Solardammerung: The twilight of Germany’s green-energy subsidies

posted at 12:10 pm on February 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

When the global-warming hysteria hit its peak, no Western nation responded with as much commitment to it than Germany.  Over a period of several years, the German government spent $130 billion on solar energy in an attempt to transform its energy production and use by becoming the “photovoltaic world champion.”  How has that worked out?  As Bjorn Lomborg writes for Slate, solar energy now accounts for a whopping 0.3% of Germany’s total power consumption [see update below] after that $130 billion infusion, and forces Germans to pay far more than their Continental counterparts for their energy.

Now the Germans may lead the way to abandoning the global-warming hysteria and subsidy approach to alternative-energy economics:

Germany once prided itself on being the “photovoltaic world champion”, doling out generous subsidies—totaling more than $130 billion, according to research from Germany’s Ruhr University—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. What went wrong?

Subsidizing green technology is affordable only if it is done in tiny, tokenistic amounts. Using the government’s generous subsidies, Germans installed 7.5 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity last year, more than double what the government had deemed “acceptable.” It is estimated that this increase alone will lead to a $260 hike in the average consumer’s annual power bill.

According to Der Spiegel, even members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s staff are now describing the policy as a massive money pit. Philipp Rösler, Germany’s minister of economics and technology, has called the spiraling solar subsidies a “threat to the economy.”

Lomborg recites a litany of bad outcomes from the German experiment.  Thanks to carbon caps, the use of solar to even its very limited capacity hasn’t actually reduced carbon emissions at all.  It merely allows other EU nations, like Portugal and Greece, to emit more carbon through coal-fired power generation at the expense of German industry.  Until now, Germans pointed at the jobs created in the green-tech industries, but as Lomborg notes, those come at a hefty price tag of $175,000 per position, far more than would have been the case with normal infrastructure projects.  Many of those jobs didn’t get created in Germany anyway; Germans ended up subsidizing job creation in China.

Lomborg also includes this rather telling calculation:

Moreover, this sizeable investment does remarkably little to counter global warming. Even with unrealistically generous assumptions, the unimpressive net effect is that solar power reduces Germany’s CO2 emissions by roughly 8 million metric tons—or about 1 percent – for the next 20 years. To put it another way: By the end of the century, Germany’s $130 billion solar panel subsidies will have postponed temperature increases by 23 hours.

Germany led the way into hysteria; now circumstances have forced Germany to lead the way back to common sense and fiscal sanity. The real question will be whether the rest of the Western world learns the lesson the easy way or the hard way.  So far, the Obama administration seems determined for the US to learn it the hard way.

Update: The 0.3% figure comes straight from Lomborg’s article at Slate, but I’ve received two messages that says it should be 3%.  However, the data from the German Ministry for Economics and Technology shows that German consumption of hydroelectric, wind, and solar amounts to a combined total of 1.8% of all consumption for 2011, which was its best year ever.  That seems to reinforce Lomborg’s claim and not those from other sources.


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Over a period of several years, the German government spent $130 billion on solar energy in an attempt to transform its energy production and use by becoming the “photovoltaic world champion.”

They came close. Germany is the photopathetic world champion, by miles.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM

You got it Ed, dear leader to double down, he thinks he can do it better

cmsinaz on February 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM

$130 billion. Could have built a lot of actual, real power plants for that many bucks.

Oldnuke on February 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM

How has that worked out? As Bjorn Lomborg writes for Slate, solar energy now accounts for a whopping 0.3% of Germany’s total power consumption after that $130 billion infusion, and forces Germans to pay far more than their Continental counterparts for their energy.

$130 billion…..for 0.3%

By the end of the century, Germany’s $130 billion solar panel subsidies will have postponed temperature increases by 23 hours.

that buys 23 hours of postponement……

Hmmm

that’s $5.7 million per hour
and $94,000 per minute
and $1570 per second………..

but did it make ‘em feel good, that’s what I wanna know/

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM

To put it another way: By the end of the century, Germany’s $130 billion solar panel subsidies will have postponed temperature increases by 23 hours.

