Germany’s economy has lost much of its lustre recently. A large part of the problem is that German industry can no longer trust in the ability of the German power grid to supply reliable, high quality, affordable electric power in the quantities it needs — at the precise times it is needed.
In recent weeks, the economy that proud German politicians have taken to describing as a “growth locomotive” and “stability anchor” for Europe, has been hit by a barrage of bad news that has surprised even the most ardent Germany sceptics. The big shocker came on Thursday, when the Federal Statistics Office revealed that gross domestic product (GDP) had contracted by 0.2% in the second quarter.
“The euphoria that we’ve seen, the perception that the German economy is booming is simply misplaced,” said Marcel Fratzscher, director of the DIW economic institute in Berlin.
“Energy intensive industries in particular have lost confidence in the future of Germany as a business location,” said Thomas Mayer, a former chief economist at Deutsche Bank who now runs the Cologne-based Flossbach von Storch Research Institute. “I think this is a major issue that will burden German industry for years to come.” __ Germany’s Economy Stifled by Energy Policy
The problem is the German government’s green mandates for wind & solar penetration into the electric power generation market.
The share of renewable energy from sun, wind and biomass is meant to rise to 80% of electricity production, and 60% of overall energy use, by 2050… Businessmen say the Energiewende will kill German industry. Power experts worry about blackouts. Voters are furious about ever higher fuel bills. The chaos undermines Germany’s claim to efficiency, threatens its vaunted competitiveness and unnecessarily burdens households. It also demonstrates Germany’s curious refusal to think about Europe strategically.
… many sources of renewable energy are intermittent. The wind does not blow, nor does the sun shine, all the time… __ Economist
As Germans push more and more intermittent wind and solar onto the power grid, the reliability and quality of German power decreases. Residences may be able to tolerate the unpredictability and loss of quality of German power, but German industry cannot. That is why so many industries are packing it in — or making firm plans to pack up and move abroad.
While wind and solar nameplate capacity represented 84 percent of Germany’s average electric power generation of 70.4 GW, it ultimately generated only 11.9 percent of total electricity (up from 11.2 percent in 2011). There are simple reasons for that discrepancy: night, cloud, and calm. The output of wind and solar generators varies wildly with weather and the time of day; during most hours they produce a small fraction of their nameplate power—or nothing at all.
The standard measure of that shortfall in electricity production compared to nameplate capacity is the “capacity factor”: the amount of electricity a generator produces in a year divided by the amount it would produce if it ran at nameplate capacity for all 8,760 hours. In 2012, German solar electricity production rose to 28 TWh from the 2011 figure of 19.3 TWh. But those solar panels would have produced 254 TWh had they run at full power for all 8,760 hours in the year, so they had a capacity factor of just 11 percent. Production from wind power, despite all the new turbines, actually declined to 46 TWh from the 2011 figure of 48.9 TWh. (Sun and wind anti-correlate, so the solar surge came at the expense of wind.) That puts the capacity factor of German wind at 17 percent. By comparison, fossil-fueled plants can achieve capacity factors of 80 percent or more. And electricity production from Germany’s 12 GW of nuclear capacity in 2012 was 99 TWh, a capacity factor of 94 percent. Even though Germany’s nuclear nameplate capacity was just one-fifth the size of its solar and wind nameplate capacity, those few nuclear gigawatts produced 35 percent more watt-hours of electricity than did all the wind and solar generators put together. __ Green Energy Bust
Why do German citizens put up with this engineered decline? Because they don’t know any better. They are being led like sheep to the slaughter.
Germans have long had a greener streak than other Europeans and a greater fear of nuclear power. Some put this down to cultural romanticism, but more probably the worries stem from living in a country with a dense population and few natural resources, and a culture that values earnest efforts to do good. Whatever their origin, the environmental convictions run deep. The Greens, an environmentalist party founded only three decades ago, are now a powerful political force. They won more than 10% of the national vote in the 2009 federal elections and do a lot better still in many urban areas. __Economist via HotAir
Germans are not alone in their green stupidity. Much of Europe and the Anglosphere is also caught up in this irrational mode of thinking, based upon egregiously false assumptions.
But since these populations are being indoctrinated by schools, governments, and popular media to believe the false logic of greens and climate apocalypse, they are largely unable to think clearly enough to pull themselves and their nations out of the green quagmire.
Without the energy that drives industry and commerce, a modern high tech economy is doomed. There are places for wishful thinking and free-floating good intentions, but those places do not involve practical energy planning for large modern nations. Germany seems not to have learned that simple lesson of Energy and Economics 101. It is paying a price for that lapse, and for the green stupidity of its citizens.
The Truth Behind the Claims that “Germany Gets 50% of its Energy from Solar” (Not even close)