Forbes: “Energiewende Is The Worst Possible Example Of How To Implement An Energy Transition”

Forbes summarizes Germany’s Energiewende:

It’s tragicomic.

To summarize: Energiewende is the worst possible example of how to implement an energy transition. The overzealous push for the wrong generation technology has hurt citizens, businesses, and the environment all at the same time.

I want to make it clear that I’m not saying we should abandon solar. It should definitely be part of our generation mix. Due a mix of bad climate and bad policy, Germany ran into problems at a very low solar penetration, and other countries will be able to reach higher penetrations. But even if we ignore cost, there is still a maximum practical limit to solar power based on the realities of grid management.

  • You can’t build more PV solar than the rest of the grid can ramp up/down to accept. The necessary grid storage for large-scale solar power is a “maybe someday” technology, not something viable today. Calls for 50% of power to come from solar in our lifetimes are a fantasy, and we need to be realistic about that.
  • You can’t force utilities to buy unneeded power just because it’s renewable. The energy and materials to build the excess capacity just goes to waste. That is the opposite of green.

We have to learn those lessons. We can’t sweep this failure under the rug.

Every time a renewables advocate holds Germany up as a shining beacon, they set back the credibility of the environmental movement.”

Read entire story here.

Hat-tip: Robin Pittwood

 

7 responses to “Forbes: “Energiewende Is The Worst Possible Example Of How To Implement An Energy Transition””

  1. Kurt in Switzerland

    Amen.

    Can’t say this often or loudly enough.
    But it still seems to fall on deaf ears.

    1. Arsten

      If you read that article’s (posted October of 2013) comments, you’ll see that those that want solar attack the article because they don’t like what it says. One comment even says that “It’s not political distortion” because “solar energy is very popular in Germany” which is sort of like saying that George Bush and Barack Obama aren’t politicians because they were voted into office.

      The deaf ears are because solar and wind are the closest thing to base load generation that can be considered renewable non-CO2 generating energy sources that they haven’t already sworn off (e.g. nuclear). It’s the only talking point they have when people legitimately ask “Well, where will I charge my iPhone?”

      1. DirkH

        “The deaf ears are because solar and wind are the closest thing to base load generation that can be considered renewable non-CO2 generating energy sources that they haven’t already sworn off (e.g. nuclear).”

        Solar and wind are the opposite of base load generation. Both produce vertical power spikes – solar when a cloud moves between sun and PV field; wind is extremely spikey because windmill output is 3rd power of wind speed – and worse- when max speed is exceeded, the windmill shuts off automatically and goes into self protection, leading to vertical power drop.

  2. John Shade

    Any takers for a new slogan in Germany? This one from Guido Fawkes (http://order-order.com/2014/09/25/german-green-anti-nuclear-policies-boost-emissions/):

    GREEN CRAP? – NEIN DANKE!

  3. John F. Hultquist

    “. . . how to implement an energy transition.

    The obvious question is “A transition to what?”
    A person can transition from a summer wardrobe to a winter wardrobe.
    A person can transition from living in the country to being in an apartment in a city.
    In an advanced developed country going from reasonably priced 24/7 electricity to expensive intermittent electricity is hard to contemplate.
    ~~~~~

    Those looking at wind and solar for a full energy future remind me of people that go to a horror movie and then cover their ears and close their eyes when the scary parts come.

  4. Chris Frey

    Hello all,

    this article will be translated into German within a few days!

    Chris Frey, translator for the EIKE