German’s Top Daily – Bild – says Time to Chop Massive Subsidies for Wind Power
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, the impacts on the electricity market chaotic and – contrary to the environmental purpose of the policy – CO2 emissions are rising fast: 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 (see our post here).
Some 800,000 German homes have been disconnected from the grid – victims of what is euphemistically called “fuel poverty”. In response, Germans have picked up their axes and have headed to their forests in order 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 to turned out to be just that: a dream (see our post here).
By piling into wind power without ever having thought through the costs, let alone the “benefits”, of trying to rely on a wholly weather dependent power generation source, the Germans are left with a generation system on the brink of total collapse, as picked up by The Daily Caller.
Germany’s On The Brink Of An Energy Crisis
The Daily Caller
13 April 2015
After years of subsidizing green energy production, Germany may be on the brink of an imminent “energy crisis,” reports German Mittelstand News.
Some 39 power plants across the country “could be decommissioned later this year” which could “jeopardize the security of supply,” precipitating a huge energy crisis in the coming years as more plants are shuttered, according to the German Association of Energy and Water Industries — the country’s main utilities lobby.
“Every second power plant planned in Germany is about to fold,” Mittelstand News reports. “The willingness to invest is decreasing rapidly as even the most efficient gas-fired power plants can no longer be operated profitably.”
Problems will get even worse when Germany’s last nuclear power plant is retired in 2022, reports Mittelstand News. For years, the government has subsidized solar and wind energy through energy taxes that have dramatically jacked up electricity rates.
But at the same time, the flood of solar and wind energy on the grid has caused wholesale electricity prices to collapse — all while retail rates have skyrocketed. But the collapse in wholesale prices are cutting into the profitability of coal and gas plant operators that don’t get the generous subsidies that green energy does.
This problem was highlighted by a 2014 report by the Switzerland-based FAA Financial Advisory AG. The group found Germany’s green energy revolution is having “profound effects on wholesale electricity markets that could ultimately result in a deterioration of the country’s reliability.”
What’s happening is that green energy sources are given priority on the grid when meeting power demand, therefore setting the marginal price of electricity being produced — which is very low because they have no fuel costs. The prioritization of green energy has depressed wholesale prices and means that coal and gas power can’t recover their full costs.
This normally wouldn’t be a problem in a free, competitive market, but subsidies for green energy means more coal and gas plants are needed for back-up. These, plants, however, are having trouble finding investors willing to lose money because they can’t make money selling electricity.
“There are fewer hours in which the conventional power plants earn more than the marginal cost since they run fewer hours than originally planned and, in many cases, provide back-up power only,” FAA Financial noted. “Generators’ financial difficulties have already translated into lower stock prices and credit ratings.”
The problem has gotten so bad that utilities are asking the government to bail them out. Reduced profitability means less investment in the power sector, which the utilities lobby says could create problems down the road if nothing is done to prop up coal and gas plants.
“If politicians carry on as they do now then there will be no new, modern power stations,” utilities lobby chief Hildegard Mueller told Reuters. “There are no incentives whatsoever for investments, despite politicians emphasizing all the time that they aim to change this.”
German utilities already get payments for not producing power when green energy output is peaking — generally in the middle of the day because of solar energy.
Over the last decade, Germany’s embarked on a costly $412 billion crusade to subsidize green energy production and reduce carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent by 2050. In that time green energy production has boomed from 4.3 percent of total energy consumption in 1990 to 23.5 percent in 2012.
But Germany’s green energy revolution is costing German residents dearly. Retail electricity rates have more than doubled in the last decade due to ever-growing taxes to support green energy use. German politicians have been pressured to reform the system, but it’s still expected to cost consumers more and more every year.
Consumer energy bills have gotten to the point where electricity in the country has been called a “luxury good” by major media outlets.
In recent years, Germany has expanded coal power, but has rejected calls to open up the country to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to boost natural gas production. Even so, new coal plants in Germany could be closed down if trends continue.
The Daily Caller
The Germans are fast waking up the unassailable fact that wind power is not only insanely expensive, it’s utterly meaningless as a power source:
With hostility from power punters escalating, Germany’s top daily, Bild has called for an end to the subsidies that have fuelled its great wind power fraud: the original in German is available here; and the English translation – courtesy of NoTricksZone – appears below.
Germany’s Leading Daily Calls For An End To Green Energy Subsidies! Calls Green Promises “A Fairy Tale”
3 April 2015
Germany’s leading daily in terms of circulation Bild recently featured an op-ed piece that harshly criticizes Germany’s Energiewende (transition to renewable energies).
Clearly the Energiewende is not even coming close to living up to what is was originally billed to deliver.
Despite adding more than 70 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity that will cost consumers some $200 billion, German CO2 emissions have not decreased to speak of. Coal-fired power has actually risen.
In summary German electricity prices have skyrocketed and poor consumers are being hit hard. Energy-intensive industries are off-shoring operations – and jobs!
A number of experts are calling the Energiewende the greatest wealth redistribution from poor to rich scheme in Germany’s history as wealthy property owners cash in with subsidized zero-risk wind and solar installations. The poor consumers are forced to cough up the money.
“Enough with green power!”
So it’s little wonder that major German media outlets are beginning to express doubts. Bild features an opinion piece titled: “Enough with green power!”
The popular German daily calls the promises of cheap power from wind and sun “a fairy tale”. It writes:
Indeed the truth is: The price of power continues to climb. Just in the past five years the power price exploded 29 percent.
The reason is simple: In the energy market, central planning rules and not the free market.”
Today there is so much installed capacity, Bild writes, that “on days with lots of sunshine and wind, the green power has to be sold to foreign countries” – even if they don’t need it. When that happens the highly subsidized power gets sold at negative prices. The result? Huge losses for power companies. This is how disfigured the electric power market has become.
In summary Bild concludes that the price of power is much more expensive than it needs to be and that it is a product that needs to remain affordable. Germany’s energy policy is on the wrong path.
Unfortunately there are no signs things will change anytime soon in Germany, which now has the world’s second highest electricity prices in the world after Denmark.
No Tricks Zone
In Australia, the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers hold the Germans up as wind power “super-models”, touting its wind-rush as the perfect path to prosperity, millions of groovy “green” jobs and a CO2 free future (best warn every living thing on Earth if that ever looks likely).
But, as with every “model” or “example”, there are good ones, and bad ones.
When Germany’s top newspaper is clamoring for an end to its wind powered energy debacle, it’s pretty clear we’re talking about a mighty poor “model”; and an “example” to be avoided at all costs.