Germany's Green Energy Hypocrisy

The linked article is a very good summary of the mistakes made that brought them to the current mess. It is not like they weren’t warned … but they chose to continue on with what were politically popular by whomever was in charge (convenient) paths rather than the reality that was staring them in the face.

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/np-view-germany-s-green…

National Post

NP View: Germany’s green energy hypocrisy made it an easy blackmail target

National Post View - Yesterday 3:10 p.m.

The origins of the current mess date back to 1970, at the height of the Cold War, when West Germany signed an agreement with the Soviet Union to supply it with gas from Siberia. NATO rightly raised concerns at the time, but was assured by the West German government that Russia would never account for more than 10 per cent of its natural gas supplies.

Fifty years later, Russia supplies between 35 and 50 per cent of Germany’s gas . And although Russia has also been providing the country with coal and uranium, it is its control over Europe’s gas supply that has given Moscow so much leverage and allowed it to fund its ongoing war of aggression in Ukraine with western cash.

At the same time, Germany has spent the past 20 years aggressively trying to transition its electrical grid to renewable sources of energy. The country’s over-reliance on wind and solar have caused its own set of problems, but Berlin’s biggest mistake was phasing out nuclear energy. In 2011, Germany’s 17 nuclear reactors produced about a quarter of its electricity. The first attempt to phase them out was announced in the early 2000s by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s coalition government, in which the Greens held the balance of power.

Many more interesting details in the article

Given the evidence and the current energy crisis, Merkel’s Christian Democratic party, now in opposition under new leader Friedrich Merz, has since realized the error of its ways, with a number of prominent politicians admitting that they made mistakes.

Tim

19 Likes

Looking at the electricity generated in Germany this year…

https://energy-charts.info/charts/energy/chart.htm?l=en&…

For the first 6 months of 2022, coal-fired power plants in Germany produced 18% more electricity than they did in 2021. This was after a 39% increase in coal-fired generation in 2021 compared to 2020.

Assuming the 18% increase goes through the rest of the year, I figure Germany’s CO2 emissions from coal will go up 25 million metric tons in 2022, compared to 2021. Natural gas use for power generation appears to be down some in 2022, so the net CO2 increase will likely be reduced.

When they shut down the remaining nuclear plants at the end of this year, CO2 emissions will likely go up even more.

They are increasing CO2 emissions from burning coal and lignite, but Germany’s Energiewende climate program is supposed to be doing a great job at saving the planet (or something). Why should the communist leaders in China care about reducing their CO2 emissions, when they see Europe’s leading economy doing this?

  • Pete
10 Likes

Fifty years later, Russia supplies between 35 and 50 per cent of Germany’s gas . And although Russia has also been providing the country with coal and uranium, it is its control over Europe’s gas supply that has given Moscow so much leverage and allowed it to fund its ongoing war of aggression in Ukraine with western cash.

At the same time, Germany has spent the past 20 years aggressively trying to transition its electrical grid to renewable sources of energy. The country’s over-reliance on wind and solar have caused its own set of problems, but Berlin’s biggest mistake was phasing out nuclear energy. In 2011, Germany’s 17 nuclear reactors produced about a quarter of its electricity. The first attempt to phase them out was announced in the early 2000s by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s coalition government, in which the Greens held the balance of power.

Given the evidence and the current energy crisis, Merkel’s Christian Democratic party, now in opposition under new leader Friedrich Merz, has since realized the error of its ways, with a number of prominent politicians admitting that they made mistakes.

================================================

Hyperventilating again and again and again. Most European countries imported Russian oil, gas and coal. Germany being the biggest country in Europe imported more than the others.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s party was the SPD who made the deal with Russia in 1970 and he later became Putin’s friend and pushed Germany into more natural gas with Nord Stream 1.

Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic party was in opposition when Gerhard Schroeder was in power. We can not blame just Angela Merkel for the situation.

We went trough the same situation in the 1970s when we were dependent of OPEC for our oil. We are still importing oil from other countries. We are not energy independent.

We need to stop pointing fingers at Europeans. We need to figure out how the help the Europeans out of the short term fossil fuels crunch.

Jaak

P.S. - Nuclear power is not the driving issue in Europe or the world except for people who have their heads screwed on backwards.

Assuming the 18% increase goes through the rest of the year, I figure Germany’s CO2 emissions from coal will go up 25 million metric tons in 2022, compared to 2021. Natural gas use for power generation appears to be down some in 2022, so the net CO2 increase will likely be reduced.

When they shut down the remaining nuclear plants at the end of this year, CO2 emissions will likely go up even more.

====================================================

Nuclear power is small (6%) when compared to total energy consumption by Germany. So switching off nuclear is a minor problem compared to switching industrial and home heating off of natural gas. That is the issue for Germany. Please get your facts right.

