Library filed under Energy Policy from Germany
In 2011, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the country was turning away from nuclear energy in favor of a renewable future. Since then, however, progress has been limited. Berlin has wasted billions of euros and resistance is mounting.
“This is now the 3rd German onshore wind auction in a row that’s been under-subscribed,” explained WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson. “It’s clear the permitting process is not fit for purpose. It’s taking longer and longer to get a permit. The Bundesländer are reluctant to identify new locations for wind farms. And even if wind farms do get a permit, many then get caught up in legal disputes, which is pushing up costs.
The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation makes an ecological absurdity of the energy transition that anyone can see: the protection of the world's climate destroys the native nature.
Germany saw a sharp fall in the number of new onshore wind turbines installed last year, industry groups said on Tuesday, and warned there was little prospect of a recovery without government help.
If the annual energy balance for renewables is more positive from year to year, then such celebration is based on a very one-sided view of pure production volumes. Little is said about the contribution of renewables to a reliable power supply.
The consumption of resources to implement the energy transition is "unparalleled". The federal ministries and the subordinate authorities employed around 675 full-time people last year, 300 of them in the Federal Ministry of Economics alone, spread over 34 divisions and four departments. In addition, there are at least 45 committees at federal and state level that deal with the energy transition. The effort that is made here almost contradicts one of the main goals of the energy transition: the economical and efficient use of scarce resources.
With wind and solar farms sprouting up in more areas -- and their power getting priority to feed into the grid in many places -- the amount of electricity being generated is outstripping demand during certain hours of the day. The result: power prices are slipping to zero or even below more often in more jurisdictions.
The environment ministry blamed three main factors for the slower progress: overestimates of how much CO2 would be saved under existing plans, faster-than-expected economic growth and a faster-growing population than forecast.
Government plans to end advantage for bids from citizen groups; Commercial developers complained unfunded bidders had an edge
"Germany as a pioneering country is on the brink of failure," Patrick Graichen, the head of Agora Energiewende, said in a January assessment. The European Commission’s latest country assessment, published earlier this month, found that Germany is at “considerable risk” of missing its national energy efficiency target of 20 percent by 2020. For now, it is still expected to meet its 2020 renewable energy target of 18 percent, although Germany's renewable energy lobby warns the country might miss that goal too.
Baake, a Green Party politician whose appointment by then economy minister Sigmar Gabriel was a surprise at the time, criticised the new government’s energy and climate plans in a resignation letter ...The plans for the energy transition (Energiewende) in the new coalition agreement were a “bitter disappointment”, Baake wrote to incoming energy and economy minister Peter Altmaier.
Unreliable solar and wind power in Germany cause more and higher electricity costs for the power grid.
In the year that ended, electricity was more expensive than ever before - and at the beginning of the year prices are still rising, according to the "Handelsblatt" newspaper. The newspaper relied on a recent analysis of the consumer porta, Verivox.
Meanwhile, the renewables are causing an environmental disaster as well as an economic one. The wind farms kill thousands of rare birds of prey every year, the biogas plants cause run-off and soil erosion, while the solar farms industrialise and denature the land. Many soi-disant ‘environmentalists’ are shamefully silent.
Wind power is the most important building block for the energy transition, but the phasing out of subsidies threatens countless wind turbines. In three years, a large part of the network could be taken out of service.
Electricity production from German wind turbines is expected to tumble further on Tuesday by almost 6 gigawatts (GW) to 10 GW from nearly 40 GW on Saturday, which pushed prices into negative territory.
Germany has spent an estimated 189 billion euros, or about $222 billion, since 2000 on renewable energy subsidies. But emissions have been stuck at roughly 2009 levels, and rose last year, as coal-fired plants fill a void left by Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power. That has raised questions — and anger — over a program meant to make the country’s power sector greener.
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.
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.