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Following the recent announcement by the German government of the forthcoming closure of all nuclear plants by 2022 (see Merkel's nuclear exit), a new step has been taken today with a series of announcements to support renewable energy, including a specific financing programme to develop the offshore wind industry on a large scale (see here, in German only for now) via public development bank KfW.

This programme does two very smart things:

This is part of my Wind power series.
The usual disclosure is more important than ever in this case:  I advise wind developers on their financing needs, in particular for offshore wind projects, so this particular item will have a large impact on my work (though I'd note that, by making deals easier, it could arguably be said that it makes my job of putting financings in place somewhat less valuable...)

  • it provides scale.
    Depending on the options selected, KfW can provide up to €700 million in funding (and half of that in risk participation) per project. Given that one of the big difficulties in today's banking markets is the lack of underwriting capacity (ie the inability by individual banks to commit large volumes to a transaction when it's signed, which they syndicate to other banks at a later stage), large projects require large numbers of banks to find the require level of funding. With a limited number of banks having experience in offshore wind so far, this makes these deals, which are structurally large (a 400MW wind farm, the typical size in Germany, costs something in the €1-1.5 billion range to get built), almost impossible to finance today. Having an institution able to provide close to half of the funds required makes the task suddenly more manageable, and will make a real difference in the next 1-3 years, before the market becomes mature enough and large enough for deals to happen without them;
  • it provides cheap funding.
    KfW, being a public entity, benefits from the very low cost of borrowing of the German government, and the programme specifically makes it possible for it to fund projects passing through its low rate of funding. It may even provide funding to commercial banks (which bear the risk via contractual guarantees towards KfW) in addition to its own tranche, further reducing the overall cost of debt for the project. I've written enough on ET about the fundamental importance of the cost of money for the determination of the final cost of power for offshore wind not to underline how important news this is. In this case, it won't change the cost of offshore wind electricity for consumers (set by law at 15c€/kWh for 12 years, under the existing feed-in regime), but it will make that feed-in tariff, which is relatively low (as it is not inflated over time) profitable for a larger number of projects and thus ensure that the expected volumes do get built.

Of course, KfW will require commercial banks to be involved alongside itself to ensure that transactions are done on "realistic" commercial terms, so the programme will officially not distort markets, but that cheap funding is a very real political choice nevertheless. This is a very clear case of a country "walking the walk" in its policy choices, and it makes the goal of building 25 GW by 2020 all the more realistic.

See this article from the WSJ on the rest of the measures:

Germany Moves Forward on Nuclear Exit

BERLIN--Germany's cabinet Monday approved a series of laws to make possible an exit from atomic energy by the end of 2022, including measures for a massive increase of onshore and offshore wind power, the accelerated expansion of the electricity grid, and more gas-fired generation capacity.


Wind is a key part of the equation as Germany targets to boost the share of its electricity consumption met by renewable power from 17% to 35% by 2020, 50% by 2030, and 80% by 2050.

To kick-start the construction of more offshore wind farms, Germany's KfW development bank will finance 10 wind farms with a combined €5 billion. The government also has decided to delay the start of an annual lowering of subsidies for offshore wind power to 2018 from 2015.

The government plans to facilitate the upgrading--or repowering as it is known--of existing wind farms with more potent and efficient turbines, Mr. Ramsauer said.

Another law seeks to accelerate the construction of more transmission lines to bring electricity from onshore and offshore wind farms in northern Germany to industrial centers in the south.

The government amended the planned annual rate of decrease in the size of subsidies for onshore wind power to 1.5% instead of 2%.

But Mr. Roettgen insisted that subsidies must be phased out eventually. "We want and will introduce renewable energy to the market," he said.

The government also decided to scrap further cuts in solar-energy subsidies that it had considered. Instead, it will maintain a system of reducing solar subsidies by a base rate of 9% each year, to be complemented by a variable percentage rate, depending on how much new generation capacity is installed each year.

The principle here is that projects built in a given year get a fixed price for their electricity for 15 years. That price goes down over time (ie projects built later get a lower fixed price for their 15-year span) in a predictable way which is supposed to match as closely as possible the evolution of technology - so there are no windfall effects, but also good medium term certainty for the industry.

As a result, German now has several hundred thousand people working in the renewable energy industry, and is well on its way to having a large chunk of its electricity coming from renewables.

The official goal is 25 GW of offshore wind by 2020; current nukes produce about 150 TWh/y; 25GW of offshore wind will produce 100 TWh/y, and nothing will prevent more being built after 2020 - so nuclear CAN be replaced by offshore wind in a 10-15-year span.

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Comment Preferences

    •  The Germans Are Going to Kick Our Asses (20+ / 0-)

      Apparently, in Germany the corporatists do not have total control over the nation. The U.S., in contrast, ignores the Japanese nuclear disaster and responds to the Gulf Oil Disaster by doubling down on Drill Baby Drill. We will be the ones responsible when future generations of Americans face a steadily declining standard of living, a crippled economy, and a degraded environment.  The Greatest Generation begot the Worst Generation.  Astonishing.

      •  There is surely some irony in that (14+ / 0-)

        the current German economic model, summarized in part as:

        Industrial Relations. Industrial relations are based on mutual respect and unions are organized at the industry level and co-exist both at the company and plant level.  Rather than confrontational politics between the unions and industry, these unions negotiate with Employers Association.  This has often avoided costly strikes and resulted in avoiding the uncertainty of unrest of the labour force.  The strength of this model is the co-operation of unions with with management councils.

        Experience has demonstrated that in North America disputes often result in confrontations between the labour force and management, sometime resulting in outrageous results, much of it based on ego by either side.  For the most part government is out of the picture and only gets involved in the case of essential services, by enacting back to work legislation.

        The German model demonstrates that a non-confrontational approach enhances productivity.

        Consensus Model.  Unlike the interaction between regulatory bodies in Canada and the U.S., German regulators aim for consensus between industry and regulatory bodies.  This consensus model is also used between companies to ruinous competition.  Bottom line is that everyone is pulling on the same rope and aiming for the same goal.


        was forced on them by the US Occuppiers after WW2 . . .

        While we opted for a considerably different direction back at home . . .  (d'ohhh)

        •  Where do you get that managing (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wbgonne, Daneel, Jim P

          by consensus - based on mutual respect - was "forced on them by US occupiers"? There is nothing in the article you link to that supports your statement. And in fact, I beg to differ. Here is a better link for anyone interested in pursuing this topic, which also refutes Mr. Roadbed Guy's theory:

          German management, as it has evolved over the centuries and has established itself since World War II, has a distinct style and culture. Like so many things German, it goes back to the medieval guild and merchant tradition, but it also has a sense of the future and of the long term.

          I would say that sounds NOTHING at all like the US style of management, which seem to be mainly interested in maximizing profits as quickly as possible and to hell with everyone else. I have taught intercultural awareness/training to German managers, and know something about this topic. My experience is first-hand, and  I'd like to know what the basis for your "expertise" on this subject is.

          A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

          by translatorpro on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:33:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Although I might add, "forced on them" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TomP, chimene

            might have been too strong a wording, it seems to have been mutually agreed upon . . . .

