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Sun Dec 8, 2013, 05:00 PM

Der Spiegel: How German Electricity Became A Luxury Item.

Last edited Mon Dec 9, 2013, 12:20 PM - Edit history (2)


Some relevant excerpts of the article noting that the German energy policy is being carried out on the backs of those who can least afford it, the poor, the old, the dispossessed.

...Altmaier and others are on a mission to help people save money on their electricity bills, because they're about to receive some bad news. The government predicts that the renewable energy surcharge added to every consumer's electricity bill will increase from 5.3 cents today to between 6.2 and 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour -- a 20-percent price hike.

German consumers already pay the highest electricity prices in Europe. But because the government is failing to get the costs of its new energy policy under control, rising prices are already on the horizon. Electricity is becoming a luxury good in Germany, and one of the country's most important future-oriented projects is acutely at risk...


Paying Big for Nothing

For society as a whole, the costs have reached levels comparable only to the euro-zone bailouts. This year, German consumers will be forced to pay €20 billion ($26 billion) for electricity from solar, wind and biogas plants -- electricity with a market price of just over €3 billion. Even the figure of €20 billion is disputable if you include all the unintended costs and collateral damage associated with the project. Solar panels and wind turbines at times generate huge amounts of electricity, and sometimes none at all. Depending on the weather and the time of day, the country can face absurd states of energy surplus or deficit.

Some indication that it is the uneducated bourgeois brats who suffer from this calamity, but - this is a disgrace - the poor:

When Stefan Becker of the Berlin office of the Catholic charity Caritas makes a house call, he likes to bring along a few energy-saving bulbs. Many residents still use old light bulbs, which consume a lot of electricity but are cheaper than newer bulbs. "People here have to decide between spending money on an expensive energy-saving bulb or a hot meal," says Becker. In other words, saving energy is well and good -- but only if people can afford it.

According to the article, if a poor German's electricity is shut off because he cannot afford the prices brought on by the bourgeois brats in Germany's Green Party, the poor person must come up with €100 for a "reconnection fee." This recalls Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickeled and Dimed" where the poor are continually dogged with fees and expenses because they are, um, poor.

More on the effect of redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich...

...and of course, the damages done to the environment...

...done by the disastrous German energy policy...

...can be found at the original link.

Note: It was necessary to remove some of the quotes from this article because apparently the original quote violated DU's policy of four paragraphs of excerpts for copyrighted articles. My guess is that there was an alert from someone who doesn't like the content of the article, because it points up that the German energy policy is, in affect, a redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich, but be that as it may, I certainly appreciate that in any case the policy must be respected and I apologize for not having been aware of it. The text has been edited as well in this post. -NNadir 12/09/13, 11:17 EST.

A fascinating article, translated from the original German into English by Christopher Sultan.

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Reply Der Spiegel: How German Electricity Became A Luxury Item. (Original post)
NNadir Dec 2013 OP
Wilms Dec 2013 #1
NNadir Dec 2013 #3
FreakinDJ Dec 2013 #9
NickB79 Dec 2013 #13
kristopher Dec 2013 #2
NNadir Dec 2013 #6
kristopher Dec 2013 #8
FreakinDJ Dec 2013 #10
kristopher Dec 2013 #11
NNadir Dec 2013 #12
marsis Dec 2013 #4
kristopher Dec 2013 #7
marsis Dec 2013 #17
kristopher Dec 2013 #30
tsuki Dec 2013 #5
hunter Dec 2013 #14
kristopher Dec 2013 #15
NNadir Dec 2013 #16
kristopher Dec 2013 #18
NNadir Dec 2013 #19
kristopher Dec 2013 #20
NNadir Dec 2013 #21
kristopher Dec 2013 #22
NNadir Dec 2013 #33
Iterate Dec 2013 #23
Iterate Dec 2013 #24
Iterate Dec 2013 #25
kristopher Dec 2013 #29
Iterate Dec 2013 #32
gopiscrap Dec 2013 #26
Iterate Dec 2013 #27
NNadir Dec 2013 #28
kristopher Dec 2013 #31

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 05:06 PM

1. The ONLY answer is more nuclear power.


And given the number of volunteers, like you, ready to do melt-down clean-up duty, it seems like a good deal to me.

Are you posting from Fukushima now? How's it goin' there?

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Response to Wilms (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 05:36 PM

3. The opening statement is correct, the sarcasm afterwards may be addressed by noting...

...that 100% of the deaths associated with Fukushima have come from the replacement of the reactors with dangerous fossil fuels, abetted by the coal, oil and gas burned by people running servers to express their dire fantasies that Fukushima actually killed someone.

I note, with due contempt, that very little coal, oil and gas has been burned to phase out coastal cities and buildings in Japan and elsewhere, even though these things, unlike the nuclear reactors, killed hundreds of thousands of people in both the Sendai/Fukushima accident, and the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake/Tidal wave.

Scientists from around the world published a survey of the burden of disease for the period from 1990 to 2010 in Lancet, examining the causes of death from various kind of risks. It found that air pollution is responsible for more than 6 million deaths per year.


Lancet 2012; 380: 2224–60

This covers the period after Chernobyl by the way, and is a worldwide survey, the largest of its kind ever performed.

Deaths from nuclear energy appear nowhere in the document, zero places.

The great climate scientist Jim Hansen has calculated, on balance, including both Fukushima's expected consequences and Chernobyl's observed one that nuclear energy has saved 1.84 million lives.


It follows that anti-nuke fear and ignorance costs human lives., irrespective of the sarcasm of people who couldn't care less about any of the vast, overwhelming environmental and human tragedies underway except for Fukushima, a relative triviality except in the minds of people who can't think to well,

As noted in the OP, this fantasy not only kills people, but it further impoverishes those who can least afford it. I don't know why anyone else is a Democrat, but - as hopeless as it is becoming as the bourgeois take over this party - I'm an Eleanor Roosevelt Democrat, and part of my concern extends to the poor and downtrodden.

Nuclear energy need not be perfect to be vastly superior to all other alternatives. It only needs to be vastly superior, which it is.

It is amazing that there are people so weak minded as to not see this, despite more than half a century of nuclear operations.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 06:37 PM

9. How Much Global Warming Is Guaranteed Even If We Stopped Building Coal-Fired Power Plants Today?


How Much Global Warming Is Guaranteed Even If We Stopped Building Coal-Fired Power Plants Today?

