German Solar Experience Offers Critical ‘Lessons Learned’

Germany has been through a long history of coal, nuclear and renewables. And there are lessons to be learnt, for sure.

A report prepared by Financial Advisory AG (Finadvice) for the Edison Electric Institute highlights a number of points:

significant increases in energy prices to most users, as well as value destruction for all stakeholders: consumers, renewable companies,electric utilities, financial institutions and investors.

I believe it is doubtful that increases in energy can be attributed to renewables – or at least not only. Prices increase in general and so does the cost for fossil fuels.

Without a doubt, renewables have helped achieve the CO2 goals, thereby taking some of the burden from other emission sources and keeping the CO2 certificate prices lower than they would have otherwise been.

This statement was in relation to general and global CO2 emissions. When we get to the energy sector CO2 emissions, we can notice an increase in CO2 emissions. So overall Germany has decreased emissions but the energy sector has increased emissions? So where do the reductions come from then?

Despite recent difficulties in the solar market, it is expected that new renewable energy jobs will reach 500,000 in 2020.

We have heard previously that the energy prices have increased. I guess this would not factor the creation of the currently 400,000 new jobs in. What would be the employment opportunity for those skilled people and what would the cost be if they were not employed? I assume one could employ them for drilling and fracking, however at some stage in the future there probably won’t be much left to be fracked and drilled. So fossil fuels are not that future-proof as compared to renewables.

The report claims that there have been enormous subsidies for renewables, in particular for solar:

Germany’s FIT program has cost more than $412 billion to date

I call this a rather clever “investment” and not cost. They have invested in future clean technologies and job creation. They are now a world leader in renewables (despite the fact the Sweden has actually a higher renewable rate).

Who would have paid for the building of new nuclear reactors and who would bear the cost of any potential accidents with this technology? Who asks what the cost of Chernobyl or Fukushima was and still is and will be including building, disposal of waste, deaths directly and indirectly?
Not surprisingly, there’s no mention of the enormous societal costs and knockon effects of the damaging pollution which is caused by burning fossil fuels.