Volker Quaschning on the Coming Clash on Renewable in Germany

Volker Quaschning just published an article titled “Die Gegner der Energiewende” (the opponents of the shift to renewable energy).

There are a couple of interesting facts I learned from that.

For one, the big four utilities in Germany get only a measly 2% of their electricity from non-hydro renewable sources. That shows that they may have not been investing very aggressively in the future, to say it with a slight understatement.

Quaschning also points out that the ruling CDU and FDP coalition decided to phase out nuclear after their hand was forced by the Fukushima accident. But what they did not do at the time, they did not adjust the target for the share of renewable energy in 2020, which staid at the goal of 35%. That of course means that even if that goal is achieved, all that does is replace the nuclear generation that is phased out. The fossil fuel share will not go down.

In Quaschning’s opinion, that goal would have needed to be adjusted upward to at least 50%. I agree with that assessment. And I have another argument to back it up. Solar and wind are much cheaper than when the feed-in tariff system started. We can get much more capacity for much less money now than ten years ago. So we should do exactly that and save trillions of Euros in fossil fuel costs.

Quaschning doesn’t trust the CDU and FDP government. He thinks they are opponents of the shift to renewable energy.

My comment to that is: Be careful what you wish for. We may well be stuck with another four years of the same after the next election coming up later this year. While it would be very good news for renewable energy in Germany if the FDP gets booted out and we revert to competent management of these issues under a SPD and Green government, there is no guarantee for that.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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