Germany’s Green-Energy Disaster A Warning To Canada, U.S.
Germany, historically the economic powerhouse of Europe, has been brought to its knees through its reckless pursuit of so-called “green energy,” while deliberately forfeiting its own energy security.
The disastrous result is a warning to all nations, including Canada, about the dangers of the ideological pursuit of low-carbon energy policies, without considering how they put reliable energy supplies at risk. [bold, links added]
For Germany, the latest blow came Monday when Russia announced it’s reducing its natural gas exports to Europe to 20% of capacity, having previously reduced it to 40%.
Because Germany, along with Europe, gets 40% of its natural gas from Russia, German citizens face skyrocketing energy prices this winter and shortages of natural gas to heat their homes.
This also risks plunging Germany into a recession while it pursues two conflicting policies — supporting Ukraine in its defensive war against Russia while financing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine because of its desperate need to buy Russian natural gas (and oil) to power its economy.
The root cause of all this has been Germany’s so-called “Energiewende” (energy transition) policy to convert Germany from a fossil fuel-based economy to a low-carbon one.
Combined with former German chancellor Angela Merkel’s disastrous decision in 2011 to phase out the country’s nuclear power plants in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster — caused by the combination of an earthquake and tsunami irrelevant in Germany — the country’s energy policies have become increasingly bizarre.
Particularly since Germany has for years billed itself as the green leader of Europe in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change.
But to make up for the lost energy from closing its nuclear plants — which produced no greenhouse gases or air pollution— Germany upped its consumption of coal to produce electricity — the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel, including lignite, or brown coal, which is especially dirty.
Because it was also investing heavily in unreliable wind and solar power, Germany had to increase its supply of natural gas — the cleanest burning fossil fuel — to make up for the loss of nuclear power as well as to back up intermittent wind and solar power, which cannot provide base-load power to the electricity grid on demand.
Because of that, Germany increasingly relied on importing natural gas and oil from Russia, as did many European countries.
This made Germany and Europe vulnerable to Putin’s decision to decrease their energy supplies in retaliation for Europe helping to finance Ukraine’s defensive war against his invasion, and for imposing economic sanctions on Russia.
Now, with Putin turning the energy screws on Europe in retaliation for arming Ukraine to fight his invading Russian soldiers, Germany and other European nations are restarting coal-fired power plants to make up for the loss of imported natural gas from Russia.
The lesson from all this is not that it makes the case for moving away from fossil fuels to so-called renewables faster, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, and other “green” politicians have argued.
It’s that attempting to move toward a so-called low-carbon economy while ignoring the need for energy security inevitably leads to disaster.
In fact, Germany’s energy disaster demonstrates why Canada is in the enviable position of having secure supplies of fossil fuel energy, including natural gas, which is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, and safe, non-emitting nuclear power.
Unless, of course, our current government screws that up, as well.
Read more at Toronto Sun
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