Germany’s Per Kilowatt-Hour CO2 Emissions Jump 4%! Transformation To Renewables Flops

Steffen Hentrich of the liberty-oriented blogsite “Denken für die Freiheit” (Thinking for Liberty) writes a piece called “Climate-Killing Energy Transformation” about how Germany’s energy transformation from nuclear and fossil fuels to renewable energies is not working out very well.


The annual report “Energy Consumption in Germany in 2011″ confirms that Germany is going to have a difficult time reducing its share of CO2 emissions should nuclear power be stopped completely. Even though the total output of CO2 emissions is declining in Germany, more lignite (brown coal) is being burned (AGEB, S. 37) and the amount of CO2 emitted for each kilowatt hour of electricity jumped:

According to estimates by the German BDEW e.V. (Federal Association of German Energy and Water Management), the specific CO2 emissions from electricity generating plants for public power supply (i.e. not including power generation by industry) was 0.51 kg CO2/kWh net. With respect to the previous year (0.49 kg CO2/kWh net), they have risen about 4%! Only 2007 had such a high comparable increase, which also was attributed to the shutdown of some nuclear power plants, but to a lesser extent. The comparably CO2-intensive power generation from lignite exceeded the previous year’s level. Also the relative share of lignite power plants in the overall decreasing power production jumped 25%.”

The effects that renewable energy sources have on relieving the power supply should not be over-estimated. So the real question for the future becomes: what emission reductions can be reached if we opt to go without the further promotion of renewable energy?

The necessity of integrating the renewable energy power supply with the existing public power grid not only entails considerable investment and ecological burdens, but also adversely impacts the efficiency of the conventional power plant system. The more unsteadily conventional systems operate (because they have to constantly adjust according to the erratic supply from renewables) the less efficient they become.

It is increasingly clear that reducing CO2 is going to be much tougher than anyone expected. Costs are always proportional to the size of the obstacles. Pretending that the obstacles are small has no impact on the real price.


14 responses to “Germany’s Per Kilowatt-Hour CO2 Emissions Jump 414! Transformation To Renewables Flops”

  1. Casper

    In Poland we have an expression for it: “Chcieliśmy dobrze, a wyszło jak zwykle” – we tried to do it better, but we done it as usual. 😉

    1. DirkH

      Love the Polish humour!

      1. Casper

        Then you should have known Steffen Möller – a German satirist who is living in Poland

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    I wonder what Angela Merkel would think if told that she could lower German CO2 emissions by turning off all her wind turbines?

    Its true.

  3. DirkH

    I wake up to an avalanche of madness… SPD boss calls Israel Apartheid regime on Facebook – 75% of t-online readers LIKE it; hello * * *GERMAN LEFTIST ANTISEMITISM* * *; Michael Mann has some strange research about the end of the MWP out and I don’t know yet how he bamboozled it but it sounds VERY confused….

    and here’s a “freedom” guy arguing that the nuke phase out produces more “climate killer” gas and criticizes that the authorities haven’t planned it through properly… Excuse me… but shouldn’t he be saying – Let’s ditch that CO2 and masterplanned renewables stuff altogether?

    He’s using a word like “klimakiller”? You don’t use words that your opponent has made to frame the terms of the debate… tactical mistake…

    1. Edward.

      Mann confused? Just a bit, anyway I thought he didn’t recognise the MWP……..

  4. John F. Hultquist

    Maybe if governments cut out all the wasted resources to focus on an energy storage system that could be scaled up the world would be better served. Scale is a big issue. Consider pumped-storage. It works but an actual example can be seen using Wikipedia and Google Earth. Of interest is the “pumped storage” associated with Kinzua (kin-zoo) Dam in northern Pennsylvania. Read about it here:

    Use these coordinates [ 41.839736 n, 79.002619 w ] to get a better look. Zoom out until you can see the entire reservoir and compare it to the small circular storage basin on the ridge-top to the south. Can you scale this up to be really helpful? In whose back yard?

    1. DirkH

      John, here’s an Eco loon who did a rather honest job crunching the numbers for the UK. Mackay is a prof who was or is an advisor to the UK’s funnily named department for Climate Change. Online book:
      Here’s El Reg about the book

    2. Bruce of Newcastle

      John – Not necessarily on top of a hill. One idea is to put a big Netherlands-style dike out in the sea and pump it out using wind or solar power. Then let it fill back up via a turbine. Not silly, cheap to scale up and could even be economic for ordinary demand leveling. I’d even grudgingly accept the idea for expensive renewable energy if they only used solar PV…I happen to like birds and bats.

    3. oeman50

      Check out the largest pumped storage station in the world in Bath County, Virginia.

      It produces up to 3,000 MW, compared to the 400 MW + at Seneca near Kinzua.

  5. Casper

    Incandescent light bulb is still available as heating bulb on polish market,100969,11354383.html

  6. Steffen Hentrich


    I’m not sure if using opponents terms realy is the wrong tactic. Remember when you was a child and somebody caught you betraying your own promises. Was it not a very bad moment? Call me a “lukewarmer” but if there is a greenhouse effect, even a minuscule one including negative feedback effects, why wasting energy consumers money and producing additional emissions by phasing out nuclear energy. If you knew my writings at “Denken für die Freiheit” you wouldn’t doubt that I’m against energy subsidies in general.



    1. DirkH

      Ok… didn’t become clear from that article. For instance: “Öffentliches Stromnetz” – public grid; well, in fact it’s not public but owned by Tennet, 50 Hertz etc. ; and these PRIVATE corporations are regulated and have a contract with the public… Calling it the “public grid” is just imprecise.

      I’m thinking a lot about the unclear usage of terms in German; the Americans are much more precise in such regards. Lots of the opposition to the all-encompassing deeply ingrained socialist attitude in Germany suffers from not being able to define their own terms or use terms, OWN the terms they use, and lets the left redefine terms at will. How would Wittgenstein say – “Über was man nicht reden kann, darüber muss man schweigen”.

      And it HURTS the debate in Germany every day. Call me a stickler for details, but it affects the THINKING; and that is why the EU idiotocracy with their Green NGO shocktroops can push through the most destructive policies and the Germans don’t even know the words to argue about anything… A sad state of affairs.

      Usually Germans pick up the pieces after banging their head against walls for 5 years after everybody else has stopped. You could have it so much easier.

  7. Edward.

    Yeah well Germany emitting more CO2 – no s***.

    Germany, is building NEW coal fired power generating plant is it not?

    Way to go Angie!

    Now get those Nuke plants ‘back up’ and working.

    CO2 is plant food, we can’t live without it.

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