IDEOLOGICALLY aggressive “green” Germany has spent €1 Trillion Euros, of other peoples’ money, on windmills and solar panels, under the Energiewende program.
THE transition to a low carbon, environmentally sound, reliable, and affordable energy utopia has been so successful that Germany is now cutting down “ancient forests” to pave the way for the biggest coal-fired power expansion in her history…
‘The donkey goes on to the ice until it breaks’ – German proverb [image credit: evwind.es] Debatable claim in the headline, but the German ‘energy transition’ has certainly hurt electricity consumers as prices have shot up in the last decade, with fortunes being wasted on vain attempts to tweak the climate system.
As Bonn this week hosts the COP23 climate talks, a new report claims that Germany’s Energiewende programme “has made things worse for the climate”, reports PEI.
It says it has done this “by shutting down nuclear capacity and locking in dependency on coal for decades, despite hundreds of billions in investments and subsidy-schemes”.
“The Greens promised to save nature. They wanted to be the protectors of forests, birds and rivers. But their policies have led to the most widespread destruction of nature in Germany since the Second World War. No industry consumes as much land as the generation of ‘natural electricity’.” Michael Miersch @MMiersch
The Energiewende (German for energy) is the term used in Germany to describe the country’s transition off of fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. It mostly relies on wind, solar and hydroelectric sources.
In this interview with Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Professor Fritz Vahrenholt, one of the founders of the environmental movement in Germany and the Chairman of the German Wildlife Trust, describes how his country’s new energy policy is not only splitting the environmentalist movement but destroying his country overall.
“The destruction of nature by the land-hungry wind and biogas industries is the opposite of what the environmental movement used to fight for: just as the communists made workers unfree and poor, the Greens have destroyed our landscapes and killed millions of birds and bats.” Michael Miersch, German Wildlife Foundation
WIKIPEDIA describes Germany’s “Energiewende” (German for energy transition) as the following:
The Energiewende is the transition by Germany to a low carbon, environmentally sound, reliable, and affordable energy supply. The new system will rely heavily on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy demand management.
BASIC research into each of the virtues ascribed by Energiewende shows that not one of the fundamental ‘energy transition’ goals have been realised. In fact, the opposite in all cases has been stunningly achieved:
German emissions increased in 2016 for a second year in a row as a result of the country closing one of its nuclear plants and replacing it with coal and natural gas, a new Environmental Progress analysis finds.
German emissions would have declined had it not closed a nuclear plant and replaced it with coal and natural gas.
Not only did new solar and wind not make up for the lost nuclear, the percentage of time during 2016 that solar and wind produced electricity declined dramatically.
Germany added a whopping 10 percent more wind turbine capacity and 2.5 percent more solar panel capacity between 2015 and 2016, but generated less than one percent more electricity from wind and generated one percent less electricity from solar.
The reason is because Germany had significantly less sunshine and wind in 2016 than 2015.
Today the task has become a challenging balancing act. According to Manager Magazin, facility manager Volker Weinreich says “we have to intervene more often than ever to keep the power grid stable. We are getting closer and closer to the limit.”
The reason for the grid instability: the growing amount of erratic renewable energy being fed in, foremost wind and sun. Manager Magazin writes that there are always four workers monitoring the frequency at the Tennet control center, just outside Hannover, making sure that it stays near 50 Hz. Too much instability would mean a the “worst imaginable disaster: grid collapse and blackout“.
Weinreich describes how on stormy days wind parks are forced to shut down to keep the grid from frying. And the more wind turbines that come online, the more often wind parks need to be shut down. This makes them even more inefficient.
Not only do wind and solar feed in their power on a part-time basis, but now so do the conventional power plants as well — all according to the whims of the weather. An d too often they run at levels well below peak efficiency. The costs of all the inefficiencies get passed on to the consumers. Tens of thousands have been forced into “energy poverty”.
1400 interventions Weinreich reports that the grid is so unstable that in 2015 it was necessary for Tennet to intervene some 1400 times. In the old conventional power days, it used to be only “a few times a year“.
Germany’s Energiewende has only succeeded in massively elevating Germany’s consumer power prices, making its power almost twice as expensive as power in neighboring France, which relies heavily on nuclear. While France’s power is half the cost, the country also emits far less CO2 from electricity production.
THE correlation between skyrocketing power prices and high roll-outs of unreliable-energy by country is stark:
GERMANY’S green energy transition is destroying vast swathes of nature, agricultural lands and forests. In the name of climate policy, rare birds and endangered species are being killed while much of the countryside is transformed into industrial parks.
Michael Miersch from the Deutsche Wildtier Stiftung recently gave a talk in the House of Lords about renewable energy’s devastating impact on wildlife and the environment in Germany and other parts of the world.
