German Critic On Energiewende: “Megalomania Rather Than Mega-Project”. Now “At A Dead End”

What follows is a comment written at FaceBook by alternative energy critic Wolfgang Neumann on the plight of Germany’s “Energiewende” (national transition to renewable energy) and a documentary on German television: Energiewende at a dead end. What follows is the translation (with slight editing):
========================================

Energiewende – at a dead end
By Wolfgang Neumann

The world has never witnessed anything like it before: An industrial country giving up nuclear power and switches over to wind, water and solar. It almost sounds like a miracle – but it’s not going to be one because physics will prevent it from being so. Also power does not flow from everywhere where power is written on it! Indeed the ‘Energiewende’ proponents have yet to realize that the ‘gifts from the sky’ sun and wind are actually only very temperamentally available – they fluctuating as the engineers say. It appears the ‘Energiewende’ is running into a dead end!

The facts

The necessary offshore wind parks are located far away from the consumers. Those who speak of a “decentralized” power supply but yet install approximately 35,000 MW of offshore wind turbines in an area of the North Sea without first thinking about how to bring the power onshore to the consumers have surely misunderstood the meaning of ‘DECENTRAL’!

The potential for hydropower in Germany is as good as exhausted and so there not much is happening. Photovoltaic systems have little significance in the wintertime – too unproductive! Grid expansion as a whole is just not making any progress because individual states and the federal government are constantly bickering. And although for years they have been working feverishly on storage technology for alternative energies (AE), there has been no real technical or economic progress up to now. So far it’s all been mostly wishful thinking and little reality!

True that over the last decades the power supply companies took advantage of their monopoly position, played with marked cards and have not allowed anyone to get a look at their hand. And now it turns out that sun and wind are not for free after all and power conversion systems are costly! Now we see that wind turbine and solar system operators have learned quickly from the large power companies: They too are not allowing anyone to get a look at their cards and are circling the wagons: Don’t answer thorny questions, e.g. about operating and maintenance costs of wind turbines and solar systems! Also don’t answer questions about the long-term material strength of wind turbines or the real number of full capacity hours of wind and solar systems, i.e.. their real efficiency. The main question still remains today: How efficient are alternative energy producing systems?

The Energiewende has been an embarrassing, amateur chaos over much more than just the last two years. From a specialist point of view it has lived fully from bad estimates, false assumptions, wishful thinking, outright illusions and empty words coming from self-proclaimed ‘energy experts’ with ideological visions of the ‘energy supply of the future’. The only purpose it serves is to provide wind solar plant operators with subsidies thanks to a wasteful generosity!

I believe that with the Energiewende, too many ‘experts’ and not enough real professionals had a say. In earlier times power plants were built in industrial zones or cities with the aim of reducing the length of power lines. Today the plan is to install offshore power plants with a total nameplate capacity of approximately 40 GW way out in the North Sea. However the power is not even needed at the coast and so expensive cross country power transmission lines will need to be built. The route which these power lines should take, however, is being hotly disputed among the German states. And the greater the installed capacity of wind and sun becomes, the more precarious and prone the grid will be to windless and sunless days and so the greater becomes the need for conventional power plants to always be ready on standby. That means even higher costs for the consumers!

In my view the Energiewende is an attempt at a state-controlled, centrally planned energy economy. German ARD public television even had a documentary on this: Energiewende – Megalomania rather than Mega-Project.

Wolfgang Neumann is a critic of Germany’s Energiewende and one can find many comments and posts on the subject at his Facebook site.

 

71 responses to “German Critic On Energiewende: “Megalomania Rather Than Mega-Project”. Now “At A Dead End””

  1. DirkH

    Well, the old idea of Honnef’s Reichskraftturm, it has now become reality!
    Article from 1932
    http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno?aid=lvb&datum=19320610&seite=6&zoom=38

    Interestingly, the wikipedia avoids the name Reichskraftturm like the plague even though they have an article about the inventor and a sketch.
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Honnef

    1. DirkH

      …the 1932 article (of the Linzer Volksblatt) talks about how, beyond a height of 70 to 90 meters, the wind never stops and delivers a constant stream of energy… Well how’d THAT work out for ya, Germans…

      1. Dave Ward

        “The 1932 article (of the Linzer Volksblatt) talks about how, beyond a height of 70 to 90 meters, the wind never stops and delivers a constant stream of energy”

        Back in 1932 Volksblatt could be forgiven for not having much if any experience of flying, particularly in light aircraft. But did he never once observe the smoke rising from factory chimneys and fires? I have vivid memories of the day our city library burnt down – from several miles away I saw the plume of smoke rising vertically upwards, to at least 1000ft, before suddenly hitting an inversion layer and going sideways…

  2. sod

    The “dead end” is supplying a lot of energy in Germany these days:

    https://www.energy-charts.de/energy.htm

    1. DirkH

      And every kWh produced will be subsidized with money stolen from productive members of society … Hey Germans, how’d you like overpaying for your energy?
      Make the productive poor and the leech rich! Yay Renewables!

