The Economist here has an excellent analysis of the German “Energiewende” which is the country’s bold transformation to (80%) renewable energy by 2050. Right now the Economist is not too impressed, and its report should serve as a warning to other countries contemplating a similar move.
Hat tip Judith Curry (must read).
“Germany’s Energiewende bodes ill for the country’s European leadership.”
“The reality has been messier, marked by price distortions, political U-turns, surging costs and inadequate infrastructure.”
“Businessmen say the Energiewende will kill German industry. Power experts worry about blackouts. Voters are furious about ever higher fuel bills.”
“…people see no paradox in demanding an end to nuclear power but objecting to the new transmission grid being built in their backyard.”
“…modern, clean natural-gas power plants are not viable. Only ageing, dirty brown-coal power stations with low variable costs can compete. The result is a web of grotesque distortions.”
“The cost of this mess is passed on to electricity users.”
Here we note that the Greens propose having industry take over the costs, but so far have been unable to explain what industry would do with these added costs. Not being able to think more than one step ahead is a chronic illness of the Greens.
“Germany’s most energy-intensive industries are now eyeing expansion on the other side of the Atlantic.”
Read the entire report here: www.economist.com/tilting-windmills.
The direction of the Energiewende is clear, and thus it is not hard to predict what’s up ahead for the country if it doesn’t make radical adjustments soon. Yet, its leaders refuse to pull their heads out of the sand and insist it’s going to work…somehow. From a sociological point of view, it is intriguing to observe a movement that is so cock-sure of itself, proud, arrogant, and obstinate that it would prefer to compromise the entire nation before admitting it has erred. History repeats.
The problem is that the green movement is massively institutionalized at every civic level and has been codified as the moral thing to do by all parties. How can it backtrack now and save face? Can we expect it to dismantle itself? The answer is clearly no.
Global warming science prematurely became fact and settled science years ago in Germany. Anyone who disagreed was labelled a heretic, outcast or extremist. Just take a look at the latest UBA brochure. As the Economist shows, it is truly a sad situation when a country meanders so far off course that its “extremists” in the end are proven to have been right all along.
I don’t see any change of direction coming at all. The green religion has even been hammered deep into the psyche of schoolchildren. Germany finds itself back in familiar historical territory. The only thing that can save it now is a major explosive upheaval. The longer the pressure builds…