Wall Street Journal Calls Merkel’s Energiewende “A Meltdown” Involving “Astronomical Costs”

The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal here put out an accurate, concise assessment of how Germany’s “Energiewende” (transition away from fossil and nuclear energies over to green energies) has been faring so far. It’s grade? I’d interpret it as an F for failure.

Quickly turning into a huge embarrassment

Once seen as “a paragon of green energy virtue“, the Energiewende is nothing like it was sold to be by green energy hucksters. In fact things have gotten so bad that we can expect activists to grow totally silent on Germany’s Energiewende as its failure becomes glaring and embarrassing.

The WSJ editorial boards reminds readers that Germany is not even going to come close to meeting it’s 2020 or 2030 targets, despite the hundreds of billions of euros committed to the project so far.

No greenhouse gas reductions in 9 years

The truth is that the lion’s share of the country’s greenhouse gas reductions happened right after 1990 when free market principles were implemented to revamp totally run-down Communist East Germany. Yet since the mass state intervention that is the Energiewende, Germany’s reductions have ground to a halt. In reality the country — under Merkel’s leadership — has not seen its emissions of greenhouse gases fall since the end of the last decade, 2009! Read here.

“Astronomical costs”

By any measure this is an astonishing failure of Communist dimensions. The WSJ editorial board writes of “astronomical costs” in return for nothing.

By one estimate, businesses and households paid an extra €125 billion in increased electricity bills between 2000 and 2015 to subsidize renewables, on top of billions more in other handouts.

Zero impact

One the WSJ does not mention is that the latest estimates project the Energiewende to cost Germans more than 1.5 trillion euros by 2050. The aimed greenhouse gas reductions would translate into maybe a theoretical 2 hundredths of a degree Celsius of less global warning. And here it may surprise some that many experts believe the global warming theory is recklessly hyped. The reduced warming achieved may even be as puny as just a few thousandths of a degree.

This is hardly “saving the planet”.

Merkel flirts with the Greens

The WSJ correctly notes that “Germans join Danes in paying the highest household electricity rates in Europe, and German companies pay near the top among industrial users“. Moreover Germans are seeing their idyllic landscapes permanently scarred and ruined by industrial turbines protruding from forested hilltops nationwide.

And now as Merkel and her party wrangle to form a new coalition government with the Greens, the German chancellor is again flirting with even more disaster as she contemplates giving in to some of the Greens’ drastic demands, among them the rapid shutdown of Germany’s coal power plants and the banning of the registration of fossil fuel automobiles by 2030.

Barely scratching the surface

And although Germany’s wind and solar energy capacity could provide 30% of electricity needs, the lack of sun and the frequent windless days mean far less gets produced, and for now wind and solar are only able to provide a very tiny fraction of the country’s total primary energy needs. This means that despite all the investment, Germany is still only barely scratching the surface when it comes to going all green.

“”Voters in revolt”

The WSJ editorial board writes: “No wonder voters are in revolt” and: “A new study from the RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research finds that 61% of Germans wouldn’t want to pay even one eurocent more per kilowatt-hour of electricity to fund more renewables.”

The editorial board also indirectly accuses the German government of not being honest about the costs of green energies, and warns that we should expect “another voter rebellion in 2021” if Merkel “recommits to soaring energy costs and dirty-coal electricity“.

35 responses to “Wall Street Journal Calls Merkel’s Energiewende “A Meltdown” Involving “Astronomical Costs””

  1. Bitter&twisted

    Well this is a surprise, isn’t it Sebastian?
    Who would have thought all those bat-bursting and bird-shredding ecocrucifixes, littering the landscape and near useless solar farms, costing billions, would have next to no effect on the dreaded CO2 emissions?

    And why not? because fossil (stored sunshine) fuels has to ramp up and down to balance the inherently unreliable nature of “renewables” and keep spinning so they can react quickly when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun don’t shine.

    1. SebastianH

      I am surprised, surprised how someone can still ignore that CO2 emissions in the electricity sector stayed the same, because nuclear power generation decreased about the same amount as wind/solar increased.

