Germany’s Energiewende program exposed as a catastrophic failure

EU climate alarmist champion Germany has its Energiewende program exposed as a catastrophic failure with enormous costs

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

An audit of the EU’s leading climate alarmism energy policy program concludes that Germany’s Energiewende is a colossal and hugely expensive debacle.

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“Germany’s Federal Audit Office has accused the federal government of having largely failed to manage the transformation of Germany’s energy systems.”

“A little more than a year before Germany’s climate-policy “milestone 2020”, the auditing body has concluded a catastrophic assessment of the government’s energy policy. Germany would miss its targets for both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy consumption as well as for increasing energy productivity and the share of renewable energy in transport. At the same time, policy makers had burdened the nation with enormous costs.”

The audit further concluded that the program is a monumental bureaucratic nightmare where “The Federal Government, incidentally, does not have an overall grasp of the costs or any transparency in this respect.”

“The scope of the legislation is also striking,” Scheller stated: “At national level alone, 26 laws and 33 regulations regulate the generation, storage, transmission, distribution and consumption of energy. There is, however, “no place where everything comes together, no place that assumes overall responsibility”, Scheller criticized.

“For example, there are “no quantified targets, no measurable indicators” for the energy policy goals of affordability and security of supply, Scheller criticised: “Here we are poking around in the dark.” For five years now, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology has been responsible for the green energy transition, but the ministry is “in no position to determine what it must do to ensure that the goals of the Energiewende are demonstrably and economically achieved”.

“Overall, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is trying “to give the impression that the current coordination and control of the energy transition is essentially designed at optimal level,” the auditors conclude. “Failing that, the German and international public could get the impression that Germany is simply incapable of successfully shaping and implementing the Energiewende that is planned society-wide and for the long term.”

Germany’s electricity rate have skyrocketed to the highest levels in the EU largely driven by the Energiewende debacle.

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As is always the case the climate alarmist renewable energy advocacy main stream media in both the U.S. and  Europe will do everything possible to conceal this disastrous policy debacle from public view.

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131 thoughts on “Germany’s Energiewende program exposed as a catastrophic failure

  1. In 2005, my wife and I took a 40th anniversary trip and spent four days in Germany with the parents of our former exchange student (now an American citizen). At that time I was totally uninformed about the real issues in energy production and climate matters. On one of our many trips to other German cities, my wife and I were awed by the ceaseless ranks of windmills for energy, and one of us remarked on it to our host, a distinguished physician and surgeon in the western part of the country. She replied (paraphrased), “Don’t be fooled. Those things may look picturesque, but they will be a disaster. They are noisy and inefficient, and already electricity costs are going way up. I don’t know where it will stop, but I will fight it as much as I can.” I was surprised; I had not expected such a response. That was one of the first things that made me begin to question the environmental dogma, and my questioning has only grown since. That family still lives in Germany, and even the lady’s earnings as a physician are barely sufficient, given the constant increase in living costs and taxes.

    • I just posted this minutes ago, before I read this article.

      Told you so, 16 years ago!

      Good people, just listen to your old Uncle Allan – I’m trying to take good care of you. 🙂
      _______________________________

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/09/30/coldest-september-night-in-the-netherlands-in-47-years/#comment-2474874

      [excerpts}

      ALL my other predictions from 2002* on climate and energy have proved correct to date. Here are the two major ones from our 2002 PEGG debate:

      1) We correctly predicted THE FAILURE OF MOST GREEN ENERGY SCHEMES in 2002, as follows:

      “THE ULTIMATE AGENDA OF PRO-KYOTO ADVOCATES IS TO ELIMINATE FOSSIL FUELS, BUT THIS WOULD RESULT IN A CATASTROPHIC SHORTFALL IN GLOBAL ENERGY SUPPLY – THE WASTEFUL, INEFFICIENT ENERGY SOLUTIONS PROPOSED BY KYOTO ADVOCATES SIMPLY CANNOT REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS.”

      2) In the same debate, we also wrote that THE ALLEGED GLOBAL WARMING CRISIS DOES NOT EXIST:

      “CLIMATE SCIENCE DOES NOT SUPPORT THE THEORY OF CATASTROPHIC HUMAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING – THE ALLEGED WARMING CRISIS DOES NOT EXIST.”

      We were correct on both these points 16 years ago – anyone who disputes this is denying reality.
      1) Grid-connected green energy is a costly, intermittent, unreliable farce.
      2) The climate models that predicted catastrophic global warming are all running ‘way too hot.
      In contrast, the global warming alarmists at the IPCC have been consistently wrong to date – nobody should even listen to these climate clowns.

      My only remaining prediction from 2002 was for global cooling, staring by 2020-2030 – I‘m now leaning toward the earlier part of that time period, but “the science is NOT settled”.

