Germany’s Renewable Energy Fail: German CO2 Emissions 10 Times Higher than Nuclear-Powered France

The meme has it that wind and solar are all about slashing CO2 emissions, whereas that pathetic pair are just a colossal moneymaking scam.

Apart from South Australia, no country other than Germany threw more at chaotically intermittent wind and solar.

The results have been an utter debacle: Germans suffer the second highest power prices in Europe, just behind wind ‘powered’ Denmark, and those prices are rocketing north at double-digit rates. The German grid is on the brink of collapse.

And all in an effort to curb emissions of carbon dioxide gas. Leaving aside arguments about whether CO2 is a toxic pollutant or a naturally occurring beneficial trace gas which plants crave, if the primary object of Germany’s ‘transition’ to an all wind and sun powered future was cutting carbon dioxide gas emissions, the result has been a dismal failure – that’s cost Germans more than a €Trillion, so far.

By comparison, nuclear powered France enjoys power prices a fraction of those suffered by its eastern neighbour; and its CO2 emissions are tiny fraction of those being pumped out by notionally wind and solar powered Germany. Even coal-powered Poland has managed to cut it CO2 emissions faster than the ever-virtuous Germany.

Germans are being taken for dupes. And Macron is keen to take his country down the same dubious path.

Germany already knows that it will fail to achieve the CO2 emission reduction targets set for 2020, and the gap will be quite significant. That’s why it is postponing the closure of coal-fired power plants and is building Nord Stream 2, writes Józef Sobolewski, director of the Nuclear Energy Department in Poland’s Ministry of Energy. [Originally published in Wszystko Co Najważniejsze]

Viewpoint: There is no Holy Grail of energy
World Nuclear News
Józef Sobolewski
17 December 2018

In September this year, I was invited to attend the IAEA General Conference to make a presentation at its Scientific Forum, laying down the arguments for the development of nuclear energy as a climate protection factor for a country having one of Europe’s highest CO2 emission rates per power generation unit. I could have repeated some commonplace statements found in many reports, but as a physicist by profession, I decided to focus on facts.

Based on the data of the European Environment Agency, I compared the historical emissions data for Poland, Germany and France. The results, although obvious to me, may seem shocking to many. What I found is that, for the last 20 years, Poland has reduced its emissions by virtually the same amount as Germany, whose total renewable energy investment exceeded EUR250 billion. Of course, we are talking about slightly different levels.

Germany’s emissions per power unit are about half those of Poland, but let’s not forget that in Poland we had a completely different starting point. The picture is even more interesting when you look at France. In fact, Germany, while it leads the way in the development of renewable energy sources, has emissions ten times higher than France that relies on nuclear for power generation. And here we come to some very interesting findings and questions.

How is it possible that a country investing heavily in renewable energy ends up with a ratio similar to Poland’s? For energy generation experts, the answer is simple – unstable energy sources achieve a certain degree of saturation in the energy mix, so much so that their further development does not lead to an effective increase in their share of overall energy production. The power system is a zero-balance one. Energy is produced in amounts that can be used, with storage possibilities being generally negligible. The energy system cannot feed solely off renewables without supply from stable sources, and these, in the case of Germany, are provided by lignite power plants, the highest producers of emissions.

Perfectly aware of this, our western neighbour is digging new open-pit lignite mines, holding back the European Parliament’s ambition to set higher goals. Germany already knows that it will fail to achieve the CO2 emissions reduction targets set for 2020 and the gap will be quite significant. That’s why it is postponing the closure of coal-fired power plants and is building Nord Stream 2. The only possibility for reduction it has, assuming its withdrawal from coal and nuclear, is gas, which is why Germany is so determined to complete the second leg of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

A German expert on wind energy, advisor to the German minister of economy, recently came to Warsaw to give some interesting lectures at the Universities of Warsaw and the Sejm on wind energy as a power system source. He had the clear message that wind energy cannot be the basis of the power system, and neither can offshore. He also explained why the Holy Grail of renewable energy – an energy storage facility capable of filling the gap if wind stops for one day across the country – cannot be built, meaning it does not exist. Remember that the ‘wind silence’ can last for weeks.

