Germany’s CO2 and energy policy – about to falter?

Guest essay by Fred F. Mueller

On April 16th, 2014, a few quite remarkable statements were delivered during a discussion event at the premises of SMA Solar Technology AG, a leading German producer of photovoltaic panels and systems:

“The truth is that the Energy U-Turn (“Energiewende”, the German scheme aimed at pushing the “renewable” share of electricity production to 80 % by 2050) is about to fail”

“The truth is that under all aspects, we have underestimated the complexity of the “Energiewende”

“The noble aspiration of a decentralized energy supply, of self-sufficiency! This is of course utter madness”

“Anyway, most other countries in Europe think we are crazy”

Had this been one of the small albeit growing number of German “sceptics” casting doubt upon the XXL-sized politico-economical scam that has cost the German populace more than € 500 billion since its inception in 2000, it would not have gotten more than a footnote in the local press, crammed somewhere in between “horoscope” and “lost and found”. In fact, the media actually tried to keep a lid on the facts by giving them as little coverage as possible.

But the man at the speaker’s desk was Sigmar Gabriel, acting vice-chancellor of the German government, Secretary of Commerce with responsibility for the said „Energiewende” and chairman of the German social democrats (SPD), the second-largest political force in the country. Since December 2013, he is in charge of taming the runaway costs and growing security of supply risks that are unmasking the financial and technical nightmare of this ill-conceived project. In the past few months, he seems to have gotten some unpleasant insights causing him to admit the above-mentioned inconvenient truths when he was pushed too far by a number of aggressive lobbyists of the “renewable energy” sector. Gabriel, famous for his irascible temper that once already resulted in a heated verbal exchange with a top-dog TV journalist live on air, appears to have become quite candid when he vented his anger during the debate.

He must have realized his own political fate is in jeopardy because the task he has been assigned has conducted him into a situation that will inevitably result in failure. With respect to electric energy generation, Germany has painted itself into a corner. Since the introduction of the “Renewable Energy” law (EEG) in 2000 aimed at replacing coal and gas-fired as well as nuclear power generation by so-called renewable energy sources, the household price for electricity has jumped by more than 200 %. German customers now pay the second-highest electricity prices in Europe. At the same time, the task of stabilizing the grid against the massive erratic influx from solar and wind power plants that produce without regard for actual need has pushed the operators to their limits. Now already, with a combined share of just some 13 % of total electricity production, their unreliable input is massively imperiling the stability of the grid.

Conventional power plants – the most important units able to compensate these detrimental effects – are being pushed out of the market and shuttered at increasing rates. At the same time, Germany’s CO2 output has not diminished because coal-fired units have had to take over from closed nuclear plants. Costs are set to rise further on a ballistic path while security of supply is in free fall. At the same time, Gabriel is subjected to intense pressure from a number of factions of the “renewable” energy sector asking for ever greater slices of a cake that cannot be financed much longer. Together with inconvenient truths about feasibility limits given to him by his technical staff, this pressure seems to have risen to a level that pushed him to lecture his harassers when their clamors transgressed his tolerance limit.

This rare incident where a leading politician loses control of his words to such a degree shows that the “crash boom bang” path the German way of mishandling energy policies has indeed reached a threshold where said politicians feel cornered and unable to uphold their usual “muddling through” approach. Long-ignored financial and technical rules re-emerge and will force the German political class to abandon their “renewable” energy strategy centering on solar and wind power generation. Since the only low CO2 alternative – nuclear power – has been deviled by all political parties and the media beyond any chance of short-term oblivion, Germany will soon have to revert to coal for its power needs. And that in turn implies the country will have to abandon all aspirations to lower its CO2 emissions. German politicians might soon find out that demonizing CO2 is becoming a speedy path to ruining their career. And given the importance of the country within Europe and the pioneering role it claimed in the international crusade against climate change by limiting CO2 emissions, this might well herald the start of a paradigm shift of epochal dimensions in the whole climate change debate.

 

Original TV clips (in German):

http://www.1730live.de/sigmar-gabriel-nimmt-in-kassel-stellung-zur-energiewende/
http://www.hr-online.de/website/archiv/hessenschau/hessenschau.jsp?t=20140417&type=v

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120 thoughts on “Germany’s CO2 and energy policy – about to falter?

  1. This needs to be copy-edited:
    “Since the only low CO2 alternative – nuclear power – has been deviled by all political parties and the media beyond any chance of short-term oblivion, . . . .”

    E.g., change “oblivion” to “resuscitation”.

  2. Guest essay by Fred F. Mueller
    “German politicians might soon find out that demonizing CO2 is becoming a speedy path to ruining their career. And given the importance of the country within Europe and the pioneering role it claimed in the international crusade against climate change by limiting CO2 emissions, this might well herald the start of a paradigm shift of epochal dimensions in the whole climate change debate.”

    Truth is catching up with the climate change meme. It’s about time.

  3. Not only that, but German high court has declared that the govt illegally closed their units and also illegally collected 2.2 billion euros in fuel taxes from those plants that was never due. Govt must repay plant owners. Germans are cowards and cowards pay for their fears.

  4. http://notrickszone.com/2014/04/27/angela-merkels-vice-chancellor-stuns-declares-germanys-energiewende-to-be-on-the-verge-of-failure/ has some quotes translated into English:

    “The truth is that in all fields we under-estimated the complexity of the Energiewende.”

    “Those who are the engines of the transformation to renewable energies, that’s you, you don’t see how close we are to the failure of the energy transformation.”

    The mood at SMA Solar, which has been a huge benefactor of the renewable energy subsidies brought on by Germany’s EEG feed-in act, was somber and shock and Gabriel delivered the reality. Many in attendance seemed unable to fathom what Gabriel was unloading: the heady days at the green energy feeding trough are over – live with it.

  5. “German politicians might soon find out that demonizing CO2 is becoming a speedy path to ruining their career.”

    ——————————–
    A fascinating insight really – It is a clear case of blind faith – they really thought this was possible – to run their country on renewables. There was no analysis , just blind faith. And now it is all crumbling before their eyes , as is their political futures.

    I feel this is also the case of your average alarmist – no analysis , just blind faith that CO2 is going to cause catastrophic warming. Likewise, there will no amount of logic skeptics can tell alarmists to move them from their faith – they will have to arrive at the conclusions from the tenants of their faith crumbling before their own eyes, such as these German politicians are having to deal with now.

    The question is how long will it take & can skeptics keep the debate alive until that time.

  6. I wish the Governor/Legislature of the People’s Republic of Vermont would pay attention to what is happening in Germany. Their goals for renewables, “90% of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2050.” according to the Comprehensive Energy Plan of 2011, is already costing us millions that we do not have. As a bonus, the “incentives” have increased our tax burden (formerly ridiculous headed toward insane) and thoroughly corrupted the renewable industry. All while our transportation infrastructure and local school systems go to pot.
    Unfortunately, “utter madness” and “XXL-sized politico-economical scams” are their stock in trade.

  7. “Germany’s CO2 output has not diminished because coal-fired units have had to take over from closed nuclear plants.”

    It was announced in 2011 that Germany would shut down all 17 of its nuclear power stations by 2022. Chancellor Angela Merkel said the nuclear power phase-out would give Germany a competitive advantage in the renewable energy era, stating, “As the first big industrialized nation, we can achieve such a transformation toward efficient and renewable energies, with all the opportunities that brings for exports, developing new technologies and jobs”.

    The move to wind and solar doesn’t appear to be going quite so smoothly as anticipated. With only 9 of 17 nuclear power plants now operating, is Germany still planning to shut down the rest by 2022? Trading nuclear for coal and adding additional coal-fired stations to backup unreliable renewable energy seems like a very expensive move. With the household price for electricity jumping by more than 200%, this hasty transformation toward renewable energies is turning out to be anything but “efficient.” How can Germany afford to keep bailing out bankrupt European nations, like Greece, if the cost of energy continues to skyrocket?

