First of all, sorry for the lack of posting. I have had a very hectic few months, and something had to give. Apologies.
Having said that, today’s post will also be very short. There have been several posts in blogs which have been of interest, but one that stood out directed me to a story about wind-power in Germany. Here are some key quotes:
Sudden fluctuations in Germany’s power grid are causing major damage to a number of industrial companies. While many of them have responded by getting their own power generators and regulators to help minimize the risks, they warn that companies might be forced to leave if the government doesn’t deal with the issues fast.
At other industrial companies, executives at the highest levels are also thinking about freeing themselves from Germany’s electricity grid to cushion the consequences of the country’s transition to renewable energy.
Likewise, as more and more companies with sensitive control systems are securing production through batteries and generators, the companies that manufacture them are benefiting. “You can hardly find a company that isn’t worrying about its power supply,” said Joachim Pfeiffer, a parliamentarian and economic policy spokesman for the governing center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
Behind this worry stands the transition to renewable energy laid out by Chancellor Angela Merkel last year in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Though the transition has been sluggish so far, Merkel set the ambitious goals of boosting renewable energy to 35 percent of total power consumption by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050 while phasing out all of Germany’s nuclear power reactors by 2022.
The problem is, of course, the intermittent and unpredictable nature of solar and wind power. The real cost of renewables becomes apparent in the necessity for companies to invest in back-up power sources. Germany is on the leading edge of the transition to renewable energy, in particular in consideration of their retreat from nuclear power. As such, we can see Germany as pointing the direction as other economies come to rely on ‘renewable’ energy sources.
The question is this; does New Zealand want to continue down this path? As I have pointed out in previous posts, New Zealand is rushing down the road of wind energy, and the further it goes down this path, the more likely that similar problems to those of Germany will emerge here. The cost, as in Germany, will be less competitive industries, and/or the movement of industry out of New Zealand. In pragmatic terms, this can only mean the loss of jobs.
At what point will the idiocy of wind-power finally be acknowledged by politicians? As more and more evidence mounts to say that it is a complete waste money, no notice is being taken. Nobody, it seems, wants to risk upsetting the green lobby.