Renewable energy in Europe has just taken another nail in its coffin.
Thanks to Germany’s infamous EEG energy feed-in act, electricity prices for consumers and industry have long been rising sharply, and now there’s a looming threat of a revolt.
Today the online business magazine Unternehmen Heute quotes former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder’s soon-to-be-published book, which warns of a revolt by consumers and industry. The timing of Schröder’s words could not come at a worse time for renewable energy proponents, and will no doubt act to take a lot of the momentum out of the already ailing renewable energy movement in Europe. A number of countries have announced major scale-backs on green energy subsidies. Unternehmen Heute writes:
Electricity must remain affordable, Bild newspaper (Saturday edition) quotes Schröder’s book ‘Clear Words’, which will appear in mid February.
The support for renewable energy through the electricity price will lead consumers, especially the ones near the bottom of the income scale, to eventually revolt and say: We can’t afford this any more.”
Schröder adds that eventually renewable energies will soon “have to compete on the market by themselves. They should not be permanently subsidized.”
The former Chancellor also thinks that Germany will not shut down its remaining nuclear power plants by the year 2022, as planned, and believes Angela Merkel acted hastily in passing legislation requiring their shutdown in the wake of the Fukushima accident in Japan. Schroder writes in his book:
My impression is that a complete shutdown will not happen that quickly: consumer and industry will revolt and put policymakers under pressure to postpone the shutdown date because of cost reasons.”
Moreover, Schroder writes in his book that German companies are already reconsidering plans to build plants in Germany, and are considering setting up in low-price-energy locations instead.
Schroder’s views are a major blow to renewable energies
Schroder’s views take a lot of wind out of the renewable energy sails and will only add to the mounting pressure that is having policymakers putting the brakes on renewable energies. Nuclear energy in Germany may not be dead after all.
Even chancellor Merkel is adding conditions to the target of achieving 80% renewable energy by 2050. At the 1:15 mark in the video at the end of the Unternehmen Heute story, she says:
With this expansion corridor, we can quite harmoniously reach the expansion target of 80%. However, only if our industry is able to stay competitive globally and electricity remains affordable for all.”
In other words, kiss the 80%-renewable-energy-by-2050 pipedream goodbye. Right now Germany has not even began to scratch the surface when it comes to powering the nation’s transportation system with green energy. Here too biofuels are being roundly rejected and its subsidies cancelled.
In summary, even as Brussels likes to beat its chest over its ambitious plans for green energies, policymakers everywhere in Europe are in reality abandoning their once lofty targets in droves.
Schellnhuber’s The Great Transformation is dying on the vine.