  8. While I do feel sorry for the poor consumers and struggling industries in Germany, I also see this as a shinning example of the utter foolishness of these green policies that are being pushed around the world without a thought for the consequences. Hopefully other countries are watching and learning from this madness.

  9. “German politicians might soon find out that demonizing CO2 is becoming a speedy path to ruining their career. And given the importance of the country within Europe and the pioneering role it claimed in the international crusade against climate change by limiting CO2 emissions, this might well herald the start of a paradigm shift of epochal dimensions in the whole climate change debate.”

    Approaching a tipping point . . .

  10. 28 April: Fairfax Media Australia: Mandate on ethanol fuel costs drivers dearly: study
    New South Wales’s E10 unleaded fuel mandate is a ”debacle” and is costing the state’s motorists millions, according to an international study.
    The Texas Tech University research found motorists had a ”significant aversion” to the ethanol blended product.
    With the push for E10 reducing the availability of regular grade unleaded, motorists had instead flocked to the more expensive premium petrol because of concerns about E10’s potential engine damage as well as fuel efficiency…

    ***Greens MP John Kaye said the mandate was not working for consumers or the environment.
    ”Motorists who had been using regular unleaded have been faced with the choice of a fuel they don’t want and a fuel that is much more expensive,” Dr Kaye said.
    ”While per litre it [the E10 price] looks better, you have to burn more of it to cover the same distance, and you get more air pollution and more CO2 emissions.
    ”There’s no evidence that requiring motorists to use ethanol blended fuels has any net greenhouse gas gain or much in the way of air quality improvement.”

    http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/mandate-on-ethanol-fuel-costs-drivers-dearly-study-20140427-37c6j.html

  11. The German politicians were betrayed by their green-tainted science advisers.
    As have been political leaders world wide.
    Greens have misled the world for their own profit regarding energy, climate and environment for far too long.

  12. /beyond/ the saturation point of renewable self delusion clouds:

    You can see clearly now the rain has gone.

    What a drag. Hans

  13. It may be time to reflect on the wisdom of one of Germany’s earlier, now-reviled politicians.

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” — Josef Goebbels

    It would seem that the State is no longer able to shield the people from the consequences of this particular set of lies. It would also seem that the situation is applicable around the globe, and not just a German phenomenon.

  14. Regrettably, before the greenies and gullible politicians see sense we shall need incontrovertible proof of their incompetence and stupidity. That requires a couple of cold winters, rolling blackouts and tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths from cold.

    Sigmar Gabriel obviously sees this coming, while the great unwashed, loony left keeps marching on uncaringly into an easily avoidable energy disaster.

  15. No doubt other politicians in other countries (Oz in particular) will see this and claim that their scheme is different and will work.

  16. In Australia under the previous “government” we had a creepy green, post GFC program of the government insulating houses as an eco-evangelical stimulus program.

    It was a complete shemozzle. We imported hundreds of millions worth of insulation from China due to the massive demand spike, scammers flooded the sector taking their government fee then not insulating the houses, the established installers all had their businesses destroyed by the scammers, 100 or so houses burned down do to stapling through metallic insulation and then, to cap this fiasco off with perhaps inevitable tragedy, four young installers, kids really, untrained and poorly supervised, died. The program was eventually shut down without warning and the established businesses who had ordered stock were left high and dry. There is now a Royal Commission examining the whole thing.

    The German eco-evangelical decarbonisation program makes us look like amateurs in monetray terms. I just hope that no deaths have ensued.

  17. William: Germany is exporting solar energy at a loss to France and Czech. France and Czech cannot therefore rely on solar energy. The green scams do not work if the objective is to reduce CO2 emissions for whatever reason by 50% for all countries. Nuclear is the only solution. Germany has 2300 km of high voltage power lines that need to be constructed due to the intermittent power from the green scams. The cost of the 2300 km of high voltage power lines and new back up fossil fuel plants that are required has not been included in the green scam economics.

    http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/169521/wind-turbine-energy-capacity-less-estimated

    “As a result of the existing RE build-outs, German household rates increased from 13.94 to 28.50 eurocent/kWh, from 2010 to 2012, a 104.4% increase, and industrial rates increased from 6.05 to 16.10 eurocent/kWh, from 2010 to 2012, a 166% increase. According to a recent study for the federal government, electricity will cost up to 40 eurocents/kWh by 2020, a 40% increase over 2012 prices.

    Among european nations, German households have the second highest electric rates; 28.5 eurocent/kWh (energy, plus fees, plus taxes), after Denmark (32 eurocent/kWh), courtesy of RE. US low electric rates are the envy of heavy industry elsewhere, including Germany. France’s are among has the lowest.”

    William: The average cost of power to US consumers is US $0.1057/kw-hr, a third of the cost of electric power in Germany. ($1 US = 0.75 Euro) http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/update/end_use.cfm

    Note the phony solar economics and wind farm calculation which is quoted in other comments in this thread is based on peak noon solar energy generated on a cloudless day and optimum wind speed, not realistic 24/7 solar and wind farm.
    Germany’s Solar Energy: About 22,000 MW of Germany’s 32,800 MW of PV solar systems (end 2012) are in South Germany. (William: Note quoted solar capacity is noon, cloudless day, not 24/7 realistic calculation) On a sunny summer day, from an output of about 0 MW at 6 AM, the PV solar output increases to about 16,000 MW at about noon, and back down to about 0 MW at 6 PM. As this would create major disturbances on the grid and, as PV solar panels cannot be turned off, Germany has to export part of the PV solar energy from about 10 AM to about 2 PM.

  18. Brad says:

    April 27, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Now, if we can only get the same speech in DC….

    Amen, although there are quite a few sensible politicians in the House that bear the constant demagoguery and wrath from the nasty politicians who call them flat earthers and other terms. I was called that Friday night by a committed Democrat. Of course we are fighting a compliant MSM and University system when it comes to Global Warming and climate change.

    Note the similarly of the current tactics from those of the past history as posted by skeptical Lefty
    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” — Josef Goebbels

    “It would seem that the State is no longer able to shield the people from the consequences of this particular set of lies. It would also seem that the situation is applicable around the globe, and not just a German phenomenon.”

    Well said

  19. Well, some country (and possibly several) will have to “green” itself into catastrophe before the rest will learn their lesson. Might as well be Germany. More likely it’ll be the People’s Republik of Kalifornia.

  20. This is a wake up call for all countries with renewable policies for energy substitution. Germany is one of the two or three most technologically savvy countries in the world. Its engineering abilities are unsurpassed. It has a compliant population. If Germany can’t do it any country that is not blessed with huge hydro electric resources (60 to 70 per cent of total generation) must think again.

  21. rogerknights says: “This needs to be copy-edited: ‘Since the only low CO2 alternative – nuclear power – has been deviled by all political parties and the media beyond any chance of short-term oblivion, . . . .’ E.g., change “oblivion” to “resuscitation”.

    I think the word was ‘obviation.’

  22. Aw shucks! Here I’ve been cheering for the German push for more and more wind turbines and the complete shut down of their nukes. When their industry can no longer afford to produce in Germany, they will look for more affordable digs and the US will be a prime candidate. More jobs. :-)

  23. Sad and a tragedy for the middle class , and the same is happening in the US. Any fool with a basic knowledge of power generation and distribution economics could determine in short order that low power density schemes like solar and wind, with their high capital costs, mediocre lifetimes, low availability and high maintenance overhead are a fool’s errand, even with zero energy input costs. A damn foolish national energy policy for a country with above average math skills.
    Net result is chaos and a lower standard of living, but then the hubris of the left knows no bounds.

  24. Col Mosby says: “…Germans are cowards and cowards pay for their fears.”

    How fortunate, then, that England had brave Sir Robin, Neville Chamberlain, at the helm when Germany was being naughty.

