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:
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.