Jaak

1 Like

Nuclear power is small (6%) when compared to total energy consumption by Germany. So switching off nuclear is a minor problem compared to switching industrial and home heating off of natural gas. That is the issue for Germany.

Except that their goal is net zero emissions. By switching off nuclear electricity generation the Germans are making their goal that much harder to achieve.

DB2

8 Likes

This is all politics.

Years ago Germany realized it was ground zero in the event of nuclear war.

Ban the bomb, antiwar sentiments have been strong there. The Greens are increasing in power.

Three Mile Island, Chernoble, And now Fukuchima add to the concerns.

It should be no surprise that Germany tries to thread the needle to keep using fossil fuels while building wind and solar capacity. Nuclear power is unpopular there. They hope to avoid its use.

Everyone knows this is a gamble from day one. Adjustments may be needed as situations develop. This is not news.

2 Likes

Completely screwed, is the phrase that comes to mind.

The politicians who made this sequence of colossally bad decisions based on wishful thinking (at best)? Still getting paid while the people pay the price.

9 Likes

Tim, it is true that Germans as a populace are not friendly towards nuclear power. Yet the main culprit for the pressure Germany is under right now can be traced easily enough:

Merkel grasped it.

In the days after the Fukushima accident, she announced that Germany would immediately close its eight oldest nuclear plants. In May, she decided to phase out the more modern nine by 2022. Three of those nine have already been closed, with the remaining six to follow by the end of next year. Nuclear’s contribution to Germany’s electricity output has been cut from the former nearly 25 percent to 11.3 percent, and soon will be zero.

Merkel pledged that the gap would be filled by renewables. That promise has not been kept. …

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/12/germany-ca…

5 Likes

Except that their goal is net zero emissions. By switching off nuclear electricity generation the Germans are making their goal that much harder to achieve.

What it shows is that they think (as a population?) that eliminating nuclear is more important than eliminating/reducing CO2.

There is a possibility of a nuclear accident. I’m not sure how you would calculate the odds of this happening, exactly. But there are hundreds of plants operating for many decades (maybe 600+ operating for 30ish years each, so 18K reactor-years of operation). There have been 2 or 3 serious accidents in commercial plants. Only 2 with any serious radiation leaked. So one can compute away on the danger of keeping the German plants operating until their planned EOL.
As far as storing of radioactive waste…we are already doing it so you’d have to calculate the incremental cost/danger.

Meanwhile we are told daily about the threat of warming due to CO2 and the coming crisis.
And they want to make the goal more difficult.

Mike

4 Likes

Germans as a populace are not friendly towards nuclear power. Yet the main culprit for the pressure Germany is under right now can be traced easily enough:

Merkel grasped it.

In the days after the Fukushima accident, she announced that Germany would immediately close its eight oldest nuclear plants. In May, she decided to phase out the more modern nine by 2022. Three of those nine have already been closed, with the remaining six to follow by the end of next year. Nuclear’s contribution to Germany’s electricity output has been cut from the former nearly 25 percent to 11.3 percent, and soon will be zero.

Merkel pledged that the gap would be filled by renewables. That promise has not been kept.

================================================

SuisseBear,
The above statement that you copied and pasted is factually wrong. Renewables have made up for all the nuclear power that has been shutdown and much more since Fukushima disaster.

In 2011 nuclear generated: 105 TW-hrs
In 2021 nuclear generated: 69 TW-hrs

In 2011 renewables generated: 120 TW-hrs
In 2021 renewables generated: 238 TW-hrs

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/sites/default/files/styles/p…

Jaak

People are so ignorant about German nuclear power.

What it shows is that they think (as a population?) that eliminating nuclear is more important than eliminating/reducing CO2.

There is a possibility of a nuclear accident. I’m not sure how you would calculate the odds of this happening, exactly. But there are hundreds of plants operating for many decades (maybe 600+ operating for 30ish years each, so 18K reactor-years of operation). There have been 2 or 3 serious accidents in commercial plants. Only 2 with any serious radiation leaked. So one can compute away on the danger of keeping the German plants operating until their planned EOL.

=================================================================

Factually incorrect. Germany has been reducing CO2 emissions faster than closing nuclear plants. Renewables have generated more electricity than nuclear power since 2011.

The cost of the 3 major and several less major nuclear accidents have cost countries over a trillion dollars in todays money and caused hundreds of thousands of people to be evacuated from the contaminated surroundings. Not very good for the economy.

Jaak

Completely screwed, is the phrase that comes to mind.

The politicians who made this sequence of colossally bad decisions based on wishful thinking (at best)? Still getting paid while the people pay the price.

=====================================================

You seem to show that you do not know the facts about nuclear or natural gas in Germany.

