In a stunning admission, the German Government recently announced that its transition to Renewable Energy was, “On the Verge of Failure.” This blunt statement was released by Germany’s Economic Minister and Vice Chancellor to Angela Merkel, Sigmar Gabriel at an event at SMA Solar… Germany’s leading manufacturer of Solar technology.
According to the article, Angela Merkel’s Vice Chancellor Stuns, Declares Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ To Be On The Verge Of Failure:
In the speech Gabriel tells the audience how the energy transformation is on the verge of failure:
“The truth is that in all fields we under-estimated the complexity of the Energiewende.”
Gabriel is not only the national economics minister and vice chancellor to Angela Merkel, he is also head of Germany’s socialist SPD party, which is now the coalition partner in Angela Merkel’s CDU/SPD grand coalition government. Moreover Gabriel was once the country’s environment minister and a devout believer in global warming and in Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth.
“Those who are the engines of the transformation to renewable energies, that’s you, you don’t see how close we are to the failure of the energy transformation.”
The solar energy audience reacts with dead, stunned silence (3:03). That can’t believe what they just heard.
The mood at SMA Solar, which has been a huge benefactor of the renewable energy subsidies brought on by Germany’s EEG feed-in act, was somber and shock and Gabriel delivered the reality. Many in attendance seemed unable to fathom what Gabriel was unloading: the heady days at the green energy feeding trough are over – live with it.
This announcement is a DEATH-BLOW to the advocates of renewable energy such as Wind & Solar. One of the major problems with wind and solar is that the projects aren’t commercially viable without huge Govt subsidies including long-term contracts by energy utilities to pay 2-4 times the going wholesale electric rate for solar and wind generated power.
These higher costs were ultimately pushed onto the German consumer. According to the article, Germany’s CO2 And Energy Policy — About To Falter?:
Since the introduction of the “Renewable Energy” law (EEG) in 2000 aimed at replacing coal and gas-fired as well as nuclear power generation by so-called renewable energy sources, the household price for electricity has jumped by more than 200 %. German customers now pay the second-highest electricity prices in Europe. At the same time, the task of stabilizing the grid against the massive erratic influx from solar and wind power plants that produce without regard for actual need has pushed the operators to their limits. Now already, with a combined share of just some 13 % of total electricity production, their unreliable input is massively imperiling the stability of the grid.
Another major problem with Wind & Solar is the balancing of electricity on the grid when wind stops blowing and the sun goes down. You see, when solar power production drops to nothing as the sun goes down, the regional utility companies have to bring online electricity to balance out what was lost.
This wasn’t much of a problem when solar and wind were only a small part of the electric power generation pie. However, now that the total amount of generated solar and wind power account for 13% of Germany’s electricity, it’s become a BIG PROBLEM…. and will only get worse as more renewable sources are added.
Germany decided to shut down eight of its Nuclear Power Plants after the disaster at Fukushima. Unfortunately, renewable energy isn’t filling the void. To make up the difference… in come the COAL MONSTERS.
BRING ON THE DIRTY COAL MINING MONSTERS
(courtesy of Wikipedia)
This is a picture of the Bagger 288 Bucketwheel Excavator being transported to its new home at the massive Garzweiler open-pit Lignite (brown coal) mine in Western Germany.
These massive strip-mining machines are up to 315 feet high and 721 feet long, weighing 13,500 metric tons and consuming 16.5 megawatts of electricity during a typical day of operation. It can excavate 240,000 tons of coal or 240,000 cubic meters of overburden in a single day — the equivalent of a football field, 98 feet deep (Wikipedia).
Here is a map showing the massive Garzweiler mine plan. Garzweiler I was completed in 2006, making way for the extension, Garzweiler II. The name of the mine comes from the town located on the map that was wiped off the face of the earth and relocated in 2003.
(graphic courtesy of Wikipedia)
All those towns shown in the dark grey areas were leveled and relocated… the years displayed next to each town . At the time of this graphic, the town of Immerath was being relocated to its new location west of Garzwiler II mine plan area — shown by the black arrow as Immerath (neu).
Can you imagine the logistical, political in social nightmare it is to move all these towns so Germany can continue to power its cities and industries?
(courtesy of TheLocal.de)
This article published last year, German Coal Mine Turns Village Into Ghost Town: stated the following:
The tiny western German ghost town of Immerath is making room for the hungry excavators of one of the country’s biggest coal mines.
…The site of Garzweiler I, in operation since 1983, has had its day. It is being filled in progressively with earth dug out of Garzweiler II, which will measure 48 square kilometres.
Between them the old and the new pit are the size of central Paris.
Some 7,600 people are being moved in all. Of Immerath’s 900 inhabitants, about 100 are still waiting to leave. The rest have resettled into Immerath-Neu (New Immerath), which has sprung out of the ground in the same district of Erkelenz, or gone elsewhere.
As an unintended side effect of Germany’s “energy transition”, the pollutant coal accounts for 40 percent of electricity production in the country, against 25 percent on average in Europe.
This is what it looks like to live next to the Garzweiler II mine:
Lignite, known as brown coal has the lowest amount of energy and highest amount of sulfur — it’s ranked DEAD LAST in EROI- Energy Returned On Invested in the coal family.
Furthermore, as the article states, coal-fired power plants now make up 40% of German’s power generation compared to the rest of Europe at an average of 25%. Now that Germany retried many of its Nuclear Power facilities, and its renewable energy plan is in shambles…. it looks like the country will be forced to use more of the COAL MINING MONSTERS to continue business as usual.
I believe the recent stunning announcement by the German Government that their “Renewable Energy Policy is on the Verge of Complete Failure” will be the same kind of shock when the Great U.S. Shale Oil & Gas Dream goes BUST.
Here are a few more pictures showing the Beauty of open-pit lignite mining in Rhineland:
(courtesy of Von Philomena Hammer — Fotocommunity)
(courtesy of Wikipedia)
(courtesy of Mario Saniz Martinez – flicker)
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