      Or believe someone who writes “I’d interpret […]” and adds “One the WSJ does not mention is that the latest estimates project the Energiewende to cost Germans more than 1.5 trillion euros by 2050. The aimed greenhouse gas reductions would translate […]” and “The reduced warming achieved may even be as puny as just a few thousandths of a degree.”

      So speculation and some questionable interpretations and an article against green tech seems to write itself.

      Oh and …

      And although Germany’s wind and solar energy capacity could provide 30% of electricity needs

      Wind is providing 17.6% and solar 7.8%, together 25.4% and including biogas and hydro provides 38% of the electricity needs.

      The editorial board also indirectly accuses the German government […]

      Good thing, the German goverment doesn’t have to listen to a WSJ editorial board 😉

      And I would be really surprised if voters would rebell because of energy costs (particularly electricity). The rebellious types in this country are extremists to both sides which seem to have unrealistic opinions on almost every topic there is, I’d guess the Energiewende is pretty far down on their lists.

      In my “bubble” people gladly pay more to receive “Ökostrom” or drive a plugin-hybrid/electric car. In your bubble people seem to find it incredibly important to promote fossil fuel over renewables … guess which bubble has more political weight?

      1. Bitter&twisted

        “Guess which bubble has more political weight?”
        So there we have it, politics, not science is the driver of green insanity.

        However with Trump pushing coal in the US, economics will change the politics.
        Hopefully quickly.

        1. SebastianH

          Oh a Trump fanboy …

          1. Bitter&twisted

            As far as his attitude to the con that is climate change. Yes.

      2. Dave Fair

        I guess the 61% of Germans unwilling to spend another Euro Cent per KWh are part of your “extremists” groups.

        1. Johannes Herbst

          #meetoo

          price per kw/h in 2000: 0.20 DM (=0.10 €)
          today: 0,30 € per KW/H

          I voted for the FDP (and considered AfD)

  2. posa

    The WSJ doesn’t get it. Energiewende IS the green paradigm… sky high prices and unstable energy grids. Good. Germany can now stand as an object lesson for the rest of the world as to what they’re buying when the “Go Green”.

    As for the Germans, this is a great teaching moment for them. They certainly deserve the pain that Engeriewende is inflicting… but they have been militantly obstinate … jobless and freezing in the dark can really focus the mind.

  3. Bjorn Ramstad

    Sadly, here in Norway the political correct «experts» claim Germany to be number one in doing the right changes to save the world. Germany is the leading sheep to misery.

  4. Manfred

    The German populous have been groomed since WW2 not to push back against the Ministry-of-We-Know-Best-For-Your-Own-Good.
    But as we all know, nature always trumps nurture.

  5. Jeff Wood

    “By any measure this is an astonishing failure of Communist dimensions.”

    Perfectly expressed.

  6. RickWill

    There is quite a simple solution to the flatlining of the CO2 output in Germany – Shut down all heavy industry that uses the bulk of the electricity and move the industry to countries that are not seeking the impossible with their electric power supply systems.

    It is possible to reduce CO2 output running on a mix of solar, wind, diesel and gas providing all heavy manufacturing is disconnected. South Australia has reduced its CO2 output from 30.7Mt in 2000 to 30.1Mt in 2015 by annihilating its heavy industry with ever accelerating electricity costs.

    The term “Renewable Energy” as applied to wind and solar generation is a misnomer. Building the components for this form of power generation requires coal our nuclear based generation. Wind and solar cannot produce enough energy over its lifetime to enable the component replacement. Such systems are unrenewable.

    1. BoyfromTottenham

      Wow, Rick – ‘South Australia has reduced its CO2 output from 30.7Mt in 2000 to 30.1Mt in 2015 by annihilating its heavy industry with ever accelerating electricity costs.’ What a great success story! At that rate they will have bombed SA back to the Stone Age well before they have achieved their ‘Paris’ target! Er, if the SA government lasts that long…which of course it won’t. Then as usual the Libs will have to pick up the pieces. A pity about the poor SA residents.

      1. Adam Gallon

        I think you missed his point!

      2. RickWill

        It is evident that wind and solar are not doing much in the way of reducing CO2.

        Germany would likely make a bigger dent in reducing CO2 by setting an autobahn limit of 80kph than all the effort so far in installing wind and solar generation.