And now the dumba$$es are talking about global cooling. The folks that are promoting the biggest farce of our lifetime should be put in prison.

VegasRick on February 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Another pipe dream comes crashing down. Good!!!

AH_C on February 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM

They came close. Germany is the photopathetic world champion, by miles.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM

They won’t be for long since zer0 has his eye on that prize. It would go nicely with his shiny NObel prize.

Lost in Jersey on February 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM

If Germany had been smart, they would have pumped that into R&D of fusion energy. It would end all need for oil as an energy source (but not as a lubricant). Look at the sun for living proof.

nobar on February 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM

They came close. Germany is the photopathetic world champion, by miles.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Spain won’t give up without a fight.

WisRich on February 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM

130 billion???
Chump change in the view of our chump.

Electrongod on February 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM

So far, the Obama administration seems determined for the US to learn it the hard way.

But Ed, everyone knows it didn’t work over there because Obama wasn’t pulling the strings. That’s the key to understanding socialists and communists. The only reason the exact same policies didn’t work in the past is because the wrong person was putting them forth.

Now with The One, all of that will change. I mean it has to work this time around. Right?

ButterflyDragon on February 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM

You know, I always have thought German’s to be smarter then this.

Bmore on February 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

but the Right People haven’t been there to do it yet…..that’s what they say about socialism, and, as far as we’ve been told, we’ve got the Right People in Washington DC right now…..

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

From nazi’s to ninny’s in 70 short years.

VegasRick on February 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Ed, Solardammerung is a great title.

thuja on February 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I can’t believe this solar thing didn’t work better in a country that’s cloudy most of the time and is on the same latitude as Saskatoon.

forest on February 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

And now the dumba$$es are talking about global cooling. The folks that are promoting the biggest farce of our lifetime should be put in prison.

VegasRick on February 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Everyone knows global warming causes global cooling! Gah! Where have you been?

ButterflyDragon on February 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Proof of the conversion will be if the reinstate nukes as a viable energy source.

AH_C on February 20, 2012 at 12:22 PM

this news would make a great Hitler clip…..

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

You got it Ed, dear leader to double down, he thinks he can do it bettercmsinaz on February 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Just like socialism. It would have totally worked if only done properly.

a capella on February 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

They have so much sunshine in Germany?

Seth Halpern on February 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Everyone knows global warming causes global cooling! Gah! Where have you been?

ButterflyDragon on February 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Yep. “The Day the Earth Stood Still” prooved it!

VegasRick on February 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Very creative headline! Lol!!!

Green Muse on February 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Turning their backs on the planet? I don’t see any Nobel Peace Prizes in Germany’s future…roflol!

Oracleforhire on February 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM

One thing liberals never count on, COLD, HARD REALITY.

GarandFan on February 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Yep. “The Day the Earth Stood Still” proved it!

VegasRick on February 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM

I think you meant, “The Day After Tomorrow”. “The Day the Earth Stood Still” was retarded for other reasons (though the original is still a classic, if a lefty classic). Guilty pleasure on “The Day After Tomorrow”, too.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Baroque has probably ‘invested’ far more of that in crony capitalist ‘green’ initiatives.

The only way any of this made sense, as with the ethanol scam, is when considered as a criminal enterprise.

CorporatePiggy on February 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM

There is much sunshine in Greece!

Seth Halpern on February 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM

At least we’ll be the prophylactic capital of the world. Oops, wrong thread.

Flange on February 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Guilty pleasure on “The Day After Tomorrow”, too.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM

You are right. I got my “stupid movies that I wish I did not watch” mixed up.

VegasRick on February 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Everyone knows global warming causes global cooling! Gah! Where have you been?

ButterflyDragon on February 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

haha, how soon we forget history.

It must be global cooling causes global warming causes global cooling.

I remember in the 70s we were headed towards another ice age.
Spock said so. (well Nimoy narrated anyway).

