Top Econ Professor Says Germany’s Renewables “Already Reached The Limits”…Country Risks “Gambling Away Its Prosperity”!

German online finanztreff.de here reports on the opinion recently expressed by Prof. Hans-Werner Sinn, Director of the renowned Munich-based ifo-Institute for Economic Research, regarding Germany’s attempted move into renewable energies, primarily solar and wind power.

Currently about 25% of Germany’s energy supply is “green”.

At a conference of experts in Berlin Sinn is quoted by Dow Jones as saying that the installation of “renewable energies in Germany has already reached its limits” because there is just nowhere near enough storage capacity available to balance out the sharp and volatile supply spikes of wind and solar power.

Sinn also ridiculed the idea of using electric cars as a means to store the green energy, calling the notion a “PR gag”. He added that 159 million BMW i3 vehicle would have to be put on the streets, i.e. thus nearly tripling the number of cars currently on the streets. A preposterous solution.

On using green energy to produce gas, Sinn calls it a horribly expensive alternative that would cost about 24 cents per kilowatt-hour; Russian natural gas by comparison is only 3 cents per kilowatt-hour, he says.

It would get expensive very rapidly,” Sinn warned.

Currently Germany’s Ministry of Environment is proposing the investment of 1 trillion euros for a new energy supply system. Sinn calls that idea “a monstrous gamble with an uncertain outcome“, and one that harbors “a real risk” of Germany “gambling away its prosperity“.

So how will German policymakers react to Professor Sinn’s assessment? Well, if they don’t heed his warnings, then there’s really no one left out there who may still be able to talk sense and reason back into the policymakers’ heads.

Should the policymakers ignore the warnings of the renowned Ifo Institute, then the only thing left is to learn it the hard, painful way. Knowing today’s German intellectual obstinacy of the elite class, the odds of that are better than even.

36 responses to “Top Econ Professor Says Germany’s Renewables “Already Reached The Limits”…Country Risks “Gambling Away Its Prosperity”!”

  1. posa

    Germany’s Green Madness can’t be laid exclusively at the doorstep of the elites … green ideology has deep roots in the population going back decades, even centuries. I’m afraid Germany is destined to be an “object lesson” in failed energy policy and wrecked economy. There is some restlessness among the working classes but they seem likely to prevail. Sad… but there are a lot of different ways to learn lessons.

  2. sod

    Prof: Sinn is very much an economic hardliner.

    On alternative Power, he has a serious problem. He published a book some years ago, which made rather wild statements about alternative power.
    (the green paradox, basically he argues that all oil will be burned and by the use of alternative power we just speed up the use of all fossils.)

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Das_gr%C3%BCne_Paradoxon:_Pl%C3%A4doyer_f%C3%BCr_eine_illusionsfreie_Klimapolitik

    Now we know, that plenty of coal and tar sand will remain below earth, as alternative power is just too cheap for thoses sources to compete.

    So Prof. Sinn has to delay the development of alternatives by as much time as he can, or everyone will see, that the king is naked.

    1. DirkH

      “On alternative Power, he has a serious problem. He published a book some years ago, which made rather wild statements about alternative power.
      (the green paradox, basically he argues that all oil will be burned and by the use of alternative power we just speed up the use of all fossils.)”

      Of course he is right that a WASTEFUL production of industrial goods will deplete resources FASTER. As you and I agree that we need to keep 100% of the existing infrastructure AND build the wind turbines on TOP of it, if we want wind turbines at all, we can agree that it is WASTEFUL to do so.
      So what’s your problem with Sinn? You have already agreed to his point.

    2. Paul Aubrin

      Sod said: “Now we know, that plenty of coal and tar sand will remain below earth, as alternative power is just too cheap for thoses sources to compete. ”
      When the comparison includes all the costs, maintenance costs, decommissioning costs, backup generators, investments in power lines, storage capacity, etc. renewable are not competitive at all.
      If Germany doesn’t use its fossil fuels resources, other countries, like China, or India, will have no such scruples.

      1. sod

        “When the comparison includes all the costs, maintenance costs, decommissioning costs, backup generators, investments in power lines, storage capacity, etc. renewable are not competitive at all.”

        Funny list. Now you add the enevironmental damage done by coal, cost of replacing old coal plants, new security for nuclear power, the money saved by companies in the past by doing lousy jobs on the grid and the benefits of a new and more stable grid, and you are right back at the starting point.

