-fired power stations (evil nuclear power has been turned off here).

Which brings us to the next absurd turn of events.:  A striking example of the absurdity of this emerged this week with the publication of a letter from Germany’s vice-chancellor to the new Swedish centre-left government. Ms Merkel’s deputy warned of serious consequences for electricity supplies and jobs if Vattenfall, Sweden’s state-owned utility, ditched plans to expand two coal mines in Germany. While the Germans may need the dirty lignite these facilities produce, the Swedes are under pressure to scale back the mines because of popular concerns in Sweden about CO2 emissions.

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.