Steve has written a number of times about Germany’s experience with wind power, which illustrates the futility of thinking that renewables can ever replace reliable energy sources like coal, nuclear and natural gas. The latest news from Germany offers an original twist:
The expansion of wind power in the first half of this year collapsed to its lowest level since the introduction of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) in 2000. All in all, just 35 wind turbines were build with an output of 231 megawatts. “This corresponds to a decline of 82 percent compared to the already weak period of the previous year”, according to the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) in Berlin.
“This makes one nearly speechless,” said Matthias Zelinger at the presentation of the data. The managing director of the Power Systems division of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) spoke of a “blow to the guts of the energy turnaround”. This actual development doesn’t match “at all to the current climate protection debate”.
No. In fact, “when in 2021 thousands of wind turbines come to the end of the 20-year subsidy period of the Renewable Energy Act, more wind turbines will be demolished on balance than new ones will be added, the wind industry fears.” It couldn’t happen to a more deserving industry.
Unlike in the past too low subsidies for wind power is not the cause this time. “It’s not about the money,” said Albers.
“Too low subsidies” is an oxymoron. But here is the new twist:
The most important cause lies in the legal resistance of wildlife and forest conservationists fighting new wind farms. The BWE President referred to an industry survey of the onshore wind agency. According to its findings, more than 70 percent of the legal objections are based on species conservation, especially the threat to endangered bird species and bats.
The conservationists have a point. One of the worst features of both wind and solar energy is that they are terrible for the environment. They use up an enormous amount of land that otherwise would be available for agriculture, development or recreation. They are eyesores. And they kill huge quantities of wildlife.
It isn’t the most important reason to oppose corrupt subsidies and mandates for “green” energy, but the fact that these energy sources are bad for the environment is one more nail in the coffin.