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Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?

 
Anonymous Coward
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06/07/2014 10:55 AM
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Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
What Obama could learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy

FILE - In this June 29, 2011 file photo a car passes by a a biogas plant and windmills near Nauen, Germany. The crisis in Ukraine is underlining the urgency of Germany's biggest political challenge as Chancellor Angela Merkel's new government marks 100 days in office Wednesday, March 26, 2014, getting the country's mammoth transition from nuclear to renewable energy sources on track. The transition started in earnest when Merkel, after Japan's 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, abruptly accelerated Germany's exit from nuclear power. Since then, the "Energiewende" _ roughly, "energy turnaround" _ has created increasing headaches. (AP Photo/Ferdinand Ostrop, File)The Associated Press

As the Obama administration announced a sweeping new rule for coal-fired power plants on Monday, my mind immediately turned to our friends in Western Europe.

I served as U.S. ambassador to Germany from 2001 to 2005 and had a front-row seat for the beginnings of a similar transition away from fossil fuels that most Germans now regret.



When its legislature passed a renewable-energy law in 2000, Germany gave solar and wind producers 20 years of fixed high prices and preferred access to the country’s electricity grid. This scheme of government intrusion, subsidies and market manipulation set the stage for even worse government decision making regarding energy policy.

President Obama often has seen elements of European socialism as something he would like to impose on Americans. This is one time when he should learn from European mistakes.

Following Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, German lawmakers opted for an even more dramatic change in policy. Riding the fashionable green wave of the moment, the main political parties in Germany reached a hasty decision to phase out all 17 of the country’s nuclear power plants. German leaders vowed to eliminate clean nuclear power while simultaneously aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 80 to 95 percent by 2050.

These overly ambitious and seemingly contradictory targets are to be achieved by an extravagant government plan to encourage the development of renewable energy production methods. Under this plan – called “Energiewende,” or “energy transition” – renewables, mostly solar and wind, would supply 80 percent of Germany’s electricity and 60 percent of the country’s total energy requirements.

If those goals look impossible, that’s because they are. Germany’s ongoing subsidization of alternative energy industries means Germans pay energy prices at least two to four times higher than the global average.

Regular middle-class households bear by far the greatest share of this onerous cost burden, since industries themselves are heavily subsidized.

Earlier this year, the German government revealed that 6.9 million families are in energy poverty, which is defined as spending at least ten percent of household income on energy expenses.Today, German citizens complain loudly about these extra costs, costs that Americans and most EU nations do not yet face.

Sigma Gabriel, Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Economic Minister, recently told a meeting of the country’s leading solar technology manufacturers that the energy transition policy was “on the edge of failure.” He and others have expanded on that startling public admission by explaining that massive government subsidies are unsustainable.

Meanwhile, technological innovation has been slowed and even obstructed as companies become accustomed to government subsidies. Even the extravagant goal of reducing carbon emissions has been reversed, with emissions steadily going up since the policy’s beginning. Germany now imports energy from nuclear plants across the border in France.

Ironically, the savior of Germany’s energy picture – and President Obama should take note – is coal.

[link to www.foxnews.com]
Anonymous Coward
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United States
06/07/2014 11:05 AM
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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
How does someone who knows it all learn anything?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 58957803
India
06/07/2014 11:14 AM
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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
What Obama could learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy

FILE - In this June 29, 2011 file photo a car passes by a a biogas plant and windmills near Nauen, Germany. The crisis in Ukraine is underlining the urgency of Germany's biggest political challenge as Chancellor Angela Merkel's new government marks 100 days in office Wednesday, March 26, 2014, getting the country's mammoth transition from nuclear to renewable energy sources on track. The transition started in earnest when Merkel, after Japan's 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, abruptly accelerated Germany's exit from nuclear power. Since then, the "Energiewende" _ roughly, "energy turnaround" _ has created increasing headaches. (AP Photo/Ferdinand Ostrop, File)The Associated Press

As the Obama administration announced a sweeping new rule for coal-fired power plants on Monday, my mind immediately turned to our friends in Western Europe.

I served as U.S. ambassador to Germany from 2001 to 2005 and had a front-row seat for the beginnings of a similar transition away from fossil fuels that most Germans now regret.



When its legislature passed a renewable-energy law in 2000, Germany gave solar and wind producers 20 years of fixed high prices and preferred access to the country’s electricity grid. This scheme of government intrusion, subsidies and market manipulation set the stage for even worse government decision making regarding energy policy.

President Obama often has seen elements of European socialism as something he would like to impose on Americans. This is one time when he should learn from European mistakes.

Following Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, German lawmakers opted for an even more dramatic change in policy. Riding the fashionable green wave of the moment, the main political parties in Germany reached a hasty decision to phase out all 17 of the country’s nuclear power plants. German leaders vowed to eliminate clean nuclear power while simultaneously aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 80 to 95 percent by 2050.

