Australia on the German green energy road – triple failure

A draft of a script for a video to follow Wind Wont Work that is being revised for recording with a teleprompter and some other improvements.

Australia is following Germany on the transition to green energy.

What have the Germans achieved in twenty years, spending half a trillion euros or more?

They have doubled the price of domestic power.
They have seriously destabilized the grid.
At last report they have not reduced CO2 emissions since 2009.

We are clearly determined to go down the same road although we still have a long way to go. On a good day their windmills and solar farms can produce most of power they use.

But still they have failed on the three sides of the energy policy triangle. Price, Energy Security and CO2 emission reduction
.
That is the official word from 6th report on the progress of the energy transition.

That is the German Trifecta of Failure.

The picture tells the story. See page 8 of this guide produced by a Green advocacy group, the report waxes lyrical about all the green innovations on foot but the chart based on official shows no improvement in emission production since 2009. The document is a massive PDF file that takes for ever to download, this is the picture from page 8. They claim significant progress on CO2 emission reduction since 1991 but the gains came first from cleaning up the rundown socialist infrastructure in East Germany after the Fall of the Wall.

And then from reduced industrial activity during the Global Financial Crisis.

Nothing to do with the green energy transition. No change since 2009.

The story began in the 1980s when the German Greens became a political power and climate change became an issue.
In the 1990s the Greens had enough influence in the coalition government to achieve a comprehensive Renewable Energy Act in 2000.

In 2007 Angela Merkel drove the European Union to set ambitious Green targets.
It was all 20s.
The target date was 2020, the target for renewable energy was 20%, the target for greenhouse gas reduction 20%.

Germany led the way and others followed … Spain, Denmark, Britain, South Australia.

In 2011 the Germans decided to get serious and they set new targets.
They resolved to reduce Greenhouse gas production by 40% by 2020, 55% by 2030 and up to 95% by 2050.

They produced an official report each year so everyone would know well they were doing. In 2016 and 2017 the annual report did not appear. Clearly a red flag! There was concern about progress and the cost, revealed in a devastating report from the Audit Office on the administration of the transition.

At last the 6th official Monitoring Report appeared in 2018. It reported failure on all three sides of the “energy policy triangle”.

The three sides are Security of supply, affordability and emission reduction.

The grid staggers on the brink of collapse and the grid management has to intervene hundreds of times a year to turn off wind farms and bribe other countries to take excess power when the wind is strong.

The wind millers are still paid when they are turned off and that is handy for them but expensive for consumers and taxpayers.

The wind is all over the place as you can see from this chart [link to be provided]. That is a nightmare for grid managers. I don’t have precise numbers for the many hundreds of interventions by the German grid management but these figures for Switzerland indicate the way things go when unreliable energy is corrupting the system. Annual interventions increased from 2 in 2011 to 282 in 2018.

When the wind is weak they are pinched for power. They are missing the nuclear power stations that they closed. The others have to go in a couple of years. They are building more coal fired capacity and opening up a new coal mine. At the same time a working party is planning the exit from coal!

German power is the most expensive in the world, with Denmark and South Australia.
This chart shows how power prices increase when you have more renewable energy.

The killer blow is the failure of emission reduction – the purpose of the whole expensive and disruptive exercise.

There has been no reduction in emissions since the year 2009, almost a decade. So much for the target of 40%.
The bars show the CO2 emissions from 1990 to 2017. No reduction since 2009.

Recall that the early gains came from early cleaning up the East German industrial plants and later from the Global Financial Crisis. Nothing to do with the energy transition.

So there is the German trifecta of failure.. Go Green, spend hundreds of billions, double the price of power, destabilize the grid, and don’t reduce emissions.

All the major political parties in Australia are determined to go down the German road. Do we expect a different result?

Put that question to your elected representatives, and candidates who stand for the next election.

And check your supply of tinned food, bottled water and candles.

This entry was posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Australia on the German green energy road – triple failure

  1. stackja

    Much Greens hot air about nothing.

  2. stackja

    Liberty Quote
    Everyone wants to live at the expense of the State. They forget that the State lives at the expense of everyone.

    — Frédéric Bastiat

  3. Dr Faustus

    Germany does as well as it does because it is interconnected to the European grid and can import.

  4. flyingduk

    Part time power, part time economy…

  5. 132andBush

    Rafe,
    Another snippet to add is the running of the remaining coal plants at or above peak for long periods to take up the slack.
    This morning all fossil fuel plants in Vic are running at 97-107% capacity as I type.
    Wind under 10 on average and solar next to useless.

