German ARD Public Television: Green Energy In Germany Threatens To Be Biological And Environmental Debacle

Dietmar Doering of the think tank Denken für die Freiheit (Thinking for Freedom) brings our attention to this exposé of green energy in Germany.Germany is a country completely obsessed with saving the planet from man-made CO2, and has been pursuing renewable energies with unmatched abandon, pouring tens of billions into green energy. Lots of countries use Germany as a model for the direction of the future of energy.

But before other states and countries decide to follow Germany’s lead, they need to take a closer look and to think again.

Is the German story a success? Far from it.

The reality, which is rarely revealed by the public media, is that the country is bordering on an environmental and energy debacle.

The normally very green German state television ARD presented a shocking piece on where the blind, ideological and zealous charge to renewable energy is taking the country.

ARD video here

The mad, blind rush to renewable energies

0:00 – 1:55: German pols are falling all over themselves, trying to take credit for the country’s booming renewables business. Billions of euros in subsidies are flowing everywhere and to anything that sounds renewable. It’s a runaway gravy train – one that is headed for a cliff. As the moderator says; “It’s an energy transformation gone amok”. The struggle to take credit for it likely will not last very long, once the damage gets tallied.

Thousands of micro hydro-power plants everywhere along rivers and streams are now chopping up the nation’s fish stock, mountains of corn for ethanol or driving up food prices, wind turbines are idled and don’t deliver power to the markets because of a lack of transmission lines – all generously subsidized. Professor Olav Hohmeyer of the University of Flensburg:

There’s no plan. There’s no idea of when, how much, and where the power is needed.”

Everything is just being thrown up randomly, without a plan. If it’s renewable, it gets built.

7000+ small-scale hydro power plants chopping up salmon and eel

1:55 mark – Germany has 7700 hydroelectric plants, most are very small scale and massively subsidized by the government. Germany’s vast network of rivers are now so dense with small-scale hydro plants that all paths for eel, salmon and other fish are cut off. A huge proportion of the fish and eel end up getting chopped up by the turbines. To solve the problem the government hired fishermen to try to help the fish bypass the turbines. With luck they are able to save one or two salmon…a week! “An enormous expense,” the ARD says. The fish that do make it upstream get chopped to pieces later on the way back down, see at 3:28 mark (warning – graphic!). Germany’s rivers have become the rivers of blood and chopped fish.

Oh! But isn’t that a small price to pay for rescuing the planet?

According to Winfried Klein, 350 of these 7700 hydroplants produce 95% of the hydro power, while the other 7350 small-scale plants produce only 5% of the hydro power, but kill most of the fish and eel. Klein says at the 4:10 mark that if these 7350 micro-plants were shut down, the power grid would not even notice it. Klein adds:

But oh no! Every little puny project has to get subsidized because of ‘ecological reasons’.”

The ARD questions a top environment bureaucrat (Jürgen Becker – state secretary of the Federal Environment Ministry) at the 4:40 mark, but just the looks of the guy tells the whole story. Indeed they’ve known about the problem for years…but these fools have been drugged up on CO2 propaganda for too long, and are literally brainwashed and think the survival of the planet is at stake. Fish dying off is a small price to rescue it.

Of course efforts are being generously paid for preventing the turbine-fish-chopping problem. But bypasses consisting of 6-inch plastic pipes have saved very few fish, the video shows. For the mini hydroplant operator it’s however lucrative (5:54 mark). He gets paid 20,000 euros ($28,000) per year by the government for the next 20 years just for having the bypass tube (most fish never find it). “A lot of money for a senseless solution,” the ARD comments.

So if by now you’re thinking this is approaching Soviet-scale mass mismanagement, you’re not too far from the truth. This is what happens when a senseless hysteria grips a country and sends it charging blindly into the dark.

The ARD says at the 6:20 mark that the government is in a frenzy to switch over to renewable energy, no matter the cost.

Biogas – food for fuel

7:07 mark – Biogas is also massively subsidized in Germany, and consequently the country has become overgrown by millions of monoculture acres of cornfields. Dairy farmers can no longer afford to feed their cattle because feed prices and land lease prices have shot up. All land is now being committed to saving the planet. For biogas plant operators, it’s a real cash-cow. Initially the biogas plants were intended to convert waste materials into gas, but instead farmers twisted the arms of politicians and are now paid handsomely to dump mountains of corn into their biogas plants. Little wonder that food prices are surging worldwide today – that’s the price of rescuing the planet.

Paying windparks NOT to produce

10:00 mark – In Germany some wind power does not even make it to the consumer’s electrical outlet. As Germany approves every windpark at every and any location, many areas are not adequately connected to the grid, meaning they are turning for nothing, or not turning at all. For example windpark operator Reinhard Christiansen near the Danish border is often ordered to shut down his turbines even under ideal wind conditions. This is because the power grid gets overloaded and there is still no possibility of transmitting the wind power from northern Germany to the industrial and populated areas in the south.

