Broke France thinking about following in Germany’s utterly failed green footsteps for some reason

posted at 8:11 pm on May 1, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

I fear that this will not end well. Via Reuters:

Segolene Royal, appointed French energy and environment minister this month, said on Friday she planned to create 100,000 jobs in the next three years with a drive for green growth.

Royal told a news conference she wanted to accelerate investment in renewable energies like wind, solar, biomass and marine energy, as well as in insulation of buildings. …

“I consider that, in the current context, the quasi-automatic increases of power bills are too brutal,” she said, adding that her cabinet was studying a new decree to control energy bills in the coming three years.

Royal also plans to present a law on France’s energy transition to parliament in July. This plan will confirm Hollande’s pledge to reduce France’s reliance on nuclear energy for electricity production from the current 75 percent to 50 percent by 2025.

It sounds like they’re still in the pre-legislative planning phase here, but let’s go ahead and get straight the gist of what one of France’s newest government ministers would like to achieve with some top-down direction of the country’s energy sector:

1. Boost renewable energy technologies and create thousands of “green” jobs;

2. Phase out a big chunk of their nuclear energy; and

3. Bring down consumers’ energy prices.

…Go home, France — you’re drunk. To handily reduce your reliance on nuclear energy, you need to replace that nuclear energy with a ready substitute. In order to use wind and solar as those ready substitutes (rather than the more affordable coal or natural gas options), you need to throw gobs and gobs of money at them. To throw gobs and gobs of money at them, you need to heavily subsidize them via direct payouts, government “investment,” tax credits, and/or consumer quotas, all of which are costs that inevitably get passed on to taxpayers/consumers in some way — often via higher energy bills, higher taxes, or taking your country further into debt. You’re already in major debt and have had to renegotiate your required deficit-reduction targets with the EU several times over, and let’s not forget the fact that your economy has been skipping between contraction and stagnation for going on several years now.

France’s next-door-neighbor Germany has been in a much better fiscal and economic situation over the past few years, and even they couldn’t manage to make their similar Energiewende plan work without jacking up Germans’ energy prices — with the end result being a major shift to coal as costly renewable energies failed to provide the kind of affordable, reliable energy as the nuclear sources they were meant to replace. These guys need to either get over their nuclear hangups or their reluctance to start fracking, because so far, these grandiose schemes to engineer renewable-based energy sectors are just not working out for either their economies or the environment.


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How do you say Solyndra in French?

Scottie on May 1, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Utopia is another name for…

Insane..

Electrongod on May 1, 2014 at 8:20 PM

DOUBLE DOWN ON IT.

It’s for the children, remember!?

You have to save the planet, remember!?

Time is running out, remember!?

You have to starve the evil energy companies, remember!?

Murphy9 on May 1, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Shovel ready

faraway on May 1, 2014 at 8:20 PM

France produces around three quarters of its electricity by nuclear power

Nothing is greener.

faraway on May 1, 2014 at 8:22 PM

How do you say Solyndra in French?

Scottie on May 1, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Baiser mon pays

Electrongod on May 1, 2014 at 8:23 PM

France gave us Eva Green and socialistic ecomnics one of these is better then the other.

sorrowen on May 1, 2014 at 8:24 PM

“Go home, France — you’re drunk”

Heh. Just call France a cab.

rbj on May 1, 2014 at 8:27 PM

1. Boost renewable energy technologies and create thousands of “green” jobs;

2. Phase out a big chunk of their nuclear energy; and

3. Bring down consumers’ energy prices.

In my (attempt at a) robot voice: That does not compute.

Bigfoot on May 1, 2014 at 8:29 PM

France produces around three quarters of its electricity by nuclear power

Nothing is greener.

faraway on May 1, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Touché.

With the exception, of course, that government corruption (bribery, cronyism, political payoffs, et. al.) generates the most “green” for these kinds of criminals …

ShainS on May 1, 2014 at 8:32 PM

3. Bring down consumers’ energy prices

…they won’t… “necessarily skyrocket?”

KOOLAID2 on May 1, 2014 at 8:34 PM

I can’t say where or when I saw it but I’m under the impression that Germany was backing off the greeny stuff. Why do they object to nuclear? Is it expensive?

crankyoldlady on May 1, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Liquid Flouride Thorium Reactor. LFTR

This technology was first investigated at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment in the 1960s. It has recently been the subject of a renewed interest worldwide.[3] Japan, China, the UK and private US, Czech and Australian companies have expressed intent to develop and commercialize the technology. LFTRs differ from other power reactors in almost every aspect: they use thorium rather than uranium, operate at low pressure, fuel by pumping without shutdown, use a salt coolant and produce higher operating temperatures. These distinctive characteristics give rise to many potential advantages, as well as design challenges.

500mw molten salt reactor. Safe. Half the price of light water.