  25. Conventional power plants – the most important units able to compensate these detrimental effects – are being pushed out of the market and shuttered at increasing rates. At the same time, Germany’s CO2 output has not diminished because coal-fired units have had to take over from closed nuclear plants. Costs are set to rise further on a ballistic path while security of supply is in free fall.

    A few things, in hopes that the author will come back.

    1. I have read elsewhere that Germany has ordered a bunch of new coal burners. How can they order new coal plants but also be pushing conventional power plants out of the market?

    2. Do you have links to German newspaper or magazine coverage of this, preferably in English?

    3. Do you have a link to official German electricity generation data comparable to data published by the U.S. Dept. of Energy?

    Thanks for the article. Sehr interessant!

  26. Thanks Eric. Good chuckle. It seems like hat kind of cutting satire is not allowed way west of the wall these days. (by way west I mean with a little ocean in between). Refreshing.

  27. disclosure: i am an anti-nuclear CAGW sceptic, but i understand many sceptics are pro-nuclear. i’m also pro-coal, & don’t want the coal industry destroyed on the altar of CAGW to fund nuclear, solar, wind, etc.

    for years, the MSM worldwide has successfully kept quiet from anti-nuclear CAGW followers (and pro-nuclear CAGW sceptics, it seems to me) –

    1) the fact advanced nuclear was included with renewables in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007

    2) that James Hansen was calling for a “nuclear renaissance” driven by the development of fourth-generation nuclear power plants in his book “Storms of my Grandchildren” published in 2009

    similarly, the MSM – with the exception of UK Daily Mail – DOWNPLAYED – or didn’t even mention – the IPCC’s endorsements of not only nuclear, but also fracking, in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, recently published.

    April 27 2014: NYT – in typical disinfo fashion – PRETENDS nuclear is only now being considered in the fight against carbon dioxide emissions to save the planet from CAGW….by destroying the coal industry, of course… & that nuclear has bipartisan political & environmentalist support(Pew- under-a-new-name)!

    27 April: NYT: Matthew L. Wald: Nuclear Industry Gains Carbon-Focused Allies in Push to Save Reactors
    Environmentalists and the nuclear industry are beginning a push to preserve old nuclear reactors whose economic viability is threatened by cheap natural gas and rising production of wind energy. They argue that while natural gas and wind are helpful as sources of electricity with little or no production of greenhouse gases, national climate goals will be unreachable if zero-carbon nuclear reactors are phased out.
    ***The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, an independent nonprofit group based in Washington that was formerly known as the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, plans to release on Monday a research paper that charts the decline of the industry.
    “The loss of nuclear plants from the electricity grid would likely lead to millions of tons of additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere each year,” because the substitute would be fossil fuels, the paper concludes. “This is a prospect the global climate cannot afford.”
    Carol M. Browner, the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and a former climate adviser to President Obama, and Susan F. Tierney, another former energy aide to Mr. Obama, are among the prominent figures expected to be present when the paper is made public.
    The nuclear industry has started a new lobbying effort, hiring three former senators — Evan Bayh, an Indiana Democrat; Judd Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican; and Spencer Abraham, a Michigan Republican and a former energy secretary — and William M. Daley, a former chief of staff to Mr. Obama. The group, called Nuclear Matters, has begun an advertising campaign in major newspapers…
    ***An antinuclear group based in Washington, the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, referred to both Nuclear Matters and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions as “de facto nuclear industry front groups” and said the groups were trying to create a false impression that environmentalists were warming to nuclear power…
    Many reactors now fall into the category of “merchant generators,” which means their only income is whatever they can get by selling their electricity in markets depressed by the recession and cheap gas.
    ***So there are no clear options for preserving old reactors without a carbon tax or similar incentive for zero-carbon generation. But the paper’s co-author, Douglas Vine, said one option could be rules the E.P.A. is planning to issue that would force existing coal-fired plants to cut their carbon dioxide output.
    ***Mr. Vine said that with some new form of carbon trading, coal-fired power plants obliged to cut their output might comply by paying for new nuclear production, or continued production from a nuclear reactor that would otherwise have had to close…
    Those coal plants could take credit for zero-carbon electricity to blend in with their own high-carbon production. But the idea faces regulatory obstacles, he said, among them ensuring that any nuclear production that the coal plants might subsidize was not going to happen without such a deal.
    Mr. Vine said that closing reactors was a step back for climate stabilization…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/28/business/energy-environment/nuclear-industry-gains-carbon-focused-allies-in-push-to-save-reactors.html?_r=0

  28. backing up claims in my previous comment:

    Wikipedia: 2007: IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
    Key mitigation technologies and practices currently commercially available
    Improved supply and distribution efficiency; fuel switching from coal to gas; nuclear power; renewable heat and power (hydropower, solar, wind, geothermal
    and bioenergy
    Key mitigation technologies and practices projected to be commercialized before 2030
    Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) for gas, biomass and coal-fired electricity generating facilities; advanced nuclear power; advanced renewable energy, including tidal and waves energy, concentrating solar, and solar PV…
    In terms of electricity generation, the IPCC envisage that renewable energy can provide 30 to 35% of electricity by 2030 (up from 18% in 2005) at a carbon price of up to US$50/t, and that nuclear power can rise from 16% to 18%…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPCC_Fourth_Assessment_Report

    2009: Countercurrents: A Review of James Hansen’s Storms of My Grandchildren
    He does stress the importance of energy-efficiency gains and renewable-energy sources, but he finds it “extremely irresponsible” to depend entirely on these two strategies to combat global warming; instead, he writes favorably of the prospect of a “nuclear renaissance” driven by the development of fourth-generation nuclear power plants, which he seems to find to be the only viable means by which drastically to reduce carbon emissions in the near term…
    His questionable views on nuclear power aside, much of what Hansen proposes in Storms of My Grandchildren seems reasonable…

    http://www.countercurrents.org/sethness151209.htm

  29. reminder:

    George W. Bush: The President’s News Conference With Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan at Camp David, Maryland
    April 27, 2007
    President Bush: We talked about the environment and energy…
    There’s a lot of work that Japan and the United States can do together, particularly in fields like emission-free nuclear energy, nuclear power. I mean, the truth of the matter is, if people really want to solve the issue of greenhouse gases, civilian nuclear power, powering our energy grids by nuclear power is the best alternative available…
    We—over lunch I’m going to also remind Shinzo about my deep desire to have our folks driving automobiles powered by ethanol and biodiesels. And I’m going to share with him our strategy about reducing gasoline consumption in the United States by 20 percent over the next 10 years as a result of ethanol, as well as our cellulosic ethanol technologies that are, hopefully, coming to market quickly…
    Prime Minister Abe: Let me also point out, as President mentioned earlier, that an important progress has been made on the climate change issue…
    is gratifying that we agreed—Japan and the United States agreed at the leaders’ level to study jointly an intensified dialog on ways and means to make progress towards the ultimate objective of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, to resolve the environmental issues, and to resolve the greenhouse gas issue. I believe this represents an important progress.
    It is essential that the world community act on the climate change issue in concert, and Japan and the United States agreed to work together on this front…

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=25225

  30. 12 March: RenewEconomyAustralia: Giles Parkinson: UK nuclear power plant builders want higher carbon tax
    Australian government members harbouring a not-so-secret fantasy to see nuclear generation in Australia can add another major offence to its principals that such projects would require.
    The Telegraph in the UK is reporting that EdF, the mostly French government owned nuclear giant that is proposing to build the $26 billion Hinkley Point C, is now pushing the UK government to increase its carbon tax so the financials for the first nuclear plant in the UK for nearly three decades adds up.
    As Centrica (formerly British Gas) chairman Sir Roger Carr noted last year when pulling his company and its 500 million investment out of the consortium: “Nuclear is not a cheap option.”
    It also requires massive subsidies. The Hinkley Point plant requires a guaranteed tariff of £92.50/MWH ($170/MWH), that is twice the wholesale price in the UK and about four times the price in Australia.
    And Hinkley also requires a massive loan guarantee (£10 billion) to cover the cost of building the plant. The European Commission is currently investigating the deal struck between EdF and the UK government to see if the subsidies are illegal. It noted in a 70-page interim report published in January that the total subsidies of £17 billion amount to more than the cost of the plant…
    This is interesting stuff for Tony Abbott’s conservative government. Many of his advisors favour nuclear, the nuclear option will be canvassed in the upcoming energy white paper, and some members, such as the climate-denying, would-be science minister Dennis Jensen, suggest that car workers could be retrained to run nuclear plants.
    Apart from the improbability of that last suggestion, it seems clear that if Abbott was ever to entertain nuclear as a serious option – it could only do so by abandoning the idea of a cheap fuel source, accepting the need for loan guarantees, and for a carbon price.