Humanity has yet to reach the point of no return when it comes to catastrophic climate change, according to new calculations. If we content ourselves with the existing fossil-fuel infrastructure we can hold greenhouse gas concentrations below 450 parts per million in the atmosphere and limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels—both common benchmarks for international efforts to avoid the worst impacts of ongoing climate change—according to a new analysis in the September 10 issue of Science. The bad news is we are adding more fossil-fuel infrastructure—oil-burning cars, coal-fired power plants, industrial factories consuming natural gas—every day.

A team of scientists analyzed the existing fossil-fuel infrastructure to determine how much greenhouse gas emissions we have committed to if all of that kit is utilized for its entire expected lifetime. The answer: an average of 496 billion metric tons more of carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere between now and 2060 in "committed emissions".

That assumes life spans of roughly 40 years for a coal-fired power plant and 17 years for a typical car—potentially major under- and overestimates, respectively, given that some coal-fired power plants still in use in the U.S. first fired up in the 1950s. Plugging that roughly 500 gigatonne number into a computer-generated climate model predicted CO2 levels would then peak at less than 430 ppm with an attendant warming of 1.3 degrees C above preindustrial average temperature. That's just 50 ppm higher than present levels and 150 ppm higher than preindustrial atmospheric concentrations.

Still, we are rapidly approaching a point of no return, cautions climate modeler Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science's Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, who participated in the study. "There is little doubt that more CO2-emitting devices will be built," the researchers wrote. After all, the study does not take into account all the enabling infrastructure—such as highways, gas stations and refineries—that contribute inertia that holds back significant changes to lower-emitting alternatives, such as electric cars.


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Response to FreakinDJ (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 10:35 PM

13. I see two major errors with that study

1) They make no mention of taking into account major positive feedback mechanisms we're just now starting to notice, primarily methane release from a warming Arctic. The amount of GHG trapped in the permafrost and hydrates is enough to devastate the climate, and there are signs they've already entered feedback status.

2) They say this:

The U.S.—the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases per person, among major countries—has continued a transition to less CO2-intensive energy use that started in the early 20th century. Natural gas—which emits 40 percent less CO2 than coal when burned—now dominates new power plants (nearly 188 gigawatts added since 2000) along with wind (roughly 28 gigawatts added), a trend broadly similar to other developed nations such as Japan or Germany.

The switch to natural gas in the US hasn't actually translated into a reduction in GHG's, because: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=us-methane-emissions-prove-higher

The study also focuses attention on Texas and nearby states as a source of nearly a quarter of the country's human-related methane emissions. "We've learned that methane emissions from the south-central United States are probably a lot higher than existing estimates," Miller explained.

Miller's research finds that, in 2007 and 2008, U.S. emissions of methane from human-related sources were 33.4 teragrams of carbon equivalent per year. That number is significantly higher than EPA's methane budget, which puts U.S. emissions for 2008 at 22.1 teragrams of carbon equivalent per year.

"The results show that the emissions ... are about 1½ times the EPA estimate," said Steven Wofsy, a professor of atmospheric and environmental chemistry at Harvard and a co-author of the study.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 05:28 PM

2. Still trying to greenwash the behavior of the megaCorps, eh?

In one breath you promote their false claims about the renewable competition, in the next you pretend you give a shit about the people their cost shifting behavior is putting the burden on.
The good news is that no matter what you or the mega-corporations say or do, the renewable tide is coming in to give control of and profits from energy back to the people.

"From the utility's perspective, the challenge with distributed generation is that the utility doesn't own the generating assets and the distributed power takes stress off the existing infrastructure. Since utilities generate profits from having more assets to generate a return on, that poses a problem. Depending on how a utility is regulated, the problem can be enormous."

1 Industry Terrified of Solar Power
By Travis Hoium
December 7, 2013

For decades, the utility monopoly in the U.S. has been an investor's dream. Companies could generate a guaranteed return on assets, protecting profits year after year with little fear of competition.

But the solar industry has suddenly thrown a wrench in that model. The centralized power model is predicated on having the utility own, or buy, power and then distributing it to customers. Solar allows customers to be the generators and even to sell power to the utility, which is known as distributed solar.

This is an incredibly disruptive model, and now that solar energy is cost-efficient for homeowners, it's spreading across the country like wildfire. SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY ) and SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR ) have made $0 down solar leases possible, and solar loans are available for homeowners as well. As costs fall, the solar industry becomes more and more attractive to homeowners, which puts utilities in a terrifying position.

Distributed generation changes everything
From the utility's perspective, the challenge with distributed generation is that the utility doesn't own the generating assets and the distributed power takes stress off the existing infrastructure. Since utilities generate profits from having more assets to generate a return on, that poses a problem. Depending on how a utility is regulated, the problem can be enormous.

Utilities that are...


That's certainly a strong motivation for the utilities and owners of nuclear assets to lie about the situation, isn't it?

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Response to kristopher (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 05:41 PM

6. Thank you for quoting the fool investment websites. I'm, um, unimpressed.

My concern is not with asshole investor websites "thoughts" and comments.

My concern is with the poor.

The fact is that Germany, except for Denmark, has the highest electricity prices in Europe, and the rich can get exemptions and the costs fall on the poor.

It's unsurprising to me that you neither get it nor care about it.

Actually, I think Der Spiegel is a more reliable source than some bourgeois brat's website for day traders when it comes to German affairs, but if there's one thing that differentiates me from you, it's the source material.

Now, why don't you tell me all about the day trader community's efforts to send LED light bulbs to poor people about to have their electricity shut off in Germany.

That would be impressive.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 05:45 PM

8. Your concern is *exclusively* with the nuclear industry.

Your behavior and attempts to mislead can't be interpreted any other way.

SEP 5, 2013 1
Nuclear Power’s Renaissance in Reverse

Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt

PARIS – Last June, Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), declared that “nuclear power will make a significant and growing contribution to sustainable development in the coming decades.” But, as this year’s World Nuclear Industry Status Report highlights, recent trends paint a very different picture.

Duke Energy, America’s largest utility, has shelved plans to build two reactors in Florida, after having spent $1 billion on the project. The decision came only three months after the company abandoned investment in two new units in North Carolina.

In fact, this year, four American utilities have decided to shut down a total of five reactors permanently – the first closures in the United States in 15 years. One of the units – Kewaunee Power Station in Wisconsin – was abandoned after massive investment in upgrades and a 60-year license renewal; it simply could not generate power at competitive prices. For the same reasons, Vermont Yankee, another plant with a license to operate through 2032, is now scheduled to close in 2014.

