As it becomes more and more evident that renewable energies such as solar and wind are turning out to be far costlier than ever anticipated, and will do nothing to the climate, the masterminds behind them don’t want to hear it. Now they are going to do whatever it takes to make them work – no matter the cost.
In Germany, BARD company, located in the northern seaport of Emden, has just announced it will lay off its 100 employees at its windmill rotor blade factory. The reason? Lack of demand. Offshore wind companies are hesitating to invest in offshore windparks due the high risks surrounding the technical challenges.
Hat-tip EIKE, which writes:
Offshore company BARD is closing its rotor blade production in East Friesian Emden. ‘100 employees are impacted,’ said the Chairman of Management Bernd Ranneberg in Emden on Monday.”
So how do you encourage companies to invest in high risk renewable energy projects? Simple – you eliminate their risk. This is what a working group now advises the German government to do: It is the lowly consumers who should pick up the risks and costs for the adventurous business of offshore windparks. The companies investing in them won’t have to worry, and so can dive right in.
To bring the stalled offshore wind power back into gear, the State and power consumers will overtake the risks from the investors. This is the only way of assuring the construction of wind turbines needed for meeting the objectives of the country. The main point is the takeover of the liability risks of the power grid operating companies, which have been the main cause of delay.”
Socializing the risks and costs. Die Welt quotes:
‘To the extent that possible damages cannot be insured despite technical and organisational measures, the compensation for damage is to be socialized,’ says a paper produced by a working group that is represented by power grid companies, windpark operators, and suppliers such as Siemens, as well as the Ministry of Economics. Possible would be an intervention by the federal government, or rolling over all the power grid costs and fees onto the power customers.”
Astronomical costs ahead. As Die Welt writes, there are other costs:
Other possible cost drivers in connection with the energy transformation, such as high buying prices for power from the construction of new power plants, or the rising payments for renewable energies, are not included in the calculation. A study by the Technical University of Berlin summed up the direct and indirect costs of the Renewable Energy Feed-In Act until 2030 and pegged them at € 335 billion.”
Poor Germany. Finally, EIKE writes that the German Federal Power Grid Agency warns that power consumers need to expect “massive power price hikes.” The German news agency DPA writes:
The reason the necessary expansion of the power grid for alternative energies…the investment range is from about 30 to 47.5 billion euros.”
High prices normally would drive companies out of Germany. But no problem here, too. Large power consumers like industries are exempt from paying high power prices. The entire costs will be borne by the lowly little consumers. The government saw to that last summer. The DPA writes:
Higher costs for consumers were assured by a law called the Power Grid Charge Regulation passed during the summer of 2011, where large power consumers can apply for a discount…more than 1600 applications have poured into the Federal Agency up to now. The discounts or full exemptions have a volume 400 million euros annually – money that will have to be paid by the remaining power consumers.”
Clearly huge costs are in the pipeline for German consumers. Call it fuel for social anger.