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/uk-nuclear-power-plant-builders-want-higher-carbon-tax-28916

  31. AGW may be going belley up, but UN Agenda 21 policies have slipped in under the AGW diversion. The public are conditioned already to the notion of “sustainability” and the governments and local governments have been infiltrated by Agenda 21 influenced legislation and ICLEI.
    Search for ICLEI on your local govenment’s website. The odds are that the influence has been there a number of years already and your local bylaws and policies are closing your lifestyle down. Electric cars, cycle ways, over emphasis on public transport and “encouragements” for smaller housing in CBD’s and “sustainability” courses in schools and universities where sutdents never fail. Its all happening in my city.

    Cheers

    Roger

    http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

    http://www.

  32. Germany have been talking Green but digging Brown for some time now. They just have to sound a bit tormented and angst-ridden about exploiting those enormous rafts of lignite while the carbon price is in the toilet. They’ve been silly, but not as silly as they sound. Nuke and hydro-rich France would love a high carbon price but not at the cost of having to buy the drinks for all the cadgers and derelicts around the bar. That’s Germany’s job!

  33. @ Jake J.

    Given the very long planification, permission and erection periods of typically more than 10 years, a number of plants is still being built or has recently been commissioned. But the pipeline for new projects is largely dry.

    A few sources, albeit (unfortunately) in German, but English language publications are hard to come by.
    “Plans for a state-run power plant for fear of a blackout”

    http://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/energie/article126769283/Staatskraftwerk-aus-Angst-vor-Blackouts-geplant.html

    “Energiewende: Backup power plants will cost Billions”

    http://www.wiwo.de/politik/deutschland/energiewende-reservekraftwerke-werden-milliarden-verschlingen/9412340.html

    Power production statistics since 1990, also available in English:

    http://www.ag-energiebilanzen.de/

    Fred

  34. Fellow realists. I present to you both an analogy & a lesson from history. In October 782 AD , during the Saxon wars, the Frankish troops of Charlemagne’s Xtian Francia (now France) beheaded 4500 Saxons in Verden (now in Germany) who would not convert to Xtianity. The analogy being that the Renewable Energy law (EEG) of 2000 is the pagan belief in windmills & photovoltaic panels & Xtianity is represented by the French nuclear generators of electricity. Convert or die is the message to the believers. Your Energiewende is a false religion.

    “When he heard this, the Lord King Charles rushed to the place with all the Franks that he could gather on short notice and advanced to where the Aller flows into the Weser. Then all the Saxons came together again, submitted to the authority of the Lord King, and surrendered the evildoers who were chiefly responsible for this revolt to be put to death—four thousand and five hundred of them. This sentence was carried out. Widukind was not among them since he had fled to Nordmannia. When he had finished this business, the Lord King returned to Francia.”

    Heads are going to roll; possibly literally as well as figuratively. I see Merkel as Widukind, but other may have other candidates?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_Verden

    Those who do not know their history, are doomed to repeat it.

  35. Personally, although I have nothing against the Germans per se; I hope that they do suffer badly, in the same way as Spain, for their stupid ‘green’ RE agendas. Apart from being model ‘failures’ and therefore acting as warnings to others – it might just make the Germans a little more ‘humble’ in Europe and teach them that they do not know everything or what is best for Europe and other countries!

  36. renewables have never had any chance to met the majority of energy needs for modern society
    They simply cannot match supply and time of demand in a way that makes any sense, that is when they can match demand at all.
    Turning the countries energy supplies to this approach can only mean massive brownouts or the madness of having to build , at a high environmental and finical cost , a entire second energy supply network to cover the problems of supply from renewable .

    Frankly the greens actual want an energy crisis , has they see this as an opportunity, for although they no longer say it in public , in private they still think that energy has too cheap and to easy to get. If you could come up with cheap, clean and reliable energy supply tomorrow. those most opposed to it would be the greens how would regard this as a ‘bad idea’

  37. The UK’s largest power station, Drax, is having the same problems. It was promised huge subsidies to burn every forest in the USA, but now the government appears to be having second thoughts.

    In one sense, this is a victory for common sense. However, what does this do for UK energy policy? Four coal mines have already started closing down in the UK, because of a lack of demand from Drax. But if Drax is left powerless, then the UK loses 5-7% of its power generation. And this at a time when the government is increasing electrical demand by subsidizing electric vehicles.

    So when do the lights go out?

    _______________________

    Daily Mail, Quote:
    Britain’s biggest power station is suing the Government for losing a lucrative contract after a Mail on Sunday investigation revealed that it burns wood from precious US forests as a ‘green’ alternative to coal. Drax is committed to switching from coal to ‘biomass’, or wood pellets.

    In December, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey promised the North Yorkshire plant two lucrative ‘contracts for difference’ – which would see it earn £105 for every megawatt hour it generates, rather than the normal price of £50.

    The extra money would come from subsidies funded by consumers’ household bills. But this paper revealed that much of its biomass is shipped in from historic wetland hardwood forests – 3,000 miles away in North Carolina. Environmentalists say this is destroying endangered species’ habitats, and increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

    Ministers have now withdrawn their promise to guarantee profits for the part of the plant using biomass. This wiped £400million off the company’s share price and prompted the firm to start legal action. A spokesman for Mr Davey said: ‘Drax was informed that this project no longer qualifies for the award of contract.’

    (scroll to the bottom of this link).

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2614097/Top-climate-experts-sensational-claim-government-meddling-crucial-UN-report.html#ixzz30AFbqWk5

    Ralph

  38. William Astley says: April 27, 2014 at 8:03 pm
    William: Germany is exporting solar energy at a loss to France and Czech.
    ______________________________

    Well that’s interesting. Denmark, which used to have Europe’s largest wind carpet (as they call it), could not deal with its wind power either, and used to sell it to Scandinavia and Germany. So if we all end up selling our wind and solar power, because nobody can use it, then where will it all go?

    Is someone going to create a huge zener-diode-resistor arrangement in Switzerland (measuring about ten miles across), to drain away all that unwanted energy? And how hot would it get? Will we fry all of Switzerland on a windy day? Will it add to Global Warming? Could you see it glowing in the dark, from Berlin?

    Seriously, the following article is from 2005, and it states that Denmark has NEVER used any of its wind power, because it would destabilize the grid, so it has always exported its wind electricity (at a loss) to Scandinavia and Germany.

    http://incoteco.com/upload/CIEN.158.2.66.pdf

    Ralph

  39. Geoff Sherrington says:
    April 27, 2014 at 6:08 pm
    Germany, become sane again and go nuclear. Model yourself on a superior France.

    NOT for much longer. The socialists (Valls the new PM) want to close HALF of france’s nuclear power stations by 2025. That will leave no base power for the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and portugal.

  40. ralfellis says:
    April 28, 2014 at 1:05 am

    There was an EU court ruling on the charges for renewables between germany and it’s neighbours very recently. It was something along the lines of ” you must charge the same rate to all users”.

