Germany’s Die Zeit: “Country Is Fouling Up Energiewende”…”CO2 Emissions Reduction Targets Won’t Be Reached”…”Embarrassing”!

Fritz Vorholt at Germany’s center-left national weekly Die Zeit here reports in a commentary that the country is “fouling up its Energiewende” (shift to renewable energies) and writes that experts say the country will not reach its stated CO2 emissions reductions target. He calls this situation “embarrassing”.

Don’t look too closely

Lately there have been a number of reports stating that Germany’s Energiewende has become more window dressing and grandstanding than substance. Vorholt brings up an important point, warning that if Germany fails at its man-on-the-moon project Energiewende, the country even risks taking the wind out of the sails of the global green energy movement. After all if technology savvy Germany cannot do it, then other countries won’t bother trying. So far it does not look good. Germany’s electricity rates have skyrocketed, CO2 emissions however have remained stubbornly high and Germany’s power grid is now far more unstable and at risk of blackouts. Who wants to copy that?

Vorholz writes:

In view of the real problems with the conversion of the energy supply system, one has to hope that foreign countries don’t look too closely. Namely a close look could could be sobering.”

Reaching targets looks unrealistic

At the current rate, Germany will never meet its 2020 target of reducing CO2, Vorholt reports, writing that the country would have to triple its current rate of emissions reductions in order for it to reach the 2020 target of a 40% reduction over 1990 levels. He cites a statement issued by a government appointed commission, which issued a 19-page report that sees the Energiewende has “many deficits” and that there are “comprehensive necessities to act“. Die green-leaning Zeit adds:

Even the high-ranking government advisors are skeptical. The central target of reducing CO2 emmissions by 40 percent by 2020 with respect to 1990 levels is ‘substantially at risk’.”

Clearly, Germany reaching the set targets is very much in serious doubt.

One factor that does not get mentioned in the Die Zeit piece is the millions of refugees who are expected to arrive in Germany over the coming years, and so further increase the demand for power and energy.

Global climate will be decided in China and India

Another obstacle to meeting the 2020 40% reduction target comes from Germany’s socialist SPD party: Hannelore Kraft, the Prime Minister of Germany’s most populated and industrial state of North Rhine Westphalia, a region that is concentrated with heavy industries and trade unions. The influential socialist politician has sharply criticized the Federal Ministry of Environment’s plans for a rapid shut-down of the country’s coal-fired power plants, many of which are located in her state, slated to take place over the next 20 years.

German public radio Deutschlandfunk reports here:

The SPD politician says this is a go-it-alone by Hendricks [Federal Minister of Environment] and is neither the position of the SPD in North Rhine Westphalia, nor of the SPD at the national level.”

Coal miners, steel workers and power plant employees represented by powerful trade unions aren’t about to willingly trade in their high paying industrial jobs in exchange for a reduction of global CO2 emissions by a few ten thousandths of a percent. Deutschlandfunk adds:

The IG BCE mining union spoke of symbolic actions. Not in Germany, but in other countries, such as China or India, will the global climate be decided.”

In summary, not only the technical obstacles are appearing insurmountable, but also the political ones as well. Germany of course will sign on to ambitious reductions in CO2 emissions in Paris and try to project an image of leadership. That is easy. Doing it, however, will be a completely different story.

 

46 responses to “Germany’s Die Zeit: “Country Is Fouling Up Energiewende”…”CO2 Emissions Reduction Targets Won’t Be Reached”…”Embarrassing”!”

  1. Curious George

    Fossil fuels are definitely a nonrenewable resource. But we don’t yet have a technology to wean ourselves from them. Die Energiewende has always been an exercise in an expensive wishful thinking.

    1. GP Alexander

      I believe that a number of Russian geologists have made a pretty case for abiotic formation of hydrocarbons occurring in the Earth’s crust. Current hydrocarbon sources may not be as ‘non-renewable’ as we think.

  2. yonason

    “Don’t look too closely”s

    No worries. The political ideologues who want to impose this nonsense on the people they pretend to represent could care less. Their self-interest trumps all else, and even if they did understand the problems, it wouldn’t make any difference unless they see that they themselves are personally affected.

