German Handelsblatt: German Households Getting Crushed By Green Energies To The Tune Of 28 Billion Annually!

Here’s one for the stubborn clingers of green energies like wind and sun. German financial daily Handelsblatt here writes about the harsh reality of these so-called clean, free-for-the-taking energies.

In the earlier days of green energy (some 10 or so years ago, then German Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin famously claimed that the cost of wind and solar energy would be easily affordable – equivalent to no more than one scoop of ice cream a month. Environmentalists like David Suzuki once said in a video, “Hey man, it’s for free!” Nothing could be further than the truth.

The Handelsblatt concedes the real (painful) costs of green energy. It writes:

The costs of the Energiewende [transition to renewable energies] for power cosumers in Germany is now running at 28 billion euros annually. A household with a power consumption of 3500 kilowatt-hours annually is thus paying 270 euros a year for implementing the Energiewende.”

That’s the result Germany’s Institute for Economy (IW) calculated on behalf of the Handelsblatt. North American readers should keep in mind that their household energy needs typically run two or even three times higher than the very conservative figure of 3500 kilowatt-hours a year used by the Handelsblatt, this due in large part to harsher winters and hotter summers.

Website The Irish Energy Blog here presents a chart depicting electricity cost as a function of installed sun and wind capacity for all European countries:

wind-strompreis_n

Chart source: irishenergyblog, by BP2015 and Eurostat

The relationship is totally clear: The higher the share of wind and solar power in the power generation, the higher the electricity prices for consumers.

The Handelsblatt cites one industry group representative, Carsten Linnemann: “The consequences of the Energiewende are developing into a dangerous competition factor because it is frightening investors and is costing jobs.”

There’s another sinister side to Germany’s careening Energiewende, the Handelsblatt writes. Because wind and solar power are given the right of way to the power grid over conventional fossil fuel generated power, the conventional plants are forced to run part-time at inefficient levels, which makes them unprofitable. The Handelsblatt continues:

A total of 57 conventional power plants are to be shut down, reports Bild newspaper on Monday, citing figures from the German Power Regulatory Board. That is nine more than at the start of the year. The reason, according to the plant operators, is the lack of profitability due to the Energiewende.”

Of course there will be some out there who will obstinately keep their heads stuck in the sand, and wish all of this wasn’t true.

 

31 responses to “German Handelsblatt: German Households Getting Crushed By Green Energies To The Tune Of 28 Billion Annually!”

  1. Curious George

    “The conventional plants are forced to run part-time at inefficient levels, which makes them unprofitable.” I wonder if other factors may contribute, for example a CO2 tax or similar regulatory expenses; an artificially low price of electricity from nonrenewable sources.

    1. DirkH

      The power surges of PV and wind lead to oversupply in the spot market, even negative prices, so conventional operators cannot compete.
      The state BUYS all produced kWh from PV and wind for guaranteed Venezuelan prices and pushes it on the “free” market, destroying the market. (Only that the state is not directly involved – but has made it so via law)
      When a SPD or CDU member talks of free markets, that’s always creepy. They are both central planners and as capable as Chavez at that.

  2. Walter H. Schneider

    “A total of 57 conventional power plants are to be shut down, ….The reason, according to the plant operators, is the lack of profitability due to the Energiewende.”

    That is “lack of profitability” from the perspective of the investors. That is a biased perspective.

    The profitability should be determined from the perspective of the taxpayers and the end consumers of energy. That would take in the real costs of the subsidies.

  3. BobW in NC

    Here in the US, the horrible, costly “renewable energy” situation in Europe is completely ignored.

    What is the conversion of Ecents to US $? Love to have some specifics of how costly renewable energy is from Germany /Denmark to argue with.

    1. Stephen Richards

      $1.14 = €1 as of friday 28 august

      1. BobW in NC

        Thank you all so much or the information!

  4. DirkH

    “”A household with a power consumption of 3500 kilowatt annually is thus paying 270 euros a year for implementing the Energiewende.”

    That’s the result Germany’s Institute for Economy (IW) calculated on behalf of the Handelsblatt”

    Well, they’re journalists, and economists – who can blame the little birdbrains for getting it wrong.
    In reality, that household pays three times that amount – as only one third of electricity is consumed by households.
    So they pay another 270 Euros in extra taxes for the higher bills of the public sector a.k.a. Big Government; which consumes the second third of electricity, ,and another 270 Euro in inflated product prices, as the industry and commercial sector consumes the third third of electricity.

    (And yes, I checked, they really forgot about that, as 270/3500.0= 0.077… which is about the pure cross subsidy in Eurocents per kWh. THEY NEEDED ECONOMISTS TO DO THE MULTIPLICATION FOR THEM! THAT! WAS! ALL! that this “institute” did!!!!! !!11!)