  41. Germans need a “Götterdämmerung” to reconsider. They just can’t fathom that a propsal/scheme/idea invented by German scientists and engineers can be wrong and they will continue on the primrose path until a cataclysmic event of some sort stops them. To some extent this has to do with Germany’s tendency towards “uncertainty avoidance” as defined by Geert Hofstede (Dutch social psychologist).

  42. The politicians believed the scientists would save them. There is this belief that if you ban something it will act as a spur and the scientists will come up with a new solution. When they banned DDT I am sure they expected it would soon be replaced with something better. They found wonderful new biodegradable surfactants when detergents were banned, was this not the way forwards. If you force them to see science as a problem rather than a solution, while demonising the free market because it creates a rich minority, the only path left is some kind of religion. Gentlemen, I give you our charismatic new leader, Chicken Little.

  43. “stephen richards says:

    April 28, 2014 at 1:09 am”

    Yes. Not sure how much the UK buys from France, but when France ditches Nuclear and DRAX goes fully wood fired, the power blackouts of the 70’s will pale in comparision.

  44. Perry says:
    April 27, 2014 at 11:50 pm
    “Heads are going to roll; possibly literally as well as figuratively. I see Merkel as Widukind, but other may have other candidates?”

    You won’t find a more opportunistic and cunning Realpolitiker than Merkel, so, no.

    BTW she’ll ramp up the nukes in no time if that’s what’s expedient.

    re Gabriel’s utterances: Just before this SMA speech he reformed the German renewables act – the reformed version being identical to the version before, only with more central planning regarding the installation of new capacity. He’s a social democrat. He will rather chew off his right hand before letting the market determine prices.

    Insanity rules the day. Talk is cheap. No energy price reductions are in sight; quite the opposite: a continuation of the exponential price explosion.

    Keep in mind that all , even the most lunatic, ruling politicians want to sound as if they were sane – we are a month away from the EU parliament elections, and while the EU parliament has no power whatsoever, the parties still want the fat wages.

  45. John in Oz says:
    April 27, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    No doubt other politicians in other countries (Oz in particular) will see this and claim that their scheme is different and will work.

    That’s what Kerry said about the disaster in Spain a few years ago.

  46. “About to falter?”

    Massive understatement. The faltering started years ago. Economically, this hasn’t ever been working. The SPD Minister makes is clear that it no longer works politically, either. The day of reckoning is now at hand.

    When Gabriel, the economics & energy minister (An SPD – Socialist Party – politician in Merkel’s coalition government) explains in plain language to stakeholders in Germany’s solar energy industry that the current subsidy system has the solar industry receiving 50% of the renewable energy subsidies yet only providing 5% of the total (yet will continue to cost Germany’s economy some €23B annually), he is informing the benefactors of existing policy that the system is beyond just broken — it is grossly flawed in its conception and is in dire need of reform. “We underestimated the complexity” is a euphemism for SNAFU. Remember, this is a leftist politician.

    Everyone knows this. The solar industry has had several very tough years, with bankruptcies on all continents. Investors are extremely hesitant to even touch solar power currently, as more and more governments are belatedly discovering both the economic and POLITICAL folly of the generous and wasteful feed-in tariff system. Gabriel wants to have all power consumers (including those producing their own power) pay a surcharge for grid upgrades. This is because the burden is already far too heavy on the average consumer (who typically does not have solar panels installed).

    The invitation to have Gabriel speak at SMA HQ is an effort at damage control in the branch. The industry is lobbying for alternate subsidies (e.g., in R&D) as the brakes are being pulled on the largesse heretofore extended via the Renewable Energy Law to foment new solar PV installations.

    The boom is long past its prime and the bust has already started. Bear Market in solar ahead for the foreseeable future.

    Germany and Spain are excellent case studies on how NOT to conduct national energy policy.

    May others learn from their mistakes. Ignore them at your own peril.

    Kurt in Switzerland

  47. rogerknights says:
    April 27, 2014 at 6:10 pm
    This needs to be copy-edited:
    “Since the only low CO2 alternative – nuclear power – has been deviled by all political parties and the media beyond any chance of short-term oblivion, . . . .”

    E.g., change “oblivion” to “resuscitation”.

    No need for copy editing. The original is quite correct. “Beyond any chance of short-term oblivion” means “beyond any chance nuclear power will be out of favor for only the short term.” In other words, nuclear power has been so vilified it will be a long time, if ever, before it will be considered a feasible alternative.

  48. On BBC’s Start The Week programme this morning there was an interview just after 9 am with Jeremy Rifkin. He said that he was an advisor to Angela Merkel and that German energy policy was a wonderful success, with ordinary people using solar panels to generate their own energy. I gave up after about 30 seconds as my daughter doesn’t like me shouting at the radio while I’m driving .

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b041vvvf

  49. ralfellis says:
    “Is someone going to create a huge zener-diode-resistor arrangement in Switzerland (measuring about ten miles across), to drain away all that unwanted energy? And how hot would it get? Will we fry all of Switzerland on a windy day? Will it add to Global Warming? Could you see it glowing in the dark, from Berlin?”

    Excess wind / solar power energy is sold by Germany to Switzerland and Austria at spot market prices and used by them to pump water uphill in their significant pumped hydro systems. In extreme cases the spot market price goes negative; takers are paid to take the energy. Later they can sell the electricity generated in the pumped hydro system back to Germany at high prices.

    This is one of the “unintended consequences”.

  50. Kurt in Switzerland says:
    April 28, 2014 at 2:56 am
    “Gabriel wants to have all power consumers (including those producing their own power) pay a surcharge for grid upgrades. This is because the burden is already far too heavy on the average consumer (who typically does not have solar panels installed). ”

    a) no he doesn’t. He has already arranged with Brussels new legal exemptions for big electricity users. (His “reformed” renewables subsidation law)
    b) the “burden” as expressed in electricity bills is only one third of the true subsidation; i.e. a 3 person household might pay 300 EUR more per year but in fact pays 900 EUR more (nearly exactly 300 per capita). Why? Because only 1/3 of electricity goes to private consumption. The other 2/3 go to private companies, and public sector. So you pay that part via higher taxes and higher prices.

    German media are great at never mentioning that. Maybe too complicated for a journalist brain.

  51. In the meantime, here in the UK, our unfathomable Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has just announced a whole new raft of ‘renewables’ – solar and wind, which he – get this – states will help to provide ‘RELIABLE’ power….
    Yes – he actually used the word ‘reliable’…
    I know – its sad, isn’t it..?
    Got my little standby genny ready…)

  52. The situation Germany finds itself is unique. State-guaranteed price for 20 years and preferential treatment of renewables mean that solar and wind spikes drive wholesale price down. Since subsidies = guaranteed price – wholesale price, subsidies will increase in the future as long as wind and solar generation increase and drive wholesale price lower.

    Low wholesale price (even lower in the future as renewable generation increases) means that utilities will shut down more fossil-fuel plants but they are needed for those days when wind does not blow or sun shine. RWE chairman Terium compared fossil fuel generators to a fire brigade and insisted that they should be paid like a fire brigade – not just for action during the fire (when there is no renewable generation) but also when they are kept on standby. In other words, Terium wants capacity payments. They are being discussed in Germany right now.

    If Germany doubles wind and solar generation and gets rid of nuclear as planned, it may well end up with a system with three major generator components (fossil fuels, solar and wind), all of which run intermittently (two by nature intermittent, the third because it is used to fill the gaps left by the intermittent ones)) and are subsidized by consumers.

  53. Every time a factory closes in Germany due to high electrical prices, a replacement plant opens up in Texas. Go on, Germany! Keep on doin’ what you been doin! We salute you!!! (while we take all of your jobs, heh heh)

    That goes for you too, California.

  54. Jake J says:
    April 27, 2014 at 9:28 pm
    ………….
    A few things, in hopes that the author will come back….

    Our man in Germany has much covered on this. I hope this helps a bit.