      Regards to all, Allan

      Reference:
      * DEBATE ON THE KYOTO ACCORD, PEGG, November 2002, by Sallie Baliunas, Tim Patterson and Allan MacRae.
      The PEGG article was reprinted in edited form at their request by several professional journals, THE GLOBE AND MAIL and LA PRESSE in translation.
      http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/KyotoAPEGA2002REV1.pdf

      • More evidence to support the statement:
        “Good people, just listen to your old Uncle Allan – I’m trying to take good care of you. :-)”

        I put myself and my family at considerable risk to report the Mazeppa sour gas risk. Others who should have reported it failed to do so, reportedly because they were afraid of the foreign thugs.

        On another topic, when I told you in 2002 that grid-connected green energy was wasteful and inefficient, I really wish you had listened.

        Tens of trillions of dollars of scarce global resources have been squandered on the green energy farce. Properly deployed, these funds could have put clean water and sanitation systems into every village on our planet, and gone a long way to eliminating malaria and world hunger. Yes, really.

        Regrets, Allan MacRae, P.Eng.

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/09/07/the-advantages-of-change-climate-and-otherwise/#comment-2451345

        Not all fossil fuels are created equal – a few have major downsides.

        THE MAZEPPA CRITICAL SOUR GAS STORY

        I received an award in March 2018 from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) for averting a potential major sour gas disaster in SE Calgary.

        The new foreign owners of the Mazeppa project were running 40% H2S critical sour gas within one mile of populous SE Calgary suburbs and had ceased the required monthly injection of anti-corrosion chemicals into the pipelines seven months earlier, which was extremely dangerous.

        Fortunately, I was familiar with the project from decades ago (I was GM of Engineering for a company that formerly owned this project and about 20 others), and someone called me with this vital information. The amazing coincidence is my confidential informant did not know of my history with this project – he just wanted to talk to someone about his concerns.

        The staff at the project were afraid to report the dangerous situation because they feared physical retaliation from the foreign owners, who they believed were violent thugs.

        H2S is heavier than air and hugs the ground, and less than 0.1% is instantly fatal. I investigated, reported the matter, followed-up and it was made safe. I later learned that some of the critical sour gas pipelines had already experienced minor perforations and leaks.

        Potential loss of life in a major discharge of H2S could have totaled up to 250,000 people, wiping out the SE quadrant of Calgary.

        The reprimand by the Alberta Energy Regulator against the foreign owners is the most severe in Alberta history.

    • BTW John Ware – kudos to your German host – the lady surgeon.

      It was rare back in 2005 to find anyone who saw through this farce – even rarer to find someone who was so correct in a subject far removed from her own.

      • It is actually cheaper to run diesel generator in Germany now than to buy electricity from grid. It is possible to buy heating oil for 2.20-2.30€ per gallon (although it’s 3.20€ right now), which gives you roughly 0.15€/kWh – half the grid price.

        • Don’t forget depreciation, maintenance and repairs for the generator. Diesel generators, unless you buy cheap crap from god-knows-where-from are expensive. You can’t run them in the basement of your home or the garage. Space in German suburbs is not abundant and some neighbors, namely watermelons and high-school teachers will soon report you, your gadget and the noise and fumes.
          But I must admit that auxiliary power generators are close to the point of being economically viable.

          • Stirling generators are low noise and almost without maintenance. They also cost very little. Combined with heating they may save up to 20% of the electricity costs.

        • Go for Propane generator. Price per kWh of energy should be similar, no emission, petrol engine less noisy than diesel, even less noisy on Propane. With some DIY you could use Propane for cars which is sold without consumer tax. 🙂

          • Worry about how long the engine will go without a major overhaul. link A marine gasoline engine will go for about 1500 hours. That’s only a couple of months. Diesel marine engines go for around 5000 hours. That’s not even a year.

            If you’re going to install a generator, you must factor maintenance into the budget.

          • Fuel cells would be ideal, they reach 60-65% efficiency, but they are also still very expensive – like 30k. It’s also unclear how long a fuel cell will last.

        • Take an old 4 stroke 4 Zylinder gas motor running on standby with 800 / 1100 turns/min.

          Get electricity from the generator and warm water from the cooling system.

          The nearby gasstation is happy to refill the tank.

    • “Bei der Energiewende droht Deutschland der endgültige Kontrollverlust”
      ‘It is also “incomprehensible that the ministry does not include the renewable energy levy (EEG) among the costs of the Energiewende”’

      Genug gesagt!

  2. “Scheller” is quoted twice, but there is otherwise no reference or identification of who he is, his background or position.

    Who’s Scheller?

        • Also Audit Office reports go on to and remain on the public record. They cannot be covered up. They can be ignored and governments can pretend all they like but it will sit there as a reminder forever.

  3. A few months ago I was in Stuttgart for a while and I was amazed at how Green everyone was. they bevven elected Greens. Scepticism was haram.

    But also they were very proud of their car industry. Local automobile manufacturers were not making small cars either. It’s a motorhead’s paradise.

    Such doublethink showed to me that the German electorate are now voting solely on emotion and not at all on reason.
    Historically that’s very German but not very good for Germany.

    • Last time I was in Stuttgart, a few years back now, I renamed it Shi*tgart. The place is awash in unwashed, homeless, drug addicts. A real shame, it was a gorgeous city back in the 1990’s when I first visited.

