By Dr. Sebastian Lüning und Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)
Konrad Kleinknecht is a professor of experimental physics and researched at the universities of Heidelberg, Dortmund, Harvard, Mainz and Munich. His publications in the fields of high-energy physics have been awarded top prizes, among them the Leibniz-Prize of the DFS, the Energy Prize of the European Physical Society and the Stern Gerlach Medal of the Germany Physical Society (DPG).
Kleinknecht has thoroughly examined the German Energiewende (transition from fossil fuels and nuclear energy over to renewables) and given the project an overall grade of “poor”.
In his book Risky Energiewende: The way out of the deadend he presents his analysis to the public. In the book’s description we find:
The exit from the use of nuclear power in Germany was decided at a frantic speed in the summer of 2011. Now we are realizing that there is no realistic plan for revamping the energy supply within the set timeframe of ten years. For revamping the entire electricity supply, and with it the economy, the time period is too short. Missing are the solid empirical grounds on which the questions of energy supply reliability, financial feasibility, the impacts on the economic development and social justice are examined. Thus the Energiewende risks failing due to its contradictions. Even the responsible federal minister for economics and energy, Sigmar Gabriel, said in April 2014: ‘The truth is that the Energiewende is on the verge of failure.’
In his book Konrad Kleinknecht attempts to name the problems and to provide the answers. For him the following questions remain: What possibilities do we have to replace a part of the energy supply with wind power and solar energy? Which sources of electricity offer a reliable supply? Can we do without coal power? Do we need new national power transmission lines? How can we store electric energy? How high is the risk of a blackout during nights when the wind is still? Will electricity prices keep rising? With a fundamental reform of the EEG renewable energy feed-in act, is it still possible to avert the huge risks of the Energiewende?
The energy supply must serve the common good and be beneficial for Germany as an industrial nation. A blackout would be a catastrophe for the entire country, and it must be avoided under all circumstances. The author tells us how this can be achieved in his book.”
The German language book Risiko Energiewende: Wege aus der Sackgasse is available at Amazon for €19,99.