    2. Herve

      Ah, the “dead end delivers a lot of energy”? What’s the value of a random supply of energy? Wind essentially at night (where the country does not really need it in full), making stable source to stop, remain idle and continuing nevertheless to burn fossile to be able to recover when the erratic dead end stops! Photovoltaïc best at noon and fully absent after 4pm when normal humans start to ligth house!
      The “so much” about 23% of german production is not 23% of german usage, significant of it is unusable excess that shall be evacuated (for Danemark, the unusable excess is 60% of their 30% renewable share).
      Green ideologs never understood science and technique, ie Reality, preffering protests, strikes, TV shows and political turmoil to mislead population and policians, while crazy uneducated journalists exploited this moto to get more money: Nothing constructive, always bla-bla.
      All these ideologically blind people will soon (before 2025) suffer from the starting international collapse of all this CO², AGW and renewable junks. Natural forest tribes in New Guinea will laugh a lot…!
      Good luck

      1. sod

        ” Photovoltaïc best at noon and fully absent after 4pm when normal humans start to ligth house!”

        PV solar is covering peak demand pretty well, even in Germany.

        The situation is much better in places with air conditioning.

        Please do not ignore the facts and look at the numbers today!

        http://www.eex-transparency.com/homepage/power/germany

        1. Pethefin

          Wake up, you are way out of your league posting on this blog such warmist fantasies. At least try to learn how the German energy market really works, you can use old entries of this blog to educate yourself. Until then would you please stop waisting your and our time with your nonsense.

    3. Pethefin
    4. Pethefin
  3. L Michael Hohmann

    “In my view the Energiewende is an attempt at a state-controlled, centrally planned energy economy.” In other words – energy helotization remains same as before, just using different inputs for more or less the same mega-providers. But there are other ways; consider the many 100% locally autonomous (achieved or heading that way) local autoritiies with their own reinstated Stadtwerke [municipal energy suppliers], or – for an industrial example – the new BMW works in Leipzig, desribed at the end of this essay: http://tinyurl.com/obhq3w9

    1. DirkH

      About time the Greens crack down on those superefficient, cogeneration coal+gas plants that turn our cities into Globe-warming death factories!

      Connect a solar panel to the cogeneration steam pipe networks instead and let the citizens bask in the glory of eternal innocence!

  4. handjive

    In Australia, our tax-payer funded national broadcaster, ABC reports this:

    Solar power set to become cheapest source of energy over next decade, German think tank says

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-24/solar-track-becoming-cheapest-energy-source-agora-energiewende/6251322

  5. edmh

    At 37.9% of the total European commitment and at a capital cost of ~€200 billion Germany is the leader of Renewable Energy promotion and installation in Europe. But comparatively its investment in Renewables has been both the most expensive and also the least efficient overall.

    This is primarily because of its excessive commitment, more than 50% of its installed Renewables, to Solar Photovoltaic power.

    Germany has made these investments in the expectation that that its “Energiewende Energy Transition” policy would make the country a world leader in advances in Renewables. This optimistic approach is not being justified.

    Onshore wind power in Germany accounts for ~35% of its massive Renewable investment but about half of its Renewable electricity output. German wind power operates at a relatively low level of capacity at ~18% or even less. Unsurprisingly Germany has almost the highest installation of Renewables / head of the European population, except for Denmark.

    Large scale photovoltaics have cost some ~64% of Germany’s Renewable investment. But because of Germany Northern latitude and its often cloudy skies, photovoltaics operate with a capacity factor a capacity factor of only ~9%. As a result overall Germany’s renewables operate at an overall capacity factor of less than 14%.

