The cost of US electric power is much lower than that of European competitors. This is because the US has been slow to adopt the “green energy swamp” approach to economic suicide which the Europeans seem determined to follow. As long as costs for US natural gas and electricity are appreciably lower than those of its competitors, the US will have a distinct advantage in manufacturing. Thus all the European manufacturers that have moved operations to the US to take advantage. __ Energy Costs Matter
The graph below appears benign enough, but it hides an ominous trend for Germany, Europe, and anywhere else that adopts the green energy paradigm.
The Decline of German Competitiveness in Industry and Commerce
The rise in energy costs (electricity and natural gas) for Germany represent a steady decline in competitiveness for German industry and commerce. German industries are moving overseas, jobs are being lost, Germany’s economic future is shrinking along with its population.
Much of this devastation of Germany’s economic future results from a lack of recognition of the fatal mismatch between power grids and intermittent, unreliable energy sources.
Most renewables advocates don’t appreciate the scope and scale of electricity grids, the difficulties intermittency creates, and the technical/ commercial inadequacies of electricity storage technologies other than PHS.
… It is very unlikely that any grid storage solution (other than PHS where feasible) could ever practically cover the intermittency of high penetration utility scale wind and solar. Utility voices (like RWE and E.ON) charged with making electricity grids work seamlessly and reliably despite ever increasing renewable intermittency burdens are only starting to be heard. Those voices are very negative. It may not be until some grid goes dark because of intermittency (as increasingly uneconomic flexed conventional generation is shut in Germany and UK) that the general public will understand. Germany, UK, and California seem determined to run this unfortunate experiment for the rest of us. __ See entire article for supporting data and calculations
The entire green energy edifice is built upon false claims and wishful thinking. As a former advocate of big wind and big solar, Al Fin required a number of years to work through that wishful thinking and those false claims to the underlying reality. It is unlikely that most journalists, politicians, “environmentalists,” or academicians have the intelligence, integrity, or persistence to work through the logic of the green quagmire.
Germany’s neighbors are taking precautions against the coming cascading blackouts caused by Germany’s increasing over-dependence upon unreliable, poor quality, intermittent energy sources.
Notably, the Czech Republic seems to regard unplanned power flows from Germany as a serious national security risk. As reported by the German magazine Der Spiegel, the Czech national electricity transmission system operator CEPS announced investment of more than 72 million Euros in phase shifting transformers at the German-Czech border – expected to be operational in 2016 – in order to shield the Czech Republic from the real possibility of a potential future blackout (Read on the ABB website on how to control power flow with phase shifting transformers).___ http://breakingenergy.com/2015/06/12/is-germany-outsourcing-its-future-energy-security/
Meanwhile, in the US, the climate inquisition has not been allowed to shut down all useful forms of energy. Hydraulic fracturing in the US helps to suppress prices of natural gas and electricity — thus attracting large numbers of manufacturers from around the world, especially Europe.
A recent report projected that the cost of manufacturing in the U.S. will fall below costs in China within the next three years, in large part due to the rise of fracking.
Wiser nations are turning toward advanced nuclear power and more economical sources of natural gas — rather than turning against affordable, high-quality energy — as Germany and much of western Europe is doing. High quality, low cost energy attracts industrial and commercial partners, and supports national and regional employment.
It is no accident that the same European nation — Germany — that has fallen for the green energy scam is also one of the foremost chumps for Kremlin political propaganda. It is Russia, after all, which finances a great deal of anti-fracking propaganda in the west, and provides under the table financial support for green lobbies in the west that fight against nuclear and hydrocarbon power in the political arena. Germany was already dying, demographically. Energy and economic suicide by Germans will not make much difference in Germany’s ultimate fate.
After the massive death and devastation in Europe caused by Germany in the 20th century, it may be difficult for many outsiders to feel sympathy for the nation that did more than any other (except perhaps Russia) to devastate European demographics.
It is unfortunate that Germany is pulling the rest of Europe down with it in its hasty slide to self-destruction. When Europe goes dark, the collateral damage is likely to be grave.
The actual trends will be more striking than portrayed above, and will leave Germany at a much greater disadvantage when compared to North America, East Asia, and perhaps Oceania — if Australia and New Zealand can escape the green quagmire that has captured western Europe and Brussels.
Whose Fault is this Disaster?
Two German chancellors must share the blame: Schroeder and Merkel. Schroeder has long been in the pay of Russia’s Putin, so it is no wonder that he would promote a deliberate weakening of Germany’s energy supplies to the advantage of Russia, as Germany’s main gas supplier.
Merkel had adopted a wiser approach to Germany’s energy future — until the Fukushima tsunami and quake. After Fukushima, Merkel unwisely chose to opportunistically adopt Schroeder’s timeline to close Germany’s nuclear power plants — helping to trigger the current growing disaster.
Thus Merkel inadvertently jumped into bed with the crooked Schroeder, and caused herself and her country a host of preventable problems.
Time is running out for Germany’s opportunity to step back from the precipice.
1) Renewable energy is expensive. Any country that attempts to raise its contribution from renewable resources is going to end up paying higher prices. This is also visible in California, which has the highest percentage of renewables in the continental United States and also pays the highest electrical bills west of New Jersey.
2) Advancing renewables will require a series of regulatory rules that give special consideration to renewables while failing to reward the reliability of other generating sources.
3) At a certain point, the intermittency of renewable sources will threaten the dependability of the grid. Special measures will be required to prevent the problem from spreading to other regions.
Other than that, Germany’s Energiewende seems to be doing just fine [!} __ http://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2015/07/16/whats_going_on_in_germany_108594.html
An excellent summing up. In other words, to keep the lights on and the future in play, “green energy” idiocy will have to be fended off at all costs.