German Of The Day: Umweltunfreundlich

That means eco-unfriendly. Or in the case of biodiesel, this means “being so eco-friendly that it is eco-unfriendly.”

Umwelt

More starry-eyed government interventionism in action. To save the world from destruction by using biodiesel they have to destroy the world first by producing it. This reminds me of those good old communist planned economy days. And we all know how that went with the best made plans of mice and communist men.

Dem Biokraftstoff gehört die Zukunft. An negative Begleiterscheinungen dachte keiner. Doch die Indizien, dass vermehrt für das Weltklima wichtige Wälder gerodet, Sümpfe entwässert und in Ackerflächen umgewandelt werden, mehren sich. Nach Informationen der Weltagrarorganisation FAO dienen nur noch 47 Prozent der Weltgetreideproduktion – Weizen, Reis, Mais – der Ernährung.

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.