Germany’s Green “Energiewende” (Energy Transition) Has Only Led To Greater Coal Consumption!

According to the German Association of Energy and Water (BDEW) here, overall power consumption in Germany dropped a slight 1.4% in 2012, and natural gas consumption for heating increased 1%. Gross electricity production increased 1.3% from a year earlier due to colder weather and because 2012 had an extra day.

Coal-lignite

Germany’s consumption of coal jumps in 2012. (Photo credit: Edal Anton Lefterov, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

The BDEW says the trend for renewable energies is positive. The share of electricity produced by renewable sources rose in 2012 to about 21.9% (2011: 20.3). However, the share of CO2-free nuclear energy fell from 17.7% to 16%. The drop in nuclear energy was partly offset by a rise in coal-fired electricity, meaning increased CO2 emissions. Black coal’s share of electricity jumped from 18.5% to 19.1%. The share of electricity from lignite-coal rose a full percent to 25.6%, thus making it Germany’s largest source of electrical power.

Germany’s use of coal has increased and thus has not gotten more green; it has gotten “dirtier”. That’s what we are getting for the tens of billions of euros in added electricity costs incurred from adding renewable energy capacity.

The share by relatively clean natural gas in electricity generation dropped from 13.6 to 11.3 over 2012 due to the relatively high cost of gas when compared to coal.

Germany’s exports of electricity also increased, but not because of the increased generation of renewable energy, rather because neighbouring countries that use natural gas to fire generators, like Holland, have opted to buy the cheaper coal-fired electricity from Germany.

BDEW director Hildegard Müller says, “2013 is an important year for German energy policy.” and that “it will be very important to improve coordination and management of the energy transition”. Müller says: “We have made a proposal together with the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) in order to ensure that all players will be able to have a say in the energy transition.”

 

17 responses to “Germany’s Green “Energiewende” (Energy Transition) Has Only Led To Greater Coal Consumption!”

  1. archaeopteryx

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  2. John F. Hultquist

    Unlike when internal combustion engines replaced horses there is no compelling need for a transition to green energy and there is no green energy capable of making its own way. The so called transition has most likely peaked.

    Also, Müller says: “We have made a proposal together with the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) in order to ensure that all players will be able to have a say in the energy transition.”

    If that doesn’t make your heart skip a beat, read it again. Besides the organization is officially “Wildlife” in the USA and Canada. Elsewhere it is named the World Wide Fund for Nature. They should get rid of Chi Chi the Panda and adopt a Euro (€) as their symbol.

    1. DirkH

      Ah Blech, they just paid greenmail money to the WWF so all the stupid Germans feel all warm and cuddly. Works every time.

      The canned Mackerel I buy has a Death Panda symbol on it. Guess it’s ok to eat it then.

  3. John F. Hultquist

    ~~~~
    Unlike when internal combustion engines replaced horses there is no compelling need for a transition to green energy and there is no green energy capable of making its own way. The so called transition has most likely peaked.

    Also, Müller says: “We have made a proposal together with the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) in order to ensure that all players will be able to have a say in the energy transition.”

    If that doesn’t make your heart skip a beat, read it again. Besides the organization is officially “Wildlife” in the USA and Canada. Elsewhere it is named the World Wide Fund for Nature. They should get rid of Chi Chi the Panda and adopt a Euro (€) as their symbol.

  4. John F. Hultquist

    Sorry about the repeat!

  5. cementafriend

    The article is spoilt by saying that coal fired electricity generation is dirty. The alarmist and greens have said that coal firing is dirty as a smear to discredit anything opposing their ignorance and their lies to hide their political motivation.
    Why is a coal fired power station only producing electricity differed to a plant producing some electricity and district heating (which is not counted in European emissions), why is the coal fired power station different from a waste incineration plant producing surplus electricity (again not counted).
    CO2 is not a pollutant otherwise every person and every animal breathing out (some 10% of total annual CO2 production) is guilty of pollution just by living. No CO2 then no plants to living on and no life on the planet.
    There are laws on partilcle emission. These are more strict than normal dust in the air from winds (think of Sahara dust storms, the 1930’s dust storms in mid-USA, the regular dust storms in dry Australia ). Measurements show that the atmosphere is now cleaner than it has ever been ie less aersols.
    If there is a need to mention terms sated by alarmists and greens then quote it exactly with references and names so no one is in any doubt about who is telling lies. [I agree, and so I've put the word dirty in quotations. - PG]

  6. Wijnand

    “Der positive Trend beim Ausbau der Erneuerbaren Energien hat sich fortgesetzt: ihr Anteil an der Brutto-Stromerzeugung betrug nach BDEW-Angaben 2012 rund 21,9 Prozent (2011: 20,3)”

    Pierre, do you know what they mean by “BRUTTO-Stromerzeugung”?

    1. DirkH

      “Brutto” is simply Italian for “total”.

    2. Mindert Eiting

      I think it means total electricity production to be contrasted with Netto production which is the part used by consumers. The difference is the loss by transport for example. It is possible that the ‘Erneuerbaren’ percentage of the Netto Stromerzeuging is less than 21.9 percent. Perhaps Dirk knows more.

      1. DirkH

        The 21.9 % include Old Large Hydro. New renewables – wind + solar + biomass + micro hydro (fish slicers in rivers) are about half of that.

  7. mwhite

    “consumption in Germany dropped a slight 1.4%”

    That’ll be all those people who cannot afford electricity.

  8. Asmilwho

    What’s really amusing is that burning coal releases more radiative material into the general environment than nuclear power does:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste

  9. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?
  10. Willem Post

    Primary energy into power plants is about 3 times the electrical energy produced. The quantity sent to the grid is reduced by about 5% of self-use. The quantity arriving at the consumers plug is about 5% less than what was put into the grid.

    100/3 conversion x 0.95 self-use x 0.95 T&D = 30.08 at the consumer plug; 100 in, 30.08 out

    1. DirkH

      The newest ones achieve 46% – while producing only electricity – no secondary use of waste heat is part of that number.
      http://www.eon-kraftwerke.com/info/datteln_steinkohle.html
      (The Datteln power plant has been blocked by the courts after green protests. They will do anything to stop more efficient coal power plants coming online, as they work wfor Putin’s interests. But I googled it because I knew they would use the most modern available technology there.)