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The FT Lashes Out at Germany's Energiewende

Germany’s energiewende was supposed to be a triumph for clean energy, so why is coal enjoying a renaissance there? Angela Merkel’s decision to phase out nuclear energy has put Berlin in a tight spot, and created a world in which Germany is less energy secure and more reliant on fossil fuels than it was before this “green” revolution. The FT reports:

Scrapping the country’s nuclear power stations will make an already difficult situation even worse. Ms Merkel took the decision following the 2011 nuclear accident at Fukushima. Bowing to voters’ concerns, she abandoned her usual caution and acted hastily. But there have been two big costs for German energy policy.

First, the closure of those reactors means Germany is burning more coal to meet its energy needs. Because the electricity generated from solar and wind sources is intermittent, Germany would always have been forced to rely on fossil fuels to provide back-up. But removing nuclear power, which accounts for nearly a quarter of electricity generation, means coal consumption has soared. Germany will end up opening nine coal power plants between 2010 and 2015. Last year, its electricity production from brown coal rose to its highest level since 1990.

Second, Germany’s anti-nuclear policy makes it ever more reliant on imports of Russian natural gas. Rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine makes this an uncomfortable position. If Germany and its allies are to stand up to President Vladimir Putin’s aggression they need to make themselves less dependent on Russian gas. By hollowing out nuclear energy production, Ms Merkel makes this harder to achieve.

Read the whole thing. It eviscerates Germany’s ill-conceived green energy revolution, and highlights the hypocrisy of a supposedly climate change-friendly energy policy portfolio that has phased out zero-carbon baseload power in favor of that dirtiest fossil fuel of them all: coal.

The energiewende has been a remarkably ambitious undertaking, but what was once held up as proof that green idealism could be realized in policy form has become a monument to the deep inconsistencies that underlie the environmental movement. Nuclear energy is about as green an energy source as they come, but knee-jerk, emotional reactions to the 2011 Fukushima disaster have led Germany down a decidedly brown path in recent years.

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  • John Tyler


    Putin himself could have not designed an energy plan for Germany that would maximize the benefits to the RUSSIAN oil and gas industry.
    Think about this; when is the last time an earthquake or a tsunami slammed Germany;,of the sort that hit Fukushima?
    Oh, that’s right, never.
    Most likely the german ” environmental” movement ( read, anti capitalist), is composed of east german communists who look to mother Russia and dream of a resurrected USSR that includes Germany.

    Once again, Putin is the beneficiary of not only his actions, but of the abject stupidity of the Europeans and Obama.

    • Sibir_RUS
      • John Tyler

        So what.
        As experience accumulates designing and operating nuclear electric generating plants the safer will be their operation.
        Knowledge gained ALWAYS leads to safer and better systems.
        That is called PROGRESS.
        Every disaster always results in a re-examination of how things must be improved to avert similar accidents.
        The website you provided a link to is the usual left wing, enviro wacko, alarmist krock of sh*t.

        • Sibir_RUS

          Russian NPPs safely and securely, as evidenced by the results of regular audits independent bodies (RTN) and international organizations (World Association of Nuclear Operators and others)
          According to the criterion of reliability of the nuclear power plant Russia is ahead of such countries as Britain, Germany and the USA

  • Sibir_RUS

    Russia is building most advanced nuclear
    power plants. The main attention is paid to reliability and safety.

  • Sibir_RUS

    No aggression from Russia and Putin.
    Nazi Germany was the aggressor in 1941, got in the teeth and now we live in peace with Germany.
    Jaw of the aggressor stored in the state archive of Russia.

    • rheddles

      Nazi Germany was aggressor in 1939 because of its alliance with Russia, which was happy to attack its half of Poland in a deal with the devil.

      Maybe Obama read a history book and found out the US doesn’t owe Japan an apology for H&N and that Japan should thank us because a lot fewer Japanese died than would have if the war had gone on for another 18 months.