Similarly, the world’s largest nuclear operator – the French state-controlled utility Électricité de France – announced its impending withdrawal from nuclear power in the US, after having sunk roughly $2 billion into aborted projects. And, in order to help offset soaring operating costs, which resulted in losses of €1.5 billion ($2 billion) last year, EDF will raise electricity prices this year for its French customers by 5%, on average, and by another 5% next year.

Over the five years ending in March 2013, EDF lost 85% of its share value. Likewise, the world’s largest nuclear builder – the French state-controlled company AREVA – lost up to 88% of its share value between 2008 and 2012....

Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/the-global-decline-of-nuclear-energy-by-mycle-schneider-and-antony-froggatt#8EpbwxPY3k8FOp8A.99

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Response to kristopher (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 06:40 PM

10. 27% Reduction in World Crop Yeilds due to Global Warming by 2050


Sounds like "Selective Reading" on your part.

The effects of Co2 are going to be catastrophic upon the world's poor

27% Reduction in World Crop Yeilds due to Global Warming by 2050


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Response to FreakinDJ (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 08:18 PM

11. Meaning: the high speed and low cost of renewables is crucial to a transition from carbon.

I already knew that.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 09:01 PM

12. Thank you for offering another opinion on a subject you know nothing about.

The subject in this question is my ethical universe.

For the record, as I have made clear many times, I was once a dumb, uneducated anti-nuke, but I changed my mind.

I did so after Chernobyl blew up - leaving my heart in my throat - and to my surprise, after believing the horseshit handed to me over the years by shit for brains people, like say, the membership of the Union of Concerned "Scientists," millions of people failed to die.

Now, I do recognize that bourgeois brats who spend their days with stupid daydreams about the Tesla electric car for billionaires and millionaires, etc, live in an ethical universe populated by other people who think that the only reason to do something is for money, but I remain unimpressed - well that may be too wimpy a word, "unimpressed" - perhaps I should say "I hold this view in contempt.

Jim Hansen, for one example, did not start his career to promote nuclear energy. Neither did Richard Leakey. Both of these men, to list only a few well known examples inhabit a moral universe.

Now, if I thought that the anti-nukes here inhabited such a universe, I might have more respect for them. I mean, there is a Catholic Charity that's trying to buy poor people in Germany compact fluorescent bulbs, and maybe even LED's because the price of electricity is so high in that country because of the activities of rich clueless kids who make up the so called "Green" Party in that coal burning hell hole. You would think they might donate a few bucks to the charity, or, if they object to Catholicism, a similar charity. But I don't expect any ethical understanding at all from these kinds of people. They are all, from what I can tell, materialist consumers obsessed with verifying, no matter who suffers, their dim bulb view of the universe. What I expect from them is what I see: Morally and technically oblivious posts about how $107,500 electric BMWs will save the world.


Have a wonderful week.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 05:37 PM

4. Energy storage will be the determining


factor in renewable sources. Science has looked into fly wheels, batteries, molten salt etc. This has always been a problem I've thought about as to how these energy sources can be utilized during non-generating periods. Funny, one rarely sees this situation addressed in the media.

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Response to marsis (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 05:43 PM

7. Not really. Current research and experience have altered our understanding

The role of storage is far less than it would seem intuitively.

I just addressed the same idea elsewhere.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 11:39 AM

17. Thanks


I read that but didn't really see how you would store it. All those vehicle batteries that were stated for "storage" would then not be fully charged in the morning.
Sure hope they get a handle on this.

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Response to marsis (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 10, 2013, 08:32 PM

30. It would be an economic decision, here are some references.


All of the (considerable) research says the market aspect and the technology will work. Stats tell us that vehicles are parked on average more than 95% of the time. With a battery that allows more than 200 miles (Tesla's standard) or more, and since most people only drive 35 miles/day on average, there should be plenty of capacity for most drivers to be able to participate without negative impacts - especially considering the financial incentives.

You'll notice that the top US energy regulator is a strong proponent of this technology; he sees it as a key element of a stable electric supply going forward.

This article appeared this past weekend:
Honda experimenting with UD's 'vehicle to grid' technology
Automaker researching 'vehicle to grid'

“It is a big step toward a future with widespread availability of the technology to have Honda join our demonstration with their V2G-capable car,” Kempton said.

Researchers and Honda will continue to collaborate for longer-term testing in conjunction with the grid, Kempton said. It’s up to Honda if that company wants to put it in a mass-produced vehicle, in which case UD would grant the manufacturer a license to use its technology, Kempton said.

“This technology has the potential to support both a cleaner and more efficient power grid and a more positive ownership experience” for electric vehicle customers, said Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office of American Honda Motor Co.

The technology to send power in two directions is new, said Marcos Frommer, a spokesman for Honda. There are technical and regulatory obstacles that need to be overcome, but eventually they envision using it in electric vehicles offered for sale, Frommer said.

UD already is working with BMW...


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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2013, 05:40 PM

5. This is a trend that is world wide. The old technologies cannot

adapt, so they are pushing back.

In Spain, rooftop solar PV units are being dismantled to avoid the punitive retro-tax. Having rooftop solar units, whether you are connected to the grid or not, will make the electricity you generate cost more than buying from the grid. The Czech Republic is eyeing a punitive tax for solar and wind.

Meanwhile in Australia, electricity generated from rooftop solar PV has surpassed the 3GW.

Yes, it is causing problems with the electrical companies, but they are looking at solutions, not suppression of solar.

Everywhere should become like Singapore or Beijing. Get a mask.

And in the US, ALEC is proposing a $100 a month tax on rooftop solar PV, because the fossil fuel industry is whining.

Oh, and by the way, there is a new drilling platform at the Deepwater site with oil slicks

1 about 2 miles northeast of it, about 2 nm long and about 100 m wide
2 northwest almost directly from the new platform — this one almost 2 sq nm (4 sq km) in size
3 1 nm to the east, which is about the same size as the smaller one to the north
4 south of here, which was about 1 nm long (north-south) and about 50 m wide.

There are even more, read about it


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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 12:05 AM

14. Kick...

...'cause whenever they turn off my electricity when I can't pay (Smart Meters! Yay!) then we just enjoy the dark until we can pay.

I'm fortunate to live in a climate where the pipes don't freeze and it's never too hot to sleep at night. My wife and I have friends and neighbors who don't heat or cool their homes at all. My parents are even more extreme -- they retired and ran off to a rain forest. The water they drink and bathe in is collected off their roof. Electricity? They can take it or leave it. They eat local food. I've never been to their retirement digs. If civilization collapses tomorrow maybe I'll find a sailboat and visit them. It's only a day's walk from the nearest beach. I even own a sextant and a tough accurate watch, just in case...