Now let’s have a look at France that derives 75% of its energy from nuclear power plants. The remainder – produced by thermal power plants – emits an average of ten times less CO2 per power unit than neighbouring Germany. The incumbent president abandoned the plan of his predecessor who, on the wave of green ideology, pledged to reduce the share of nuclear energy to 50%, stating that what matters is the reduction of emissions and not the way it is achieved. Nevertheless, in order to appease the wind lobby, he approved the construction of offshore wind farms, with a guaranteed price five times more expensive than that of nuclear power. Well, the rich can afford more.

The European Union should ask itself whether the chosen or in fact enforced, renewable energy development path is truly leading to climate protection – reducing CO2 emissions – or is a profitable business-making scheme. I think it’s the latter. It may be that, in the beginning, the development of, say, wind energy was driven by ecological considerations, but then huge subsidies have transformed this way of generating energy into a very profitable business.

A few years ago, I read an article by a consultancy that “a wind turbine is not a wind power plant; it is an excellent financial instrument”. And it is true, as it is not easy to point to another instrument that guarantees such high profits for several years. It is also a business with a powerful lobby. How else can it be explained that the provisions of the SPD-CDU coalition agreement, which explicitly speaks about the export of Energiewende, point to the protection of almost 200,000 jobs in Germany? In addition, the same document highlights the decision to block the use of funds from the EU budget for the development of nuclear energy. So Germany can use Polish funds paid into the EU budget for the development of renewable sources in Germany, but Poland cannot use its contributions for nuclear energy.

One may ask who gets the most profits from the development of renewable energy. It is obvious to me that it is not the climate. In addition to the RES-related industries and financial markets, the largest beneficiaries are suppliers of natural gas, a commodity supporting the use of renewable energy sources, whose European resources are gradually being depleted, but not Russia’s. I would not count on LNG so much, because Asian countries will always be able to pay more than we do, and their needs are definitely bigger and growing.

If the EU really wanted to protect the climate by reducing CO2 emissions, it would set the reduction targets as effectively as possible, regardless of the technology used. The most effective currently available technology is nuclear fission power (fusion technology still has a long way to go to commercialisation). Nuclear generation has high investment costs, but its output is very cheap thanks to its long service life and low variable costs. It is available on demand, no matter the weather conditions, and thus guarantees energy security. It is a fact that half of the EU’s emission-free energy is produced by nuclear power plants.

But nuclear energy has its opponents, especially ideologically-conditioned ones, whose argument is “no because no”. They use mostly untruths or misrepresentations, as opposed to facts; they do not know what they are talking about and, unfortunately, they are able to play on emotions. But it is the problem of Western countries, completely irrelevant to the growing powers of Asia, which are dynamically developing nuclear energy.

The last 30 years have seen a clear slowdown in the development of nuclear energy in the so-called First World. This was caused firstly by the failure of the Chernobyl power plant (consciously triggered by plant personnel), and thereafter as nuclear power was experiencing a revival, a tsunami in Japan put a spanner in the works. Although no one died of radiation in Fukushima, the opponents of nuclear energy used the accident to build a massive campaign against it, while preventing its economically viable development.

Of course, as I mentioned earlier, this does not apply to developing countries. And yet, in addition to generating electricity, new nuclear technologies have a much wider application. They enable the production of heat for heating purposes or process heat, and also to achieve temperatures enabling an effective hydrous pyrolysis that leads to the creation of the most promising fuel – hydrogen. And all this is possible with zero emissions into the atmosphere.

The advantage of these new solutions is passive safety: There is no way a reactor’s core could melt as a result of loss of coolant. As the First World, we are starting to lag behind.

Recently, a number of reports have been published on climate change, clearly indicating the need to develop nuclear energy as the only real measure that can prevent the bad from getting worse. A report by the International Energy Agency, presented at the beginning of this year, highlighted in an impartial and balanced manner the need for intensive development of nuclear energy. But perhaps the most surprising is the recent study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, according to which, of all scenarios leading up to limitation to the average temperature rise, the most effective one is the significant development of nuclear energy.

