Sunday, January 29, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Report: Germany’s Green Energy Policy ‘A Disaster In The Making’

€100 Billion For Nothing: German CO2 Emissions Keep Rising

In this newsletter:

1) Report: Germany’s Green Energy Policy ‘A Disaster In The Making’
The Daily Caller, 25 January 2017

2) €100 Billion For Nothing: German CO2 Emissions Keep Rising
Environmental Progress, 13 January 2017

3) Vahrenholt Rails Against The ‘Climate Priests’
Power International, 25 January 2016

4) How Germany’s Energiewende Is Spliting The Environmental Movement
GWPF TV, 26 January 2017

5) And Finally: Camilla Salutes Global Warming
The Times, 26 January 2017

Full details:

1) Report: Germany’s Green Energy Policy ‘A Disaster In The Making’
The Daily Caller, 25 January 2017
Andrew Follett

Germany’s green energy policies will likely lead to disaster, according a major environmentalist in the country.

Germany estimates that it will spend over $1.1 trillion on its “Energiewende” plan to boost green energy production and fight global warming. But the plan hasn’t achieved the government’s goal of significantly reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

“Policymakers might try to continue on their current course towards economic disaster,” Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, chairman of the German Wildlife Foundation, wrote in a report published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. “A serious move away from the Energiewende would amount to an admission of a strategic blunder, with unforeseeable consequences for the current political establishment.”

Vahrenholt argued continuing Energiewende poses a huge problem for the electrical grid, since solar and wind power are intermittent sources and can trigger blackouts. Furthermore, Germany’s green subsidies are distorting the power market, making electricity more expensive, Vahrenholt found.

“Although renewables are already generating an additional cost to energy consumers of the order of [$27] billion annually, there is no political party in Germany that opposes the policy in the parliament; the majority of the German population support it too, because they think they are saving the world from a climate catastrophe,” Vahrenholt said.

The country’s energy policy has already forced it to pay wind farms $548 million to switch off last year to prevent damage to the country’s electric grid, according to a survey of power companies by the German newspaper Wirtschaftswoche.

“Today, energy prices in Germany are already the second highest in Europe (after Denmark). The additional levy on power bills for renewables will rise to an astounding [7.39 cents]/kWh in 2017, more than double the market price,” Vahrenholt continued.

The average German pays 39 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity due to intense fiscal support for green energy. The average American only spends 10.4 cents per kilowatt-hour. Nuclear power’s decline has created an opening for coal power, according to a Voice of America article published in November. Coal now provides 44 percent of Germany’s power, despite the fact that coal ash is actually more radioactive than nuclear waste.

Nuclear power made up 29.5 percent of Germany’s energy in the year 2000. The share dropped down to 17 percent in 2015, and by 2022 the country intends to have every one of its nuclear plants shutdown. This shift caused Germany’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to actually rise by 28 million tons each year after Germany’s nuclear policy changed. Germany’s government decided to abandon nuclear energy after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan galvanized opposition.

Due to the damaging effects of its green energy policies, the German government plans to cap the total amount of wind energy at 40 to 45 percent of national capacity, according to a report published earlier this month by the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung. Germany will get rid of 6,000 megawatts of wind power capacity by 2019

One of Germany’s largest electrical companies is facing bankruptcy due to the enormous amounts of money it poured into green energy, according to a reports by the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. RWE was forced by the government to shut down many of its profitable nuclear reactors and build expensive wind and solar power.

Full story

2) €100 Billion For Nothing: German CO2 Emissions Keep Rising
Environmental Progress, 13 January 2017

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.

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 10.09.37 AM.png

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.

As such, 2016 is a dramatic illustration of the limits of energy sources that depend on the weather. Their output varies dramatically not just hour-to-hour but also year-to-year.

Anti-nuclear advocates have long insisted that this radical intermittency can be solved through more transmission and storage. But there’s a problem: neither more transmission lines nor more storage would have made Germany any sunnier, or windier, in 2016.