        ————————-

        “If Germany doesn’t use its fossil fuels resources, other countries, like China, or India, will have no such scruples.”

        China importing brown coal from Germany? NECER!
        It is much too expensive and german courts will not order the destruction of villages for export coal. This will just not happen.

      2. AndyG55

        Yes, the world can be very thankful that China, India , and soon other developing countries, will continue to release accidentally sequester carbon back into the shorter term carbon cycle in the form of CO2 plant food.

        The whole world will benefit from this.

        Those countries stupid enough to fall for the “alternative” non-energies an thus destroy their economies, are the only ones that will suffer, deservedly so.

  3. DirkH

    Currently we are forced to pay 24 bn EUR /year for subsidies for the existing Wind/olar/biomass subsidy receivers; the plan of the government is to ramp this up by about 13% more (to a 7.5 Eurocents/kWh surplus fee, up from the current 6.5) and then very slowly let it drop back. (These 24 bn EUR do NOT count as taxes BTW! This is important because the supreme court has prohibited the government from extending the government’s share of the GDP beyond 50%. So the FIT redistribution scheme needed a different legal framework/interpretation.)

    The 1 trillion EUR “new infrastructure” is probably the next big expropriation campaign after that.

  4. BobW in NC

    “…the sharp and volatile supply spikes of wind and solar power.”

    There it is, in a ‘nutshell’: “…sharp and volatile supply spikes!” Those “…sharp and volatile supply spikes” result from these energy sources being dependent (read: italics) on weather.

    But no one ‘gets it.’ In addition to being expensive, ecologically destructive in construction and disposal, having a short useful life span, killing birds and bats (thereby allowing more noxious insects to increase, among other downsides for the avian population and us), having “infrasound” problems that make people sick, producing inadequate energy, etc., etc., renewable energy is NOT (read: bold) dependable nor responsive to energy needs. This is truly—I have to say it—great stuff! Wow! I. AM. IMPRESSED!

    All for the sake of what?…Diminishing CO2 from human activity, which accounts for only 3% to 5% of all the CO2 emitted? Of which, Germany only produces ~2% (0.1% of the total, maximum)?

    Oh, my! I can only hope that people in every country (my USA included) wake up and that our 2016 US President scrap the whole thing, with Germany and other countries to follow, if not lead!

    God Bless you and your leaders over there!

    1. AndyG55

      “having a short useful life span”

      useful ? seriously ?

      Last month, the 95% reliability point of all UK wind turbines was 3.6% of nameplate.

      That is NOT useful, not at all.

  5. Frederick Colbourne

    “I’m afraid Germany is destined to be an “object lesson” in failed energy policy and wrecked economy.”

    Time for China and India to catch up while Europeans de-industrialize?

    1. Bernd Felsche

      In my view; the Energiewende is causing as much economic and social destruction in all of Germany as the GDR inflicted upon itself over 40 years.

      As with the GDR, ordinary people are powerless, in both senses of the word, to do anything about it. Only the entranced and gullible elites have any say while the Energiewende is being milked to profit a few. There is little that can be done until the damage is so deep and disenchantment so great, that the majority is willing to take to the streets in protest.

  6. Top Economist Warns Green Energy Policy Risks ‘Gambling Away German Prosperity’ | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

    […] Full post […]

  7. sod

    There is an extremly imteresting article on the other future power option (nuclear).
    (beware the soúrce, though, but just listen to the facts in the article)

    Here is an important conclusion:

    “A new report by ADEME, a French government agency under the Ministries of Ecology and Research, concludes that a 100% renewable electricity supply scenario is feasible in France. The report estimates that the electricity production cost would be €119 per megawatt-hour in 2050 in the all-renewables scenario, compared with a near-identical figure of €117 / MWh with a mix of 50% nuclear, 40% renewables, and 10% fossil fuels.”

    http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2859924/finland_cancels_olkiluoto_4_nuclear_reactor_is_the_epr_finished.html

    So where are the artlicles about the utter failure of nuclear power? With real price increases? and with real consequences for power supply (due to unavailability and building times doubling?)

    1. Paul Aubrin

      Green parties made a great fuss about this ADEME report a few weeks ago. On close examination, it was report proposed to ADEME which didn’t publish it. The report supposes that solar and wind energy can be used as base load, which is obviously impossible.
      The candidate report contains a number of dubious suppositions. For example it ignores that EDF, the main French electricity producer, must sell the power it produces at 41€/MW to its concurrents, when it must buy renewable energies, on the average, at 200€/MW (418€ for solar). This proposed ADEME report is totally non-realistic.