    • AfD is on the rise, 20% + expected / possible. Federal state elections in Bavaria, soon to come, will show the trend. AfD ought to be grateful to Erdogan, who behaved outrageously rude when on visit some days ago, invited by … Merkel.

    • “Historically that’s very German but not very good for Germany.”

      Oooh. Point taken. OTOH, they have done worse in the not to far distant past. This stupidity will not result in lasting harm to many people outside of Germany.

    • As a plus, There is no speed limit on the Autobahn I drive a diesel Jaguar and at 200 kmh cars pass me as [if] I am doing 20
      Love Germany nearly all is VERBOTEN !

  4. Germany’s Federal Audit Office …

    These guys are the real deal.

    The Bundesrechnungshof (Federal Court of Auditors; also Federal Audit Office) is the supreme federal authority for federal audit matters in Germany.

    Their ruling should be hard to ignore.

      • Ka-tching. None. Or more precisely, small areas like Switzerland abd Norway which have lots of hydro can make it, but since new hydro is impossible to build, that success can’t be extended much.

        And greens don’t regard hydro as green.

        • Sweden is Germany’s energy sugar daddy. When the wind doesnt blow, the Germans buy their electricity from the Swedish produced hydropower. If Germany couldnt do, this their backup costs of extra natural gas and coal plants would be astronomical. Even so Germany is planning to build more coal plants.

          • I think you mean Norway hydro power via an interconnector through Denmark. There is a Swedish connector as well, but whilst Sweden does have 50% hydro, this is mostly based in the far north. They have Nuclear (35% of production) in the south. Norway has 95% of it’s power production from hydro and 98% from all renewables and has large connectors to Denmark and then from Denmark to Germany.

            That aside you are right, Germany uses both French Nukes and Scandinavian interconnectors to top up their insufficient unreliable renewable supply along with their dirty Lignite coal power. Their renewable (unreliable) low emission power generation is still way too small and this is why they have not reduced emissions significantly since 2008 and will miss their 2020 target by a long way.

            https://www.cleanenergywire.org/sites/default/files/styles/lightbox_image/public/images/factsheet/20180326-uba-german-greenhousegasemissions1990-2017.png?itok=-Y-xcb52

  5. Toyota have solved the problem. I heard an advert yesterday for their self-charging hybrid. Now to me that means carbon fuel runs the car, extra carbon fuel inefficiently charges a heavy battery which also gets transported around along with extra weight of the hybrid mechanism. So more CO2 produced than if the car was just the basic fossil fuel engine. Green has another meaning….. naive.

    • you can spin it anyway you like really, it just comes down to price, utility and overall consumption. Like any other car.

    • Not sure what Toyota you’re referring to. I own a Prius. The gas engine helps charge the battery some of the time, but so does coasting downhill; the battery of course helps power the wheels going uphill or in certain kinds of stop-and-go. But overall it’s a win: my 2018 gets upwards of 60mpg (less when I go to WV, where everything is up-and-down, but it’s still in the 50s mpg). That mpg translates directly into the amount of CO2 it produces.

      And no, the battery is not heavy. If you remember from chemistry class, Lithium is a very light metal, atomic # 3, atomic weight approx 7.

      And BTW, my calculations are that while the initial cost of a Prius is higher than a comparable non-hybrid, over its 100k to 200k (or more) mile lifetime, it is much cheaper.

      • I agree that the maintenance costs of an all electric car are a lot less than gasoline cars. However you have to maintain both systems in a hybrid. A Toyota Echo gets over 50 miles to the gallon and it is all gasoline. Would you have bought the Prius without a government subsidy?

        • Less, but not a lot less.
          I’ve owned cars for 40 years and have never had to do a major repair.
          My most expensive repairs have been to things like wheel bearings, which electrics have as well.

      • Son of Mulder … don’t forget that the hybrid brakes by charging the battery in normal driving. My Toyota Camry hybrid (2008) would be 100% charging braking unil the car had slowed to 4 kilometres and then the actual friction brake pads would take over. So as mcswell said coasting on the flats, downhills and when stopping is when most battery charging takes place. Only when the cars computer senses the battery is hitting a high level of discharge would the car actually charge the battery off the gas motor.
        For what it is worth in the Pruis with a Li-ion battery the Li-ion battery weighs 180 lb / 80 kg & models with a nickel-metal hydride battery have a 93 lb / 42 kg battery. Tesla batteries are very heavy.
        Also as mcswell sez the mileage gains are real and my 2008 hybrid would get almost 50 mpg on the highway and 40 mpg around town where the hybrid system really pays dividends. Only in the coldest part of winter at around -20 to -30 C would the mileage get bad in town and hit the 30 to 32 mpg range as the gas motor runs all the time to allow the passengers to stay warm.

        • I remember reading an article in Car and Driver about Diesel VS. Hybrid vehicle mileage test. The test was done, believe, in Germany. The Diesel power vehicle won. The Hybrid beat the diesel on flat ground but lost in the hills.

        • Regenerative breaking is not free. Since they don’t use permanent magnets you have to provide energy to excite the coils. The slower your car is going, the more energy that has to be provided to get the same amount of breaking.

          • They do use permanent magnets. The WeberAuto channel on youtube has some videos with nice detailed breakdowns of the Prius power train.

      • I travel many miles a year on the motorway network where speeds are constant and there is almost no opportunity for battery top-up as there is virtually no braking. So what do you think lugging around the additional weight of a battery pack does to my rolling resistance and overall fuel economy then? Makes it better?

        Hybrids only make sense for stop/start driving.

      • mcswell:
        it is much cheaper.

        I’m wondering how much it’s subsidized. “Cheaper” could be an illusion in the big picture (subsidies paid by taxpayers).

      • I suspect, based on subtle wording in the articles I’ve read about it, that the plug-in Prius has two batteries: the large EV battery and the smaller hybrid battery. I’ve gotten the impression that the hybrid system cannot charge the EV battery; that can only be charged by plugging the thing in.

        It sounds to me like this means they’ve updated the electronics so that the hybrid system can now charge the EV battery.

    • “Now to me that means carbon fuel runs the car, extra carbon fuel inefficiently charges a heavy battery ”

      It’s not a very heavy battery—not like the ones in pure EVs. Maybe 25% of the weight.

      • Always keep in mind that battery weight is dead weight, It remains the same wheter the battery is fully charged or – dead. You have to carry it around, if you like it or not. Fuel in the tank gradually decreases when you drive on.

    • Yes this is funny. I rode in one of the new electric London black cabs the other day. I was talking to he driver about it. They have a small petrol engine under the hood which kicks in when the battery is too low and that happens a lot. What is more the chargers required to fast charge these cabs have not been installed in any great number so if he uses a standard park by the road charger it takes hours to get 30% charge.

      Here are the details
      https://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-reviews/levc/levc-tx-review-londons-new-electric-black-taxi-cab-driven/

      “Open the EV Taxi’s bonnet, and you’ll find a 1.5-litre Volvo petrol engine – but it doesn’t deliver any power to the rear wheels. Instead, it’s used solely to top up the car’s batteries. This important detail makes the TX a range-extending EV rather than a hybrid. LEVC says the TX is good for 377 miles between top ups, though only 80 of those miles would be using batteries alone.”

      It is heavier despite being made from aluminium and larger overall and so is the price coming in at nearly 60k which is nearly twice the price of previous cabs. They claim you will save 400GBP per month to run. Good news is that it will only take 6 or 7 years to break even….compared to buying the older model.

      To be fair it was a nice ride in the back in all that silence, until the cabby started telling me all that is wrong with uber drivers and the government.

  6. I was in Denmark for a short visit nearly 30 years ago and saw this huge wind turbine. It was unusual because in those days even the smaller ones were a pretty rare site (quite a few in Spain mind you) . I asked our bus driver about it and he laughed and said – it doesn’t work. Renewables are the biggest hoax and ripoff in history. The poor and the workers pay the subsidies and the elite get richer while the countryside and coastline suffer visually and physically, millions of birds and bats are killed, thousands of animals and people suffer from disorientation while the world relies on fossil fuels.

  7. Where in the US is electricity only 12 cents per KW Hour? Certainly not here in California, where my average is over 25 cents per KW Hour and I’m only into Tier 2 this month. Even the ‘Tier 1 rate is over 0.21 per KW hour. Glad I don’t have an electric car …

    In California, solar and wind produces about 20% of the power and the installed capacity is about 600 W per capita and rising which does correspond to the cost of electricity according to the chart.

    • same as Australia, I doubt many are on 25c per kWh especially if you include supply charges. 30c would be more typical. Perhaps the grahic is a bit dated, sadly its a fast moving area; upwards.

      • The prices in the chart are in USD. USD0.25 currently equates to AUD0.34. That is about right unless you live in SA.

      • In Western Australia it’s A$ 27c/kWh, including all charges. But we only have 11% renewables…

      • In South Australia the wind turbine State I’m all electric paying 45c/kwhr with timely settlement discount(bad luck slow payers) although the off peak night rate for the hot water storage system is only 18c/kwhr similarly. The latter may look attractive for overnight charging of EVs but you know what would happen if we all adopted them as planned.

        The optimum renewables charging would be to take advantage of the solar duck curve during the day but alas we’ll largely be wanting to charge them when we’re asleep. The problem with these fickle electrons is writ large right there with their mass EV take-up pipe dream but you can’t get through to these cultists with rational discourse. Their brave new world runs on e-motion.

    • In Orlando, electricity is 9.8 cents per kilowatt-hour.

      Gee, California has a huge solar and wind program, and power costs are through the roof.

      What a friggin’ surprise.

    • Residential costs in central Nebraska including all taxes is 13.6 cents

      Residential costs in Houston area including all taxes is 15.1 cents Summer

      • When I started work as an Energy Engineer at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston in January 1996 they paid a marginal $0.04/kWh energy charge but a full ratchet (which means each month’s bill is based on the higher of the current month’s demand or the highest demand in the previous 11 months) $19.50/kW demand charge. It worked out to a blended average of ~$0.085/kWh. Just 4 years ago when I moved into this house in northeast Alabama I paid almost exactly $0.08/kWh. Where did those rates go?