I'm unfortunate to live in a society without socialized medicine. I joke around with the poor miserable people whose job it is to collect medical bills. Most of them are nice, it's the only job they could get. No reason to be mean to them. The rare nasty, threatening bill collectors I just laugh at. There's a kind of freedom having a credit rating in the toilet.

I've been with my doctor more than twenty years now, he sees me whether I'm paid up or not, insured or uninsured. Maybe I'm entertaining and I've never been more than a year behind paying him, although there have been times I've avoided him because I owe him money. My wife and I have been uninsurable. We've run out expensive COBRAs to the bitter end. Our current mediocre insurance is through her work.

I've got just enough solar power that my DSL connection, phone, and $10 junkyard laptop won't go silent for lack of electricity. If I fall below that standard I still have a library card and friends. My homeless person skills are up-to-date if no family will tolerate me, or if I'm under-medicated and unable to tolerate them.

I'm a very fortunate human being. I've never been among the "uneducated bourgeois brats."

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 01:19 AM

15. What do you think of Canada Free Press?

They are a hard right wing news site in Canada. The reason I mention them is to bring the nature of your positions into focus. I've said many times that you are pushing right wing memes on the nature of the energy debate, and I say it now again. Your claims of caring about the poor while promoting false information about renewable energy and nuclear are simply not tenable. You've been posting the same abusive screeds for years, and it is time to draw the correlation between your arguments and the wider group of people who embrace them in a more honest fashion. Neither of the lists below were winnowed from a larger pool of material, they accurately represent the consistent coverage that interests the readership of that putrid site.
Now, I doubt most people here would question the fact that the viewpoint this site typifies cares very little for facts or accuracy. That lack of credibility doesn't suddenly disappear when a rabid fan of nuclear power consistently brings those same false right wing arguments onto DU and cloaks their intent with rude diatribes about "the poor" intended to belittle the motives of DUers who know that renewable energy is a tool of common people while nuclear is, in fact, the flagship of centralized control of energy.

The fact is that the bulk of support for nuclear energy comes from the same group of people who support more coal, more petroleum, and more natural gas. Yes, there are a few on the progressive side of the fence who, like Hansen, arrive at their conclusions based on climate change, but you'll not hear that group attacking renewable energy sources in the manner shown on the right-wing echo vhamber sampled below.

My apologies to other DUers for dragging here material from a right wing cesspool, but the point needs to be demonstrated, not just asserted.

Their motto:
Welcome to Canada Free Press
...Because without America there is no Free World

A partial list of their choice of coverage on their front page right now. I think it gives a great sample of their perspective, don't you?

Cover Stories, News

The Vatican and the Poor
By Jonathon Moseley
Pope Pius XI: No one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist

‘President Latch-on’ knows how to find the limelight
By Judi McLeod
There should be no Me, Me, Me invading anybody's funeral

Egyptians’ right of protest is now regulated or obstructed?
By Dr. Ashraf Ramelah
The one question no one seems to be asking is what will happen if a protest permit is denied

West Antarctic Ice Melt; Water or Fire?
By Timothy Birdnow
Volcanoes Melting Antarctic Ice

American Politics, Freedom, Canadian Politics

Lies, Lawlessness and License – The Obama Legacy?
By Rev. Michael Bresciani
How much approval can Barack Obama win from God or America for subverting an entire nation?

– removing voters from government decision-making
By Rolf Yungclas
We can’t afford to let our freedom continue to be eroded and replaced by a central authority that tells us what to do

Walmart Encourages Grinch Accusations
By Michael R. Shannon
Unions, Black Friday, Large Retailer Accountability Act, Associates in Critical Need Trust

Politico Magazine: Obama NEVER met one-on-one with Kathleen Sebelius from 2010-2013
By Robert Laurie
Too busy for his all-important 'signature legislation?'

Obama administration about to give wind farms a free pass on killing bald eagles
By Robert Laurie
'Green energy' trumps protected national symbols, or something

Sarah Palin for US Senate
By Arthur Christopher Schaper
She is no King (or Queen) Maker in elections, but would she be an excellent US Senate candidate

Congress Wants to Tax Your Christmas Tree
By Heritage Foundation--Amy Payne
Congress might as well throw in a jingle bell tax, too

You’re Too Old for MRI under Obama Care
By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh
It is foreseeable that by 2015, most private plans will be gone, replaced by a single-payer IRS/HHS government-run insurance

Now that we've established what it is these CFR folks actually value in life, let's look at some of their other coverage, this time on the topic of energy.

The list was taken from a site search using /germany energy/. The stories included are only the top part of the list, there are many more. I limited myself to how many tabs I could open in my browser before it starting hiding them.

Conventional Power Plants Increasingly Uneconomic
Germany’s Energy Chaos

By Guest Column Dr. Benny Peise

As Germany shifts towards green energy, even the operation of nuclear reactors is now becoming uneconomic. The operators of Germany’s nuclear power plants are considering to shut them down early. However, the nuclear reactors are indispensable for the security of electricity supply in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. “The Federal Government would then be in the highly embarrassing situation of having to ban the decommissioning of nuclear power plants,” said Stephan Kohler, head of the German Energy Agency.—Daniel Wetzel, Die Welt, 14 August 2013

One of the world’s biggest green-energy public-policy experiments is coming to a bitter end in Germany
Germany’s Energy Lesson

By Jack Dini (Bio and Archives)

Germany’s experiment with subsidizing inefficient solar technology has failed. “One of the world’s biggest green-energy public-policy experiments is coming to a bitter end in Germany, with important lessons for policymakers elsewhere,” reports Bjorn Lomborg. (1)

Germany once prided itself on being the ‘photovoltaic world champion’, doling out generous subsidies—totaling more than $130 billion to citizens to invest in solar energy. But now the German government is vowing to cut the subsidies sooner than planned, and to phase out support over the next five years.

Solar power is at least four times more costly than energy produced by fossil fuels. It also has the distinct disadvantage of not working at night, when much electricity is consumed. Also, on short, overcast winter days, the 1.1 million solar-power systems can generate no electricity at all. The country is then forced to import considerable amounts of electricity from nuclear power plants in France and the Czech Republic. (1)

Defenders of Germany’s solar subsidies claim that they have helped to create ‘green jobs.’ But each green job created by green energy policies cost an average $175,000, while some are as high as $240,000.(2) And many ‘green jobs’ are being exported to China, meaning that Europeans subsidize Chinese jobs, with no CO2 reductions...