  8. sod

    German daily taz has a reply to Sinn, also citing his false predictions in the past:

    http://www.taz.de/!159868/

    ” Im Jahr 1993 legten sich die deutschen Energieversorger in großen Zeitungsanzeigen fest: „Regenerative Energien wie Sonne, Wind und Wasser können auch langfristig nicht mehr als 4 % unseres Strombedarfs decken.“ Das war genau der Anteil, der damals erreicht war. 21 Jahre später tragen die erneuerbaren Energien knapp 28 Prozent zur deutschen Stromversorgung bei. ”

    The claim in 1993 was, that the “unrelyable” regenerative powers could not provide more than 4% of electricty. It is now 28% and growing.

    1. DirkH

      And in 1988, James Hansen claimed that temperatures would continue to rise with CO2. CO2 never stopped rising but temperatures did, in 1998, and warmunists have continued lying for 17 years now.

      All 17 year old and younger German kids have never experienced the Global Warming that impoverishes them because it is the imaginary reason that forces them to pay for the destruction of their country with wind turbines everywhere. That’s about 20 million people or 25% of the population in Germany alone that sees only one reason for the impoverishment and country destruction: That the old people are greedy liars.

    2. AndyG55

      They have to count Hydro in that “alternative” energy count, otherwise it would be ABYSMAL.

      For instance, last month the whole of the UK installed capacity was only able to “reliably” supply 3.6% of its nameplate.
      That is NOT an alternative to real electricity supply.

      It is PATHETIC and USELESS.

  9. Graeme No.3

    sod:
    “concludes that a 100% renewable electricity supply scenario is feasible” ?

    Have you thought of changing your name to ‘gullible sod’?
    So much better that ‘utterly ignorant sod’ or ‘total fool sod’. Why don’t you go away and learn something about electricity generation? Hint: what happens when there is an interruption to supply and those ‘renewables’ have to start generating again. Then try to understand phase angle.

    1. AndyG55

      Yep, UK wind did really well last month. 95% reliability point was 3.6% of nameplate.

      That is not base-load, except for maybe s.o.b,’s kindergarten classes.

  10. sod

    “Hint: what happens when there is an interruption to supply and those ‘renewables’ have to start generating again. Then try to understand phase angle.”

    As long as the mix is below 50% renewables, this will not be a problem (or at worst a problem similar to today).

    As we reach higher penetration of renewables, we need storage. But at that point, a failure of the grid will become very different from what it is today (plenty of people with solar and storage will not even notice that the grid is gone…).

    ———————-

    you are ignoring all positive aspects of renewables. For a start, 20 years from now, the situation will reverse. New power sources will have to compete with “paid-off” solar/wind from the past.

    1. AndyG55

      “all positive aspects of renewables”

      What?

      the fact that they are incapable of reliably supplying even a fraction of their nameplate?

      the fact that they devastate the landscape and environment, avian species etc,?

      the fact that the moronic subsidies and priority rules make it difficult for real energy suppliers to be financially viable, cause the electricity supply chain to become fragile, costly and volatile, thus destroying economic progress (as is proved in UK, Spain and Germany)?

      Sorry sob, but their is no up side or benefit to the use of wind and solar except is very minor trivial cases? That is all its fit for.

      1. sod

        “the fact that they are incapable of reliably supplying even a fraction of their nameplate?”

        you always repeat the same old arguments.

        The question was a specific one: How to recover a grid after blackout without the big plants.

        I gave a specific answer: a grid blackout will not be what it was before, because the high penetration of renewables will change the way the grid works.

        The majority of people will have solar PV and battery backup. They will not notice, that the grid is gone.

        There will be gas backup (mostly used for heat possibly also biogas) at a local level (this might be needed for some time, due to those few instances that you constantly describe).

        In short, i was giving a specific answer, while you keep repeating the same stuff over and over and over again.

    2. DirkH

      “For a start, 20 years from now, the situation will reverse.”

      That is very much what I see, condensed in the statement: It gets worse before it gets better.
      The current ruling caste will complete wreck Germany, and out of the resulting shithole, in 20 years, something else will emerge. It will have nothing in common with what is now called Germany.
      You might already have guessed I don’t invest in real estate in this territory.

