Leading Economics Publisher Calls Germany’s Subsidized Solar Industry “A Capital Destroyer Of Historic Dimensions”!

The ever excellent Achse Des Guten (Axis of the Good) has what is probably one of the most stinging criticisms of the solar industry I’ve read to date (and I’ve read some awfully harsh ones up to now). The latest is authored by Dr. Wolfram Weimer, a leading German publisher of news and economics magazines.

Weimer

Wolfram Weimer calls Germany’s solar subsidies “a capital destroyer of historic dimensions”. Photo credit: Reto Klar, FOCUS, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

His latest piece is titled: Das sozialistische Solar-Desaster (The Socialist Solar Disaster). German solar energy and the EEG renewable feed-in act, once hailed as examples for the rest of the world to follow, are described by Weimer as a sure road to economic ruin.

Any country or state leader considering following the path of Germany may want to contact Weimer first. It may save you billions.

Over the past two years, dozens of German solar manufacturers have been shuttered, among them big ones like Solon, Q-Cells, Solar Millenium and Conergy. Recently electrical engineering giant Bosch announced that its solar operations had lost 1 billion euros, read here.

Recently German solar leader Solarworld reported it was on the brink of insolvency, drowning in billions of red ink, and that its high-flying CEO Frank Asbeck was begging the country of Qatar for a bailout.

The overall result under the bottom line for the German solar industry, despite all the massive subsidies, is devatstation. Weimar writes (my emphasis):

More than 100 billion euros in solar power subsidies have been wasted, and not a single target of the transition to solar energy has been reached. […}

A chain reaction of insolvencies and bankruptcies litters the landscape, more than 30,000 jobs have been lost. […] The German solar industry has in the meantime become a capital destroyer of historic dimensions. […]

The existing solar socialism shows where this is all headed – to a world of bankruptcies, rising electricity rates and panhandling trips to Qatar.”

Weimer writes that subsidizing industries is the sure way to ruin them.

In many fields of machine building, Germany is the global leader. And it is precisely in the fields where billions in forced payments are mobilized does one become a loser.

The solar ruin did not happen despite the subsidies, but it was because of them that it turned into a disaster. It is the very combination of eco-ideology and central planning methods that assured the collapse.

The state robs the market of the possibility to develop cheaper and more competitive power generation. Instead green bureaucrats decide what share each different type of energy is to have. Like in the five-year plans of the Soviets, quotas, targets, and amounts are prescribed inside central ministries. This ecological central planning and its subsidy monopoly continuously erodes away the market price mechanisms.”

For readers who are interested in finding out more about the total  failures of subsidzed renewable energy, you’ll find dozens of posts I’ve written over the last couple of years in the right side bar under: Categories – Alternative Energies.

Meanwhile leaders from 35 nations are now meeting in Petersberger in Berlin in order to find ways to get the whole world to embark on the “road to ruin”.

 

21 responses to “Leading Economics Publisher Calls Germany’s Subsidized Solar Industry “A Capital Destroyer Of Historic Dimensions”!”

  1. DirkH

    Well, the lure of central planning. Politicians just love to meddle. Especially German ones. But it’s not restricted to PV; Kohl said in a 2002 interview that has only been released recently that he knew he would lose any referendum about introduction of the Euro so he just forced it through. These people know that they are violating the will of the voters. They just can’t resist it. Kohl is BTW convinced that it is the Euro that prevented wars in Europe. Yes. They’re that delusional.

  2. Asmilwho

    There’s an article in Spiegel Online about the “Petersburger Klimadialog”:

    “Warten ist keine Option” … Es müsse gelingen … Eile sei also geboten … Deutschland und die EU wollten weiter eine Vorreiterrolle beim Klimaschutz einnehmen

    Could these statements from Dr Merkel possibly have anything to do with the upcoming federal elections in September and the perceived threat from the SPD/Greens?

    I guess we all know the answer to that one …

    http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/petersberger-klimadialog-merkel-und-altmaier-wollen-uno-vertrag-a-898259.html

    1. DirkH

      Speculating: Merkel knows that climate sceptics won’t vote for SPD /Greens / Linke as they’re all way out there in environmental La La Land. So she doesn’t have to care about us. But she can try to lure some Green devotees by presenting herself as part of the Green church.

  3. igor

    Again! Again you poo-poo “central planning” without reasons.

    You know, you are exactly like those warmists: you let your ideology take over your reasoning.

