Report: Germany’s Green Energy Policy ‘A Disaster In The Making’


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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Germany’s green energy policies will likely lead to disaster, according a major environmentalist in the country.

Germany estimates that it will spend over $1.1 trillion on its “Energiewende” plan to boost green energy production and fight global warming. But the plan hasn’t achieved the government’s goal of significantly reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

“Policymakers might try to continue on their current course towards economic disaster,” Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, chairman of the German Wildlife Foundation, wrote in a report published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. “A serious move away from the Energiewende would amount to an admission of a strategic blunder, with unforeseeable consequences for the current political establishment.”

Vahrenholt argued continuing Energiewende poses a huge problem for the electrical grid, since solar and wind power are intermittent sources and can trigger blackouts. Furthermore, Germany’s green subsidies are distorting the power market, making electricity more expensive, Vahrenholt found.

“Although renewables are already generating an additional cost to energy consumers of the order of [$27] billion annually, there is no political party in Germany that opposes the policy in the parliament; the majority of the German population support it too, because they think they are saving the world from a climate catastrophe,” Vahrenholt said.

The country’s energy policy has already forced it to pay wind farms $548 million to switch off last year to prevent damage to the country’s electric grid, according to a survey of power companies by the German newspaper Wirtschaftswoche.

“Today, energy prices in Germany are already the second highest in Europe (after Denmark). The additional levy on power bills for renewables will rise to an astounding [7.39 cents]/kWh in 2017, more than double the market price,” Vahrenholt continued.

The average German pays 39 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity due to intense fiscal support for green energy. The average American only spends 10.4 cents per kilowatt-hour. Nuclear power’s decline has created an opening for coal power, according to a Voice of America article published in November. Coal now provides 44 percent of  Germany’s power, despite the fact that coal ash is actually more radioactive than nuclear waste.

Nuclear power made up 29.5 percent of Germany’s energy in the year 2000. The share dropped down to 17 percent in 2015, and by 2022 the country intends to have every one of its nuclear plants shutdown. This shift caused Germany’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to actually rise by 28 million tons each year after Germany’s nuclear policy changed. Germany’s government decided to abandon nuclear energy after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan galvanized opposition.

Due to the damaging effects of its green energy policies, the German government plans to cap the total amount of wind energy at 40 to 45 percent of national capacity, according to a report published earlier this month by the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung. Germany will get rid of 6,000 megawatts of wind power capacity by 2019

One of Germany’s largest electrical companies is facing bankruptcy due to the enormous amounts of money it poured into green energy, according to a reports by the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. RWE was forced by the government to shut down many of its profitable nuclear reactors and build expensive wind and solar power.

RWE’s overall earnings fell by almost 10 percent between 2014 and 2015 and are predicted to fall by up to 14 percent this year. The company’s attempt to sell stock reeks of an effort to raise the money required to stave off bankruptcy. The company has a 46 percent chance of going bankrupt within the next two years, according to investment groups.

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