I know it's Easter Sunday, and I don't mean to be sacrilegious, but I can't help noticing that it's also April Fool's Day. Unfortunately, human foolishness is much more of a topic for the Manhattan Contrarian than religion. Can we come up with a nomination for the biggest April Fool of 2018? I nominate the country of Germany!
Regular readers will notice that I have returned repeatedly to the subject of Germany's futile and delusional efforts to "save the planet" by replacing energy that works with energy that does not work ("renewables"), while in the process roughly tripling the cost of electricity for German consumers. A recent post on February 10 was titled "How Self-Delusional Can We Be About The Cost Of Electricity From 'Renewables'?" Attempting to understand how electricity coming from the seemingly free wind and sun could lead to a tripling of electricity prices, that post noted that Germany -- with peak electricity demand of about 83 GW -- had rushed in recent years to build "renewable" capacity that had reached about 84 GW, theoretically enough to supply all the electricity they would ever need. But somehow, Germany still had retained fossil fuel generating capacity of about 108 GW, which is about the same fossil fuel capacity you would want to have to supply 83 GW of peak demand if you had no renewable capacity at all. Despite spending hundreds of billions of euros on the renewable capacity, they had not been able to get rid of any fossil fuel capacity at all! They still need all the fossil fuel capacity for backup when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine. (The data came from this report from German think tank Agora Energiewende.)
That post inspired a comment from reader BrianE, who asked:
I would be interested in knowing how much less CO2 Germany . . . [is] producing for their 30 cent/kW electricity.
Good question, Brian, and I've been looking for the answer ever since. And this morning I found it! And the answer is [drumroll]: None!!
The answer appears in a March 28 post at NoTricksZone titled "Germany Proves That Burning Money On Green Energies Does Not Reduce CO2 Emissions . . . 'Bitter Result.'"
If any country has seen huge chasm between its CO2 reductions performance and its lofty green rhetoric, Germany is it. Despite the hundreds of billions already spent on green energies, mainly, wind, sun and biogas, Paris Accord cheerleader Germany has not seen any progress in CO2 reductions ten years running.
NTZ relies on data just out (March 26) from Germany's Federal Environmental Agency (Umwelt Bundesamt -- UBA). Here's the chart from the UBA:
No expert in German here, but I'm reading that title as "Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany 1990 to 2017 in millions of tons of CO2 equivalent." Looks like from 1990 (the end of East Germany) to 2009, Germany reduced its emissions from 1252 Mte to 908 Mte, a reduction of close to 28%. Not bad, but then we all know that most of that reduction came from shuttering the inefficient communist-era industry. Then, from 2009 through 2017 Germany's annual GHG emissions came down all the way from 908 Mte to 905 Mte. That's a further reduction of less than 0.3% in nine years! Oh, and all of that reduction and more was in the non-CO2 GHGs like CH4 (methane) and N2O. CO2 emissions actually have gone up over that nine-year period, although only marginally (790 Mte to 797 Mte).
You probably know that in the Paris Climate Agreement Germany agreed to reduce its GHG emission to 40% below the 1990 level by 2020, and 95% below the 1990 level by 2050. So you can now see why it's completely obvious that Germany is going to come nowhere near the 40% reduction by 2020. They'll be very lucky to get to 30%. And they really have no way of ever going much beyond that, barring some technological breakthrough that no one knows about yet.
So what is Germany planning to do in the face of incontrovertible evidence that it can't reduce GHG emissions by building more and more "renewable" capacity? Build more of it, of course! As I reported in this March 14 post, Germany has finally formed a new coalition government, which promptly put out a 177 page coalition agreement. What's in that agreement on the energy and climate front?
(Quoting environmentalist Fritz Vahrenholt): When it comes to energy policy, the 177 pages of the coalition agreement are an act of stupidity. In 2019 and 2020, the expansion of wind power in Germany is set to be massively accelerated even though nobody knows what to do with all this wind power in times of heavy winds. And when there is little wind, the expansion does not help, as electricity production then remains close to zero.
Germany, you win the April Fool's award hands down! Now, back here in New York, we are just embarking on the same completely futile and delusional program to reduce our own emissions. But at least we haven't tripled our electricity bills -- yet!