    German solar industry, just like German electronics industry, German computer industry, German clothing-making industry, etc, were wiped out because, no matter what they try, China&Co can supply all that cheaper.

    And “central planning” had nothing to do with it –

    – it’s actually your kindred’d fault – your “free ‘trade’ and to hell with society” ideology!

    1. DirkH

      Please list all the examples where people in centrally planned societies achieved a higher standard of living than in societies dominated by free trade, Igor.

  4. Robin

    And as reported by Jo Nova, the biggest PV solar company has failed. Just a few years ago the $13bn leading Chinese PV company now crumbles. http://joannenova.com.au/?p=28349

  5. Dirkse

    Central planning or not, the question is : “does it work”. One of the objectives of wind- and solar energy is an energy transition (Wende) from ending fossile fuel to something new. At present, wind- and solar do not work, because there is no buffer capacity for electrical energy. A clever government would allow for windmills and solar panels only if at least one week production could be stored. So, wind and solor cannot replace fossile fuels and therefore cannot play a role in an energy transition.
    Another argument is that despite it’s tons of steel and concrete, windmills generate very little energy. Therefore, windfarmers describe their production in terms of “serviced households” however, households only consume 5% of the nations energy demand. (transportation uses 30%)
    What is progress? First: things get cheaper, second: things get smaller, third: things get more reliable. So, these things become available for a larger percentage of the population.
    Windfarms are the opposite of progress: large volumes (space), unreliable production, hard to service. A small power plant, the size of a football stadium, has the same (but reliable) production of 20 windfarms (500 windmills).
    Conclusion: Energy policy now is a dead -end-road.
    There is fossile fuel for 6 more generations to come, say 200 years. What was the technological state of the world 200 years ago? So, at present it is completely unclear what the energy transition will look like. However one thing is clear: windmills and solar panels will not play a role.

    1. DirkH

      Two remarks:
      Households consume 5 % of the nations energy in the form of electricity.
      They then consume some more fuel for heating.
      (Electricity is 1/7th of the primary energy consumption; 1/3 of that goes to households).

      As for fossil fuels: There are energy resources (this includes land-based Uranium and land-based Thorium) for 1,500 years according to
      Bundesanstalt fuer Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe
      http://www.bgr.bund.de/DE/Themen/Energie/energie_node.html
      (link to english version top right corner)

      This does not include Uranium and Thorium that could be filtered from seawater, with technology that has already been tested by Japanese researchers.
      http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/ulum-ultra-large-uranium-miner-ship/

      1. Dirkse

        The course of energy transition may be unclear and unknown at the time, but some scenario’s are more likely then others. In history the central steam engine in factories was replaced by local electric motors. Households now have several pieces of equipment operating on batteries. The trend is clear: flexibility and decentralized power.
        Yearly, 500.000 people die world wide in car accidents. A large percentage of the inhabitants of the Netherlands live below sea level. So, people make no problem of taking risks if a. they are used to the situation or b. it benefits them to achieve more in their lives.
        In time, people will realize that the benefits of nuclear power outweight the risks many times and they will get used to it.
        So, the most likely scenario for the energy transition to come are small local nuclear power plants at every town. Cheap, abundent and reliable energy, without the need of large power grids. It’s time for nuclear research. Also these power stations will generate the hydroxen needed for transportation.

  6. mwhite

    “EU China solar panel trade war looms”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22445640

    “The European Commission is on the verge of a trade war with China over the import of solar panels worth 21bn euros (£18bn) a year.

    It is considering imposing an average “anti-dumping” import tariff of 47%, with a decision expected by 5 June.”

    1. DirkH

      Yeah solar millionaire Asbeck, boss of the all but broke SolarWorld (he has extracted his millions in time, don’t worry), has lobbied Brussels hard. Heard it today on German collectivist state radio Deutsche Welle Kultur.

      1. DirkH

        …my car radio displays DWKULTUR but I like to think of them as DW-KULTRA…

      2. mwhite

        “Green Venture Capital Firm Flails As Investments Go Bust”

        http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/05/09/green-venture-capital-firm-flails-as-investments-go-bust/

        “The venture capital firm behind some of the most prominent recent green tech flops, led by major Dem donors and advised by Al Gore, is in big trouble as the green bubble bursts and one highly touted green investment after another goes belly up”

        1. DirkH

          Hehe, take advise from a guy who thinks the Earth is millions of degrees hot. Yeah that’s the kind of genius you want as an advisor.