Germany’s New “Renewable” Energy Policy
Editor’s note: Copy this article and send it to your elected representatives. It proves the lies we have been told about “renewable” energy, based on facts, not models or wishful thinking. AB 32 means California electricity, already the most expensive in the nation, is going to go up by 42 percent between now and 2020 unless they put a stop to it.
In mid-August 2012, Germany opened a new 2200MW coal-fired power station near Cologne, and virtually not a word has been said about it. This dearth of reporting is even more surprising when one considers that Germany has said building new coal plants is necessary because electricity produced by wind and solar has turned out to be unaffordable and unreliable.
In a deteriorating economic situation, Germany’s new environment minister, Peter Altmaier, who is as politically close to Chancellor Angela Merkel as it gets, has underlined time and again the importance of not further harming Europe’s – and Germany’s – economy by increasing the cost of electricity.
He is also worried that his country could become dependent on foreign imports of electricity, the mainstay of its industrial sector. To avoid that risk, Altmaier has given the green light to build twenty-three new coal-fired plants, which are currently under construction.
Yes, you read that correctly, twenty three-new coal-fired power plants are under construction in Germany, because Germany is worried about the increasing cost of electricity, and because they can’t afford to be in the strategic position of importing too much electricity.
Just recently, German figures were released on the actual productivity of the country’s wind power over the last ten years. The figure is 16.3 percent—roughly half of what they had optimistically, and irrationally, hoped for. They spent the money for 3,000 megawatts of wind power but only got 900 MW.
Due to the inherent intermittent nature of wind, their wind power system was designed for an assumed 30% load factor in the first place. That means that they hoped to get a mere 30% of the installed capacity – versus some 85-90% for coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric facilities—they got 16.3 percent of what they paid for in wind power.
Even worse, after spending billions of Euros on subsidies, Germany’s total combined solar facilities have contributed a miserly, imperceptible 0.084% of Germany’s electricity over the last 22 years. That is not even one-tenth of one percent.
Moreover, the actual cost of Germany’s wind and solar electricity is far and away higher than its cost of coal and nuclear power. So much for “free” solar and wind; so much for all the German jobs that depend on reliable access to plentiful and affordable electricity.
As to natural gas produced via hydraulic fracturing, that too is prohibited, even if it is required to back up undependable wind and solar facilities. No wonder Germany’s natural gas and electricity prices are practically unaffordable.
Meantime the extreme greens continue to preach about the wonders of life based on solar and wind power. They also talk constantly about “sustainable living,” a “sustainable future,” and an otherwise hydrocarbon-free and “decarbonized” tomorrow. Be warned! What these vacuous exhortations mean is that people must not enjoy the lifestyles and living standards of a modern world.
They mean the First World must cut back significantly on its living standards, and the developing world must give up its aspirations for achieving the lifestyle of the First World.
Dr Kelvin Kemm is a nuclear physicist and business strategy consultant based in Pretoria, South Africa. He is a member of the International Board of Advisors of the Washington, DC-based Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org).