About the author Michael Miersch is director of Deutsche Wildtier Stiftung (German Wildlife Foundation), a non-profit organisation devoted the protection of wildlife in Gemany. He is a professional journalist who worked for more than three decades for national newpapers, magazines and TV-stations, amongst others Die Welt, Die Zeit and WDR (public TV). He has written several books about nature, science and politics, some of which have become bestsellers. This paper is based on a speech given on 24 October 2017 in the House of Lords.
(Climatism bolds and selected highlights from report)
Are Wind Power and Biofuels Really Green? How Germany’s ‘Energy Transition’ is destroying wildlife and forests Michael Miersch
It is one hundred years since the Russian Revolution, known officially in communist countries as ‘The Great Socialist October Revolution’. The one time I visited East Germany, a friend there said, ‘the name contains four lies’.
First, it wasn’t great. It was a coup, led by Leon Trotsky, that took place at night, so that most inhabitants of St Petersburg didn’t even notice.
Second, it wasn’t socialist, at least not in the sense that it brought freedom and prosperity to the working class.
Third, it wasn’t a revolution, but instead – as I said – a night-time coup by an armed militia, which occupied strategically important buildings in St Petersburg. And fourth, it didn’t happen in October but, according to the Gregorian calendar, in November.
Today, whenever I hear the phrase ‘green energy’, I think of this old joke. In Germany, electricity from wind power and biogas is called ‘eco-power’, ‘bio-power’ or even ‘natural electricity’. These names contain many lies too, and I would like to tell you about them.
First though, there is another parallel between green energy and the Russian Revolution. The communists promised the workers everything and gave them nothing. Anyone who was not ideologically blind could see that the workers in western capitalist countries were much better off than their counterparts in communist eastern Europe. The German Green Party was founded in 1980. The Greens promised to save nature. They wanted to be the protectors of forests, birds and rivers. But their policies have led to the most widespread destruction of nature in Germany since the Second World War. No industry consumes as much land as the generation of ‘natural electricity’.
Without the pressure from the Greens and their friends in the environmental NGOs, the German governments of chancellors Helmut Kohl, Gerhard Schröder and Angela Merkel would not have pushed the expansion of wind power, bioenergy and solar energy as much as they did. As our former Minister of Agriculture from the Green Party, Renate Künast, once said: ‘Farmers will be the oil barons of the future!’ She and her party pushed for massive subsidies for growing energy crops. The destruction of nature by the land-hungry wind and biogas industries is the opposite of what the environmental movement used to fight for: just as the communists made workers unfree and poor, the Greens have destroyed our landscapes and killed millions of birds and bats.
Wind power lobbyists say the numbers are small compared to the millions of birds that collide with windows, cars, power lines and other obstacles. But this is a fallacy, because the argument ignores which species are affected. If ten city pigeons fly into windows or cars, it has no effect on the population of pigeons. But when a breeding red kite is chopped up by a rotor blade, it represents a significant loss for the species in the region.
If one red kite is caught in a rotor every eight years, then the 28,000 turbines in existence at present will kill 3500 birds. In a total population of only 15,000 breeding pairs in Germany, that’s a dramatic loss. According to a 2013 study commissioned by the Brandenburg State Environment Office, rotor blades killed about 300 red kites each year in this one state alone.
If the German climate protection plan is implemented as planned and the number of turbines is doubled, the red kite could soon be extinct in Germany. The plan would mean one turbine every 2.7 km on average all over Germany, each one 200 m tall, without regard for landscapes, lakes, mountains, forests or cities.
The PROGRESS study showed that even a widespread raptor like the common buzzard would be threatened if wind power is expanded as planned. Birds that aren’t killed by the rotor blades are often driven away. One of these wind power refugees is the black stork, a very shy forest bird. When 170 turbines were installed in the Vogelsberg region in the state of Hesse, nine of the 14 pairs of black storks in the region simply disappeared.
If the argument that windows and other obstacles kill even more birds is very misleading, when it comes to bats the argument is completely wrong. Since bats use ultrasound to navigate, they almost never collide with any barriers. They can even fly through spinning rotor blades without getting hit. But even so, they fall dead from the sky. The cause is barotrauma: Their lungs burst because of the pressure drop behind the rotors. This happens to about 240,000 bats each year.
The actual number is probably much higher, because they often fly a little longer before they die and their little cadavers are eaten. Whenever there was a construction project in Germany such as a motorway, bridge, airport, office park or residential building, the presence of a bat colony could hold up the project in the courts for years, or prevent it altogether.
Yet when the wind industry kills masses of these animals, there is no such outrage. The supporters of the German energy transition brush aside all collateral damage to the environment, such as dead bats, with the argument that global climate disaster must be prevented.
“We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” – Warren Buffett
“Suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.” – James Hansen (The Godfather of global warming alarmism and former NASA climate chief)
In a referendum slated for this coming Sunday, Swiss citizens are being called to vote on a national energy strategy, dubbed Energiestrategie 2050.
