Germany’s Compounding Energy Woes: Even Wind Power Industry Is “Sliding into Crisis”

From the NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin

Germany’s Blackout News here reports that not only is Germany’s energy supply faltering profoundly, but so is its wind industry as well, reporting  that it is “sliding into a crisis”.

Gloomy outlook also for Germany’s wind energy industry. Photo by P. Gosselin

Wind energy is supposed to step in and play a key role in supplying Germany with energy as other sources get cut off. But that too is not going to plan.

“Nordex is closing its plant in Rostock, Siemens Gamesa is sliding deep into the red and at Vestas the workforce is on strike,” reports Blackout News.

The German government aims to solve the country’s massive energy woes by doubling wind energy output over the next decade or so, but wind parks just aren’t getting built and orders are “collapsing sharply”, falling by “more than a third in the third quarter” at Siemens Gamesa year-on-year.

The result: thousands of lost jobs.

Blackout News cites “incalculable record raw material prices and supply chain problems” and a lack of profitability. Companies like Nordex are closing plants in Germany and moving production offshore to places like China.

The unplanned lack of wind energy expansion in combination with the massive supply stop of Russian natural gas is acting to further compound the German government’s problems as it struggles to keep the country supplied with energy while it suicidally pushes for the electrification of transportation and the closure of nuclear and coal power plants.

“Siemens Gamesa made a loss of almost one billion euros in the past fiscal year and sales fell by four percent,” according to Blackout News. “Vestas has already made a loss of just under one billion euros, compared with a profit of 135 million euros a year earlier.”

Government reforms have  to have “driven turbine manufacturers into cutthroat competition” and the German market “has collapsed in recent years,” Blackout News adds. “For the market leaders Vestas, Siemens Gamesa, Nordex and Enercon, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find financiers willing to invest in wind turbines.

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Brett_McS
November 15, 2022 10:09 pm

Well, some good news for a change.

Steve Case
Reply to  Brett_McS
November 15, 2022 10:40 pm

schadenfreude

Bryan A
Reply to  Steve Case
November 15, 2022 11:28 pm

Not only does Wind make little sense it also makes no more cents either…or Dollars…or Euros…or Deutschemarks

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Bryan A
November 16, 2022 3:08 pm

The Deutschmark died a long time ago, regrettably.

Bryan A
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 16, 2022 9:46 pm

Just wait, it’ll be back once the EU fails as an entity

Phillip Bratby
November 15, 2022 11:03 pm

“The German government aims to solve the country’s massive energy woes by doubling wind energy output over the next decade or so”. That sounds like a prime example of the definition of insanity.

Chasmsteed
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
November 15, 2022 11:51 pm

Doubling down on a bad bet is symptomatic of a gambling addict. Insanity indeed!

ilma630
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
November 16, 2022 3:00 am

And with Thurrock Council having lost £655m in a solar investment (boondoggle?), VED to be charged on EVs in the UK, etc. etc., the net zero / whole renewables industry is showing signs of collapsing.

Oldseadog
Reply to  ilma630
November 16, 2022 3:16 am

With any luck, Phillip.

Jackdaw
Reply to  ilma630
November 16, 2022 7:32 am

I very much look forward tp EVs having to pay VED. If EV’s are that good, they don’t need to be subsidised. I see there have been howls of protest because Tesco have started to charge drivers to use the Tesco charging points. It seems that EV drivers expect to top up for free. I use a Tesco filling station for diesel, but I don’t get that for nowt.

Decaf
Reply to  ilma630
November 23, 2022 11:42 am

It can’t happen soon enough.

saighdear
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
November 16, 2022 5:57 am

their Gang Green Media (GGB ) is also paying its keep, propagating the propaganda. in just about all the programs they broadcast.

Iain Reid
November 15, 2022 11:16 pm

it seems to me rather ironic that the expensive electricity from renewables is, in part at least, to blame for the lack of profitability and competitiveness.
How many really believe that China, India etc are going to transition to ‘renewables’ from cheap reliable coal and that their claimed aim to go green is window dressing at best?