    In addition Germany, by policy, is withdrawing from Nuclear electricity generation after the Fukushima tsunami. As a result Germany is now installing coal fired generating plant as rapidly as possible to maintain base load power. These new plants burn either lignite, (the most polluting type of coal and CO2 emissive fuel), or ordinary coal. These plants have no facility for Carbon Capture and Storage, probably because German engineers have realised that CCS in operation is a costly engineering fallacy. This is a sensible approach because were it to work at all, Carbon Capture and Storage, CCS, can be viewed as a costly way to throw away comparatively miniscule amounts of useful plant food.

    In spite of the fact that Renewable Energy output has grown about fourfold, there has been an overall increase of CO2 emissions from Germany since the year 2000.

    So far by 2013 Germany had invested very little, less than 1%, in Offshore Wind Power development and its experience has been poor, emphasising the technical difficulties of ever making large scale Offshore power fully operational. Even if large scale Offshore wind power in the North sea were eventually successful there is also a major question about the non existence of suitable high capacity transmission lines across Germany from the North to its Southern industrial heartlands.

    It seems incredible that Germany, a Nation with such great engineering and pragmatic prowess, could have become so convinced about Renewable Energy especially the use of Solar Energy to make such a grossly unwise investments.

    These comments and detailed references are contained in an earlier Europe wide article at:

    https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/charting-the-effectiveness-of-renewable-energy-in-europe/

    1. sod

      Please do not ignore the facts. Solar PV is already the cheapest source of power in some places and will be so in the near future basically everywhere.

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-24/solar-track-becoming-cheapest-energy-source-agora-energiewende/6251322

      And Germany pushging forward was a main reason of th emassive drop in prices.

      1. Pethefin

        Care to provide some facts instead of fantasies?

        1. sod

          “Care to provide some facts”

          of course, no problem!

          This link was provided by our host here. It is a report by BP:

          http://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/pdf/Energy-economics/energy-outlook-2015/Energy_Outlook_2035_booklet.pdf

          check page 70 of the pdf: Even BP says, that solar will be cheaper than coal and gas (even in the USA with cheap supllies of both!!!!) by 2035.

          and PV solar is delivering power when it is needed (during day time).

          so solar PV at 50$ per MWh (during daytime peak demand) is actually worth twice as much as night time coal power produced for 70$ per MWh.

          (and yes, i agree. those gas plants might score even a higher price, when demand can not be fullfilled by solar or wind)

          ——————

          solar actually has only a single problem (until storage catches up, which will also be quite soon): the single problem of solar is solar, driving down its own price (but that is, when storage gets really atractive!).

          1. Pethefin

            Oh you truly are completely hapless. Do you know the difference between “will be… by 2025” and “is already”? Care to spread more fantasies?

          2. sod

            I quoted a different source and both are talkingh aboutr slightly different things.

            AGORA possibly is an optimistic source, but solar PV is obviously beating grid parity already today from the owners perspective, if he is using the power himself.

            The BP piece is extremely sceptical about alternative power and is only looking at North America which is no good place for solar but instead has plenty of cheap coal and gas.

            —————–

            In contrast to the position taken by a majority here, the energy experts do not disagree about solar PV being cheaper than coal any longer but only disagree about by how much and when in the next 15 years.

          3. Pethefin

            So you are reduced to allegations with no references. Not surprising at all.

          4. sod

            here is the BP link again:

            http://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/pdf/Energy-economics/energy-outlook-2015/Energy_Outlook_2035_booklet.pdf

            Notice that the chart says: “North America”.

            You keep ignoring all references i give. Do you have any source that sees coal stayingh cheaper than solar?

          5. Pethefin

            So you ran out of excuses, went back to same source which proves that you were being economic with the truth when claiming that fantasies about future are already a reality. The trolls surely are not what they used to.

          6. sod

            “So you ran out of excuses…”

            That is false.

            What sort of a source do you want? Deutsche Bank says, that solar PV is at grid parity in 10 US states already.

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-10-29/while-you-were-getting-worked-up-over-oil-prices-this-just-happened-to-solar

            It also says it is reaching grid parity in Mexico without subsidies.

            http://www.eco-business.com/press-releases/deutsche-bank-md-expects-grid-parity-ahead-for-mexican-solar-pv-market/

            In thgese places, solar PV is the cheapest source for customers.

            ———————————-

            But why do you not answer the obvious question: Do you accept the BP report, showing that solar PV is cheaper than ghas and coal in 2035?
            (and so obviously before that day in many places, even in North America..)