  3. Kevin Benn

    “Germany’s electricity rates have skyrocketed, CO2 emissions however have remained stubbornly high and Germany’s power grid is now far more unstable and at risk of blackouts. Who wants to copy that?”
    I’m afraid Sweden not only wants to copy it; it wants to outdo it!

    1. sod

      ““Germany’s electricity rates have skyrocketed, CO2 emissions however have remained stubbornly high and Germany’s power grid is now far more unstable and at risk of blackouts. Who wants to copy that?””

      The price has not skyrocketed. Co2 emmissions have kept high for several reasons with little to no connection to alternative power (nuclear phase out, cheap coal due to failure of european CO2 certificates) and the german power grid is more stable than ever and not at risk of blackouts.

      Every country in the world would want to copy this, as basically every electricity grid in the world would improve dramatically, if it got even anywhere near the German level today!

      1. balois

        Retail price Germany vs rest of Europe – the second highest and it doubled since 2000.
        http://www.kwh-preis.de/strompreis-dossier-teil-5-strompreise-im-europaeischen-vergleich
        http://www.kwh-preis.de/strom/strompreise#strompreise-Deutschland

        Schizophrenic ‘negative’-price development. Thanks to the ‘Energietraumwandel’ the Germans actually pay the (wholesale) buyer abroad to take the excess because they do not (are not allowed to?)stop the subsidized renewable production, yet are unable to adjust the conventional production fast enough.
        But the whole world is jealous about such an unmitigated central political planning disaster.
        http://www.agora-energiewende.de/de/presse/agoranews/news-detail/news/negative-strompreise-werden-haeufiger/

    2. yonason

      Yeah, who wouldn’t want to catch up with Germany (and Denmark), other than any sane person, that is.
      http://www.euanmearns.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/europeelectricprice.png
      …from here…
      http://euanmearns.com/green-mythology-and-the-high-price-of-european-electricity/

  4. DirkH

    Cultural Marxist feminists hitch their wagon to warmunism, say patriarchy has caused Thermogeddon, needs to be destroyed.
    “Man as climate risk”
    http://www.zeit.de/kultur/2015-11/klimakonferenz-paris-mann-risiko-geschlechtergerechtigkeit-10nach8?google_editors_picks=true

    Yeah because before 1960, the worldwide matriarchat has guaranteed eternally stable climate, just think of Miss Jengis Khan.

  5. sod

    “One factor that does not get mentioned in the Die Zeit piece is the millions of refugees who are expected to arrive in Germany over the coming years, and so further increase the demand for power and energy.”

    I will start with this one, because i have a nice story to share about this. I met a former colleague last week and she told me, that refugee families tend to spend a couple of months in the house next to theirs. And that it is good luck, that in the house lives an old swabian lady, who is constantly teaching the refugee families to switch of the lights, keep doors and windows shut and alphabet and numbers to the children.

    1. ClimateOtter

      sod~ Think about it. Those lights are HER lights. Those doors and windows keep HER heating in. Of course she’s going to teach them in order to protect HER way of life. That is to say, to allow her to Continue it.

  6. sod

    apart from that i am curious about your opinion on the Zeit article.

    So is the change not going fast enough or is it going too fast? Either or, please!

    1. yonason
    2. GP Alexander

      sod, there are intelligent people on your side who promote Man Made Global Warming hypothesis. There are intelligent people who are skeptical of said hypothesis, but you go on to tell us that we are either being deluded by Big Oil/Carbon or we are mercenaries for Big Oil/Carbon.

      I am sure some of us would pay more attention to your comments if we knew that your thoughts were your own. So. here is my challenge:

      sod, prove to us that you are not being deluded by Big Green/Renewable Industry or prove to us that you are not acting as a paid agent for Big Green/Renewable Industry.

      Want more creditabiity around here sod. Simple Prove to us your thoughts are entirely your own.

  7. posa

    “if Germany fails at its man-on-the-moon project Energiewende, the country even risks taking the wind out of the sails of the global green energy movement. After all if technology savvy Germany cannot do it, then other countries won’t bother trying.”

    That is sooooo right. Well, mostly. “other countries won’t bother trying”…that’s obvious if anyone looks at the INDCs (energy plans) submitted to COP 21. By and large the whole world has pretty much blown off Climate Catastrophe… the largest industrial nations and developing nations (including Germany) will vastly increase their CO2 emissions. That’s been clearly documented by all sides.