These days its Ancient Aliens, how is it the Mayans knew how old the universe is??? Theres no possible explanation, it must be aliens. I love that guy.

orbitalair on February 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Germany led the way into hysteria; now circumstances have forced Germany to lead the way back to common sense and fiscal sanity.

First multiculturalism was pronounced a failure. Now wind/solar energy.

Folks are getting wise to this boondoggle, even the Euros:

In UK, recent CIVITAS Report is rocking the green establishment:

Wind-power: inordinately expensive and ineffective at cutting CO2 emissions

Energy experts warn that unwarranted support for wind-power is hindering genuinely cleaner energy

The focus on wind-power, driven by the renewables targets, is preventing Britain from effectively reducing CO2 emissions, while crippling energy users with additional costs, according to a new Civitas report. The report finds that wind-power is unreliable and requires back-up power stations to be available in order to maintain a consistent electricity supply to households and businesses. This means that energy users pay twice: once for the window-dressing of renewables, and again for the fossil fuels that the energy sector continues to rely on. Contrary to the implied message of the Government’s approach, the analysis shows that wind-power is not a low-cost way of reducing emissions.

Electricity Costs: the folly of wind-power, by economist Ruth Lea, uses Government-commissioned estimates of the costs of electricity generation in the UK to calculate the most cost-effective technologies. When all costs are included, gas-fired power is the most cost-efficient method of generating electricity in the short-term, while nuclear power stations become the most cost-efficient in the medium-term.

petefrt on February 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM

What do the German’s know against the great mind of Obama’s…they are but mere insects compared to the mind intellect of Obama.

right2bright on February 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Thanks to all my fellow taxpayers I was heavily subsidized by my local utility and the IRS. Without your generous contributions to the gubmint I never would have been able to afford all those panels on the roof.
Without government money solar panels are way too expensive for the average consumer to afford. Even solar companies need the handouts to do business.
The only thing I can see that they are good for is to take the strain off of our taxed electrical grid. Producing power at the point of use is a good thing but it cannot be done efficiently in all areas. They do have their place in the scheme of things but the magic bullet they are not.

LeftCoastRight on February 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Ed, Solardammerung is a great title.

thuja on February 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Have to admit that this was one of my favorite headlines for the past few weeks.

Ed Morrissey on February 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM

WisRich on February 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Correctomundo!

Gemany had more money to bin with. Spain went down the crapper because they put too much of their national treasure into that nonsense.

FOWG1 on February 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Correction “begin with”.

FOWG1 on February 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Without the global warming falsehood, costly green energy makes no sense at all. Your position on global warming is very telling, because this is the linchpin, the centerpiece, of how the leftists want to gain control of (big & internationalized & redistributive & mandated lifestyles) govt.

Mitt, just as he led the way in pushing Romneycare before any other R governors had did anything even as remotely liberal, also led the way in being the first state to sign on to strict carbon caps.

And Mitt’s advisor on this, O Science Czar John Holdren! So many conservatives are deeply repulsed by Romney. His nomination would be a disaster.

And Newt (and Nancy). A disturbing picture of Newt’s longtime obsession with leftist global warming: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/hotpolitics/interviews/gingrich.html?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=pressRelease

Why is that so many of these leftist loons are rising to the front of the Repub race?

anotherJoe on February 20, 2012 at 12:37 PM

what does the headline translate into? Solar Dawn?

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM

ok, i got it. Solar Twilight….

thank you google translate.

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Solardammerung! You go, Ed

kunegetikos on February 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Later, Lomborg asked Germany for her TPS reports and mentioned that he would need her to come into work on Saturday.

LoganSix on February 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

For anyone who cares, Israel has used solar panels for decades. I think it’s even part of the building code that solar panels have to be installed. Israel gets TONS of sunlight and is very hot even without that. All that said, the solar panels in Israel are only used to heat water and they do that only marginally better than leaving a tub of water outside for the sun to cook. No one in Israel puts in more solar panels than they need and most Israelis have long left depending on those panels for anything, as they installed separate electric water heaters to make sure that they will have hot water when needed (and for more than one tank at a time).

