From Nuclear Physicist Kelvin Kemm writing for THE MORAL LIBERAL
It is amazing how biased the international media is when it comes to reporting on energy generation, specifically electricity.
In mid-August, Germany opened a new 2200MW coal-fired power station near Cologne, and virtually not a word has been said about it. This dearth of reporting is even more surprising when one considers that Germany has said building new coal plants is necessary because electricity produced by wind and solar has turned out to be unaffordably expensive and unreliable.
In a deteriorating economic situation, Germany’s new environment minister, Peter Altmaier, who is as politically close to Chancellor Angela Merkel as it gets, has underlined time and again the importance of not further harming Europe’s – and Germany’s – economy by increasing the cost of electricity.
Here is the real cruncher. Not only has Germany just opened one new coal-fired power station, they have approved twenty three (23) more!
He is also worried that his country could become dependent on foreign imports of electricity, the mainstay of its industrial sector. To avoid that risk, Altmaier has given the green light to build twenty-three new coal-fired plants, which are currently under construction.Der Spiegel lists the reasons why Germany has made this major about face. (link) Although Angela Merkel had announced in June 2011 that her "government decided that by 2020 renewables would make up a 35 percent share of the energy mix," since then "the situation has changed dramatically."
Kelvin Kemm writes of the actual productivity of Germany's wind power over the last ten years. (Link)Now a new set of problems have cropped up, and quickly. The fast pace into the renewables future has meant that German consumers are faced with skyrocketing electricity bills and that the country's energy grid has suddenly become outdated. Indeed, Environment Minister Peter Altmaier now finds himself in the awkward position of having to put the brakes on the country's energy revolution.
The figure is 16.3 percent!Dr Kemm finishes with:
Due to the inherent intermittent nature of wind, their wind power system was designed for an assumed 30% load factor in the first place. That means that they hoped to get a mere 30% of the installed capacity – versus some 85-90% for coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric facilities. That means that, when they build 3,000MW of wind power, they expect to actually get merely 900MW, because the wind does not always blow at the required speeds. But in reality, after ten years, they have discovered that they are actually getting only half of what they had optimistically, and irrationally, hoped for: a measly 16.3 percent.
Even worse, after spending billions of Euros on subsidies, Germany’s total combined solar facilities have contributed a miserly, imperceptible 0.084% of Germany’s electricity over the last 22 years. That is not even one-tenth of one percent.
As formerly eco-evangelist Germany has demonstrated, countries cannot afford to have national energy policy molded by movies like “Fuel” and “An Inconvenient Truth.” Their policies – and their future – need to be based on genuine truth and honest reality.