The Future of Global Energy: Looks Like Coal, Part 2

So just last week I noted here that the developing world was going whole hog for coal, but it looks like it isn’t just countries like India and China.  Germany—yes, Germany, the nation that has a California-like fantasy that it will get 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050—is building 23 new coal-fired power plants, partly to replace the nuclear power plants that it improvidently decided to shut down last year as the tsunami in Japan.

Eight nuclear plants have already been taken off the grid, but at the same time, both brown and black coal are still needed to guarantee an ample supply of electricity.

As far as the German Environment Minister, Peter Altmaier of the conservative Christian Democrat Party, CDU, is concerned, this situation is not going to change anytime soon. . .

Another point that favors the building of new coal-fired plants for Altmaier is cost, as electricity from renewable sources is still relatively expensive. In order not to jeopardize the German economy, one would have to “be in a position to be able to offer energy at prices that can compare with that of the main power competitors in other industrialized countries.” For this to be successful, it is necessary to convince pre-existing industry of it benefits.

The usual Green Weenies are upset:

Greenpeace too is concerned, “We don’t support the building of new coal-fired plants at all, as they are likely to remain on the grid for around 40 years. This blocks the transition towards power from renewable sources for years,” said Gerald Neubauer, an energy expert with Greenpeace. . .  environmentalists have pledged to protest in three German regions where coal mining still takes place.


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