  6. Bruce

    The “wheels” aren’t falling off; they are being systemically unbolted.

    Follow the money and the “political influence”.

    Who will comprise the “international aid team” that will come to “save us”?

    Everyone knows the old saying: “If it ain’t broken , don’t fix it”.

    The realpolitik version is:

    “We must fix it, therefore, first it must be broken”.

    See also old bolshevist guiding philosophy regarding eggs and omelettes.

  7. RobK

    An OECD REPORT:
    The Costs of Decarbonisation: System Costs with High Shares of Nuclear and RenewablesA snippet from the OECD report referred to above (my bold added);

    What we have learned so far is that in the electricity systems of the future, all available low carbon generation options, nuclear energy, wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), hydroelectricity and, perhaps one day, fossil fuels with carbon capture, utilisation and sequestration, will need to work together in order to enable countries to meet their environmental goals in a costefficient manner. Plant-level costs do remain, of course important and we fully recognise the great strides that variable renewable energies (VRE), such as wind and solar PV, have achieved in this area in the recent past. If, according to our data, they are not yet fully competitive with nuclear power on that metric except in particularly favourable local circumstances, they soon might be.However, their intrinsic variability and, to a lesser degree, their unpredictability, imply that the costs of the overall system will continue to rise over and above the sum of plant level costs. What nuclear energy and hydroelectricity, as the primary dispatchable low carbon generation options, bring to the equation is the ability to produce at will large amounts of low carbon power predictably according to the requirements of households and industry. For the right decisions to be made in the future by governments and industry, these factors must be understood and addressed.

    It’s what I’ve been trying to say all along. Without coal or nukes, we are up against an immovable task. We should employ every source of electricity economically possible, without subsidies.

  8. don

    Turnbull appointee, Audrey Zibelman, CEO and MD of Auustralian Energy Market Operator, is a dangerous and powerful advocate of renewable energy. There is little hope of any sanity in the management of our power supplies while she remains. After promoting similar policies on New York, which happens to have access to Nuclear energy, she arrived in Australia, courtesy of PM Turnbull. Zibelman appears ready, willing and able to say and do anything to promote renewable energy, AT ANY COST.
    If Morrison had a clue, he would replace her ASAP, for the sake of the economy at large.

  9. DaveR

    The problem for the Australian Lib/Nat coalition is that they havent reset policy since the ousting of Turnbull – they are still essentially running with the objectionable Turnbull settings. Nowhere is this more apparent than in energy.

    A massively subsidised renewables sector which would be uneconomic if all subsidies were removed. And now talk of having to subsidise base load dispatchable power to keep grid stability. And all to please the European internationalists of the UN and their fellow travelers as a priority, before the interests of Australia’s industry and domestic power consumers are considered.

    The effect will be dramatic and damaging, continuing the staged de-industrialisation of Australia. The aluminium industry, dependent on cheap power, has to be the next one to go.

    This mess is nowhere near traditional Liberal economic policy.

  10. That’s unfair! You know that, as the Clever Country, Australia will succeed where other countries have failed.

    Just take a few examples. Myki, that was adopted from existing technology, was modified by clever government to make it superior and look what they achieved. Our military equipment has for decades been specially modified for Australian circumstances and look what they have achieved. Consider the NBN, technology that has been elevated to a new level by government ingenuity.

    We truly are the Clever Country.

  11. DaveR

    @don,

    you are right. AEMO-head Zibelman is hopelessly wed to the internationalist green fairytale of renewable energy and the UN-style attempts to run over the top of national sovereignty.

    But Morrison does not appear to show any understanding of the danger he has with Zibelman in that position, and Frydenberg, the author of Turbull’s NEG, probably supports the full renewables push. Neither appear to be capable of moving back to traditional Liberal/Nat policy areas.

  12. Singleton Engineer

    “CHART TO BE DISPLAYED.”

    Forgotten something?

  13. struth

    Agree with the above commenters so not a lot to add except beware of “Gonna politics”
    or indeed more correctly termed “gonna propaganda”

    It’s propaganda where you are told it’s ok to destroy your own country because everyone else is “gonna” but in reality no one actually has.
    Are Europeans hearing reports that the rest of the world has gone green and they’re lagging behind?

