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.”

Monsanto Not Nearly As Evil As It Was Just A Few Hours Ago

That’s because a German company is now trying to buy it (although they do appear to be choking on it at the moment). Germans are like Green with a capital G or something, you see.

Soybeans

It (Monsanto) has been characterized variously as sinister, evil and a corporate bully. Surveys rank it among the most hated companies in America. And now Bayer AG wants to buy it…

“Monsanto has been better defined by the critics than they should’ve been. We see often times a company has a terrible reputation that often is not that they’ve done something horrendously bad. They’ve just let others define them.”

Von Monstermais und Frankenfood: Die Welt hat sich verändert. Vor hundert Jahren ernteten Getreidebauern in Deutschland je Hektar kaum ein Viertel der Menge, die die Landwirte heute einfahren.

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.

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.

German Of The Day: Wetter

No, let’s make that the English word of the day instead. Not Wetter,  German for weather, let’s go with the English word wetter. You know, as in there are few countries out there that could possibly be wetter than Germany?

Wetter

But that doesn’t stop Germans from going completely overboard when it comes to unnecessary water conservation measures, of course (and don’t say you heard it from me but it’s the German water mafia I tell you).

People here are known to flush toilets with old bath water and to take turns bathing in the same tub without refilling it. New German toilets typically use about two gallons of water for a full flush and less than one for water-saving.

Conserving water is an expression of personal virtue and social responsibility. But as scholars, utility managers, and municipal officials point out, there is a dark side to the impulse. Sewage stagnates in too-large canals and noxious gas is corroding cement. Basements in Berlin are flooding because of the rising water table.

“Water Saving in Germany Is Nonsense.”

The Thrill Is Gone

My how time flies. Especially when it’s only been fifteen minutes.

Snowden

For the rest of us, I mean. Edward Snowden still has a whole lot more time on his hands.

The European parliament is to ditch demands on Wednesday that EU governments give guarantees of asylum and security to Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistleblower.

In Brüssel ist ein Vorstoß von Grünen und Linken gescheitert, dem Whistleblower Schutz in der EU zu gewähren. Der Innenausschuss des EU-Parlaments stimmte gegen den Antrag.

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.

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.

We May Be Outraged (as usual) But We Ain’t Stupid

Grant political asylum to a Straftäter (criminal offender)? Not even Germany can pull that one off. Angie & Co. just said nein to this indistinct possibility.

Snowden

It was nice for leading figures in the German Outrage Industry to pretend like they could for fifteen minutes or so, I guess, but sooner or later even the best/worst of them have to come back down to Planet Earth again.

Die Voraussetzungen für eine Aufnahme des Whistleblowers lägen nicht vor, sagte Regierungssprecher Steffen Seibert.

PS: But it ain’t over till it’s over, Amerika. Vice President of German Parliament (one of six – nice work if you can get it) Claudia Roth HERSELF is still planning to press criminal charges or something. Someone is suspected of having actually listened once to what she said on her little green cellphone – eavesdropping-wise, I mean. And I pity the fool who gets in her way (thanks A.K.).

Claudia Roth