ARD reports that Christiansen has had to shut down his park 70% more often than last year. But for Christiansen it doesn’t matter. The state jumps in and pays for the power that otherwise would have been produced – money for nothing! “Absurd,” says the ARD. What’s needed are huge transmission lines to transport the power to the south. But this will cost billions more and have to go through lots of private property. And the government never reckoned that citizens would protest vehemently.

ARD also reports at the 12:00 mark that offshore parks too “face a debacle” because “the government has no plan for the power system”. They’re building the windparks, but they’re forgetting the transmission lines to bring the green power to the markets. As it is, the gigantic offshore windparks risk becoming monuments dedicated to the colossal energy stupidity of the government. The government is simply subsidizing the windmills, whether they can be used or not.

For countries and states thinking about copying the German model, you may want to think again.


13 responses to “German ARD Public Television: Green Energy In Germany Threatens To Be Biological And Environmental Debacle”

  1. DirkH

    I knew the Greens hate birds, but I didn’t know by now that they are also for the complete extermination of aquatic life. Interesting.

  2. Ulrich Elkmann

    “They’re building the windparks, but they’re forgetting the transmission lines…”

    From Flaubert’s Dictionnaire des idées recués: “ARCHITECTES : Tous imbéciles. Oublient toujours l’escalier des maisons.” (ARCHITECTS All idiots; they always forget to put staircases in houses.)

  3. Is Canada following Germany’s mad rush to “Green Oblivion” « The Big Green Lie

    […] German ARD Public Television: Green Energy In Germany Threatens To Be Biological And Environmental D… […]

  4. biggreenlie

    Canada is following in “lock step” with Germany and in our Province of British Columbia man many small micro dams are being built on valuable rivers that feed the Salmon and Steel Head Trout which are being decimated at an alarming rate.
    Ontario is being over run with Wind and Solar and valuable farmland not to mention people’s homes and health are being sacrificed all in the name of “Green/$$$”.
    Germany is used an example of “all things good with Green” when Developers try and sell their “snake poison”. Thanks for the truth. Hopefully an educated public can stop this Green Insanity!!!!!

  5. DirkH

    And the ARD (public broadcaster I am forced to pay when I have any device that can receive their program; this includes internet enabled computers and phones!) has crappy servers; but I was at least able to watch half of it, up to the corn mountains. Warning, if you watch the stream, take care, my browser crashed midway and the last few audiosamples repeated endlessly… harsh aliasing noise. Luckily my speakers are big enough so they were underpowered and didn’t self destruct.

    What can we say? Planned economy, leading to massive capital misallocation:
    -The ARD is not capable to buy a working server infrastructure with all the billions they get; yet charge me for their crappy services.
    -Tiny water power plants get massive amounts of dough for nearly no energy produced and many fish destroyed
    -Enormous amounts of agricultural area is misused.

    One of the interviewees, a guy from the federal environment office says, when asked wheter there’s a masterplan, “we don’t have one, we only create incentives for the market” but of course that’s a rigged market; if you meddle with it you could just as well go the whole distance and reward people for obeying orders.

    The only good thing about this government is that it would be even worse were the Greens part of it. Difficult to imagine, I know, but trust me; they’re reliably crazy.

    Is there anything a government can do in a half-sane way; I doubt it.

  6. Billy

    The argument that more transmission capacity is needed to distribute wind power is just a lie put forth by wind power developers. The problem is that uncontrollable and highly variable power is useless for supplying customer loads. Sending it far away does not make it useful. It only spreads the problem over a wider area. Expensive patch jobs like storage and peaking power imports are also just a waste of money. The windmills should never have been built in the first place. They will wear out in a few years and that should be the end of it. The worst thing you can do is spend more money on ineffective attempts to make a mistake work.

  7. Ulrich Elkmann

    “Is there anything a government can do in a half-sane way” – it’s tempting to answer: the invasion of Normandy in 1944 and the Manhattan Project – but that was the military, of course.

  8. Bernd Felsche

    That’s a plan: Into the future without scepticism …

    Oh, and please forget about the past. So that we can repeat the mistakes on an even bigger scale.

  9. Paddy

    Perhaps the Climategate 2.0 disclosures will force European governments to abandon or greatly curtail the renewable energy projects. I hope this is not wishful thinking.

    McKitrick’s new paper recommends either a total overhaul or elimination of the IPCC. Frankly, a functional overhaul is not possible given the dysfunctional structure of the UN and its inherent corruption.

  10. grayman

    The question i have is if the German govt. can spend billions on all this boondoggle how can they bail out Greece, Italy and Spain with billions, maybe in the trillions with out crashing their own economy? That is the 64 dollar question!

    1. DirkH

      Simple: we can’t. A country cannot legally leave the Eurozone alone and stay in the EU, but it can legally leave the EU via Art. 50 of the Lisbon treaty. Merkel said “…they know where the door is.” about the Greek. We’ll eject entire countries. There is no other possibility. The German state is inefficient all by itself; just not as inefficient as say the Greek state. We can’t and we won’t save them or anyone else no matter what Merkel and Sarkozy say.

      All this “austerity” stuff simply serves to annoy the Southern Europeans enough until they leave voluntarily.

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