    3. Graeme No.3

      sod:
      you are an ignorant fool. I don’t mind you being a fool, there is a (faint) possibility that you may grow out of it, but your reply indicates you don’t even realise what a fool you are.

      Go away and learn something about electricity generation before you comment further. Your nonsense has long since ceased to be even slightly amusing. I thought I had given you a tip, but you seem impervious to any idea. Phase angle has nothing to do with storage. The only way people can survive with 100% renewables is if they are “off-grid”. In your cocooned life it will surprise you that not everyone can afford to do so; such as those with not enough land for their personal wind turbine, or a large stand alone house with lots of roof space for solar panels, and room behind the chauffeur’s flat for the batteries and inverters etc.
      Grow up or shut up!

      1. sod

        “Phase angle has nothing to do with storage.”

        That is plain out wrong. You gave me a pretty specific scenario:

        “Hint: what happens when there is an interruption to supply and those ‘renewables’ have to start generating again. Then try to understand phase angle.”

        I tried to explain to you, that it will be much eassier to bring back the grid, because msot people will have storage and wont even notice that the grid is gone (this allows for more time and more control in bringing back grid power).

        Smart meters will also give control over demand.

        And big PV can help even with the phase problem at nicht.

        http://www.renewablesinternational.net/pv-to-stabilize-grid-around-the-clock/150/537/33107/

        ————————————

        Just some days ago, i linked to claims by the utilities in California, which claim that their grid can handle 100% renewables.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-14/california-power-grid-seen-able-to-handle-100-renewables

        You think that they might not have thought about phase angle?

        1. AndyG55

          “because most people will have storage”

          What utter BS !!! What storage, and what does it cost, where does it come from?

          You are smokin’ some hallucinogenic weird stuff, sod.

          Anyway, once the world realises the farce of the anti-CO2 cult, all this so-called renewable crap will disappear except for the massive heaps of rusting and decaying wind turbine junk littering the once pristine environments, left there by the wind and solar rorter as they grab their subsidies and run.

        2. DirkH

          “I tried to explain to you, that it will be much eassier to bring back the grid, because msot people will have storage”

          I am sure the Total State will make the batteries rain from the sky, right, soddy?

        3. DirkH

          “Just some days ago, i linked to claims by the utilities in California, which claim that their grid can handle 100% renewables.”

          Well the GRID doesn’t care. If there’s a surge of wind power, it goes over the grid. If there’s zero electricity, the GRID can handle that as well.

          My computer can handle zero electricity as well. It survives it for extended periods of time.

          1. Graeme No.3

            Good luck Dirk. I give up on sod, he is so fixated on “renewables” that he thinks electricity comes out of thin air.
            He certainly has never seen grid connected PV after a power outage, and the time it takes to come back on. Nor can he grasp that wind turbines without a feed from the grid never start up. And very obviously he has never worked in a factory or other big electricity user. It’s all theory for him and the facts change to fit.
            I only hope that he never gets to make decisions on the German supply, but looking at the current state it appears that some close relatives must be in charge of the asylum.

          2. DirkH

            I don’t think he will ever stop with his idiocy. He is not here to learn but to spread warmunist propaganda. He has probably been sent here. A Cass Sunstein troll. Too obvious though.

  11. DirkH

    “Currently about 25% of Germany’s energy supply is “green”.”

    Pierre, I only now notice this error.
    25% of ELECTRICITY supply; which is a seventh of primary energy consumption. 3 seventh are non-electric heating; 3 seventh are non-electric transportation.

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  13. AndyG55

    Hopefully, the link below, and the probable removal of anti-competitive wind feed-in rules and subsidies, will see the end of the environmental devastation cause by the installation of wind turbines in the UK.

    Then someone has to clean up the decaying monuments to the non-alternative, non-energy, anti-CO2 stupidity that has held sway for the last couple of decades. You can bet it won’t be the scammers that took all the subsidies, they will have done a runner. !

    http://www.climatechangedispatch.com/will-david-cameron-make-britain-an-energy-powerhouse.html

  14. Mervyn

    Sadly, many Germans today have not suffered traumatic times as have their predecessors. They take for granted, today’s Germany, but do not appreciate all the hard work by the last few generations that made Germany so successful.

    With sadness, one can be forgiven for thinking some Germans today just think money grows on trees, that can simply be plucked and wasted on the unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism.

    1. DirkH

      We call them Gutmenschen.