    We are also told China is “Gonna” slow down building it’s hundreds of new coal power stations and go Green…………………………………………………………………………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Dr Fred Lenin

    We could stop this insanity dead in ite tracks by putting Every Sitting Member Last on the ballot paper ,throw e ery one of the maggots out., destroy their miserable little careers . aclean sweeo of eevery seat,now you say the people standing against the present shower are no betterv true, however now they have the example of the last lot to ponder. Three years later we do it again ,rendering politics a non career .
    Instability would keep the clowns out of mischief ,and continual contact from constituants .
    Another saving ,no oensions or perks after they are thrown out.

  15. Rob MW

    Rafe – has the replacement cost of a much shorter shelf-life of wind & solar (say: 14 yrs for solar & 20 yrs for wind) ever been factored in as opposed to, say, 80 yrs for coal ?

    I haven’t seen much said about what seems to me to be a compounding financial problem for the rent seekers if their profit hasn’t materialised sufficiently before either refurbishment or decommissioning will be necessary.

  16. Tim Neilson

    Three years later we do it again ,rendering politics a non career .

    Exactly.

    That’s one of our biggest problems today – people who have never had any sort of job outside the political/media/lobbyist/grievance-mongering bubble, who have never wanted any sort of job outside the bubble, and who would almost certainly be totally unemployable outside the bubble, but are great at brown-nosing and backstabbing their way into Parliament and keeping their snouts in the trough for decades.

    If the electorate just kept relentlessly destroying political “careers” then we might still get a fair proportion of weirdos, ratbags and do-gooders temporarily in the halls of power, but we might also get some people genuinely willing to donate a few years to the public good.

  17. min

    Frydenberg is being challenged by a Liberal rat . Made money out of renewables and of course can see his golden goose going so is challenging for the seat .
    Rafe , not that it will be read by him because all is vetted before it gets to a Minister but I hope you sent this to Josh .
    What is wrong with politicians who refuse to read what is happening in other countries such as figures of the number in Deutschland suffering from fuel poverty?

  18. heinbloed

    Is this a satirical article?

    Not a single word is true in this article so please forgive my ignorance.

    Data from the German power transition is here:

    https://www.energy-charts.de/index.htm

    And about the CO2- emissions here:

    https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/en/press/pressinformation/green-house-gas-emissions-2017-on-the-decline

    The numbers for 2017 were only guessed. However there are the latest numbers here in English:

    https://ag-energiebilanzen.de/4-1-Home.html

    And the numbers were confirmed in January (in German):

    https://ag-energiebilanzen.de/20-0-Berichte.html

    All in short and in English:

    https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/german-co2-emissions-set-fall-strongly-2018

    Germany’s cheapest tabloid showed an inflation twice the household power price,worse than cigarettes …

  19. Ellen of Tasmania

    We also need to be asking the greenies about their ‘wilderness’ policies in the light of their ardent climate change beliefs.

    They tell us the fires here in Tas are because ‘climate change’ but the firies have been warning for years that this was coming, and they ain’t blaming ‘climate change’. Will the greens allow clearing, better roads and access into their beloved wilderness? We’re having the driest January on record and that Franklin River dam would have come in handy – and the access roads that would have been created to get there. They’ve already lost way more through the fires than all that would entail. Not to mention all that nasty ‘carbon’.

    (We’re now on emergency alert and the fire is 5-10km away, so it’s kinda on my mind.)

  20. lotocoti

    What is wrong with politicians who refuse to read what is happening in other countries …

    Because they believe that they’ll be the paradigm breakers who get it to work.
    Much like every socialist.

  21. Dr Fred Lenin

    Tim Neilson ,you are correct ,as for the weirdos and muppets ,just look at the present shower in all governments ,federal. States and local, I mean it you could pick a superior group at any footy match,and no doubt more aware of life.
    The public service could be improved by putting every one of them. Judges politicians and the cleaning lady on one year performance based contracts and the same super as a productive worker .
    The introduction of reality to politics and government employees woukd be very benificial to society and a bloody sight cheaper for the working taxpayer .

  22. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Politicians need to be severely punished for their treasonous policies.

    Examples need to be made of a few so that others don’t try to implement such treasonous policies.

  23. …the cleaning lady on one year performance based contracts …

    They are already, all working for companies that have been contracted to do this work.

  24. tombell

    why aren’t politicians who pursue the green con charged with treason?

  25. Roger

    Germany does as well as it does because it is interconnected to the European grid and can import.

    The South Australia of W. Europe, you might say.

    Worth noting also that Germany’s obsession with green power was kicked off in the 1980s by The Greens who were from their inception infiltrated by E. German “assets” with the aim of subverting W. Germany.

    The fall of the Berlin Wall may have signaled the end of the Cold War but it did not signal the West’s victory. The enemy was already within.

