The Economist On Germany’s Energiewende: “Web Of Grotesque Distortions” … “Will Kill German Industry”

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).

Some quotes:

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:

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…


25 responses to “The Economist On Germany’s Energiewende: “Web Of Grotesque Distortions” … “Will Kill German Industry””

  1. Bernd Felsche

    Germany has been severely injured by the EnergieWUNDE.

    The wound will take a long time to heal. But it won’t start until the political machine has an enema… and that won’t happen if the forthcoming election has “business as usual”.

  2. Juergen Uhlemann

    I watched this since the green idea started to get serious. I remember these little green fairs, where the showed solar cookers. Young people came in the 80’s from the universities already brainwashed. The established parties took on the green agenda. More and more sheeple joint.

    With the global warming/climate change it got so serious that one could really say that we are in a “total” scenario again. It’s too late. Only nature can help us by reversing the temperature trend even further. It’s not a good wish, but it’s the only way to stop it.

    1. DirkH

      Solar furnaces:
      (Buyer beware: Furnace might not work under overcast conditions.)

      1. Juergen Uhlemann

        Thanks DirkH for the link. Interesting site.
        The solar cooker I’ve seen in the past were in parabolic form, but, like you said, doesn’t work under overcast conditions. 😉

        I like the pedal powered machines like the saw machine my mother had. This is something we should get back from the museum, as they would, in high numbers, cut a power plant or two. 😉 The other good part is the free exercise without “driving” to the gym to loose a few pounds.

        I don’t know where and why we went wrong, but people loved the idea to use energy for anything and everything, incl. things we don’t need or could use with muscle power. I always smile/laugh when I see a man with good muscle power using an electric screw driver or other tool.

        1. DirkH

          An electric screw driver really speeds things up when you build a structure. Basically you buy time.

          The old tech on that site is really interesting, Decker finds technologies I didn’t even know about like the rope power transmission. He ignores one thing with regard to practicality though; it is that the mechanical solutions he proposes suffer from wear and tear. Moving parts; bad.

          We didn’t go wrong anywhere. We use the tools because they’re economic. Time / money / resource usage minimization. We don’t use things that are uneconomic – for example electric cars.

          Also – the mechanical solutions Decker discovers often simply contain more metal parts than a corresponding hightech solution. So the energy has been expended in the making of the contraption.

          1. Juergen Uhlemann

            I’m with you, with exceptions.
            The time issue is not a good argument with 26 million unemployed in the EU. We have a lot of man hours available!

            The mechanical screw driver has less parts than a electric one. However, when used professional then it makes sense.

            On the other hand, how many of these gadgets are sitting idle in private homes and used often not more than ones, if at all.

            Availability makes things change. I moved 20 years ago to Ireland and the number of cars were still low. It took me for the same distance about 35 minutes 20 years ago and now over an hour. If they hadn’t changed the road, for example from 2 to 3 lanes, then it would more like 2 hours. People could effort cars and then they could move further away from their workplace. I’ve seen the same in Germany long time ago.

            Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against technology. I’m a electrical engineer and software developer myself. I just think, just because we can, doesn’t mean we have to do it. Of course the electric car is one of these “not do do” things.

          2. Bernd Felsche

            The time issue is not a good argument with 26 million unemployed in the EU. We have a lot of man hours available!

            Are those 26 million people willing to work for a few cents an hour? If they want more, then what they produce is going to cost vastly more than products made using modern, available machinery.

            There are people in the world who will work for a few cents an hour; and they have access to the tools that make their time more productive. i.e. those 26 million EU “un-unemployed” would not be gainfully employed unless trade barriers are established to penalise other EU residents into paying more for a product than what it ought to cost. Such trade barriers via import duties, excise, etc. are favoured by governments because they get to cash in on making their own country less competitive.

            The “protected” economies become poor imitations of planned economies.

            Meanwhile, Germany exports village idiots. 🙁 I’m aghast at the depths of stupidity plumbed by Green politicians.

          3. Juergen Uhlemann

            @Bernd Felsche – my other post doesn’t show up.

            Anyway, it’s now cheaper to pay unemployed people. Weird.

            I hope nobody turns up and to build motorways or something else. We know how that ended.

          4. Bernd Felsche

            Of course it’s cheaper to pay the unemployed. The costs of employment in production in a developed country is way above what ends up in the employee’s pay packet

            Most important: Replacing a machine with staff not only increases production and therefore product costs. It also reduces product consistency and thereby the product’s reputation… so it’s inevitable that the manufacturer will fail, putting the productive workers out of a job.

            Jobs for people are those ones requiring intellect, initiative and flexibility. Attributes that cannot be provided by machines; other than by machines operated by people. “Make work” jobs that don’t require those basic human elements dehumanise… a form of punishment if the jobs can more easily be done by machine.

          5. DirkH

            Bernd Felsche
            17. Juni 2013 at 06:18 | Permalink
            “Meanwhile, Germany exports village idiots. ”
            (Links to an article where Top green Claudia Roth has travelled to Istanbul to catch some tear gas)

            Bernd, here is a wonderful collection of quotes by the Greens (and a few by the SPD) that clarify their anti-German strategy. (It is strategic because they want to recruit immigrants as a voting block for themselves)

  3. J Martin

    80% So the Germans and the British are both going to flush their economies down the toilet in a sort of mutual suicide pact. Energycide ?

    If I were the boss of Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, etc., I would have people in the USA right now looking for the right place to build a factory or three.


      Industry in Germany has been exempt from paying higher prices associated with solar and wind energy.

      In fact de EU commission is now examining these “subsidies” which in fact could hold large penalties in store.

      Usually big industries choose to go abroad for currency and tax reasons, amongst others.

    2. J Martin

      Poland or CzechR might also be a good choice.

    3. John F. Hultquist

      BMW already has a major factory in South Carolina. A new plant is being built in Brazil for production beginning next year. Could not find a recent report with current info.

    4. Ed Caryl

      Airbus is building a factory in Alabama.

  4. stephen richards

    J Martin
    16. Juni 2013 at 18:41 | Permalink | Reply

    80% So the Germans and the British are both going to flush their economies down the toilet in a sort of mutual suicide pact. Energycide ?

    If I were the boss of Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, etc., I would have people in the USA right now looking for the right place to build a factory or three.

    They are looking elsewhere but mostly in the east. The USA under Oblarny is becoming eurpeanised It’s not just a german thing but we focus on the germans because of the rise of the nazi and their wealth. It was a similar beginning with more and more ‘persecution’ of disbelievers until the final solution. A german friend still cannot face up to this as the reality.

    And yes, the idiots at the EU can’t see any further ahead than yesterday and have started to examen the german ‘subsidies’ with a view to fineing them lots of €s. They still have not realised that without the germans the eu is a 3rd world country AND the germans are the only euro member with the right to leave without dispensation. I can’t wait. They are going to kill the goose who lays the golden eggs. Utter idiots, thankfully.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. More information at our Data Privacy Policy