Jaak

In 2011 nuclear generated: 105 TW-hrs
In 2021 nuclear generated: 69 TW-hrs

In 2011 renewables generated: 120 TW-hrs
In 2021 renewables generated: 238 TW-hrs

It surely furthers your point if you massage statistics by hand-picking your dates, doesn’t it?

Merkel shut down the first reactors early 2011. In the last FY prior to Fukushima, 2010, according to your link, generation was about 140 TW-hours.

In 2023, the year her decision to shut down nuclear early is fully consumed, it will be 0 TW-hours.

6 Likes

In 2010 nuclear generated: 140 TW-hrs
In 2011 nuclear generated: 105 TW-hrs
In 2021 nuclear generated: 69 TW-hrs
In 2023 nuclear generated: 0

In 2010 renewables generated: 104 TW-hrs
In 2011 renewables generated: 120 TW-hrs
In 2021 renewables generated: 238 TW-hrs
In 2023 renewables will generate: 275 TW-hrs

Nuclear down 140 TW-hrs while renewables are up 170 TW-hrs

So I am still right that renewables generate more electricity than nuclear - even when you move the date back to 2010. By the way - it is impossible to generate 140 TW-hrs in 2011 with eight German nuclear power reactors were permanently shut down on 6 August 2011, following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Jaak

Nuclear power is small (6%) when compared to total energy consumption by Germany. So switching off nuclear is a minor problem compared to switching industrial and home heating off of natural gas. That is the issue for Germany.

Except that their goal is net zero emissions. By switching off nuclear electricity generation the Germans are making their goal that much harder to achieve.

DB2

Leaves out that Germany had 17 nuclear reactors before their decision to shut them down and rely on unreliable wind and solar power?

I should also add that the decision to buy Nat Gas from the Soviet Union didn’t begin with the deal signed in 1970. It was already the subject of heated controversy when I arrived as a young infantryman in late 1965.

Most of the the common people (this was only 20 years after WWII ended) were against it but the politicians went ahead with it anyway.

Tim

3 Likes

Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.

Tim, it is true that Germans as a populace are not friendly towards nuclear power. Yet the main culprit for the pressure Germany is under right now can be traced easily enough:

Merkel grasped it.

Yup, and now she is retired on I’m sure a nice pension leaving Germany hostage to Putin’s games?

These fellows weren’t so lucky when is came to paying for mistakes?

Methinks politician are supposed to be hired to make the tough decisions rather than what is popular at the time?

Tim

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bonhomme-richard-fire-navy-puni…

Navy punishes more than two dozen officers and sailors for USS Bonhomme Richard fire

BY ELEANOR WATSON

UPDATED ON: JULY 15, 2022 / 5:44 PM / CBS NEW

1 Like

In 2010 nuclear generated: 140 TW-hrs

In 2023 renewables will generate: 275 TW-hrs

It would be interesting to also see these figures as a percent of the total power generation.

In 2010 nuclear generated: 140 TW-hrs

In 2023 renewables will generate: 275 TW-hrs

The nuclear would basically be a 24 hour every day supply.

Any info on the consistency of the renewables supply? Is this a capability or an average?

Just asking trying to understand the comparison.

Right now Texas has a lot of wind and solar capacity. Unfortunately the wind isn’t blowing and daily temps well above 100 F are straining the network. People are being asked to conserve between 2pm and 8pm. And the hottest months haven’t arrived yet.

Frankly, we could use more clouds and less solar right now.

2 Likes

The nuclear would basically be a 24 hour every day supply.

Any info on the consistency of the renewables supply? Is this a capability or an average?

Right now Texas has a lot of wind and solar capacity. Unfortunately the wind isn’t blowing and daily temps well above 100 F are straining the network. People are being asked to conserve between 2pm and 8pm. And the hottest months haven’t arrived yet.

=====================================================

TW-hrs are the total electrical energy generated in a given time period - days, weeks, months or years.

Germany has not had any loss of electricity due to the closure of its nuclear power plants.

Texas has only 4 nuclear reactors at two nuclear power plants. During the last winter cold snap, one of the 4 nuclear reactors crapped out. So Texas nuclear power is not 24/7 when you need it. Texas cancelled out all its plans to build new nuclear plants in the last 10 years because of cost.

Now Texas is swelltering becaue of climate change which was against the law in Texas to even mention. Texas is a state that makes many stupid laws that do not enhance human pursuit of happiness and well being.

Jaak

1 Like

Right now Texas has a lot of wind and solar capacity.

===========================================

Texas has lots of wind capacity but not very much solar capacity. The Texans did not want to have greenie solar, but now the are building solar like crazy trying to catch up to California’s success with solar.

Jaak

2 Likes