Germany’s green transition has hit a brick wall

Germany’s green transition has hit a brick wall, by Oddvar Lundseng.

More people are finally beginning to realize that supplying the world with sufficient, stable energy solely from sun and wind power will be impossible.

Germany took on that challenge, to show the world how to build a society based entirely on “green, renewable” energy. It has now hit a brick wall. Despite huge investments in wind, solar and biofuel energy production capacity, Germany has not reduced CO2 emissions over the last ten years. However, during the same period, its electricity prices have risen dramatically, significantly impacting factories, employment and poor families.

Germany has installed solar and wind power to such an extent that it should theoretically be able to satisfy the power requirement on any day that provides sufficient sunshine and wind. However, since sun and wind are often lacking — in Germany even more so than in other countries like Italy or Greece — the country only manages to produce around 27% of its annual electric power needs from these sources.

Equally problematical, when solar and wind production are at their maximum, the wind turbines and solar panels often overproduce – that is, they generate more electricity than Germany needs at that time – creating major problems in equalizing production and consumption. If the electric power system’s frequency is to be kept close to 50Hz (50 cycles per second), it is no longer possible to increase the amount of solar and wind production in Germany without additional, costly measures. Production is often too high to keep the network frequency stable without disconnecting some solar and wind facilities. …

In practice, this means Germany can never shut down the conventional power plants, as planned. These power plants must be ready and able to meet the total power requirements at any time; without them, a stable network frequency is unobtainable. …

The cost of Germany’s “Energiewende” (energy transition) is enormous: some 200 billion euros by 2015 — and yet with minimal reduction in CO2 emission. In fact, coal consumption and CO2 emissions have been stable or risen slightly the last seven to ten years.

Australia is just now overtaking Germany in the race to economic suicide by renewables, as Germany backs off and reconsiders.

hat-tip Charles, Scott of the Pacific