To salvage their energiewende, Germany should get to fracking

posted at 5:01 pm on February 9, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Germany began what they hoped would be a magnificent transition away from fossil-fuel based energy sources a few years ago, but after their decision to simultaneously retire their nuclear energy plants, hugely subsidize wind and solar energy, and decline to further frack their own natural-gas reserves, they have little to show for it besides an unmitigated disaster of skyrocketing energy prices and a revival of coal-powered energy plants. On top of the $32 billion in the form of government subsidies that Germany is expected to spend in 2014 alone, the country recently got into trouble with the European Union for handing out tax breaks to companies in energy-intensive industries. Germany is worried that, if they don’t give these companies a big break on high energy prices, they’ll close up shop and move to more competitive pastures — like the United States, which is flush with shale-led energy abundance and cheaper natural gas prices.

If Germany is so worried about losing their competitive edge, however, there’s a very easy alternative to both coal-fired power plants and untoward tax breaks staring them smack in the face. Reuters gets it:

Germany’s gas industry says it needs shale to halt a sharp decline in domestic output, but behind its pleas lies private acknowledgement that environmental and political opposition is just too strong. …

“Currently, there is a decline in domestic production…a major share of planned investments in our industry is stymied politically,” said Hartmut Pick, spokesman for the WEG oil and gas industry group that produces domestic gas worth 4 to 5 billion euros ($5.4-6.8) a year. …

Despite suspected vast shale gas reserves in its north, Germany has not just passed up the chance to assess these, but also stopped expansion of its traditional gas technology two years ago, after local authorities and policymakers bowed to environmental concerns and refused new licences. …

“If Germany and other European countries do not try and tap their shale gas potential, they will likely have to pay higher gas prices in future than would otherwise be the case,” Dan Yergin, a U.S. energy advisor and vice chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, told Reuters.

If, on the other hand, its shale resources were developed, German would be able to “maintain its competitiveness and export strength in the global economy, which is so critical to Germany’s overall economic performance,” Yergin said.

Germany has been fracking for more than 50 years, but environmentalist scaremongers determined to move the country toward an almost fully-renewable energy scheme are having none of it and insisting the Germany transition away from that, too — but that kind of political stubbornness is a great recipe to both marginalize Germany’s economic competitiveness, as well as induce energy companies to bring more coal-powered plants online. Good work, greens.


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The greens are destroying our way of life…

OmahaConservative on February 9, 2014 at 5:02 PM

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

10Commandments on February 9, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Eurogreenies will kill Germany faster than anything else.

D-fusit on February 9, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Liberalism is a mental illness

307wolverine on February 9, 2014 at 5:33 PM

I’m surprised these Greens aren’t wearing jodhpurs and jackboots as did their predecessor authoritarian socialist examples. Maybe they are in the closet, ready to appear when The Party has total control. Thugs…

ExpressoBold on February 9, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Watermelons just don’t make sense in the Winter.

Flange on February 9, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Green = New Communism

karra on February 9, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Until the Greens live in tents, use outhouses, use no electricity, and forage for their own food, I will not listen to their outrageous claims because they do not live like they tell us all we must in order to save the planet. They are hypocrites.

BelleStarre on February 9, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Where’s the Beatles Golden Anniversary thread?

davidk on February 9, 2014 at 6:26 PM

When asked “How do you find America?” Ringo Starr jokingly replied, “Turn left at Greenland.”

davidk on February 9, 2014 at 6:36 PM

The Beatles on Ed Sullivan set a new TV rating of 45.3.

This year’s Super Bowl was rated at 46.9.

davidk on February 9, 2014 at 6:41 PM

If they are in the minority, why do we keep bending over for them? Guess “follow the money” still is relevant.

Sergeant Major on February 9, 2014 at 6:44 PM

About the time the envrio’s in Germany start burning human waste in their fireplaces during the winter; they’ll finally GET IT.

GarandFan on February 9, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Better start eating their greens.

Sherman1864 on February 9, 2014 at 8:15 PM

To salvage their energiewende, Germany should get to fracking

…Oh!…you said “fracking”…sorry…my German must be bad!