Keitho
Editor
Reply to  Iain Reid
November 16, 2022 12:35 am

But, but they keep on telling us renewables as in wind and solar, are significantly cheaper than all other sources. They obviously think that market based economics have been suspended just to hamstring the renewables folk. I have a niggling feeling they are lying to us.

RickWill
Reply to  Keitho
November 16, 2022 1:42 pm

I have a niggling feeling they are lying to us.

Anyone silly enough to believe that a trace gas can cause Earth to warm up has sat in an office for too long and is unable to observe and comprehend. Understanding the complexity of an on-demand power system is WAAAAY beyond their comprehension. They are not lying; rather they believe the simplistic fairy tales they are fed.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  RickWill
November 16, 2022 3:09 pm

But “they” are the smartest people in that room.

davezawadi
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 17, 2022 12:34 am

It is about time that they are made to give “us as Engineers” exactly how their energy system design will work. That could be interesting, I will sign up at once!

Chasmsteed
November 15, 2022 11:49 pm

“Incalculable raw material prices” – I had to buy some NiB magnets recently which I last bought 2 years ago, they have increased in price by 400% – because of demand side pressure from the electric vehicle and wind turbine markets.

Other than by hedging on the futures market how do you quote fore such a wildly moving target.

meteormike
November 16, 2022 12:01 am

Wind: The diffuse, intermittent source of energy from environmental hell!

Twenty-Five Industrial Wind Energy Deceptions

https://www.masterresource.org/droz-john-awed/25-industrial-wind-energy-deceptions/

abolition man
Reply to  meteormike
November 16, 2022 8:49 am

Thanks for the reference, Mike!
That blog should be added to the WUWT page! I’ve got to memorize that definition of NIMBY!

Peta of Newark
November 16, 2022 12:15 am

My little bit of experience with renewable energy nicely encapsulates the hideous and monstrous wrong with this thing… and the whole rest of the Western World right now.
The story:
At my new home I have ‘inherited’ a lovely set of solar panels on its roof, I’d guess because no-one has told me or even seems to know, of about 3.5kW nameplate power and circa 10 years old.
Since I discovered where the ‘total generation’ meter was/is, my house has made 1350kWh and pushed most of it out onto the grid.
The people I bought from promised they’d sort out the transfer of the Feed in Tariff (it’s called something else now, something including the word ‘smart’ which as we all know means either/all of; Dumb, Stupid & Trouble)

Nothing happened so I started chasing and that’s what I found, a legion of dumb stupid trouble in the shape of the bureaucracy managing the scheme.

Also and especially that if I did wade through the morass, I’d only get £55 for all that electric.
The mess we’re in is thus clearly shown in that the electric I’d made and so far given away, would have been used by my next-door neighbours (that’s how electric grids work – or certainly ones that are not = super-conducting)

And that my neighbours, at present prices, have paid £458 for that power.
See it now?

The Enquiring Mind would wonder where that money went.
This mind knows where, in no especial order:

  • The Off Licence nearest to #10 Downing St
  • Likewise the nearest Domino’s pizza parlour
  • Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company
  • Buying bombs and giving them to Ukraine where it was/is none of our business to do so and *will* backfire. Badly.

It might have been better spent on getting some Magnesium Citrate and Vitamin B12 into Joseph Biden but no, The Science said otherwise.

It’s a good job that ‘The Science’ is correct on all the other contemporary woes in this world.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 16, 2022 2:51 am

I doubt your neighbours used much of your solar export. However, even as far North as Newark it might have effectively contributed to the aircon for Whitehall and the Met Office in Exeter (and certainly the officers’ mess at RAF Coningsby, which is somewhat closer) on the hottest day evah!

