Business Daily Handelsblatt: German Wind Industry In “Serious Crisis”, Could “Implode”…Consequences “Could Be Fatal”!

About a week ago I reported here how Germany’s “Solar Valley” spectacularly crashed into the wall of reality, turning into an industrial Death Valley, as almost the entire solar components production industry collapsed and left tens of thousands without jobs.

Bleak future for Germany’s wind industry. Image: Wasili Karbe, cropped from video here.

And the media, politicians and activists wonder why the rightwing AfD party is rapidly rising. Maybe people are just getting totally fed up with all the bullshit promises they get fed daily.

Wind industry getting blown away

Now that the German solar industry has crashed and burned out, it looks as if the wind industry is right poised to be next, a leading and highly respected German business daily reports.

The online Handelsblatt here writes that Germany’s wind energy industry now faces “a serious crisis” and “numerous jobs” are at risk.

For a country that claims to be adamant and devoted to fulfilling the conditions of the Paris Accord, it’s indeed quite surprising that the very industry that is supposed to be the big key for all this to happen in Germany is now collapsing.

Prices for wind electricity have plummeted

One reason, the Handelsblatt cites, is the “price deterioration for wind electricity”. The Handelsblatt adds: “The mood in the sector is at a low” and now the German wind market is threatening to implode“.

Huge layoffs taking place

The flagship daily writes how renowned companies like Enercon “are massively slashing jobs”. Enercon plans to lay off 835 workers in Germany alone. Many other companies have made similar layoff announcements, Handelsblatt reports.

The German daily blames a lack of orders from the domestic market, due to “a dramatic price fall” for electricity from the wind. Clearly without the massive subsidies, wind energy shrivels almost instantaneously.

The Handelsblatt also explains how earlier government moves to reform the wind energy feed-in rules have backfired:

The aim of the federal government was to accelerate expansion. Instead, it slowed it down.”

And now thousands of workers will lose their jobs and risk becoming politically disenfranchised. Currently Germany’s flagship political parties, CDU and SPD, are hovering near all time lows in the opinion polls.

143,000 jobs at risk

The situation is bleak, and the German business daily adds that the consequences “could be fatal for the wind branch”, which provides some 143,000 jobs Germany-wide.

The Handelsblatt explains how suppliers to the wind industry will also be hard hit as thousands of jobs are lost and plants closed. Many of the wind companies are located in Northern Germany, a region that is economically weak. Now the situation is about to get worse.

Workers’ tempers flaring

Trade unionists are fuming and demanding social plans and training for new, other jobs. They blame the government for not doing enough.

Enercon head Hans-Dieter Kettwig insists that Germany live up to its obligations to fulfil the Paris Accord Agreement, and so in this way keep the wind industry afloat.

However, investors are running from wind, and some 600 citizens initiatives organized across Germany have sent a loud and clear message: We don’t want the ugly, impractical industrial eyesores around.

No market for volatile wind power

The Handelsblatt concludes that even if the government did step in and re-energize the failing wind industry, it would not be enough to allow the German government to reach its planned, self-imposed 2030 climate targets.

Germany is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If it does nothing, tens of thousands of jobs will join the those that got fried in solar Death Valley, and Germany can kiss any hopes of reaching its Paris targets. But if the government does reactivate subsidies to bring life back into the German wind industry, the power grid infrastructure for more wind parks is just not there and there’s no place to send the power!

A quarter of the wind parks risk coming offline

The Handelsblatt also notes that by 2020 many of Germany’s older wind parks will see their useful lifetime expire, and so up to a quarter of the Germany wind capacity (14 gigawatts) risks being taken offline. This will make reaching the Paris targets all the more difficult.

Automobile industry also getting fed up

Not only the wind branch faces turmoil, but also Germany’s mighty automotive industry.

The London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) here reports that Germany’s powerful Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, is about to pull the plug on stricter CO2 emissions for cars.

Workers fed up with green-socialist hardships

Scholz’s SPD socialist party has fallen to near historical lows in public opinion polls, near 18% – a huge drop from the once hefty 40+% level it picked up in the 1998 election when Gerhard Schroder became Chancellor. Obviously Scholz and the SPD may be finally coming to some of their long-dead political senses.


46 responses to “Business Daily Handelsblatt: German Wind Industry In “Serious Crisis”, Could “Implode”…Consequences “Could Be Fatal”!”

  1. Derg

    Slightly off topic 🙂

    I was in Germany last spring and noticed the incredible number of solar panels along the highways. I happened to inspect a few of them and noticed that they seem to have condensation inside the glass/plastic and others had dirty glass/plastic.
    Are these panels operational?
    Are they useful in supplying power for Germany?

    I was in awe of how many exist along the highways.

