Don´t be afraid to see what you see
Thursday, 14 March 2013
"Germany is dirtying the planet in the name of clean energy"
Howard Rich, writing in Forbes, explains why Germany's green energy disaster is a cautionary tale for other countries:
In 2000 Germany passed a major green initiative which forced providers to purchase renewable energy at exorbitant fixed prices and feed that power through their grids for a period of twenty years. Promulgated by a Socialist-Green coalition government – this initiative has since been embraced by Germany’s Conservative-Liberal majority, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel. In fact Merkel has doubled down on Germany’s renewable energy push in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan – ramping up government’s plan to phase in renewables while taking the country’s nuclear power industry offline. --
The basic problem? Wind farms are notoriously unreliable as a power source. Not only that, they take up vast amounts of space and kill tens of thousands of birds annually.
“Generating energy with wind involves extreme fluctuations because it depends on the weather and includes periods without any recognizable capacity for days, or suddenly occurring supply peaks that push the grid to its limits,” a 2012 report from Germany energy expert Dr. Guenter Keil notes. “There is a threat of power outages over large areas, mainly in wintertime when the demand is high and less (power) gets delivered from abroad.” --
Because renewable power sources have been so unreliable, Germany has been forced to construct numerous new coal plants in an effort to replace the nuclear energy it has taken offline. In fact the country will build more coal-fired facilities this year than at any time in the past two decades – bringing an estimated 5,300 megawatts of new capacity online. Most of these facilities will burn lignite, too, which is strip-mined and emits nearly 30 percent more carbon dioxide than hard coal.
In other words Germany is dirtying the planet in the name of clean energy – and sticking its citizens with an ever-escalating tab so it can subsidize an energy source which will never generate sufficient power.
This is the cautionary tale of command energy economics – one other nations would be wise to heed.