          7. Pethefin

            So you still have nothing. The Bloomberg article specifically declares that the analysis assumes continuation of the subsidies program, so no parity without subsidies. The Mexico article is very diffuse but maybe, as you say it could be interpreted so that they are getting close, but not yet. In any case, Mexico is quite a different location for solar energy than Germany and Northern Europe, as is explained in this article:

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/10/04/should-other-nations-follow-germanys-lead-on-promoting-solar-power/#sthash.GAjkI06f.dpuf

            so nothing there either.

            The BP marketing material provides fantasies since who knows where we are by 2035. Ergo, you have provided nothing to back up your claims of solar energy being cheapest “in some places” at this time.

          8. sod

            ” The Bloomberg article specifically declares that the analysis assumes continuation of the subsidies program, so no parity without subsidies.”

            So you also deducted all the coal and gas subsidies? so the shale gas boom never happened in your comparison?

            Your trying to manipulate the comparison in your favour. Again: Solar is easily cheaper today, if you use your own solar in many places. Do you have any sources that contradict this?
            If you want to have a comparison without any subsidies (i still think that we will see solar win this one), you have to deduct all subsidies from all sources. good luck!

            There are plenty of sources:

            http://planetsave.com/2015/02/10/rooftop-solar-now-cheaper-grid-42-top-50-us-cities/

            There are also plenty of sources giving situations, where solar is cheaper without subsidies:

            For example in India or, funny enough, in the middle east:

            http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/143066/dickon-pinner-and-matt-rogers/solar-power-comes-of-age

            (the full article is worth reading every one here should do so! It shows the real chances and real problems of solar power)

            ————————–

            The Forbes article is simply wrong. CO2 is dropping in Germany. The article is old and is pointing towards an artifact, caused by the start of exit from nuclear and low CO2 prices favouring dirty coal over gas. But the times are changing..

            http://www.dw.de/renewables-help-cut-german-co2-emissions/a-18176835

          9. Pethefin

            So now you are reduced to moving the goal posts, what a fool. You never said that you were focusing on solar panels on your own roof. And would you care to explain the “goal and gas subsidies” in Germany? And we definitely were not talking about the reduction of CO2, were we? Try to stay focused and stay on the topic that you introduced yourself. Or just admit that you were wrong.

          10. sod

            “So now you are reduced to moving the goal posts,”

            no, i am not moving any goal post. you are.

            here is what i wrotre above and i stand by every word of it:

            “Solar PV is already the cheapest source of power in some places and will be so in the near future basically everywhere.”

            The last part is obviously true, even the BP report says so and basically everybody else.

            http://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/pdf/Energy-economics/energy-outlook-2015/Energy_Outlook_2035_booklet.pdf
            (page 70)

            Thge first part does neither mention subsidies nor whether it is for home-use or not.

            you simply are not ready to admit, that i am right.

            I provided multiple links:

            solar PV is cheaper than coal and gas in 10 states of the US and in most cities. (this is including subsidies for both but new solar competing with existing coal and gas plants)

            solar PV is cheaper in some places, even without subsidies (Mexico, India, …). In the middle east,solar is cheaper than heavily subsidiesed oil power (will you apply your subsidies idea there too?)

            None of these points can be denied and i challenge you to bring up any links that contradict this!

            ———————

            your Forbes link is outdated. the major point it makes abou CO2 output growing is simply flase by now and so are several other points.

            The situation has dramatically changhed since 2013. For excample the “EEG-Umlage” (the subsidy paid on your power bill) sank for the first time. And it will not grow significantly any more, because new solar and new wind are cheap.

          11. AndyG55

            No, you have not provided any real links, just links to baseless propaganda, unsupported by reality.

            Once solar and wind subsidies and corruption are removed due to lack of “other-peoples money”, they will both die a natural and deserved demise.

            NOTHING can be manufactured with just solar and wind.

            They are TOYS, a childish FAD.

          12. sod

            “No, you have not provided any real links, just links to baseless propaganda, unsupported by reality.”

            What are you talking about?

            Here is a list of “Deutsche Bank”, showing places with solar at grid parity.

            http://reneweconomy.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DB-countries-grid-parity.png

            This means, NEW solar is competing very well against paid off old fossil plants in many places.

            You are just trying to ignore the facts!

          13. Pethefin

            It is now obvious that sod can not differentiate between facts and “factoids” and marketing material.

