German Energy Insanity Threatens Europe’s Future

Merkel’s government shut down eight reactors in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima disaster (which was caused by a tsunami – a threat Germany isn’t exposed to) and has vowed to shut down all remaining nuclear facilities by 2022. The problem? Despite heavy government subsidization, renewable energies simply aren’t filling the void.

Merkel’s energy plan called for the addition of 25,000 megawatts of sea-based wind turbine power by 2030. However through the first six months of 2012 only 45 megawatts had been added to Germany’s existing 200-megawatt supply, according to an industry analyst quoted by Reuters. And despite massive subsidies funded by a household energy surcharge (which currently comprises 14 percent of German power bills), major wind projects in the North Sea are being delayed or canceled due to skittish investors.

The basic problem? Wind farms are notoriously unreliable as a power source. Not only that, they take up vast amounts of space and kill tens of thousands of birds annually.

“Generating energy with wind involves extreme fluctuations because it depends on the weather and includes periods without any recognizable capacity for days, or suddenly occurring supply peaks that push the grid to its limits,” a 2012 report from Germany energy expert Dr. Guenter Keil notes. __Forbes

It would be one thing if Germany were simply committing energy suicide for itself. But Germany is the anchor for the European power grid. If Germany goes down, Europe goes down.

Already, Germany’s neighbors have begun to build massive switches into their power-line border crossings with Germany. The switches are meant to shut down all power connections with Germany during the times that Germany attempts to dump erratic power surges from wind onto neighboring power grids — threatening cascading power failures across Europe.

Germany’s increasingly erratic power supply is seen as a threat to the futures of several large German industrial concerns. Several of Germany’s largest industrial companies are accelerating plans to locate new plants — and replacements for old plants — overseas, where power supplies are less expensive and more reliable.

Foolish mainstream journalists are fixated on the dangers posed by German austerity to European economies. They would be wiser to focus on the real dangers to both Germany and Europe.

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3 Responses to German Energy Insanity Threatens Europe’s Future

  1. guest says:

    The whole power plant withdrawal thing was a smart bait and switch.

    They in fact extended the lifespan of several plants which
    closure was just around around the corner, see this graph:

    http://cdn4.spiegel.de/images/image-220773-galleryV9-tjyo.jpg

    “We will close everything in 2022 but until then all remain online!”

    It’s hands down the best political move I’ve seen in a while.
    Selling an extension as getting out, brilliant vinkel-advokating!

    p.s. What happened, or is going on, with the Al Fin family of blogs?
    No updates since january, not even a note about this new blog…

    I only found out about Next Level because your comment on Isegoria.
    People in the blogosphere think you’re dead, you should clear it up.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Yes, that’s why they call it “politics.” If they followed Merkel’s proclamation to the letter, Germany would suffer tremendously. Electricity prices in Germany are already poised to shoot upward. The new coal plants are a reflection of the trap the German government placed itself in. And things will only get worse, the deeper into big wind and big solar that Deutschland wallows.

      Google made the decision to block all administrative access to the Al Fin blogs back in January. So far I have not been able to get them to reverse their decision. I cannot access the blogs in order to redirect readers to the new site. I will continue to leave comments at particular sites where former Al Fin readers might congregate.

      I have been busy with other projects, while trying to get better at using WordPress so that I can produce informative and timely articles with little effort.

  2. Sam says:

    I just found Al Finn 08-15-13. Found you were still alive from Next Big Future. Was worried about you. I had come to the conclusion that you had some kind of health crisis or something major bad had happened. I’m relieved you’re ok. A crime Google locked you out. Makes no sense. I wish you well.

    Unfortunately during the interim I’ve been partaking of Parapundit and agree with him that the US is in for a more gloomy future. Wild technology super advances aside I don’t think your average citizen will share much in this great bounty. I’m not so sure we are not in the midst of an oil shock. There may be plenty of oil but it cost more. To much to fund the kind of growth we need. To bad we punted on Thorium reactors or we’d all be rich and farting through underwear better than silk. Maybe genetically engineered mink fibers.

    I believe we’re capable of great things but I’m not so sure we have time. The last 15 years or so we’ve either coasted or made stupendously bad decisions. I remember talking to a buddy once and talking about what we could do to come back and he made the comment that Rome never came back. It stunned me and made me really look at what was going on. Sometimes we miss the obvious until it’s too late.

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