Germany’s much ballyhooed Energiewende (transition to renewable energy) was supposed to show the whole world how switching over to green energy sources could reduce CO2 emissions, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, provide cheap electricity to citizens, and heroically rescue the planet.
Australia’s Tony Abbott says the hell with market-distorted, expensive, unreliable, poor-to-rich capital redistribution machine green energies. Cites German failure as reason to abandon them. Photo credit: MystifyMe Concert Photography (Troy) – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Ten years later, the very opposite has happened: Germany’s CO2 emissions have been increasing, electricity prices have skyrocketed, the green jobs bubble has popped, and tens of thousands of jobs have disappeared. Worse: tens of billions are being redistributed from the poor to the rich.
Other countries around the world have noticed and are thus having serious second thoughts about industrializing their landscapes with green energy systems like wind, solar and biogas. Germany has proven that green energy does not work well after all.
Spiegel reports here how Australia’s conservative government led by Tony Abbott is now using Germany’s failure as one of the main arguments for getting out of green energies and getting back to affordable and reliable coal power.
Spiegel, perturbed by Abbot’s direction, writes of his doing away with the CO2 emissions trading scheme and his plans to abolish the CO2 tax. Australian industry has been burdened by a 15 euro per tonne CO2 tax while in Europe it is only 5 euros. Spiegel writes:
The prices for raw materials are crumbling, auto manufacturers Ford and Holden, a GM arm, have announced plans to close factories. Mining companies such as BHPBilliton are rethinking their expansion plans. ‘The Australians have their backs up against the wall,’ says Heribert Dieter, expert at the Science and Policy Foundation in Berlin.”
What’s especially embarrassing for German greens and the green media like Spiegel is that countries around the world are now citing Germany’s failure in marshaling through the Energiewende as a reason to abandon the green path. Germany is showing the world how not to produce energy.
In Germany the mad rush to green energies has led to skyrocketing electricity costs, crony capitalism, massive redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich, and an unstable power supply. Moreover, energy-intensive companies are exempted from paying the green energy feed-in surcharges, and thus leaving the lowly consumers to foot the entire bill.
One German mid-size company I know in the local area covered its sprawling factory roof with thousands of square feet of solar panels and today sells the solar energy produced to power companies at an exorbitant price (approx. $0.50/kwh). Then, to power its factory, the company turns around and buys the very same power at a fraction of the price (roughly $0.20/kwh). What’s really perverse is that the same company is also exempt from paying the green energy feed-in surcharge, because it claimed excessive hardship from its “energy-intensive” manufacturing operations and associated energy costs. Twisted and distorted or what!
In summary: Germany’s energy market has been transformed into a grotesque market distortion and redistribution of wealth scheme from the poor to the rich. Abbott is absolutely right not to go down this socially and politically dubious path.
Spiegel sniffs that Abbott has simply brushed aside all the criticism from environmental organisations being fired his way. Spiegel writes “quotes translated from the German):
The premier does not let himself be misled, and reminds everyone that in Germany the costs for the Energiewende have exploded. The country that was once a model is now a dissuasive example. “We can’t afford to follow Germany’s example,” Ron Boswell, Senator of the state of Queensland is quoted as saying in ‘The Australian’. Because of its expansion of renewable energy sources, Germany has the highest energy prices in the world. “We would be better off learning from the United States,’ Boswell believes. There energy is about three times cheaper than in Australia.”