          14. sod

            “it is now obvious that sod can not differentiate between facts and “factoids” and marketing material.”

            Will you please provide any source and link, which shows that the assessment of Deutsche Bank is wrong?

            http://reneweconomy.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DB-countries-grid-parity.png

            If you can not do so, it is you who is doing “marketingh tricks” here!

          15. Dave Ward

            “Until storage catches up, which will also be quite soon”

            I see your crystal ball is working overtime!

          16. sod

            “I see your crystal ball is working overtime!”

            my crystal ball is the mobile phone in my pocket. It has the power that rivals a home computer system that is a couple of years old and is run by a tiny battery.

            —————

            Solar PV systems will come with some storage soon, as this immediately gives a massive advantage (bye bye blackouts).

          17. DirkH

            sod 25. February 2015 at 14:05 | Permalink
            “my crystal ball is the mobile phone in my pocket. It has the power that rivals a home computer system that ”

            Well, kiddo, Moore-type laws only work for information technology. Not for energy gizmos. See. You learn something new everyday here.

            For PV, process optimization and the experience curve work, of course much slower than a Moore-type law which is based on MINITUARIZATION. You can’t do that with a photovoltaic cell – or with a battery.

            Obvious, once you think about it, innit?

          18. DirkH

            “Even BP says, that solar will be cheaper than coal and gas (even in the USA with cheap supllies of both!!!!) by 2035. ”

            Well, duh. Since 1970 the cost for one kWpeak of PV has halfed once a decade, independent of any subsidation, due to process optimization and the experience curve. Obviously at a certain point it becomes cheap enough – so it’s even MORE mind-boggling how the Germans jumped the gun and threw their money away since 1999 when all they would have to do is wait for it to become affordable. Which it isn’t yet, for Germany’s climate. It starts to work in California with 2500 sunhours a year and a thieving corporation called PG&E taking German-style electricity prices.

          19. sod

            It was a good investment, says “Deutsche Bank”, as solar will reach grid parity in most countries in the next few years.

            Germans can already benefit, because solar PV is cheaper than buying power from the grid.

            This effect was caused by the german effort and would not have happened without it. a major part about the new cost improvements for solar was mass production and efficient installing. Both would not have come without mass deployment of solar panels.

            Your claim, that this would have happened anyway is totally absurd and simply false.

            http://www.solarserver.com/solar-magazine/solar-news/current/2015/kw09/pv-business-models-investments-in-pv-power-plants-form-the-focus-of-intersolar-europe-2015.html

            “According to calculations from Deutsche Bank, demand for solar power will continue to grow despite reductions in oil prices. The analysis sees solar energy become increasingly profitable to generate, with solar module costs dropping by 40% in the next four to five years. The bank’s 2015 Solar Outlook also predicts that grid parity could be achieved in up to 80% of the world’s markets as early as three years from now.

            In many countries, grid parity has already been achieved by domestic and commercial PV installations alike, which produce solar power at costs up to 60% less than the rates charged by energy providers. According to calculations from the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, private consumers in Germany, for example, pay an average of 29.13 euro cents per kWh compared with the 10–15 euro cents it would cost to generate solar power from their own roofs. This increases the attractiveness of on-site consumption and provides additional impetus for the growing storage system market.”

          20. Pethefin

            Sod, you are actually being entertaining. So the home solar energy is cheaper than the energy from the market that has been wrecked by giving right-of-way to subsidized green energy, which is reliable 24/7/365 only as long as there is a back-up energy available through conventional power stations, like coal? Wow, talk about art of externalizing costs and gaming the fool by excluding the costs of that back-up system from the calculations. So you win both ways, good for you (it is becoming obvious that you have some stake in the well-being of the solar industry).

          21. sod

            “So the home solar energy is cheaper than the energy from the market that has been wrecked by giving right-of-way to subsidized green energy,”

            Will you explain to me, how subsidies have wrecked the power market on the Solomon Islands?

            http://reneweconomy.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DB-countries-grid-parity.png

            my claim was, that it is cheaper now in some places (which i have shown multiple times now) and that it will be cheaper nearly everywhere soon. (that is, what even BP says).

            Now you are trying to move the goal post to a question about 100% renewables, which is not the topic here.

          22. Pethefin

            OK, that is it, I have had enough. You never said that you talked about solar being cheapest in some place (roof/town/city/region/country/continent/globe/galaxy) SOME time (a second/minute/hour/day) during a day/week/month/year/decade/century. Now go back to your fantasies, I won’t be feeding you anymore.

