It would seem that the world leader in intermittent renewable energy is discovering the “Dark Side” of the idealist’s plan. My own thought is that we need clean renewable energy in the future and some effort to work out the bugs is certainly a great idea, just sort of glad someone else has volunteered to do the debugging. I’m also thinking that perhaps there are a few things missing from the technology that may need some work and also that every renewable source doesn’t necessarily work everywhere. Solar panels in winter in Canada... er I have this vision of 80 year old men climbing up ladders broom in hand to remove the snow and paying the inevitable price. }};-()Germany with exception of a few locations is not a very sunny country, nor is it particularly windy except on the northwest coast. I would add that in my experience Germans are not wasteful of electricity, if you have ever tried to find an address in a small farming village after dark pre-GPS you would understand perfectly. I recall leaving dark and dreary Germany once and being shocked at how brightly lit Cairo was. Any <Hydro and Nuclear for base load power> mouse http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-cancels-...Funding Shortfall: Germany Forced to Cancel Climate ProgramsAs prices for carbon emissions continue to languish, Berlin is planning to cancel some key subsidy programs aimed at increasing reliance on renewable energies. Germany and other European countries seem uninterested in fixing the problem.That the German government is facing a massive budget shortfall for projects aimed at transforming the country into a model of alternative energy and environmental friendliness is hardly new. The European cap-and-trade system has for months been sliding into inconsequence as prices for CO2 emissions have stubbornly remained below €5 ($6.47) per ton. The revenues Berlin earns on the mandatory emissions certificates have suffered as a result. ...The funding shortage currently faced by the Merkel government is massive. ...Endangered ProgramFor 2013, the shortfall is likely to be between €1.2 billion and €1.4 billion, according to the Finance Ministry.As part of Germany's abrupt energy-policy about face in the spring of 2011 in the wake of the nuclear accident in Fukishima, Japan, Merkel pledged to completely phase-out nuclear energy by the early part of the next decade. At the same time, Berlin launched dozens of programs to improve energy efficiency, boost the use of renewables and prepare the country's infrastructure for a future of reliance on environmentally friendly energies....With economies soft in many member states, however, parliament has proven unwilling to further burden European industry. While the source may be suspicions the facts are mostly well known. http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/The-... The Darker Side of Renewable EnergyBy Gail Tverberg | Thu, 21 March 2013 23:10 Based on the sound of the name renewable, a person might think that using only “renewable” energy is ideal–something we should all strive to use exclusively. But there are lots of energy sources that might be called “renewable,” and lots of applications for renewable energy. Clearly not all are equally good. Perhaps we should examine the “Renewables are our savior,” belief a little more closely....5. High-priced renewables help some of our problems, but make others worse.Inexpensive renewables–ones that require no subsidy or mandate–are not a problem from a financial point of view. Many of these can help the environment without providing economic challenges.The ones that tend to be problematic are ones that require subsidies, especially when we have no idea how much the subsidy really is.If the price of renewable energy is high, it tends to exacerbate the problems on the outside of this chart, even as it reduces CO2 contributions within the country, and reduces local pollution as electricity is made. There may still be pollution issues associated with making the rare earth metals that go into the wind turbines or the solar panels, but these are conveniently in China or another remote location....ConclusionIt truly would be convenient if nature had provided us with a free lunch, in the form of renewables. At best, we were given something that if we use wisely, can add a little to what we have today. Renewables may, in fact, “save” some remnant of humanity, if limits truly become a problem in the near future.If renewables are truly to provide widespread benefit for the world population as a whole (going beyond the measly 2% for non-hydroelectric renewables), we need to develop renewable energy supplies which are much lower in resource use than the renewables we have today.1 Such lower resource use would have several benefits:...http://www.thegwpf.org/800000-german-households-can-no-longe... 800,000 GERMAN HOUSEHOLDS CAN NO LONGER PAY THEIR ENERGY BILLS• Date: 15/10/12• • Focus MagazinGermany’s consumers are facing record price rises for green energy. Social campaigners and consumer groups complain that up to 800 000 households in Germany can no longer pay their energy bills.Over the last few days, it has become obvious that the Green Energy Levy will rise to record levels next year. The first thing Peter Altmaier, Germany’s federal environment minister, would say is this: consumers should save electricity. After a meeting with local authorities, the energy industry, consumer advocates and charities he announced that to achieve this he wants to send free energy consultants to all households in Germany.His proposal, however, was met by massive criticism: the chief executive of the Joint Welfare Association, Ulrich Schneider, said: “It would be naive to think that growing poverty caused by rising energy costs can be solved by free energy-saving advice.” ......Hundreds of thousands cannot pay their billsEspecially for small household budgets – with real incomes more or less stagnant for many years – energy costs are becoming increasingly intolerable. In 2009, Germans spent about 100 billion Euros for energy – an average of 2,500 Euros per household. Social campaigners and consumer groups complain that up to 800 000 households in Germany can no longer pay their electric bills. If the rise in energy prices continues, this “second rent” could soon exceed the main rent in some parts of Germany.
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