  26. Ubique

    The real third side of the triangle is not emissions but amelioration of global warming or climate change. After all, that’s supposed to be the objective, with emission reduction somehow the path to it.
    Governments and the IPCC focus on emissions because it helps mislead the public.
    Nobody, but nobody, reports on the effect that trillions of dollars in investment in renewables has had on the climate. The relationship between emission levels and temperature is not unknown, so the numbers can be reported. But all the players well know the public will riot when it’s reported all of their pain and suffering has been for one one-hundredth thousand of a degree. If that.

  27. Mark M

    Germany isn’t meeting its near-term climate targets … but 19 years from now … well, just you wait!

  28. Germany isn’t meeting its near-term climate targets … but 19 years from now … well, just you wait!

    And with Australia soon shutting down for six days a week, we can claim to have saved the planet by reducing our 1.4% CO2 world contribution to 1.3% (give or take the usual margin of error).

  29. md

    And an update on the article in my 12.45 pm post. After building coal plants to replace their nuclear plants, they now say they will close their coal plants.
    Of course, the politicians of today will have retired on generous pensions when the time comes for someone to be held accountable.

  30. Rohan

    bemused

    And with Australia soon shutting down for six days a week, we can claim to have saved the planet by reducing our 1.4% CO2 world contribution to 1.3% (give or take the usual margin of error).

    And that equates to something like 0.00038C reduction in the earths temperature by the year 2100. Phew, climate catastrophe averted!

  31. Dr Fred Lenin

    Further to my persecution of career politicians and public servants . We form a large investigation group with detectives ,forensic accountant ns and overseas funds experts . This body investigates politicans and senior pulic servants and their families seeking to find how wealthy they are and the sources of that wealth ,with a view to criminal charges and confiscation of family assets for corruption . I would suggest it starts with hawke, keating , giliard ,krudd . Bet there would be a lot of skeletons uncovered It would boost revenue to pay off the debt they incurred in our name . We may have to build a few gulags to hold those found out but it woul d be cheap at the price, think of the morality it would impose .

  32. Aynsley Kellow

    ‘Germany does as well as it does because it is interconnected to the European grid and can import.’ Just as importantly, it dumps its surplus on its neighbours when production is high and undercuts generators there.

    Incidentally Rafe, I believe that net of taxes, prices in SA exceed those in Germany and Denmark.

  33. RobK

    Heinbloed,
    Do you read your own link?
    From your reference https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/german-co2-emissions-set-fall-strongly-2018
    There’s this intro, you need not look much further.

    Germany’s CO2 emissions are on course for their largest drop since the 2009 recession this year after remaining virtually unchanged for four consecutive years, according to first estimates by energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB). But experts warned the decrease did not yet indicate a trend reversal because it was mainly caused by warmer weather. [UPDATE adds BDEW renewables data, DWD data and comments by energy experts Ziesing and Koenig]

    Strong renewable power production and warm temperatures lowered Germany’s CO2 emissions by around seven percent in the first nine months of 2018, according to the calculations by energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB). If a decrease of this magnitude is sustained throughout the whole year, it would be the sharpest decline since the 2009 recession.

    AGEB said the country’s energy consumption will likely drop by almost five percent in the entire year due to higher energy prices, warm weather and increasing efficiency, outweighing solid economic growth and a population increase.

    “Because the drop in consumption concerns all fossil energies, while CO2-free energy production increased, AG Energiebilanzen expects a disproportionate decrease of CO2 emissions,” the group said in a press release. [Find detailed data in this AGEB report.]

    Energy experts said the data did not indicate that Germany was solidly on track for further emissions reductions in the coming years. Hans-Joachim Ziesing, a member of the federal government’s independent Energiewende monitoring expert commission, said the drop was largely caused by one-off effects. “I would warn against calling this a trend,” Ziesing said. “I would also warn against believing that we are now taking big steps towards the 2020 climate targets. The gap is far too large to get there on the basis of this year’s developments.”
    Hanns Koenig from Aurora Energy Research said emissions could even rise next year if energy demand and the weather returned to average levels.

  34. heinbloed

    @RobK re. emission drops:

    The weatherimpact on 2018 emissions was only minus 1%-point compared to 2017 (fewer heating degree days) but the emissions dropped by well over 6%.
    Standard reference point for national heating degree days is Wuerzburg.