    1. DirkH

      Maybe they’re just throwing their bullshit out so we can correct them and they learn something in the process.

    2. David Appell

      “A household with a power consumption of 3500 kilowatt annually….”

      This makes no sense. A kW is a unit of power, not energy. It’s more likely they meant kWh, but who knows. They certainly didn’t mean 3500 kW used constantly….

      1. DirkH

        Hey David! I didn’t know you know physical units! Wow! You’re overqualified for a journalist!

  5. Finbar

    Without figures for rises/ falls in pricing in each of those places it’s not clear that the cause of the expensive energy is the increased renewable capacity. It could equally be the case that high energy prices are prompting a transition to renewables. Correlation does not equal causation as they famously say…

    1. DirkH

      Finbar, this is not about anything remotely complicated sciency-sounding stuff.

      The exact surplus charge per kWh , per month, per year , 6.5 Eurocents cross subsidy per kWh, plus 1.2 cents per kWh for a slush fund for offshore wind farm business risks, is printed out on all electricity bills in Germany as mandated by law.

      The genius journalists and economists have mastered the art of multiplication; that is all.

      1. BobW in NC

        And—always remember that all this effort to implement Energiewende is to reduce the trivial ~3.4% CO2 emitted by human activity each year, of which Germany’s fraction is what?

    2. DirkH

      “It could equally be the case that high energy prices are prompting a transition to renewables.”

      Let’s do the sciency sounding stuff: This hypothesis can easily be disproved by observing that in 2000, before large scale neo-renewables introduction, end consumer energy prices were TWO AND A HALF TIMES CHEAPER than now.

      High energy prices prompt a transition to an even more expensive energy? I don’t think so.

  6. Joe Doaks

    €270/year sounds like pocket change to me. If this article is supposed to be an argument against converting to renewable energy, it’s not a very strong one. Then again, how do you weigh a few euros in higher energy costs against mass extinction?

    1. roger

      A fool and his money is soon parted.
      QED

    2. David Johnson

      So you think 270pa is pocket money? Tell that to the low paid you elitist fool

    3. DirkH

      ” Then again, how do you weigh a few euros in higher energy costs against mass extinction?”

      What mass extinction? The one caused by warm weather?
      Warm areas have higher biodiversity than cold ones.
      The theory of Global Warming even says that cold areas will warm faster than already warm ones. Reducing climatic extremes.
      The carboniferous had a far higher biodiversity than today – and it was WARMER than today.
      You say, by expending enough money we can prevent higher biodiversity? Why would you want that?

  7. Mervyn

    Well… that chart certainly confirms ‘every picture tells a story’. In this case, the story is that the more a country gets insanely embroiled in renewable energy, the more insane the cost of electricity.

    The insane thing about the renewable energy industry is that the people have to pay to set it up (no choice) and then they have to pay to keep it going (no choice) … and in effect it is a brilliant mechanism that transfers wealth from the ordinary citizens people to the wealthy class.

    But what is lost in all this is that it is doing nothing to change the climate… absolutely nothing. If anything, it is a wonder all this rising Co2 emissions is now not blamed for halting global warming and sending the planet into the start of a cooling period.

  8. Stephen Richards

    But the most important and accurate way to measure cost is hours work / item. In other words, how many hours must you work to buy a 200gr loaf of bread or a ford focus or …..

    1. DirkH

      That’s not a good measure at all. Unemployed work exactly zero hours for everything they can eat.

  9. sod

    the graph is interesting.

    As others have said above, i also would expect that the countries with high power prices today are countries that alsa had high prices in the past (making an early transition to renewables eassier).

    But the main problem of the graph is another one: this is a spotlight at the transition at one moment in time.

    If you do the same graph for young families, plotting debt on one axis and owned property on another, you would find out that having a house of your own leads to debt and that for is not good.

    If you do not just look at one moment in time, the situation changes dramatically:

    Those high prices are caused by high costs of early FIT schemes for solar and wind power. But all of these are for 20 years maximum, and afterwards those solar panels will provide FREE electricity.

    you should not look at costs today, but you need to look at lifetime cost (in your sort of “analysis” renting a car or house will always look cheaper than buying it!!!).

    The simple truth is, that finally even the IEA has figured out, that solar power is the cheapest in many places. So in the future, expect that graph to change into a hokey stick (downward).

    http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2985170/the_solar_age_is_upon_us.html

  10. David Appell

    It’s Germany’s own fault, for shutting off nuclear power after Fukishima. That was a bad decision.

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