            As Germany's postwar economic and political leaders shaped their plans for the future German economy, they saw in ruin a new beginning, an opportunity to position Germany on a new and totally different path. The economy was to be an instrument for prosperity, but it was also to safeguard democracy and to help maintain a stable society. The new German leaders wanted social peace as well as economic prosperity. They wanted an economic system that would give all an equal opportunity in order to avoid creating underprivileged social groups whose bitter frustration would erupt into revolution and--in turn--repression.

            The man who took full advantage of Germany's postwar opportunity was Ludwig Erhard, who was determined to shape a new and different kind of German economy. He was given his chance by United States officials, who found him working in Nuremberg and who saw that many of his ideas coincided with their own.

            •  Erhard's reform was not (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              the establishment of the state-and-business culture of Industrial Relations and the Consensus Model (there were earlier incarnations in Weimar Germany and before during Bismarck), nor was Erhard imposed by the US. Erhard just merged Anglo-Saxon free-market ideas into German welfare state and corporatism ideas.

              translatorpro quotes a source tracking it back to guilds; there is that, but I would also mention the welfare state (which again goes back to Bismarck and conservatives afraid of Social Democrat election victory) and the negotiation culture that grew in the political class in German federalism.

              •  You clearly don't seem to agree with this idea (0+ / 0-)

                but Germany was rather badly beaten in WW2, and the new country that emerged was more or less "approved" by the US forces that were occupying it . ..

                I have plenty more links about this - but alas they are on my other computer and I don't have time to look them all up from scratch right now . ..

                •  A lot of different things (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  happened during the four years from the end of WWII to the first elected federal government of West Germany (in which Erhard was minister), from direct intervention through Marshall Plan and fostering of various democratic and economic institutions to Cold War arrangements with emancipated local elites. You not only want to ignore pre-WWII German history, but have a rather simplified and static view of the history of the occupation.

                  Coming to Erhard personally, his views weren't implanted by the US but he advocated them in the thirties already, and he became a notable economist. However, the US occupiers obviously liked his free-market views and promoted him. The US had a direct role in getting him into the first (unelected) government of Bavaria state in 1946, but he lost the position the same year after an election. The next year, he was employed by the occupation authority run economic governance bureau, but still one year later, he already relied on the backing of German parties, and implemented a major currency reform against the will of the US occupiers (see here for example).

                •  'approved' and 'imposed' ... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  ... can be two quite different things.

                  Indeed, the latter quite often fails miserably because of differences between the original institutional environment and the host institutional environment.

                  'Approved' can easily mean tilting the scale on which locally developed innovations have a chance to take root. And when it does, the prospects for fitting in with existing institutions are much stronger.

                  Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                  by BruceMcF on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 03:05:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Well, thanks for clearing that up. (0+ / 0-)

              So Wikipedia and a website called Mongabay

     is one of the world's most popular environmental science and conservation news sites.
              are the sources for your expertise on German management. Good to hear that.

               Too bad you don't read original German sources - seems to me that might be pretty enlightening and provide a first-person type of analysis, which might give somewhat more accurate, nuanced insight into the historical, socio-political background of German economics and management style.

              A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

              by translatorpro on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 11:12:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, and I'm getting this from Wikipedia (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                too, so you might be skeptical but WE TOTALLY KICKED THE SHIT OUT OF THE GERMANS IN WW2.

                Whether they deserved it, or whether the Russians deserve the lion's share of the credit, are not issues that I wish to debate right now.  

                Instead, I'm just saying that "we" more or less approved the basis of their current economic model (because, you know, we had just kicked the shit out of them and they had to acquiesce to whatever we said) which has served them much better than "we" opted for domestically . . ..

                •  Uh... can we get back to the topic of alt. energy? (6+ / 0-)

                  TODAY's fast changing world in which Germany leaves the USA in the dust regarding Nuke and other poison energy?

                  Change "can" happen... in other countries, that is!  Perhaps it will rub off? ;)

                  •  Not everything exists in a tiny little bubble (0+ / 0-)

                    one thing that I think we both agree on (for dramatically different reasons, however) is the aggressive development of "clean" energy.

                    Insofar as Germany's somewhat unique economic model is responsible for them being world leaders in "clean" energy -why is that not an important topic to pursue?

                •  Do you realise (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  you sound like a self-parody? Whatever "you" (and I doubt you personally had any part of it) did to "the Germans" (how many are still alive?) doesn't change the fact that your knowledge about the history of the post-war years in Germany seems rather limited and prone to over-simplification. The US ad British occupiers' intention to foster certain economic ideas was just one factor shaping the dynamics of the emergence of the post-war economic system; various domestic factors as well as the intended and unintended effects of the occupiers' policies in other fields shaped it, too, and these various influences were more often than not in conflict.

                •  LOL! When logic and well-considered, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  solid arguments are too much work, try bullying and the Tarzan shtick! "Me Tarzan (US, 2011), you Jane (cowed, trembling Germany, 1945)!" Hehehe. Pretty funny.

                  Here's a novel idea for you: Try reading some links in ENGLISH that the German government puts on the web:
                  Unlike some people on DK I could mention, the Germans are happy to learn from other countries and cultures, and use what works for the common good.

                  A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

                  by translatorpro on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 03:50:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  umm, yeah, this accords with that book... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Just Bob

              what is the title, ok, FINALLY the library catalog came up!, it's Were you born on the wrong continent? where a US labor lawyer (Thomas Geoghegan) spent a couple of years investigating the German situation.  

              As I recall, the (US) folks who were organizing/ guiding/ whatever the German reconstruction were majorly (sic) a bunch of old New Deal-ers?  and apparently there was a good helping of German Catholic "social justice" theology in the mix, too... as I recall...

              book was very readable for this non-specialist

              "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

              by chimene on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 01:10:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  hehe (24+ / 0-)
        United in Mutual Annoyance: What's Gone Wrong with German-US Relations? - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

        Obama and Merkel have not established a close personal bond, but that's not the only problem. When it comes to important issues, Germany and the United States have never stood farther apart during Merkel's two terms as chancellor as they are at the moment. Merkel's reputation in Washington has been hurt by Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022, Berlin's abstention in a United Nations Security Council vote on imposing a "no-fly" zone in Libya and the country's economic and financial policies.

        This was already apparent during the climate summit held in Copenhagen in December 2009. While Merkel argued for strict, binding emissions-reduction goals, Obama made backroom deals with the Chinese and the Indians. What's more, Obama has recently also announced plans for more oil and gas drilling. Likewise, he has held out the prospect of billions in government support to expand American's nuclear energy infrastructure, which the Germans view as an irresponsible course of action.

        The Americans, on the other hand, have a hard time understanding why Germany's ruling coalition has made an about-face in its nuclear policies following the reactor catastrophe in Fukushima. Obama apparently even views Berlin's radical change in course as dangerous. Even most Democrats in American have a hard time really believing in the German rhetoric about its "green economy" or about how there's a lot of money to be made in it. In fact, to most people in the political world of Washington, Merkel's energy about-face seems downright grotesque.