    But beyond that, it’s true that the UK and Germany (with Spain not far behind)are destined to become glaring object lessons in the waste, stupidity and gross incompetence that they have displayed in destroying highly efficient energy grids for disastrously expensive and dysfunctional green ones.

    It really does seem that these nations have to freeze, jobless in the dark for several years to learn in an immediate and sensuous way that a) there is no climate catastrohe brewing; and b)Green Energy systems don’t work.

    The choices are only fossil fuels or nuclear. let the parties that foisted this disaster on these nations be blown away into the dustbin of history.

  8. Francis MASSEN

    Please read my blog
    discussing the letter by 3 physics professors from the University of Heidelberg, which show that from 2000 to 2013 the percentage of fossil fuels in the ***total*** German energy consumption has practically not fallen (but rather increased). There is a link in the blog to the original paper.

    1. sod

      ” which show that from 2000 to 2013 the percentage of fossil fuels in the ***total*** German energy consumption has practically not fallen (but rather increased).”

      Thanks for the link, interesting read. I never heard of this letter before.

      As we are having this discussion on a blog called “notrickszone”, i would like to point out the tricks-

      Trick 1: Speaking of “energiewende” (conjuring pictures of solar PV and wind mills), but looking at total energy consumption. A simple trick, to make the effort look small. But in the real world, at a high penetration, electricity will cut into other sectors soon. The best example being electric cars, which will not only stop using fossil fuels but also will use much less of it (because electricity replaces petrol not at an 1:1 exchange rate).

      Trick 2: Defining renewables in a way that makes them look bad. In this case, water power (which mostly is ignored, when talking about renewables, to make them look bad) is included for once, to make the increase look smaller. ignoring the nuclear exit is the main reason, why this view makes renewables look bad. By the way the numbers are added, the reduction of nuclear looks like a failure of “energiewende”, while in the real world, it is the opposite.

      Trick 3: Worst trick in the affair. By looking at percentages instead of at total numbers, the big effects of energiewende gets completely wiped out. The massive reduction in energy use while GDP is growing is a big success of the “energiewende”. Most non-electric savings are based on a reduction, for example of heating need. The way this data is handled wipes out this effort. A horrible trick!

      1. DirkH

        Looking at total energy consumption is an evil trick in the eyes of warmunist trolls?

        I think you have the mission of making warmunists look like brainless idiots.

        1. DirkH

          Sod, the reason that the PERCENTAGE of total energy consumption replaced by renewables is so tiny is very simple: The FUNCTION of warmunist energy machines is NOT to produce significant amounts of ENERGY but significant amounts of SUBSIDY HARVEST. And that they do very well – that is the Bewertungsfunktion (fitness function) they are OPTIMIZED for.

    2. yonason

      Oh, boy! I can’t WAIT to be able to afford my elecTRICK car.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz1-H-KQ7Zk

      Well, um, at least they are good for the economy?
      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/9/us-taxpayers-out-139m-china-buys-failed-fisker-ele/

      One small step forward for warmists. One giant leap backwards for mankind.

  9. John F. Hultquist

    ” … and writes that experts say the country will not reach its stated CO2 emissions reductions target.

    The climate doesn’t care.

  10. StewGreen

    What about the wood logs.
    I see high figs like Germany getting 9% of energy from biomass ..and I am thinking that homes burning logs might account for this.
    Are Germans cutting back other heating to use logs ..( a supposed renewable) instead ?

    1. sod

      “What about the wood logs.”

      Instead of providing numbers, i will try to describe what i see happening.

      Here in the south west of Germany (“black forest”) many people living in the country side own woods or at least have access to it. So people burning real wood logs for heating in winter often get it from their own wood. Fire places have become pretty popular again in houses.

      What also happens a lot, is people installing pellet heating instead of oil systems, which were the norm one or two decades ago (now gas is the typical alternative to pellets). People also install warm water solar on their roofs and typical houses build have very good insulation and need little heating. Laws for new heating systems are pretty strict and there are minor incentives to change to more modern heating.

      What is also new is the use of small wood and bush stuff (for example being cut down along roads) being used in town or village heating/electricity generation.

