Germany will never be able to rely on renewable energy

Unmasking the fairy tale of a successful energy transition in Germany.

The End of the Energiewende?

By Heiner Flassbeck
10 Jan 2017

The prominent German economist Heiner Flassbeck has challenged fundamental assumptions of the Energiewende at his blog site According to Flassbeck, the former Director of Macroeconomics and Development at the UNCTAD in Geneva and a former State Secretary of Finance, a recent period of extremely low solar and wind power generation shows that Germany will never be able to rely on renewable energy, regardless of how much new capacity will be built.

Stable high-pressure winter weather has resulted in a confrontation. An Energiewende that relies mainly on wind and solar energy will not work in the long run. One cannot forgo nuclear power, eliminate fossil fuels, and tell people that electricity supplies will remain secure all the same.

We have attempted unsuccessfully to find Energiewende advocates willing to explain that inconsistency. Their silence is not easy to fathom. But maybe the events themselves have made the outcome inevitable.

With nuclear power no longer available, a capacity of at least 50 gigawatts is required by other means, despite an enormously expanded network of wind turbines and solar systems

This winter could go down in history as the event that proved the German energy transition to be unsubstantiated and incapable of becoming a success story. Electricity from wind and solar generation has been catastrophically low for several weeks. December brought new declines. A persistent winter high-pressure system with dense fog throughout Central Europe has been sufficient to unmask the fairy tale of a successful energy transition, even for me as a lay person.


You do not need to be a technician, an energy expert, or a scientist to perceive the underlying futility of this basic situation. You simply need common sense, shelving expectations and prognoses for a moment, while extrapolating the current result to future developments. Let us suppose that today’s wind and solar potential could be tripled by 2030, allowing almost all of the required energy to be obtained from these two sources under normal weather conditions. This is an extremely optimistic scenario and certainly not to be expected, because current policy is slowing down the expansion of renewable energy sources rather than accelerating it.

One cannot simultaneously rely on massive amounts of wind and sunshine, dispense with nuclear power plants (for very good reasons), significantly lower the supply of fossil energy, and nevertheless tell people that electricity will definitely be available in the future

If a comparable lull occurred in 2030 (stable winter high systems that recur every few years), then three times the number of solar panels and wind turbines (assuming current technologies) could logically produce only three times the amount of electricity. The deficiency of prevailing winds and sunshine will affect all of these installations, no matter how many there are. Even threefold wind and solar generation would then fulfill just 20% of requirements – again very optimistically – assuming that demand had not increased by 2030.

See entire commentary:

Thanks to J.H. Walker for this link

11 thoughts on “Germany will never be able to rely on renewable energy”

  1. Unfortunately the Herd and Mob have not one scintilla of scientific or economic thought.

    Fossil fuels = Bad
    Nuclear energy = Bad

    Sustainability = good
    Alternate fairy tale energy = good

    Without any rationality of economic or scientific reality.

  2. welcome to my world:-)
    we have agreens senator in aus Koutsantonis
    saying clean coal ie wetslurry with scrubbers wouldnt produce as much as solar or wind per price
    seriously…the fool seems to be utterly convinced hes correct!
    I would love to pass links BUT for some reason a statewide issue reported IN the states online paper concerning everyone AND govt is a pay to read item!!!!!

  3. The assumption that there would be an increase in need by 2030 probably is not a valid one based on the inability of the current system to support the current needs. A winter like Europe is experiencing now may not be the exceptional but the norm over the next few years. Failure of the electrical system with diminished supplies of carbon fuels could bring about a drastic reduction in population due to hypothermia or flat leaving the nations.

    Of course, this is what the New World Order would want anyway since depopulation is still the only thing that can be gained via crippling the energy generation system in the northern hemisphere. Disease will be used in the tropical regions to accomplish the desired population reduction.

  4. “All these fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no nearer to the answer to the question, ‘What are light quanta?’ Nowadays every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows it, but he is mistaken. (Albert Einstein, 1954)”

    Climate “scientists” think they are expert on things that no-one has any real clue about.

    If Einstein didn’t understand a subject he studied intensively his whole life and wrote several groundbreaking papers on where do modern “scientists” get off claiming they know the “science is settled” ???

  5. You may find reference to Einstein’s science a bit off topic but remember the whole of climate “science” is based on the existence of a “back radiative greenhouse effect” which is supposedly “settled science”.

    The physics of the “back radiative greenhouse effect” is based entirely on misuse of blackbody radiation concepts and I can’t think of a more significant scientist to slap down the concept of radiative “settled science” than Einstein.

    Compared to him climate “scientists” are mental midgets posing as know it alls – something he never did.

  6. The “Never” claim is absolutely ridiculous and can only be claimed by someone completely ignorant of current battery technology trends and the improvement in efficiency of all our electrical devices ( including solar panels) The whole world will in due coarse run solely on renewables, it is only a matter of time.

    • “Never” is indeed an ill-advised absolute but your claims have a similar problem. The future energy needs will be met by something or a combination of things but no one knows what that will be.

      • I have lived completely off the grid for 5 years now. So has 3 other households in 5 other residences on my farm. Zero power interruption for 5 years, always hot water always enough electricity. It can be done with current technology. It should be done by more people and future technology will make it even cheaper and we already have no compromise.

    • I agree, this may be possible, but on 60 to 70 year time scales, and billions of Euro’s and £ in difficult to source investment; 60 -70 year time scales in human political investment cycles is Never.
      The problem as I see it is we will need ALL types of energy supply sources over the next 30 years to keep this modern civilisation running though this deepening Grand Solar Minimum.
      The Green terrorists have run a successful campaign against Uranium, Carbon and Hydrocarbon energy sources, based on lies, fraud, and a US Gullible Democrat desire to save the world.
      What the world needs is to be saved from US based Green Terrorists who wish to see the end of human civilisation on this planet, and return to a golden age of human hunter gatherers in tune with nature, and walking snacks on the hoof for large carnivores.

  7. Dispense with nuclear energy (for very good reasons)?

    I can’t think of any good reasons to dispense with nuclear power, we’ll be getting a lot of energy from solar and wind into the future, but if we cut out coal, gas, oil, we have to have nuclear to back up solar and wind, solar panels don’t work too good when they’re covered with snow.

  8. When will people understand that electricity cannot be stored and needs to be produced as and when it is needed. That is the main reason why solar and wind can never work without conventional fuel backup.
    Thirty years ago when I worked for the Central Electricity Generating Board this was a given fact. They had a kind of timetable for everyday forecasting the energy consumption for that day. They would take into account the television schedules the commercial breaks (when energy consumption would increase because people went to the loo and made tea), sports fixtures etc.
    When did the world start going mad and all this knowledge and technical expertise was ditched for something as patently erroneous as renewable energy. Are there no more inteligent and brave people left to resist these communist monsters and liars whose objective seems to be the deindustrialisation of the West and the creation of fuel poverty.

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