        •  Well, be prepared for an onslaught (12+ / 0-)

          of pro-nuclear folks crawling out from under their cooling towers to argue with you about how great nuclear power is and how Germany can't do it without adding lots of polluting coal-powered plants "Oh, noes - they are too stupid, backward, etc. etc. to go fully renewable in that amount of time without polluting the environment even more, ...." or whatever silly arguments they come up with. I'm glad you're the one writing this, because no one can dispute your expertise on this subject.

          There's just so much ignorance on the topic even here at DK, and some people simply don't like Germany because of the history - even though WWII ended 66 years ago, so they denigrate any hint of the Germans being better at anything. And often - I hate to say it because I'm an American - some of my compatriots just make shit up to sound important and knowledgeable.

           I think part of it is that some Americans have a hard time accepting the fact that the US has been left far behind on the renewable energy front, and they are kept ignorant by the American media and possibly even the trade press on the technological advances that have been made in the field in other countries.

          A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

          by translatorpro on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:53:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yep, our "American Exceptionalism" is very (9+ / 0-)

            effective in the hands of our elites, to keep us from looking abroad to see how we could do things better here: healthcare, energy policy, even democracy.

            "We're the greatest, free-est nation on earth!"

            Fuck that bullshit. It may have been true once, but it sure as hell isn't true now. And until we stop buying into the need to better than others, we're fucked and will be played for the fools we are.

            “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.” – Einstein (1946)

            by Earth Ling on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 11:22:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  What do you mean "going to"? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They already have, as have Denmark, China, and a few others in the renewables field...

        A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

        by translatorpro on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 11:15:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Germany should cut back on imported electricity (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drewfromct, coolbreeze

      as much of that is from nuclear and fossil fuel.

      Your not reducing nuclear and fossil fuels if you just use these sources across the border.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:00:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Question. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What are the wind tolerances for the most common turbines? I imagine it would be something ridiculously large.

      This comment may not be reproduced or excerpted on other sites without my express written permission.

      by psilocynic on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:25:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  great news, question for you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Jerome, 3 years ago when I first came across you, you were pro-nuclear power.

      Are you still? Or do you recognize that human civilization is absolutely nowhere near being able to responsibly manage nuclear power and waste?

      I haven't been closely following what you've written since 3/11, so I could easily have missed anything you've had to say on the subject.

      I hope you don't answer with some reference to 3rd and 4th generation technology being so much better and safer. But if you do, then I want to know why you weren't demanding that the old plants be replaced immediately with new ones. And why you weren't demanding that spent fuel be stored much more safely (and expensively) in dry cask storage?

      Would you go so far as to admit that you've put way to much trust in the nuclear industry and the regulatory authorities that supposedly keep the industry in check?

      Would you go so far as to admit that it is insane to expect that for 10s of thousands of years, dozens of nations will successfully manage their nuclear fleets with no significant mishaps for any reason (war, greed, terrorism, greed, incompetence, greed and of course greed)?

      If you consider this to be spoiling your thread, I am sorry.  But I really do want to know what you think of nuclear power and humanity's abilities given what has been revealed by Fukushima.

      Thank you for the work you do regarding wind power. It is wonderful. I do hope that you'll add slaying the nuclear "renaissance" to your objectives.

      “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.” – Einstein (1946)

      by Earth Ling on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 11:18:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I haven't really changed on nuclear (10+ / 0-)

        I'm still mildly pro-nuke, but with the severe proviso that nuclear should be State-owned, State-run and well regulated by an independent agency.

        The one thing that has changed is that offshore wind (the sector I'm working in) really has the potential to mostly replace nuclear (at least in some countries) as it actually has the scale and is attractive enough to the big utilities. The other thing that hasn't changed is that nuclear, in all current all-markets all-the-time ideology, does not work.

        •  I agree with this... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Russgirl, translatorpro, StrayCat, melo
          ... severe proviso that nuclear should be State-owned, State-run and well regulated by an independent agency.

          But I just don't think it is realistic that all societies pursuing nuclear power, will for all time, manage to meet this standard.

          Therefore we can't responsibly deploy nuclear power.

          And therefore we must do as the Germans are doing, and phase out nuclear power where it exists.

          Even if we met your stated standard, we'd still have ungodly amounts of waste to deal with.

          In any case, thanks for answering!

          “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.” – Einstein (1946)

          by Earth Ling on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 11:51:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Too bad they don't do something sensible (10+ / 0-)

    like first replacing coal, something that actually is killing large numbers of people right now today (and every day . . . .).

    •  Well, the long term goal IS full decarbonation (25+ / 0-)

      but yes, that more abrupt move away from nukes will give 10 more years at least to the coal industry (or more precisely to the coal-fired power plants).

      On the other hand, the German utilities have found it rather hard to build new coal-fired power plants (local opposition can be very strong) so it's a matter of when the existing plants are decommissionned.

      •  The coal plants will also face high costs for (8+ / 0-)

        emission certificates :-)
        And then there's the pressure of the German medium-term national goals such as reducing emissions by 40% by 2020 (base year is 1990).
        And as Jerome said, there has been fierce local opposition which has already made the utilities give up on building some of the plants they had in mind.
        Most of the current plants are relatively old.
        So I think things look relatively good.
        (also I think it would even be a safer and clearer option to ban any new construction of coal plants)
        Closing down nuclear plants will create a lot of investments not only by the big utilities but also by smaller players. German municipal utilities for example had been planning investments of 6.4 billions before Merkel decided on longer operating times last autumn. They had been planning these new investments because they could see that demand would arise through shutting down nuclear plants. They complained bitterly in autumn; I suppose their investments are back on now.
        I think smaller players and local value creation is a great and commendable thing.
        Off-shore windfarms will probably mostly be build by the big boys but much of the rest can be done by smaller players and by private citizens.

        The future is renewable.

        by KiB on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:47:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What's more, (5+ / 0-)

          the coal plants will also face high fuel costs: while domestic hard coal mining subsidies are phased out by 2018, imported coal got 150% more expensive, thanks to China's hunger and the lack of major new projects worldwide. And those local protests against new coal plants also have an effect on capital costs, in enforcing tighter environmental protection measures as pre-requisites. So, while the coal industry and the energy giants put their hopes of long-term survival in the Merkel government's support for new coal plants, economic realities might stop them.

          •  Why would coal be *subsidized* ??? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            even until 2018?

            If that freakin' source of energy is still used, it should be heavily penalized, not SUBSIDIZED!

            (yes, I know that goes triple for us here in the USA, but we don't often hold ourselves up as the paragon of energy self-righteousness . . .).

            •  Short reply: special interests (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Long reply:

              Over the past two decades or so, a combination of pro-business and pro-labour forces fought tooth and nail to defend domestic hard coal mining. At the political level, the biggest friends of hard coal were among the Social Democrats (SPD): in the fifties, there were hundreds of thousands of coal miners, and their unions were among the strongest organizations backing the SPD. With the years however, coal mine employment melted to a few ten thousand, while some gentrified Social Democrats moved from being friends of unions to friends of energy giants. Already in Gerhard Schröder's SPD-Greens federal government (1998-2005), there was a big row between the SPD-run economy ministry and the Greens-ruin environment ministry over the coal subsidies, with the former only agreeing to reductions.

