Germany used to be regarded as a global leader in the transition to renewable green energies — especially wind and solar power — a project dubbed the “Energiewende”. But this is no longer the case. Germany has fallen behind to the rear of the pack.
Ironically the USA is leading the world in cutting back CO2!
The Düsseldorf-based daily Rheinische Post (RP) here writes that it’s time for Germany to “face inconvenient truths” concerning green energies and that pragmatic (and not ideological) action is needed.
The title of the commentary: “Self-deception in the green energy transition“
Green, cult-like dream now colliding with harsh reality
For years the German government, activists and alarmist scientists promised that green energies — foremost wind and sun — would be plentiful, cheap and clean. “Hooray!” the entire exclaimed in jubilation.
But today in its commentary the RP concedes that “the reality looks totally different” and that it is requiring “an enormous effort” just to keep the power grids stable as waves of unpredictable green power repeatedly surge into the power grid.
According to the RP, emergency power grid interventions by grid operators cost electricity consumers last year 1,4 billion euros. German households consequently pay 47% more for their power than the average EU.
Energiewende: “risky, inefficient and expensive”
And so what have German consumers gotten in return in terms of climate and CO2 emissions for all the extra pain? Nothing.
German CO2 emissions have stagnated (i.e. haven’t fallen at all). And according to the RP: “The German transition to green energy is in reality risky, inefficient and expensive.”
The RP comments that highly ballyhooed headlines of new record amounts of green energy being produced don’t change a thing with respect to the failing green energy transition, and notes that although green energies made up 37% of the gross share of gross power consumption, these clean energies amounted only to a measly 13 percent of the entire German energy mix!
The RP asks: “How could the German flagship project have derailed in this way?”
German dependence on coal “cemented for years to come”
The main reason for the failure, the RP writes, was Germany’s panicked rush to exit nuclear power in the wake Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster amid a deeply-rooted, collective and decades-old German aversion to nuclear power. This lead to the German government shutting down half of its nuclear power plants overnight and diving blindly into a rapid, unplanned expansion of wind and solar power.
The decision, the RP writes, was driven by the aim to shut down nuclear power, and not to reduce CO2.
The result, the RP comments: “Unfortunately, both goals are in direct contradiction. The politically desired phase-out of nuclear power has cemented our [German] dependence on coal for years to come. Its share is still 42 percent.”
The RP then comments that if Germany were really serious about reducing CO2, the country would not shut down its remaining nuclear power plants, which produce no “greenhouse” gas emissions.
Green energies “a naive illusion”
The RP also writes Germany should reconsider its efforts “to demonize diesel engines”, which have considerably higher fuel efficiency than gasoline engines. The move to eliminate diesel engines will make CO2 reductions more difficult. The RP also notes that electric cars “are no alternative” in terms of CO2.
100% renewables “a naive illusion”
The RP calls the idea of covering all Germany’s energy needs through renewable energy “a naive illusion” and expects that the country will have to accept the fact that it will remain dependent on fossil fuels also over the long-term.
Also the collectively naive Germans in general need to get realistic and serious about what going 100% green entails. The RP comments:
Anyone who has solar cells mounted on the roof and then flies mindlessly to vacation on the Maldives, has not understood the problem.”
Public also opposes CCS
The RP finally comments on other possible technical solutions that could be employed to make the pain of having to go without fossil energies bearable, namely subsidizing CCS technology. However, a great number of Germans oppose that technology as well.
The way things are going, the RP suggests, Germany will never be able to meet its CO2 reductions targets.