The end of Germany’s Energiewende? 

Posted: January 11, 2017 by oldbrew in Energy, ideology
Tags: , , ,



Bloggers and others have been stating the obvious for years: relying on unreliable electricity generation from renewables like wind and solar energy can’t possibly work. For the hard of thinking, the clue is in the word ‘unreliable’. The penny has to drop with political leaders, or at least their voters, sooner or later – surely?

The End of the Energiewende? – by German economist Heiner Flassbeck

Stable high-pressure winter weather has resulted in a confrontation. An Energiewende that relies mainly on wind and solar energy will not work in the long run. One cannot forgo nuclear power, eliminate fossil fuels, and tell people that electricity supplies will remain secure all the same.

We have attempted unsuccessfully to find Energiewende advocates willing to explain that inconsistency. Their silence is not easy to fathom. But maybe the events themselves have made the outcome inevitable.

With nuclear power no longer available, a capacity of at least 50 gigawatts is required by other means, despite an enormously expanded network of wind turbines and solar systems.

This winter could go down in history as the event that proved the German energy transition to be unsubstantiated and incapable of becoming a success story.

Electricity from wind and solar generation has been catastrophically low for several weeks. December brought new declines. A persistent winter high-pressure system with dense fog throughout Central Europe has been sufficient to unmask the fairy tale of a successful energy transition, even for me as a lay person.

This is a setback, because many people had placed high hopes in the Energiewende. I likewise never expected to see large-scale solar arrays and wind turbines, including those offshore, motionless for days on end.

The data compiled by Agora Energiewende on the individual types of electricity generation have recorded the appalling results for sun and wind at the beginning of December and from the 12th to 14th:

The GWPF report continues here.

  1. CWells says:

    I would think German engineers and scientists understand the basic concept of “power density”? Apparently not! Or, maybe they do, but can’t clearly explain it to the political trash.

  2. TinyCo2 says:

    What’s odd is how long it’s taking for the bleedin’ obvious to become common knowledge. I suppose it’s because there’s always another untried magic solution that will be better than the failed magic solutions. Plus the idea that enough failed solutions add up to a good one. Money no object because only nasty fossil fuel funded deniers think about pesky details like that.

  3. catweazle666 says:

    “I likewise never expected to see large-scale solar arrays and wind turbines, including those offshore, motionless for days on end.”

    A quick inspection of the last decade or so of European weather records would have enlightened you.

    Why had you not exercised due diligence?

  4. Stephen Richards says:

    ask us old’uns. I remember weeks in UK with persistent cloud and no wind. Ice on telephone lines and fences for weeks

  5. BoyfromTottenham says:

    We old uns talk too much about facts, logic and the like. The young uns (in a post-fact world) have feelings and opinions instead. At the moment, feelings and opinions seem to trump facts and logic. For how long this state of affairs can continue, I don’t know…

  6. oldbrew says:

    ‘I likewise never expected to see large-scale solar arrays and wind turbines, including those offshore, motionless for days on end.’

    Not unrelated to this perhaps…

    January 2017 European cold wave

  7. tom0mason says:

    But if you get rid of wind and solar’s intermittent power generation and all the hardship that entails, how will people ‘FEEL’ that they’re ‘saving the planet’?

  8. oldbrew says:

    Tom0 – they can buy their own solar panels and/or wind devices.

    Good luck to anyone relying on the output though 😐

  9. Tim Hammond says:

    I remember when Thatcher died, one of her biographers was on the radio. He was asked what her greatest quality was. Surprisingly to me, he said that she would not stand for wishful thinking.

    We seem now to be suffering from an epidemic of wishful thinking, on just about every issue. This article is full of it.

  10. oldbrew says:

    The Germans plough on to their super-expensive electricity system that won’t work.

    Date: 10/01/17 Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt

  11. oldbrew says:

    It gets better…I mean – worse.

    NTZ: Germany’s Federal Accounting Office Slams Government For Out-Of-Control Electricity Costs

    The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) — Germany’s version of the Washington Post — reports here that the country’s Energiewende (transition to green energy) has been fraught with “serious errors” and that the government has lost control of its energy policy.

    The federal accounting office report slams Gabriel’s Economics Ministry, concluding, that it “has no overview of the financial impacts of the Energiewende.” In short, the government has lost control over the project.

    See more at: