About a week ago I reported here how Germany’s “Solar Valley” spectacularly crashed into the wall of reality, turning into an industrial Death Valley, as almost the entire solar components production industry collapsed and left tens of thousands without jobs.
Bleak future for Germany’s wind industry. Image: Wasili Karbe, cropped from video here.
And the media, politicians and activists wonder why the rightwing AfD party is rapidly rising. Maybe people are just getting totally fed up with all the bullshit promises they get fed daily.
Wind industry getting blown away
Now that the German solar industry has crashed and burned out, it looks as if the wind industry is right poised to be next, a leading and highly respected German business daily reports.
The online Handelsblatt here writes that Germany’s wind energy industry now faces “a serious crisis” and “numerous jobs” are at risk.
For a country that claims to be adamant and devoted to fulfilling the conditions of the Paris Accord, it’s indeed quite surprising that the very industry that is supposed to be the big key for all this to happen in Germany is now collapsing.
Prices for wind electricity have plummeted
One reason, the Handelsblatt cites, is the “price deterioration for wind electricity”. The Handelsblatt adds: “The mood in the sector is at a low” and now “the German wind market is threatening to implode“.
Huge layoffs taking place
The flagship daily writes how renowned companies like Enercon “are massively slashing jobs”. Enercon plans to lay off 835 workers in Germany alone. Many other companies have made similar layoff announcements, Handelsblatt reports.
The German daily blames a lack of orders from the domestic market, due to “a dramatic price fall” for electricity from the wind. Clearly without the massive subsidies, wind energy shrivels almost instantaneously.
The Handelsblatt also explains how earlier government moves to reform the wind energy feed-in rules have backfired:
The aim of the federal government was to accelerate expansion. Instead, it slowed it down.”
And now thousands of workers will lose their jobs and risk becoming politically disenfranchised. Currently Germany’s flagship political parties, CDU and SPD, are hovering near all time lows in the opinion polls.
143,000 jobs at risk
The situation is bleak, and the German business daily adds that the consequences “could be fatal for the wind branch”, which provides some 143,000 jobs Germany-wide.
The Handelsblatt explains how suppliers to the wind industry will also be hard hit as thousands of jobs are lost and plants closed. Many of the wind companies are located in Northern Germany, a region that is economically weak. Now the situation is about to get worse.
Workers’ tempers flaring
Trade unionists are fuming and demanding social plans and training for new, other jobs. They blame the government for not doing enough.
Enercon head Hans-Dieter Kettwig insists that Germany live up to its obligations to fulfil the Paris Accord Agreement, and so in this way keep the wind industry afloat.
However, investors are running from wind, and some 600 citizens initiatives organized across Germany have sent a loud and clear message: We don’t want the ugly, impractical industrial eyesores around.
No market for volatile wind power
The Handelsblatt concludes that even if the government did step in and re-energize the failing wind industry, it would not be enough to allow the German government to reach its planned, self-imposed 2030 climate targets.
Germany is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If it does nothing, tens of thousands of jobs will join the those that got fried in solar Death Valley, and Germany can kiss any hopes of reaching its Paris targets. But if the government does reactivate subsidies to bring life back into the German wind industry, the power grid infrastructure for more wind parks is just not there and there’s no place to send the power!
A quarter of the wind parks risk coming offline
The Handelsblatt also notes that by 2020 many of Germany’s older wind parks will see their useful lifetime expire, and so up to a quarter of the Germany wind capacity (14 gigawatts) risks being taken offline. This will make reaching the Paris targets all the more difficult.
Automobile industry also getting fed up
Not only the wind branch faces turmoil, but also Germany’s mighty automotive industry.
The London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) here reports that Germany’s powerful Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, is about to pull the plug on stricter CO2 emissions for cars.
Workers fed up with green-socialist hardships
Scholz’s SPD socialist party has fallen to near historical lows in public opinion polls, near 18% – a huge drop from the once hefty 40+% level it picked up in the 1998 election when Gerhard Schroder became Chancellor. Obviously Scholz and the SPD may be finally coming to some of their long-dead political senses.