    2. SebastianH

      Wind and solar cannot produce enough energy over its lifetime to enable the component replacement. Such systems are unrenewable.

      I’d like to see a source for this nonsense claim 😉

      Wind and solar recoup the energy needed to produce and install the turbines/panels within month or a few years in Germany … and Germany isn’t a particular sunny country.

      1. RickWill

        Sebastion asked:
        I’d like to see a source for this nonsense claim

        http://festkoerper-kernphysik.de/Weissbach_EROI_preprint.pdf

        Any generating technology that has a buffered EROI less than 6 is not viable as a renewable technology as it cannot support all the other service functions needed in modern society e.g. medical services, transport and Manny more.

        1. SebastianH

          The EROI? Are you a regular EIKE reader?

          This concept is one of the first things I discovered from reading the skeptic’s corner of the internet. Have you checked their numbers and if that claim (EROI of 6) has a point? Or are you one of those blind believers?

  7. Klaus Berger

    Solar panels cannot produce any energy. The production and installing of solar panels take about the same energy as they can generate in 25 years.

    1. SebastianH

      Really? So how much energy does it take to produce and install a 2 MW wind turbine? And how much energy does it take to install (and produce) 10 kWp PV panels on your roof?

      Your claim might have been true 25 years ago, but hasn’t been for at least 15 years.

  8. John F. Hultquist

    It is being reported that talks on forming a coalition government in Germany have collapsed.
    Back to the voting booths. Or what?

    1. Bitter&twisted

      Due to the unrealistic and uncompromising Greens.
      Hope they get annihilated at the next election.

      1. SebastianH

        Nope, if that happens, mostly due to the CSU. FPD and the Greens know that they are the small parties, the CSU isn’t aware that it received less votes than them and has to mark its territory or they will lose many votes at the “Landstagswahl 2018”

        1. SebastianH

          It was the FDP …

  9. Some Cracks in the Mainstream Media Dam | edmhdotme

    […] […]

  10. cementafriend

    Rich Will 19, Germany is already moving out some of its industry. When I went for a visit to China I was told that Volkswagen and Mercedes produce more cars in China than in all of Europe. TATA of India took over most of the steel industry in UK and then closed most importing steel. They are looking at the German steel industry. Cement production around the world is consolidating. The Swiss Holcim merged with the French Lafarge and have cement works in many countries ready to import to the EU. Heidelberg Cement of Germany has been expanding around the world to be number 3 in ranking. They are also ready to shut down plants in the EU and import. Watch much of the heavy industry such as steel, cars, machinery, chemicals move out to China and India while plastics, oil & lubricants, chemicals, pharmaceuticals goes to the middle east.

    1. RickWill

      That is the only successful way to reduce CO2 in any particular country – annihilate the heavy industry and import energy intensive components and materials manufactured in countries that are not obsessive about CO2 output.

      1. SebastianH

        Ok, here is a quest for you: find a study that says that Germany imports more CO2 than it exports! Do you accept the challenge?

        Aren’t all developed nations moving towards industries with higher margins? Why keep labor intensive industries in high wage countries for the sake of keeping them there? Didn’t work for coal mines.

        1. John Brown

          SebH wants to export coal mines. This is funny. How he is intending to do so?

          He not thinking that coal mines are where they are.

          You not can export coal mines.

        2. RickWill

          You misunderstand my point. The reason Germany is not reducing CO2 is because it is not reducing its heavy industry fast enough. The only way to reduce CO2 is to have all the energy intensive components and materials manufactured in other countries that have low cost, reliable electricity producing base load power.

          If Germany wants to get serious about CO2 reduction it needs to get rid of all energy intensive industry. It then imports CO2 intensive components and materials.

  11. Christopher Hanley

    “… banning of the registration of fossil fuel automobiles by 2030 …”.
    Presumably to be replaced by battery-power cars thereby imposing an even greater demand on an overwhelmed and increasingly expensive electricity generation sector.

  12. Wall Street Journal Calls Merkel’s Energiewende “A Meltdown” Involving “Astronomical Costs” – Infinite Unknown

    […] […]

  13. Comparing Weather Dependent Renewables in Europe: 2016 | Principia Scientific International