    Angela Merkel’s Vice Chancellor Stuns, Declares Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ To Be On ‘The Verge Of Failure’!
    By P Gosselin on 27. April 2014
    The green energy orgy in Germany is over. The music has stopped and the wine that once flowed freely has long run out. The green energy whores and pimps can go home.

    In a stunning admission by Germany’s Economics Minister and Vice Chancellor to Angela Merkel, Sigmar Gabriel announced in a recent speech that the country’s once highly ballyhooed transformation to renewable energy, the so called Energiewende, a model that has been adopted by a number of countries worldwide, is “on the verge of failure“.………………

    In the speech Gabriel tells the audience how the energy transformation is on the verge of failure:
    “Those who are the engines of the transformation to renewable energies, that’s you, you don’t see how close we are to the failure of the energy transformation.”

    http://notrickszone.com/2014/04/27/angela-merkels-vice-chancellor-stuns-declares-germanys-energiewende-to-be-on-the-verge-of-failure/

  55. In Germany Energiewende may not go out with a whimper, rather a bang.

    Next step: Coal plants shut down in Germany this summer (German demand is winter peak), will push the spot price for electricity in Europe to record levels in October/Nov/Dec 2014. Then the remaining money losing coal plants will stop losing money, and blackouts will ensue.

    Background:
    The German coal plants struggle to make money, as they are contracted for base load at a modest price, but get shoved aside 20 – 30% of the time by renewables. The Greenies love this – that the base load is losing money due to competition from (5x subsided) renewables. The coal plant owners have had enough. Germany will learn its lesson in Physics this fall.

  56. To Jake J.

    Given the very long planification, permission and erection periods of typically more than 10 years, a number of plants is still being built or has recently been commissioned. But the pipeline for new projects is largely dry.

    A few sources, albeit (unfortunately) in German, but English language publications are hard to come by.
    “Plans for a state-run power plant for fear of a blackout”

    http://tinyurl.com/mdw3s2o

    “Energiewende: Backup power plants will cost Billions”

    http://tinyurl.com/nt5aotk

    Power production statistics since 1990, also available in English:

    http://tinyurl.com/m2qeguk

    Fred

  57. Actually my view is this. The Germans are good engineers. Build cars, check. Build autobahns check. Build submarines, check. Understand the big picture. Not capable.

  58. Very nice, but Germany has forced its model on weaker EU nations, like Greece and Portugal who are struggling to regain competitiveness while straddled with exorbitant energy costs. The only real beneficiaries are non EU nations that advanced because the rest of us were held back by nonsense German inspired dogmatism.

    The U turn is displaying the full effect of the law of unintended consequences and Germany, if it wants to remain credible, should state clearly that the CO2 policy’s untenability is EU wide. This is not a “Germany only” problem.

  59. I admire Germany and most of the Germans. Really. Greatest Tech-nation of the world (next to Japan) But when it comes to political or ideological stuff they are on the level of a hilltribe.

  60. Gary Hladik says:
    April 27, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Well, some country (and possibly several) will have to “green” itself into catastrophe before the rest will learn their lesson.

    That’s already been done, in Spain. But the lesson wasn’t learned. Sometimes you have to hit them with the clue bat more than once.

  61. wws says:
    April 28, 2014 at 6:29 am
    “Every time a factory closes in Germany due to high electrical prices, a replacement plant opens up in Texas. Go on, Germany! Keep on doin’ what you been doin! We salute you!!! (while we take all of your jobs, heh heh)
    That goes for you too, California.”

    Well maybe a copper affinery here or an aluminum smelter there, and that’s that. In practice exemptions from FIT contributions and ramp up of lignite power plants keep the machines chugging along, the enormous cost of renewables notwithstanding.

    Throughout the entire Eurocrisis unemployment has been going down in Germany; we produce what the bankrupt South of Europe doesn’t produce anymore; in some cases German Mittelstand companies buy their suppliers in Italy just to make sure future supplies of intermediate products stay available at all; an involuntary expansion.

    The entire affaire is not really costing jobs; it just reduces the standard of living. Our red-green journalists do their very best to not tell this story. The statistics make it clear though.

    Meanwhile mass immigration of asylum seekers from North Africa and Syria has even lead to a record population – the territory currently occupied by Germany has never been as densely populated as now. House and land prices are at record levels.

  62. Eddi Rebel says:
    April 28, 2014 at 8:49 am
    “I admire Germany and most of the Germans. Really. Greatest Tech-nation of the world (next to Japan) But when it comes to political or ideological stuff they are on the level of a hilltribe.”

    The Allied made sure to keep Goebbels’ propaganda broadcaster network intact, only changed the slogans. Today these broadcasters are called ARD and ZDF; population gets forced to pay the monstrosities. They do their very best to promulgate the victor’s history to this day.

    At least up to the re unification in 1990 reporting about war crimes of the Allied was prohibited for all German media, under a SHAEF military law. (SHAEF = Supreme Headquartes of the Allied Expeditionary Forces)

    As a consequence generations of Germans have been brainwashed into obedient slaves of the American Empire.

  63. “As a consequence generations of Germans have been brainwashed into obedient slaves of the American Empire.”

    There is no need for that. Being obedient slaves to stupidity is more than enough.

  64. to DirkH:

    You said : Excess wind / solar power energy is sold by Germany to Switzerland and Austria at spot market prices and used by them to pump water uphill in their significant pumped hydro systems. In extreme cases the spot market price goes negative; takers are paid to take the energy. Later they can sell the electricity generated in the pumped hydro system back to Germany at high prices. This is one of the “unintended consequences”.

    In fact, this excess German energy is ruining the market for neighbouring pumped storage producers, because solar peaks are occurring around noon when they would normally earn their money. In Switzerland, a leading pumped storage provider had to scrap plans to increase his capacity, while Poland and the Czech Republic are erecting special installations at their borders to fend off this unwanted energ influx overloading their grids.

  65. Fred, thanks very much for your reply and for the links. Google Translate is doing a reasonably good job of rendering Wirschafts Woche article in comprehensible English. Could you elaborate on the degree of attention given to Sigmar Gabriel’s remarks at the SMA Solar Technology event? How much of a “splash” did his comments made in Germany? And in general, what’s your most objective possible analysis of the politics of all this within Germany?

    The other night, I was trying to tell someone that the German Greens are even crazier than the American greens, and he refused to believe it. But Germany has more than two parties. I know the Greens have deftly wielded influence as the “swing” party. How is that going lately?

  66. @Ric Werme

    “The truth is that in all fields we under-estimated the complexity of the Energiewende.”

    NO, THEY DID NOT!

    There was no ‘underestimate’ involved. Grid engineers knew what was going to happen, and proved it mathematically. They were ignored.

    This should have been a speech of apology to the few engineers who had integrity, and who were probably sacked as a result…

  67. Marcus Aurelius: “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

  68. “Jeff L says:
    April 27, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    “German politicians might soon find out that demonizing CO2 is becoming a speedy path to ruining their career.”

    ——————————–
    A fascinating insight really – It is a clear case of blind faith – they really thought this was possible – to run their country on renewables. There was no analysis , just blind faith. And now it is all crumbling before their eyes , as is their political futures.

    I feel this is also the case of your average alarmist – no analysis , just blind faith that CO2 is going to cause catastrophic warming.”

    Fascinating lack of insight in the comments above.

    Substitute the expression “nuclear power” for “renewables”, add the word “safely” after “country”, replace the word “alarmist” with “Alfred E. Neuman” (of ‘What, me worry?’ fame), and replace what follows “blind faith that” with “every national government will be able to manage nuclear energy generation without making the planet uninhabitable for millenia to come”.