              However, it's not just the SPD: the Christian Democrats (CDU) heart Big Business even more, after all, and even if they were chiefly pro-nuclear, regional leaders in coal-rich states (Germany is federal like the USA) had no qualms backing coal.

              I note that in the last decade, as the hard coal mi9ning lobby arguments about protecting domestic jobs, protecting domestic industrial capacity, and safeguarding energy self-sufficiency weakened, they added another argument that made halfway sense: if you do away with mining subsidies, that won't do away with domestic coal power plants, as those can just purchase cheaper imported coal -- imported from even dirtier third-world mines abroad, and transported with coal dust and sludge spewing, fossil fuel burning ships for thousands of kilometres. As indicated by my comment, however, this argument just melted away with the dramatic rise in import coal prices.

    •  Always the "fear" of coal with you rdbed... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles, Calamity Jean, StrayCat, melo

      when anyone "suggests" dumping poison nukes.

      You already know that the head of GE admitted -

      the cost of solar will most likely be CHEAPER than Nukes within five years or LESS

      The time and money it would take to build even 1 nuke plant would be WASTED TAXPAYER money - as solar and other alternate energy is catching up FAST.  Let Germany lead the way - it will benefit the world.

      •  Coal kills 2 million people each year (0+ / 0-)

        And as this diarist admitted (rather optimistically, IMHO) this initiative will extend the use of coal by at least a decade in Germany.  Extrapolating (quite reasonably) that other countries will stick with coal even longer, that's 20,000,000 premature deaths.

        I know you don't give a flying fuck about that.

        Some of us do, however.

        •  Roadbed, She doesn't care about (0+ / 0-)

          how many people die nuclear every year, they have to be better than "poison" nuclear. The lie about poison is funny if it wasn't so misguided.

          Jerome, greetings you think in 10 years offshore wind will replace nuclear with no back up?

          Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

          by davidwalters on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 02:24:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  hi david (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            translatorpro, alizard

            no, I said that in 10 years, offshore wind can replace the output from nuclear plants.

            I also said that offshore wind has a nice production profile over the day and over the year (following demand) so is relatively easy to integrate into the existing grid.

            I did not say that offshore wind needs no back up - but the kind of back up it needs already exists in the system - especially as nuclear, an inflexible baseload source which itself requires significant backup - is being phased out.

    •  However, coal plant accidents aren't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, melo

      rendering wide swaths of Ukranian or Japanese territory as uninhabitable for hundreds/thousands of years.

      Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

      by Miggles on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 12:38:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Chernobyl seems to have rendered (0+ / 0-)

        wide swaths of territory unihabitable for about 25 (not hundreds/thousands) of years.

        If you don't believe me, look it up yourself - the local governments have plans afoot for re-settlement (and have already aggressively begun tourism . . .).

        •  1986 to 2011 is 25 years (0+ / 0-)

          The exclusion zone is still an exclusion zone.

          Any residential, civil or business activities in the zone are legally prohibited and punishable. The only officially recognized exceptions are the functioning of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and scientific installations related to the studies of nuclear safety.

          Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

          by Just Bob on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 02:15:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, or you could go with what (0+ / 0-)

            the local governments actually are planning to do: PDF: Belarus to Repopulate Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

            or Google the topic yourself . . .

            •  The exlusion zone has almost no (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy

              popular support (to the degree we let people as individual makes these decisions) but, along thousands of squarters who live in the zone, there is increasing pressure to do away with it altogether.

              Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

              by davidwalters on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 02:36:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't have the link handy (0+ / 0-)

                but we recently discussed the inability to have a rationale discussion on this topic.

                On one hand are those who claim that vast areas have been rendered uninhabitable essentially forever (actually, I'd be delighted if that really were the case, because it provides a much needed sanctuary for wildlife).

                OTOH, there is information from the nuclear advocates (which, admittedly, might be equally suspect):

                Highly contaminated area in the NPP vicinity measures only a half of a square kilometer! Such is the conclusion from the maps included in UNSCEAR report. On the other hand, most of the territory surrounding the plant poses no risk to human health. Why then is there a 30-km uninhabited safety zone? Why the inhabitants of the town Prypiat have been resettled? Why does this town stay closed until this very day?


                More relevant, I have yet to see any evidence that German commercial nuclear power has YET TO KILL ONE SINGLE PERSON.

                If needed, I'm happy to provide the links, but the same can definitely not be said about their coal fired plants . ..  

                •  Not a single?... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  For a start, there are the dead of the accident in Grundremmingen. Then there are the cancer clusters. I'm not sure if by saying "commercial" you exclude uranium mining, too, but there is Wismut.

            •  Thanks for the link (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I can find little to back that, but there does seem to be some movement in that direction in Belarus and the Ukraine.

              It's interesting that Jaworowski is also a climate change denier:

              Based on my experience during decades of involvement in this field, I consider the chances as very small that the major findings from greenhouse gas studies on ice cores are fundamentally wrong; and I find the publications of JAWOROWSKI not only to be incorrect, but irresponsible.


              aworowski's works on ice cores were published in Jaworowski (1994, 1992) and in reports Jaworowski (1990, 1992). Jaworowski has suggested that the long-term CO2 record is an artifact caused by the structural changes of the ice with depth and by postcoring processes.

              However, increases in CO2 and CH4 concentrations in the Vostok core are similar for the last two glacial-interglacial transitions, even though only the most recent transition is located in the brittle zone. Such evidence argues that the atmospheric trace-gas signal is not strongly affected by the presence of the brittle zone. Similarly Hans Oeschger states that "...Some of (Jaworowski's) statements are drastically wrong from the physical point of view".

              Speaking for myself regarding resettlement of the exclusion zone, I would fear a repeat of the Enewetak experience.

              Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

              by Just Bob on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 04:26:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Don't forget solar (12+ / 0-)

    Germany will kick our asses in manufacturing soon and won't look back for a generation.  

    Which is good news for John McCain.

    by AppleP on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:04:05 AM PDT

  •  Great news ... (10+ / 0-)

    Many moons ago (about 15 years ago), I wrote a proposal for investing the social security surplus into clean energy to then use the proceeds to help fund social security when payouts were greater than the direct tax revenues. (Sign, your diary made me think of this item from pre-blogging days that I tried to 'sell' into the Congress & Clinton White House ...) This would have provided a significant funding stream, at low interest rates, like the German govt will be providing via Kfw.

    Now, one of the exciting developments that I'm starting to see is the potential for 'pressurized air storage' on the ocean bottom in association with offshore wind. This could provide, imo, some of the flattening that would help enable intermittent offshore wind electricity to 'replace' baseload nuclear power.  What do you think of these developing technologies/options?

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:08:32 AM PDT

    •  Just a Tax Under a Different Guise (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel, StrayCat

      "Many moons ago (about 15 years ago), I wrote a proposal for investing the social security surplus into clean energy to then use the proceeds to help fund social security when payouts were greater than the direct tax revenues..."