Americans should watch what is happening in Germany regarding the electricity rate base and in other parts of Europe, such as Spain, in their march to build renewable power
Germany’s Energy Policy: Man-Made Crisis Now Costing Billions

By Institute for Energy Research (Bio and Archives) Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The German people are “up in arms” about energy. Yes, energy—the commodity that affects us every day—our clothes, our food, our entertainment, our transportation, and even our medical treatments. For Germans, electricity prices are soaring as a result of phasing out nuclear power and mandating renewable energy. Consumers in Germany are facing the biggest electricity price increase in a decade and those price increases will continue. It is estimated that by 2030, Germany will have spent more than 300 billion Euros on green electricity. And consumer groups are complaining that about 800,000 German households can no longer pay for their energy bills.

If this rise in energy prices continues, household energy bills could exceed the rent Germans pay for housing in parts of the country. Because renewable technologies are not economic compared to traditional fossil fuel technologies, Germans have had and will continue to pay an additional increasing premium for their use. Because of this premium, electricity prices are expected to increase by over 10 percent next year—the largest increase in a decade. Americans should watch what is happening in Germany regarding the electricity rate base and in other parts of Europe, such as Spain, in their march to build renewable power.

The German Electricity Sector
The German government wants 80 percent of its energy to be produced by renewable sources by 2050; biomass, wind, and solar currently make up about 25 percent of the country’s electricity supply. The country has begun to take fossil fuel power stations offline and is planning to phase out nuclear energy by 2022. However, the cost of these changes has resulted in up to 800,000 households not being able to pay their bills and placed a strain on existing capacity in the electrical grid. Although Germany has made significant investment in wind and solar power, it faces an energy shortfall, partly because it has insufficient transmission lines to bring wind power from the North Sea to the industrial centers in the south and partly because the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow...(i)

German Energy Giants Threaten Shutdown Of Power Plants
Germany’s Looming Energy Disaster

By Guest Column Dr. Benny Peiser (Bio and Archives) Tuesday, July 16, 2013

German operators of coal and gas power plants are sounding the alarm: the operation of many power plants is no longer profitable as a result of the green energy transition. Dozens of plants could be closed down, the industry warns. Of approximately 90,000 megawatts of conventional power capacity in Germany up to 20 percent could be shut down, the newspaper quoted the CEO of a utility. In the worst case scenario, Germany would face blackouts. So far, the Federal Network Agency has received 15 applications to close down power plants, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. E.ON, the largest energy company in Germany, has decided to close down eleven power plants in Europe by 2015. Its competitor RWE announced similar shut down plans.—Reuters, 16 July 2013

Skyrocketing electricity prices are making electricity unaffordable for a large number of Germans
Germany’s Green Energy Policy Hit Households Hard

By Jack Dini (Bio and Archives) Sunday, June 10, 2012

Many people in Germany are no longer able to pay their electricity bills. Skyrocketing electricity prices are making electricity unaffordable for a large number of Germans. The past year over 600,000 households had their power switched off in Germany because they can’t afford the skyrocketing electric bills.(1)

It’s one way of reducing carbon emissions—just catapult your population back to the Stone Age. This is not a joke. For example, while Germany, Poland and Great Britain were responsible for 56% of the greenhouse gas emission increase in 2010 (a 2.4% jump from 2009), three countries that have crashed economically, Greece, Spain and Portugal, had large emissions savings. (2)

The upward trend in electricity prices in Germany has continued unabated in the first half of 2012. Since January, about 420 suppliers have increased their prices by an average of 3.5 percent. (3)

According to a recent study, the green energy transition could cost German consumers up to 60 percent more by 2020 compared to 2011. Overall, the renewables costs may total 175 billion euros by 2020. (4) So farm Germany has committed over 100 billion euros to renewable energy, all to be paid for by the consumer. Little wonder that today almost a seventh of Germany’s population is now living in ‘energy poverty’. (1)

High use of renewable energy in eastern Germany driven by government green energy policies is causing instability to its own electric grid
Germany’s Green Energy Destabilizing Electric Grids

By Institute for Energy Research (Bio and Archives) Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Germany is phasing out its nuclear plants in favor of wind and solar energy backed-up by coal power. The government’s transition to these intermittent green energy technologies is causing havoc with its electric grid and that of its neighbors—countries that are now building switches to turn off their connection with Germany at their borders.

The intermittent power is causing destabilization of the electric grids causing potential blackouts, weakening voltage and causing damage to industrial equipment.

The instability of the electric grid is just one of many issues that the German government is facing regarding its move to intermittent renewable technologies. As we have previously reported, residential electricity prices in Germany are some of the highest in Europe and are increasing dramatically (currently Germans pay 34 cents a kilowatt hour compared to an average of 12 cents in the United States). This year German electricity rates are about to increase by over 10 percent due mainly to a surcharge for using more renewable energy and a further 30 to 50 percent price increase is expected in the next ten years. These changes in the electricity generation market have caused about 800,000 German households to no longer be able to afford their energy bills...

Government Fears Voter Anger About Electricity Prices Explosion
Germany’s Green Energy Panic

By Guest Column Dr. Benny Peiser (Bio and Archives) Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Germany’s revolutionary switch to renewable energies is stalling and the country’s new environment minister has now admitted as much by casting doubt on the ambitious goals set last year.—Spiegel Online, 17 July 2012

Is the green energy transition crumbling? The German government fears the price explosion - and punishment by voters. Concern about rising electricity prices is politically understandable. Because with all due sympathy for nuclear phase-out and green energy - if their own money is involved, many citizens do not care much about their green principles anymore. And since the green energy transformation is one of the key projects of Chancellor Angela Merkel, the voters’ anger about price increases could also be expressed by withdrawing of support for those responsible in the general election in 2013. This is at least what many in the coalition government fear. Philipp Wittrock and Florian Gathmann, Spiegel Online, 17 July 2012...

Germany has put the closure of all its nuclear reactors on the fast track since the Fukushima accident and will use climate fund cash to build coal and natural gas plants
Germany’s Green Energy Fiascos

By Jack Dini (Bio and Archives) Thursday, June 14, 2012

Germany, one of the countries that leads the world in preaching the global warming doctrine and insists the rest of the world do as it says, should re-evaluate itself in regards to its environmental on-goings.