    Real leaders lead from the front. Germany has shown the world real leadership on the nuclear power issue. If they have to return to coal fired plants for the time being, that’s a setback, not a defeat. Coal and CO2, as is normally expounded ad nauseam here, doesn’t pose a fatal and immediate threat to humanity. Nuclear incompetence does, as has been amply demonstrated. Shall we talk about the billions the US has squandered on its nuclear waste disposal plans?

  69. Thanks for the excellent run down on the nuclear conspiracy behind the CAGW paradigm Pat. For some reason the crowd here at WUWT is in total denial on the fact. Political tone deafness seems to be a trait among those whose focus is the hard sciences.

    Every bit of legislation that has been proposed over the years has had the primary purpose of fostering the viability of nuclear energy. ‘Renewables’ have never been seriously intended as anything but window dressing for the new generation of nuclear power plants.

    Leave it to scientists to be so gullible as to swallow political propaganda uncritically.

  70. 1. Teach Obama to realize that what he says is “carbon” is CO2.
    2. Teach all his advisers the same.
    3. Have them read a well translated version of Sigmar Gabriel’s speach.
    4. Good luck with #s 1. 2. & 3.

  71. Well, za Chermans love to rally behind za pointless causes ja?

    What would Germany be today without two world wars and the green madness?

  72. To Jake J.

    Hope this reply will make it through the filter. As already explained in the article, the media tried to keep a lid on the event by banning excerpts to “local news”. Not much of a reaction from the general public. Grid specialists are becoming increasingly alarmed, but who pays attention to them as long as the mainstream media claim otherwise? It might well take some more years before something breaks down in a really spectacular way.
    I think Gabriel’s remarks are largely an “accident” owed to his temper. He and the rest of the political class will continue sticking to their “muddling through” policy. The importance lies in the fact that he as a leading representative admitted to the impossibility of continuing on the current path. But given the current inertia of the general populace, this might well go on for some time. My best guess is that a crash is 2-5 years away.

    With respect to the Greens, they have lost heavily during the last elections, but don’t seem to have learned from it and continue unabated. Their political program has remained largely as it was before. Wait and see…

    Fred

  73. The word “renewables” tells me the only thing I need to know, a prank scheme based on an illusion. In science Perpetual motion does not exist. The energy comes from the sun and once it has been used it simply can not be reused again.
    The only positive about it is that the words tell me that a fool is talking and it’s time to move on.

  74. The energy comes from the sun and once it has been used it simply can not be reused again.

    There are arguments to make against renewables, but not that one.

  75. Fred Mueller, thanks for your reply. Perhaps this question is well beyond the scope of your original posting, but I’d be interested in any articles about the grid’s limitations with respect to non-dispatchable power. I understand the obvious reality that wind is unpredictable, but I really don’t know — literally, not figuratively or rhetorically speaking — what implications this carries for the grid, and how the grid would need to be altered to deal with it.

    Similarly, I’d think that the grid would be more able to handle solar, because I would expect less immediate variation. But I wouldn’t make a big bet on that expectation, and in any case would be interested in technical analysis (preferably in English, if available) about the interaction between the grid and all forms of non-dispatchable power.

    And, again, I fully realize that I might have raised an issue that’s beyond the scope of your knowledge. Thanks very much for your attention and your responses. I really liked your article. It has definitely gotten me thinking about some issues I really hadn’t considered.

  76. M Simon says:
    April 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm
    “There is no need for that. Being obedient slaves to stupidity is more than enough.”
    Andy says:
    April 28, 2014 at 7:25 pm
    “Well, za Chermans love to rally behind za pointless causes ja?
    What would Germany be today without two world wars and the green madness?”

    I see that both of you have swallowed the victor’s history wholesale as well.

    Both world wars had the intention of destroying Germany because Germany was an economic threat to the UK empire (and to the fledgling American empire, of course). Today, historians start to admit that Germany did not cause WW I. The Versailles treaty was rammed down Germany’s throat to plunder the country wholesale and break its back. Germany was forced to sign it.

    Where would Germany now be had the Anglosaxons not destroyed it successfully? Well, something’s gotta give on the way to Empire.

  77. aletho says:
    April 28, 2014 at 5:48 pm
    “Thanks for the excellent run down on the nuclear conspiracy behind the CAGW paradigm Pat. For some reason the crowd here at WUWT is in total denial on the fact. Political tone deafness seems to be a trait among those whose focus is the hard sciences.”

    Well I see you are uninformed and clueless about energy. Here’s a warmist scientist for you, detailing the problems of renewables. It might help you learn something.

    http://www.withouthotair.com/

  78. Jake J says:
    April 29, 2014 at 2:06 am
    “Similarly, I’d think that the grid would be more able to handle solar, because I would expect less immediate variation.”

    Not necessarily. The so called “Cumulus effect” leads to vertical drop offs and restarts of solar power output – even more vicious than the power ramps of wind power, which happen with the 3rd power of wind speed. Picture a field of cumulus clouds moving across a blue sky, shadowing solar cell fields as they move.

  79. There’s an important thing to say about Gabriel, he was very well informed about this from the start. He was not taken by surprise, he knew and told already in 2009 that renewable would not allow to shut down nuclear, and coal would be needed as backup :
    See http://cstpr.colorado.edu/prometheus/?p=5064
    Back then he claimed that the emissions trading scheme would magically make the CO2 disappear. It’s hard to think he believed that part of what he was saying.

  80. To Jake J.

    Well, you’re quite right with your guess, and power production experts here are becoming ever more alarmed about these threats. Grid stability is increasingly in jeopardy. I have written quite some articles about these topics, but unfortunately, they are all in German. wattsupwiththat is an AGW and CO2/ climate issues centred blog for an American/ international public, and the US grid and power supply system is certainly quite different from the European one, so I didn’t even think of bothering Americans with such tech details. Here, I only focus on such aspects that are more or less directly impacting CO2/ AGW issues. If you are interested, you might search for some of my tech pieces at http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/, but you would have to translate them.

    One additional info: Solar is bad for the grid too, but won’t grow much further, Germany is largely betting on wind.

    Fred

  81. Fred, thanks for the reply. I think I will have to search for articles in English. It is one thing to rely on a mostly-accurate translation of a magazine article, but another thing to rely on a mostly-accurate translation of a technical article. I doubt that my high school German would help very much.

    The reason I begin with a belief that solar wouldn’t be bad for the grid is that I perceive it to be a lot more predictable and stable in its output. But I am quite open minded in either direction. This is not to endorse solar in Germany. In fact, my attitude is the other way, because of the latitudes. Whoever decided to commit a country lying between 48 degrees and 52 degrees north to solar was an innumerate zealot. I have always believed solar’s best application for power generation to be in very sunny places at latitudes beginning with a “3” or lower.

    Thanks again for your help. I will look forward to anything you contribute in the future about the situation in Germany.

  82. To Jake J.

    one hint: there is an excellent database on electric power production in Germany and Austria (in English) available on the following website: http://www.transparency.eex.com/en/
    You can retrieve quarterly-hour data on conventional, solar and wind production over the last four years or so. High quality material for your own research, it even includes data on forecast and actual production (which impacts on grid stability).

    Hope you and maybe some other readers find it useful.

    Fred

  83. Not necessarily. The so called “Cumulus effect” leads to vertical drop offs and restarts of solar power output – even more vicious than the power ramps of wind power, which happen with the 3rd power of wind speed. Picture a field of cumulus clouds moving across a blue sky, shadowing solar cell fields as they move.

    Hmm. Interesting. Do you have a link to any research on that? Thanks in advance.

  84. Fred, thanks for the site. I hope you’ll keep checking this thread in case I want to ask you any questions about the site or the data. My curiosity has definitely been engaged. Viele danke.

  85. Katherine says:
    April 28, 2014 at 2:58 am

    rogerknights says:
    April 27, 2014 at 6:10 pm
    This needs to be copy-edited:
    “Since the only low CO2 alternative – nuclear power – has been deviled by all political parties and the media beyond any chance of short-term oblivion, . . . .”