It’s funny how I almost never hear anyone tell of these experiences in Israel (which does love to view itself as ultra-green) but even there people have had too much actual experience with trying to use solar energy (for minial tasks) and have found it wanting in every way.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

These days its Ancient Aliens, how is it the Mayans knew how old the universe is??? Theres no possible explanation, it must be aliens. I love that guy.

orbitalair on February 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM

His hair defies gravity. But, some of those things do make you go “hmmmmm?”

LoganSix on February 20, 2012 at 12:44 PM

but even there people have had too much actual experience with trying to use solar energy (for minial tasks) and have found it wanting in every way.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

solar energy now accounts for a whopping 0.3% of Germany’s total power consumption

it appears to be wanting—about 99.7% wanting, in fact……

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

His hair defies gravity. But, some of those things do make you go “hmmmmm?”

LoganSix on February 20, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Yep. The Mayans were strangely advanced for a people who couldn’t even come up with the wheel for serious use – even as their complicated calendar was a set of wheels.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM

“… doling out generous subsidies—totaling more than $130 billion, according to research from Germany’s Ruhr University—to citizens to invest in solar energy … solar power accounts for only about 0.3 percent of Germany’s total energy”

And yet, Germany still is talking about taking down their nuclear power using wind instead.

J_Crater on February 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Now that the AGW hoax is falling apart in Europe and the USA, our governments need a concerted program to root out policies, programs, subsidies and mandates that were designed to ameliorate ‘AGW’. The one-world government socialists and RINOs will quietly retain those programs if we let them.

slickwillie2001 on February 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

What’s that? A German government falling for a crackpot ideology, and the people following in lockstep?

Weird.

Jim Treacher on February 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Man-made Global Warming is such a scam from so many different angles it’s hard to keep up with it all. Good science ALREADY KNOWS CO2 does NOT drive temperature, yet, all we hear about is new taxes and new devices to reduce CO2 emissions.

The whole thing is a crooked money making SCAM and I can’t wait for the main proponents of this theft go to jail.

The Great Global Warming Swindle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaTJJCPYhlk

Global Warming Doomsday Called Off
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3309910462407994295#

———————–

Axion on February 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

These days its Ancient Aliens, how is it the Mayans knew how old the universe is??? Theres no possible explanation, it must be aliens. I love that guy.

orbitalair on February 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Yeah but, what’s up with that hair? :)

NapaConservative on February 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

A sign should be placed above the entrance of EVERY government building in EVERY country of the world:

“Just because we are the government does not mean that we know what we are doing or that we are doing the right thing.”

—————
Big Government has become a religion.

albill on February 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Dear ted c on February 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM,

You could make your case better if you used BILLION instead of million; I think you lost three decimal places somewhere:

$130B divided into 23 hours = 5.7 billion per hour
and 94 million per minute
etc…

Please don’t allow a liberal approach to science to weaken your case!

DublOh7 on February 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

They have so much sunshine in Germany?

Seth Halpern on February 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Germans ought to be working on the invention of cloud power generation.

Dusty on February 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

$130B divided into 23 hours = 5.7 billion per hour
and 94 million per minute
etc…

Please don’t allow a liberal approach to science to weaken your case!

DublOh7 on February 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I thought I double checked that…and you are totally right. I thought I was under. thanks for the fify—i went to public skoo…../

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

N A Z I ‘s! er I mean R A C I S T ‘s!

KOOLAID2 on February 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

I think Germany would increase the percentages of power from “green energy” if they would just shut down all the plants which use nuclear, coal and natural gas. The problem of percentages would improve….

Sort of like improving the unemployment number by saying that millions and millions of people have given up looking for works…so the percentage number looks better.

You really can not argue with logic like that. No seriously you are not allowed to argue with logic like that. Understand?

DVPTexFla on February 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

But Paul Krugman says that if you don’t believe in carbon based anthropogenic global warming you’re stupid and crazy and running around with tinfoil on your head. Global warming must be real, because Krugman has a Nobel prize so he must know what he’s talking about, because we all know that Nobel prizes are scientifically based, not ideology based. The Germans just aren’t approaching the problem correctly

talkingpoints on February 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM

You know, I always have thought German’s to be smarter then this.

