Great Idea for U.S. Energy Policy: Let’s Follow the Example of Germany!

Francis Menton

As readers here well know, Germany has long sought the mantle of world leader in the march to save the planet by eliminating fossil fuels from the production of energy. This has been the strategy: induce, via large government subsidies and tax credits, the construction of vast amounts of wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity; and as more of those come online, gradually phase out facilities that use fossil fuels, and also phase out nuclear.

Unfortunately, the Germans have been so blinded by their religious fervor to save the planet that nobody bothered to figure out how much energy storage would be needed to back up these intermittent technologies and keep the grid functioning 24/365 in the absence of fossil fuels and nuclear. Now Germany has an excess of wind and solar facilities that, however, are incapable of providing reliable power on their own; and it has inadequate back-up other than natural gas from Russia. Thus Germany is facing an imminent energy disaster.

Meanwhile, back here in the U.S., the word is that the Senate Democrats have finally gotten their black sheep Joe Manchin on board with a big “green energy” bill to take the U.S. to its own energy nirvana via a big reduction in carbon emissions. And how will that be done? Basically, we’re now going to follow the strategy of Germany! Lots and lots of tax credits and subsidies to build more and more wind turbines and solar panels, without any serious consideration of what will be needed in the way of storage to provide back-up for the intermittency and build a fossil-fuel-free grid. Is anybody around here paying attention to what is going on in the world?

Let’s check out the latest news from Germany on the energy front. On Wednesday, July 27, the Guardian reported that Russia had reduced the flow of natural gas to Germany via the Nord Stream pipeline to 20% of capacity. It’s still July, and we’re several months from heating season, but Germany is rapidly realizing that its energy jig is up. Just one day later, on July 28, the Guardian had another article reporting that the energy rationing in Germany has already begun:

Cities in Germany are switching off spotlights on public monuments, turning off fountains, and imposing cold showers on municipal swimming pools and sports halls, as the country races to reduce its energy consumption in the face of a looming Russian gas crisis.

Meanwhile, Germany in June adopted an “energy emergency plan” that involves jacking up consumer prices to force less usage:

[A]n energy emergency plan initiated in June enables utility firms to pass on high gas prices to customers. . . . On Thursday, Germany’s government confirmed that a planned gas surcharge on customers could be much higher than previously expected, to save energy companies from going bankrupt in the coming months.

And Spiked on July 27 reports on various other energy rationing measures that Germany is adopting, well in advance of peak energy usage in the winter:

Germany is already having to make drastic cutbacks to energy use. Town councils are dimming or turning off street lights and even traffic lights. Large landlords and housing associations have started turning down the heating on their residents and rationing their hot water. Some local authorities are considering setting up ‘warm rooms’ for elderly people to gather in the winter.

But hang on a second. After more than a decade of a crash program to build wind turbines and solar panels, doesn’t Germany have more than enough of them to supply all of the electricity it could ever possibly use? You would think so, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, in 2020 (latest year given) Germany used 500,000 GWh of electricity, which would mean that its average usage (divide by 8760) was about 57 GW. Its peak usage (according to Montel) is about 100 GW. So if it had dispatchable generation resources (fossil fuel, nuclear, hydro) of about 120 GW, Germany should have a more than sufficient 20% margin and plenty of electricity. Instead Germany has vastly more generation capacity, 248 GW (again from the U.S. EIA for 2020). Of that, 54 GW is solar and 62 GW is wind, a total of 116 GW between those two, well more than its entire peak usage, and more than double average usage. But you can’t count on any of it when you need it. The small amount of nuclear (8 GW) is on the way out. So they can’t get rid of the natural gas as backup, and with fracking banned in their own country and also throughout Western Europe, they are left completely dependent on natural gas from Russia.

The price to German households for electricity at the end of 2021 stood at an average of 32.16 cent per KWh, which is before any further recent increases. That is about triple the average U.S. consumer electricity price. For that you get shortages and rationing.