      Under Republican ideology, taking those SS tax streams out of the general fund with the need they be made up by raising taxes elsewhere.  Of course, Republicans are fine with taxes levied on labor being used to offset taxes which should be paid by income derived from capital and will just deride such swaps as merely taxes under a different guise.

      What is strange is that the TVA, which benefits so much of just one region of the country, would never have been built by the politicians who now represent that region.  Did they learn something the rest of us haven't twigged to yet or do they still believe in free lunches?

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:38:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  €700 million in funding (... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, StrayCat

    Your parenthetical aside threw me off. I thought that was total and was going to write a comment saying what a pittance that was - why, only enough for ONE project...

    oh, "per project", got it. Nice.

    25 GW over 9 years is not a very aggressive goal, though. Although perhaps more so for off-shore. Do they have a re-power goal as well?

    Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

    by jam on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:11:13 AM PDT

    •  You probalby compare 25 GW (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      translatorpro, jam, A Siegel, StrayCat

      to US generating capacity. But Germany is much smaller and much less energy intensive. The maximum peak power in Germany, ever, was 82.2 GW at 11h on a summer Wednesday. As Jérôme wrote in the diary, this 25 GW may produce 100 TWh a year (though I shall also give a more conservative estimate,with a 35% capacity factor, at 75 TWh), which would be 16.5% (12.4%) of Germany's 2010 consumption, and 18.4% (13.8%) of the planned 2020 consumption.

      •  good point (0+ / 0-)

        hadn't even thought about it in terms of capacity. I was just thinking that a 25 GW build out is less than 3 GW per year which isn't all that much.

        Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

        by jam on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 12:20:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great news (12+ / 0-)

    Judging by my people's reaction to Fukushima, I think this is much more than pretty words but putting your money where your mouth is. The thing is that this didn't just happen overnight but it's based on a cultural movement that's been building for over two decades. For example, pioneers like Ursula Sladek and her Schönau community have been pivotal in changing the way Germans look at what's possible in terms of renewable energy.

  •  The irony - the people opposed to Evolution (6+ / 0-)

    will be made obsolete by a process of Natural Selection.

    The very idiots who deny science will drag our entire society down in a process of natural selection where other reality and science based societies will surpass us and thrive. What can one say, except even that won't prove the process of natural selection to the idiots offering the world a real time example of it.

    And so as we choke on coal and oil, most other advanced countries will enjoy massive, growing alternative energy sectors and far reaching competitive economic advantages and leave us in our smoggy, toxic dust. What a waste of potential.

    There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why...
    I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? ~ Robert Kennedy

    by Reality Bites Back on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 10:49:55 AM PDT

  •  I can't wait to hear how they know no science (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, StrayCat

    never read a science book
    are ignorant
    are in the pocket of the oil / gas industry
    etc etc etc

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 11:10:49 AM PDT

  •  How will the Germans handle the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    translatorpro, Just Bob, StrayCat

    engineering problem of the intermittent power level from wind and solar power?

    Anyone who can create efficient large scale storage of electric power that can be efficiently released back into the grid will be doing a great service to society.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Thutmose V on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 11:16:30 AM PDT

    •  it's not really a problem (9+ / 0-)

      even at current levels of penetration. See this article for instance, to see how the grid can naturally absorb significant volumes of renewables.

      Offshore wind fit nicely into the system as its daily production pattern looks to a good extent like the demand curve (with peaks in the morning and evening).

      And since we've been building gas-fired power plants with abandon over the past 20 years, we have a lot of capacity which is quite flexible.

      •  can't click that link for some reason (0+ / 0-)

        Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

        by jam on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 12:34:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ah...gas! Of course. New there was a fly (0+ / 0-)

        in the ointment. It's explains Joseph Kennedy Jr's statement that wind and solar are "married" to fossil fuel.

        Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

        by davidwalters on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 02:27:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, by pushing gas into a back up ... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Just Bob, Bronx59, translatorpro, melo

          ... reserve role in the short term, and the natural shift in hydropower used as dispatchable supply. The net amount of gas goes down, since that is where the reduction in average energy cost from the merit order effect come from

          Longer term, we can attack the problem in multiple slices rather than looking for a single silver bullet solution, including the long distance electricity superhighway to reduce the volatility to cope with, smart grid demand management to shift demand to when the energy is there for the taking, and biogas and biocoal as dispatchable and schedulable reserve capacity.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 03:13:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Compressed hydrogen gas (0+ / 0-)

      for mass transit fuel is a possible use of uneven electric sources.

      Fuel for transport use is actually the biggest energy problem facing the US.

    •  CAES has been in use for over 30 years (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, translatorpro

      The market for compressed air energy storage (CAES) is primed for use in combination with wind and natural gas.

      Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) is the term given to the technique of storing energy as the potential energy of a compressed gas. Usually it refers to air pumped into large storage tanks or naturally occurring underground formations. While the technique has historically been used to provide the grid with a variety of ancillary services, it is gaining attention recently as a means of addressing the intermittency problems associated with wind turbine electrical generators.

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 01:16:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  By importing nuclear energy from France (0+ / 0-)

      The whole thing is very rushed and not very well thought out. So I wouldn't call it "smart"

      There have been large investments in renewable energy for many years. This is nothing new. But geographically it's not the ideal place for a lot of it.

      The decommissioning of nuclear power plants is a panic reaction and not in any way well planned. Many of those plants are the end of their life cycle anyways in another 15-20 years. That would be enough time to develop and implement a more coherent strategy. But this way a lot of will be stopgap measures like importing energy and using expensive gas power plants.

      •  I don't think you understand (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob, Bronx59

        the German mentality at all. If they are anything, it's extremely thorough and only make decisions that are well thought out. They are careful, methodical thinkers and extremely risk-averse, completely unlike their American counterparts. "Panic reaction" is absolutely NOT in the German vocabulary, and the plan to get out of nuclear energy has been in place for some time, see my comment here:

        And regarding their "import of energy", see Jerome's comment and the following mini-thread here:

        In other words, their management style would drive many Americans nuts. ;-) But hey, it works for them, right? I'm thankful I live here and not in my native US right now.

        A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

        by translatorpro on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 02:08:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a stereotype and doesn't always apply (0+ / 0-)

          There is no real coherent energy policy. What there is strongly motivated by anti-nuclear panic. Always has been since the 80s and the whole green movement. There is certainly a long-term desire to move towards renewable energy and some efforts are already made. But it's not a formalized plan.

          The previous red/green government finalized the end of nuclear power. Then the current conservative government delayed that. But promptly reversed itself when the disaster in Japan happened.

          That's mostly what I mean with "panic reaction". They very quickly reversed themselves and that reversal was implemented somewhat controversially by ramming it through the system without any discussion.

          •  so.... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bronx59, translatorpro, Daneel

            they've been in a panic for 30 years now? That's a knee-jerk if I've ever seen one...

            Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

            by jam on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 02:25:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Of coruse it's a panic reacton... (0+ / 0-)

            their plants are way more sophisticated that Fukushima's plants, are not subject to tsunamies, etc. The key is natural gas...which has been praying for a "Fukusima Moment" for decades. Now the Green/ SPD alliance with gas comes to full fruition.

            They have 10 years to reconsider, along with the growth of their load, and expense in this "Fixed price" scheme that builds in the feedin tariffs?

            Jerome, what's is you opinion of solar in Germany without the massive feed in tariffs...could it survive?

            Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

            by davidwalters on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 02:31:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  expense, or (expense-saving)? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              translatorpro, melo

              its easy to rhetorically allocate the total cost of power under the feed-in tariff as an 'expense', but when the feed-in tariff is below the marginal market price, it is a saving.

              Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

              by BruceMcF on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 03:18:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And those feed in tariff prices are (0+ / 0-)

                what exactly? Don't forget this is "plan"...and there actually is not plan yet, it's still being worked out...includes all these issues, including dirty coal...and solar...the whose feed in tariff in France (truly stupid there), Spain and Germany amounts to over 42 cents Euro. What's the market price exactly for Germany?

                The reliance on natural gas is no more short term, Bruce, than any of the coal plants that are being built. They are wedded together permanently, even if there is parity in MWhrs between wind and never goes away unless the overbuild of wind is so great, and spread out, that it makes the building, use and expense of gas short term. and there are not short term or even long term plans in Germany to get off of fossil fuel.

                If they didn't panic like they did it would of been interesting to see development of both nuclear and renewable side by side...but the gas interests there would have none of it.

                Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                by davidwalters on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 06:23:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Lots a queries jumbled together ... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Just Bob, translatorpro, melo

                  ... less evidence for claims.

                  And those feed in tariff prices are (0+ / 0-)

                  what exactly?

                  What feed in tariff prices? Germany? the ones that a US state that wants employment growth and protection against fuel energy price shocks should set? The question is not clear.
                  Don't forget this is "plan"...and there actually is not plan yet, it's still being worked out...
                  the term for that 'plan still being worked out' thing is 'proposal'. when making a policy analysis of a proposal, one analyses the proposal ...
                  includes all these issues, including dirty coal...and solar...the whose feed in tariff in France (truly stupid there), Spain and Germany amounts to over 42 cents Euro.
                  I know enough about how these systems work to know that anybody quoting a single tariff is spouting bullshit ~ normally cherry picking a high development-incentive feed-in tariff that only applies to some specific technology and only for some small percentage of total energy capacity, since the feed-in tariffs in question are both specific to technologies, and for the highest ones capped in capacity, with automatic degression (scaling down) of the feed-in tariff over time.
                  What's the market price exactly for Germany?
                  lower then it would be if the wind power was not in place.

                  Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                  by BruceMcF on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 07:43:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks for debunking the BS. (0+ / 0-)

                    So much crap, so little time...

                    A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

                    by translatorpro on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 12:36:52 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  The pro-nuke contingent (0+ / 0-)

                    is throwing everything they've got at the wall to see if something will stick. They are on the losing side of history, and can't or won't admit it.

                    A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

                    by translatorpro on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 01:41:17 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You haven't seen anything yet, tltorpro. (0+ / 0-)

                      There is no "losing side" and clearly your Euro-centric view doesn't fly in the face of countries outside of Europe (and even a few INside of Europe). Wait and see, since we have no choice but to wait and see :)

                      Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                      by davidwalters on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 10:08:36 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  I used the solar feed in tariff because (0+ / 0-)

                    there is usually only one feed in tariff for solar in any given country: Germany, France and Spain. What is it, say, for Jerome's offshore wind, does it vary during time-of-day, time of year??

                    Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                    by davidwalters on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 10:07:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Only one? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Germany has 6 and Spain has 3 different PV tariffs. None of them as high as your "catch-all" example.

                      Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                      by jam on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 11:18:36 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Actually, (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jam, IM

                      there are several solar feed-in tariffs in Germany: it depends on whether the panel is roof-installed of freefield, the generating capacity of the facility, the percentage used for own consumption. For units installed this year, the highest rate, for rooftop units below 30 kW, is 28.74 ct/kWh; while the one for on-the-ground units in the "Other" category (this includes surfaces like highway sound barriers) is 21 ct/kWh.

                      This year because there is an annual degression for newly installed units. Over the last five years, the feed-in rates dropped by more than 50%, while module prices also dropped more than 50%, which was the whole point of the feed-in law. Over the next few years, annual degression is up to 24% (depending on previous year installation figures): I can't think of any other industry taking on such a cost reduction challenge.

                      For Jérôme's off-shore wind, in the current revision plans there is a variation in providing multiple models: there is a choice to start with a high (19 ct/kWh) feed-in rate in the first eight years of operation, then have it reduced; and another with a less high rate (15 ct/kWh) for the first 12 years. In addition, degression is to kick in from 2018 only (but then brutally: 7%).

                    •  No, of course the feed-in tariff for ... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      ... wind does not vary by times of day, or time of year. How could you be unaware of that and be claiming independent expertise on the issue?

                      Some feed-in tariffs are steady through the day, some are premiums on top of market rates, on a sliding scale as market rates rise ~ but of course those are market rates with wind in the grid, which are lower on average than market rates with no wind on the grid.

                      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                      by BruceMcF on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 04:48:44 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  You are so desperately grasping at straws because (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  you are on the wrong side of history, and you know it. The link below is for you, too, and your poorly-researched, culturally-ignorant arguments. No plan, my foot. Instead of wasting your time denigrating Germany, which currently uses about half the fossil fuel per capita that the US does, has a  population of  about 1/4 of what the US has (82 m vs. 310 m,  why don't you start doing something constructive for your(our) own country, for a change?


                  A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

                  by translatorpro on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 04:57:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Ohhhhh, and here's something else (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  that looks nothing like an energy policy - dare I say it? - "plan" (from one week ago):


                  Factbox: German cabinet plans for energy law change

                  And a few graphs down is this little tidbit:

                  The government said although the schedule of when which nuclear plant must retire has been changed, nuclear production remains capped at the equivalent of an average plant life of 32 years which was agreed in a nuclear exit plan 10 years ago.

                  Sounds like a "panic reaction" to me for sure, especially since there was a nuclear exit plan 10 years ago already. Gawd.

                  A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

                  by translatorpro on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 06:48:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Only your beloved France (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Has a FIT as high as 42 cents


                  The current Photovoltaic decree 1578/2008 categorizes installations in two main groups with differentiated tariffs:
                  I) Building Integrated installations; with 34c€/kWh in systems up to 20 kW of nominal power, and for systems above 20 kW with a limit of nominal power of 2MW tariff of 31c€/kWh .
                  II) Non integrated installations; 32c€/kWh for systems up to 10MW of nominal power.

                  Technology dependent, highest = 28,74

                  Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                  by jam on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 11:15:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  So the "panic reaction", i.e. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            melo, jam

            falling back on a plan that was ALREADY IN PLACE A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO and doing the right thing for THEIR country is worse than being asleep at the wheel for 30+ years in regards to alternative energy as the US has been?

