It has been claimed by some that Germany has proven the viability of wind and solar energy, and is having success after success, supposedly making Germany one of the flagships for 'green' energy. And those making the claim, cite claims made by wind and solar corporations**, whom of course have a stake in making their products look like a success. Just ask leftist billionaires like T Boone Pickens or Tom Styer, who are raking in the taxpayer-funded subsidies of 'renewable' energy.
**note: I cheerfully use the word 'corporation' here, because wind-and-solar power companies ARE of course corporations, just like the oil and coal companies. And, just like the oil and coal companies, are out to make as much money as possible. And don't forget, in radical green-think, corporations are 'evil.'
Just like wind-power corporation ENRON bjdurk.newsvine.com/_news/2011…
But, is Germany truly the case in point for successful 'green' energy?
By P Gosselin on 22. November 2014
This week’s print edition of the Swiss news weekly Weltwoche has a commentary by economist Silvio Borner titled "Cardiac Arrest with Flickering Power". His commentary focusses on the completely misleading and false claims often made by tax-payer funded proponents of renewable energies, mainly solar and wind power.
According to Borner, the Swiss canton of Basel City has been levying a tax on every kilowatt of power consumed since 1999. The resulting revenue, according to Borner, flows into a "power-savings fund".
Borner discovered that some of the generated revenue gets used for spreading green energy propaganda, for example the Fall 2014 publication dubbed: Neue Energie für die Schweiz (New Energy for Switzerland). Borner has found a number of dubious, misleading and even false claims in the publication, which one could easily describe as a classic example of energy policy "Grubering".
Wind and solar constrained by "physical and economic laws"
First the Swiss publication confuses rated capacity and actual output. Neue Energie claims that 33,000 blocked small-scale green energy power systems could replace "without a problem" 3 nuclear power plants. Borner calls that claim false because even if a means for storing the intermittent wind and solar energy did exist, many times more the number of systems would be needed because they operate only at a small fraction of their rated capacity. Moreover they would produce much more CO2 than the zero-emission nuclear power plants, which run continuously near to full capacity.
This is a well known fact that still even today has yet to sink through the dense skulls of the naive green energy believers.
And because wind and solar energy are so intermittent when it comes to their supply, Borner dubs them "Flatterstrom", which in English can be translated to: "flickering-power". Thus they will never be able to serve as the stable base supply a power grid requires. Borner writes:
A complete replacement of the nuclear power plants by wind and solar cannot be achieved "without a problem’ due to physical and economic laws."
Green energies "destroy x-times more jobs than they create"
The Neue Energie propaganda publication also claims green energies are a jobs engine for Switzerland. But Borner writes that this not by any means the truth.
The higher costs for power thus destroy x-times more jobs subject to international competition than they artificially create, and do so only temporarily."
Green energies increase dependency on foreign power
Borner also calls the assertion of energy independence thanks to wind and solar, and their "low prices", a myth:
The more flickering power we feed into the grid (independent of demand and thus value), the more unstable the domestic supply becomes and thus the greater the dependency on foreign countries becomes."
At the end, using an excellent analogy, Borner demolishes the claim made by the Swiss green energy propaganda publication where "20 to 30 square meters of rooftop supplies the energy demand of an average household, without CO2 emissions". Borner writes:
Fact: The crux of the argument is the misleading magnitude ‘annual consumption’. What does our household do over the long and dark winter months? What use does the average number of annual heartbeats have if your heart stops for a few hours every night? The electric power circuit is like blood circulation. Both need a permananet flow. Anyne who puts faith in the annual value for supplying his own power, should please get off the grid and not expect others to bear the extra costs."
Indeed. What good would be the average heart, which beats on average some 38 million times per year, if it stopped every year for even just an hour?
Also read: www.theregister.co.uk/renewables_engineers/
But That's Not All!
By P Gosselin on 21. Nov 2014
Despite plunging energy prices on world markets, electricity prices in Germany refuse to drop anywhere near in proportion.
The reason for this is in large part due to the fixed, guaranteed high prices that renewable energy producers get for the wildly fluctuating power they feed in – no matter what the market does. The result: Power companies must continue paying an exorbitant price and are thereforE unable to pass much of price decrease to the consumers.
On the other hand at the gas and diesel pumps, for example, the price decrease has been considerable – much to the delight of German motorists. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about German electricity, where power companies will decrease the price (for the first time in over a decade after years of steep increases) by only 2.4% on average!
Theoretically at noon on a sunny, windy day Germany could cover almost all of its electric power demand, which at noon on a workday is roughly 70,000 megwatts.
But anyone familiar with Germany’s climate knows the country’s weather is often gray and sees about as much sunshine as Alaska does. Germany has a fair amount of windy days, but periods of windless days are also frequent enough. They can’t be avoided and must be reckoned with. In a nutshell, solar and wind power production are often AWOL and so conventional power systems (coal, gas, nuclear) MUST always need to be on standby, ready to deliver on a minute’s notice.
Germany’s flagship Bard 1 offshore wind farm has been described as "a faulty total system" as technical problems continue to plague the project, casting major doubts on the feasibility of large scale offshore projects.