    • In Minnesota where I live the price is 12.2 cents/kwh. What is really sad is I checked an old statement from 2014 and it was 7.5 cents at that time. Lots of wind has been added via mandates and an older coal plant closed down in 2015 due to the threat of future Obama regulations.

    • I get electricity for about 12 cents/kWh here in Indiana. Duke Energy recently announced an additional rate cut, publicly crediting the corporate tax cuts in the process.

    • 14.2 cents per KWH in my New Jersey home. 11.6 cents here in Tennessee, from this month’s bills. NJ has huge solar subsidies and renewable requirements of the power companies which have pushed up prices.

    • My electric rates here in Ohio were 4.2 cents per KWH in 2009. They have skyrocketed to 10.3 cents per KWH today. Needless to say I switch to gas for heating.

    • Of course CA is more expensive. The state drove PGE bankrupt with (among other things) the Enron fiasco.

      Questionably qualified politicians are in charge (so to speak) of your electrical/financial destiny.

      CA voters keep electing keeps electing “Questionably qualified politicians”, and they they keep screwing the voter.

    • Co2isnotevil-

      Here in San Antonio, Tx, for my last monthly electric bill, I paid 11.7 cent per Kwhr, and that’s for 2200 kwhr. We keep telling you folks in California that all that renewable energy is costing you.

    • According to my electric bill, I’m paying $0.07195 per kilowatt hour. I live in a near north suburb of Chicago. Although I’m not sure about this, I believe most of my electricity comes from a mix of coal and nuclear.

  8. The charter business does well with all those high-profile executives actively moving their industrial investments out of Germany.
    However deep inside we would have preferred to transport happy workers on vacation under the sun.
    Simply because at the end of the day we also face obnoxious utility bills and no one is really pleased by the destruction of our country.

  9. Rational individuals (engineers and real scientists) have been saying this for well over a decade: indeed, many dissenters are on record from the initiation of this silly policy as saying it would:

    1) be a permanent cash drain
    2) result in alternately too much and too little electricity
    3) increase Germany’s dependency on foreign power generation (fossil-fuels or nuclear).

    Bleeding 24 Billion Euros per year, yet mainstream political parties can’t muster up the courage to admit a colossal error and axe it. Because, “Climate Change”!

    • Mainstream political parties cannot admit to making a colossal error; to admit that is to tacitly admit that there have been other poor decisions taken which have also squandered taxpayers’ money. So they will brass it out; hoping either that something will turn around, that someone else will sort it all out and that no-one will notice/remember just who caused it all.

      • While replacing worn out inverters and old, high-cost era solar panels from the early adopter mistake.

  10. Hilarious! It will be great fun to watch all these valiant schemes collapse, the overly idealistic left is failing, as usual.

    • Impressive. All that infrastructure and the energy of the country is worse, the cost has increased, and the CO2 output has increased. Great job guys. Just… great.

  11. My Seattle City Light bill for Julian Dates 2018204 through 2018261, 57 days, shows 1,095 kWh used, for which I paid $140.42, or $0.07798 per kWh. One hopes this information is not haram.

  12. The graph’s slope is wrong, surely. BOTE calculation says more like 0.02c/kWh per watt (not kW) of renewables/capita (y-axis Hungary 10c to Germany 30c/kWh is 20c, spread over x-axis 1000W/person is 0.02c/W or 20c/kW).
    Germany’s decision to shut down nuclear must be seen as the worst decision by that country since 1933, a monumentally incompetent knee-jerk reaction that beggared belief when I first heard it and is fulfilling every dire consequence that any educated person could guess immediately it was announced.

  13. Note that Denmark runs a close second in energy costs – wind folks always brag that Denmark produces more wind energy (42%) than any other country. Denmark is probably the best location for wind power, yet they are suffering, for no reason. I wonder if you can be anywhere in Denmark and not
    see a windmill ?? Probably very few places. The world will move to molten salt nuclear power long before those windmills need to be replaced. Those crazy, crazy Danes.

  14. In UK depends on consumption because of standing charge.
    In France my latest bill from EDF says 0,097€/kWh + TVA @20% which makes it 11.64 euro cent/kWh or about $US 0.135c which is just above US (about 12 cent).

    • France derives about 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy, due to a long-standing policy based on energy security.
      France is the world’s largest net exporter of electricity due to its very low cost of generation, and gains over €3 billion per year from this.
      The country has been very active in developing nuclear technology. Reactors and especially fuel products and services have been a significant export.
      About 17% of France’s electricity is from recycled nuclear fuel.

      http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-a-f/france.aspx

      • Thanks for the info, very informative.
        EDF installed digital smart meter ‘Linky’, data is fed into my personal EDF web-pages where all kind of the useful info, graphs an comparison tables regarding our consumption can be found.

