Germany pours cold water over EU’s green energy ambitions

Posted: June 12, 2018 by oldbrew in Energy, opinion, Politics
Tags: , , ,

‘The donkey goes on to the ice until it breaks’ – German proverb [image credit:]

A few political home truths get attacked by climate obsessives, but will voters see to it that some semblance of reality takes over from unrealistic ideologically motivated targets?

Voters across Europe have lost faith in politics partly because of “unachievable targets” on renewable energy, said German Energy Minister Peter Altmaier, rejecting calls from a group of other EU countries to boost the share of renewables to 33-35% of the bloc’s energy mix by 2030.

Altmaier made the comments during an on-the-record exchange between the 28 EU energy ministers, who are gathered in Luxembourg today (11 June) for a meeting of the Energy Council.

Energy ministers are expected to thrash out a joint position on three clean energy laws which are currently being negotiated in the EU institutions – the Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive and a regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union.

“Germany supports responsible but achievable targets,” Altmaier said from the outset, underlining Berlin’s efforts to boost renewables to 15% of the country’s overall energy mix.

But he said those efforts also carried a cost for the German taxpayer, which he put at €25 billion per year. “And if we are setting targets that are definitely above 30%, that means that within a decade, our share has to be more than doubled – clearly more than doubled,” Altmaier pointed out.

“We’re not going to manage that,” Altmaier said referring to an objective of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020 in Germany. “Nowhere in Europe is going to manage that,” he claimed. “And even if we did manage to get enough electric cars, we wouldn’t have enough renewable electricity to keep them on the road,” he stressed.

What’s needed, he said, is “a compromise that prevents us from having an unachievable target” at European level. “Citizens across Europe are losing faith in politics. When they see that we are setting very ambitious targets and that a few years later we’re deferring this, we are way off their expectations.”

Continued here.

  1. Phoenix44 says:

    Germany is starting to get worried about costs for its industries. What with tariffs from Trump, Brexit potentially shrinking a big market (thanks to the EU) and energy cost rocketing, I have no doubt the behind the scenes lobbying is intense.

  2. JB says:

    “A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain.”–Robert Heinlein

    What is the other part for “citizens losing faith in politics”?

    Perhaps those who are “losing faith in politics” will return to having faith in themselves? Unlikely, as it is not a natural human condition. But one could hope it happens before economic implosion.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    The basic problem facing Germany is that hydro is defined as non-renewable (talk about your brain fart…) while nuclear, THE ultimate energy source, is defined off the table entirely.

    That leaves fossil fuels or {wind, solar, geothermal}.

    Fossil fuels are defined as “to be dumped”. Germany is a bit light on geothermal resources.

    So at the end of the day (tee hee 😉 you have wind and solar, yet there are windless nights.

    Essentially you are defined into an end state that has massive swings of production including drop to zero output. It is hard to run an industrial society on zero electricity.

    Now just what is supposed to fill that zero gap?

    If you use fossil fuels you are not making your self imposed goal. Further, you are asking someone to commit to delivering a LOT of fuel on a moment notice; yet make no money on their investment until that time. That is not economically viable. (Worse, the solar minimum and wind halt often comes in winter, right when heating gas demand is highest. So where will that gas come from when the available supply and pipeline capacity is committed to keeping folks warm?)

    Batteries? Good luck with that. Self-discharge losses, charge / discharge cycle losses. Very high costs. Replacement every few years. You can do that if you are willing to accept a doubling or tripling of your electricity bill (above the higher rate from just adding wind and solar at all). But that cost is not compatible with industrial production in a competitive world market.

    Essentially, at about 20% wind / solar you can “live with it” at an acceptable (tolerable?) hike in electricity costs (about 50% to a doubling). Beyond that, the economic damage and the logistics of sourcing alternative power becomes too damaging. Germany is now in the process of realizing that.

    We are seeing that happen in California now too. Electricity had been about 10 ¢ / kW-hr some years back. After adding wind / solar, it is now 19 ¢ to 35 ¢ / kW-hr depending on how much you use (baseline or above). that’s a double to almost 4 times. WITHOUT storage. Now add any more than our (roughly low 20’s %) you will get another doubling. There is a 50 ¢ / kW-hr tariff already filed with the PUC and some areas with time of day pricing can hit $1 / kW-hr.

    Now just what company with a brain would choose to put a significant energy using industry (and what industry does NOT use electricity…) into that kind of cost basis?

    THAT is the key reason this is being pushed 24 x 7 world wide. ONLY if ALL players are pushed into that high cost basis can industry be retained. Anyone sits out the cost ramp, they get the industrial base. As China and India are exempt, guess who gets the business?

    There is at present no way out of this logic box.

    As just one example:

    Florida has roughly 7 ¢ to 10 ¢ / kW-hr electricity. My family is in active planning to be moved there inside a year or two. Guess why…

  4. oldbrew says:

    Basically the higher the percentage of unreliables, the greater the overall costs and/or the bigger the risk of unmanageable grid situations i.e. sudden power shortages.

    Plus all the unreliables will be obsolete or not worth fixing in +/- 20 years, and another round of subsidies will be called for to replace them.

    Altmaier seems to have got the idea to some extent at least.

  5. stpaulchuck says:

    energy suicide
    once the crap power reaches 15% the grid will become totally unstable with brownouts and blackouts

  6. oldbrew says:

    Once a national grid becomes unstable so do the jobs/careers of the people who made it so, or who did nothing to change course.
    – – –
    Delingpole: Epic Renewables Fail as Solar Crashes and Wind Refuses to Blow
    9 Jun 2018

  7. oldbrew says:

    Coal Use To Explode By 43% Worldwide! …German Energy Expert: “Foundation Of The Paris Accord Has Collapsed”
    By P Gosselin on 12. June 2018

    Paris absurdity

    According to Vahrenholt, the phase-out of coal will mean the decarbonization of Germany, which in turn will mean its de-industrialization. This, according to Vahrenholt, all coming to the great delight of the Chinese

    A dismayed Vahrenholt sums up:

    “Trump was clever enough, to exit the Paris absurdity early enough.”
    – – –
    No wonder Trump thinks the rest of the G7 are deluded prats.

  8. E.M.Smith says:


    Perhaps because they are?…

  9. dscott says:

    E.M.Smith: Florida has roughly 7 ¢ to 10 ¢ / kW-hr electricity. My family is in active planning to be moved there inside a year or two. Guess why…

    As a former Floridian, keep your expectations realistic. It’s one thing to mentally assent to an idea and it’s another to actually experience the unanticipated issues of living in any one place. Be prepared for 1. high humidity from May through October (all yard work must be done by 9 am and A/C is a necessity during this time) 2. High property insurance (the AGW scam has elevated insurance beyond historical losses) 3. high auto insurance rates (double most states) due to transient nature of population. 4. nasty red ants that make your yard unusable (don’t dare walk barefoot). 5. low wages due to tourism industry and resistance to industrialization. 6. most neighborhoods don’t have natural gas making most houses ALL electric. (you’ll have to set a propane tank and replace appliances to save on energy usage).

    There are some advantages not readily seen, that being the civil court system is much fairer to men in domestic litigation especially child custody and domestic violence assumptions. Also, judicial elections insure more accountability than northern states, in Florida, when you are presented with choices to vote for each judge it is YES or NO, it is not the subtle rigging of: vote for no more than x from the list. Nor do they disqualify your entire ballot IF you refuse to vote on some choices unlike some blue states.

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