So what is the U.S. energy strategy going to be under the new Senate bill just negotiatied by Manchin and Majority Leader Schumer? The answer is, it’s basically the same as the German strategy. In a few words, massive subsidies and tax breaks to incentivize the construction of vast amounts of wind turbines and solar panels. From E&E Daily, July 28:

Huge win for clean energy. . . . Clean energy tax credits are the centerpiece. Under the deal, existing renewable credits would be extended. After 2025, they would become technology neutral and based on greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Is there any deeper thinking behind this than just that wind and solar are “clean” so we should build more of them? Doesn’t look like it. So give us a few years of this, and we’ll be right where Germany is: vast excess capacity of wind and solar panels, none of which is there when you need it, and electricity rates tripled to pay for the redundant excess capacity and subsidies to the people who built it.

Read the full article here.

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Tom Halla
July 31, 2022 6:11 pm

Maybe Texas will realize that even with subsidies, wind sucks, it does not blow. We have had electricity shortages when wind dropped to 3% of nameplate output in a hot spell demanding more power.
Wind and solar divert investments from dispatchable power supplies, given the subsidies and mandatory purchase rules.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 31, 2022 7:07 pm

Texas may be a better example of what not to do than Germany.

I think they are pretty close to having a big problem.

I wonder what would happen if Texas were to shut down a conventional powerplant or two and replace that capacity with windmills? The Texas grid is on the brink of blackouts right now with their current mix of power generation. Subtract a little conventional and replace with windmills, and I think that would put Texas over the edge and provide our example of what not to do here in the United States.

Texas is just about to hit the windmill wall if they don’t build new conventional powerplants to back up any new windmills. Adding windmills alone is a recipe for disaster.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 31, 2022 11:39 pm

As someone has commented elsewhere, when a sailing boat is becalmed, adding more sails is a waste of time.
Present generation by wind in the UK is 0.44 GW, 1.79% of demand and has been fluctuating between that and 5 GW since May, with the occasional spike of 10 GW.
Who could/should base a country’s energy policy on such an unreliable system of generation.
If the answer is more windmills, what is the CO2 cost in producing the extra windmills and then the battery storage needed, which in turn needs an equivalent number of windmills to recharge the batteries after a wind drought.
Also don’t forget the extra capacity needed to power all the heat pumps and EVs we are going to be forced to adopt.
It seems to me that the Chinese will be laughing all the way to the bank as they seem to have the only, coal powered, capacity to produce the equipment needed to make the dreams come true, assuming that there are enough mineral resources available in the world.
Having bet the house on renewables it looks as if no politician has the gumption or lack of pride to say ” I was wrong, and we need to rethink our whole energy policy “.

Steve Case
Reply to  StephenP
August 1, 2022 1:02 am

As someone has commented elsewhere, when a sailing boat is becalmed, adding more sails is a waste of time.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! First chuckle of my day (-:

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 1, 2022 6:21 am

Germany made themselves more dependent on natural gas and then refused to pay Gazprom for their gas with Rubles. Self-inflicted pain. Gazprom want to sell the gas for a currency they can use. Sales would be very profitable. But for Russians, Euros are currently like Monopoly money. Texas and California can’t beat that.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 1, 2022 9:01 am

Aside from your ridiculous claim that somehow abandoning their contract language that the transactions happen in euros was their self inflicted wound, not relying on a hostile state for your energy needs…I’m absolutely sure that the average russian and especially the industrial oligarchs would much prefer hard currency, dollars or euros, to rubles.

Dave Gee
Reply to  WR2
August 1, 2022 11:36 am

Why are you absolutely sure? Show me some evidence please.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 1, 2022 10:10 am

I think that would put Texas over the edge and provide our example of what not to do here in the United States.

Unfortunately, they’ll continue to blame conventional power, and people will continue to buy the bs. I’m not sure how bad it will have to get before the masses finally wake up.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 31, 2022 7:15 pm

‘Clean’ energy production has too many dirty secrets for me or anybody else who looks at the fine print of this contract with the energy devils.

Geoff Sherrington
July 31, 2022 6:33 pm

Those who like to think will remember that the limitations of solar like night time, snow, cloud and of wind with long periods of low velocity over large areas have been widely known ever since people adopted electricity grids. I can remember very clearly the modelling exercises we did in the 1970s to try to imagine which future electricity generation types would dominate years later. Solar and wind came out OK in small niche applications but were out of the main contest from the start. It was known then, for example, that there was low wind energy for weeks at a time over nation-sized areas and that no known engineering was likely to change that.
The question is therefore, what motivation causes people to continue to promote wind and solar as preferred? It cannot be scientific or engineering reasons because these do not encourage. It cannot be Econoline or resource material availability, ditto. It more or less leaves political or greed on a large scale. Each is ugly.
Any deep ideas on what is still driving ‘renewables’? Is anyone here close to privileged insight, high level connections? Geoff S

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 31, 2022 6:36 pm

Sorry, New tablet with imaginative anticipation of words to change automatically.
Please replace Econoline with economics. Geoff S

Steve Case
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 1, 2022 1:18 am

Wait until you get a new car that takes control of the steering wheel, accelerator, beeps the horn, flashes red lights with loud claxons, and tells you to check the back seat before you can turn it off.

another ian
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 31, 2022 7:14 pm


 of wind with long periods of low velocity over large areas have been widely known ever since people adopted electricity grids”

And a bloody lot longer by those who used windmills to pump water!

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 31, 2022 7:26 pm

Any deep ideas on what is still driving ‘renewables’?”

Smoke and mirrors, Geoff…
Smoke and mirrors.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Pop Piasa
August 2, 2022 4:53 am

Money to academia! Climate scientists broadcasting CAGW don’t give a hoot about how electricity is generated. For money, they will give you the data that proves fossil fuel generation needs to die. That is all they will claim they said.

After that, the money grubbers take hold and do the rest. I’ll guarantee that academia won’t take the blame for bad choices on generation. That wasn’t their schtick, it was big business’ fault.

R Terrell
Reply to  Pop Piasa
August 5, 2022 12:11 pm

Yes, and don’t forget ‘MONEY’!

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 31, 2022 10:03 pm

#bigwindknew #bigsolarknew

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 31, 2022 10:13 pm

Is anyone here close to privileged insight, high level connections? 

You need only look at the ACT to get an understanding of the drivers. These people are not smart enough to realise they are at the pointy end of a huge Ponzi scheme. The ACT is now 100% “renewable” energy. They are the only State or Territory in Australia that has lowered the retail price for electricity in 2022. That is all you need to know. 100% “renewable” equates to lower electricity prices. Open your eyes – ACT proves it!

The only way the Ponzi scheme will come undone is if the other States shut down supply to Canberra when there is insufficient W&S on the grid to supply the ACT. That will not happen because Canberra holds the purse strings for most of the States’ spending.

Albo has the highest honeymoon rating of any Prime Minister. We can only wait a few months before the shine wears off and his government start to look very ugly.

Putin is making more money from selling less energy as the prices rocket to the stratosphere.

My total household energy bill will likely be positive this year but I have made money for the last 4 years from electricity export covering cost of gas used. I recognise that I am in a Ponzi scheme that will eventually crash. But my move will then be to install more batteries. I expect Albo and cohort will extend the Ponzi scheme with bigger transfers from poor to less poor enshrined by law.

The fiasco is not ending soon in Australia. I expect more money to be thrown at households to get them on board with solar and batteries. I will do the sums on any investment decision based on ever increasing retail electricity price.

Philip in New Zealand
Reply to  RickWill
August 1, 2022 6:22 pm

ACT has two solar farms Mugga Lane 12 MW and Royalla at 20 MW the rest of it’s power comes from elsewhere in the Eastern States. ACT is part of the NSW grid which is 64% black coal. There is no significant storage facilities in Australia to provide enough power to the ACT when the wind is not blowing and the sun not shining.

Iain Reid
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 31, 2022 11:32 pm


I can’t answer your question.

However I have had inumerable You Tube discussions with renewables fans and they simply do not accept all the technical and practical points I make.
I served an electrical apprebticeship in the generation industry in the U.K., in what was then the Central Electricity Generating Board and have many years subsequent experience in that field so I have a good basic grasp of what is involved.

All to no avail, they have a faith that it will all work out well somehow. Facts and logic do not seem to have any influence on their beliefs.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Iain Reid
August 1, 2022 6:39 am

During the first oil crisis scare of the 1980s the UK CEGB showed little interest in wind power because of the intermittency problem.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 1, 2022 1:15 am

The situation in Germany was created over decades. At any time over that period it should have been easy to understand the problems. Your difficulty is in assuming that they have not created exactly what they intended.

