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Sun Dec 8, 2013, 05:00 PM

Der Spiegel: How German Electricity Became A Luxury Item. [View all]

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

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/high-costs-and-errors-of-german-transition-to-renewable-energy-a-920288.html

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...


More...

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. [View all]
NNadir Dec 2013 OP
Wilms Dec 2013 #1
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