German Professor: Europe’s € 5.7 TRILLION Climate Policy Is “Very Expensive”, “Counter-Productive” And “Does Nothing For Climate” … “Completely Wasted”!

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University of Magdeburg economics professor Joachim Weimann held a presentation in Brandenburg highlighting the shortcomings of Germany’s Energiewende (transition to renewable energies) and Europe’s climate policy earlier this year.

First Weimann calls the climate issue a debate that is emotionally and ideologically charged, and that the facts are almost always suppressed. He also believes that the real facts on climate change and energy policy are unpopular among policymakers and that they all too often “deny” them.

In the presentation Weimann makes it clear that he is an alarmist, and that he believes something needs to be done rapidly.

The thrust of his presentation, however, is about Germany’s Energiewende and Europe’s climate policies, and whether they are really effective. His assessment in a nutshell: The feed-in acts are a colossal disaster.

Coal plants pay less, consumers pay much more

Weimann says that go-it-alone national CO2 reduction programs aren’t functioning and that emissions trading schemes in combination with energy feed-in acts only result in emissions being sourced out and thus lead to no emissions reductions. In the end the price of emission certificates falls to levels that makes them ineffective. Ironically coal power plants, he says, wind up the ones profiting the most. “Coal is indirectly being subsidized by the feed-in acts,” says Weimann. Everything about coal suddenly becomes cheap, not only its supply, but also the costs of its emissions.

Greater consumption of resources

For the consumer, however, the price of electricity becomes far more expensive. Weimann also explains that the forced feed-in of renewable energies in fact even leads to greater consumption of resources, and not less.

At the 24:20 mark Weimann presents the costs of eliminating 1 tonne of CO2 emissions for a variety of sources: for a coal power plant 1 ton reduction of CO2 costs only 8 euros, for retrofitting a car it costs 100 euros per ton, for onshore wind 150 euros, offshore wind 320 euros and solar 400 euros a ton. This do not include the grid costs. Clearly some CO2 reduction measures make little economic sense.

Feed-in acts lead to zero climate protection

At the 26:30 mark Weimmann slams the German EEG energy feed-in act because it promotes the installation of existing technology rather than research and development in new technology. He says:

– “For climate protection, we do not need the Energiewende.”
– “It is doing nothing for saving resources”.
– “It is also doing nothing for jobs and new technology.”

Substituting coal and nuclear a pipe dream

Next Weimann shows why it is madness to try to replace 18 nuclear power plants (total output 20 GW) with “extremely volatile” wind energy. He says there’s no chance of accomplishing this feat without storage technology, which is still nowhere in sight. Some 437 pump storage facilities would need to be built to ensure the supply of 18 nuclear power plants – an impossible task he says. He calls stopping nuclear energy and coal energy at the same time a pipe dream.

More coal burned today than in 1990!

Because Germany has already committed to closing its remaining nuclear power plants by 2022, the country will be forced to do 2 things: 1) burn more fossil fuels, and 2) to import more of the unpopular nuclear energy. The stunning result, so far, Weimann points out: “We are now burning more coal than in 1990!

Weimann summarizes, saying Germany’s Energiewende resulted in:

– “No energy independence.”
– “Negative job creation.”
– “A price tag of up to 1.2 trillion euros.”

Europe: €5.7 trillion “completely wasted”

Moreover global greenhouse gas emissions climbed 35% from 2000-2012, clearly dwarfing Europe’s 11% reduction. He says the 5.7 trillion euros committed by all of Europe so far will be “completely wasted”. He says that what is needed is an international coalition and that here Germany is doing nothing to support it.

At the end (38:00) he hands in his final assessment. Germany’s Energiewende:

– “Is very expensive”
– “Is counter-productive”
– “Has had no effect on climate”
– “Disturbs in the decommissioning of nuclear power”

 

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26 responses to “German Professor: Europe’s € 5.7 TRILLION Climate Policy Is “Very Expensive”, “Counter-Productive” And “Does Nothing For Climate” … “Completely Wasted”!”

  1. Mervyn

    Countries like the USA, Germany and Japan became economically successful based on the market economy enshrined in capitalism … letting the people come up with solutions and inventions through innovation, ingenuity and technology.

    The problem with the flawed global warming doctrine is that the entire energy system is at risk because of central planning policies “to fight climate change”. Consequently, government policy is driving up power costs that used to be cheap, and a key component of manufacturing. And this is not good for industry and jobs as corporations eventually relocate to low cost base economies such as in Asia.

    Germany’s Energiewende is tantamount to committing economic suicide … yes, very slowly, but surely.