Full story 

see also: German CO2 Emissions Keep Rising

Germany’s Co2 Emissions Haven’t Dropped In 10 Years

3) Vahrenholt Rails Against The ‘Climate Priests’
Power International, 25 January 2016
Diarmaid Williams

At a mid-January meeting in parliament buildings in London, Professor Fritz Vahrenholt provided a very detailed monologue on the motivations behind Germany’s energy transition, and why he feels it’s misguided and potentially disastrous.

Fritz Vahrenholt London January 2017
Fritz Vahrenholt,  House of Commons,  London 17 January 2017

Had the lecture been delivered by somebody from the coal power sector, they might have been written off as a ‘climate denier’, but given Vahrenholt’s background and pedigree as a backer of renewable energy, he is not so easily dismissed and his position must cause some unease for those so adamant that climate change is [primarily] manmade.

It should give pause for thought too to the public at large. Governments and media around the world, not just in Germany, are convinced that man is responsible for the recently observed temperature rises and Polar ice cap reduction.

But Vahrenholt believes that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the main body from which the rest of the world takes its cue on such matters, is not approaching the problem with the correct scientific rigour.

The merits of the science aside, he takes most issue with the behaviour of his own country’s government for ‘trying to save the world.’

Germany has the second highest electricity prices in Europe, and in phasing out nuclear while stimulating over-production of renewables, it has reduced power prices to a pitiful extent, and ironically came to rely on coal. The last two factors mean the prospect of a lack of investment in the country’s future energy infrastructure, while targets for reducing CO2 look likely to be missed.

Much of Germany’s current problems arise from what he believes was an emotional reaction to the Fukushima disaster by Chancellor Angela Merkel – an order to accelerate the phasing out of a power source that had provided 30 per cent of the country’s electricity.

Vahrenholt says there is an endgame for the Energiewende, ‘though this reckless policy has worked until now’, referring to the German proverb ‘the donkey goes on to the ice until it breaks.’

“There will come a point when the rural population, or wildlife protection agencies, or a weakening economy or failures in the grid itself will force a return to conventional generation.”

He said one of the reasons the German population still backed the policy is because they are still relatively economically prosperous, with a weak euro and the work done by Merkel’s predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder, continuing to sustain the economy.

“The second reason it works is that energy intensive industries are exempted from the levy. They are profiting because of the overcapacity from renewables leading to sinking prices.”

Vahrenholt mocked the government’s current strategy of trebling wind farm capacity as the wind cannot be predicted and their output fluctuates enormously.

“Nil multiplied by x is still nil,” he said, while the price keeps mounting, and the carbon price remains too low to encourage carbon capture and storage at lignite plants which remain essential to fill the intermittency gaps, as gas-fired power plants are mothballed or closed completely.

He reserved his gravest criticism for the damage being wrought on the German countryside where the use of biofuels is having a bad impact. Pesticide use and monoculture has led to major declines in bird of prey numbers.

Full post

4) How Germany’s Energiewende Is Splitting The Environmental Movement
GWPF TV, 26 January 2017

Benny Peiser in conversation with Professor Fritz Vahrenholt, one of the founders of the environmental movement in Germany and the Chairman of the German Wildlife Trust.

Full interview

5) And Finally: Camilla Salutes Global Warming
The Times, 26 January 2017
Valentine Low

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have been happily married for more than a decade, with signs of friction hardly ever surfacing in public. However, they may not see entirely eye to eye on global warming, one of the issues closest to the prince’s heart, if comments the duchess made yesterday are anything to go by.

At a reception for British winegrowers, she suggested that climate change may not be an entirely bad thing.

The duchess was addressing a reception at Clarence House marking the 50th anniversary of the UK Vineyards Association (UKVA). Praising the vision of the those who began producing wine half a century ago, she said: “We don’t exactly have the climate, or we didn’t then. I expect with global warming it’s going to get better and better and we are going to get better and better wine.”

This, clearly, was a state of affairs that met with her approval.

Full story

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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