Germany’s Chancellor Merkel dodged a big bullet in the recent German elections. But her fight to survive the ill-conceived energy policy called Energiewende has just begun.
The Energiewende has already led to chaos, with surges of subsidized wind and solar power overwhelming the grid. Utilities E.ON and RWE have threatened to shut down plants producing 23,000 megawatts. German electricity costs are ratcheting up faster than elsewhere in Europe, and are now twice U.S. levels. Households and the Mittelstand (mediumsized companies) backbone of the economy are carrying the burden, paying cross-subsidies to exempted sectors of heavy industry. “Spiralling energy costs will soon drive us into the wall. It has become dangerous,” said the German Chemical Industry Association.
Fear that power bills could cripple German industry has combined with growing angst over U.S. shale output, which has slashed U.S. gas costs to a quarter of German levels. German chemical companies are switching plants to the U.S. Günther Oettinger, the EU’s energy commissioner, has called for a complete shakeup of Germany’s strategy. “We need industry; we cannot be the good guys for the whole world, if no one follows suit,” he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to phase out Germany’s nuclear power after Japan’s Fukushima disaster has vastly complicated the picture. Utilities have turned to coal and lignite to plug the gap, causing Germany’s CO2 gas levels to rise. The green agenda risks becoming self-defeating.
The German conundrum is reminiscent of the early supersonic fighter aircraft that shot itself down with its own cannon. Merkel and the Greens have lofted a huge array of poisoned arrows that are rapidly descending upon their path. They survived the bullet of the election. Their own poisoned arrows may be another matter.
Supporters of giant wind farms and huge solar installations are full of happy talk about “clean energy,” “free energy,” “replacing carbon sources,” and other self-deceiving delusions. When their ideas are tried in the real world and allowed to play out for a decade or two, the end result is giant rusted junkyards of failed dreams. And bankrupted economies that must struggle to fight their way back as far as possible, but now using genuine sources of electrical and heat power such as nuclear, gas, coal, hydroelectric (as far as possible) and in some cases biomass.
One example of the possibilities that real energy sources make possible, is the proposed Shell GTL plant in Louisiana. Natural gas can be converted to diesel, and to a wide range of petrochemicals — displacing oil as a feedstock, thus making more oil available on the markets. The same approach can be taken with coal, oil shale kerogens, and even biomass — to produce a wide range of chemicals, polymers, fertilizers, fuels, lubricants, and other high value products.
The clean production of high value products from low value substances will be greatly facilitated by new, safe forms of high temperature nuclear reactors.
Obama wishes to force the US to rely on wind and solar, just like Germany has been trying to do, and as Spain failed miserably trying to do. He is looking to energy sources from far in the past, energy sources that cannot support a world of 7 billion humans — or even half that number. Obama is supported by green groups who want to see the human population of the planet reduced by 90% or more.
Has reality been revoked? It has been said that a person has the right to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Obama, Merkel, and the greens work through the media, through academia, through political activist groups, and through the bully pulpit of government to make you think that they have the right to their own facts, independent of reality.
Sooner or later, reality will have the last word.
Be prepared. Corrupt delusion and deception at this level of government, academia, media, and affiliated groups is very dangerous, and the fallout is apt to be painfully severe.
It is never too late to have a dangerous childhood.