Germany Quadruples Energy Surplus

April 3, 2013

Clever people, those Germans.

Telegraph:

Figures just published appeared to vindicate Germany’s clean energy revolution, showing that the country’s electricity surplus had nearly quadrupled between 2011 and 2012.

However, the figures do not take into account the cost of subsidising renewable energy, which some estimates put at €14bn (£11.8bn).

Domestic energy consumers in Germany pay a surcharge on their electricity bills to fund government incentives for green energy. The costs for householders are higher because big businesses are exempted from the charges after complaints that making firms pay would hurt Germany’s global competitiveness.

Here in America, or course, we subsidize fossil fuels the old fashioned way, with multi trillion dollar wars for oil, massive tax breaks, public land giveaways, and, of course, with the lungs, brains, and circulatory health of our children.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government shut down the country’s eight oldest nuclear reactors after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. The remaining nine are due to be phased out by 2022, and the government has set a target of getting 80pc of electricity from renewables by 2050. The move was a dramatic shift in energy policy, pinning the future of Europe’s biggest economy entirely on green energy.

18 Responses to “Germany Quadruples Energy Surplus”

  1. neilrieck Says:

    The genius behind the German program is FIT (feed-in-tarriff) where consumer electricity bills were originally increased one cent per KW/h to fund renewable energy. Since introduced in 1999, the German economy has added 300,000 jobs and the amount sent to FIT has been increased to 3.5 KW/h.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feed-in_tariffs_in_Germany
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Awp2qZiBZ1I 55 minutes
    http://www.booklounge.ca/features/previews/index9780307359223.html

    By shifting the cost to the consumer, there were no politicians waiting in the wings promising to kill a government handout. Contrast the FIT approach to the traditional energy industry Canada and the US which enjoys huge hidden subsidies in the form of tax breaks.

  2. NevenA Says:

    If the Germans had won the war, we’d all have solar panels on our roof now. 😉

    • Alteredstory Says:

      Actually, a significant chunk of what Germany is today came from the rebuilding AFTER the war, and the people from the U.S. and other countries who went over there to help.

      Things might have been better, for the U.S., if they’d stayed here.

    • rayduray Says:

      Ya ya. You can have your solar panels. I’ll settle for these fabric ones:

      http://tinyurl.com/brf4w5p

      ***
      Speaking of solar, I love this little video about the brightest things we know of…. supernovae:

  3. Bruce Miller Says:

    Americans, now knee deep in humanocidal nuclear wastes, still mounting up, no solution enacted, no solution in sight, and borrowing furiously from China to pay their bills, printing money to keep their heads above water, and having missed the “Thorium boat” alltogether, pis out the last value in their U.S. Petro Dollar through their tailpipes racing to jobs that pay less than ever before, as corporate earnings skyrocket and are turned over to Chinese investments as fast as possible. Oil approaches $100.00 bbl again, making the Oil fired U.S.A. less profitable than ever before. Germany and Denmark for that matter, both have Energy surpluses?
    “Had the $4 Trillions+ spent on Iraq,( or the money spent on Vietnam, or the ‘Moon Walk’, or Afghanistan) been spent even only on conventional Solar/Thermal development of South Western U.S.A. – Today, Americans would receive a huge ROI ( “Return On Investment” )( cash return) in cheap electricity, in place of horrendous tax rates to service unpayable war debt to China. Americans would be gainfully working, using this renewable, perpetual, eternal, clean, radiation free, radioactive waste free, domestic, electricity source – to compete in world markets with well priced products, to irrigate dry lands, to heat and cool homes, and much less foreign oil would have be imported, fewer “Parasite Nations” supported. Less foreign money borrowed. less interest paid to China. This is the lost “opportunity cost” for having Saddam’s scrotum on the Bushes mantlepiece? Shiite eh!”
    P.S., (Oil, gas, wells do go dry, not really sourced from an eternal pipe up &Allah’s-ass, as some believe – But, the Sun never stops shining, Wind blows forever)
    fracking = the foolhardy corporate attempt at fast returns, but always short returns, while threatening the Artisian formations of the nation – not wise. Solar, Wind ,Wave, Hydro, Tidal, Geothermal have all proven more long term success in Denmark and Germany and China now.