KOOLAID2 on February 9, 2014 at 8:21 PM

The brainwashing here in Germany is unbelievable. Energy and environmentalism winds its’ way into everything. Of course, my daughter’s school play (she is 7), was about dying polar bears. The average German has no knowledge of the realities here. They just accept the insane energy bills here. The topic came up in my German class, and they acted like I was crazy when I told them about their coal and nuclear problems. They have no clue.

ktrich on February 9, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Get with the fracking program !

viking01 on February 9, 2014 at 8:47 PM

The Keystone pipe line will be done soon.

Sell the Rail Road Company that Warren Buffet owns short and get some revenge on the commie Democrats.

The ROW’s are of record in Texas from the Red River to Harris County and the pipe is installed to south of Kaufman County Texas already and the rest is going fast.

Texans worked fast while Obama lied.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 9, 2014 at 9:34 PM

I would expect Erika….and anyone else here to get this wrong……..here is the correct answer:

“Nuclear Power”…..

…..even “fracking” won’t get them where they need to be….

williamg on February 9, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Aren’t Germany’s Greenies their version of the Walking Dead?

vnvet on February 9, 2014 at 11:19 PM

Still the greens in Germany have enormous influence and following. Despite all evidence the Energiewende is a massive bust and increased energyprices by 47% they get lots of votes.
It’ll be a while before reality butts them in the head

petrossa on February 10, 2014 at 2:51 AM

Germany began what they hoped would be a magnificent transition away from fossil-fuel based energy sources a few years ago, but after their decision to simultaneously retire their nuclear energy plants, hugely subsidize wind and solar energy, and decline to further frack their own natural-gas reserves, they have little to show for it besides an unmitigated disaster of skyrocketing energy prices and a revival of coal-powered energy plants.

If the German Greenies were so worried about emissions from fossil fuels, why did Germany “retire their nuclear energy plants”? Even France, which is not known for industrial development, gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear power plants, and buries the nuclear waste in Germany.

When a country north of 45 degrees latitude known for cloudy weather is so worried about global warming that it tries to get energy from sunshine, the Greens need to be given a pointy hat reading “Ich bin ein Dummkopf”.

But we’ll gladly sell them natural gas fracked from Pennsylvania. Fools and their money are soon parted.

Steve Z on February 10, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Germany is just deleteriously ahead of the curve. “pro(Re)gressives” only count intentions, not results, in matters such as these regardless of the effect on themselves or others.

To my understanding, fracking as currently constituted is mostly water and sand. Many companies use a special sauce of acids and chemicals in small quantities to ply the rocks apart to reach the hydrocarbons. There are already promising cleaner alternatives to these acids and chemicals. Fracking periodically dredges radioactive waste from the earth as well which must be dealt with.

Germany’s real concern is not water contamination, or treating waste sludge though. They have simply fallen for the ruse that all hydrocarbons are bad and will destroy the earth.

They should instead think of it as plant food.

Perspicacity on February 10, 2014 at 3:02 PM

For those of you who are cursing the Greens, just remember, it’s the ignorant, uninformed, low-information voter that keeps the relevant.

It’s the same here in the US. Informed voters know that we need an “all of the above” energy policy. But low-information voters buy into the environmental extremism crud and so since low-information voters out number informed voters, the politicians cater to the lowest common denominator to get elected and to stay in office.

The voters are the problem–not the Greens.

BMF on February 10, 2014 at 4:10 PM

“To my understanding, fracking as currently constituted is mostly water and sand. Many companies use a special sauce of acids and chemicals in small quantities to ply the rocks apart to reach the hydrocarbons. There are already promising cleaner alternatives to these acids and chemicals. Fracking periodically dredges radioactive waste from the earth as well which must be dealt with.”
Perspicacity on February 10, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Basically, it’s industrial-strength detergents. Soap! It helps the water snuggle closer to the rock, to better push against it; and it helps water (and sand) break up the rock just as it breaks up dirt in your washer by reducing the surface tension.

And the reason why the formulas are “secret” is the same reason Unilever doesn’t tell Palmolive – trade secrets are just that:
SECRET. Does anyone know exactly what’s in Tide? Or Coke? Or KFC?

ReggieA on February 11, 2014 at 12:30 AM