      The biggest part of energy coming from biomass though will be electricity and bio fuels. Basically the farming industry highjacked the alternative power idea for its own good, mostly with the help of politicians, the prime example being Bavaria (the queen of getting subsidies). Basically when you approach a farm you will always see domes of biogas and corn (“Mais”) is the main thing being grown (which was very rare a few decades ago).

      my personal analysis goes like this: the whole thing did not work out as planned, but there are pros and cons. biogas can provide backup and the plan is a shift away from corn to something that might be grown in a more eco friendly way (wild flowers, small trees, bio waste).

      Private houses ae threatening to the fossil fuel industry. They use very little heating and with warm water solar, PV solar, pellet heating (and some wood log fireplace) and the prospect of an electric car (second car mostly) and battery storage (power wall) we will see them basically abandoning the fossil fuel use cycle altogether.

      1. DirkH

        “Private houses ae threatening to the fossil fuel industry. They use very little heating and with warm water solar, PV solar, pellet heating (and some wood log fireplace) and the prospect of an electric car (second car mostly) and battery storage (power wall) we will see them basically abandoning the fossil fuel use cycle altogether.”

        Well. It is rather like private homes, whether in Baden Wuerrtemberg or in Lower Saxony, are becoming luxury items as the red-green governments of both lands make it more expensive to OWN or BUILD one every single year. Sod correctly lists all the gizmos a newly built house in Germany has but he forgot to mention that the red-green state FORCES you to have them.

        This is a politically wanted cost driver to maintain the German housing bubble.

        None of these gizmos has a positive ROI *OR* EROEI.

        sod is as usual living in La La Land – Pierre pointed out the growing abolishment of wood burning – as totalitarian politicians ALWAYS need to abolish something; it is their shtick, its the drug that made them become totalitarians. Many elderly homeowners on fixed income cannot afford to “modernize” (read, install filters, buy new boilers) as enforced by the regulations and annual controls.

        The state wants your money one way or the other. Homeowners are a nice group to plunder – as they can’t pack up their home and move across the border.

        As usual, the “green technologies” are just the McGuffyn, or Fetish, around which the totalitarians can spin their looting schemes.

        And yes, I talked to people in BW and Lower Saxony, I know them personally, all of this is happening.

        1. DirkH

          Furthermore, these MacSpaceStation houses are of course no “threat to the fossil fuel industry” as sod phantasizes. As all the little Fetishes in them (like famously complicated automatic pellet heating Rube Goldberg machines) are prone to unforeseen breakdowns, the drives of the maintenance mechanics alone make every gas station owner laugh all the way to the bank.

          sod, for you brainwashed warmunist kids: COMPLICATED crap always consumes MORE energy over its lifetime than SIMPLE stuff. You see it in the price tag. That’s why I drive a remodeled 1939 Kübelwagen. (Relabeled a “VW Polo”.)

  11. sod

    “None of these gizmos has a positive ROI *OR* EROEI.”

    That is just plain out false. The most obvious case is solarthermie (warm water solar) in a building with an old oil heating.

    all those investments will pay off over time. and this is not factoring in external costs like pollution or supporting the oil states criminal activities.

    1. DirkH

      “all those investments will pay off over time.”

      You have consistently shown that you do not even know the term depreciation so spare us your unfounded allegations.

      1. DirkH

        Also, sod assumes that something that a Green politician forces me to buy today can be used for a long time. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Next year’s Maoist commander-in-chief will force me to rip it out and replace it by something even betterer. If he feels like it.

        Green Maoism is just state-controlled command economy; The Plan requires a million pellet heating units to be sold so it is enforced; whether they all break down in a year, who cares, this years turnaround has been made.

        Nothing of this is resource-efficient. And it’s not the point in the first place.

  12. mwhite

    OT.
    http://news.sky.com/video/1595932/insiders-guide-to-a-green-machine

    If you’re able to view it, hydrogen powered cars only emit water vapour.

  13. sod

    Another milestone reached: Renewables now provide more electricity (43.3%) than nuclear power (about 40%) in Schleswig Holstein, a nothern part of Germany.
    fossil fuels only supplied about 15%.

    http://www.fr-online.de/newsticker/norden–erneuerbaren-energien-loesen-atomkraft-ab,26577320,32643814.html

    1. DirkH

      Also, the area made uninhabitable by wind turbines is now more than a hundred times the exclusion zones of Chernobyl and Fukushima combined in Schleswig Holstein alone – where the regulated distance from a human dwelling to the next wind turbine has benn regulated down to 500 meters – no joke!

