Bloomberg is reporting:
When Germany kicked off its journey toward a system harnessing energy from wind and sun back in 2000, the goal was to protect the environment and build out climate-friendly power generation.
More than a decade later, Europe’s biggest economy is on course to miss its 2020 climate targets and greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants are virtually unchanged.
Germany used coal, the dirtiest fuel, to generate 45 percent of its power last year, the highest level since 2007, as Chancellor Angela Merkel is phasing out nuclear in the wake of the Fukushima atomic accident in Japan three years ago.
The transition, dubbed the Energiewende, has so far added more than 100 billion euros ($134 billion) to the power bills of households, shop owners and small factories as renewable energy met a record 25 percent of demand last year.
RWE AG, the nation’s biggest power producer, last year reported its first loss since 1949 as utility margins are getting squeezed because laws give green power priority to the grids.
“Despite the massive expansion of renewable energies, achieving key targets for the energy transition and climate protection by 2020 is no longer realistic,” said Thomas Vahlenkamp, a director at McKinsey & Co. in Dusseldorf, Germany, and an adviser to the industry for 21 years. “The government needs to improve the Energiewende so that the current disappointment doesn’t lead to permanent failure.”
While new supplies sent wholesale power prices to their lowest level in nine years, consumer rates are soaring to fund the new plants. Germany’s 40 million households now pay more for electricity than any other country in Europe except Denmark, according to Eurostat in Brussels. A decade ago, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy all had higher bills than Germany.
“Politicians are often trying to kid us,” Claudia Fabinger, a 65-year-old self-employed marketing manager, said in between shopping for groceries on Leipziger Strasse in Frankfurt. “Our power bills keep rising and rising to fund clean energies; on the other hand, we are still polluting the air with old coal plants.”The entire article is a must-read. Go to the link to read the full article. As you read the article, remember: Germany accounts for 2.4% of all the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. A lot of pain for making absolutely no difference. And now it seems, they don't even feel good about it.
The story above ... well, what can I say? It can't be much worse. But, actually it is. Just a few weeks ago, the Germans said this sacrifice was their gift to the world (at the linked post, scroll down to "tilting at windmills") (I can't make this stuff up):
I'm posting this for the archives. I assume no one will read the entirety of the linked article over at The New York Times. The article is on Germany's transition to renewable energy. It is costing the average German a lot of money, and there are questions whether the transition will even succeed. The article concludes:Unrelated, but the thousands of folks who attended today's global warming march in NYC arrived in 500 diesel-burning buses. Not natural gas buses, or propane buses, or electric buses. But diesel buses.
“Indeed, the German people are paying significant money,” said Markus Steigenberger, an analyst at Agora, the think tank. “But in Germany, we can afford this — we are a rich country. It’s a gift to the world.”I wonder if the average German is aware how little their efforts will result in anything meaningful. I wonder if the average German has looked at the graphic at the bottom of this article. Because it's always possible that the graphic will disappear some day, here are the data points.
Renewable Energy Fossil Fuel Energy
Is it just me or does anyone else see the irony in this? President Obama closes the White House to the public, and then Omar, a Iraqi war veteran "with plenty of fire power" simply walks into the first family's residence with a knife. I can't make this stuff up.