Germany Green Party co-founder and former federal Homeland Minister Otto Georg Schily warns Swiss citizens voting on energy referendum that the Energiewende is “an economic, social and ecological disaster”. Photo byOlaf Kosinsky (2015), CC BY-SA 3.0 de.
Now it is reported that just days ago German Green Party co-founder (later turned socialist) and former German Homeland Minister Otto Schily has come out to warn Swiss citizens against voting yes on the project, reminding them that Germany’s Energiewende (transition to green energies) is not the success it is often claimed to be, and that it has in fact turned into a 25 billion euro a year disaster.
Schily held the top position in Germany’s Homeland Ministry in the country’s Socialist/Green coalition government led by Gerhard Schröder from 1998 to 2005. He is regarded as one of the country’s most respected elderly politicians and statesmen.
According to the Basler Zeitung, Schily wrote a letter to Christoph Blocher, where he judged the Energiewende to be an “economic, ecological and social disaster” and so urged Swiss citizens to vote no.
The rightwing Swiss SVP party, led by Blocher, is leading the campaign against the green energy transformation project put forth by Swiss President Doris Leuthard of the centrist Christian CVP party. Both Schily and Blocher were Homeland ministers at the same time in their respective countries in the 2000s and are reported to maintain light contact.
The Basler Zeitung reports: “The costs of the Energiewende have grown to over 25 billion euros annually. As a result consumer electricity bills have risen year after year.”
Schily wrote that Germany’s green energies are also “extremely socially unjust” because they force low income consumers to pay more money into the pockets of wealthy wind and solar park operators – in a classic redistribution from the bottom up.
Jobs-killer, done nothing for the climate
Moreover, the Basler Zeitung writes that the Energiewende has scarred Germany’s natural landscape, has probably cost more jobs than it created, and has “contributed nothing to climate policy as it hoped to do“. Schily advised Swiss citizens “not to repeat the far reaching energy policy of the German Energiewende“.
German CO2 emissions rising instead of falling
The Basler Zeitung also cites an “expert team” by McKinsey consulting group, which not long ago found that the German energy policy has fallen far short of its aims: “Emissions of climate-harmful carbon dioxide are not going down, but rather are increasing, as is power consumption even though it was supposed to go down because of efficiency measures.”
The Basler Zeitung adds: “a collapse of the power supply threatens when the remaining German nuclear power plants are taken offline over the coming years“.
In a recently released video interview by journalist Jörg Rehmann, University of Magdeburg economics professor Joachim Weimann explains why renewable energies have been a terrible idea for Germany so far.
Recently a high ranking expert commission set up by the German government even sharply criticized the German Energiewende (transition to renewable energies), saying it was leading the country down the wrong path. But as Prof. Weimann explains, the commission’s results fell on deaf ears.
Weimann starts the interview by explaining that the target of the Energiewende is to replace carbon-dioxide-emitting fossil fuels in order to protect our climate. One instrument used to achieve that target was Cap and Trade, in combination with the Energiewende, which Weimann says has not worked well at all. The U. of Magdeburg professor says that every cut that gets achieved in Germany gets offset elsewhere, and so net CO2 gets saved at all.
Weimann says that over the years policymakers promised and obstinately insisted that renewables were the way to go, and so ended up putting themselves in a position of which it is now impossible to back out. What leading politician is going to step forward and tell us that it was all a big mistake? “We find ourselves in quite a bind, says Weimann.
Weimann recommends that citizens step up and tell their leaders that what is currently happening is not in their interest, and that they need to exert influence media reporting on the issue. Weimann says:
It is very very difficult. Currently we have over 1000 citizens intiatives against wind power in Germany, yet they practically go unmentioned in media reporting. Compared to the resistance to nuclear energy, it is a crass disproportion. This shows us just how difficult it is to bring the issue to the forefront.”
Weimann hopes that the protests will grow until a critical mass is reached, and can no longer be ignored.
The professor points out that for years a number of institutions and experts have shown that the feed-in act is not functioning properly, that it wastes resources, and is bad policy that is having no impact on climate protection. He adds that the feed-in act entails extremely high costs, not only in terms of capital but also in terms of damage to the country’s landscape. “That means we are producing costs, and no yields. That is not good policy,” says Weimann.
Policymakers, in Weimann’s view, have long been ignoring what the scientific data and experts have told us with respect to renewable energies, but that they are refusing to back out it because they are so far deep into it and that it would be too embarrassing to do so.
Public kept in the dark by media, policymakers
According to Weimann, 80% of the German population are still in favor of renewable energies because they are not aware of the near zero-impact it is having on CO2 emissions and because they are poorly informed. It is in fact only when a wind park gets proposed nearby does a citizen really begin to get interested in what really is at stake and finds out what the true implications are. “Then they suddenly recognize the nonsense that is in fact happening.”
