Germany’s Wind Power Meltdown

Posted: March 28, 2016 by tallbloke in Energy, government, greenblob, Incompetence, solar system dynamics, wind

turbine-failRepost from Stop These Things

The Germans went into wind power harder and faster than anyone else – and the cost of doing so is catching up with a vengeance.

The subsidies have been colossal and the impacts on the electricity market chaotic.

Some 800,000 German homes have been disconnected from the grid – victims of what is euphemistically called “fuel poverty”. Power starved Germans, instead of freezing, grabbed their axes and tramped into their forests to improve their sense of energy security – although foresters apparently take the view that this self-help measure is nothing more than blatant timber theft (see our post here).

German manufacturers – and other energy intensive industries – faced with escalating power bills are packing up and heading to the USA – where power prices are 1/3 of Germany’s (see our posts here and hereand here). And the “green” dream of creating thousands of jobs in the wind industry has turned out to be just that: a dream (see our post here).

Those in charge of Germany’s power grid have stepped up calls for an end to the lunacy of trying to absorb a wholly weather dependent generation source into what was never designed to deal with the chaos presented on a daily basis:

Germany’s Wind Power Debacle Escalates: Nation’s Grid on the Brink of Collapse

The economics are so bizarre, that you’d think its “Energiewende” policy had been put together by the GDR’s ‘brains trust’, before the Berlin Wall took its tumble in 1989.

In Germany, around €100 billion has already been burnt on renewable subsidies; currently the green energy levy costs €56 million every day. And, the level of subsidy for wind and solar sees Germans paying €20 billion a year for power that gets sold on the power exchange for around €2 billion.

Squandering €18 billion a year on power – which Germans have in abundance from meaningful sources – has them asking the fair and reasonable question: just how much power are they getting for the €billions that they’ve thrown – and continue to throw at wind and solar? The answer – at a piddling 3.3% – is: NOT MUCH.

For Germans, that would all be miserable enough, except that – contrary to the purported environmental purpose of their Energiewende – CO2 emissions are rising, not falling as promised and predicted.

If “saving” the planet is – as we are repeatedly told – all about reducing man-made emissions of an odourless, colourless, naturally occurring trace gas, essential for all life on earth – then German energy/environmental policy has manifestly failed. And what an expensive failure it is.

  1. Graeme No.3 says:

    From the Guardian – ” In short: we will replace oil, coal and gas with intelligence and sustainable investment by 2050 at the latest” – in that case We’re doomed!

    Seriously; proof that CO2 causes much warming should be a prerequisite for such drastic action, and it hasn’t been provided since the conjecture became accepted in 1972. It would seem that climate ‘scientists’ aren’t very good at science.
    Then what is the connection between CO2 and temperature rise? It seems to be a political slogan. What happens if the Earth cools slightly due to less solar activity?
    And why must the reliable, and relatively cheap, non CO2 emitting electricity from nuclear be shut down? And why is the electricity supply being changed at the whim of those who know nothing about it?
    Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of politicians – might be a good title for a book.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Graeme – How about ‘The Doomsday Illusion’ – or has some other fiction writer already used that?

    Germany got the anti-nuclear jitters after the Fukushima disaster. Not much they can do about France right next door with 50+ reactors though – apart from scrounge some of their surplus output when it’s not so windy 😐

  3. Rossshire Mannie says:

    As they say there….’Menschens Kinder !’ which roughly translates into the desperation phrase of ‘the children of Man’
    I have a saying ‘ A job is only so big, the More the Power available, the Less the Brain ‘ go Figure !

  4. Graeme No.3 says:

    It would have to be The Doomsday Illusion Part XXIV. Have you read ‘Scared to Death’ by Booker & North? Written 2006 but still relevant, particularly their comments on global warming.

  5. oldbrew says:

    We’re in the age of mass media superstition…as the BBC well knows 😉

    ‘The book culminates in a chillingly detailed account of the story behind what it shows has become the greatest scare of them all: the belief that the world faces disaster through man-made global warming. In an epilogue the authors compare our credulity in falling for scares to mass hysterias of previous ages such as the post-mediaeval ‘witch craze’, describing our time as a ‘new age of superstition’.’ – From the Amazon summary

  6. Climatism says:

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    ‘Green’ Germany, only in name.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    The Germans have always impressed me as The most intelligent fanatically obsessive crazy people I’ve know.

