One of the things on which Germany prides itself is its sense of prudence. It’s obvious to see in the realms of government finance and economics, where the German nation has become a self-conscious metaphor for responsible behavior and difficult but necessary reform – to the point where they have collectively forgotten how much leeway Brussels gave them roughly a decade ago when they were actually making the changes, to the great damage of the Mediterranean economies that are suffering for it today. But that’s for another post.
Another area of Germany’s overweening pride-as-humility comes in “green energy,” where they have tried to take the lead not just in the continent, but globally. Well, Anthony Watts (WUWT) reveals just where that has left the German economy:
In mid-August, Germany opened a new 2200MW coal-fired power station near Cologne, and virtually not a word has been said about it. This dearth of reporting is even more surprising when one considers that Germany has said building new coal plants is necessary because electricity produced by wind and solar has turned out to be unaffordably expensive and unreliable.
In a deteriorating economic situation, Germany’s new environment minister, Peter Altmaier, who is as politically close to Chancellor Angela Merkel as it gets, has underlined time and again the importance of not further harming Europe’s – and Germany’s – economy by increasing the cost of electricity.
He is also worried that his country could become dependent on foreign imports of electricity, the mainstay of its industrial sector. To avoid that risk, Altmaier has given the green light to build twenty-three new coal-fired plants, which are currently under construction.
Yes, you read that correctly, twenty three-new coal-fired power plants are under construction in Germany, because Germany is worried about the increasing cost of electricity, and because they can’t afford to be in the strategic position of importing too much electricity.
Twenty-three new coal-fired plants? What happened to wind and solar?
Due to the inherent intermittent nature of wind, their wind power system was designed for an assumed 30% load factor in the first place. That means that they hoped to get a mere 30% of the installed capacity – versus some 85-90% for coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric facilities.
That means that, when they build 3,000MW of wind power, they expect to actually get merely 900MW, because the wind does not always blow at the required speeds. But in reality, after ten years, they have discovered that they are actually getting only half of what they had optimistically, and irrationally, hoped for: a measly 16.3 percent.
Even worse, after spending billions of Euros on subsidies, Germany’s total combined solar facilities have contributed a miserly, imperceptible 0.084% of Germany’s electricity over the last 22 years. That is not even one-tenth of one percent.
Moreover, the actual cost of Germany’s wind and solar electricity is far and away higher than its cost of coal and nuclear power. So much for “free” solar and wind.
Perhaps someone from Southwest Virginia talk to Herr Altmaier about exporting coal to his country, at least until this one gets around to . . . following Germany’s lead.
Cross-posted to Virginia Virtucon