Reaching new audiences on energy
This week, Center of the American Experiment kicked off a campaign to reach out to new audiences with our radio ads on Minnesota’s rising cost of energy. The radio ads…
Renewable energy rent-seekers often tout Germany as a paradise of renewable energy integration, but Germany is no role model for Minnesota to follow. Unless of course, it’s following Germany’s lead in keeping Minnesota’s coal plants open for another 19 years.
That’s correct, ladies and gentlemen, Germany, the country green energy folks love so dearly, has announced they will take a bold pledge to save the planet by quitting beautiful, clean, coal over the next 19 years. What leadership! How impressive!
Germany currently has 84 coal-fired power plants which supplied 37 percent of the nation’s electricity. You’ll notice the folks at Clean Energy Wire separate two coal categories, hard coal, and lignite, probably to confuses readers who won’t take the extra step to learn what lignite is, but this is a distinction without a difference. The truth of the matter is, Germany’s electric grid runs on beautiful clean, coal. Oh, and Russian natural gas.
German politicians couldn’t help but pat themselves on the back about this “historic accomplishment,” reports the L.A. Times. However, I think it’s important to question whether anything was really accomplished, other than politicians making grandiose gestures that are effectively free of substance.
“It’s a big moment for climate policy in Germany that could make the country a leader once again in fighting climate change,” said Claudia Kemfert, professor for energy economics at the DIW Berlin, the German Institute for Economic Research. “It’s also an important signal for the world that Germany is again getting serious about climate change: a very big industrial nation that depends so much on coal is switching it off.”
“Germany long saw itself as a global leader in fighting climate change but was forced to concede in recent years that it would by miss its target date of 2020 to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% from 1990. It is expected to be 32% below 1990 levels by next year.”
What’s really interesting is that German intends to keep shuttering its nuclear power fleet. So far, Germany has shut down 12 of the nation’s 19 nuclear reactors. Instead of using coal or nuclear power, Germany will be counting on renewable energy to provide 65 percent to 80 percent of the country’s power by 2040.
Germany’s decision to delay their exit from coal is a nod to sanity in a situation that sorely lacks it. For all the chastising Angela Merkel does of President Trump, her country will continue to lean upon coal, the fuel source that Trump has championed, for the next two decades. Who knows if the coal plants will even close then, all the politicians who announced this “historic accomplishment” will likely be out of office.
Classic politics, all show and no substance.