    BTW, Dad’s family is a German Irish mix while Mum is from the UK, but the Anglo Saxon area, sort. A bit unclear if German or Viking, but… In short, I’ve a lot of German relatives… So I’m talking dirt about my family here…

    Sane energy policy is not available from the political class…

  8. dscott says:

    In 2014 German leaders were warned about de-industrialization:

    EU Must Contain Energy Costs or Risk ‘Deindustrialization’

    …German companies and consumers are shouldering costs of as much as 24 billion euros ($32 billion) a year for clean-energy aid, the country’s Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel told the same event. Europe’s biggest economy has reached “the limit” with renewables subsidies and must contain power prices or risk “deindustrialization,” he said.

    Germany has been one of the most ardent advocates of ambitious carbon-reduction policies that have helped drive up Europe’s power prices at more than three times the rate of inflation. Chancellor Angela Merkel has made reforming renewable-energy subsidies to reduce the cost of the country’s switch from nuclear power the top priority of her third-term government, which took office last month…

    …Merkel could reduce prices by cutting back fees and taxes that make up more than half of the electricity bill, Oettinger said. Germans pay more for power than residents of any EU nation except Denmark…

    …Retail power prices have risen 65 percent and natural gas by 42 percent between 2004 and 2011, more than double the inflation rate of 18 percent during the period.

  9. dscott says:

    Of course, what is tip toed around is the corruption, where do the billions of Euros in subsidies go? And when Merkel and other green supporting politicians run for office, where do their campaign contributions come from? The people whose companies get these subsidies? European pols are no different than American ones, they are not any different in sophistication despite the overt Socialism.

    Democrats in America and Socialists in Europe wrap themselves in faux green religion proclaiming their devout belief in Global Warming when in actuality it’s a scam for political contributions for re-election campaigns. Now the Clintons have this even more sophisticated scam, they have the Clinton Global Initiative where 80% of the donations are used for expenses, you know Bill and Hillary’s expenses. The underlying point being, none of these politicians care that money is being taken from the citizenry who are forced under color of law to pay for the scam IF they get their cut of the subsidy as a kick back in the form of political donations.

  10. dscott says:

    To my English and German cousins I offer up the observation made by one of the founders of the American Republic regarding government corruption by politicians:

    James Madison, 1788, Federalist Paper # 62

    The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

    Another effect of public instability is the unreasonable advantage it gives to the sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few over the industrious and uniformed mass of the people. Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue, or in any way affecting the value of the different species of property, presents a new harvest to those who watch the change, and can trace its consequences; a harvest, reared not by themselves, but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow-citizens. This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the few, not for the many.

    In another point of view, great injury results from an unstable government. The want of confidence in the public councils damps every useful undertaking, the success and profit of which may depend on a continuance of existing arrangements. What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not but that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed? What farmer or manufacturer will lay himself out for the encouragement given to any particular cultivation or establishment, when he can have no assurance that his preparatory labors and advances will not render him a victim to an inconstant government? In a word, no great improvement or laudable enterprise can go forward which requires the auspices of a steady system of national policy.

    The methods of corruption by the sagacious are not new, they age old, the only thing that is new is the name given to the faux morality presented. Remember, when Madison made these observations in 1788 it was from his experience not just from America, but Europe.

  11. oldbrew says:

    Knocking nuclear power on the head at the same time as throwing the kitchen sink at renewables was never going to be a smart move.

  12. Bitter&twisted says:

    Pigeons? Roost?
    This has all the hallmarks of a monumental balls-up.

  13. oldbrew says:

    Freeze on new wind farms in China.

    ‘Beijing has ordered wind operators to stop expanding four times in the last five years because unreliable wind power was damaging the country’s power grid and costing the government enormous amounts of money. The best areas for wind turbines in China are far away from the coastal provinces where most of its population lives, and building the infrastructure to transmit wind energy over long distances is enormously expensive and could cost many times the price of generating the electricity.’

    Germany has a similar problem. The wind is in the north (North Sea) and the power shortages are in the south (replacing nuclear power). They are sending the power via Poland and the Czech republic, disrupting their supply grids.

  14. […] Germany’s Wind Power Meltdown. Some 800,000 German homes have been disconnected from the grid – victims of what is euphemistically called “fuel poverty”. German manufacturers faced with escalating power bills are packing up and heading to the USA – where power prices are 1/3 of Germany’s. […]