    1. DirkH

      Interestingly, RWE and EON are currently dying, RWE being at 50EUR 5 years ago and at 10 now.
      Ur green communist and Green Trittin gets brought in as head of office for nuclear safety (by Merkel, who once again proves herself to be the great destroyer), Trittin will make sure RWE and EON go to hell (by demanding liability payments for nuclear waste); maybe Merkels goal is to buy them up (nationalize them) on the cheap.
      She more and more turns out to be an erratic central planner / dictator with no regards for legality.

  2. edmh

    In support of this article here are some real numbers for Renewable Energy in Europe using Renewable Energy Industry data sources.

    see
    https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/european-renewable-energy-costs-and-performance-2014/

    According for the capacity factors, (the actual electrical output as compared to the Nameplate capcity of the Renewable installation) that are actually reported by the Renewable industry, the overall capital cost of all European Renewable Energy installations averages out at about €29billion / Gigawatt, whereas the cost of a conventional gas-fired generation is about €1billion / Gigawatt.

    That overall value for Renewables at €29billion / Gigawatt is derived from the combination of
    Onshore Windpower €14.2 billion/GW
    Offshore Windpower €41.4 billion/GW
    On Grid Solar Power €48.5 billion/GW

    By 2014 European Union countries had invested approximately €1 trillion in large scale Renewable Energy installations. This may well be an underestimate.

    This has provided a nameplate electrical generating capacity of about 216 Gigawatts, nominally about ~22% of the total European generation needs of some 1000 Gigawatts.

    The actual measured output by 2014 from Renewable Industry sources has been 38 Gigawatts or 3.8% of Europe’s electricity requirement, at a capacity factor of ~18% overall.

    The whole 1000 Gigawatt fleet of European electricity generation installations could have been replaced with reliable, dispatchable, lower capital cost Gas-fired installations for the €1trillion of capital costs already expended on Renewable Energy in Europe.

    However Renewable Energy production is dependent on the seasons, local weather conditions and the rotation of the earth, day and night.

    So the Renewable Energy contribution to the electricity supply grid is inevitably erratic, intermittent and non-dispatchable. It is therefore much less useful than dispatchable sources of electricity, which can be engaged whenever necessary to match demand and maintain grid stability.

    That 3.8% Renewable Energy contribution to the grid is often not available when needed and obversely its mandatory use and feed-in obligations can cause major grid disruption if the Renewable Energy contribution is suddenly over abundant.

    The Renewable Energy industry could not exist without the Government mandated subsidies and preferential tariffs on which it depends. It is not a truly viable business proposition

    Viewed from the point of view of the engineering viability of a nation’s electrical grid, Renewable Energy would never be part of the generating mix without its Government mandate and Government market interference.

    So the Greens in their enthusiasm to save the world from an undefinable but probably minimal threat will destroy civilisation long before the world fails from excessive overheating from CO2 emissions.

    1. sod

      Please stop ignoring the facts.

      Wind power is cheaper now, than all other forms of electricity, for example in the UK.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/wind-power-now-the-cheapest-source-of-electricity-but-the-government-continues-to-resist-onshore-a6685326.html

      The comparison has to be between new plants of all types. And land based wind wins that easily today.

      1. DirkH

        sod 9. October 2015 at 4:40 PM | Permalink | Reply
        “Please stop ignoring the facts.
        Wind power is cheaper now, than all other forms of electricity, for example in the UK.
        The comparison has to be between new plants of all types. And land based wind wins that easily today.”

        First, I doubt it is cheaper. Second, it delivers a different product. The difference between wind power and base load power is like the difference between a gravity racer and a car.
        So, if you order a taxi, and what arrives is a gravity racer, and you need to go uphill, will you pay the guy the same money for pushing you uphill, as you would for a taxi that is a car, driving you uphill?

        No you wouldn’t.

        In a free market, wind power can demand only a fraction of the price of base load power, as no delivery at customer-desired times can be guaranteed, reducing demand for this random power to very little, reducing the price that can be demanded.

        That’s all a bit complicated for a central planner, I know.

        1. ClimateOtter

          One thing I have noticed when studying the power charts for the UK and Germany, is that solar (for example) often peaks After the day’s peak energy needs have passed. Not very helpful when the system is under stress…

          Wind power is worse. Any peaks it might have come at random times. It is rather Useless at 2 in the morning when the vast majority of people and most businesses have little to No use for it. And any kind of storage tech is still years away.

          Blackouts are in the works if they ever cut back on coal or natural gas (having already screwed the pooch on nuclear).

        2. sod

          “So, if you order a taxi, and what arrives is a gravity racer, and you need to go uphill, will you pay the guy the same money for pushing you uphill, as you would for a taxi that is a car, driving you uphill?”