    1. RegGuheert

      I recall that Germany bought up virtually the entire production of a CA startup which made and sold thin-film photovoltaic panels at the then-unheard-of price of below $1/W. IIRC, the CA company built a second factory in Germany to meet their demand. From what you describe, it sounds like these panels must not have been built with very high quality control. Note that, unlike crystalline or polycrystalline PV modules, thin-film PV modules start out at a low efficiency and they drop rather quickly from there. That’s why only governments are dumb enough to purchase them for production of grid-tied power.

      I’ve never seen those panels in person, but I have seen pictures. One thing I noticed is that many were placed at a very low elevation angle for a country as far north as Germany is. I suppose that was done to try to match the orientation of the terrain and also to not spoil the view too much. The unfortunate drawback is that production would be greatly reduced due to the low angle AND dirt will accumulate on the panels over time, which will also reduce production.

      So, while placing PV panels along roadways might seem like a decent idea at first blush, it appears the German government implemented it in about the worst way possible. The result is that, over their very short lifespan of perhaps 10 years, those thin-film panels certainly will NOT replace the energy it took to manufacture and install them.

      Can you say greenwashing?

  2. Curious George

    Enercon head Hans-Dieter Kettwig insists that Germany live up to its obligations to fulfil the Paris Accord Agreement. To hell with Germany, save Enercon!

    1. Mikky

      Now we know why Paris is so important to the Green Industrial Complex, which produces no tangible benefit whatsoever (try looking at Mauna Loa CO2 data if you doubt that). The magic word “target” is vital for wind power, hence all the propaganda about it.

  3. Sean

    The funny thing about renewable energy, it takes cheap energy to make the manufacturing infrastructure profitable. I’d suggest nuclear but the greens are not that desperate yet. I’ve also noticed that tight gas deposits often found below areas rich in coal. Will Germany develop this resource like the UK?

  4. Stuart Lynne

    Wind (and solar) will only be successful in the long run if they are packaged as a reliable source for billing purposes. Specifically, the provider of electricity needs to specify the average capacity factor they are making available and are guaranteeing.

    For wind (or solar) this means they will need to have storage (battery, pumped water, molten salt) or have a contract with another provider (e.g. gas-fired plant) to provide power as a backup.

    Paying market rates for unreliable electricity and then requiring the grid and other (possibly and probably more reliable) providers to lose simply to make it simple for unreliable providers to exist is bad engineering and bad economics.

    1. spike55

      ” the average capacity factor they are making available and are guaranteeing”

      Those last 3 words.. “and are guaranteeing”

      That is the BIG problem for them

      At what level “guarantee”? 90% level?

      If we look at these graph , from data supplied by seb, we see that at the 90% guarantee level, we have about 4-5% of nameplate. !!

      Even a 50% guarantee is only around 15% of nameplate.

      It really is an UNRELIABLE source of energy.

  5. Yonason

    Google touts Merkel as “leader of the free world.”

    LOL – Doesn’t say much about the intelligence of her “followers.”

    1. SebastianH

      This is fun …
      1) because Pierre deleted my reply and 2) because you try to have a laugh about the intelligence of others 😉

      1. spike55

        It very hard NOT to laugh about your lack of intelligence, seb

        Even harder not to laugh at your manic headless chook style of evasions of simple questions.

        Let’s all watch your headless chook tactics yet again… 🙂

        Q1. In what way has the climate changed in the last 40 years, that can be scientifically attributable to human CO2 ?

        Q2. Do you have ANY EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE at all that humans have changed the global climate in ANYWAY WHATSOEVER?

  6. Germany is now going to be the poster buy for how green energy failure looks. – Truth is difficult but essential; to find, to understand, to accept

    […] No Tricks Zone: German wind power in serious trouble. […]

  7. SebastianH

    Pierre, please learn to read German properly.

    Prices for wind electricity have plummeted

    One reason, the Handelsblatt cites, is the “price deterioration for wind electricity”. […] The German daily blames a lack of orders from the domestic market, due to “a dramatic price fall” for electricity from the wind. Clearly without the massive subsidies, wind energy shrivels almost instantaneously.

    That is not what is written in the text. Not at all. The prices aren’t “deteriorating”, they went down because of auctions. Those auctions also set the limits of how much wind can be build per year. They wrote that it is surprising that the amount of installations decreases because those wind turbines don’t need many subsidies anymore.

  8. Yonason


    OK, they never said that. But I’ll bet they would if they thought they could get away with it.

    Fact is…

    “According to the Caithness Windfarm Information Forum, there were 35 fatalities associated with wind turbines in the United States from 1970 through 2010. Nuclear energy, by contrast, did not kill a single American in that time.”