  4. dillweed7 Says:

    How does including the cost of subsidising renewables change this picture?

    Externalities are included in calculaing the cost of fossil fuels. Leaving the cost of subsidising

    renewables out presents a skewed picture. I support renewables.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      In the absence of a carbon tax, how are lung and cardiovascular disease, mercury poisoning and climate change figured into the costs of fossil fuels?


  5. As usual, we need to complete – so as to was a whole …

    Not necessarily (biased – as a denier) to be against it, but just to show more …

    Troubled turn (2013, http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21571440-germanys-national-energy-project-becoming-cause-disunion-troubled-turn):

    “Ordinary Germans increasingly associate it only with their own electricity bills, which went up again in January. About half of an average consumer’s bill now goes to taxes and subsidies for renewables rather than the actual price of electricity quoted at the European Energy Exchange in Leipzig’s tallest building. Germans pay more for electricity than most other Europeans.
    Superimposed is a general anxiety that Germany might squander its global competitiveness over its cost of energy.”
    “Peter Altmaier, the environment minister, said this month that he wants to limit it [subsidy], and the parties are now bickering about how. But the subsidy’s purpose—to accelerate the capture of solar, wind and biomass energy—is not even the main hurdle for the energy revolution any more, since these energy sources are growing faster than expected. Instead, the bottlenecks are the storage of renewable energy and its transport.

    “This chaos extends to the federal government.”

    “There is a risk that this revolution, like so many others, succumbs to infighting long before reaching its goal.

    Why?

    On the “green” website (2013, http://www.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/cheapest-alternative-energy.htm) are written, honestly, so:

    “Solar power has been one of the most expensive sources of alternative energy, but recent research using magnetic fields to collect solar energy without the need for expensive photovoltaic cells could dramatically reduce its costs in the future. Wind farms are another promising renewable energy resource; however, collecting and conveying the power of the wind presents an expensive obstacle.”

    “Still other alternative energies like biodiesel aren’t strictly renewable …”

    “In conclusion, today’s impractical and costly alternative power technology may well be tomorrow’s energy mainstay.”

    Is not it better wait a bit, so, “dear” Americans?

    … and limited funds to spend on “fine-tuning” of the new technology – the Science, instead of investing in the production of these super expensive (and already obsolete) German technology in the German “bureaucratic” expensive way?

  6. rayduray Says:

    Alternative Energy in the Sicilian Style:

    http://tinyurl.com/czgz63e

  7. joffan7 Says:

    The question is, has this electricity (not energy) surplus been achieved in a worthwhile way? In particular, is it the result of simply making electricity less affordable? http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-21/merkel-taken-on-by-kraft-as-power-costs-open-second-crisis-front.html


  8. Currently it comes to pay back time- I’m fitting thermal solar and at £1500 for a top system it will heat summer hot water for ‘free’ and do the warming of 5c mains water up to 10-15c in winter. Pay back even without a subsidies is 10 years and less if fuel prices double in price over inflation as they have done in the last 10 years. So everywhere in the US is suitable and the tech is proven and very efficient.

    As for pv- the UK pays the going rate of 15p [25c] per kwh and prices have halved in 5 years from about 8-10 £k to £4.5 thousand. Subsidies work- coming from agriculture the lack of home grown veg oils was reversed with guaranteed prices allowing for the investments in processing plants and machinery. Once it goes its job subsidies can be reduced and eliminated.

    I bought an electric bike for little trips to the shop and work and it paid for itself within a year. i will retrofit super insulation and double glazing to our old house. The cost of the pv- solar thermal- insulation- led lighting will not be cheap- we will spend £20k but the house needs a complete renovation anyway. The roof would cost about £15k to rebuild but with super insulation the cost is another 10% [ I’m doing most of the work so it will be a lot less anyway].
    In Germany green homes are standard. so eletricty may be more but they use a lot less.


  9. For anybody’s interest, aerial footage of Arkansas oil spil. Could it happen in Germany???

    Alex


  10. There is also another new video on YT:

    Climate models questioned by Pliocene ocean temperatures:

    from Scientific American: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2013/04/03/climate-change-future-suggested-by-looking-back-4-million-years/

    Alex


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