Reply to  AndyHce
August 1, 2022 2:52 am

The current situation in Germany was created in 2022
Germany refused to pay Gazprom in Rubles
Euros are Monopoly money to Gazprom with banking
sanctions on Russia. Gazprom can’t be expected to give
away their products. Germany shot themselves in the foot
to punish Russia. Germany was heading toward
energy problems in the future, but obviously couldn’t wait.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 1, 2022 9:43 am

Just read the comments by the drivers, past and present, like Maurice Strong and Christina Figueras of the UN. it is the destruction of the capitalist system, not climate change. Climate change is just a beard.

Ron Long
July 31, 2022 6:34 pm

This whole mess is somewhat entertaining now, but wait until northern hemisphere winter, shivering in the dark is not an Olympic sport.

Howard Dewhirst
July 31, 2022 6:35 pm

No there isn’t, unless you call the UNs Agenda 21 ‘thinking’

July 31, 2022 6:39 pm

These people are dumb as rocks.

william Johnston
July 31, 2022 6:39 pm

Sounds like an excellent plan. Especially if you happen to have a pile of excess funds avaiable to invest in the initial stages of the project.

Brian Pratt
July 31, 2022 6:41 pm

I thought Saskatchewan had three wind facilities, but it turns out we have nine! Sure, the province is huge, but SaskPower just got approved for a 4% rate increase for each of the next two years. We the citizens had no say in this, and nor was it an election issue—prices were low then. At the same time, they are planning to close a coal-fired power station in Estevan, which sits right beside the open-cast lignite mine.

This does not include the *demonstration projects* in Saskatoon: a small solar array and methane from the adjacent landfill. The gas heats the building with the equipment, nothing more, but big blue pipes and valves for show. When we have a snowstorm you couldn’t even toast a piece of bread, not that anyone would notice since the electricity is fed into the Saskatoon Light and Power grid which is powered by 14 gas turbines in the Queen Elizabeth Power Station.

And the drivel on the SaskPower website is typically revolting:

I have read the environmental assessments of two of the more recent ones. They do the bird and bat surveys early in the spring when it is still cool and before bird migration and insect populations develop. Naturally they estimate low bird mortality. Nine per turbine per year.

They seem to feel they have to answer to the Liberal federal government in its net-zero quest. What would happen if the province did nothing and just fiddled the numbers, which we see all the time?

Reply to  Brian Pratt
August 1, 2022 9:48 am

Brian it’s a good thing that we Manitobans just finished in March a new transmission line to SK to send you up to 215MW of hydro generated power

Reply to  Brian Pratt
August 1, 2022 12:49 pm

You ask: –
What would happen if the province did nothing and just fiddled the numbers, which we see all the time?”
Surely the great polymath Inspector Trousseau would be onto that in a flash!


Edward Katz
July 31, 2022 6:41 pm

Also worth mentioning is the fact that Germany prematurely closed down its nuclear plants to the point that it will have to rely on coal to to make up for the Russian natural gas cutbacks. So what it’s getting for its efforts are blackouts, load shedding, higher consumer energy costs, increased energy consumption, and continued rising emissions. But no hardships are too much to bear if they will save the planet.

July 31, 2022 6:43 pm

Has anybody demonstrated that renewable power infrastructure could be build solely from renewable energy ? That is from exploration of the mineral deposit to disposal or recycling of the unusable components. Energy has two important properties–quality and quantity. So far the analysis seems to be limited to quantity.

Iain Reid
Reply to  eo
July 31, 2022 11:41 pm


renewables do not have the quality of conventional generators, which are required in addition to renewables (except hydro) so as to keep the grid in load and supply balance. Much like a car generators need to modulate fuel supply to keep at a steady frequency, which is the parameter that indicates if the system is in balance.
There are other technical deficencies as well so intermittency apart, which make renewables inferior to ‘proper’ generators.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  eo
August 1, 2022 6:46 am

There is certainly no way that the massive increase in mining that the roll out of all electric transport requires is ever going to be met by power from unreliables!

Tom Abbott
July 31, 2022 6:57 pm

The German politicians should have listened to President Trump.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 1, 2022 3:38 am

President Trump, or they should have listened to their native girl: Naomi Seibt.

July 31, 2022 7:15 pm

Is there any deeper thinking behind this than just that wind and solar are “clean” so we should build more of them?

That’s right, you hit it on the head…and it shows these dullards have way too much power over your and my tax dollars.

