Germany’s Green party is very unpopular and in a precarious position, according to the results of a new poll published Sunday.
The Greens are now supported by only six percent of the population, the worst support pollsters have measured for the party in 15 years. If they drop below five percent of the vote in the national election this September, the Greens lose all of their representation in Germany’s national legislative body. The Greens currently control 63 of the 630 seats.
The same opinion poll stated the Greens had 25 percent support as recently as 2011.
Once the world’s most powerful environmentalist political movement, the party lost every seat it held in a regional German legislature in a crushing electoral defeat in March. National elections could see the party booted out of the country’s legislative body entirely.
Other far-left parties only received a small percentage of the vote as well, so the Greens will have a hard time forming a coalition with other left-leaning parties, like the Social Democrats. The Social Democrats saw their percentage of the vote fall in March’s regional elections elections as well.
Voters may have punished the Greens because Germany’s power grid almost collapsed in January due to poorly-performing wind turbines and solar panels. Unusually cloudy weather combined with atypical wind speeds set the stage for massive blackouts.
“A major blackout almost occurred Jan. 24 and was only prevented when German energy suppliers also took the last reserve power plant,” Michael Vassiliadis, head of the union that represents power plants, told reporters. The country’s power grid was strained to the absolute limit, and could have gone offline entirely, and would have triggered a national blackout if just one power plant had gone offline.
Germany was forced to recommission coal power plants to simply keep the lights on. The country’s green energy plans call for 30 such power plants to shut down by 2019.
The country’s trendy and ineffective energy policy already forced payments to wind farms in the amount of $548 million last year to switch off, which prevented additional damage to the electric grid, according to a survey of power companies by the German newspaper Wirtschaftswoche.
All of Germany’s subsidies and support for green energy have sharply increased power prices, with the average German paying 39 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity. The average American only spends 10.4 cents per kilowatt-hour by comparison.
As a result of green energy’s rampant unreliability and expense, Germany plans to cap the total amount of wind energy at 40 to 45 percent of national capacity, according to a report published by the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung. Germany will get rid of 6,000 megawatts of wind power capacity by 2019.
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