These overly ambitious and seemingly contradictory targets are to be achieved by an extravagant government plan to encourage the development of renewable energy production methods. Under this plan – called “Energiewende,” or “energy transition” – renewables, mostly solar and wind, would supply 80 percent of Germany’s electricity and 60 percent of the country’s total energy requirements.

If those goals look impossible, that’s because they are. Germany’s ongoing subsidization of alternative energy industries means Germans pay energy prices at least two to four times higher than the global average.

Regular middle-class households bear by far the greatest share of this onerous cost burden, since industries themselves are heavily subsidized.

Earlier this year, the German government revealed that 6.9 million families are in energy poverty, which is defined as spending at least ten percent of household income on energy expenses.Today, German citizens complain loudly about these extra costs, costs that Americans and most EU nations do not yet face.

Sigma Gabriel, Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Economic Minister, recently told a meeting of the country’s leading solar technology manufacturers that the energy transition policy was “on the edge of failure.” He and others have expanded on that startling public admission by explaining that massive government subsidies are unsustainable.

Meanwhile, technological innovation has been slowed and even obstructed as companies become accustomed to government subsidies. Even the extravagant goal of reducing carbon emissions has been reversed, with emissions steadily going up since the policy’s beginning. Germany now imports energy from nuclear plants across the border in France.

Ironically, the savior of Germany’s energy picture – and President Obama should take note – is coal.

[link to www.foxnews.com]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 58942864


libbies always want to reinvent wheel
Anonymous Coward
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Germany
06/07/2014 11:15 AM
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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
It is more profitable for the industry to stay with their old habits, lobbyists will say whatever they are told to say.

Corruption and Lobbyism is the only thing that keeps green energy from having a breakthrough.
CMcC

User ID: 58958428
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06/07/2014 11:37 AM

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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
meh it was a political laundering/slush fund, everyone knew this wasn't a serious goverment endevor.
Fear God and Dread Nought.
Anonymous Coward
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06/07/2014 12:03 PM
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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
Our government gives lip service to "green" energy, but makes sure it never takes foot.

We have no intention of ever doing anything about the current situation.

The corporations benefiting will not allow it.
Anonymous Coward
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06/07/2014 12:22 PM
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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
Intermittent sources will never provide or fulfill constant demand.

This is hard to comprehend, how?
Mr. Reality

User ID: 1350479
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06/07/2014 12:25 PM

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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
Obama and Learn are not compatible in the same sentence.
“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”

-- Thomas Jefferson

"My 2nd Amendment will Die with Me"

-- iwinallday
Anonymous Coward
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06/07/2014 12:37 PM
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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
Obama already lost billions upon billions on wind farms and solar energy during his first stimulus package debacle. Guess who invested heavily in green energy before all that govt money was spent? That`s right, Valerie Jarrett.She cleared a cool 100 million before her company went bankrupt and was liquidated.
It`s been 5-6 years and with our short attention span and the medias diversion tactics we`ve forgotten all about it. Now it`s time to strike again.
Anonymous Coward
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06/07/2014 12:40 PM
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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
Obama is an idiot.
Anonymous Coward
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06/07/2014 12:48 PM
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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
meh it was a political laundering/slush fund, everyone knew this wasn't a serious goverment endevor.
 Quoting: CMcC


This is exactly right. There is NO GREEN and there is NO ENERGY in Green Energy.

However, there are a lot of taxpayer dollars that get laundered back through campaign coffers with it.
Anonymous Coward
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06/07/2014 12:49 PM
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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
Obama and Learn are not compatible in the same sentence.
 Quoting: Mr. Reality


He's not trying to "learn." He is dictating - period.
Mr. Reality

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United States
06/07/2014 01:07 PM

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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
Obama and Learn are not compatible in the same sentence.
 Quoting: Mr. Reality


He's not trying to "learn." He is dictating - period.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 58963955


I know this well.
“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”

-- Thomas Jefferson

"My 2nd Amendment will Die with Me"

-- iwinallday
Anonymous Coward
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06/07/2014 01:22 PM
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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
no energy in green energy? Really? You coal mining atomic energy loving fucks... Screw you all keep on sucking on the tit. I'll be enjoying my personal solar panels and wind mill. Why you pay 400 dollars a month for an electric bill.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 58959105
Curacao
06/07/2014 01:22 PM
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Re: Can Obama learn from Germany's failed experiment with green energy?
It is more profitable for the industry to stay with their old habits, lobbyists will say whatever they are told to say.

Corruption and Lobbyism is the only thing that keeps green energy from having a breakthrough.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 58017486



So true

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