Maybe it’s time now to consider changes to EU policy and the replacement of “renewable energy” with “clean energy”?
World Nuclear News

The face of failure: Mutti Merkel’s CO2 muddle unravels.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Here’s something else you can report on when it comes to the costs of “free” wind power. I don’t think you’re referenced it before

    German redispatch costs hit record high: The cost of stabilising the German grid reached a new high of €1.4 billion in 2017 as wind supplied record levels of power

    https://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1485530/german-redispatch-costs-hit-record-high

  2. Anne Bentley says:

    So stick that in your pipe and smoke it all you Greenies and other nay sayers 😄

  3. Thank you for your fine post. I translated and loaded it up to:
    https://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/2019/01/11/deutschlands-versagen-mit-erneuerbaren-energien-die-deutschen-co2-emissionen-sind-zehnmal-hoeher-als-im-nuklear-versorgten-frankreich/

    By the way, I used google picture search, with your last photo of Mrs. Dr. Merkel. This is what it was shown https://www.etsy.com/de/listing/188145712/politische-unterhose-mit-kanzlerin

    Best wishes to all for a good start into the new year
    Andy, Bavaria, Germany

  4. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak and commented:
    The meme has it that wind and solar are all about slashing CO2 emissions, whereas that pathetic pair are just a colossal moneymaking scam.

    Apart from South Australia, no country other than Germany threw more at chaotically intermittent wind and solar.

    The results have been an utter debacle: Germans suffer the second highest power prices in Europe, just behind wind ‘powered’ Denmark, and those prices are rocketing north at double-digit rates. The German grid is on the brink of collapse.

    And all in an effort to curb emissions of carbon dioxide gas. Leaving aside arguments about whether CO2 is a toxic pollutant or a naturally occurring beneficial trace gas which plants crave, if the primary object of Germany’s ‘transition’ to an all wind and sun powered future was cutting carbon dioxide gas emissions, the result has been a dismal failure – that’s cost Germans more than a €Trillion, so far.

    By comparison, nuclear powered France enjoys power prices a fraction of those suffered by its eastern neighbour; and its CO2 emissions are tiny fraction of those being pumped out by notionally wind and solar powered Germany. Even coal-powered Poland has managed to cut it CO2 emissions faster than the ever-virtuous Germany.

  5. Obo Sobrio says:

    ClimateGate in Review
    http://smallthoughts.com/climategate/
    Updated 01-03-2019
    Click on a selector.

  6. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “….Germany’s Renewable Energy Fail: German CO2 Emissions 10 Times Higher than Nuclear-Powered France….”

    I don’t think that’s important, is it? The key point is that Germany doesn’t have nasty nuclear, but uses nice wind power. So the environmental activists are happy.

    Everyone else doesn’t really count, so that’s all right…

  7. David Jones says:

    Contrary to your impression, Germany does not “suffer” very high prices. Their bills as a percentage of income are at 2.3% (compared to 1.78% before the Energiewende). Many people in the US on the other hand suffers greatly from electric bill costs due to iinneficient use of energy. As far as I’m aware, most of the people in the US (all other than the top 20%) pay a higher percentage of their income for electric bills than the Germans do and the lowest 20% end up paying over 10% of their income for electricity in the US. The average in the US is 2.15% with most people paying 2-3%.

  8. Seeing this information and knowing that Ontario was heavily influenced by Germany to invest in industrial scale wind turbines in the first place, and now knowing that Canadian Pension investments are being made in what are failed assets or about to be declared failed/stranded assets, ought to be cause for real concern.

    Correct me if I’m wrong to be seriously concerned about this.

    • markesommer says:

      From one Sommer to another, there is an even greater fallacy that has been orchestrated here. The initial investment in the wind turbines is nothing more than prepaid pollution. All of the investment went to smelting copper, synthesizing epoxy resins, manufacturing bearings and motors, heating and lighting factories, etc.. Sure the wind is “free”, but dollars spent represent a lot of pollution ! One could argue that wind power is worse for the environment than burning natural gas. So, pensions will lose funds while the environment is harmed more than if the turbines had not been built….

  9. Marshall Rosenthal says:

    I guess Western Civilization bet on the wrong horse when they put all their money on “Renewable Energy”.

  10. What a powerful argument for clean energy! Imagine what Niels Bohr or Hans Oersted would think of the state of science in Denmark today! Afraid of nuclear power because of Russian incompetence and the Japanese building a power plant on the seashore!
    Mark from Cleveland, Ohio, USA

  11. Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Monetising the wind isn’t going to solve anyone’s electricity supply problems. Exactly the reverse is far more likely.

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