With our European campaign in full flow, I don’t find myself with much time to browse through comments left on my twitter feed. But at the weekend, I happened upon this:
Please look at #Germany #Energiewende benefits on energy prices & competitiveness: http://raandreaskraemer.blogspot.de/2014/02/the-economic-or-competitive-advantages.html … @Number10gov.
Having clicked the Link, I found one of the most remarkable and misleading pieces of self-serving puffery for the renewables industry I’d seen for a long time. I suspect few people have invested the time into reading Mr. Kraemer, but I can tell you that if you had, you’d think that renewables were the best thing since sliced bread.
For a more balanced view, I would recommend you try reading Der Spiegel, which has repeatedly covered the disaster being created in Germany by the quest for renewables.
Bear in mind that it was the EU Energy Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, who also happens to be from Germany, that said, “Europe can no longer afford to pursue a unilateral climate policy”. And EU Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani who said that European energy prices, driven by the costs of “green” energy, were creating an “industrial massacre”. Strong language, but entirely justified.
Perhaps Mr. Kraemer should consider Bjorn Lomborg’s analysis, which accepts the underlying IPCC Global Warming theory, but still concludes that the $100 billion-plus wasted by Germany on solar photo-voltaic will have the effect, by 2100, of delaying the progress of global warming by no more than a few hours. Given that there’s been no global warming for seventeen years, a few hours is effectively zero.
Mr. Kraemer might like to reflect on the FT report “High energy prices drive BMW factory to the USA” Or on the letter to José Manuel Barroso from the Chief Executive of international chemicals group Solvay and thirteen other leaders of major energy intensive industries, pointing out that high energy prices risk forcing them out of the EU altogether, taking their jobs and their investment with them.
He may like to reflect on BASF’s announcement that they are cutting back investment in the EU, citing energy prices explicitly, and for the first time ever planning to invest more outside Europe than inside. Or on the letter from Jim Ratcliffe, CEO of chemicals group INEOS, arguing that the European chemicals industry “will be extinct in ten years” unless we resolve the energy price issue.
Kraemer should also consider the experience of Fritz Vahrenholt, former green activist and politician who became a director of Shell, and later ran RWE’s renewables business Innogy in Germany. He became so disillusioned with the performance of German renewables that he took a close look at the underlying theory of climate change, and convinced himself that the IPCC orthodoxy was largely mistaken. In his book “The Neglected Sun” he argues cogently that the main influence on terrestrial climate is solar and other astronomical cycles, not man-made CO2.
Kraemer makes much of “Green Jobs”, apparently unaware of repeated research studies, like that by Verso Economics, showing that each green job costs several real jobs in the real economy. Green policies damage employment. And in any case most of the green jobs created seem to be in China, at least for solar PV. He also argues for the benefits of green energy in terms of import substitution and reducing fossil fuel imports, apparently oblivious to studies by Gorgon Hughes of Edinburgh University, and others, showing that intermittent renewables export inefficiency to the essential fossil-fuel back-up, so that to a large extent the savings in fuel used, and in emissions, are off-set by the back-up.
And the final irony? After years of almost unbelievable investment in green energy, Germany is now rushing to build or refurbish a couple of dozen coal-fired power stations! It is importing cheap American coal to power them. And it is increasing its emissions. Well done guys. And wake up at the back there, Mr. Kraemer.