by Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)
Germany’s Energiewende [energy transition over to renewables] is being watched closely in foreign countries. Already bets are being made on whether the expensive experiment is going to work. Meanwhile increasing numbers of international experts are expressing serious doubts. In the March 20th print edition of German national daily Die Welt, Daniel Wetzel reports on a survey by the World Energy Council in an article titled “The Energiewende is an international flop”. An online version of the report is now available and bears the watered down title: “Other countries disdaining the Energiewende”:
Worldwide doubt about the success of the German Energiewende is growing. International experts are sure that the German economy is weakening. This is the finding of a survey from the World Energy Council. […] A rapid short-term shutdown of nuclear power plants along with unlimited subsidies for renewable energies: In Germany this has been viewed as the silver bullet for energy policy since the Fukushima accident. However in Europe and globally, there’s hardly a nation that views the German ‘Energiewende”’ as worth copying. These are the findings of the German section of the World Energy Council in 23 member countries, made exclusively available to Die Welt. […] The rising doubt is possibly related to the unexpectedly rapidly rising electricity prices in Germany, which are having a dissuasive effect. Stotz believes: ‘Obviously one has to be able to afford an energy transition.’ (Read more at Welt Online).
In a commentary appearing at Die Welt titled, “Germany, the odd one out”, Daniel Wetzel pleads for more prudence, and rejects climate alarmism as the most important argument for an Energiewende:
Also the necessity to rapidly end the use of fossil fuels no longer appears as urgent as it was just a few years ago. Indeed, in the meantime, fear of climate change appears to have evaporated worldwide. Global warming has been taking a break for over 10 years, and politicians in many countries appear as if they would rather await a good explanation for this phenomenon before again making the fight against climate change a high priority. Quite apart from this: one other large industrial country has just succeeded in reducing its per capita CO2 emissions to levels of the early 1960s. The best in the class when it comes to climate politics is the USA. Thanks to fracking technology in natural gas drilling, they have been able to switch off dirty coal power plants.”