          23. sod

            the price of power is always calculated per unit of power produced.

            The market worlks like this: Solar is offering cheap power and customers are buying it. You do not seem to like supply and demand?!?

          24. Pethefin

            My last answer: of course I like markets, as you already know based on my answers. Your problem is that solar has so far managed to stay alive mostly due to subsidies and right-of-way to solar energy, which have nothing to do with markets. Solar might be the future in some parts of the world, but at the moment with no viable storage capacity it is largely a dream.

          25. DirkH

            sod 26. February 2015 at 11:36 | Permalink
            “The market worlks like this: Solar is offering cheap power and customers are buying it. You do not seem to like supply and demand?!?”

            sod. Please. We all know how the German system works. Solar power gets feed in priority, leads to a momentary glut, ruining the bulk price, driving it negative sometimes. Yet solar producers get a state mandated price, the difference stolen from ratepayers. Ratepayers therefore get their electricity for an artificially inflated price (70% of which are taxes and the feed-in punishment fee of 6.5 cents plus 1 cent for a slush fund that compensates offshore wind power operators for their “risk”)…

            But I wonder, why do you come here? You can’t delude us; do you want to show how deluded *you* are? Or what’s the purpose of your little stupid quips?

          26. DirkH

            …de facto what we have here is dumping; the solar producers dump their product on the market for a price BELOW the production cost; a violation of the free market principle of the EU, and RECOGNIZED as such; and ONLY allowed by the European Court in an explicit judgment, where this violation was JUSTIFIED due to the need of saving the planet.

            And as the Global Warming just doesn’t happen as scheduled, it is all for naught.

          27. DirkH

            …it seems to be an urgent need for s00cialists like you to sell their market manipulation and destruction as normal free market operation. Why can’t you just stand by your ideology and say, hey, we won, live with it, it’s no longer a market.

            Why this futile attempt at deception?

          28. sod

            that is, how the merit order system works.

            Solar got big subsidies in the past. Only a guaranteed price made people invest.

            the situation nis changing. Solar is becoming cheaper than selling price in many places without subsidy.

          29. DirkH

            sod 26. February 2015 at 13:56 | Permalink
            “that is, how the merit order system works.
            Solar got big subsidies in the past. Only a guaranteed price made people invest.”

            Hey we agree! So why did you call it a question of supply and demand then? I think you are using words purely tactically. The ends justifies the means for you, sod.

            Now, why don’t you just stop being tactical, and be honest, because you’re very transparent anyway.

            Just repeat after me: ” I want you to pay for my stuff because I’m special and I deserve it.” No pretense, no lies, no pretense of a concern for the planet, just plain pure greed, hmm?

          30. AndyG55

            Good, then let’s remove all the solar and wind subsidies and ridiculous feed-in tariffs.

            As well as that, bring in “contracts to supply” like coal has to meet, with big fines when they don’t meet that supply.

            That would be funny 🙂

      2. Josh

        I have long given up on the abc as a credible source of information. Their blatant greenie bias is pathetic. The bottom line is that solar does not possess the flux density that is required to power a society. It is therefore false to claim that it would be cheaper or more environmentally pleasant than conventional sources.

        1. JB

          Some time ago I found on the CSIRO website some stats for solar power. They quoted figures of 5.5 hours a day in summer and 3.5 hours a day in winter for Sydneys latitude. There is also a limitation on the amount of energy available from the sun which was quoted at 1006 watts per square metre. With current PV cell efficiencies of 40 to 50% solar doesn’t seem an effective alternative.

      3. JB

        Please don’t cite the Australian ABC. Their credibility and impartiality has been compromised for years. They are more a self interest broadcaster now, promoting pixie power while their transmitters and studios run on coal generated power.

        1. Josh

          Absolutely! Well said.

  6. edmh

    The cost of the technical Photovoltaic elements of the systems are indeed reducing, but these high-tech elements are becoming an ever smaller part of the final installation.

    The costs of the support infrastructure and linkages to the grid are irreducible. Photovoltaic generation could only be cost effective when the substantial Renewable subsidies are included in the business model.

    The service life of solar cells themselves is limited, degrading over time. And in particular system degradation of the DC to AC inverters is particularly significant: they are an expensive element in any solar system with a limited operational life.