July 31, 2022 7:18 pm

What we could all be missing here is a “cunning plan” that Democrats have secretly hatched to ensure that national energy needs will be well in tune with future societal needs –

  • starting 2030, felony crimes will attract immediate death sentences to be carried out at noon using solar & wind electricity directly generated at federal prisons;
  • this will solve a number of current problems – crime, prison overcrowding, costs, inadequate grid scale dispatchable power;
  • where prosecutions under current capital penalty laws fail, perps will be charged with a new “surplus to requirements” environmental Administrative Order.

“Progressive” planning never ceases to amaze.

Dennis G. Sandberg
July 31, 2022 7:21 pm

In 2020, Germany generated electricity from the following sources: 27% wind, 24% coal, 12% nuclear, 12% natural gas, 10% solar, 9.3% biomass, 3.7% hydroelectricity.
Speaking of hitting a wall, what’s Germany’s electricity mix going to be in

2023,24,25….and maybe much longer?
30% wind, 27% coal, 8% nuclear, 8% natural gas, 12% solar, 10% biomass, 5% hydro?

Reply to  Dennis G. Sandberg
July 31, 2022 10:07 pm

what’s Germany’s electricity mix going to be in 2023,24,25….and maybe much longer?

30% wind, 27% coal, 8% nuclear, 8% natural gas, 12% solar, 10% biomass, 5% hydro?

30% wind, no 1%, no, 17%, no, 23%, no 4%….er depends on the weather

Reply to  Dennis G. Sandberg
July 31, 2022 11:22 pm

Eastern States of Australia is hitting the wall as well because of their stupid State Governments and gas policies. They are facing an 18% rise and power shortages which will drive further cost increases

It’s easy to compare the Eastern States to Western Australia

Electricity prices in the west in the June quarter sat around $68 a megawatt hour. On the east coast, the price was almost four times higher at $264 a megawatt hour.

The difference is State gas policy, Western Australia exporters must reserve a percentage of gas for the local market and the pricing is regulated.

UK power is going the same way as years of bad decisions are coming home to roost.

If we get real lucky Griff will be one of those and he won’t be able to post.

Reply to  Dennis G. Sandberg
August 1, 2022 2:25 am

The problem is, that number of 27% is meaningless. Take off the subsidies and the forced purchases of wind power, and it would fall to less than 5%. Its unusable and unsaleable without coerced buying

Reply to  Dennis G. Sandberg
August 1, 2022 9:04 am

I’m guessing 27% wind/10% solar is production, not consumption…ie it doesn’t account for the large chunk of renewables dumped because there was no demand.

July 31, 2022 7:31 pm

Is there any deeper thinking behind this than just that wind and solar are “clean” so we should build more of them?

Well in Oz they do that while mumbling something about a ‘capacity mechanism’ (don’t mention storage like the war) and dole out dough for expensive interconnection of ever more unreliables. You know it makes sense.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  observa
July 31, 2022 9:17 pm

“Capacity mechanisms enable power plants to be available for generating electricity when needed. In exchange, the mechanisms provide payments to these power plants. These capacity payments are in addition to the earnings power plants gain by selling electricity on the energy market” (Link).
What is meant by “when needed” is when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
The result is paying for two parallel electricity generating systems when one would do viz. the one that works all the time as it did until the CAGW hysteria.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
August 1, 2022 12:58 am

But we’ve got syncons in South Oz so solar and wind can spin them up to provide power when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun sets-
Synchronous condensers to lift constraints on renewables in South Australia – pv magazine International (
Isn’t that how it works? Just put in lots more really big syncons?

Joe Shaw
Reply to  observa
August 1, 2022 5:31 pm

I can’t tell if you are serious or forgot the \sarc tag.

Synchronous condensers are good for maintaining frequency stability and adjusting power factor. Including them in the grid architecture is a good thing to offset the loss of grid inertia caused by replacement of traditional generation with inverter based renewables. They can buy time to implement load shedding to avoid grid failure, but are not capable of providing significant storage.

July 31, 2022 7:36 pm

All the propaganda, subsidies, virtue signaling, and blind promises espoused by AGW proponents can’t provide power when nature doesn’t comply with the plan.