The wind farm was officially turned on in August last year but was shut down again almost immediately due to technical difficulties that have still not been resolved – and now lawyers are getting involved.
The wind farm comprises 80 5MW turbines situated 100 km off the north German coastline. The difficulty facing engineers is how to get the electricity generated back to shore. So far, every attempt to turn on the turbines has resulted in overloaded and "gently smouldering" offshore converter stations.
Built at a cost of hundreds of millions and costing between €1 and €2 million a day to service, the project is estimated to have cost €340 million in lost power generation over the last year alone. And if the problems with the technology are deemed not to be the fault of the operator, German taxpayers will be on the hook for the running and repair costs, thanks to the German Energy Act 2012.
Understandably, the project’s investors are becoming increasingly nervous, which is why lawyers are now scrambling to pin the blame elsewhere. According to the German magazine Speigel "everything has turned to the question of who is responsible for the fiasco – and the costs."
Inevitably, the fiasco has brought into question the feasibility of the entire green energy industry. The Bard 1 project was designed to be the global leader in offshore wind design: a model for everyone else to follow. That it doesn’t work has already cast doubt on other projects. Energy company Trianel are concerned that their ‘Windpark Borkum’, Germany’s second largest major offshore project, will now not work when it comes online next month. And they have already shelved plans for a further 200MW offshore project until the technology can be proven.
Germany already has amongst the highest energy bills in the world.......
More on the BARD 1 disaster here
Germany’s much ballyhooed Energiewende (transition to renewable energy) was supposed to show the whole world how switching over to green energy sources could reduce CO2 emissions, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, provide cheap electricity to citizens, and heroically rescue the planet.
Ten years later, the very opposite has happened: Germany’s CO2 emissions have been increasing, electricity prices have skyrocketed, the green jobs bubble has popped, and tens of thousands of jobs have disappeared. Worse: tens of billions are being redistributed from the poor to the rich.
Other countries around the world have noticed and are thus having serious second thoughts about industrializing their landscapes with green energy systems like wind, solar and biogas. Germany has proven that green energy does not work well after all.
BUT, WHAT ABOUT SOLAR?
In 2012 Germany had one third of the world's solar panels, and at one point these panels generated over half of Germany's electricity demand. This is how things are normally put. But it as rather like talking about a third rate golfer and only referring to the time he almost won the US Masters. Yes, Germany got 50% of its electricity from solar one afternoon. Throughout the year it only produced 5%. The 5% is what really matters. The 50% gets all the headlines.
And solar is an awful source of energy in a country as cloudy and as far north as Germany. Electricity has to be available when we want it. Germans, like many Europeans, most want the stuff around 6 pm on a cold Winter evening. This is an incredibly reliable peak in demand. Yet, the electricity supplied by Germany's solar panels at 6 pm on a cold December is also incredibly reliable: ZERO. ZIP. NADA. NO DICE.
Physical realities mean that Germany's solar panels generate a pitiful amount of electricity for a large part of the year. This is demonstrated by comparing the output of Germany's solar panels in July 2013, 5.1 TWh, with that in January 2013, 0.35 TWh. This is a difference of more than an order of magnitude. Solar is unlikely to be anything other than a marginal source of energy in Germany, simply because of its distance from the equator. And wishful thinking cannot shove Germany ten degrees to the south.
The astonishingly poor value for money of Germany's solar build out can be demonstrated by comparing the subsidies for solar with those for onshore wind. Solar gets more than two times more in subsidies, but produces almost two times less electricity.
Yes, the above was written by a proponent of wind power.... guess he hasn't taken a close look at things lately?
'Ms. Merkel, who ordered Germany's accelerated exit from nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster in 2011, has declared the Energiewende both a major contribution in the battle against global warming and a historic step toward ending the world's reliance on nuclear power.
"No country of Germany's scale has pursued such a radical shift in its energy supply," Ms. Merkel said in a speech earlier this year. "I'm convinced that if any country can successfully implement the Energiewende, it's Germany."
One government estimate projects the Energiewende by 2040 to cost up to €1 trillion, or about $1.4 trillion, or almost half Germany's GDP and nearly as much as the country spent on the reunification of East and West Germany.'
It seems fairly obvious that anyone who takes a close look at German 'green' energy, will find problem after problem after problem. Companies are moving some of their operations to nations with more stable power grids, such as France, which is heavily nuclear. (Good to see one nation doing it right. Go France!) Germany has actually been forced to give a lot of corporations all kinds of tax breaks, to keep them in the country- but plan to begin taxing the hell out of them in a few more years, to help cover the cost of renewable energy.
Imagine if corporations in the US were given similar tax breaks? You can guess where all the shrieking would be coming from.
Attempting to replace even 20% of Germany's energy needs with renewables is proving a monumental disaster- and yet they are going to try to double that in the next 15 years.
Here's a suggestion: Instead of trying to pump in as much renewable energy as possible, because you are attempting to offset an UNPROVEN future disaster, why don't you:
A) work to improve the technologies you are pushing, encourage innovation, and get something BETTER for your buck;
B) Study your landscape, for God's sake, and see what works best where, and at what size?
C) TURN YOUR NUKES BACK ON.
So, to those on this site who tout Germany as a success story for 'green' energy, please, tell me how that works?