Their newest goal is to minimize their ecological footprint. Thursdays are veggie days, and old-fashioned, hand-cranked washing machines are back in vogue. Websites offer environmental tips for all kinds of situations, from cosmetics based on the phases of the moon to vibrators made of plastic without chemical softeners. There are urns made of cornstarch and coffins made in an environmentally correct manner—a final good deed before everything turns to compost. They buy organic food, put E10 in their gas tanks and switch to green electricity. Their roofs are covered in solar panels and walls are plastered with insulation. This makes them feel good about themselves, reports Alexander Neubacher. (1)

He adds, “When something benefits the environment, the need to justify it suddenly disappears. The green label eliminates all controversy. And political parties are essentially in agreement that society cannot do enough for the environment. No progressive politician wants to expose himself to the career-ending suspicion that he lacks environmental consciousness. However, on closer inspection, some of the ‘environmental friendly’ issues aren’t working out so well.” (1)

According to the rules of Germany’s dual system of waste management, when yogurt containers are put into the recycling bin, they have to be ‘completely empty,’ drop-free’, and ‘spoon-clean.'...

Virtually everything claimed in the stories from the above energy list is just as distorted, inaccurate and agenda driven as the stories front page stories listed above them.

If anyone wants to verify this information, you'll have to google it, I won't post a link here as that has (wisely) long been against DU policy; and there is are darned good reasons for that, IMO.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 08:13 AM

16. If one lives by googling and cut and paste sound bites...

...one probably is not much of a thinker.

There is a logical fallacy called "Guilt by Association."


If a someone asserts that Adolf Hitler thought that the sky is blue, this does not prove that the sky is green.

The person asserting that the sky is green because Hitler said it was blue is, frankly, an idiot.

There are tons of sources showing that the German energy policy has produced some of the highest electricity prices and that the poor suffer as a result.

One must have no life whatsoever to spend one's time pulling up cut and pastes from the right wing press in order to prove that the sky is green.

Germany has the second highest electricity prices in Europe, after Denmark.


All the wiggling in the world will not change that fact.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 01:57 PM

18. "Germany has the second highest electricity prices in Europe, after Denmark"

It isn't whether that factoid is true that is at issue. The issue is whether or not that factoid is placed in a proper context of other facts or whether one or a few "facts" are extracted from their actual context and rewoven into a false narrative.

As I've done to your claims hundreds of times before I could spend a lot of time creating a boring point by point rebuttal to demonstrate how you are twisting those few 'facts' into something bearing absolutely no resemblance to the larger reality, or I can demonstrate quickly and efficiently that your message is coming from a group of ideologues that use such a strategy as a matter of routine.

I've done both. Your message has far more in common with those populating the pages of the CFP than it does with the message of Hansen.

And I'll close by pointing out the logical fallacy of accepting Hansen as an expert on energy systems and using him as an appeal to authority. UK's top climate scientist is on the record stating that carbon capture and sequestration for coal is the only possible answer to eliminating carbon. Is he correct also because he is a top climate scientist?

That's a rhetorical question. Neither of them are correct. CCS is unworkable in the time frame and scale needed, and nuclear presents the problems of high cost, safety, waste and nuclear proliferation. If there were no alternative it might make sense to pursue both options, but we DO have the alternative of renewable energy.

The renewable course is recognized by energy systems experts around the world as the hands-down best solution to put our efforts behind in the fight against carbon; which of course, is why you spend your time trashing them. You are engaged in "trashing the competition" using the same methods as those at CFP. You may be motivated by concern over climate to use these disreputable tactics and you might be seriously deluded enough to, like CFPers, actually believe the false narrative you are promoting. Or, more likely given the traditional base of support for nuclear power, you are here acting on dark motives that need to be obscured by the sneering and spitting that is your hallmark.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 03:10 PM

19. Actually your evocation of "experts around the world," reminds me of Amory Lovin's 1976 "paper"...

...that informed the world that "experts" said that we could have 16 quads of solar energy in the United States by the year 2000.

As of 2013, the entire planet doesn't produce 1 quad of solar energy, despite German expenditures of more than 100 billion Euros in subsidies and endless bull crap since then about how solar energy would save the world.

It didn't.

Cf, Lovins, A "The Road Less Traveled" Foreign Affairs October 1976, page 76.

Your claim reminds me of his, inasmuch as you produce no references, just as Lovins didn't use references in his very stupid article which some very, very, very, very gullible people still take seriously, despite the obvious experimentally observed fact that it was just garbage.

If you attempt to produce these "experts" you evoke, I have little doubt that they will all come from the circle of self referential anti-nukes who are frankly clueless.

Thank you though for finally acknowledging that German electricity and Danish electricity are the most expensive in Europe. I would like to assume that this will obviate the stupidity of people telling me that nuclear energy is "too expensive" despite the fact that electricity in France is almost half the cost of German electricity. I would like to assume, but I know in fact, I won't be spared that bit of unrealistic nonsense, because there isn't one anti-nuke on this planet who can tell a fact from a daydream, a nightmare, or a religious chant.

Apparently there aren't a lot of rich brats embracing fantasies in France who hold the poor in contempt. They're not phasing out nuclear power.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 03:19 PM

20. There you go again.

Remember the Right's misuse of "...You didn't build that..." statement by POB?

Lovins never made the claim that we WOULD he said we COULD and the context provides a very very large IF.

When you depend on excluded context and engage in the act of redefining the words used in someone's arguments in the manner you just did, you are once again showing your true colors.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 04:43 PM

21. There isn't a single anti-nuke "solar will save us" maven who ever uses any word BUT "could..."

...in every single context.

They're, to a man, to a woman, wholly reliant on soothsaying.

If you read Lovins garbage - and it is garbage - it's full of all sorts of "could" hand waving, all of it produced, as noted, without a single reference to the primary scientific literature.

The result of this more than half of a century reliance on "could" is that the planetary atmosphere's destruction is accelerating, people are being killed in huge numbers by air pollution, and - not that anti-nukes give a shit - the poor are being further impoverished.

Lovins then went on to attack the world's largest, by far, source of climate change energy, nuclear energy, claiming that if it didn't die in the 1980's there would inevitably be a nuclear war.

In this century he's made a fortune for himself by green washing dangerous fossil fuel companies, including the interestingly named "Suncor" that runs the tar sands operation in Canada.

By the way, the right wing asshole Ronald Reagan was rather famous for the "there you go again," phrase. Apparently small minds think alike.