Keeping the fuel-coolant mixture at a reasonable pressure also allows the mixture to expand — if the system overheats, the medium expands and holds fuel atoms too far apart for continuation of the nuclear reaction. This is called a passive safety system, and in a post-Fukushima industry such disaster-proof measures simply must be the future of nuclear power.

In the same vein, Transatomic’s proposed reactor would also have a so-called freeze plug — an actively cooled barrier that melts in the event of a power failure, leading all nuclear material to automatically drain into a reinforced holding tank. These reactors are “walk away safe,” meaning that a power failure, a runaway heat cascade, and a general worker’s strike could all happen on the same day — and the worst we’d suffer is loss of service.

Estimated world thorium resources1
Country Tonnes
India 846,000
Turkey 744,000
Brazil 606,000
Australia 521,000
USA 434,000
Egypt 380,000
Norway 320,000
Venezuela 300,000
Canada 172,000
Russia 155,000
South Africa 148,000
China 100,000
Greenland 86,000
Finland 60,000
Sweden 50,000
Kazakhstan 50,000
Other countries 413,000
World total 5,385,000

thatsafactjack on May 1, 2014 at 8:38 PM

“I consider that, in the current context, the quasi-automatic increases of power bills are too brutal,” she said, adding that her cabinet was studying a new decree to control energy bills in the coming three years.

And ‘going green’ will lower energy costs how?

slickwillie2001 on May 1, 2014 at 8:53 PM

I don’t think the Minister understand the magnitude of creating 100,000 jobs in any particular industry in 3 years.

I expect that if she thought about it at all, she expects more than 1,000, probably closer to 10,000, but 100,000 sounds way more impressive. After all, she will have to convince enough people that the diversion of such funds to subsidies, and whatnot, is going to pay off big. Otherwise, her idea would go nowhere and for good reason.

The darn thing about the subsidies is that it is not something you pay once and the thing rolls along. You have to pay, and pay, and pay, and pay, etc.

I suspect that she ignores or believes she can suspend or circumvent the laws of economics.

Russ808 on May 1, 2014 at 8:56 PM

So…France is going to try what failed in Germany because why again? It will work because France is in charge?

Newtie and the Beauty on May 1, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Hey the green agenda in Spain was a blockbuster success.

Murphy9 on May 1, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Forty million Frenchmen cannot be wrong. That’s what they tell me.

koolbob on May 1, 2014 at 9:02 PM

I decree power bills will be cheap!

astonerii on May 1, 2014 at 9:03 PM

Stupid is what stupid does. Go for it.

307wolverine on May 1, 2014 at 9:11 PM

France produces around three quarters of its electricity by nuclear power

Nothing is greener.

faraway on May 1, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Yes, and mostly everybody in France agrees with it. Segolene Royal is as insane (if not more) as her infamous ex, which I guess is why he put her in charge of the environment. These idiots simply don’t understand that Germany can rescue some piigs (pun totally intended), but they can’t rescue an economy the size of France. There’s already the worst stagnation (labour market wise) the country has ever experienced in more than 2 decades, unemployment is stuck at over 10%, and now this…they should bring back the guillotine for these idiots and for thkse vote for them too, pls. Oh yeah, and while at it, use it on f***ing Pickety too, who has the nerve to blame it on capitalism, while the whole f..ing 47% (probably more) of the planet swoons at the hearing of his wisdom. moon colony suddently sounds appealing.

jimver on May 1, 2014 at 9:21 PM

France produces around three quarters of its electricity by nuclear power

Nothing is greener.

faraway on May 1, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Yep, a tip of the hat to the French, this is one thing they do right, other than the food of course.

slickwillie2001 on May 1, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Every major economy in Europe has been expecting that French nukes would save them from their own stupidity.

If France pulls the plug on Our Friend The Atom then everyone in the EU who isn’t fracking like their life depended on it goes down with them.

Even the Germans, who have at least a few in executive positions who realize how disastrous the Atomkraft-Nein-Danke bullshit is and are building coal-fired plants about as fast as China.

And especially the Brits, who seem to have almost no one in the top ranks prepared to admit that they’ve been sold a bill of goods.

JEM on May 1, 2014 at 9:28 PM

I can’t say where or when I saw it but I’m under the impression that Germany was backing off the greeny stuff. Why do they object to nuclear? Is it expensive?

crankyoldlady on May 1, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Germany is backing off on the Holy Wind and Holy Sun business because, as with us, it’s costing them massive amounts of subsidy money and all they have to show for it are higher electric rates and some “green entrepreneurs” who are making out like bandits while not actually delivering anything. Except kickbacks to high officials.

Their other environmental initiatives aren’t working out too well, either. The statutes mandating tighter insulation of homes and businesses to prevent heat escaping, to cut demands for heating fuel, has caused serious mold problems in buildings that are now too tight and hold in too much moisture.

The laws mandating “low-flow” toilets are causing huge solid waste problems in their cities’ sewers and sewage treatment systems, because there isn’t enough H2O in the “mix” to keep the waste liquified. (San Francisco, with similar laws, has similar problems.)