    Using Renewable industry published figures, large scale photovoltaic Solar power is proven to be the least economic Renewable Energy source. Throughout Europe overall its capital costs are about 34 times more than conventional generation. And it provides only ~11% of its nameplate capacity. However in Germany it’s costs are even higher at about 41 times the capital cost of more than conventional generation. However photovoltaic Solar power usually has comparatively modest maintenance costs.

    As well as the impact of cloudy weather Photovoltaic units are susceptible to performance degradation from Ice or snow or obscuration with accumulating dust when the climates is dry.

    Solar power might operate reasonably well at mid latitudes but it is inevitably a poor investment in Northern Europe where yields are low because of their latitude, the adverse weather, the daily rotation of the earth and the radical variation of the seasons.

    In winter months when power is essential Solar power inevitably contributes very little indeed.

  7. Mikky

    In my view the Energiewende is an attempt at a state-controlled, centrally planned energy economy

    This conclusion may be wrong. Greenies have wet dreams about a world with no large corporations and very local “community-owned” energy production. Also in Germany a religious anti-nuclear fervour.

    In fact, a state-controlled and planned energy economy has a lot going for it, as long as the focus is purely on providing secure energy, not on trying to change the global climate. To defend that against Green Zombies would require military guards.

  8. AndyG55

    What “Energiewende” is doing is destroying the German economic ability, as well as making the once beutiful landscape, rather hideous.

    Destroy an economy, you create more leftists, head to a socialist state.
    And we all know the green bolb simply do not care about the environment.

    “Energiewende” is having exactly the effect the green blob want !!

    Fortunately for the world plant life, coal is still the cheapest most reliable fuel by far, and many developing countries are using Chinese money to start to push their economies.

    Coal has a very rosy future. 🙂

    And once this silly CO2 demonisation is circular filed, subsidies will disappear, and with them the massive folly of aiming for extensive wind and solar power.

  9. Graeme No.3

    edmh:

    thank you for your thoughtful posts, but I think it is a waste of time arguing with sod.
    He/she hasn’t yet learnt,
    Just because something appears on the internet doesn’t make it true.
    Just because you want something doesn’t mean it will happen.

  10. AndyG55

    It is really fortunate that developing countries around the world will be using COAL rather than relying on irregular, inconsistent, wasteful, economy destroying non-alternative energy supplies.

    Coal is set to BOOM as these countries strive to develop, because COAL is the only CHEAP, RELIABLE supply of energy.

    The world’s plant life will continue to THRIVE as atmospheric CO2 levels climb 🙂

    1. sod

      “It is really fortunate that developing countries around the world will be using COAL rather than relying on irregular, inconsistent, wasteful, economy destroying non-alternative energy supplies.”

      You are totally wrong again.

      China:

      http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/ea25eab8-b902-11e4-a8d0-00144feab7de.html#axzz3SqGUCidv

      India:

      http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/02/22/why-india-could-be-the-worlds-most-important-solar.aspx

      and this is no surprise, as even solar power is at grid parity in these countries!

      http://reneweconomy.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DB-countries-grid-parity.png

      1. AndyG55

        Well you picked the right web sites.. Fool, renewfarce and ‘ft !!

      2. AndyG55

        You, poor gullible little child 🙂

        COAL will be the fuel of choice for ALL developing countries, because they will not buy into unsustainable subsidies.

        No developing country can afford any substantial percentage of inconsistent, unreliable energy.

        Only the fools who have used coal to establish their countries and can afford to preen themselves can do that.

        1. sod

          “COAL will be the fuel of choice for ALL developing countries, because they will not buy into unsustainable subsidies.”

          you do not get it.

          Alternative power does not need subsidies do get a rather high market penetration. Solar is at grid parity in many places and will be there in most places in only a couple of years.

