Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Electricity Becoming Third World Luxury In Green Germany
This isn't failure of the market. It's a failure of the country's green energy agenda called Energiewende, or energy revolution or transformation.
Germany's goal is to end its reliance on nuclear energy by 2022. The plan is to replace the lost nuclear power with wind, solar and other renewables, and to have these sources provide 80% of the country's energy by 2050. So far, the effort has flopped.
"German consumers already pay the highest electricity prices in Europe," Der Spiegel reported earlier this month. "But because the government is failing to get the costs of its new energy policy under control, rising prices are already on the horizon. Electricity is becoming a luxury good in Germany, and one of the country's most important future-oriented projects is acutely at risk."
Talk about turning back the clock.
Der Spiegel reports that German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier is asking his countrymen to live as if they are trapped in a backward Third World economy that can't keep the lights on. He has put together a list of energy-saving tips that surely makes the average German think he's living in Uganda rather than Europe.
Sounding a lot like Jimmy Carter, Altmaier suggests consumers avoid preheating ovens, fuzz their television pictures (because poor picture quality requires less energy), cook with lids on the pots and live with refrigerators that don't keep perishable items quite so cool. Sounds like East Germany all over again.