Reply to  markl
August 1, 2022 5:04 am

Oz is a big continent so we have flooding up the mainland east coast and guess what with Tasmania largely running on hydro and helping out the mainland with ‘renewables’ via Bass Strait undersea link-
Tasmania’s hydro storage drops below ‘prudent level’ after dry months, but experts not concerned yet – ABC News
The last time they got critically low from drought and the Basslink cable to Vic brown coal failed in came the diesel gennys (which might still be in place)-
Tasmanian power crisis: State Government fast-tracks installation of diesel generators – ABC News
Wind sun rain it’s all extremely variable but no matter to the Gretaheads and their obsession with averages. A relatively new and specific form of autism it seems.

July 31, 2022 7:58 pm

and electricity rates tripled to pay for the redundant excess capacity and subsidies to the people who built it.”
This is nub of weather dependent energy. You can try to kick the can down the road with H2 but you will need to over-build your electrolysers to try to capture transient energy surges. The end system has to accommodate maximum peaks and troughs. There is no escaping it.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RobK
August 1, 2022 7:16 am

Demand Side Management: Newspeak for cutting off customers.

John Hultquist
July 31, 2022 8:19 pm

It is claimed you get more of what you pay for.
Paying for intermittency and future waste will follow that path,
and drive reliable generators out of economic viability.
In 10 years, governments will own 97% of failed system.
Can I get a hallelujah?” [Maren Morris]

Old Man Winter
July 31, 2022 9:31 pm

In 2021, Germany used 500TWh (57GW power)- 43% from renewables- 23%
wind, 9% solar & 11% hydro, bio (steady 8%), etc. Solar nameplate’s 100%
& wind is 110% of its usage which puts their capacity factors (cf) at 9% &
20%, respectively. Solar’s cf is comparable to the UK’s but wind is 1/2
of the UK’s 40%-45% cf which is about the industry standard.
Germany’s offshore cf is 35% & the onshore’s 18%- both below standard.

They do have 83GWh or ~1.5 hrs of stored energy- 39GWh from stored
hydro & 44GWh from batteries- 40GWh from Germany’s 1.2M+ EVs &
hybrids & 4GWh total from smaller home units (3GWh) & their grid
(1GWh). That sounds quite low, but they’re actually better than most.

Germany has kept their coal plants. Currently, the Rhine is low & beside
cutting stored hydro potential, it’s also causing problems hauling coal.
They’re keeping their nuclear plants despite Habeck’s aversion to uranium.
They got 55% of their uranium from Russia & its ally, Kazakhstan, before
cutting it to 35% this spring (I don’t know how easy it is to source
uranium supplies).

In their new plan, they were going to expedite all green projects. They
planned to add these nameplate amounts by 2030- 160 GW solar, 50 GW
onshore wind, & 20 GW offshore wind by 2030. This adds most of the
capacity to the worst component & the least to the best component-
reverse green logic at its finest!

Since Germany’s solar & wind are poor to fair, at best, the only option is to
ditch RE & build more of the old reliables. They really need to import as
many wood chips as they can ASAP for bio & for people who use wood.

Reply to  Old Man Winter
August 1, 2022 1:50 am

Germany doesn’t import wood chips… most of its bio fuel generation is bio gas and local wood.

Germany also exports huge amounts of its coal power (its electricity generally). It buys in French nuclear when there is excess generation (you can’t turn down nukes even on days French demand drops). It exports when low river levels cut output from French nukes (etc).

Germany has more generation capacity than it needs domestically.

It also gets huge amounts in from Danish, Norwegian and other sources (renewables).

yours is a good summary of German situation, but far from complete.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  griff
August 1, 2022 8:34 am

1) “Germany doesn’t import wood chips”- I don’t buy wood either, but I have the technology to be able to start buying it tomorrow! That
steady-Eddie bio is now giving the UK 1GW/hr power- 24GWh/day,
with 4GW nameplate, that’s 96GWh/day- >> the total battery &
stored hydro capacity. The UK should also start buying wood chips
to crank their bio “up to 11”! (From experience, if your living space
is kept @ 55F-65F(13C-18C), your body core temperature can drop
enough to make you susceptible to getting sick, which is definitely
not good with Covid active in winter time. That’s why it’s quite
important for the Europeans to get every bit of energy they can.)

2) French nuclear- It’s fairly low now which is why you were
bragging about the UK selling electricity to France. You’d better hope
France gets their nukes back on line by winter.

3) “Germany has more generation capacity than it needs domestically”- Doh! I already stated that- “Solar nameplate’s 100%
& wind is 110% of its usage”. When the wind is light & the sky’s
are foggy/cloudy/dark, all that nameplate capacity is useless
as the capacity factor WILL BE <5% for each.