    NOTE – that was a 2011 article, and there have been substantially more fatalities since then.

    See also here…

    …and here (referenced by both above links)…

    It’s not just birds and bats that are killed. In addition to being vastly overpriced, inefficient and unreliable environmental disasters, wind turbines are extremely dangerous to human health.

    1. tom0mason

      Thank-you Yonason,

      An excellent counter to SebastianH BS.

      It’s worth repeating —

      “In addition to being vastly overpriced, inefficient and unreliable environmental disasters, wind turbines are extremely dangerous to human health.”

  9. Steve

    There is nothing wrong with coal.
    I repeat …there is nothing wrong with coal.

    1. Yonason

      We have the technology to keep it safe. There is NOTHING wrong with coal, as you write!

      1. SebastianH

        Yeah, nothing wrong with coal …

        1. Steve

          I am tossing up whether to read the above article or not.

          Ok I am off to bed and let me check…good I’ve turned off the heaters.

          ( some may think that I cannot take this stuff seriously)

          1. Yonason

            Coal-fired electricity generation is far cleaner today than ever before. The popular misconception that our air quality is getting worse is wrong, as shown by EPA’s air quality data. Modern coal plants, and those retrofitted with modern technologies to reduce pollution, are a success story and are currently providing 30 percent of our electricity. Undoubtedly, pollution emitted by coal-fired power plants will continue to decrease as technology improves.

  10. Lets follow the example of Germany with unreliable energy | Catallaxy Files

    […] Or just read English-language accounts of their failing efforts to reduce emissions? This is just the latest, the writing has been on the wall for years. h/t the ever-reliable old […]

  11. amortiser

    The coal and oil industries should refer to their products as “organic” fuels. That would really mess with the Greens.

  12. Bitter&twisted

    This is the best news I’ve heard in a long time.
    I do feel sorry for the people who will be losing their jobs, but for every “green” job gained about 3 real jobs are lost.

    1. spike55

      I said it ages ago.

      Peak wind, peak solar..

      As soon as you remove the subsidies and feed-in mandates.

      ITS ALL OVER !!

    2. SebastianH

      No B&T, those “real” jobs are not coming back. Why are you guys acting like the fossil fuel industry needs saving or something like that? Aren’t you constantly saying they are running the world? And now they are suddenly the victim of green jobs gained? This level of cognitive dissonance is amazing.

      1. spike55

        Only the political agenda an huge subsidies and preferential treatment have allowed the expansion of this totally UNRELIABLE source of electricity

        Once those are gone, wind and solar will die an UNNATURAL death.

        Basic economics, seb. So something you will NEVER comprehend.

        1. SebastianH

          Basic economics tell us that the LCOE for renewables will be less than for fossil fuels in the foreseable future. So no subsidies required for them to succeed. I am guessing you didn’t follow that discussion a few days/weeks ago with the new $22 per MWh solar power plant in the US?

          1. spike55

            Basic economics relies on RELIABILITY OF SUPPLY

            Wind and solar .. DO NOT meet that criteria.

            I did follow the discussion

            LAUGHING at your twisting and turning.

            Wind and solar collapse once preferential treatment is removed.

            Face FACTS for once in your incompetent, feeble existence, seb.

          2. SebastianH

            Ever heard of the merit order system, Spikey? How could any fossil fuel power plant compete with a source of electricity with almost zero marginal costs?

            How about you going one week without any insults? Let’s see if we can take you more seriously then. Want try it out? Or will you continue to play this clown role forever?

          3. spike55

            Order of merit..?

            You mean the one where wind and solar sit right on the bottom when it comes to RELIABLITY OF SUPPLY?

            There is basically ZERO merit to solar for the 15 or more hours per day it is unavailable.

            And there is ZERO merit to wind power, for the large amount of time it is not producing adequate electricity.

            RELIABILITY or SUPPLY is something seb does not comprehend.

            How about you try one week of actually producing evidence for CO2 warming?

            Maybe start by answering two simple questions.

            Q1. In what way has the climate changed in the last 40 years, that can be scientifically attributable to human CO2 ?

            Q2. Do you have ANY EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE at all that humans have changed the global climate in ANYWAY WHATSOEVER?

          4. tom0mason

            “Marginal cost”? Utter pre-fossilized copra!

            Performance is what matters, and your much touted unreliable grid ruinable systems unarguably increases the overall costs of generation and distribution.
            So seb, I contend that you can not, with any reason or logic, argue otherwise! Total cost of the grid supplied electricity increases as wind and solar are added to the mix.
            They are not zero cost, they are not even low cost for the overall performance of a grid system!

          5. tom0mason

            “Ever heard of the merit order system, Spikey?”

