The online Berliner Morgenpost here reports that electric cars in Germany are going to lead to even higher electricity prices for the country’s already massively burdened consumers. Hat-tip Gerti B.
NAEB power price projections for 2020. Note that the horizontal scale changes at the year 2010 in order to condense the chart. The upper curve shows German electricity prices in euro-cents per kilowatt-hour, the middle curve shows the price for France and the lower curve for the USA. Source: NAEB.
The original plan was to put one million electric cars on the streets by 2020, but so far the country is nowhere near being on that trajectory, and very likely will fall very far short of the target. So far only 34,000 of Germany’s 45 million vehicles are electric. The plan for 2030 calls for 5 million vehicles!
What would cause electricity rates to climb if more electric cars come on the market? Citing the Bundesnetzagentur, the Morgenpost writes:
The power grid needs to be expanded for a million electric cars. Consumers will feel it through surcharges imposed on the price of electricity.”
Germany’s infrastructure for electric cars continues to be extremely limited and patchy, thus making electric cars impractical in most situations and areas.
A massive investment is necessary just to expand the charging station network in order to overcome the huge charging infrastructure obstacle — never mind the limited range of electric cars, long charging times, high life-cycle costs and environmental impact.
The Morgenpost also cites Germany’s National Platform for Electro-Mobility in stating: “for 1 million e-cars by 2020, about 70,000 charging locations and 7100 rapid charging stations are needed” and that currently “only about one tenth of that exists“.
According to experts, writes the Morgenpost, just the grid expansion (without charging stations) is estimated to cost 30 billion euros over the coming years. That figure may be enormously conservative, as recent German infrastructure projects have shown.
Another problem is that despite hundreds of billions in investment, Germany’s power grid is still nowhere near being green, and is still heavily reliant of coal and fossil fuels. Charging cars with electricity that is produced mostly by fossil fuel does nothing for reaching the greenhouse gas reduction targets. It could in fact be counter-productive.
Germany’s Energiewende (transition to renewable energies) is a classic case of a mad, activistic rush into something without first thinking it through.
They can’t even build an airport
Transitioning an entire economy to renewable energies is a worthy target, of course, if allowed the appropriate amount of time (some generations) to do so. But it is absolutely insane for a country to believe it can accomplish this in a decade or two, especially in light of the fact that it cannot even handle the construction of an airport in the same timeframe. Yes, these are the very same people who claim Trump is unfit to be president.
In a nutshell: These bozos can’t even build a simple airport, and so how can they be trusted to rebuild the nation’s entire energy supply system?
So far they are proving that they can’t, and that the Energiewende may very well turn out to be the Berlin Airport times 1000, or worse!
18 responses to “Germany’s Energy Crucifixion: E-Mobility To Lead To “Even Higher Electricity Prices”!”
“According to experts, writes the Morgenpost, just the grid expansion (without charging stations) is estimated to cost 30 billion euros over the coming years. ”
i am not sure whether people will not misunderstand this sentence. as i interpret the german one, it says absolutely nothing about grid expansion for loading electric cars, but is really just speaking about the general grid.
the article does not give any hints at the extra cost for electric cars.
Basically most loading will be done at home and at work, so the majority of costs will be carried by the user of electric cars. supermarkets and parking spaces are already seeing it as an investment.
on the highway, i have seen docking stations run by the local power company (ENBW) but it looked like they are seeing it as a business expansion (they are selling the hardware and the electricity). Though as far as i know these companies, they will try to grab as much money as they can…
the post is also missing the important part at the end of the article:
“Den zusätzlichen Strom für Elektroautos zu erzeugen, ist aus der Sicht der Branche wohl kein Problem: Der Stromverbrauch von in der Spitze bundesweit gut 80 Gigawatt wachse damit voraussichtlich um weniger als 0,5 Prozent, sagte der Eon-Sprecher. (dpa)”
the effect on electricity use will be tiny: only about 0.5%
The article about the airport has a photograph of a person using a string trimmer to rid the empty space of what? I see nothing there.
Germany seems a very strange place!
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From sod’s quote: … only about 0.5%
What does that relate to?
a. Current sales per year (small),
b. 1 million EVs on the road (2020)
c. 5 million EVs on the road (2030)
“From sod’s quote: … only about 0.5%
What does that relate to?
a. Current sales per year (small),
b. 1 million EVs on the road (2020)
c. 5 million EVs on the road (2030)”
i do not know. But the best estimate on the internet is about 15% for 100% electric cars.
So 10% for high penetration (80%, but excluding a couple of the maximum users) is a good estimate, which is in the same ballpark as a switch to LED lights.
the extra electricity is not an issue.
Do I have this right?
Electric cars replace hydrocarbon fuelled cars, but we do not require additional power generation or more/better poles/wires/substations.
Do I have that correct or am I missing something?
I await your response because you know best.
“Electric cars replace hydrocarbon fuelled cars, but we do not require additional power generation or more/better poles/wires/substations.”
the article says, that we do not need more power generation (0.5% increase in use, a lot of it will be a night).
we will need extra infrastructure (all that loading stuff), but the question raised in the article is, will electricity customers pay it? I doubt that it will significantly raise customer bills.
” I doubt that it will significantly raise customer bills.”
We’ve all heard that before.
“We’ve all heard that before.”
we have to distinguish between “alternative power (or here: electric cars) raising consumer electricity bills and the “company telling us, that alternative power is raising consumer electricity bills”.