MarkW
Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 16, 2022 8:42 am

The power company buys at wholesale and sells at retail. That’s the way it should work.
The retail price of electricity has to cover all of the fixed costs, such as supporting the grid itself and maintenance and operation costs for the power plants.
The only thing you are saving the power company, is the cost of fuel, and that’s one of their smallest costs.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  MarkW
November 16, 2022 9:06 am

Mark, interestingly I have been involved in a couple projects where initially the industrial client intended to generate electricity from some previously flared wasted fuel source. This, of course would reduce the consumer’s total electricity consumption by some amount, say 15% to pick a number. On hearing “the plan”, the utility company simply reduces the contracted cost of electricity by 15% to bring the project to a halt and make company management look bad to shareholders for previously paying “too much” for electricity.
In such a case, to paraphrase you “that’s NOT the way it should work”.

Mr.
Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 16, 2022 9:26 am

Here’s The Guardian practicing what they preach –
follow the science!

A moment that changed me: ‘I visited a therapist – who offered me an exorcism’

Alpha
November 16, 2022 1:22 am

Wind accessibility is not constant or guaranteed.

Europe 2021 saw the lowest wind intensity in over forty years.

The year 2022 was not much better.

Wind farms in the North Sea experienced a decrease of 30% of their production in the first months of the year. It was the same during the summer because of long periods of high pressure.

This is not the future.

Disputin
Reply to  Alpha
November 16, 2022 2:45 am

Oh yes it is!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Disputin
November 16, 2022 7:52 am

The future is dark and deprived. Brought to you by wind and solar “power.”

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Alpha
November 16, 2022 4:41 am

was that reduction in wind blamed on climate change? they gotta blame on somebody or something other than natural variation

sturmudgeon
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
November 16, 2022 5:59 pm

I can pretty much guarantee that it wasn’t because the ‘climate changers’ reduced their spiel.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Alpha
November 16, 2022 8:01 am

Yes. In the UK Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) said it’s windfarms produced 32% less power than expected over the period April – September 2021.

strativarius
November 16, 2022 2:42 am

“Companies like Nordex are closing plants in Germany and moving production offshore to places like China.”

Well, on the bright side that’s reduced Germany’s emissions quite substantially, and that is the point of it all; Net Zero.

So, all good 

/sarc

Last edited 20 days ago by strativarius
observa
Reply to  strativarius
November 16, 2022 6:08 am

Yes much better rolling with Aussie coal in China as true climate changers have to think about coal miles.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  strativarius
November 16, 2022 8:08 am

Nordex obviously had a chat with BMW who recently announced they were moving production of the electric Mini from UK to China.

RickWill
Reply to  strativarius
November 16, 2022 1:57 pm

China own global manufacturing. They will burn 4,300,000,000 tonne of coal this year and more next year. Most of it is mined internally at a fixed price of CNY700/tonne; about 25% of global spot price for thermal coal. They have to pay global price for the imported met coal but are the dominant player in that market so can shift the price to their advantage.

It doesnot add up
November 16, 2022 2:44 am

Not just in Germany….

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/shell-chinese-partner-drop-off-shore-wind-farm-project-france-2022-11-15/

Despite sky high electricity prices this project is suddenly not economic. Obviously even Chinese made turbines cost a bit, and so does financing at more real interest rates…

Meanwhile France has quietly continued to be a major importer of Russian LNG into Montoir and Dunkerque. They have proven to themselves that wind us useless as a replacement for nuclear capacity. The plans to do so are being incinerated on the gas burner. If they could actually relearn how to do nuclear cost effectively, instead of insisting on the EPR design that is costly and doesn’t work, they could perhaps reduce their gas reliance a little again.

Ed Zuiderwijk
November 16, 2022 5:13 am

German for ‘schadenfreude’: ‘energiewende’.

jebstang66
November 16, 2022 7:18 am

I just want to add context to this discussion regarding inflation. The four major areas of expense in my business have gone up double digits since all of the Central Banks rapidly expanded the money supply since 2020.
1. Lease rate up 89%
2. Diesel cost up 48%
3. Labor costs up 38%
4. Cost of Goods Sold up 30%

These are costs squeezing the entire developed world in a relatively short period. It is not a surprise that raw material, labor, and transportation costs are severely impacting the renewable manufacturing business everywhere.

