“Energiewende” Takes A Massive Blow…Top Green Energy Proponent Concedes: “Blunder With Ugly Consequences”!

German national weekly DIE ZEIT writes in its latest hard copy edition that one of Europe’s leading green energy thinkers now concedes Germany’s much ballyhooed Energiewende (transition to renewable energies) has been a “filthy blunder”.

Die Zeit 4 Dec 2014

Page 4 of December 4, 2014, edition of DIE ZEIT. “Filthy Blunder”

When the green movement itself makes such an admission, then you know Germany’s once highly ballyhooed Energiewende is truly in deep trouble, if not a basket case.

“Germany will not even come close to reaching targets”

Moreover, DIE ZEIT, an influential publication among Germany’s green centre-left, writes, “Germany will not even come close to reaching its climate target despite the massive investment in wind and solar energies.

The admission is a massive blow to Germany’s renewable energies movement, whose troubles have long been played down or denied by its proponents.

So what has finally compelled Germany’s top greens to make such an astonishing admission? The facts show that although the Energiewende has led to a rapid expansion of wind and solar energies, it has also led to the unexpected increase in coal-fired power. Renewable energies have had the unintended effect of revitalizing coal as a source of energy. A horror for climate protection activists.

The 180° U-turn begins with Patrick Graichen, Director of the Agora Energiewende thinktank, which according to DIE ZEIT, is “the most influential school of thought for energy policy in Germany“. Graichen himself was formerly responsible for energy at the Federal Ministry of Environment.

Making the air dirtier

The DIE ZEIT feature article explains how Germany’s original plan had been to expand wind and solar so that they would first replace the country’s unwanted nuclear power plants, and then later the filthy coal power plants. The idea was to use natural gas power plants to even out the huge irregularities that come with the weather-dependent solar and wind power. And as green and power grid technology developed further, even gas eventually would be throttled down to a bare minimum, and so Germany would be propelled from being the world’s worst villain to a most loved hero – in less than a 100-year span. That was the dream.

But now green energy dreamers are being rudely awakened, and the reality looks very different. More CO2 is being produced. Die ZEIT writes:

It’s a blunder with ugly consequences. The Energiewende, as it is now set up, is not making the air cleaner, but dirtier.”

The problem, DIE ZEIT explains, is that the coal is much cheaper than natural gas. As a a consequence power generators are opting to even out the green power supply fluctuations with coal power instead of gas. But because coal power plants cannot be driven up and down quickly to respond to fluctuations in supply, power producers no longer even bother throttling them down when too much power is fed in by wind in sun. The coal power plants just keep on humming and emitting anyway – even when the power is not needed. In the end it’s still cheaper than operating gas plants. Result: gas plants are being closed down, coal is coming back.

Grotesque market distortions – negative prices

The requirement to feed in green power and all the extra unneeded coal-fired electricity are now causing grotesque distortions on the electricity markets. To illustrate the perverse market conditions, DIE ZEIT describes the events of Sunday, May 11, 2014, when so much wind and solar power was fed into the grid that the power became worthless on the market and at times caused negative prices on the electricity exchanges, as DIE ZEIT illustrates:

The price on the market fell to nothing. A little later before noon, there was so much green power on the market that the German power companies were paying money to get rid of it. By early afternoon when solar power was flowing plentifully, the so-called negative power price rose to 60 euros per megawatt-hour.”

Negative prices due to an uncontrolled supply into the grid is no longer an isolated event that rarely occurs. DIE ZEIT continues:

And that is no isolated incident; it’s the future of German power production. In the first half of 2014 power prices were negative for 71 hours. But already in just a few years that number could be one thousand hours per year, according to the think tank Energy Brainpool. One quarter of the entire green energy production would be energy garbage.”

Skyrocketing electricity prices for consumers while the price on the exchanges go negative: This has got to be one of the 7 wonders of German energy management.

“An Act of God”

Clearly the German electricity market has careened out of control and is in a state of chaos. Now even the strongest denier greens can no longer stomach the deplorable electricity market situation and are conceding it has to change.

DIE ZEIT then asks how it all came to this in the first place. Patrick Graichen blames what he terms the “collective miscalculation by the experts in the branch” who falsely assumed green energies would crowd out dirty coal plants. Graichen claims that “no one could have foreseen the development.”