In Weimann’s view, renewable energy topics and calculations are far too complicated for the average citizen to deal with when they don’t feel they have to.
Total destruction of our landscape
Weimann notes that according to the Ministry of Environment, wind and solar energy in 2016 made up only 3.3% of Germany’s primary energy supply and that so far it represents only a “thimble” of the energy that is needed. And “when you compare it to the cost needed for it, not only financial, but also in terms of the burdens to the citizens who have these energy systems next door, we have to say it is first totally disproportional, and secondly that if we wish to meet our targets using wind, it would mean the total destruction of our landscape.”
So far only 3.3% of our primary energy need is being supplied by wind (28,000 turbines so far) and solar. Weimann asks us to imagine what it would take to reach the 95% target. He says the entire German landscape would be profoundly and fundamentally transformed into one massive industrial park that would lose all its attraction. In short: It’s a policy calamity.
Those were just some of Weimann’s comments and claims in just the first 17 minutes of the interview. More on this soon.
“Wind and solar cannot even fill current gaps and a system run mainly on green power would fail to provide guaranteed supply over a winter fortnight, it says.
Power grid operator Amprion has said German networks came close to blackouts during settled and overcast conditions in January when renewable plants produced almost nothing.
Even environmental groups acknowledge the fossil fuel lobbies have a point, arguing there must be remedies to the problem of intermittent renewable supply.”
MEANWHILE, we know “unreliable” energy (wind/solar) is a giant, feel-good con, when ideologically green aggressive GERMANY has spent €1 Trillion Euros (of other people’s money) on useless Wind and Solar power, through the – now failed – “Energiewende” program, then only to undergo her biggest coal-fired power expansion in history…
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Burning coal for power looks set to remain the backbone of Germany’s energy supply for decades yet, an apparent contrast to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ambitions for Europe’s biggest economy to be a role model in tackling climate change.
As the US weighs whether it should withdraw from the Paris agreement, a critical question is how effective have climate change policies been so far. A failure of the policies adopted until now doesn’t necessarily mean that future policies will likewise fail, but it will provide further evidence that decarbonizing is, well, difficult. And expensive.
One routinely hears comments that the US is the country most affected by climate contrarians / denialists, and that in other parts of the world (most notably Europe) this debate doesn’t exist, there is consensus about the need to act, etc. To quote a German citizen:
‘The 97% of climate scientists who agree on the basics include many conservative scientists. That there is a problem is not a partisan issue. How to solve it, that is politics. The Paris climate agreement was signed by nearly 200 countries and…
Humans are meant to learn from history and mistakes, right?
Then why do we continue down the feel-good, unreliable, costly, weather dependent energy path??
Is the virtue-signalling pastime of “Saving The Planet” that important as to destroy people’s lives and wreck economies?!
And again, keep in mind that every time an industrial wind or solar plant is installed, a corresponding fossil fuel plant has to be created or cranked up to cover the grid instability for when the wind don’t blow or when the sun don’t shine!
Where’s the “CO2” savings in that? There are none of course, they simply increase with the production, installation and maintenance of wind and solar plants, on an industrial scale!
As it goes in South Australia, so it goes in Germany: the attempt to run on sunshine and breezes has led to rocketing power prices, energy poverty and a grid on the brink of collapse. Here’s NoTricksZone on the German debacle.
‘Manager Magazin’ Reports How Renewable Electricity Is Taking Germany On A Wild Ride
No Tricks Zone
28 December 2016
It’s the paradox of the German Energiewende (transition to green energy): power exchange market prices are lower than ever before, yet consumers are paying the highest prices ever – with no stop in the increases in sight. Moreover, the more green electricity that is fed into the grid, the more coal that gets burned.
Communist-quality state planning If today’s German power grid sounds like a horror story of communist state-planned management, it is because it is in…
What’s another €1/2 trillion euros when you’ve already spent €1 trillion on a green centrally planned ideology, that has ironically required a massive expansion of new coal-fired power plants and mining to make that ideology work?! Insanity.
The total cost of Germany’s green energy transition (Energiewende) amounts to over €520 billion euros by 2025 in the electricity sector alone. This is the result of a report commissioned by the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) on behalf of the Initiative New Social Market Economy (INSM).
By far the biggest cost driver with a total of €408 billion is the levy to finance renewable energy (EEG levy). The expansion of electricity and distribution networks totals €55.3 billion. The study is the first full-cost estimate which takes all the costs of the energy transition in the electricity sector into account. In addition to the direct costs of subsidising renewable energy, indirect expenditures such as the cost for the expansion of transmission and distribution networks were included in the calculations, as well as offshore liability expenses and network, capacity and replacement costs. At the end…