Energy

Obama calls for U.S. to follow Germany’s path . . . to blackouts

In tonight’s State of the Union speech, President Obama called for massive new “investments” in renewable energy. By that he means that he wants to transfer billions of dollars to the renewable energy industry via subsidies, while also accomplishing his previously expressed goal of making “electricity prices necessarily skyrocket.”

Apparently White House speechwriters are confident that Americans — and American journalists — do not read the foreign press. Au contraire. And today we were particularly drawn to a disturbing headline in Germany’s Focus Magazine exposing the recklessness of Mr. Obama’s vow to follow Germany’s lead: “Es vir dunkel in Deutschland” (Translated: “It gets dark in Germany”).

The article quotes German lawmakers who are warning of blackouts and deriding the failed policy of forcing uneconomic, intermittent energy technology from a century ago onto the German economy. According to the summary provided by UK think tank OpenEurope:

Focus Magazine reports that the German Ministry of Economic Affairs has warned that Germany may in the future experience energy blackouts, as the country doesn’t have the capacity to cope with the EU’s renewable energy targets, which oblige member states to source 20% of energy from renewables by 2020. Liberal MEP Holger Krahmer is quoted saying, “this shouldn’t surprise anybody given the irrational energy policies of excessive reliance on renewables.”

Daily Caller readers by now are aware that President Obama boasted on no fewer than eight occasions that Spain was his model for a “clean energy economy.” That practice abruptly ended as soon as the disaster that was Spain’s bursting “green” bubble was exposed, first by a Madrid professor of economics, and not long thereafter by reality.

Citing the Gulf oil spill as his impetus, Obama then took to the Oval Office to re-emphasize his demands for a windmill- and solar panel-based economy. He was wise to avoid the risk of claiming any other success story as his model.

He then again dared to venture into specifics by citing Germany, a bad example also already exposed by economists and academics. According to the old-line, state-funded think tank RWI-Essen:

[A]lthough Germany’s promotion of renewable energies is commonly portrayed in the media as setting a “shining example in providing a harvest for the world” (The Guardian 2007), we would instead regard the country’s experience as a cautionary tale of a massively expensive environmental and energy policy that is devoid of economic and environmental benefits . . .

The truth is that Germany’s solar speculators and its entire renewabubble industry are hoping for a bailout from American taxpayers, which would only delay the industry’s demise by mere months, possibly a few short years. But the industry’s demise is inevitable, as it was for Spain’s renewabubble industry, which similarly sought a U.S. bailout.

Tonight, President Obama confirmed that he isn’t concerned about how the Spanish and German energy schemes have worked out and believes that Americans won’t catch on until we have another ethanol-style disaster on our hands — though on a scale from ten to twenty times larger.

Mr. Obama, please stop this dangerous game now. It is less Wirschaftswunder than Gotterdammerung.

Christopher C. Horner is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.