4) The European grid does a lot of shifting of energy from nation
to nation- transmission losses. Norway seems to have a lot of both
electrical & 24/7 solar energy sources which others rely upon.
France’s nukes are also very important, too. It’s the old reliables to
the rescue!!!

Old Man Winter
Reply to  griff
August 1, 2022 9:14 am
Reply to  griff
August 1, 2022 10:33 am

More bollox from you yet again!

It exports when low river levels cut output from French nukes

Have you ever seen the river Saone and Rhone?
Visited Lyon? Valence? Orange?

Duhh I thought not!
You have never been to the France you claim to know everything about !

Griff is really as thick as 2 short planks, he could only be useful if we burnt him for firewood this winter

Jeff L
July 31, 2022 9:36 pm

It looks more & more like the public collectively is going to have to learn this lesson the hard way – have things get really crappy before we steer back onto a sensible path.

July 31, 2022 9:47 pm

nobody bothered to figure out how much energy storage would be needed to back up these intermittent technologies and keep the grid functioning 24/365 in the absence of fossil fuels and nuclear.

It is not a matter of “nobody” bothered to figure out. It is that no one involved in policy decisions cared to take notice.
Buffering volatility: A study on the limits of Germany’s energy revolution (

This report was completed in 2017.This is one of the best examples of runtime production from wind and solar. It does not look at what the most economic solution for a given penetration of intermittents but it does show that cost spiuralling upward as the penetration target increases.

July 31, 2022 10:01 pm

The thing I find curious about wind power is surely the engineers working for the wind turbine manufacturers must know wind power is unreliable and needs back-up from fossil fuels.

In the future will there be litigation against the manufacturers?

(It’s a rhetorical question)

#bigwindknew #bigsolarknew

Reply to  Redge
July 31, 2022 10:43 pm

Nope – Engineers do not get paid to look at the big picture. The world wants wind turbines. The engineers build the best wind turbines possible for the agreed contract price. The young engineers want to be part of the energy revolution. They do not want to go and work in a carbon polluting plant.

Anyone familiar with electricity generation is aware that LCoE stated for wind generation is the lowest. That is the depth of the thinking. No one is doing system design for integrating wind and solar. Problems are addressed as they emerge. No one envisaged the 18 or so system reliability charges that are now subject to 5-minute pricing in the Australian electricity market. Right now, the debate in Australia is over Capacity Payments (these are added costs for consumers). It is not a matter of whether they will be levied but rather if coal and gas dispatchable plants will be worthy of the payment. The greens are keen to only have batteries and hydro get that payment.

The outgoing Chairperson of the Australian Electricity Security Board recognised that the cost of new transmission lines to connect all the new low intensity generators could not be borne by consumers and should be paid out of general revenue but so far that is not the case. Grid electricity prices in Australia are skyrocketing upward. It is all due to lack of informed oversight. Worse, it is based on the myth that there is a “greenhouse” effect somehow involved in controlling Earth’s energy balance – pure tripe but so may true believers. There is no due diligence in Climate Models. Manabe accepted the 2021 Nobel Prize in physics for his contribution to climate models that wrongly connect CO2 to global warming. That is where the engineering needs to start. Any engineer with reasonable experience can work out CO2 does zip to the energy balance. Most should be able to understand why open ocean surfaces cannot exceed 30C and explain it in simple terms.

August 1, 2022 1:45 am

If Germany didn’t have 49% of its electricity from renewables, it would need even more gas…

and the real crunch for Germany is not in generation, but heating and gas supplies for industry.

This fossil fuel crisis is in no way caused by green policy.

Reply to  griff
August 1, 2022 2:24 am

If Germany had not wasted a large fortune on useless intermittents, they could have built many more reliable lignite burning plants and replaced their aging nuclear plants.

Germany has made very bad choices that have made their industries uncompetitive. They have been forced into technology agreements with China that benefit China at their expense for decades to come.

Reply to  griff
August 1, 2022 3:26 am

>>> This fossil fuel crisis is in no way caused by green policy

ROFL you would be the only idiot to believe that 🙂

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
August 1, 2022 6:58 am

griff read some of the essays on Prof Dieter Helm’s site and you may start to understand the things of which you constantly erroneously speak.

