n this photo taken Nov. 12, 2011, wind turbines stand behind houses of the village of Feldheim near Berlin, Germany n this photo taken Nov. 12, 2011, wind turbines stand behind houses of the village of Feldheim near Berlin, Germany

Power Poverty: Subsidised Wind & Solar Means 5 Million Germans Struggle To Pay Rocketing Power Bills & 340,000 Families Cut From Grid

Apr 20, 2019

Germany’s wind and solar experiment has failed: the so-called ‘Energiewende’ (energy transition) has turned into an insanely costly debacle.

German power prices have rocketed; blackouts and load shedding are the norm; and once bucolic farmland has been turned into industrial wastelands (see above).

Hundreds of billions of euros have been squandered on subsidies to wind and solar, all in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide gas emissions. However, that objective has failed too: CO2 emissions continue to rise.

But you wouldn’t know it from what appears in the mainstream media. Its reticence to report on what’s actually going on in Germany probably stems from the adage about success having many fathers, and failure being an orphan. Having promoted Germany as the example of how we could all ‘transition’ to an all RE future, it’s pretty hard for them to suck it up and acknowledge that they were taken for fools.

Germany provided the perfect opportunity to prove that a modern, industrial economy could run on sunshine and breezes and, therefore, ditch fossil fuels, altogether. However, the wind and solar industries are shrinking, as subsidies are slashed; old coal-fired power plants are being refurbished; and dozens of new coal-fired plants are being built. On any sensible reckoning, the Energiewende has been a monumental failure.

And when STT says ‘failure’, we mean ‘failure’ at every level. Because, if the objective of the so-called ‘inevitable transition’ to wind and solar includes the prospect of providing reliable and affordable power to all comers, then Germany’s Energiewende is not just a failure, it’s a monumental economic and social calamity.

German political analysis and commentary site Freie Welt here has an article on how millions of Germans are increasingly unable to afford electric power.

While a number of commodities such as electronics, electrical goods and computing power across the country – and the globe – have gotten much cheaper over the years due to development, the price of electricity in Germany has “more than doubled since 2000”.

5 million struggling to pay for their power

Almost all of this is due to the Germany’s ‘Energiewende’: the transition to renewable energies and away from nuclear power and fossil fuels like coal.

According to the Freie Welt: “Last year, almost five million people in Germany had problems paying their electricity bills” as some 4.8 million defaulting customers “were threatened” by power companies.

“As a consequence of unpaid bills, almost 344,000 households were temporarily cut off electricity during the same period. This marks new records,” the Freie Welt reports.

“Next increases already in the pipeline”

The situation for Germans will likely get a lot worse before it gets better. Less than a third of the country’s power is supplied by wind and sun, and as that share rises – as is planned – the costs will only continue to climb and make the hardship for the poor even worse.

“Three quarters of the energy suppliers had raised their prices at the beginning of this year again on the average by five per cent,” Writes Freie Welt. “The next increases are already in the pipeline.”

At 29.42 Euro cents a kilowatt-hour, Germans pay among the highest prices in the world.

Further price increases in the medium to long term

According to Valerian Vogel of the utility Verifox: “In view of the major challenges facing the German electricity system, consumers must prepare themselves for further increases in electricity prices in the medium to long term”.

In Germany, the high prices are mostly made up of taxes, levies, grid fees and green energy feed-in tariffs.

In its report, Freie Welt cites figures from the Federal Network Agency, which says wholesales price for electricity are mostly to blame for the excruciatingly painful prices levels. According to the Federal Network Agency, “Last year was around 30 percent higher than the average price for 2017.”

Fridays for Future (unintended) Revolution

Ironically, the Fridays for Future (skip school) movement yesterday issued a call in Berlin for an even more rapid completion of the coal and fossil fuel power phaseout. They demanded that this phaseout be completed by 2030 rather than 2038. The movement, backed by activist scientists, is in fact calling for a revolution.

And a revolution they will get, but very likely not the kind they are bargaining for.

 

Credit: No Tricks Zone

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