Bmore on February 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I did a couple of tours there.If you want to have a dog you must go to a 3 week course on raising one and get certified.If you want to fish there is a 1 week course and the license fee is around $800 American.What is odd they do not allow catch and release.You can’t swing a dead cat and not hit a windmill.

docflash on February 20, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Zerobama is on ChiCom payroll, and anyone who refuses to see it is a fool. Please name me a single economy-related executive push since 2009 that wouldn’t directly benefit China.

Archivarix on February 20, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Now that the AGW hoax is falling apart in Europe and the USA, our governments need a concerted program to root out policies, programs, subsidies and mandates that were designed to ameliorate ‘AGW’. The one-world government socialists and RINOs will quietly retain those programs if we let them.

slickwillie2001 on February 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Unfortunately the hoax is alive and well in California. The voters had a chance to undo the law that mandates the whole state be off of coal by 2019, I think it is, and they turned it down. So the Democrats who run the state are proceeding with solar and wind that is ridiculously expensive and of course does not give you a roi. My utility in L.A. is asing the City Council to approve multi year rate increases to pay for this because if it doesn’t get the money for all it’s sunk into the “green stuff” its going to go bankrupt. If SCE gets in after that our bill will quadruple!

CCRWM on February 20, 2012 at 1:04 PM

All for a hoax and perversion of science even in Germany. What a waste. They would have been better off if they had planted 130B trees.

Kissmygrits on February 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM

There is no AGW. Co2 does not cause global warming. The world stopped warming 15 years ago. This is a hugely expensive solution in search of a non-existent problem. Stop all of this nonsense!

scboy on February 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

What is worse is what happens in 10 years when all of those panels have either failed, broken, or have simply degraded to the point where they are no longer producing a useful amount of power?

These panels can not be recycled. There are going to be tons (literally) of these panels headed to the landfill in 10 years time.

crosspatch on February 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

A Gotterdamarung inspired thread title? Ed, I take back anything negative I ever said about conservative bloggers. BFFs forever.

libfreeordie on February 20, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Ah, well — something ventured, nothing gained.
Or maybe this old saying would be appropriate:
“You bring scams to the fight, we’ll bring data.”

Seriously, I’m glad Germany has provided hard evidence of the dis-utility of solar energy for major infrastructure supply.
Probieren geht über Studieren.

AesopFan on February 20, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Giorgio_A._Tsoukalos
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giorgio_A._Tsoukalos

Ok so hes a founding member of Eric von Dannikens’ “Research Group”, and well his degree is sports communication. And hes co-producer of the show.

No idea about the hair.

But I do enjoy the meme of “if theres no possible explanation, it must be aliens!”

I try to tell my daughter, that if nothing else these folks have terrific imaginations, and the ideas could be the basis of some neato movie scripts…she loves to write fiction.

And as far as “You’re doing it wrong”: solar electricity is just that, doing it wrong. Heat and cool your house with heat pipes.
Totally passive, no heavy metals involved.

orbitalair on February 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

There is an error in Ed’s article:
The Solar Energy covered 3% of the total energy burned by Germany in 2011. It’s not a big difference (just an order of magnitude…) but let’s not make it worse than it really is, it’s a matter of credibility.

Electron on February 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

The only thing I can see that they are good for is to take the strain off of our taxed electrical grid. Producing power at the point of use is a good thing but it cannot be done efficiently in all areas. They do have their place in the scheme of things but the magic bullet they are not.

LeftCoastRight on February 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Exactomente. I’ve always said that solar is a great individual solution. On a city, regional or national level though, not so much.
I have a neighbor who just recently installed solar. I think it will help her immensely with the electric bill. However, her and I were talking about the cost, and if it weren’t for the subsidies available here in Kalifornia, she could never have afforded it. As it is now, the clincher was the tax credits of $5K was what convinced her to go ahead.