    Germany is Europe’s No. 1 electricity exporter not only total TWh/year but also in value:

    https://www.energy-charts.de/trade.htm?year=all&period=annual&source=sum_value

    Fraunhofer does regular updates:

    https://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/press-media/news/2019/renewable-sources-contribute-more-than-40-percent-to-germanys-public-net-electricity-generation-in-2018.html

    This is achieved by decreased power exports, more REs and an increased efficiency, by turning off atom power and fossil power plants which have an own power consumption of roughly 5%.

    ——————————-

    @ all re. French power exports:

    France uses Germany’s power grid as a highway for exports (when no one wants the atom power) to get rid of it’s surplus power and to store this power in pumped hydro power plants for example in Switzerland.
    Without help from Germany’s power traders the French and British power grid would not be able to guarantee a stable supply (black-outs!).

    Germany’s investments in the power infrastructure (high prices!) guarantee the world’s best power supply together with Denmark who has a similar household power price:

    https://energytransition.org/2014/08/german-grid-more-stable-in-2013/

    The average SAIDI value for Germany in the last couple of years is 12 minutes of power interruption, compared to Australia,USA,Kanada … this is lightyears away.
    The fossil and atom nations don’t count their SAIDI in minutes but in hours and days – if they count it at all.
    Good things do cost good money.

    ——————–

    The weakness of the atom clows and coal shofflers is seen in their incapability to link to data sources when performing their jokes.

  35. heinbloed

    The latest official report in English:

    https://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/content/dam/ise/en/documents/News/Stromerzeugung_2018_2_en.pdf

    Net Public Electricity Generation in 2018
    Export Surplus
    ….. ”

    See page 7

    All European atom states (France,UK,Belgium ,Netherlands, Czech,Switzerland,Spain) depend on power imports from Germany.

    The security of supply for example in France is so bad that the remaing coal power plants are not alloweed to close down despite running in deep black numbers:

    https://www.montelnews.com/en/story/france-to-delay-cordemais-coal-plant-closure–minister/970185

    Once the existing atom power plants crumble down they are replaced with PV:

    https://www.pv-magazine.com/2018/07/02/france-unveils-details-of-300-mw-solar-tender-for-fessenheim-nuclear-site/

    The dire situation of the French power supply is reported in the grid authority’s anual report (in French):

    https://www.rte-france.com/sites/default/files/bp2018_variantes.pdf

    In short (machine translation):

    https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=de&sl=de&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.heise.de%2Ftp%2Ffeatures%2FAlle-Jahre-wieder-Frankreich-am-grossen-Blackout-vorbeigeschrammt-4273544.html

  36. heinbloed

    Re. the expected power prices including the coal and atom power exit: minus 0.8 %

    (machine translation)

    https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=de&sl=de&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sueddeutsche.de%2Fwirtschaft%2Fkohlekommission-braunkohle-strompreis-1.4301818

    ” An internal paper from the Federal Environment Ministry, however, comes to the opposite conclusion: If at the same time the green electricity is expanded, this could lower the price of electricity. With the expansion target of the Federal Government, which envisages an eco-share of 65 per cent by 2030, the electricity will be 0.8 cents cheaper. “A coal exit, coupled with a consistent expansion of renewable energies , attenuates (overcompensated) an otherwise occurring electricity price increase,” says the paper, the Süddeutsche Zeitung present.”

  37. Bunyip Bill

    Make our politicians comply with “solons” law. Hold their pension entitlements until they comply

  38. Jeremy

    The alarmists’ predictions, to achieve global kumbaya,
    are based on faux science. They have failed at every turn.
    However, the future along this road can be predicted with certainty:
    Last Friday in SA and VIC.

    Buying into this fantasy has made Australia an international laughing stock.

    “Blind deference to ideology has a price”

    https://youtu.be/rohF6K2avtY

  39. RobK

    Re. the expected power prices including the coal and atom power exit: minus 0.8 %

    …….in 2030!
    This is a similar expectation to the Finkel report. Look closely for a baseline price. I expect , like Finkel they use a present already inflated price, not a baseload price before the RE boon with its subsidies. Further the prediction relies on some magic over comming of grid costs not yet achieved (its an experiment) .Refer to the OECD report I mentioned earlier.

    If, according to our data, they are not yet fully competitive with nuclear power on that metric except in particularly favourable local circumstances, they soon might be.However, their intrinsic variability and, to a lesser degree, their unpredictability, imply that the costs of the overall system will continue to rise over and above the sum of plant level costs

    The 0.8% is pie-in-the sky prediction, it hasnt been done yet, as is all too common with eco stuff. They are experimenting on a grand scale.

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