“Nonsense,” says Michael Limburg, Vice President of the Germany-based European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), a critical climate science and energy policy think-tank. He wrote NTZ by e-mail:

They are starting to confess what is not longer deniable because it’s so obvious to everyone else…typical for politicians in action. Yet, rather than taking responsibility for the damage they have created, they are now trying to act as if it were an Act of God when in reality it was completely foreseeable and they had been warned on many occasions.”

No one can say all of it was unexpected. Early warnings of disaster have been frequent and since quite a long time. The rubric “Alternative Energy” at the NTZ side bar is chock-full of articles on the troubles in the renewable energy sector. What follows are just a few examples:

notrickszone.2012/09/23/renewables-drive-is-turning-to a-disaster/


23 responses to ““Energiewende” Takes A Massive Blow…Top Green Energy Proponent Concedes: “Blunder With Ugly Consequences”!”

  1. Kurt in Switzerland

    So who is actually surprised by this latest development?

  2. L Michael Hohmann

    With that current onslought of Lysenkoist Gleichschaltung may I repeat:

    I only know what I read, but on that basis it appears unavoidable that the whole energy conundrum requires a wide-ranging rethink. To wit:

    The idea that the human contribution from burning carbon fuels has anything to do with ‘man-made global warming’ is not only IMHO the biggest political and intellectual fraud ever – but so say voices from the IPCC themselves: http://tinyurl.com/q4rtmvf

    That AGW fraud has one beneficial side effect: “Global warming did serve a couple of useful purposes. The issue has been a litmus test for our political class. Any politician who has stated a belief in global warming is either a cynical opportunist or an easily deluded fool. In neither case should that politician ever be taken seriously again. No excuses can be accepted.” http://tinyurl.com/ptgrz34

    Does that mean we should forget about pollution and carry on regardless? No, for we can all agree that pollution is not a ‘good thing’ – we all could not miss seeing it from pictures of those dirt laden grey and black smokestacks and smog laden Chinese and other cities (and I well remember the heavy London smogs in the early 60s when even some London Underground platforms had to close because of nearly nil visibility, apart from deaths from breathing that stuff). Only one thing is sure in these circumstances: what you can see, is with 100% certainty not CO2, which is invisible. What is visible is pollution, consisting of NOX, SOX and OBNOX (nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, particulates and anything else obnox-ious) all of which are the province of Clean-Air-Acts (as so blatantly in London) and have nothing to do with global climate – they are simply the ‘dirt in the linen’ that has to be ‘washed out from’, or never put into these smokestacks of sorts, in the first place. CO2 per se appears far too trivial to consider as Global Climate driver.

    The climate driver of all climate drivers I found described by John L Casey in his COLD SUN, introduced here http://tinyurl.com/p6ra4f3 together with a BBC NEWS video with comment on Robert Felix’s web site: http://iceagenow.info/2014/11/video-sun-sleep/

    An elementary order-of-magnitude calculation – relying on the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics – shows that, even when allowing the IPCC calculation of man-mad global warming by 2100 reputedly caused by CO2, it’s so trivial when compared to solar input variability alone, as to be totally irrelevant to ‘climate’: http://cleanenergypundit.blogs

    Some further study of probably the most underrated book on energy also appears necessary, as in: http://tinyurl.com/obhq3w9

    The role of Civic Energy is also destined to play a significant role especially, but not only for rural empowerment: http://tinyurl.com/oedupee

    1. Henning Nielsen

      Gleichschaltung? No, these days, “Gleick-schaltung” is better 🙂

    2. John F. Hultquist

      You commented on the previous thread and copied and pasted the same here. Over the past 7 or so years I have seen several people do this very thing – repeatedly. Now when I see those names I skip to the next comment.

  3. DirkH

    Well they were just being greedy. Jail them and blow up the wind turbines.

    “The 180° U-turn begins with Patrick Graichen, Director of the Agora Energiewende thinktank, which according to DIE ZEIT, is “the most influential school of thought for energy policy in Germany“.”

    That’s like when the village idiot calls you a genius. Never heard of the Agora crooks; can’t know all names of the criminal gangs.

    None of these idiots ever even mentioned that electricity is barely one seventh of German primary energy consumption. So how do you replace all the district heating when you close down the super efficient municipal, 300 MW class combined cycle plants? They never even MENTIONED those! As it would be totally ludicrous to close them.

  4. John Shade

    The bizarre thing is that so much of the intellectual drive for renewables, and for alarm over our CO2, seems to have come from intellectually unimpressive people. Morally unimpressive people took advantage of them to pursue their own political and financial advantages at the expense of the rest of us. Result: energy shambles, educational travesties, political disgraces. And science discredited for at least a generation.

