We’ll Always Have Paris

Sometimes relationships just don’t make sense anymore.

Wind

People and renewable forms of energy grow apart and become, you know, different people. Then it’s time to move on. It’s tragic, I know. It’s heartbreaking. But that’s the way the German wind turbine crumbles.

German campaigners fall out of love with wind power – Growing opposition and lack of land spark collapse in construction of new turbines.

Der Ausbau der Windenergie ist ins Stocken geraten. Droht der Branche das gleiche Schicksal wie der Solarindustrie?

Ever Had A Windmill Shoved Down Your Throat?

How about thousands of them? And then you’re allowed to subsidize them all?

Windmill

You’d hat them too.

Germany’s Giant Windmills Are Wildly Unpopular – Local politics are a bigger problem for renewable energy growth than competition from fossil fuels.

Despite their surging popularity in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, the Greens did badly in last Sunday’s election in the German state of Thuringia, and the nationalists from the Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) did very well. An important reason is that the Greens support wind energy and the AfD militates against wind turbines. The giant windmills have grown so unpopular in neighboring communities that their construction in Germany has all but ground to a halt.

There are nearly 30,000 wind turbines in Germany, more than anywhere else in Europe. Only China and the U.S., both much bigger countries, have more. Germany gets 23.5% of its energy from wind this year; it’s the biggest source of renewable energy for the country. But in the first half of 2019, only 35 wind turbines were added — an 82% drop compared with the first six months of 2018. Last year was bad, too: Just 743 turbines were added, compared with 1,792 in 2017.

Turn, Turn, Turn

Wind turbines turn. But for how much longer?

Wnd

To everything turn, turn, turn
There is a season turn, turn, turn
A time to buid up
A time to break down…

Germany’s wind power industry could shed about 40% of its jobs because of sliding interest among investors to build turbines on land, threatening a key driver of the nation’s ambitious clean energy targets.

Environmental rules are snagging license approval for scores of onshore projects, causing delays of as long as two years, according to a report by Psephos GmbH for Germany’s VDMA machine makers lobby group. As developers and investors shy away from auctions and wading through the thicket of red tape, construction of new parks is grinding to a halt and putting jobs in jeopardy.

Deutschland ist weltweit Vorreiter bei der Energiewende – dem Umstieg auf erneuerbare Energien. Doch ausgerechnet im wichtigsten Erneuerbaren-Bereich im deutschen Markt gibt es große Probleme.

Our Energy Doesn’t Stink

But we need yours anyway, OK? Your nuclear and coal burning energy…

Energy

Merkel’s Government Looks Abroad to Keep Germany’s Lights On – Germany will rely heavily on neighboring nations in Europe to avert blackouts as it weans itself off coal over the next two decades, a senior government official said.

Europe’s biggest consumer of electricity is working to shut power plants fueled by both coal and nuclear energy that account for half of the nation’s generation capacity. Thomas Bareiss, a deputy economy and energy minister, acknowledged that retiring all those plants poses a challenge that may leave Germany reliant on imported electricity.

“It means thinking ahead and acting in concert in an already active cross-border market.”

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?

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.

German Brains Tick Differently

So let’s tock about it. “Germans Just Love Paying Sky-High Prices for Green Energy.”

Energy

Huh? I don’t get it, either. It’s kind of like Angela Merkel’s popularity ratings. How could she still be in office after that refugee number of hers? Yet her popularity ratings are still very high. It makes no sense.

So even though… The cost of the Energiewende  is largely borne by German consumers, who pay a surcharge of around €20 ($23.61) on their energy bills. German households pay more for their electricity than in any other European country except for Denmark, where power costs €0.308 per kilowatt hour to Germany’s €0.298.

However, as the latest survey – conducted by Kantar Emnid on the AEE’s behalf – shows, enthusiasm for renewables is increasing if anything. “The survey results show the breadth of the societal consensus supporting the Energiewende in Germany,” said AEE deputy managing director Nils Boenigk.

The AEE’s survey that 95 percent saw the expansion of renewables as important or extremely important. That’s up from 93% in a similar survey last year.

95 Prozent der Deutschen für Ausbau von Ökostromanlagen.

Wind Energy Still Safer Than Nuclear Energy

Unless you’re a bird, of course. Or you’re a truck driver transporting turbine blades on a German autobahn.

Wind

The giant turbine blade fell when the transporter which was transporting it was involved in an accident on the A33 autobahn near Bielefeld. The blade was knocked across the entire width of the autobahn when another lorry ran into the back of one of the transporter’s escort vehicles.

Auf der A33 ist am Dienstagmorgen ein Lastwagen mit einem Schwertransport kollidiert, der den Flügel eines Windrades transportiert hatte. Der Lastwagen ist laut Polizei zunächst in das hintere Begleitfahrzeug des Schwertransportes gefahren. Wie das passieren konnte, ist noch unklar.

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.”

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.