Green With Envy

Readers of this site know of my ties to the oil and gas industry, so if you don’t – there’s the full disclosure piece. You should also know of my intense skeptisism about “green” energy and the near messianic belief that our political class has in it. Obama is intent on killing the US domestic oil and gas industry in order to bring about the eco-Marxist version of the future.

It is a fact that “green” energy cannot survive on its own and requires heavy government subsidies. That is true in Spain, the UK and northern Europe. Everywhere it is tried.

Wind power in the UK has been discredited, the Spanish green energy “miracle” touted by Obama has proven to cost 3.77 jobs for every “green job” created, now from Germany comes a damning report that the German “green” obsession, solar power, is yet another bust. Via Powerline and Der Spiegel:

I thought it would be a tall order to have a greater energy folly than our ethanol scam, which cost taxpayers billions in direct and indirect subsidies over the last decade or two, but it turns out the Germans have figured out how to do it—through solar power.  Der Spiegel online hasa devastating article out this week on Germany’s manic obsession with solar power, whose price tag has now topped $100 billion over the last decade (see the figure below). For this massive amount of money, solar power only provides about 3 percent of Germany’s total electricity.  That is the equivalent of about two of Germany’s nuclear power plants, which cost a lot less than $100 billion to build.

Some of Der Spiegel’s story could have come straight from Monty Python:

The only thing that’s missing at the moment is sunshine. For weeks now, the 1.1 million solar power systems in Germany have generated almost no electricity. The days are short, the weather is bad and the sky is overcast.

Germany has announced that it is going to have to scale back its lavish solar subsidies, and guess what?  Share prices for solar power companies are collapsing.  As one knowledgeable observer of the scene put it:

The scale of the [solar subsidies] is of unprecedented stupidity, a folly that will certainly go down in German history textbooks.  The backpedaling away from solar subsidies in Germany is now happening so fast that it’s making people’s heads spin. Call it the reverse energy supply transition – one from fantasy back to reality.

Meanwhile, there’s still plenty of residual stupidity in the German government.  A few weeks back Der Spiegel interviewed German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen, who offers these gems of wisdom:

SPIEGEL: In your opinion, why is there such resistance in the US to climate protection policies?

Röttgen: . . . [T]he American way of life is very strongly rooted in individual freedom and consumption, which makes it difficult to push through a lifestyle based on resource conservation and efficiency.

SPIEGEL: If you were the president of a global government, and you alone could determine the course of international climate policy, what would you do?

Röttgen: The ultimate objective would then be a per capita budget for greenhouse gas emissions, which would apply to every person on the planet. It’s ultimately also a matter of justice.

To paraphrase one of Glenn Reynolds’ favorite signoff themes, Germany is in the very best of hands.

15 thoughts on “Green With Envy

    • I have the Chevron project team for the Alder project in the North Sea in my shop in the UK on February 2nd.

      Green is so costly right now and so unreliable that it can’t come close as even a supplemental form. Big issue here in the UK, everyone is paying about an extra £10 a month to fund all the “cheap” energy.

  1. Note: SERIOUS COMMENT

    Utah,

    I honestly believe that, were you to trace this “green” movement to its origins, you will find it is connected to the leftist notion of “sustainability.” A LARGE part of the ideological left firmly believes that the MAXIMUM “sustainable” population on the ENTIRE planet is 2 billion people. They also believe the economy must return to an agrarian, basically feudalistic system of subsistence living.

    Oh, but none of this will apply to THEM! They have some supposed “intellectual clarity” which allows them to see this and which bestows a moral imperative upon them to force all of this on us “for our own good.”

    By forcing “green” energy on the world, it levels the rich Western nations AND makes it inevitable that millions will start to die off from secondary causes (heat, cold, lack of food, poor healthcare, etc.)

    Make no mistake, this IS part of what the people who fancy themselves the masters of this world intend to do – IF they are allowed to have their way. Mankind is inherently self-destructive. You’re just hitting on one symptom of our inevitable course to oblivion.

    • You are right. Notice that the German energy minister started talking about “justice”? Just another collectivist scheme to take control of a critical resource – just like BHO.

    • Joe you’re right on this…. the fabians truly believe that there should be controls on world population and they’ve been at it for years…. planned parenthood it the American office here. The unintended consequences of there policies on “green” anything are horrible and the whole corporate world has bought into the “green” everything. It’s really pathetic how sheepish corporate America can be. Remember is all about social justice and that’s truly Marxist and should be squelched at every opportunity. I’m with you on this one . Peace.

  2. “Germany is in the very best of hands.”
    Well, sure, they just bailed out the Greeks.(although I think it’s because Merkel got a little tipsy after some ouzo on a visit there–hey, she’s Lutheran–and swooned over the men speaking in a different tongue. You know and I know the weakness that this causes in women…)

    Sounds like Rotty wants a cap-and-trade tax, no?

  3. In my travels across America, from coast to coast, I’ve seen plenty of Wind Farms and the one thing that is common to all of them, whether they’re on a ridge line above the Columbia River in Washington state, or strewn across the Wheat and Corn fields of Kansas, is that they sit mostly idle. In Kansas, they stretch from horizon to horizon, millions upon millions of dollars spent for what? One of cousins works for a power company in Colorado and is really against wind power.

    I say if an individual business or home owner wants to spend their own money on wind or solar power, well, more power to them. I’ve got solar panels on my roof and also would like to get one of those small wind spires, but I don’t expect anyone else to pay for it. I think it’s a huge mistake for government to subsidize them.

  4. I say I agree with you, Guy.
    You know, you and Phoebe should have your own talk show. Y’all crack me up. Oh, that was a SERIOUS comment, seriously.
    I’m being naughty, but I can’t stop myself. I suppose I could have a talk show with B. filmed in a boxing ring…..or with M. filmed in a bedroom……or with G. in a kitchen…….or with FL in a club called Splash or Fiesta……oh, the possibilities….

    See what happens when you do too much theatre? On my Honor, I will try to not go off on one of my silly tangents.

    • But of course, mon chere. We can broadcast inside the Obama-funded “green” chocolate factory. No viewer will ever suspect as to what we do afterwards in that “environmental-friendly” venue. 😉

      P.S. – Did you get the tarp from the cleaners?

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