Merci France! Germany Now Dependent On Foreign Nuclear Power

All them windmills littering the landscape and the acres of solar panels mounted on roofs here in cloudy Germany are doing nothing to reduce energy dependency, and are unable to take up the slack left by the panicked Merkel-ordered nuclear power plant shutdowns in Germany.

In fact, before the Merkel government shut down 7 of Germany’s nuclear power plants in a fit of panic in response to Fukushima and the mass media-driven public hysteria, Germany had been an energy exporter.

But all that has changed. The billions spent on primitive renewables and the aversion to nuclear are all having a price, as theonline DIE WELT daily reports today:

Before and after the moratorium – as is usual for this time of the year – between 70 and 150 gigawatt-hours were exported. After switching noff the German nuclear plants, that surplus disappeared. Since then 50 gigawatt-hours have been imported. The power coming in from France and the Czech Republic has doubled and exports to Holland have been cut in half.”

From surplus to deficit (H/T Rudolf Kipp)

Meanwhile, DIE ZEIT reports that a German Greenpeace representative has complained bitterly that the industry is leading a phoney debate, and whines that cheaper nuclear energy from France is to blame for the electricity trade deficit. Andreé Böhling, energy expert from Greenpeace moans:

It is not true that Germany would not have enough of its own capacity with the shutdown old nuclear power plants. The increased imports can be explained by the reaction of the electicity markets, who still continue to suppply with the cheaper electricity – and it can at times come increasingly from nuclear plants in in France.”

Boy, don’t free markets and low prices for already pinched consumers just stink?

What is very complicated is that many of Germany’s shut down nuke plants are located in southern Germany, making the area an ideal and potentially highly lucrative market for France and the Czech electricity exporters, who are rubbing their hands right next door.

For Germany to supply its southern region with green electricity, as is the dream, the country would have to build many more giant offshore parks in the North Sea far away from southern Germany and build massive transmission lines cross country to deliver the green unsteady power. Unfortunately, many green organisations, again, are against the transmission lines, and offshore wind-park construction has been held up for a year because of environmental issues.

And offshore power generated by windmills in the North Sea in the end would be outrageously more expensive than French or Czech-made nuclear power readily available next door.

Conclusion: The concept of generating and delivering green energy with offshore windmills and cross-country transmission lines for its delivery not only faces a lot of protest, but it would be super-expensive, unreliable, and would require the abandonment of market principles, which happen to heavily favor France right now.

16 responses to “Merci France! Germany Now Dependent On Foreign Nuclear Power”

  1. Nonoy Oplas

    What a life, Pierre!
    Meanwhile, I read from the GWPF that Germany is shifting quick to coal power plants. So, the energy imports from France is only temporary?

    1. DirkH

      Don’t think so. Greens protest against every expansion of coal fired plants. Their first rule is “no nuclear”, their second is “no coal”, their third is “no gas”. When they are in government, this shifts to: First rule: “Blame it on someone else.”

  2. DirkH

    “Andreé Böhling, energy expert from Greenpeace ”

    More and more i tend to the “brain damage” hypothesis, concerning possible explanations for the words and actions of green/leftist people. Ignoring the economy does not make it go away.

    1. DirkH

      Well, but another hint that they hate free energy markets. Greenpeace Energy is the most politically correct and the most expensive provider of energy in Germany.

      http://www.greenpeace-energy.de/

  3. Peter Whale

    France has ditched the carbon tax. I do not see the French doing anything but expand the nuclear option.France will be on a winning streak.
    I can see the greens in Germany ruining the German economy. I can see Germany stop bailing out the PIIGS . The Euro will go along with the EU.
    Its not all bad.

  4. M White

    If/When the french require that electricity for domestic use I think the french government will not be interested in free markets.

    No cross border transmission.

    1. DirkH

      They make money; they have delivered power to Britain for years; and should they not deliver to Germany, we can import more from Czechia, Switzerland or Austria (there are connectors; we deliver wind power surges into Switzerland and Austria that they use to pump water uphill – later they sell the generated hydropower back to us for peak prizes).

      The market in fact works.

  5. DirkH

    Monbiot continues his pro-nuclear article series. This one is interesting, shredding specific claims of renowned Green anti-nuclear figureheads.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/05/anti-nuclear-lobby-misled-world

    In other news: The Green government in Baden-Württemberg will not have the competence to order the shutdown of the nukes in BW; they own 45% of EnBW but the CDU-run communes own another 45%; various small groups own 10%. The communes want reliable power and will not agree to a shutdown; the Greens will use this as the scapegoat to explain why they can’t free the country from the evil atom (my interpretation).
    German:
    http://www.ftd.de/unternehmen/handel-dienstleister/:atomkonzern-kommunen-versperren-gruen-rot-die-macht-bei-en-bw/60034950.html

  6. Jimbo

    This winter Scotland learned the lesson the hard way. Windmills failed to deliver and it was forced to import nuclear energy from France. Oh the irony!

  7. R. de Haan
  8. Rudolf Kipp

    This chart, showing the import/export balance of the cross border physical flow illustrates that germany on Mrch 17th has changed its status from export to import.

    http://www.wilfriedheck.de/Maerz2011-Import_Export.png

    1. DirkH

      Highly appreciated! Thanks, Rudolf!

  9. Greenman3610

    Of course, another way to read this is that since the French nuclear industry is heavily subsidized, French taxpayers are being soaked to provide power to Germany, while the nuclear industry sops up the government-sweetened profits.
    The nuclear industry is dead anywhere that the market actually has to bear the risk. Reach as far as you want for straws, renewables are the way of the future, sorry.

    1. FromFrancewithLove

      First EDF is not subsidized by French governement for a long time, but that true, Nuclear powerplant were subsidized long time ago by our good friend General De gaulle.

      Second, France have the most cheaper energy in Europe, and have over capacity so got no problem to supply other country (UK, Italy, Swiss, and indeed Germany), who think Nuclear is bad and windmill/solar panel/whatever is good. (did you ask yourself how is build a solar panel and a windmill ? Do you know how many non-renewable component there is in it ? )

      S0 I can tell you when Germany announced that they stop Nuclear power plant, there was a big cheer in France, because that will help EDF/Areva to invest and develop new and more efficient nuclear powerplant.

      Keep going guys, if I could I will vote green in all european country except France so at one point they all go electricity bankrupt.

  10. Ulrich Elkmann

    If France ended up with a monopoly as Central Europe’s electrical supplier via nuclear power, that would be Bad News indeed, not least for La Grande Nation, because the French would cease to improve and update their nuclear technology (why develop pebble bed reactors at such cost when the old tech has proven its mettle for decades?). Luckily the Finns, Poles and Czechs will not let that happen… Also, the Germans and Swiss are gearing up to expand power generation via coal (and gas, one hopes); they are just not crowing loud about it – it would look just bad coming so soon after all the posturing about “decarbonizing the industry” and “renewables”.

    1. DirkH

      I have to point out that in the meantime the prize of 1 Watt peak in Solar power has dropped to about 1.20 EUR for the solar cell and let’s say that as usual the rest of the installation will cost just as much. That makes 2.40 and it will create about 0.80 EUR of electricity (5ct/kWh) within 20 years. Last time i computed it it was 3 EUR cost to 0.80 Euro gain so we’ll be destroying a little less value than we used to!