  15. In rural southeast Texas we are served by an electricity co-op, due to the very low customer density (not as bad as the Dakotas, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, etc., but still low). So you’d expect our costs to be higher than city dwellers.

    My last monthly bill included a base charge of $12 (for each of two meters due to distance between buildings), and usage charges of $0.0923 plus a “Power Cost Adjustment” of $0.015, or $0.1073 per KWH for USAGE only. Average monthly usage is just over 3000 KWH (seldom less than 2200, rarely more than 4500 (electric heat during a cold winter month), so the $24 base charge works out to an additional $0.008 per KWH. Total cost: $0.11/KWH. A little less than the $0.12 – 0.13 shown in the chart, but I’d say his number is pretty close to the mark, at least for Texas!

  16. It is exceedingly difficult to find the true cost of electricity. The billed charges or cost are determined or approved by the utilities commissioners, not the utility operators. By politicians, in other words. Billed prices then are not comparable even within the same power supplier and the same types of power plants. Besides that, the cost and charges change frequently, some two or three times a year.

    The item most debated now is the costs of making electricity from various sources – fossil, renewable, nuclear, etc. But because there are subsidies, tax breaks, credits, deferred payments, etc. it is much too difficult to determine the free-market kWh cost. The price that covers ONLY the expenses of the power station for selling its electricity to the grid, such as employee salaries, taxes, fuel cost, dividends payments, debt servicing, amortization, pensions, etc. seem to provide the only comparable criterion. That implies the cost at the point of exit from the power plant transformers. That cost has been fluctuating between 2 to 3 c/kWh here in Connecticut residential. Price is usually subject to long-term contract negotiations.

    Concerning renewable power plants and their electricity, I have never heard of any of those above charges included in their per kWh cost.

    • In the Houston area, electricity is bought from companies that buy wholesale and then market various plans. I can choose between about 100 plans starting at 8 cents per kWh. There is a delivery fee of about 3 cents per kWh for the company that actually owns the electrical distribution network, so I pay 11-12 cents per kWh. My son pays 8 cents per kWh (total) if he can stay under a certain monthly usage. The website is called powertochoose.org. It is quite interesting. Try it and enter a Houston area zip code.

    • The cost of electricity that includes all the items you listed is meaningless when comparing ambient intermittent generators with on-demand generators. You need to consider the whole system costs, which includes all forms of generation and how the impact each other.

      The economically fatal mistake was allowing intermittents access to the grid on different terms to other forms of generation, which has scheduled output rather than run-whenever-you-like output.

      Right now solar generation in combination with battery storage and small diesel generator is economic compared with large diesel generation alone; with just the diesel equation to about AUD0.40/kWh. Such power supply systems are economic in remote locations where there is no readily accessible grid.

      Wind power can make economic sense in a predominantly hydro-electric supply system where perched water storage volume is constrained. It does no matter when the wind blows because the hydro can easily follow the variation in demand while any wind production reduces the volume of water required.

      • Good comments Rick.

        In contrast, coal and gas-fired power here in Alberta costs about 4 cents/Kwh.

        Then you add in the costly wind power.

        Then add in the indirect costs of wind, from constantly adjusting the gas-fired power to accommodate the intermittent wind power.

        Then add in the transmission costs (high voltage) and distribution costs (low voltage) and the administration costs and you are up to about 20 cents.

        Deregulation has added huge costs to Alberta electricity – never trust a politician when he/she talks about energy.

        • Alan,

          The reservoir above the hydro dam is usually large enough that it is stored. However, the hydro power is under-utilized by giving the wind power first access to the grid – another hidden cost.

          Similarly, when you are backing up wind power with natural gas-fired turbines, you are under-utilizing the turbines by giving the wind power first access to the grid – more hidden costs.

          In North American football, this would be like letting your worst player be the quarterback, In baseball, he would be the pitcher. You would lose every game.

          When the wind blows really hard, and there is excess wind energy, we still pay the wind power operator but then we give the energy away for free to neighbouring states or provinces that have hydro power – sometimes we have to pay them to take it.

          This is a wonderful system, if you are a wind power operator. This is a terrible system,, if you are a power consumer – it is a blatant scam that costs trillions worldwide.

          Never trust a politicians when she/he talks about energy.

          Told you so, 16 years ago.

          Best, Allan

  17. So will anybody listen and do something in Germany? I’m sure they will end up blaming mismanagement rather than the engineering. Anyone with basic math skills and common sense would come to the same conclusion as the auditor BEFORE going down the wind and solar path. I’m betting they will double down on stupid, spend even more, and produce less kwh/$ electricity and at an even higher price. Surprised the EU hasn’t stepped in to manage it so maybe they’re lucky for that.

    • We the German people are mostly against this BS. Among the political parties only the Alternative for Germany is against renewables. Sadly, MSM propaganda works, and many think AfG are the new Nazis… And it is absolutely impossible to explain to most Germans that Hitler was a leftist and a socialist, while AfG policies are entirely right-wing.