  14. Graeme No.3

    sod:
    the spelling is millstone.

    1. yonason

      lol

      Yep. The same or less for a whole lot more.
      http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/electriccost1.gif
      Such a deal!

  15. Francis Massen

    Answer to sod’s comment to my comment, and his list of “tricks” used by the 3 German physics professor in their letter:

    Trick 3: There is no ***massive*** reduction in total German energy use (independent of the GDP increase) between 2000 and 2013: at most 5%, what I do not call “massive”. The “energy-intensity” per unit of GDP has decreased, but this is of no importance for the global “alarmist” view, where only the totals do matter.

    1. sod

      “at most 5%, what I do not call “massive”. The “energy-intensity” per unit of GDP has decreased, but this is of no importance for the global “alarmist” view, where only the totals do matter.”

      Yes, at the end of the day, it is totals that matter. But for the kind of analysis that you are doing, there is a different story.

      Is there anything that is closer to a “energiewende” (direction change) than the decoupling of GDP increase, while energy use is shrinking?

      You complain, that the majority of changes are only in the electricity sector. But then you ignore all changes outside the electricity sector, as those come from savings. That is a trick!

      1. DirkH

        The central planning of the global warmunists is now leading the West into economic ruin. Sod, that will be the legacy of your crazy movement.

        The BRICS will be the dominant civilisation, as they have seen through the treacherous activities of the Big Foundation funded pressure groups Greenpeace, WWF etc.

        You followed those pied pipers like the economic illiterate you are and will inherit misery for it.

  16. David Johnson

    Sod is in a state of panic as his green dream unravels

    1. sod

      “Sod is in a state of panic as his green dream unravels”

      no i am not. Because the data looks pretty good. It is just not happening all at once.

      We changed a huge thing: GDP is growing, but energy use is moving downward. Developing nations will benefit from this and will save enormous amounts of money, as will we.

      In Schleswig Holstein, alternative power is beating nuclear power by reaching a level of about 42%. Soon it will be 50% and that for more than all other power sources (electricity) together. And then electric cars and battery storage will kick in.

      The “energiewende” is working. The main problem is, that it is not working because of the support of our government and the power industry but despite of their attempts to hinder it!

      1. GP Alexander

        sod. You say the Energiewende is working. However, you have not proven to us that you are not a paid employee of the Energiewende industry.

        Until you prove your independence from these industries sod, we can only determine that you are peddling propaganda.

  17. John F. Hultquist

    Our house, built in 1981, is all electric. Winter temperatures as low as -25° C. are quite common and occasionally the power can go – most commonly when a tree or a errant driver takes out a pole.

    The house design included an alcove for a wood burning stove and that was plumbed to heat water for the “hot water” tank. Otherwise, the water was heated with electricity. The original stove, not much more than a steel box lined with brick, was a dirt and dirty air generator. It served a purpose but we chose not to use it even though we have a supply of wood.

    While a house can be sold with an uncertified stove, selling the stove alone is illegal. We live in the State of Washington. Here is a link to information and the regulations.
    Air Quality and wood burning

    The state government (using tax money) had an “old stove roundup” and gave us $250 for the stove. We decided to buy a new stove and the installer wanted $100 to remove the one we had. So, I did the removal and saved $350 – minus $20 in gasoline to get the thing to Ecology’s drop-off point.

    We bought a stove from a Washington State company. If you care you can see what they offer here: http://www.blazeking.com/

  18. Mervyn

    Today’s kids at school will be the ones, in the not too distant future when they’ve grown up and have to face reality, to ask “What made German politicians of the early 21st century turn into idiotic green-energy zombies who came up with their ‘Energiewende’?”

  19. Mervyn

    Today’s kids at school – when they’ve grown up and have to face reality – will be the ones who will ask, “What made German politicians of the early 21st century turn into idiotic green-energy zombies that made them embark on the ‘Energiewende’?”

  20. Mervyn

    Perhaps the German people will wake up one of these days to hear on the news that the German government has been doing a ‘Volkswagen’ in relation to CO2 emissions!