Library filed under Energy Policy from Europe
Although well over 20 billion euros are spent each year to boost Germany's green energy sector, coal still accounts for 40 percent of energy generation, down just 10 points from 2000. To avoid disruption in the power and manufacturing sectors, coal imports and mines must keep running, say industry lobbies, despite the switch to fossil-free energy.
Germany's dirty secret underscores the inevitable conclusion that renewables are alone not enough to beat global warming.
Former Environment Secretary and Tory MP Owen Paterson told The Daily Telegraph he would be “very happy” to see the back of the green energy directive. He added: “It's distorting the whole energy market. It's like the Sheriff of Nottingham – it transfers money from my poorest constituents to my wealthiest constituents who are putting up pointless wind turbines heavily subsidised.”
“Our view now is that decarbonisation has a cost to domestic users and businesses and our focus now is on ‘how much can industry bear before it is too much, and decides to go elsewhere?’”
The wind industry continues to operate a ruthless cloak-and-dagger, divide-and-conquer strategy. “Community gain funds” and payouts have resulted in disharmony and disagreement among neighbours, sometimes causing major family fallouts. Turbine construction is governed by out-dated planning guidelines ...which allow them just 500m from homes, sometimes resulting in devastating consequences for families.
Nervous renewables firms are expecting hundreds of jobs to be lost in Scotland over the coming year as state support for green technology development falls.
Between 2008 and 2015, the average electricity bill rose by 22pc. Over the same period, the price of hydrocarbon fuels used by power stations fell sharply – coal down by 33pc and gas by 13pc. The rise in electricity prices is wholly attributable to government policies.
Industry body WindEurope is “not optimistic” for Central and Eastern European markets such as Romania, Slovakia or the Czech Republic, where no projects are anticipated any time soon amid “unreasonable regulations” or already-achieved targets.
In January, green power plants in Germany were almost completely turned off as energy suppliers for weeks. A so-called dark tone was responsible. A high pressure area provides still winds and fog, while at the same time the electricity demand in Germany is increasing strongly, also because it is so cold.
The audit office points to a risk that Energiewende costs could increase more and more, laments a lack of co-operation between the federal and state governments that leads to a doubling up of efforts, and notes that the government hasn’t succeeded in building up functioning cost-control mechanisms.
The prominent German economist Heiner Flassbeck has challenged fundamental assumptions of the Energiewende at his blog site makroskop.eu. According to Flassbeck, the former Director of Macroeconomics and Development at the UNCTAD in Geneva and a former State Secretary of Finance, a recent period of extremely low solar and wind power generation shows that Germany will never be able to rely on renewable energy, regardless of how much new capacity will be built.
Onshore wind in the production figures accounted for 10% of Germany’s electricity output in 2016, down from 11% in 2015, while offshore wind expanded to 2% of production, up from 1% a year earlier. Wind on land shrank despite a continued rapid addition of new capacity due to weaker winds this year.
The Hungarian parliament passed a law on December 12 that bans wind turbines within a 12-kilometer radius of populated areas. The legislation will leave no area in Hungary where it will be possible to install new wind energy capacity.
European clean power group led by Peter Terium has big plans to invest in the country Donald Trump’s election will have no effect on the growth in US renewables despite his claim that global warming is a “hoax” and his opposition to the Paris climate accord, says the boss of one of Europe’s biggest clean power companies.
Experts in China, India, Russia and America praise climate policy in Germany, but before they imitate Germany' spolicy they should be warned. Does Germany need to reorient itself?
The levy German power consumers pay on their electricity bills to finance the build-up of renewables (EEG surcharge) next year will jump by 8.3% to €0.0688 ($0.0758) per kilowatt hour of electricity consumed, re-igniting a heated debate on the cost of the country’s energy transition.
Germany is taking steps to curb its booming windfarm sector in what it claims is a necessary move to stop the renewables revolution from undermining its own success.
Oil and gas entrepreneur Algy Cluff has said the Government could provide a multi-billion pound boost to the hard-pressed North Sea industry by cutting the subsidies provided for offshore wind farms.
Local politicians are no longer serving the interests of the local people, but rather “are rolling out the red carpet for wind power companies” and appear to be “no longer listening to the people and about the concerns of their everyday lives,” the national German daily writes.
Wind turbines are now located in many areas of Germany - according to the ARD documentary even at times, where no wind blows!