As for what is and is not right wing - your favorite bit of name calling - I wouldn't qualify anyone who wishes to transfer wealth from the poorest people to the richest people a "leftist," but that's just my opinion. It's very clear that the German energy policy does precisely that, transfers the wealth of poor people living in apartments to those comparatively wealthy homeowner who can afford to put toxic semiconductors on their roofs in order to collect state welfare for the rich.

Have a nice evening.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 07:02 PM

22. So your claim is that nuclear WILL save us?

You obviously know the difference between a conditional statement and a declarative statement when you personally are speaking of future events, so it is obviously dishonest of you to follow employ this idiotic line of attack.

As for "there you go again" being the property of Reagan - since the term has been widely used before and since with no thought of Reagan, I'm pretty sure that you're just being malicious when you bring that up.

The fact is you have no valid arguments to make. You can't legitimately criticize me, you can't legitimately criticize those who reject nuclear technology and you can't legitimate criticize renewable energy sources. That leaves you using the same distorted methods of argumentation that are demonstrated unequivocally to be a bedrock of the rightwing propaganda machine here.

This will be the last bump you get.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #22)

Wed Dec 11, 2013, 11:48 PM

33. Um...um...I really don't think that you are any more qualified to give grammar lessons than you...

than you were qualified to give lessons in any of the other subjects you prattle on about.

One hopes that you are not teaching anyone anything, especially children.

As for soothsaying, I don't believe that nuclear energy will save very much at this point. Fear and ignorance have won, clearly.

Nuclear energy will be prevented - and has been prevented - from saving what it might have saved, and all humanity is suffering as a result.

The insipid and the uneducated have triumphed again, although I do note that there have been people here, on this website, who have made thousands of predictions, never supported by demonstration, over the last ten years that solar and wind energy will save the world.

In fact, during the period that these people have been posting these quasi-religious tracts, the ten years I've been here, about 300 billion tons of dangerous fossil fuel waste was dumped into the atmosphere. From the recent Lancet figures, roughly 60 million people died from air pollution.

And what do we have in response to this tragedy, a grammar lesson on "conditional statements" from someone who has trouble working a keyboard honestly?

The mindless faith based "renewables will save us set" continuously post conditional statements like this rather odious one, http://journals.democraticunderground.com/kristopher/739

This one comes slightly less than four decades after Amory Lovins, dangerous fossil fuel greenwasher, told the world that the United States could produce 16 quads of solar energy by 2000.

The entire world doesn't produce one quad (or exajoule) of solar electricity in 2013. Not one.

Five years ago, on this site, someone told us that the whole would could survive on renewable energy, but five years later, after sucking hundreds of billions of dollars, euros, trillions of yen and yuan, the entire wind and solar industry combined don't produce 1% of the 540 exajoules of energy humanity now consumes.

In the five years after this bit of toxic wishful thinking:


...was published, 30 million people died from air pollution, and the concentration of dangerous fossil fuel waste in the planetary atmosphere increased by more than 10 ppm. During the week of December 17, 2008, when this bit of crystal ball horseshit about the grand expensive money sucking so called "renewable energy" scam saving the world was published, the concentration of the dangerous fossil fuel waste in the planetary atmosphere was recorded at 385.55 ppm.


The most recent figure, as of this writing, comes in at 396.28 ppm. That's just 5 years, more than 10 ppm.

Look who's complaining about soothsaying!

You won, by the way. Fear and ignorance have a measurable result, recorded, for all of humanity to regret, in the numbers out of Mauna Loa.

Congratulations. You must be very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very proud.

Have a nice day tomorrow.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Tue Dec 10, 2013, 11:17 AM

23. Did you even bother to look at the publication date?

The original title was “Das Strom-Phantom Wahl 2013”, a bit of word play and with some lament that their argument, as it was stated in the article, was rejected as part of the election narrative. It was an election screed written for, or by, the desperate conservatives who were days away from a complete defeat. Any self-respecting German would have seen right through it, as it’s chock full of lies, and half-truths, and inaccuracies.

And they did see through it. A few days later the FDP, AfD, and clueless Pirate parties all went down in complete defeat. The ex-physicist Merkel won, but everyone to the right of her lost, and they lost every seat. This article simply summarizes their energy policy gripes made during the campaign by the laissez-faire global capitalists, big banks, the wealthy investor class, libertarians, and all but the extreme right wing nuts represented by those parties.

Let’s be clear: those are the very people who never once gave a shit about the poor, or the working class, and have tried to defeat any right or expense that would aid them.

When it was rewritten into English a few days later, it was titled “Germany's Energy Poverty: How Electricity Became a Luxury Good”. The split title was obviously written with half UK and half American reactionary appeal in mind. Evidently it worked and the lack of truth didn't matter.

While the German public saw that the numbers and anecdotal stories were bullshit, the gullible Americans were left to take them at face value, just as you did.

Speaking of gullibility and the obfuscation by cultural divide, why do you think they choose the Berlin suburb of Neukölln for the anecdote? Do you think it’s a coincidence that it’s 40% Auslander, with a large Turkish, Arab, Kurdish, Romani, sub-Saharan African Population? There are absolutely no votes there for the FDP or AfD, and only small amount for the CDU. But every German would know. So it was a twofer for the authors; they got a not-so-subtle appeal to nativist support in the FDP’s own ranks and it’s also probably the only place in Germany where you could find someone still using an incandescent bulb. Adoption for LEDs and CFLs was above 90% six years ago. You can’t even get that level of compliance in a GD light bulb post on DU. The people of Neukölln wouldn’t know how to get support, and the FDP would be the last to tell them. You also know full well the FIT income goes overwhelmingly to the middle class, small collectives, and municipalities. The big four energy companies are getting almost none of it.

In small words spoken slowly, the point of the article is not about helping the German poor, it’s about saving taxes for the German rich.

So why carry water for the defeated German right? And on a progressive website no less.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Tue Dec 10, 2013, 11:29 AM

24. “dispossessed”? There is no involuntary homelessness in Germany.

Housing in Germany is a right.

If you can’t afford it, you only need apply for aid or issuance of a demand letter to the landlord stating that all costs will be paid, including heat and maintenance. It covers any dwelling up to 50qm (~500sqft) for a single person, more for a family.

Under the Hartz IV program for those with the lowest income (or none at all), health insurance is 100% covered, including dental and eye care, plus housing and about 500euro/mo. (unrestricted) for food, electricity, and expenses. That amount was increased a few years ago by 20 euros, more than covering any increase in electricity costs. It also would include training and job placement, if you wish and are able. That’s the minimum, that’s rock bottom in Germany.