Reply to  griff
August 1, 2022 1:01 pm

Don’t suffocate under those blinders while Germany suffers the policy consequences of combined elimination of nuclear, coal, and other EU generated fossil fuels. That policy Dunkirk moment is now and blaming the boat builders for not supplying enough boats in the chaos is not going to work.

August 1, 2022 2:00 am
Reply to  Alba
August 1, 2022 4:45 am

They may well have second thoughts but you don’t just rock up to the uranium store and load it into your truck tomorow. Nuclear fuel is very expensive to prepare and has very long lead times. No one is going to make that fuel without a firm contract for it years in advance.

Once you tear up the tracks the train can’t go there anymore.

August 1, 2022 2:04 am

Exactly the same plans in the UK. Build a huge amount of offshore wind, and tiny amounts of storage or backup. Paul Homewood has done a couple of excellent analyses of the UK situation and plans. Crazy.

August 1, 2022 3:17 am

So Biden’s going to follow the strategy of Germany??!! Who is the US saving its real, and cheap, US energy resources for? Certainly not for us “useless eaters”!  

August 1, 2022 5:35 am

This just highlights the corruption in our governing institutions. Obviously this doesn’t make sense so why are we doing it? Money talks – big business or somebodies buddy will make a lot of money at no risk. The general public is dumb and they are being bought off. Give them enough freebies and they will vote for your policies again.

August 1, 2022 6:17 am

We should follow Germany very closely,
and do the opposite.

Gerry, England
August 1, 2022 6:55 am

Seems that the German grid is not capable of taking the full wind and solar output anyway as of course they are long distances from the users. There was a good reason power stations were built adjacent to or in cities.

August 1, 2022 7:44 am

All needed is patriotic and competent representation and this nonsense will stop. First elections have to be honest and with the most inclusive and extensive voter fraud in history of the country that won’t happen.

August 1, 2022 9:29 am

The American version will follow the tradition of being more complicated and ineffective from design stage to implementation with a lot of regs.

But the biggest change is that the credit going forward will be contingent on where its battery materials are made. To qualify for $3,750 of the credit, an increasing share of a vehicle’s battery minerals such as lithium and nickel must be extracted or processed in the U.S. or in a country with which the U.S. has a free-trade agreement, starting at 40% in 2023 and increasing to 80% in 2027.
The other half of the credit will only be available for vehicles in which a majority of its battery components are made in North America, starting at 50% in 2023 and growing to 100% by 2029. Yet about 80% to 90% of battery components now are made in China, which also refines 68% of the world’s nickel, 73% of cobalt, 93% of manganese and 100% of the graphite in EV batteries.

The Biden Administration has blocked or delayed more than a half dozen mining projects. In January the Administration revoked federal leases for the Twin Metals mine in Minnesota that contains copper, nickel and cobalt. The U.S. Forest Service in June recommended a region-wide ban on mineral mining in the Superior National Forest.
Also in Minnesota, legal challenges and permitting headaches are holding up the PolyMet copper and nickel mine, which has undergone more than a decade of environmental review. Green groups have sued to block a lithium mining project in Nevada. California recently imposed a tax on in-state lithium production, which mining companies say could make projects unprofitable.

These are merely some of the regulatory and legal obstacles keeping critical minerals in the ground. China dominates mineral refining and battery component production because it has invested heavily in mineral extraction and because it doesn’t impose steep regulatory barriers as the U.S. and Europe do.

(Bottomline: Look busy Obama style)
But green activists say these requirements for the EV credit are too aggressive. “All it does is negate the tax credit,” a Center for Biological Diversity government liaison told E&E News, adding that the U.S. supply chain “just doesn’t exist right now.” It also won’t ever develop if regulators keep vetoing projects and greens use litigation to stop them.

Gregory Woods
August 1, 2022 9:49 am

Question: What are the plans for Intel or other chipmakers to build new plants when the supply of energy cannot be guaranteed?

August 1, 2022 10:03 am

“In order to save natural gas, coal-fired power plants from the reserve are allowed to reconnect to the grid. In Lower Saxony, an energy operator is now resorting to it – with a power plant that was not shut down until the end of 2021.”
Energy crisis: First hard coal-fired power plant shut down goes back into operation – DER SPIEGEL

August 1, 2022 2:33 pm

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