            You might want to read this article to confirm just how ABSOLUTELY AWFUL the German "non-policies" are:

            Germany: The World's First Major Renewable Energy Economy

            Germany's Reichstag in Berlin is set to become the first parliamentary building in the world to be powered 100 percent by renewable energy. Soon the entire country will follow suit. Germany is accelerating its efforts to become the world's first industrial power to use 100 percent renewable energy -- and given current momentum, it could reach that green goal by 2050.

            Then there's the little matter is they --gasp-- "don't have a plan". Then what, pray tell, is this (published in August 2010)?:
            And guess what? It's even in ENGLISH so that you can read about the "non-plan" your very own self!!

            In the Coalition Agreement for the 17th legislative period, the Federal Government announced its plans to adopt an ideology-free and market-oriented energy policy that is open to technology. Guidelines for a clean, reliable and affordable energy supply by the year 2050 are to be outlined in an energy concept. The aim of the energy concept is to provide a road map towards the era of renewable energies. In future, Germany aims to rank amongst the world’s most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly national economies, offering competitive energy prices and a high level of prosperity.

            Oh, and here is another "non-plan" for you, but I guess the word "concept" is not in your vocabulary:

            And here is another good info source for Germany's non-energy-plan you probably have never seen. How about that? It's even called "German Energy Blog", and also in English:

            And as a general observation, here are the results of other "panic reactions" and lousy policy choices:

            The Economic Situation in the Federal Republic of Germany in May 2011
            The German economy is continuing its robust performance.

            I repeat, you really do the Germans a disservice by not having a clue about how they tick. I do, because I've lived here for 25+ years. Saying they don't have a plan is utterly ludicrous, because they never do ONE DAMN THING without one, and usually have a Plan B, Plan C and maybe even a Plan D, as well.

            A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

            by translatorpro on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 01:23:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The panic is as they ALL admit, a reaction (0+ / 0-)

              to Fukushima. Both German voters and then Merkel's 180 degree about face...this would not of happened had not the events in Japan unfolded the way they did...the same is true with the big build up for the phaseout after Chernobyl.

              What I've learned is that on my side of this debate, there is more and more support for the German and Swiss decisions...especially the Swiss. It's a cynical support, for sure, but it seems to be growing. This way we can do a 10 to 20 year  comparison of wind/solar and nuclear along with a truly serious transition in Switzerland.

              I wonder if Jerome thinks that load changing nuclear can be complimentary to wind?

              Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

              by davidwalters on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 10:11:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  i suspect that the next decade needs to be (6+ / 0-)

    on the statewide level, if there is to be any progress. CA needs to start talking with japan, germany, denmark, spain, etc. about how they get these things built, instead of letting the hopelessly backwards and captured feds do the talking on our behalf.

    that and HSR.

    •  And while the feds have not made ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, Just Bob, translatorpro

      ... it as easy as they might have, at least they made it possible ~ if the states impose a renewable energy portfolio standard, they can set feed-in tariffs based on the cost saving including portfolio standard compliance.

      To get the feed-in tariff you need, you have to design the REPS system and its penalties so the feed-in tariff lies within the standard, which is more round-about than just explicitly permitting feed-in tariffs ~ but at least they are doable ~ and a big target to aim for in all of the 'republican over-reach backlash' states.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 03:23:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  perhaps clusters of states would work (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BruceMcF, Just Bob, translatorpro

        i could see a west coast CA-WA-OR compact, coordinating policy and upgrading interstate transmission lines to help balance fluctuating grid load.

        •  they definitely could ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Just Bob, wu ming, translatorpro

          ... a Midwest cluster could extend OH/ND

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 03:55:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The idea is to have NO feed in tariffs. (0+ / 0-)

            A true plan would be to have all non-carbon sources. The antis went crazy and still do as official US policy is that nuclear energy is non-carbon (my, my).

            The whole discussion, including here a few years ago after the elections, was if nuclear gets any loan guarantees and that "$8 billion" (the first true subsidies for the first 6 or so GWs of nuclear) then renewables is doomed.

            When you impose feedin tariffs you prove the nay-sayers of solar and wind  that it requires all these subsidies. Why do it all? WHy subsidized the proifts of the utility companies, usually at 100% as it was proposed (I suspect it will be what it is now, about 1.8 cents per kwhr).

            Wind advocates are constantly bragging that these feedin tariffs are not necessary because "wind is so cheap". Let's see if it really is. There are no merchant wind plants to my knowledge (I know, it's sill since it cant really be dispatched)...if you read the FPL prospectus it is ALL based on various forms of subsidies (its one of the bigger investors in wind farms), most notably several things:

            The feedin tariff
            The legal mandate for various juridisictions for wind and/or solar
            Flowing from that, agreed upon long term prices for power, that is NOT a market price but a fixed price, paid for by the rate payers.

            Obviously no ISO jurisidiction would put up with a tariff like that have Europe as it would bankrupt most areas. However, if I were going to do wind, I would argue it the same way as with nuclear: you build it out because it's reliable, non-carbon and fulfills your mandated renewable portfolio. QED. Probably will continue to happen.


            Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

            by davidwalters on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 06:31:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  why do you equate feed in ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ... tariffs to subsidies?

              when wind reaches sufficient penetration, then there is a range of feed-in tariffs that both ensure investment in wind power and reduce the cost of electricity ...

              ... since there is no government payment, in what sense is a feed in tariff that reduces total energy cost a 'subsidy'?

              Equating a feed-in tariff to being automatically a subsidy is, in brief, a lie ~ a feed-in tariff involves being paid both less than and more than the market price, and it involves being paid less then the market price precisely when the market price is the most painfully high.

              Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

              by BruceMcF on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 07:15:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's a subsidty because they are being *paid* not (0+ / 0-)

                based on actual costs of wind but a you stated " ensure investment...". I'ts illogical that somehow it cheapens power when the costs are passed onto the tax payer via the tariff. Why not eliminate the tariff? Why have the gov't intervention at all if it's "cheap".

                [Jerome has written and argued about this in the past, it's good to refer to his older EuroTribune arguements]

                Cost and prices are two different things, the cost to produce a widget is not the same as the price of same widget (or unit of energy) based on everything from anarchic market prices to ratebased assured residential (or industrial) rates. Nuclear falls in the same category as long term fixed pricing is written into any nuclear proposal.

                Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                by davidwalters on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 10:19:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  you didn't understand Bruce's comment (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Daneel, IM

                  First, a FIT is not paid by tax payers, it is paid by rate payers. It is really just a gov't mandated power purchase agreement. Given that you are a socialist who advocates long term fixed pricing for nuclear, I can't imagine you would have a problem with that.

                  Second, the FIT can be lower or higher than the marginal rate. At night, for example, the marginal rate is going to be quite low. During peak hours, the marginal rate can be over $1,000/MWh. There is no FIT in the world that is higher than that, so every MWh generated by a FIT regulated generation asset during peak hours where the marginal rate is higher than the FIT actually lowers the cost of electricity.