      • Sibir_RUS

        In 1938 occurred Munich agreement, when England and France forced Czechoslovakia to surrender to the Nazis, and in fact before with ultimatums Germany and its allies, Poland and Hungary. on January 5, 1939. Hitler declares the Minister of foreign Affairs of Poland Beck about the unity of the interests of Germany and Poland in respect of the USSR. After consultations in the end of January 1939 German foreign Minister Ribbentrop arrived in Warsaw, where Beck he openly declares that Poland will join the anti-Comintern block, if Germany would support the desire of Poland capture Ukraine and get access to the Black sea. However, the fate of Poland, in any case, was sealed. She was halfway to the Ukraine. Germany itself wanted to get Ukraine. But as Germany will receive the Ukraine, if it is demanded poles? Yes and as technically managed from Berlin occupied Ukrainian territory through Poland, if with Poland, the Germans could not even agree on the construction of extraterritorial roads in Eastern Prussia, in Koenigsberg? All sane people, possessing the information about the situation on the Polish border was obvious – the Polish state was living its last days. But the Polish leadership, signed a military Pact on an Alliance with the British Empire, it was absolutely confident that England and France protect her. But not for that grew Hitler so much time, to defeat it in Poland. Until the very last days of the Soviet Union was trying to conclude with Poland Pact on non-aggression and common defence against aggression. But Poland is in principle not going to do that for a very simple reason – she wanted to invade the USSR and dreamed about domains «from sea to sea» (from the Baltic to the Black sea). And in this situation, desperately trying to find an ally, the USSR concluded with Germany in August 1939 non-aggression Pact with a clear rationale for the territories, where Hitler should not appear with their troops. Hysteria about the Pact Molotov-Ribbentrop is Freudian complex of small Nations, which somehow still believe that Hitler would be better if it was «walk» on their land. Stalin them tried to protect from the fascists, and they still is not happy about that! on September 1, 1939 part of the Wehrmacht attacked Poland. And the result of this aggression was predictable – exactly as it was expected in the USSR: the allies of Poland, which guaranteed the inviolability of – England and France, just «threw» the poles!

        • rheddles

          Good luck with rehab.

          • Sibir_RUS

            Good luck with rehab?
            History does not need rehabilitation. It is such as it is.
            Stop trying to rewrite history and accept the facts as they are.

            In 1936, U.S. ambassador to Berlin, William Dodd, wrote to Roosevelt to warn him that the threat posed to him in 1934 by the Wall Street-Nazi alliance remained as such two years later. Dodd wrote: “A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime . . . A prominent executive of one of the largest corporations, told me point blank that he would be ready to take definite action to bring fascism into America if President Roosevelt continued his progressive policies. Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there. Propagandists for fascist groups try to dismiss the fascist scare.”

            Robert S. Rodvik
            NATO’s Nazi Beginnings: How the West implemented Hitler’s goals

        • CaliforniaStark

          OK. How about the Soviet invasion of Finland, and occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania?
          Also, are you denying that Stalin was an arbitrary tyrant who slaughtered millions of people?

          • Sibir_RUS

            Against the Soviet Union on the side of Wehrmacht fought not only Germans, By the summer of 1941 Germany was captured 11 countries: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Yugoslavia and Greece . They were separated in the interests of Germany, their position was determined in accordance with the Nazis statuses.
            Italy, Finland(!), Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria – were allies of Germany with aggressive block and sent (except the last) on the Eastern front of the armed forces. If in 1939-1940 European countries appeared victims of Nazism, June 22, they acted as an aggressor.
            in September 1939 Estonia signed a “mutual assistance Pact”, and on August 6, 1940 Estonia was incorporated into the USSR. At the end of August 1942 the Commissioner-General of Estonia Litzmann ordered the creation of the Estonian SS Legion. French SS division “Charlemagne”.
            According to the publication in the Polish newspaper “Gazeta Wyborcza” Director of the history Institute of the Silesian University Professor Rcamaren, author of “the Poles in the Wehrmacht”, 2-3 million people in present-day Poland has a relative who served in the German army. He also believes that on the Eastern front could die to 250 thousand poles. Only in the battles of Stalingrad Wehrmacht lose 1.5 million officers and men, in other words, a quarter of all German troops involved in the entire extent of the Eastern Front. The number of prisoners of war, according to Soviet data, exceeded 154 thousand men, according to the Germans – 113,000. This is several times more than the losses of the United States in the entire Second World War.

      • Sibir_RUS

        Barack Obama said that his uncle liberated prisoners of Auschwitz, but has not led any evidence that uncle served in the Red Army.

  • Sibir_RUS

    Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel personally present at the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Victory over fascism in Moscow. This is a strong step from her side. Barack Obama promised to become the first President, who visit Japanese Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the atomic bombing and offer an apology, but did not keep his promise.

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