    E.g., change “oblivion” to “resuscitation”.

    No need for copy editing. The original is quite correct. “Beyond any chance of short-term oblivion” means “beyond any chance nuclear power will be out of favor for only the short term.” In other words, nuclear power has been so vilified it will be a long time, if ever, before it will be considered a feasible alternative.

    If “only short-term oblivion” was meant, “only short-term oblivion” should have been said. Lacking an “only,” the sentence says the reverse of what it intended to say.

  86. DirkH says:
    April 29, 2014 at 2:44 am

    Both world wars had the intention of destroying Germany because Germany was an economic threat to the UK empire (and to the fledgling American empire, of course). Today, historians start to admit that Germany did not cause WW I.

    There’s a fascinating recent revisionist book on that topic, The Russian Origins of the First World War, at http://www.amazon.com/Russian-Origins-First-World-War/dp/0674072332/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398840769&sr=1-1&keywords=russian+origin+of+world+war+I

    The Versailles treaty was rammed down Germany’s throat to plunder the country wholesale and break its back. Germany was forced to sign it. Where would Germany now be had the Anglosaxons not destroyed it successfully?

    Wilson was an Anglo but didn’t want a victor’s peace imposed.

  87. “rogerthesurf says:
    April 30, 2014 at 12:07 am”
    One could just as easily say Putin’s got his vacation resort now…

    The borders of France and Germany have been fluid for hundreds of years…go to the area around
    Strasbourg and you see German town names (and German-speaking citizens) in France, and you see French town names (and French-speaking citizens) in Germany…

    It used to be that various armies marched through Germany to get to wherever they were going to
    conquer…now they just take the Autobahns…which is why there are toll roads now…unfortunately we poor (already over-taxed) car-drivers are going to be stuck with tolls too…

    (Just like the poor fellow whos bosses get the elevator, but he just gets the shaft)..

  88. “aletho says:
    April 29, 2014 at 4:46 pm”

    Aletho, I’ve been following Dirk’s postings here and on other blogs. I am a native English speaker,
    published, and have been a professional editor. I see nothing wrong with his comprehension.
    Perhaps you differ with his point(s) of view?

  89. Whatever it takes to return Germany & the rest of Old Europe to energy sanity is good, but how much better had it been adherence to valid principles of scientific inquiry rather than geopolitics forcing this wising up.

    Sitting as they do atop layers of coal which, if need be, can be gasified, it’s nuts for Germans to keep piping their hard-earned wealth into Russia to buy its gas & sacrificially burning it on the altar of CACA craziness-inspired windmills & solar panels, in a not very sunny nor even all that windy country, which “renewables” can’t fuel an advanced industrial economy in any case.

  90. “Andy says:
    April 28, 2014 at 7:25 pm
    Well, za Chermans love to rally behind za pointless causes ja?

    What would Germany be today without two world wars and the green madness?”

    Andy, WWII ended FORTY years ago…the good guys won….let it go….
    There were a lot of folks here who suffered because of that mustachioed nutcake, for instance my
    father-in-law had his eyes blown out and his nose blown off AT 15!!! because he was forced into the
    war effort…..he had a choice….go or DIE…..

    There are no winners in war…only losers…

  91. Andy, sorry, I was thinking forties, to wit:
    WWII ended SEVENTY years ago…the good guys won….let it go….
    There were a lot of folks here who suffered because of that mustachioed nutcake, for instance my father-in-law had his eyes blown out and his nose blown off AT 15!!! because he was forced into the war effort…..he had a choice….go or DIE…..

    There are no winners in war…only losers…

  92. DirkH says:
    April 29, 2014 at 2:44 am

    Do you seriously believe the garbage you spout?

    I’ll agree that Germany by herself didn’t start WWI, but her mobilization in support of Austria guaranteed that the alliance system then in place would force Russia, France & Britain to follow suit.

    As for WWII, you could not possibly be more wrong. The Anglo-Saxon powers manifestly did not want war, but Germany did. Versailles was a mistake, but that doesn’t excuse Hitler & Stalin’s ganging up to divide Eastern Europe between them.

    The problem in the 1930s was not that Britain, let alone isolationist America, wanted to squash Germany, but that they, & even France, appeased Hitler when he reoccupied the Rhineland, united with Austria, invaded the Sudetenland, then the rest of Czechoslovakia, in hopes of peace in their time. Finally, when the two dictators Hitler & Stalin divvied up Poland, France & Britain had had enough of treaty violations. Even then the US didn’t get involved.

    Your history is not only revisionist but exists only in an alternative universe.

  93. Of course the Germans were not aggresive in either of the world wars. All they wanted to do is view the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel tower.
    Unfortunately the nasty French stopped the tourists in 1914 but the German excursion in 1940 did get to see these wonderful landmarks of Paris.
    What I don’t understand is why more than 1.5 million German tourists came at once and why just about every one brought a sporting rifle or similar with him.
    Perhaps it is the misunderstood culture of Germany in their attempts to be peaceful that we don’t understand.

    Cheers

    Roger

  94. rogerthesurf says:
    May 1, 2014 at 12:12 am

    It’s worse than expected!

    In July 1914 Austria probably wouldn’t even have declared war on Serbia in the first place if German officials hasn’t encouraged the action in response to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand & promised to stand behind the Austrians.

    I guess you could blame Serbia for not acquiescing to the Austrian ultimatum, which was designed virtually to ensure war. So far from wanting to destroy the German Empire, Britain tried to mediate a peaceful resolution to the July Crisis.

    Wiki has a well-sourced discussion:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_Crisis#Austria-Hungary_receives_German_support_and_settles_on_coercive_diplomacy_with_Serbia

    I’m sure that Dirk has many fine qualities, but historical misanalysis by anti-Anglo-American conspiracy theory is not among them. War guilt can be spread farther than Germany alone, but his counter-historical fantasy is absurd.

  95. stephen richards > NOT for much longer. The socialists (Valls the new PM) want to close HALF of france’s nuclear power stations by 2025. That will leave no base power for the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and portugal.

    That’s what he says, but it probably won’t happen because, unlike Germany, France has no coal as an alternative to nuclear. Since it’s technically still good to go, President Holland might not even follow on his promise to close down the Fessenheim power plant close to the German border.

    It’s all politics, just like in Germany: The French Socialist Party needs the Greens to win elections, hence all the bullshit against nuclear and GMO and for organic agriculture.

    The real issue is that 3G nuclear power plants are much more expensive than 2G. I have no idea how many 2G plants will have to be replaced within the next twenty years, and at what cost.

    But then, it’s not like France has much of a choice, since it has no fossil fuel whatsoever.

  96. alpincesare says:
    May 1, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Wave power! That’s the ticket!

    Except that it might uglify the beaches where the French like to take their months of vacation.

    But no problem! Without the nuclear plants, those vacations can be extended to 12 months! Then all will be well in the socialist paradise, as long as the government can find people to lend it money in exchange for ownership of all the land in La Belle France.

  97. rogerthesurf says:
    May 1, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Some of those peaceful, playful German tourists in spring of 1940 were lucky enough to travel to France for their vacations in all-terrain recreational vehicles equipped with tracks instead of just wheels or a combo thereof.

  98. To RJ:
    Rifkin’s full of it and he’s a hypocrite.Back in the 1980’s when Biotechnology was emerging,Rifkin filed a ton of lawsuits against it.He warned of unforseen consequences with this new technology
    and raised concerns and issues about it.But now with renewable energy(solar panels),Rifkin’s
    doing the complete opposite.He’s rushing people to switch to renewable energy,but he’s not
    raising concerns and issues with it like he did with biotechnology.The truth is,Rifkin’s playing
    favorites.He’s in favor of renewable energy.He’s not going to listen to any problems or complaints
    about it.He doesn’t care if people get stuck with sky rocketing utility bills.Merkel should have known
    better.

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