Our fellow American poor should find themselves to be so unfortunate.

While I'm here, and given that your deep concern for the German poor and working class has brought a tear to my eye, I should also point out that German workers are still paying a 5.5% income tax surcharge, a solidarity tax, for the integration and modernization of the eastern states. When it expires in 2019, it's likely that the largest part of that tax will continue and be used to upgrade the housing stock to passive solar. Will you be opposed to that as well?

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Tue Dec 10, 2013, 11:46 AM

25. If German electricity was priced by the usual market methods,

it would be about the same price as New York state, which is also approximately the EU average.

But it’s not. Half of the retail/residential price comes from taxes, the largest share of which is the federal pension fund. It is intentional pricing, and with broad public support. The goal is to keep consumption low, and that it does. You knew that. The Energiewende tax proportion of the added tax amounting to a few euros a month for most households. You knew that too.

The normal German household electricity bill ranges from 55 to 75 euros. Living on half of that is not difficult. I’m guessing a fair number of Americans average over $100/month. You probably knew that as well.

It’s been pointed out to you before. Gasoline is also high, much higher than the US. Why do you give a shit? They still generate 18% from nuclear power. Isn’t that enough?

News just in...from inside sources:

The only way to get disconnected from a German utility is to not pay them for 4-6 months, and to make no calls, explanations, or arrangements. Or you can leave a large overdue balance with no payment. It’s shocking, I know.

Possibly that can be avoided by signing up with one of the numerous discount tariff providers, often with a set usage and yearly price. The best deals are labeled "Öko", and the worst ones "Vattenfall".

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Response to Iterate (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 10, 2013, 07:55 PM

29. Graphing German household energy costs

Here, we see the average cost of gasoline (green area) per month for a three-person household in Germany. On top of that comes heating oil costs (orange), followed by electricity costs without (blue area) the renewables surcharge (the purple area) on top.

Two things are salient. First, monthly expenses for heating oil have more than doubled since 2000, rising from 59 to 125 euros a month, and the monthly power bill has also nearly doubled from €44-€83 per month. In contrast, the cost of gasoline has “only” risen by around 50 percent, from €95-€148 per month.

Second, the main increases for everything took place from 2000 to 2011 – everything, that is, except the renewables surcharge. Power bills have risen from €73-€83 a month in the past two years; in contrast, monthly expenses for heating oil and gasoline actually dropped from 2012 to 2013.

There is thus some reason for concern, but clearly the rising cost of electricity has not been a major problem compared to the heating oil and gasoline. Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that power is still by far the smallest of these three components; German households still spend roughly twice as much on gasoline as they do on power – and roughly 50 percent more on heating oil than electricity.


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Response to kristopher (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 11, 2013, 09:02 AM

32. We could parse the article word-by-word, number-by-number,

but it wouldn't add much to the demolition already done during the election, except of course, doing it in English.

Car and mass transit use in Germany does not follow the same cultural pattern as in the US. Train/tram/bus ticket prices have gone up noticeably, even as ridership is setting records. I won't go into it further here, but essentially for the groups mentioned in the OP, benzin use is nil.

Heating costs are normally covered in a rental agreement(unless usage is excessive), and at any rate, for the poor it would be covered under social support. Rents have gone up recently and that seems to be causing far more worry and complaints.

That leaves electricity. This chart is for a household of three, and since it is an average cost per household, we can assume an average income with average skills, but somewhat less pressure to be very careful with use and waste than the poor would need to be. That changes the conversation to one of education and assimilation, and not a staggering cost.

For a family of three, electricity cost would be less than 10% of the very minimum (Hartz IV) support levels of cash given for food and personal use. Not unreasonable.

There is one number here that would be too easily missed: 3500 kWh/yr. That's the standard for an average, well comfortable family.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Tue Dec 10, 2013, 11:53 AM

26. yikes

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Tue Dec 10, 2013, 12:08 PM

27. Lastly, when you fling insults like that

don't think for a moment you're being cute. Those "brats" you refer to are the 65% to 80+% of Germans (by any number of polls and elections over the years) who support the energy transition.

But it also insults (as intended I assume) a 40-year-long grassroots, small 'd' democratic German movement that has been active on every environmental front from 4-bin recycling, to parks and trails, to toxic waste reduction, to species and habitat protection, climate change, urban transit...anything you can name, right down to environmental short courses for hunters so they know which species not to step on.

Luckily, those Germans will never hear you, and wouldn't pay any attention to you if they did.

But they aren't the real targets are they?

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Response to Iterate (Reply #27)

Tue Dec 10, 2013, 07:37 PM

28. My, my, my, this is an elaborate series of proofs that all of the poor people in...

...Germany are living lives of luxury in a happy nirvana of so called "renewable energy" - Germany - and that a secret conspiracy by Merkel is in place to make, um, the grand renewable victory over climate change look like a miserable failure.

Um, one wonders why it took so many posts to prove this point, whatever it was...I confess I really didn't read it all that carefully...it started to sound like some kind of tiresome rant of the kind I often here when I post those things called, um, "numbers."

I'm sure though that you proved that the only reason that all these people all over the internet, and all over the primary scientific literature are claiming that German electricity is expensive that they simply don't understand energy like, um, you do.

I'm very pleased to learn that everyone in Germany, even the people that Der Speigel claims are suffering from energy poverty are all actually living full happy lives. I am pleased to learn that a, um, German publication is clearly less informed about Germany then, um, you are, but then again, as a person who is indicated in the, um, climate, more than selling and distributing toxic junk around the planet, I do get cranky.

I'm laboring under the delusion, apparently, that 2013 is one of the worst years ever observed for increases in dangerous fossil fuel waste in the planetary atmosphere. I don't want to hurt their feelings, so why don't you write to those folks over at the Mauna Loa CO2 observatory to tell them they're full of biodigestable pig poop.

Here they are: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

Thank you for your calm and clear refutation of my claim, and the claim of the people over at the EU's Energy Portal, that electricity prices in Germany are the second highest in Europe, after Denmark's.

If you want to smash these misleading folks at the EU's energy portal, again, here's the link to their awful right wing conspiracy website: http://www.energy.eu/

I had no idea that this had no effect on any poor people or that poor people don't exist in Germany.

Thanks, um, for sharing.

Have a nice evening.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #28)

Tue Dec 10, 2013, 08:36 PM

31. "Have a nice evening"

Why wouldn't he/she?

Iterate cleaned your clock.

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