The difference is obvious: offshore getting huge subsidies would have led to the former (real increase). The whole electric vehicle stuff (and a lot of the grid stuff) is different. The question here is: are they trying to make people pay for investments that they missed in the past?!?
“… switch to LED lights”
You lost me there. Seems to be a a non sequitur in the confusing sense.
A few years ago, when an ageing tube light started going bad, we installed an LED light in a hard to reach place. It is supposed to last 50,000 hours and use less energy. The “hard to reach” part drove the choice.
With EVs, there would seem to be less carbon-based liquid fuel use, to be replaced with electrons. LEDs = less electricity. EVs = more electricity.
So “extra electricity” does seem to be required.
““… switch to LED lights”
You lost me there. Seems to be a a non sequitur in the confusing sense.”
Lights use about 10% of electricity.
LED lights massively reduce that number (about 10% of the starting point?), so the two numbers are comparable.
LEDs will save about as much as EVs will use.
High efficiency lighting has its problems too, apart from the manufacturing of these item not being good for the environment, operation of them also causes problems. See http://npstc.org/download.jsp?tableId=37&column=217&id=3467&file=RF_Interference_from_Energy_Efficient_Lighting_Report_Final_20150630.pdf
Now I wonder what are the total environmental costs of manufacturing electric vehicles and what are the costs of increased radio spectrum pollution caused by them both new and as they age.
The NEAB graph:
I do not understand this graph at all. electricity price in Germany in 2016 was 28,69 Cent (kWh) while the graph is showing it above 30 ct. (i also think they got 2015 wrong already)
How do they predict those massive increases? have they factored in that new offshore wind will not use a subsidy any longer?
Exactly tomOmason, Environmentalists wilfully ignore the destruction required to construct their paradise on Earth
“Increased radio spectrum pollution”
I’m glad that I was around when short wave radio was still commonplace. Quite apart from the internet (largely) displacing it, that very same internet is making it very difficult to listen to what’s left these days. The ubiquitous switch mode power supplies that come with domestic routers, and most other appliances, chuck out so much RF pollution that trying to listen in an urban environment is a waste of time. Now we can add the poor quality control/driver circuits found in “Energy Efficient” lights to the equation.
Batteries are coming: in cooperation with a power company, a German battery producer is promising cheap batteries this summer:
At the same time, solar PV subsidies are sinking fast, making batteries even more attractive (selling electricity for 12 ct while baying later on the same day for 30 ct does not make any sense).
and in 2021 the first people will drop out of the solar subsidy system …
Apparently Germany has not learned that government intervention in the market seldom works. In its extreme form you have the price controls that destroyed the Venezuelan economy even though that country is floating on oil.
Then you have the (lesser) madness of agricultural subsidies that created butter mountains and wine lakes.
Under Obama the US government tried to adopt European style energy policies but that is getting rolled back with a vengeance. Drill baby, drill………..so I am pretty confident that my electricity will continue to cost $0.10 or less for at least the next four years. Therefore I find the NAEB forecast plausible, at least for the USA.
With regard to “sod” and his delusions about the effect of electric vehicles on the demand for electricity, does he have anything to back up his 0.5%?
Here in Florida the demand for electricity is growing rapidly even though we are not expecting an explosive growth in the numbers of electric vehicles.
It would be wonderful to replace gas powered automobiles with electric powered ones and I see that happening fairly soon. Once driverless cars become routine the need to own a car will diminish so instead of having cars that are used for an average of one hour per day, car utilization will increase by at least a factor of ten and therefore there will be far fewer vehicles on the road.
It does not take much imagination to realize how our cities will be transformed when the number of cars is drastically reduced. Given that so few cars will be required it may not matter if electric cars continue to be expensive.
“With regard to “sod” and his delusions about the effect of electric vehicles on the demand for electricity, does he have anything to back up his 0.5%?”
again: i gave you articles citing scientific papers which predict that a high penetration will add about 10% to demand. So 0.5% for a low penetration of EVs is very reasonable.
I did not bring up the 0.5% article. It is from the main source of this blog post. Do you believe everything that the article says, but not the part that contradicts your position? why?
“Here in Florida the demand for electricity is growing rapidly even though we are not expecting an explosive growth in the numbers of electric vehicles.
Thanks for the link to your brave new climate article.
The problem with that one is, that it is mostly wrong. The article is from 2011. We have now data, and the electricity demand is Florida has actually gone DOWN and not up (just ignore that EIA is of course claiming a massive increase in the future…).
the latest data from Dez 2016 says the same: even utilities have to drastically change their forecast, future demand will be massively lower than they thought.
PS: thanks for your positive outlook on electric cars, i really appreciate this openness!
In Germany around 3 million new cars are sold each year. Let’s assume they would be all electric vehicles. The average distance driven is around 15000 km, so those 3 million cars would need around 9 TWh of electricity at 20 kWh/100 km mileage. Correct?
German electricity production was around 550 TWh which means 0.5% more usage would support 1 million electric cars (9 TWh for 3 million cars is 1.6% of the total).
But here comes the interesting part … we still build solar power plants and windfarms in the order of 1 GW and 5 GW respectively per year. At their capacity factors of (10% and 17%) this equals 8.3 TWh of electricity generation added each year. So actually, any increase in sold electric vehicles that is below 92% of all new cars are electric will be delt with renewable power sources.