March 28, 2013
The role of energy is a global pursuit. Countries and nations can provide milestone and data to allow for knowledge and intelligence where one may have gaps. The EU has been in a push and pushback on energy alternatives. In review of energy and renewables there is a “Learning From The German Transition To Renewable Energy” provided by Think Progress is one learning opportunity.
“Ever since the Fukushima catastrophe two years ago, Germans have redoubled their efforts to phase out of nuclear energy and fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy — called the “Energiewende” (energy transition) that began in 2000. Minister Altmaier, CDU (Christian Democratic Party — center-right) believes that the recent rise in electricity prices for households poses the biggest threat to the success of the Energiewende, because rising household electricity bills endanger public support for renewables.”
“Minister Altmaier claims that rising electricity bills are the biggest barrier to the Energiewende because they undermine public approval. He aims to prevent future price increases by addressing the EEG Apportionment (EEG Umlage) that finances the feed-in tariff scheme. He therefore proposes the “Strompreisbremse” (electricity price emergency brake – this word has caught on surprisingly well in German media) to freeze the apportionment, claiming to thus prevent a 10% increases in electricity prices this fall.”
“In fact, the apportionment in 2013 will only be 19 percent of an average household electricity bill, and was 3.5 percent of the energy bill in 2012. Meanwhile, the EEG Apportionment is only 1 of 6 other taxes and dues on electricity that together make up half of the electricity price – a situation Germans have accepted so far, despite a current electricity price of $0.37 per KWh – more than three times that of the US.”
“Minister Altmaier claimed in an interview last month that Germany is on schedule to considerably exceed its 2010 renewable energy targets (for example 30 percent of primary energy and 50 percent of electricity from renewables by 2030). Therefore he emphasizes reducing costs over increasing deployment, stating that he doesn’t want less wind turbines, he wants cheaper ones. He further claimed that the energy transition overall will cost Germany €1 trillion by the 2030s. Strong pushback on the calculations behind this number came from the NGO Green Budget Germany, criticizing that he did not include major benefits of renewables, such as avoided costs of fossil fuel imports and investment in fossil fuel power plants, avoided costs of environmental impacts, and reduced electricity prices through the merit order effect.”
“But Germany struggles with the same set of issues as we do in the US: From the costs of expanding the electricity grid, to fighting fossil fuel interest groups, and keeping jobs in the face of international competition.”
Many nations are struggling to determine their energy plan based on the lack of data to support spend; therefore, we are witnessing push and pushback. Nations have made grand announcements on commitments to energy specifically, renewables to later in the same year retract. Moreover, weighted politics of energy are entrenched, dynamic and investments of power, as well as economic wealth. The push and pushback is a response to the economic shocks and determining the risk-reward options on proposed savings that data could reveal if accessed. Energy to date has been and continues to be:
- environmental and
The future of energy is in managing knowledge for better decision-making. What can we learn from Germany? Much and more. Their journey is a touch stone and an aid to energy development.
- Germany moves to tackle rising renewable energy costs (eco-business.com)
- German Ministries Clashing Over Renewable Subsidies (renewableenergyworld.com)
- US is Falling Behind on Clean Energy Goals as Europe Exceeds (LANDsds.com)
- The EU Diminished Biofuel Fervor (LANDsds.com)
- Solar Tariffs Shifting in Germany (LANDsds.com)