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?

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Green Phantom Energy Expensive, Too

How the hell do they do this? It’s magic.

Strom

And the trick goes like this: Germans spent some 643 million euros last year for energy that was never even produced. The reason is the wind energy operators get compensation payments for lost revenues.

How’s that? Is this the New Deal all over again? Nope. Well, yup. Only different. On most days wind turbines in Germany produce more energy than needed. In oder to avoid overloading the energy grid, turbines get taken off the grid or this energy gets fed into foreign grids – for free. In order that German wind energy operators still get their money, however, they get “compensation.” That is, money for electricity they never had to produce. 643 million euros was shelled out for this last year alone, like I said. And things are looking up, too. This was over twice as much as was paid in 2015 (315 million euros). Can’t wait for next year’s bill. German taxpayers pay for this, just in case you were wondering.

Damn. I sure do wish that US-Amerika could start making some progress here with this renewable energy scam, I mean business, but nobody back home seems to get it.

Die Strom-Netzentgelte steigen auf Rekordniveau. Ein Grund sind Windräder, die sich im Leerlauf drehen. Und die Verbraucher merken es im Portemonnaie.

How Poor Is Germany?

Why Germany is so poor it can’t even put its two cents in the conversation.

EU

Poor? Germany is so poor it scams the Nigerians.

Germany is poor. It’s so poor it drives a Poor-shh.

And to top these jokes off, Germany is so poor that German states like Brandenburg will continue to need aid from the European Union for, like, well… Forever.

Remember: “The state (or in this case the über-suprranational-EU-state) is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.”

Brandenburg darf aus Sicht von Finanzminister Christian Görke (Linke) bei künftigen notwendigen Haushaltseinsparungen der Europäischen Union nicht belastet werden.

Germany To Receive Electroshock Therapy

In another electrifying example of tax dollar waste (or in this case tax euro waste), Angela Merkel’s government has just made a deal with automakers to spend some 1.2 billion euros on incentives to boost sluggish electric car sales in Germany.

Electroshock

“The goal is to move forward as quickly as possible on electric vehicles,” one high-ranking government official said while attaching the electrodes to the German nation’s sweaty forehead. “With this, we are giving an impetus.”

And if that first shock doesn’t work, who cares? This is renewable energy they’re using here, folks.

Just over 30,000 electric vehicles, which are more expensive than conventional models, have been sold in Germany. That’s a tiny fraction of the more than 3 million cars bought each year in a country which has historically leaned on diesel technology to reduce carbon-dioxide 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.

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. 

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.

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.

Alternative Reality Expensive As Hell

As part of Germany’s switch to renewables, industry has been exempt from paying higher prices associated with solar and wind energy. The European Commission, however, believes the practice distorts competition on the Continent. Huge penalties could be in store.

Bill

The costs of start-up financing for green energy and the compensation for expansion of the power grid are added to customers’ electricity bills in the form of a special tax. The entire subsidy system is supposed to come to an end when green energy becomes competitive. That, at least, is the theory.

But the reality is different. No longer can one simply describe the tax as a way to get renewable energies off the ground. Indeed, following Berlin’s decision two years ago to shelve nuclear energy and accelerate the expansion of renewables, the EEG (Renewable Energies Act) has become a giant redistribution machine.

“The fact that German electricity prices are among the highest in Europe despite relatively low wholesale prices must serve as a warning signal.”

Poor But Sexy But Inter-State Fiscally Adjusted

Berlin is.

Waste

Here’s a new German word for you: Länderfinanzausgleich. In a nutshell, this means that wealthy German states like Bavaria and Hesse (so-called donor states) are obligated to subsidize poor but sometimes sexy German states like Berlin and Bremen (so-called recipient states) because, well, hell if I know why.

This is also known as “inter-state fiscal adjustment” here. You know, good old fashioned Umverteilung (redistribution of somebody else’s money) or subsidies, if you prefer.

Anyways, Bavaria and Hesse, for one (or two), are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it (or give it) anymore and are bringing an action before the German Verfassungsgericht (Supreme Court) claiming that this type of thing is constitutionally imbalanced and needs to be done away with – at least when it comes to Berlin because the Berlin city/state government consists of a worthless bunch of lazy and wasteful bums who are completely out of control when it comes to spending and would never think of stopping their spending if they aren’t forced to, which is, well, a pretty accurate analysis of the situation here.

This will probably go nowhere, however, because Germans are big fans of something they like to call Solidarität (no English equivalent that I can find other than maybe “supporting lazy and wasteful and sometimes sexy bums”).

“Das Gesamtsystem leidet unter einer zu weitgehenden Nivellierung der Länderfinanzkraft, die den politisch Verantwortlichen eines Landes das Eigeninteresse nimmt, Maßnahmen zur Stärkung der originären Steuerkraft zu ergreifen.”