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

What Does Reality Have To Do With Anything?

We Germans don’t care that “Germany isn’t an ideal place for solar and wind power.” We’re green. And we’re going to stay green and pay green (one of the highest electricity rates in the developed world) until we’re green in the face.

Green

Once, German utilities like E.on and RWE had a sound business model that produced cheap energy from nuclear factories. That’s how the two companies could be kind to investors, workers, and taxpayers…

Then the green revolution caught up with the utility sector, as German government decided to abandon nuclear for green energy. “In the aftermath of the Fukushima catastrophe, the German government (Angela Merkel) has resorted to an overhasted exit from nuclear energy until 2022,” explains investment analyst Martin Burdenski. “This decision was in stark contrast to a lifetime extension of existing nuclear plants in 2010…”

“The companies will now receive compensation for investments made between the lifetime extension in fall 2010 and the abandonment of nuclear energy in 2011.”

Eco-Power?

As in enormous-cost-power?

eco

And green power must be short for greenback power, right? Only they have to pay in euros here in Germany.

You’re never going to believe this: Energy prices will be rising dramatically again next year in Germany (same procedure as every year). It has something to do with this little thing they call the “eco-power levy” here (levy sounds better than tax). It’s going up another 8.3 percent. But it’s for the Energiewende so that’s a good thing, or something. Hey. It’s not easy being the world’s leader in renewable energy but somebody has to do it. And you still don’t mind paying for it… And you still don’t mind paying for it… And you still…

Öko-Strom-Umlage steigt um 8,3 Prozent.

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.

A Green Superpower?

Germany?

Coal

Germany is a superpower when it comes to setting ambitious goals. But it’s even better at burning coal.

Germany aims to generate 80% of its power from renewable sources by 2050 with nuclear being fully phased out by 2021. But given the costs associated with renewables and the challenge of replacing nuclear power efficiently, it is not clear that Germany will succeed in either of these goals…

The Germans have increasingly turned to coal as their power generation source of choice, especially U.S. coal. Today coal power plants are responsible for generating nearly half of Germany’s power, and numerous new plants are scheduled to come online in the next few years.

Overall, the increase in coal is likely to create a significant increase in airborne pollution and potentially stoke tension between Germany and its neighbors. But at the same time, if Germany wants to phase out nuclear power, coal is the only realistic option; a fact which some German politicians are starting to admit.

US-Amerika Responsible For Rising German Carbon Dioxide Emissions

We all knew somehow that the Germans themselves could not be responsible for this. Now we know why.

Coal

Coal mining’s demise in Germany comes as the country is experiencing a resurgence in coal-fired power, one which the U.S. increasingly has helped supply. U.S. exports of power plant-grade coal to Germany have more than doubled since 2008.

“This is a classic case of political greenwashing.”

German Word Of The Day: Zwangsumlage

Zwangs- = compulsory. Umlage = levy, share in the costs. Put those two together and what do you get? Forced to share. But we’re talking about money here folks so let’s  just call it another tax and get it over with already.

Strom

This latest planned tax consists of forcing German households to purchase so-called “smart meters” or modern electricity meters that are supposed to regulate energy consumption by drawing electricity from that so wonderfully green German energy grid whenever this energy is cheaper. You know, like when hell freezes over?

This will only set back German consumers another 70 or 80 euros after already having been hit with a seven percent energy bill increase planned for next year, too (the seven can and will change, of course, and we all now in which direction it will be going).

Turn it around as much as you want. Anyway you turn this German energy turnaround around, you’ll always get the same result. Once you’ve turned it around, I mean. She is like way too expensive, señor.

But what can you expect from a government that is about to go retro and way back in the Wayback Machine to the good old days of SPD Never-Never Land again?

“Verbraucher sollten mit attraktiven Angeboten überzeugt, statt mit immer mehr ordnungsrechtlichen Einbaupflichten gezwungen werden.”

PS: The next German word of the day will be Abzocke. Here’s a tip: It means rip-off.

CO2 Is Bad, Right?

Germany has produced 2 percent more CO2 than it did the previous year, 20 million tons more. Oh yeah, and there had been an increase in CO2 production the year before that, too.

CO2

Uh, I thought that this Energiewende (energy turnaround) thing was supposed to reduce these emissions. I mean, after turning off all of the German nuclear power plants and all, CO2 emissions just had to have dropped, right? I was never very good at science, though, much less at rocket science. This Scheiße is clearly way too complicated for me.

“Nach ersten überschlägigen Schätzungen dürften sich die energiebedingten CO2-Emissionen in Deutschland um etwa 20 Millionen Tonnen oder um reichlich zwei Prozent erhöhen.”

PS: Speaking of Scheiße, it turns out, to my amazement, that there actually are Germans who don’t like dogs. There seems to be a new anti-dog movement in the making that is being spearheaded by a magazine called Kot und Köter (Crap and Muts). I guess this had to happen sooner or later. And Kot causes CO2 emissions too, right?

Kot

Debacle, Disaster, Fiasco…

Just a reminder here again: “There is no free lunch.” Honest.

Lunch

Government intervention at its best (again). Germany’s deliberate attempt to make its energy greener using price guarantees and mandatory quotas for green energy IS NOT WORKING.

Try and remember: The whole idea was to make renewable energy more competitive and, therefore, in the end, cheaper. Well this attempt is so not working right now that German consumers pay higher prices now than ever before and German industry is soon to follow. And this, even though there is actually an oversupply of power. In essence, an energy bubble has been created because Germany’s renewable energy producers get a guaranteed minimum price for what they produce (this now includes farmers and communities and anybody else who can still get into the ponzi scheme).

Imagine you have various consumers going to a grocery store. Some of them want to buy a bottle of beer for 1 USD. Others would like to buy a bottle of champagne for 30 USD. In normal life people would just pay 1 USD for the beer and bubble-lovers would pay 30 USD for champagne. The German energy market is different. People who want the champagne pay 2 USD for it and those who want beer have to pay 2 USD. It’s a good deal for the champagne drinkers, getting subsidized by the beer buyers.

…Perhaps the least fair part of the whole scheme is how these prices disproportionately impact low-income households, who are forced to subsidize green energy for richer families to support politicians’ green energy visions.

Whoopee! The Electricity Prices Are Going Up Again!

Seven percent in the coming year! For starters.

Strom

Hot dog. And all because of the The German Renewable Energy Act.

And this act kind of goes like this: Every kilowatt-hour that is generated from renewable energy facilities receives a fixed feed-in tariff. Renewable energy plant operators receive a 20 year, technology specific, guaranteed payment for their produced electricity. Anyone who produces renewable energy can now sell his ‘product’ for a 20-year fixed price.

And who pays this tariff? You guessed it.

Die EEG-Umlage steigt im kommenden Jahr voraussichtlich um einen Cent je Kilowattstunde.