As for nuclear power, it is expensive to build nuclear plants in Germany for the exact reason it is prohibitively expensive to build them here. Namely, endless lawsuits and other forms of sabotage by “green” groups, usually with the connivance of “greens” in government “environmental protection” agencies.

You’d think the Germans would understand that there are few things more dangerous than a government agency staffed by “true believers” who see themselves as crusaders for a cause. And everyone else as an unenlightened peasant who needs “the guidance of his betters”, or as a potential enemy who must be destroyed to Save The World.

After all, they do have a certain amount of history in that area.

clear ether

eon

eon on May 1, 2014 at 9:31 PM

Ericka, you Negative Nancy, look at the bright side: there are gobs of ‘Green’ entrepreneurs that are willi to steal the Gubmint handouts!

socalcon on May 1, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Here in Southern California, they shut down a nuclear generating plant (San Onofre) for ‘maintenance’ and never brought it back. greenies said, ‘See, we don’t need it!’. All the while it never occurred to them that the power generated could be sent to other places. morons.

socalcon on May 1, 2014 at 9:43 PM

eon on May 1, 2014 at 9:31 PM

I remember an article in SF Gate a couple of summers ago (a very dry summer) that tourists were complaining about ‘that rotten egg smell’ all over the town :)… Heh, the locals knew what caused i :), but they were keeping mum, didn’t want to lose tourists :)… They since upgraded their sewage plants, but they put hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars in it in the process…it’s really surreal that It has come to is…. maybe that’s what it takes, for Germany and San Francisco to get covered in their own shiznak, to stop this ill informed process of ‘greenificafion’ at all costs.

jimver on May 1, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Here in Southern California, they shut down a nuclear generating plant (San Onofre) for ‘maintenance’ and never brought it back. greenies said, ‘See, we don’t need it!’. All the while it never occurred to them that the power generated could be sent to other places. morons.

socalcon on May 1, 2014 at 9:43 PM

that one was pretty old and inadequate, some serious issues with it, most agree on that, including Edison, I think they used the phrase ‘plant retirement’ . What I’d like to see though is a new generation of power plants that are much safer than the previous generation ones. California might not be the ideal place to put them, cuz…earthquakes, but there are plenty of places in the country where they can build them. Ain’t gonna happen though. At least fracking will, have no doubt that it will be big in this country in a few years.

jimver on May 1, 2014 at 10:03 PM

I remember an article in SF Gate a couple of summers ago (a very dry summer) that tourists were complaining about ‘that rotten egg smell’ all over the town :)… Heh, the locals knew what caused i :), but they were keeping mum, didn’t want to lose tourists :)… They since upgraded their sewage plants, but they put hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars in it in the process…it’s really surreal that It has come to is…. maybe that’s what it takes, for Germany and San Francisco to get covered in their own shiznak, to stop this ill informed process of ‘greenificafion’ at all costs.

jimver on May 1, 2014 at 9:55 PM

I thought it was because of the court decision that said homeless people have the right to poop on the sidewalks.

slickwillie2001 on May 1, 2014 at 10:27 PM

I thought it was because of the court decision that said homeless people have the right to poop on the sidewalks.

slickwillie2001 on May 1, 2014 at 10:27 PM

That might have added to the stench :)…

jimver on May 2, 2014 at 12:28 AM

It’s nice that the French socialists have adopted their American cousins’ terminology, and say they want to “invest” instead of “spend.”

But as noted in the post, France is already in violation of their deficit targets. They also are experiencing a flight of wealth to lower tax neighbors like Belgium (oddly enough since Brussels is the center of “proper” Euro-socialism).

The actual FACT is that NONE of the so-called “green technologies” have even proven to leave less of a pollution footprint than the fossil fuels they plan to replace at any cost. Windmills take as much energy to manufacture, transport, assemble, and maintain as they will produce in their average working life. Solar has its own problems, toxic manufacturing and disruption of wildlife. Bio-fuels and ethanol are even now being acknowledged the same by even EPA, a nest of enviro-wackos.

Adjoran on May 2, 2014 at 1:49 AM

I guess you can add France to the long list of countries that are getting sucked into the ‘green energy’ money-pit. Liberals are far too stupid to see how they are being scammed by these schemes.

rmkdbq on May 2, 2014 at 5:20 AM

They know it will fail, it is just PR to get re-elected.
The citizens are the suckers for believing it will work and then vote these commies back in office.

albill on May 2, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Do you know what you get when you cross a flock of birds with a Wind farm?

Shredded tweet.

LouisianaLightning on May 2, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Unfortunately during the last presidential elections the now ruling Socialist party made a list connection with the Green party, giving the latter more seats in government then they should have base don their poor following.

Hence these hair-brained schemes which will end in nothing fortunately due to the fact of France being more then broke.

Consider it blowing wind to spin the wheels of upcoming EU elections

petrossa on May 3, 2014 at 2:31 AM