Note that we are just in the beginning stages of feeling the effects of this squeeze.

Mr.
Reply to  jebstang66
November 16, 2022 9:21 am

Bend on a storm jib, trail a sea anchor, and prepare to run before the sea under bare poles.

The full force of this storm is yet to arrive.

RickWill
Reply to  jebstang66
November 16, 2022 2:03 pm

Chinese coal miners get CNY700/tonne for coal in 2022 and that price has been decreed for 2023. That price is 25% of the current spot price for thermal coal. Coal is the main input to global manufacturing and the price they pay for most of their coal will be steady throughout 2022/23.

It is no wonder China owns global manufacturing. If you want a wind turbine or solar panel you will be buying Chinese made.

abolition man
November 16, 2022 8:55 am

The German people are once again being ruled by crazed Socialists! Hopefully, this time, they’ll throw the nutters out before the whole country is destroyed!
Why do seemingly intelligent and well educated individuals continue to fall for this failure!?

RickWill
Reply to  abolition man
November 16, 2022 2:16 pm

Why do seemingly intelligent and well educated individuals continue to fall for this failure!?

An interesting question. 

It appears good intentions starts the ball rolling and then belligerence in the face of adversity keeps it going beyond any sensible point of no return. 

Many years ago I had commercial dealings with a Japanese manufacturer. They tried hard to solve a warranty issue but once it got to the point of losing money on the sale they walked away. They were willing to lose reputation rather than take a commercial loss. The German mentality is not to concede even in the face of extreme adversity.

It is hard to make a successful warranty claim on German manufacture because they believe they product is faultless.

Tony_G
Reply to  RickWill
November 16, 2022 3:31 pm

They were willing to lose reputation rather than take a commercial loss.

I’m having some trouble parsing this.
Did they walk away as in did not carry through and honor the warranty?

It just seems odd to me (the willingness to lose reputation) from what I know of Japanese culture in general.

Bob Hunter
November 16, 2022 10:45 am

Small point in the article, but is interesting Germany closing green energy manufacturing, with a portion to be replaced by China. Because Germany is one of the few countries having a trade surplus with China.

ringworldrefugee
November 16, 2022 10:46 am

It’s been said a thousand times, but the only thing wind turbines generate consistently is subsidies. When those dry up the investors vanish with all that tasty taxpayer cash already in their wallets.

RickWill
November 16, 2022 1:36 pm

Lots of coal needed to build wind turbines. China pays their miners CNY700/tonne for the thermal variety. That is about 25% of the global spot price. China has a massive competitive advantage when it comes to coal. It is no wonder they own global manufacturing.  

If Germany wants wind turbines it needs to be on good terms with China. That is where everything is made because coal is cheap there. No green taxes levied on coal in China.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 16, 2022 3:18 pm

“… it is becoming increasingly difficult to find financiers willing to invest in wind turbines.”

And, of course, the World Bank and the IMF, and many other financing sources, won’t invest in coal or natural gas power generation plants because … climate change and … ESG.

Last edited 19 days ago by Retired_Engineer_Jim
Frank Hansen
November 16, 2022 3:41 pm

Solar panels are probably good for heating your outdoor swimming pool. I like to have a water temperature at about 28-30 degrees Celsius, and that is impossible in Nordic countries without heating. Solar power comes without all the fees and taxes, but it only works for a completely independent system.

niceguy12345
November 16, 2022 4:57 pm

In France the greens want to electrify everything, 15 years ago electrification was an EDF conspiracy to push nukes.

And NO ONE ever asks those clown why they made an about face.

Decaf
November 23, 2022 11:41 am

I wonder how Germany will like being at the bottom of the EU basket.

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