      • Yeah, the problem is ‘good people’ may not vote for populists or any ideas held by populists, even if change is unavoidable in the long ‘program execution’.

    • markl – don’t blame German engineers – they blew the whistle on this green energy scam in 2005.

      See E.On Netz excellent Wind Report 2005 at
      http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wp-content/uploads/eonwindreport2005.pdf

      E.On Netz removed the report from their website – wonder why? See Figures 6 & 7.
      http://www.eon-netz.com/Ressources/downloads/EON_Netz_Windreport2005_eng.pdf

      Question:
      How many Megawatts of total installed windpower capacity do you have to install in Germany to get 1,000 Megawatts of reliable, dispatchable power?
      Answer:
      24,000 Megawatts of installed wind power capacity must be connected to the grid to get 1,000 Megawatts of reliable, dispatchable power.
      Alternatively, you could get almost the same energy delivered into the grid by a few guys pedaling stationary bicycles. [ yes, that was sarcasm! 🙂 ]

      So don’t blame the engineers – they wrote this report in 2005 – and they were probably being optimistic!

      Regards, Allan MacRae. P.Eng.

      Reference – excerpt:

      GUARANTEED WIND POWER CAPACITY
      BELOW TEN PERCENT – TRADITIONAL
      POWER STATIONS ESSENTIAL

      In order to also guarantee reliable electricity
      supplies when wind farms produce little or no
      power, e.g. during periods of calm or storm-related
      shutdowns, traditional power station capacities
      must be available as a reserve. This means that
      wind farms can only replace traditional power
      station capacities to a limited degree.

      An objective measure of the extent to which
      wind farms are able to replace traditional power
      stations, is the contribution towards guaranteed
      capacity which they make within an existing
      power station portfolio. Approximately this capacity
      may be dispensed within a traditional power
      station portfolio, without thereby prejudicing the
      level of supply reliability.

      In 2004 two major German studies investigated
      the size of contribution that wind farms make
      towards guaranteed capacity. Both studies
      separately came to virtually identical conclusions,
      that wind energy currently contributes to the
      secure production capacity of the system, by
      PROVIDING 8% OF ITS INSTALLED CAPACITY.

      As wind power capacity rises, the lower availability
      of the wind farms determines the reliability
      of the system as a whole to an ever increasing
      extent. Consequently the greater reliability of
      traditional power stations becomes increasingly
      eclipsed.

      As a result, THE RELATIVE CONTRIBUTION OF WIND
      POWER TO THE GUARANTEED CAPACITY OF OUR SUPPLY
      SYSTEM UP TO THE YEAR 2020 WILL FALL CONTINUOUSLY
      TO AROUND 4% (FIGURE 7).

      IN CONCRETE TERMS, THIS MEANS THAT IN 2020,
      WITH A FORECAST WIND POWER CAPACITY OF OVER
      48,000MW (SOURCE: DENA GRID STUDY), 2,000MW OF
      TRADITIONAL POWER PRODUCTION CAN BE REPLACED BY
      THESE WIND FARMS.

      • You will eventually run out of land or open ocean water space just to try to keep up with the increase in energy use every year if that increase was met by new wind power.

        • Alan:
          And you will run out of money first, or you will be run out of town by outraged consumers of electricity, if they don’t lynch you from an electricity pole for crimes against humanity.

      • “Both studies separately came to virtually identical conclusions,
        that wind energy currently contributes to the
        secure production capacity of the system, by
        PROVIDING 8% OF ITS INSTALLED CAPACITY.”

        Interesting because the SA conservative State Govt just released the previous Labor govt’s hush hush cost of the Hornsdale wind farm and Tesla big battery facility and that works out at $90mill AUD for a 100MW installed capacity. So if the Tesla battery is capable of achieving that 8% dispatchability 24/7 without thermal backup you could be looking at an investment of $11,250 per kilowatt of reliable output. Even the average output of wind farms is traditionally 30% of installed capacity implying $3000 investment per kilowatt but since that hides a multitude of marginal sins so the 8% sounds reasonable. At 5% interest that’s $562.50 per annum for every kilowatt of reliable battery backed wind generation capacity before any running costs or depreciation.

        If you want those figures in USD just take 72% of them at the current exchange rate because up to now those sort of costings are very very thin on the ground for the bleeding obvious. All we are getting is the rising overall cost of power as wind and solar freeride on thermal insurers and don’t pay them their just premiums. Quite the contrary as thermals are taxed to subsidise their competition and their own demise.

      • Let’s look at that Hornsdale facility figures another way as I notice my power bill has benchmark average daily consumption figures for consumers to compare their average daily consumption with. A family of four is benchmarked at 17.8 kwhr/day and let’s suppose that best case for Hornsdale can dispatch 30% of installed capacity reliably. That’s $3000AUD/kw investment times by 17.8 average consumption for mum dad and the two kids so an investment of $53,400 to keep the household running which means at 5% return on capital before running costs and depreciation, they’ll have to stump up $2650 a year but it could be three times that interest amount if the Hornsdale costings only apply to a reliable 10% of installed capacity. Is it any wonder the Labor Govt wanted to keep it all hush hush from the punters?

