It's not as bad as a lot of people are saying
This is an awesome article and inspired me to start a substack as well.
We need more voices like yours accurately analyzing the German energy system.
Thank you for the coherently written article. It was a pleasure reading it.
How to store electricity for winter?
Splendid article as usual!
If Germany had gone all-in on nuclear twenty years ago, and maybe even ten years ago, it would today be producing cheaper electricity with effectively zero emissions and little to no Russian gas. Germany wouldn't be funding Russia's murderous war and war-crimes machine, and no one would be discussing the lignite coal situation. Nuclear prices would be low due to continual learning, and not needing to attempt to reconstitute the industry from scratch.
Germany declined the simple, easy, and obvious thing in order to do the difficult thing that's still not working. Ignoring this fundamental reality shows the post above to be naive at best and more likely dumb. It's not paying any attention to where power is coming from at the margin. So many words are ignoring the basic reality I point out in this comment, which is shorter, simpler, and more accurate.
Germany is culpable, gullible, and foolish, something the Twitter people understand, and the cope in this post misses. Germany could and should have already achieved essentially all the energy ends it hasn't achieved, and made its ratepayers wealthier to boot. A few thousand words of verbiage can't obscure this fundamental reality.
How is the Energiewende successful when the IMF projects an hard economic slowdown in Europe if Russian gas is cut off in the winter. I appreciate how detailed your article is but I can't help but feel they're excuses for the projected recession in the EEA.
Great article, thanks. One critical remark: you argue that the most expensive part of Energiewende has already been done. That’s certainly true for generation. But what about energy storage? There is not much yet and the majority of costs for it is still ahead us. What’s your view on that?
It is unclear to me how renewables can match 40% of demand when electricity cannot be stored and it is by its nature quite intermittent. One thing is production of electricity from green sources, another thing is actual consumption. There is a gap between the two. And I do fear that most of the green "power" is simply unused because there is no demand for it in specif hours of the day.
So, simply European policymakers and German policymakers in particular have condemned Europe to a marginal role in the industrialised world for the foreseeable future. And the fact that the euro is now below parity with the US dollar is simply one of the consequences of these stupid decisions.
The energy transition claims are simply unrealistic since you need a huge amount of batteries whose raw materials need to be mined, transported, processed etc. We are talking of a skyrocketing rise in demand, and demand rise leads to cost increase.
Can you please stop repeating this disinformation? Wait for the lignite plants to close and replace nuclear with what? Exactly. Russian natgas. And stop talking about 40-50% of energy mix of renewables, when Germany is using almost every single surrounding country as a "free battery" - they export (dump) solar and wind electricity when it's worse than useless (negative wholesale prices) and reimport nuclear/coal/gas fired electricity when it's necessary. If every country in EU did what Germany had done, we would have daily rolling blackouts across half the EU. Meanwhile France is chilling at somewhat around 30g CO2 per kWh, less than 10% of what Germany or Britain produces to get their kWh of power most of the day. And it's significantly cheaper. So I have no idea on what planet you exist, energiewende is a failure on every single crucial point we should be interested in. Hell, it would be cheaper to take what was spent on energiewende, and pay the absolutely insane prices per kWh it nowadays costs to build nuclear, and in the end you'd have way more actually CO2 free power that you can use (do the math)
This is a brilliant and impressive peice thanks Jerome..
Excellent Article Jerome! Thank you for this very valuable insight.