'Energiewende' –  On the Verge of Failure

Switching off all nuclear plants in Germany on account of a tsunami in Japan wasn't only a bad idea because Germany is a lot less tsunami-prone than Nippon. It was a bad decision because it was made in the heat of the moment, an ad-hoc surrender to an age old Green Party demand that made very little economic sense. It also made little sense from a safety perspective, since Germany remains surrounded by countries that do not feel the same urge to decommission all their nuclear power plants at the drop of a hat.

However, Germany has been on a 'green energy' trip well before the tsunami damaged the Fukushima plant in Japan. The country has blighted its landscapes with wind power and solar contraptions for many years, in a futile attempt to 'save the planet' (the planet not surprisingly remains completely unsaved, as CO2 emissions continue to rise unabated year after year, from one insignificant amount to another).

Solar energy generation was very generously funded, in spite of the fact that it is hugely expensive and certainly wouldn't even be remotely economically viable in Germany without subsidies. It sure was a boon though for those who were paid the subsidies that invariably go hand in hand with replacing cheap with expensive power generation. Consumers and industry on the other hand have been feeling the pinch.

As the 'No Tricks Zone' reports from Germany, vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has now more or less admitted that the policy is on the verge of failure – and that the subsidization of green energy is drawing to a close.

 

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

Speaking at an event at SMA Solar, Germany’s leading manufacturer of solar technology, Gabriel even dropped yet another admission bomb: “The truth is that in all fields we under-estimated the complexity of the Energiewende.

Gabriel is not only the national economics minister and vice chancellor to Angela Merkel, he is also head of Germany’s socialist SPD party, which is now the coalition partner in Angela Merkel’s CDU/SPD grand coalition government. Moreover Gabriel was once the country’s environment minister and a devout believer in global warming and in Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. In the speech Gabriel tells the audience how the energy transformation is on the verge of failure:

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

Gabriel says that major reforms are thus unavoidable, and he calls efforts for energy consumers to get off the grid “pure madness”. That’s not what they want after all. Gabriel is now calling on companies who produce green energy for their own use to ante up as well:

“The complete exemption from paying feed-in tariffs is a model that is wonderful for you as a business model, but is one that is a problem for everyone else.”

The solar energy audience reacts with dead, stunned silence. They can’t believe what they just heard.

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

 

 

(emphasis added)

The “dream of decentralized energy” is “sheer madness” – one wonders why it took so long for Gabriel to realize that.  Better late than never though.

To be sure, the first EU country to mercilessly ax solar energy subsidies was Spain – out of fiscal necessity. So there are already examples out there of European governments getting off the 'alternative energy' train.

 

Erneuerbare Energien 3The German dream of renewable energy has turned into an incredibly expensive nightmare…as anyone with an ounce of common sense should have known beforehand.

(Image via vhu.de /Author unknown)

 

Booted From the Government Trough

As the No Tricks Zone comments further:

 

The European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) here writes:

“The responsible persons in attendance at the Hessen-based photovoltaic SMA Solar and all the other profiteers of the EEG feed-in act saw their jaws drop when this late and blunt admission was made.”

That Gabriel would make such comments can only tell us that the situation and the costs surrounding the Energiewende must be far more dire than most of us realize. Germany’s renewable energy gravy train has derailed for good.

Other countries take note!

 

(emphasis added)

However, as to other countries, Gabriel also happened to offer some thoughts as to how their people probably assess Germany's energy policy. Once he let loose, he was evidently nigh unstoppable, as he inter alia remarked:

 

“From the perspective of most other countries in Europe, we are complete morons anyway”

 

That's putting it quite bluntly, but he is probably right. Keeping in mind the utter nonsense German politicians and their statist intellectual handmaidens used to spout not so long ago about the move toward 'renewable energy', this is a refreshing change indeed. No-one in his right mind believes all the rose-colored scenarios anymore about how much the changeover will allegedly ultimately 'save'. Utility bills have been soaring into the stratosphere, especially for consumers (many, but by no means all, industries were able to get exemptions, as they would otherwise have lost their international competitiveness). This is creating growing difficulties for the poorer strata of society and all companies not enjoying special power rebates.

The false rhetoric about the alleged economic viability of the green energy project was dealt a further blow this week when Germany's Stock Market Investors Association (loosely translated from “Verbraucherzentrale für Kapitalanleger”)   called upon the management of Deutsche Bank to please stop lending any more money to wind and solar power companies, as it fears for the bank's profitability and stability in view of the many alternative energy companies that are going bankrupt in spite of the subsidies they have hitherto enjoyed. The bank “must strive to minimize the potential damage to both its clients and shareholders”, as the Association stressed.

In other words, just as has happened in many other countries, it has turned out that Germany's alternative energy project is such an unmitigated nightmare from an economic viability standpoint, it cannot even be kept afloat with major subsidies. The Association specifically enumerated the growing number of spectacular bankruptcies in the sector in Germany – a country where these companies probably get more subsidies than anywhere else, in large part funded directly by surcharges on utility bills paid by consumers and enterprises. It ultimately expects the losses to spiral into the hundreds of billions of euros, and that is not counting the horrendous costs borne by electricity consumers already (which incidentally continue to rise inexorably).

 

SPD-Landesparteitag in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

German vice chancellor Gabriel: “other countries in Europe already think of us as complete morons”

(Photo via DPA)

 

Conclusion:

It seems possible that all the strident hysteria about 'climate change' that  has recently been in evidence actually represents a zenith for this particular bugaboo. After more than 17 years of no further warming, some are beginning to count the mounting costs of battling this imaginary enemy. Other problems are probably beginning to look slightly more urgent.

Fear not though, true believers: a new scare will  eventually surely take its place. We still fondly remember everything from global cooling to acid rains to ozone depletion to pesticides paralyzing frogs – the apocalypse will forever be just around the corner.

 

 

 

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