European Institute For Climate And Energy Warns Germany’s Feed-In Act “Will Lead Country To Economic Ruin”

Countries considering implementing green energy feed-in schemes may want to look at what is going on in Germany.

Limburg private photo

Michael Limburg warns that Germany’s EEG renewable energy act is driving the country to ruins. Photo source: Michael Limburg

Few countries have moved as aggressively as Germany in promoting renewable energy. Some tout the German system as a model for the rest of the world.

But in an interview with DIE FREIE WELT, Michael Limburg, Vice President of the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), called Germany’s EEG renewable energy feed-in act “ideological and expensive” and warns it threatens to economically ruin the country.

My time is a little short today, and so I’ll present only the main points of the interview.

Limburg on why people are becoming increasingly agitated by Germany’s EEG feed-in act

It’s obviously the new, real experience that the falsely named ‘renewable energies’ are nothing what the politicians promised they would be. Not only are they not free, but they really do burn a hole in your pocket. […] Especially low income households feel the pain. […] The reality is that it’s the state that initiated this expensive mess, and it is now asking the consumer to cough it up. Up to the end of last year, it had already cost € 98 billion euros ($130 billion). That’s 10 times the amount the Federal Department of Transportation is allowed to spend this year for investment and repairs for our roads and highways.”

Limburg’s criticism on photovoltaics and wind turbines

Of all the alternative energies available, these two are the most expensive, the most volatile, and thus the most useless. In Germany we get as much sun as Alaska does. That’s why PV systems here operate at only 8% of their rated capacity in the middle of the year.

Wind is the same when it comes to volatility and quality. It is useless. But with a subsidy of 9 – 15 cents per kwh, it’s a bit cheaper. Like biofuels, the problem is the vast amounts of area that are needed. Their low energy density means you need huge areas in order to collect and concentrate the energy. Conventional energies are infinitely superior.

For example, to replace one conventional 1400 MW power plant with wind, you’d have to erect onshore approx. 3000 2.3 MW class wind turbines. Offshore, you get double the yield, but the investment costs are much higher and the wear and tear is far greater. Producing 1400 MW offshore with wind would cost € 13 billion, and then you would need a conventional back-up power plant for windless times costing another € 2.6 billion. That comes out to a total of € 15.6 billion for power that could be generated simply by running the conventional plant full time. And never mind the power transmission lines for now.

The result: a cost that is 6 times higher for a lower quality product. Only the state is capable of making such a ridiculous economic decision.”

Limburg on the role fossil fuels in Germany

After the senseless shutdown of nuclear power in Germany, their importance has once again increased. Because of the shale gas revolution on the global market, fossil fuels will now get even cheaper. Moreover, Germany has huge reserves of lignite and their conversion to power is on the rise. Because of the feed-in of green energies, only lignite remains economical. We should be grateful to have such large reserves at hand.

Limburg on the current risks to the power grid and generation

The danger is not only that the whole green energy infrastructure is expensive and massively burdens citizens, but that the high costs are driving out the industry, and the entire supply chains that feed them. This will lead the country to economic ruins, and the people along with it.”

Limburg on what needs to change

The energy feed-in act must be abolished immediately and the subsidies eliminated. Moreover, green energy producers must be paid only for the power they actually deliver. This would force them to install storage systems at their own expense.”

Limburg on how expensive it is going to get

By the year 2015 the costs arising from the renewable feed-in act will amount to € 570 billion.”

Wow – all this to delay the theoretical global warming on the planet by a whole 23 hours over the next 100 years. Only the state is capable of such a bargain.


11 responses to “European Institute For Climate And Energy Warns Germany’s Feed-In Act “Will Lead Country To Economic Ruin””

  1. Juergen Uhlemann

    There is a big problem with wind as we all know: It’s not always blowing!

    We have in Ireland a provider of wind energy:
    The data varies so far for February (taken every 15 mins):

    Time Wind Generation MW Forecast MW
    15/02/2013 07:45 55 139.8
    04/02/2013 14:00 1505 1450.828
    Average 721 838

    These are real data and they want to build more of these turbines. I hope we have always enough wind or we will sit not only in the dark.

    We have at least gas to heat, but it needs electricity, too.. We have also a chimney to burn coal and wood and this is very helpful, if we have no electricity in the cold month. I have also a lot of candles in the house, too.
    Just need something to cook without electricity.

    I feel nearly like in the old days in Germany when we had a wood burning stove in the kitchen to cook and heat. You got up in the morning and no central heating had made you place warm.

    1. Juergen Uhlemann

      Time___________ Wind Generation MW _____ Forecast MW
      15/02/2013 07:45 _________ 55 ____________ 139.8
      04/02/2013 14:00 ________ 1505 ___________ 1450.828
      Average ________________ 721 ____________ 838

  2. BobW in NC

    Pierre: regarding your last comment, “Only the state is capable of such a bargain…”

    “It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782

    Nothing new there…

    (from a WUWT post on Seth Borenstein, )

  3. E.M.Smith

    @Juergen Uhlemann:

    I came to a similar conclusion about California (which is dead set on being a “Me Too!!!” for Euro-land…) Turns out that using camping stoves is now cheaper than my “all electric kitchen” and even that using a “Colman Lantern” as light and heat is cheaper than using my room heater…

    Oh, and you can make a nice portable camping stove out of old cans that uses alcohol for fuel. You can make your own alcohol or buy it…

    You can use simple ingredients to make a “Rocket Stove” for cooking. It uses bits of sticks and cardboard rather efficiently. They are ideal for “3rd World Countries”, that both of us seem to be rapidly approaching… Directions are in the second link above, IIRC.

    As the modern infrastructure of electricity and central power obsoletes itself and prices beyond reason, we can simply shift back to DIY and home grown solutions. Even if not nearly as environmentally clean nor efficient.

    I suspect that, sa the ‘Feed in tariffs’ are political, it will take the actual collapse of industry for their removal. It looks like that will be the case in California, as the “Left Wing” that runs the place is convinced it will save the world, and our economy, despite all evidence to the contrary.

    It is going to take a “Reality Constraint” for them to be ousted.

  4. mwhite

    “Bulgaria’s government has announced it is resigning after nationwide protests against high electricity prices and austerity, Prime Minister Boiko Borisov has said.”

  5. mwhite

    “Germany’s Green Suicide: Energy Transition May Cost Taxpayers €1 Trillion”

    1. Juergen Uhlemann

      What comes after Fukushima?

      Harakiri! One way or another.

  6. McGuinty used Germany’s FIT program here in Ontario …. Germany on the road to Bankruptcy!!!! « The Big Green Lie

    […] European Institute For Climate And Energy Warns Germany’s Feed-In Act “Will Lead Country To Econ… […]

  7. thebiggreenlie

    Ontario, Canada has followed Germany’s lead in the Feed In trough and we are also basically on the verge of “economic ruin”………………….no end in sight…………except a complete financial meltdown that will make Greece look like Disney World!

    The same political Party that did this to us is still in power!………….corruption runs deep my friends!

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