Germany’s Green Energy Transition May Be Running Out Of Money, Study Warns

cartoon green energyGermany’s green energy transition has cost more than 100 billion euros so far. It has hit large and small electricity suppliers with force and put traditional business models in question. But 15 years after the start of the transition, experts are asking themselves an anxious question: is the energy transition running out of money? Quite possible, is the answer that the German section of the World Energy Council and the consultants from Roland Berger provide. –Andreas Mihm, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 23 June 2015

Germany’s Energiewende was a plan that from the outset reflected all the unexamined beliefs central to the modern green movement, and it’s been plagued by problems at every step. The Energiewende does manage to do some good by serving as a cautionary tale to the rest of the world: this is what happens when you let starry-eyed greens take the reins. —The American Interest, 30 June 2015

Retired software kingpin and richest man in the world Bill Gates says today’s renewable-energy technologies aren’t a viable solution for reducing CO2 levels, and governments should divert green subsidies into R&D aimed at better answers. Gates has said a lot of this before. The main new thing is the firm assertion that renewable energy technology as it now is has no chance of powering a reasonably numerous and well-off human race. This is actually a very simple thing to work out, and just about anybody numerate who thinks about the subject honestly comes to the same conclusion. –Lewis Page, The Register, 26 June 2015

People get a little a misled. They’ll take something like solar PVs and say, when the sun is shining that daytime energy will replace hydrocarbons. That is completely uninteresting, because you still want to heat apartments at night. The system is all about reliability. You can drive the need for daytime energy down to zero and you still want the power company to have that hydrocarbon plant at night. We’ve got a little stuck on inventions that can take us up to 30 per cent of the solution. But because they’re subsidised, they’re not economically viable. –Bill Gates, Financial Times, 25 June 2015

Clean energy stocks plunged this week amid concerns of a Greek default, a slower Chinese economy and a U.S. court ruling that could keep more coal-fired power plants operating. Since Friday’s close, the WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index declined 3 percent while the Bloomberg Intelligence Global Large Solar Energy Valuation Peers Index is off 3.4 percent. Those drops exceed the broader S&P 500 index, which has dipped 1.8 percent over the same period. —Ehren Goossens, Bloomberg, 30 June 2015

President Obama has made it clear that his Environmental Protection Agency will use its regulatory power to install limits on carbon dioxide and toxic-air pollutants for everything from power plants to trucks. But Monday’s Supreme Court decision against EPA is a reminder that the biggest threat to Obama’s green legacy and the sweeping regulatory agenda that the administration is racing to cement before the president leaves office comes from the courts. –Clare Foran, National Journal, 30 June 2015