  18. That money from Germnay’s expensive power is going into someone’s pocket.
    Just like here in US with Tom Steyer using his personal money to buy state legislatures to enact green mandates which then ensures much larger revenue flows to his green hede funds, the same is happening in Germany’s green industrialists.
    Follow that money and it’ll lead to the greed.

  19. It depends on how your frame it. For example, selective-child policy has reduced childhood mortality, improved social stability, enabled social progress, and increased GDP. All at the cost of a few million human lives annually. It’s a wicked solution with benefits.

    • That’s the claim, however none of it is true.
      It’s wealth that created all of those benefits, and having fewer kids does not increase wealth.
      Workers are an asset, not a drain.

  20. Most of France’s “renewables” are in fact big hydro (half of which is on the Rhone).

    A great ressource built a while ago, a feat that probably couldn’t be done now.

  21. “The German Federal Government explained its refusal to conduct a transparent cost-benefit analysis of the Energiewende by saying that these costs could only be compared with a “counterfactual scenario”. Because electricity grids and power plants would have had to be renewed even without the Energiewende, only a comparison of a world with and a world without the Energiewende would be meaningful. However, such a comparison could not be made because of the large number of uncertain basic assumptions.”

    This is tantamount to saying that because there are some uncertain variables in a projection, there is no need to assess the success of the project even though we have spent billions of dollars on the project with many more billions to be spent in the future. The German federal government would not be able to explain the question: If there are too many uncertain variables now, there must have been an equal or larger amount of uncertain variables before the Energiewende project was ever approved. This then begs the question why would a project ever be approved, if you cannot measure its success or failure?

  22. As in so many things the cost of producing gods has to be considered. In Australia the workers are by Western world standards very well paid. Now while we are blessed with ample coal which is so close to the surface it can be easily extracted,it produced cheap energy and largely cancelled the high cost of labour. But the Greens whos’e long term aim appear s to be to destroy the economy, have largely stopped the use of such cheap fuel.

    So today the bulk of our manufactured goods come from China and India where they do not believe n the Greens fairy tales.

    MJE

  23. And this morning GE just took a $23B charge on their power business. They tried selling windmills and storage batteries plus their turbine business is taking a huge hit on a reduction in fossil fuel plants.

  24. Oh and the German economy is built on exports and, oh, the early adopter role of Germany in solar was for older high cost, low efficiency panels that are losing efficiency at about the rate of gains in other countries that use market-based decisions for the rate of adoption of current technologies. Thus Germany is sliding backwards on energy efficiency savings and cost competitiveness for exports. Good luck with that…..in the colder winters approaching. BTW, 19th warmest year does not heat your home much.

    • Oh, and the US is not going to stand for German protectionism anymore.

      “Oh and the German economy is built on exports “

  25. CAGW is based on wrong science, CO2 is more a friend than an enemy of the environment.
    CO2 warming is too small to be harmful and too harmless to be harmful.
    I get that.
    But …
    Electric cars are good, not bad.
    Imagine being able to buy/rent a house/flat next to a busy road without having to worry about all the nitrous fumes and particulates. With less risk of metal particulates getting into the brain and causing Alzheimers.
    Electric cars won’t reduce the CO2 going into the air – it will happen at power stations instead of urban streets.
    But they will improve air quality where people live.
    They will drive (already are driving) new technology growth.
    Lets see if they can be made safe and reliable.
    And there’s always China to dump all that toxic metal waste /sarc.

  26. Failure? The whole thing is the most ostensible scam and violation of European Union rules, ever.

    The rules don’t allow a government to subside a business outside precise criteria and through a process that involves the Commission. The way big industrial consumers were protected from the increase of energy price caused by so-called “renewable energy” is a subsidy.

    There are many rules on the taxes and esp. the VAT rates in Europe. You can’t do what you want.
    You can apply different taxe rates to different products. You generally can’t apply different rates to different consumers for the exact same product. You can’t say that your small businesses and citizens pay a high rate and big businesses pay the old normal rate, corresponding to the price without the ecoloonacies.

    You can’t pick and chose who pays for your silly policies.

    It’s a travesty. The fact that it isn’t on the news Every. Single. Day is also a travesty.

  27. “Energiewende” is not the solely one political debacle in Germany.

    The economic catastrophe to “Wiedervereinigung” was orchestrated willently.

  28. To think that France has now to export power to Germany (thanks to our ill-reputed nuclear plant!)!!
    Not to mention the coal pollution that we receive from Germany when the wind blows westward!!…

    • Yes the ecoloons and heathloons are all over the place denouncing fine particulate and their health impact.

      I saw a radiologist on TV who explained that there were many cancer cases caused by pollution and that a study (one!) proved it. He also said that with the new cars there was less PM10 but more PM2.5 and even smaller ones and that it was even more unhealthy. (He didn’t seem to be able to realize that nobody was monitoring the smaller particulate pollution a while ago.)

      The TV program went on to say that WV cheated on CO2 and NO which are both GHG.

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