          Your example is false. The electricity market is simple: You offer your product at your price and so does everybody else. Then the highest price needed to match demand will determine the price for all suppliers (merit order).

          The problem with your old taxi (from your example) is, that it can no longer compete with the new electric one. But it might still catch a customer or two, while the new one is recharging. Good luck in this business!

          1. DirkH

            sod, your description of the electricity market lacks most of what it is.
            First, the gravity car pushers get a guaranteed sum far above normal taxi fares, the FIT subsidy.
            Second, the passengers are forced to pay an even higher price than that, the state redistributes the money, and a tiny bit goes to the taxi cars, and a far higher sum goes to the gravity drivers.

            Oh, and you completely forgot that BY LAW, *ALL* “services” of the gravity car pushers *MUST* be *BOUGHT*!!!!! No matter how many of them stand with their gravity cars in the valley!

            This is so far from a free market even a Cuban would shake his head in disbelief!

          2. sod

            “First, the gravity car pushers get a guaranteed sum far above normal taxi fares, the FIT subsidy.”

            They did so in the past. Now those schemes are running out (unfortunately).
            It actually still makes sense to support a new technology and investment risks, which will pay off in the future because they supply electricity at a rate that is CHEAPER than what we had in the past.

            “Oh, and you completely forgot that BY LAW, *ALL* “services” of the gravity car pushers *MUST* be *BOUGHT*!!!!! ”

            You get it wrong again. All “services” are bought, because they do not cost anything to produce. so the merit order system (which was in place long before solar and wind entered the market) guarantees that renewables are sold before everything else. Laws only protect renewables against an aggressive push from the fossile fuel companies, which control the grids.

          3. David A

            “All “services” are bought, because they do not cost anything to produce”
            ——————————————–
            Yes, that makes zero sense. Steady state generators are forced to spin down when solar and wind is up, and spin up when it is down, Thus the base load is met at a large cost to any base load following energy production.

            Wind and solar would not exist without government mandates demanding that all their production, needed or not is used or paid for, even if not used. In a free market wind and large scale solar would simply not exist.

            Wind is extremely expensive, your :facts” are industry misinformation.

          4. David A

            Sod says, “You get it wrong again. All “services” are bought, because they do not cost anything to produce”
            =============================================
            LOL. Sod, Sod, Sod, there you go again. Sod, base load generators subsidize wind and coal every day! Without wind and solar they would produce even more for less. Your “facts” are nothing more then wind energy spin.

            In the US and Europe conventional production actually pays in many times the tax per unit of energy produced that wind and solar do, which is often negative.

          5. DirkH

            sod 11. October 2015 at 10:24 AM | Permalink
            “You get it wrong again. All “services” are bought, because they do not cost anything to produce.”

            I think I’ll just let that stand here as it is because it is rather funny. Oh, sod, and I expect you tomorrow half past four to clean my flat for free, I guess you’re fine with that. I like your approach to offering services a lot.

  3. David Johnson

    A damning report if ever there was one

  4. geran

    “In the presentation Heimann makes it clear that he is an alarmist, and that he believes something needs to be done rapidly.”

    Wow, talk about imploding!

  5. John F. Hultquist

    As an economist he seems competent. He should stick with that.
    However, if he wants to venture into climate alarmism he should provide detailed information about the problem, or lack of one. He could spend the next year trying to figure out what to be alarmed about – and get back to us.
    Hint: Climate catastrophe is a UN redistribution scam – start there.
    I’ll wait.

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  8. sod

    Let me sum up, what i think is wrong with what professor Joachim Weimann says:

    1. He supports emission trading schemes. So do i. But the problem is, that they do not work well. They basically require a huge region to join in and then one player will always try to slow the process and everyone will cheat as much as possible.
    So a working trading scheme needs strict rules and a fast reduction of certificates and lots of controls and punishment to stop cheating.
    Most of the time, when people say “We should not do reductions outside the european trading scheme” really want to say: “we should not do any reductions at all (and the trading scheme will guarantee that)”.

    2. He believes in R&D as the way to go, i do not. The technology is already there. We can go 100% renewables with the technology that we got. Research & development will help on the way (mostly batteries and other storage), but waiting for them is a false choice. The majority of price reduction is by mass production and deployment experience.

    3. He is ignoring all positive effects of deployment of renewables. As most economists, he completely ignores all negative effects of fossile fuels. But he also ignores the positive effect of the price reductions, which came for example because Germany started to deploy PV solar that fast. The emission trading scheme might at a first glance really work the way he describes it, by just moving the CO2 emission to another country. But in a medium range, the lower price of renewables will of course push that CO2 from that country as well.

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