                  Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                  by jam on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 10:42:37 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  oh, and on this claim: (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              translatorpro, melo, jam
              Wind advocates are constantly bragging that these feedin tariffs are not necessary because "wind is so cheap".

              Link? Source? 'wind advocates' meaning people you are in the habit of arguing with online, or leading advocates ... or who, precisely?

              if coal and natural gas was charged its full economic cost, we would get far more wind power expansion ~ but it would still be more effective policy for national development and income-driven growth to charge feed-in tariffs and take advantage of the assured stable cost of windpower instead of gambling on the marginal price of electric power.

              Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

              by BruceMcF on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 07:21:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  don't be silly, Bruce (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                David doesn't source his comments.

                Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                by jam on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 07:53:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  that is not something to be left as ... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... tacit knowledge ~ it should be made clear when an unsupportable (because false) claim is made.

                  Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                  by BruceMcF on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 09:43:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  "ever"? You've never gone to my diaries (0+ / 0-)

                  then...but the most extensive (and truly complicated) reading I've ever seen on this is here:


                  Look under "Germany".

                  Jerome has a lot of sources as well. Again, it's true, solar are the highest since it's the most expsesnive (solar PV) and truly needs 18 hours of "back up". Then again the diaryist here is not a big solar advocate.

                  Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

                  by davidwalters on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 10:22:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you have a tendency (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Daneel, IM

                    to make broad, sweeping, un-sourced generalizations in your comments. For example, this shite:

                    truly needs 18 hours of "back up"

                    To do what, exactly? You make that claim ad nauseum without ever providing any references, any justification, any evidence whatsoever. You are a power plant operator, you have no excuse for deliberately mis-representing the power grid.

                    In this straw-world fantasy that you have wrought where the grid is 100% solar, then yes, PV would need back-up. However, in the actual world, where PV is <10%, <1%, <0.1% it is a completely spurious argument.

                    In the real world, where the majority of networks are day-peaking networks, we need more power during the day when the sun is shining than we need at night. 2:1 is not an uncommon day-peaking ratio over baseload.

                    Causation was, is, and ever shall be a slippery bitch, so we're best sticking with noting the facts

                    by jam on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 10:51:16 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Seems like Germany was really quick to move (3+ / 0-)

    after Fukishima....makes me wonder if there was already a draw-down plan in place prior to the disaster.

    •  Yes, there was. (9+ / 0-)

      The SPD/Green government (1998 - 2005) before Merkel already had a plan in place, but the more business-friendly CDU/FDP government decided to extend the life of nuclear plants, which was then promptly reversed after the Fukushima disaster because it has been a politically toxic topic ever since Chernobyl. That disaster sent clouds of radiation across much of Germany, which - naturally - has made nuclear power extremely unpopular there ever since.

      From Wikipedia:

      During the chancellorship of Gerhard Schröder, the social democratic-green government had decreed Germany's final retreat from using nuclear power by 2022, but the phase-out plan was initially delayed in late 2010, when during the chancellorship of center-right Angela Merkel the coalition conservative-liberal government decreed a 12-year delay of the schedule.[7] This delay provoked protests, including a human chain of 50,000 from Stuttgart to the nearby nuclear plant in Neckarwestheim.[8] Anti-nuclear demonstrations on 12 March attracted 100,000 across Germany.[9]
      On 14 March 2011, in response to the renewed concern about the use of nuclear energy the Fukushima incident raised in the German public and in light of upcoming elections in three German states, Merkel declared a 3-month moratorium on the reactor lifespan extension passed in 2010.[10] On 15 March, the German government announced that it would temporarily shut down 8 of its 17 reactors, i.e. all reactors that went online before 1981.[11] Former proponents of nuclear energy such as Angela Merkel, Guido Westerwelle, Stefan Mappus have changed their positions,[12] yet 71% of the population believe that to be a tactical manoeuvre related to upcoming state elections.[13] In the largest anti-nuclear demonstration ever held in Germany, some 250,000 people protested on 26 March under the slogan "heed Fukushima - shut off all nuclear plants".[14]

      A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

      by translatorpro on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 11:33:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Solar cells are mainly Made in China (0+ / 0-)

    Wind turbines will largely be Made in China.

    As long as free trade is international law, manufacturing will flow to China.

    China has the most people, so the cost of a factory per person is going to be the lowest in China.

    The US once had the lowest cost of a factory per citizen and major factory market area until the EU was formed, China dumped Maoism and the Great Leap to Back to the Socialized Soil, and India dumped London School of Economics socialism.

    The US can no longer be a market leader by market forces alone.

  •  I saw a Volt on a car dealer parking lot (0+ / 0-)

    I also saw stickers on it and other vehicles, 44% furriner-made, 34% furriner-made.

    Why not 0% furriner-made and 100% American-made?

    As long as furriners can supply the American gas guzzler market, the furriners across the globe will be in the gas-guzzler, CO2 emissions-generating vehicle business as well.

    The US, by allowing the importation of CO2 generating stuff like vehicles and their parts, encourages every other nation to follow in its wasteful, destructive path.

    The US, by wasting a few billion enriching "green" technology investors and bankers, won't divert the world from the $1 trillion+ planet destroying individual personal vehicle mania now choking the planet that once merely choked California and Manhattan.

    •  My little Citroen gets (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, StrayCat, northsylvania, melo

      68 miles to the gallon, but can't be sold in the US because it doesn't meet US automotive safety requirements - at least I think that's the reason. Even the SMART car has to be adapted for the US market. The European version uses a lot less gas. The technology is there, but the market demand in the US for heavier cars loaded with gadgets, i.e. gas guzzlers, is also still there. Seems to me the key word here is education. Not nearly enough has been or is being done to educate Americans on the subject of conservation. And yes, I know about the climate change deniers. The reality-based community has to be louder than the other guys. Take a page from the Republican playbook: Repeat something often enough, and people will believe it - only in this case it would BE the truth.

      A proud supporting member of Native American Netroots

      by translatorpro on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 01:05:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just some perspective Germany vs USA (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    translatorpro, Just Bob, StrayCat, melo

    and the potential for renewables:

    Germany's southernmost town lies on latitude 47N, which is roughly Seattle, WA and Grand Forks, ND. Almost the whole of the US gets more sunlight than Germany.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    The US has a coastline of 12,380 miles, while Germany's is 1,484 miles.

    (Note: Figures above include Alaska/Hawaii. Subtract that, for the remoteness of it, but then add in the Great Lakes, which is not reflected, and you are still around 11,000 miles. Can't get the standard figure for the US Great Lakes coastline even with many searches, but Michigan's alone is 3,500 mi.)

    So use 11,000 mi. for the US and our coastline is 7.5 times Germany's, or Germany's 13% of the US's.

    Leave out Alaska, Hawaii, and the Great Lakes and it's still 4:1 for US vs Germany, or Germany has 24% of the US's, in the most conservative calculation.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    The area of the "lower 48" States is 3,100,000 square miles; Germany's 140,000 sq. miles. So the US area (lower 48) is roughly 22 times Germany's, or Germany's 4.5% of the US's.

    I am unaware of any desert in Germany.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 12:44:10 PM PDT

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