          Even solar + batteries is beating prices from the grid in a near future (or on islands).

          http://www.rmi.org/Content/Images/Grid_Defector_es1.jpg

  11. Wolfgang Neumann

    The reality of the crazy German energy policy is included in the tables to the “balance 2014” on mine Facebook-side. How should an industry guarantee nation thus the energy supply? In addition kWh costs in the federal state Brandenburg more than 30€ of cent. The industry pays 13€ of cent. 50€ of cent are forecast.
    The nets break down already today constantly. Only the good infrastructure prevented up to now hundred thousands dead people. Telecasts must begin because of stream failures later. However, it becomes even worse if the nuclear power plants of the net go. The Greens want to take even the coal-fired power stations completely from the net. The German economic situation bubble isn’t based from the domestic consumption! Also PB has jumped up for a long time on the train of the duffing. The family Shriver/Kennedy (Schwarzenegger has ruined California with Solar and WKA) just duffs, as all the others of the uppermost 10,000. Nevertheless, they have invented this scourge of the humanity in the end of the 1970s. Or where from does the money come to the NGOs and why just again D? Germany – as usual, as the first attempt of rabbits for society-political attempts – the new crazy green – Nazis is for a long time under the knout in politics, media and science. We already had this. The Germans are suited for any nonsense from On top ideally. You are authority-dependent, able of suffering and brutally diligent. A luck that in my genes 1/3 France and 1/3 Poles is. Therefore, if necessary I differently think…. But the facts state everything. From now on these facts (stream stock exchange of Leipzig) on my Facebookseite are to be seen and to download. If necessary somebody can translate mine bad in English again….
    In deutscher Sprache:
    Die Realität der irren deutschen Energiepolitik ist in den Tabellen zur “Bilanz 2014” auf meiner Facebook- Seite enthalten. Wie soll eine Industrie- Nation so die Energieversorgung sicherstellen? Dazu kostet die kWh im Bundesland Brandenburg über 30 €Cent. Die Industrie zahlt 13 €Cent. Prognostiziert werden 50 €Cent.
    Die Netze brechen schon heute ständig zusammen. Nur die gute Infrastruktur verhinderte bisher hunderttausende Tote. Fernsehsendungen müssen wegen Stromausfällen später beginnen. Es wird aber noch schlimmer, wenn die Kernkraftwerke vom Netz gehen. Die Grünen wollen sogar die Kohlekraftwerke vollständig vom Netz nehmen. Die deutsche Konjunktur- Blase basiert nicht vom Inlandskonsum! Auch PB ist schon lange auf den Zug der Abzocke aufgesprungen. Die Familie Shriver/ Kennedy ( Schwarzenegger hat Kalifornien mit Solar und WKA ruiniert) zockt genauso ab, wie Alle anderen der obersten 10.000. Die haben doch diese Geißel der Menschheit Ende der 1970er Jahre erfunden. Oder woher kommt das Geld an die NGOs und warum gerade wieder D? Deutschland – wie immer als erstes Versuchs- Kaninchen für gesellschaftspolitische Versuche – befindet sich schon lange unter der Knute der neuen irren Grün – Nazis in Politik, Medien und Wissenschaft. Das hatten wir ja schon mal. Die Deutschen eignen sich für jeglichen Unsinn von Oben ideal. Sie sind obrigkeitshörig, leidensfähig und brutal fleißig. Ein Glück, dass in meine Genen 1/3 Frankreich und 1/3 Polen steckt. Ggf denke ich deshalb anders…. Aber die Fakten sagen alles aus. Ab sofort sind diese Fakten (Strombörse Leipzig) auf meiner Facebookseite zu sehen und herunterzuladen. Ggf kann jemand mein schlechtes englisch nochmals übersetzen….

  12. AndyG55

    Once the subsidies on wind and solar are dropped in once developed countries because of their unaffordability, coal production will soar, and the planet will thrive.

    Its only this childish CO2 demonisation that is holding many countries in third world status…

    Only coal can lift them out of that status, like it has done for every developed country in the world.

  13. AndyG55

    Projected coal use in India.

    http://cdn.energytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/ET052809_india.png

    But it will climb far more rapidly than that. 🙂

    The planet NEEDS CO2, and thankfully, India, China and many African countries are willing and able to provide it. 🙂

  14. AndyG55
  15. AndyG55

    And read this production and projected usage article.

    https://climatecommercial.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/indias-coal-consumption-continues-to-expand/

    Sorry, poor sod, but the planet will not lack for atmospheric CO2 any time in your or my life time 🙂

    1. AndyG55

      Oh, look at that tiny purple line at the top of the first chart.

      How sweet it is. ! 🙂

  16. Wolfgang Neumann

    An explicatory statement on the subject of the insidious CO2-and energy lie. Provided by and with many thanks to Dieter Ber
    Ein erklärendes Statement zum Thema der perfiden CO2- und Energielüge. Erstellt durch und mit vielen Dank an Dieter Ber

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=807244012691783&set=pcb.807244092691775&type=1&theater