            Ever heard of guaranteed, on demand supply, SebastianH?
            Ever heard of cost effective results? SebastianH?
            Ever heard of cost/performance analysis over the life of a system, SebastianH?

            I await more imagined BS from SebastianH.

        2. Yonason


          The strawman – one of the troll’s heavily relied on debating tactics.

          LOL – The troll accuses us of saying that greenies run the world, when all we are saying is they desperately want to and must be prevented from succeeding. If it were up to them, Pierre’s blog wouldn’t exist, and we wouldn’t still be able to openly resist them. Governments wouldn’t have the option of withholding subsidies, or preventing them form installing wind farms wherever they chose.

          The fact that we are still reading about their setbacks, means we still stand a chance. If they were in control, then everything we read would be as absurd as what SebH spews constantly. No. It’s obvious they don’t and that we don’t believe they do. So, once again, the activist shill for watermelon world accuses us of something we have never said, and uses it to paint us as projecting cognitive dissonance, when it is really they who are. Claiming ruinables will ever be competitive or affordable is contradicted by the data, especially that which shows how much they have increased, despite massive subsidies.

          1. Yonason

            How are they biting?

            Nothin yet. 🙂

  13. spike55

    OT, Arctic sea ice volume from DMI .

    2018 has just taken 3rd place since 2003, and melting slowly.

    STILL lots of thick ice up there.

    STILL in the top 10% of the last 10,000 years

    STILL just a small way down from the extreme anomalies of the LIA and late 1970s, way above extents from the MWP and before.

  14. Georg Thomas

    Pierre, Your rendering of the Handelsblatt article is immaculate.

    Apparently, your critic has a poor command of the German language.

    Handelsblatt reports a “dramatische Preisverfall”, i.e. “a dramatic fall of prices” (your term “deterioration” is apposite).

    Your critic distorts the text in claiming that the auctions caused the crisis, when, in fact, Handelsblatt expressly writes that “the dramatic price decline for wind electricity was the cause of the crisis” (“Auslöser der Krise ist der dramatische Preisverfall für Windstrom.”), while the effect of the auctions is to further increase/raise price pressure, according to Handelsblatt (“Das Ausschreibungsverfahren erhöht den Preisdruck…”).

    It is the height of conceit to claim of your rendering: “That is not what is written in the text. Not at all.” A fortiori, considering that your critic is the one who distorts the original in his translation.

    1. SebastianH

      George, this is what Pierre wrote and it is wrong and not what the Handelsblatt article says:

      The German daily blames a lack of orders from the domestic market, due to “a dramatic price fall” for electricity from the wind. Clearly without the massive subsidies, wind energy shrivels almost instantaneously.

      It’s the reduced volume of the auctions that is causing less wind to be installed, not the low prices. The low prices are a result of the auctions allowing only a limited amount of wind to be installed each year. The prices didn’t fall because subsidies decreased, it’s the other way around.

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  17. tom0mason

    Over at Euan Mearns’ Energy Matters blog ( ) he reports on other countries difficulties with ruinable electricity generation not supplying enough power.

    Specifically South Korea…

    The numbers on the monitors at Korea Power Exchange’s main control center spiked to 82 million kilowatts as the temperature in Seoul hit 39 degrees Celsius on Aug. 1, the hottest day ever recorded in the city. All of Korea’s thermal power plants, as well as 18 nuclear power plants, were operating at full capacity. On the other hand, wind turbines’ operation rate was only 13 percent. Wind turbines that could generate peak power of 1.35 million kilowatts were generating only 180,000 kilowatts that day. “It’s because, in the summer, there’s not much wind,” said an official at the Korea Power Exchange. Even Korea’s solar power stations were operating at 44 percent of full capacity. Despite having 2.53 million kilowatts of capacity, only 1.12 million kilowatts was generated, even when the sun was bright. Solar panels didn’t meet their potential because their heat was too high.

    So it’s summer, the wind drops, the solar panels become less efficient as they warm-up, so the thermal and nuclear generation save the day by supplying ‘on demand electricity’.
    If SebastianH and such demented types had their way South Korea should be like South Australia or even North Korea — Intermittent ‘get it while you can’ electric power, in the darkness of a socialist minimal industrial existence, and all because of an unrealistic supposition about CO2.

  18. Yonason
  19. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #325 | Watts Up With That?
  20. tom0mason

    E. Philipps, you offer nothing.
    Like many activists that pass through here, you offer no real argument, just the usual childlike snide but empty remark, to which I can not see why I, or anyone, should reply.

    You’ll probably never return again as you’ve used-up all your logic and reason 🙂
    So have a good day, bye.

  21. Energy & Environmental Newsletter: August 20, 2018 - Master Resource

    […] German Wind Industry In “Serious Crisis”, Could “Implode” […]

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