BillH on February 20, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Ed, love you dearly, but I’m going to nitpick. What’s wrong with this phrase? no Western nation responded with as much commitment to it than Germany

You can have something be more than something or as much as something, but not as much than something. Sorry, it’s the Grammar Nazi in me.

College Prof on February 20, 2012 at 1:19 PM

There is an error in Ed’s article:
The Solar Energy covered 3% of the total energy burned by Germany in 2011. It’s not a big difference (just an order of magnitude…) but let’s not make it worse than it really is, it’s a matter of credibility.

Electron on February 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Not according to Lomborg’s article. He uses the 0.3% figure.

Ed Morrissey on February 20, 2012 at 1:29 PM

A Gotterdamarung inspired thread title? Ed, I take back anything negative I ever said about conservative bloggers. BFFs forever.

libfreeordie on February 20, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Hot Air snark, bringing people together … I almost hear a faint chorus of Kumbaya in the background …

Ed Morrissey on February 20, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Hot Air snark, bringing people together … I almost hear a faint chorus of Kumbaya in the background …

Ed Morrissey on February 20, 2012 at 1:29 PM

that’s not Kumbaya….that’s the sound of gas prices shooting through the roof….music to some folks’ ears I suppose/

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

So they spent a lot of money for very little payback – typical of government boondoggles/frauds. Climate is always changing – always has, always will. So if anyone in any government had any brains, we would be putting money into having the ability to generate enough energy for heating OR cooling no matter what happens.

dentarthurdent on February 20, 2012 at 2:09 PM

BTW – Santorum’s recent speech about the AGW fraud puts me solidly in his corner – compared to the others who have all expressed some degree of support for fighting the evil globull warming. We have to kill the AGW fraud completely or we are financially doomed no matter what else we do.

dentarthurdent on February 20, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Had they spent the money on R&D and implementation of the new MSR and pebble bed reactors, they could have made a real dent in the CO2 bogey man, and had additional power.

Of course the watermelons in Germany and the US (green outside-red inside) want nothing to do with growing an industrial economy.

Nathan_OH on February 20, 2012 at 2:28 PM

“Germans ought to be working on the invention of cloud power generation.”

I lived for a few years in the Rheinland-Pfalz. I remember one February day when the sun came out. People went to their windows and cheered.

crosspatch on February 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM

docflash on February 20, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Sad but funny, maybe they are just good at engineering mechanical stuff.

Bmore on February 20, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I don’t know the answer, but it might be that the differece is caused by confusion about the things measured. It may be 3% of the power measured it in watts, when the sun is just right and 0.3% of the energy, measured in watt hours.

burt on February 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Two major German climate change/solar SNAFU stories from Watts Up With That.

fred5678 on February 20, 2012 at 3:24 PM

If you think that solar cell companies have been a big flop here in the U.S. then you have paid attention globally with plants being shuttered and liquidates in Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysian, Singapore, Norway, and Germany by the dozens over the last two years.

Kermit on February 20, 2012 at 3:36 PM

that’s $5.7 million per hour
and $94,000 per minute
and $1570 per second………..

but did it make ‘em feel good, that’s what I wanna know/

ted c on February 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM

94.2 MILLION per minute.
1.57 MILLION per second.

I don’t think it made ‘em feel good.

theCork on February 20, 2012 at 4:23 PM

And 5.7 BILLION an hour.

theCork on February 20, 2012 at 4:24 PM

burt on February 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Solar panels don’t work at night, when it’s too cloudy, or when they’re covered with snow. Germany is a dumb place for solar power generation.

theCork on February 20, 2012 at 4:26 PM

So far, the Obama administration seems determined for the US to learn it the hard way.

Never has been about energy. About paying back his bundlers.

msupertas on February 20, 2012 at 4:32 PM

$130,000,000,000 huh. How many Chevy Volts would that produce? 5? Maybe 6?

Amendment X on February 20, 2012 at 4:51 PM

$130,000,000,000 huh. How many Chevy Volts would that produce? 5? Maybe 6?

Amendment X on February 20, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Now, or after that assembly line gets running in China?

slickwillie2001 on February 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM