There was a lot of emphasis on energy technology at this year’s Hannover Industrial Trade Fair, which took place just last week.
Fossil fuel plants unexpendable
Days ago German flagship daily Die Welt here reported that Germany’s energy industry is not happy about the recent developments in the electricity markets. Industry representatives warn that the Energiewende (transition to renewable energies) will not work without conventional power plants.
As mentioned earlier, Germany’s grand coalition government led by Angela Merkel increasingly finds itself struggling to maneuver to appease both industry on one side and Germany’s powerful environmental lobby groups on the other. As electricity prices continue their steep climb and grid stability crumbles, the government may soon find itself paying lip service to climate protection and nothing more.
Energy concept in “worrisome state”
According to Die Welt, Hildegard Müller, Director of the German BDEW industry association representing the energy and water utilities, said in a press release that Germany’s energy concept was in a “worrisome state“. She said “There is nothing in it that helps, but plenty that burdens.”
Other reports mention that Müller was uncharacteristically harsh with her criticism of the government’s tattered energy policy.
Fossil fuel capacity “melting away like butter”
Müller worries that soon there will not be enough conventional power plants operating to ensure a supply of power when wind and solar energy are absent. As companies are forced to buy up wind and solar power and to thus run their conventional power plants over increasingly shorter times, fossil fuel plants are becoming loss-intensive and so many power companies are planning to shut them down entirely. Die Welt reports:
According to figures presented in Hannover by the BDEW, the current over-capacity of conventional power plant facilities is melting away like butter in the spring sun.”
Lack of weather-independent power
Die Welt writes that 53% of planned new power plants are currently lacking an investment decision. So, the question arises: How soon can Germany expect trouble if energy policy fails to get back onto a sensible course? Die Welt writes:
Just after the shutdown of nuclear power plants concludes, in seven years there could be a lack of power plants that can operate independently of the weather.”
“Poorly thought out”, “thousands of jobs” at risk
Müller also calls the government’s plans to burden old power plants with additional charges “poorly thought out” and “politically motivated“. The industry fears the loss of thousands of jobs.
World Bank increases 3rd world investments in coal power
Meanwhile, as an aside, German alarmist site klimaretter.de here writes that even the World Bank refuses to divest from coal power plants.
In 2014, compared to a year earlier, the World Bank expanded investments in coal projects. […] New figures show that 3.4 billion euros in credits, subsidies and guarantees have flowed to fossil fuel projects in developing countries.
In other words, even if Germany does shut down plants, other countries will continue building them and CO2 reductions will remain as nothing more than a pipe dream.