  5. Walter H. Schneider

    LMH, it seems to me that you suffer from serious confusion of the causes of industrial pollution and the alleged cause of global warming. The two are different. While the former can and is being fixed, evidence lacks to prove that increasing levels of CO2 are a problem. However, there is more than enough evidence that proves that increasing levels of CO2 are the primary cause of a very substantial greening of the planet.

  6. DirkH

    Fun fact: the cited source Die ZEIT, published in Hamburg, is owned by the Holtzbrinck Group in Green-governed Stuttgart – Holtzbrinck are also the owners of Nature. On 05.05.2008, Die ZEIT created the Internet Portal “Netz gegen Nazis”. It is a tradition of the German media to call everyone a Nazi who opposes the Red-Green ideology, the EU, the Euro, Islam, or uncontrolled mass immigration.

  7. Green Sand

    There certainly appears to be a difference of opinion between the generation industry and the government:-

    “Germany’s power house”

    “Business Daily comes to you from the coal-fields of the Rhineland, in north-west Germany. This is the heart of power generation for Europe’s great manufacturing giant, and it’s here that an energy experiment is underway – one that may, or may not, offer a template for power generation around the world. No major economy is spending more on the transfer to green energy than Germany is. That’s good for the fight against climate change but it may present problems for the country’s own power supply. Some business leaders now warn the transition is too quick, ill-planned, and could risk a future energy crisis. So what is at stake for Germany, and what does the government think about the progress of the switch to renewables.”


    1. DirkH

      BBC Business Daily = oxymoron.

  8. Loodt Pretorius

    The only conclusion I can come to is that Eulenspiegel is not a mythical figure, he actually lived, and his descendants are all working for the Greenies. Eulenspiegel liked to fool people, a similar characteristic of his offsprings.

  9. DirkH

    After having destroyed the energy market via their 1999 introduction of renewables subsidies under the red-green Schröder government, the German hard left now demands free electricity for all. Giving as reason that electricity has become too expensive. THey forget to mention that it was their idea that made it that expensive. Of course the hard left FR does not mention it either in their article.

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  11. John F. Hultquist

    Pierre & Dirk
    On a previous post Dirk mentioned the German aluminium industry. Paul Homewood of – notalotofpeopleknowthat – just posted about a Russian connection to a Tony Blair anti-smelter group.

    1. DirkH

      Strange. A turncoat.

      Was big under Yeltzin yet managed to not get chased out under Putin. EVen though he had Red/Israeli Mafia connections.

      1. DirkH

        Ah. Looks like he needs Putin’s protection. Israelis are after him.

        “How he got his money By emerging like a triumphant gladiator from the “aluminium wars”, the corpse-and-bits-of-body-strewn battle in the 1990s for control of Russia’s aluminium industry. Deripaska denies tales that at one point the local mafia tried to blow him up with a grenade launcher. But even among oligarchs – who are not exactly a bunch of softies – Deripaska has a reputation for ruthlessness. An Israel-based businessman, Michael Cherney, is one of several disgruntled ex-business partners currently suing Deripaska in Britain. He alleges that the tycoon has swindled him out of billions. Deripaska denies the claim.”

        ” Israel-based businessman”, that’s a good one.

  12. Jeff Wood

    The old Soviet Union used to hold regular drives against “Wreckers” and “Saboteurs”.

    It occurs to me that the Politburo might have been useful now. We are indeed infested with wreckers and saboteurs, and graves in the Permafrost might be a solution.

  13. tom0mason

    Come-on Germany try harder.
    So nowhere in Europe, or the world, have the people made such an efforts, made such sacrifices as Germany has. Now is the time. Renew your spirit, renew your will to succeed!
    Believe better, keep green energy positive and the sun will shine more.
    Believe truly and witness the triumph of the mighty German spirit, of your combined will, over this meager adversity. So do it for the nation, for the people.
    A strong belief in the mighty power of the German spirit will set your energy free!


  14. Brian H

    Like many Europeans, you use “since” as though it was an exact translation for “seit”. It is not. It is used temporally only in reference to a specific event or point in time. Since the end of the war, since yesterday, since 5:00 pm. The other use is logical: since leftism is insane, since you prefer lasagna, since water is wet.

    It is NOT used to describe a duration: since 5 years, since 2 hours, etc. are bad grammar.

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