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Germany Exports More Electricity Than Ever Despite Phasing Out Nuclear Energy 473

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-not-easy-being-green dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Der Spiegel reports that Germany has exported more electricity this year than ever before, despite beginning to phase out nuclear power. In the first three quarters of 2012, Germany sent 12.3 terawatt hours of electricity across its borders. The country's rapid expansion into renewable energy is credited with the growth. However, the boost doesn't come without a price. The German government's investments into its new energy policy will end up costing hundreds of billions of dollars over the next two decades, and it still relies on imports for its natural gas needs. It also remains to be seen whether winter will bring power shortages. Is Germany a good example of forward-looking energy policy?"
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Germany Exports More Electricity Than Ever Despite Phasing Out Nuclear Energy

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:59AM (#41932495)

    How are your rates?
    How hard is it to get a 3-phase drop for your new business?
    Are you really going to have a shortage this winter?
    Do the tax dollars you've put into this feel like they were decently spent?

    People with less-progressive powergirds would like to know.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:12PM (#41932615)

      German here.

      For private households, rates in 2011 were (on average) approx. 0.25 €/kWh (= 31 US $ / kWh). 0.036 € of this (0.045 US $) goes to renewable energy sources (mostly wind and solar), which is subsidized by the electricity consumers (NOT by the goverment, as some seem to think). In total, around 45% of the price is taxes and subsidies. Remember that we use less than US households though - the average 3 person household uses approx. 3500 kWh/a.

      No idea about the 3-phase drops for new businesses... but I never heard of anyone not getting connected. New buildings _always_ get connected (by law). Germany is a pretty densly packed country, which helps a lot when doing infrastructure.

      There will not be a shortage in the winter. There are still plenty of reserve plants, and the european grid is pretty well connected. Some 5 GW less will not make it collapse.

      • by dywolf (2673597)

        now there's another difference. am I correct in reading that as a portion of everyones bill goes to renewable costs? probably in a weighted contribution/costs manner (ie, logical manner)

        cause that's way different than most of the US (in fact not heard of anywhere in us doing it that way, though could be wrong).
        what they tend to do here (least the places i've lived) instead is you pay the normal rate for juice, however its made locally. and then if you want it from a "green source" cause youre "environmental

        • by jonbryce (703250)

          Your electric company is required to buy a proportion of its energy from renewable sources. That costs more than fossil electricity, hence the indirect subsidy.

          • by dywolf (2673597)

            Pretty sure my electric company isnt required to do any such thing. For one they dont purchase any energy.
            They produce and supply all the juice around here, and only just recently completed a massive windfarm in west OK.

          • by citizenr (871508)

            Your electric company is required to buy a proportion of its energy from renewable sources. That costs more than fossil electricity, hence the indirect subsidy.

            Just remember that EU recognizes burning freshly cut TREES as Biofuel. Burning trees in Coal plant is a "clever" way of bypassing regulations and becoming an eco plant (you only need fixed percentage of biofuel in coal plant to become green).

        • by hawguy (1600213) on Friday November 09, 2012 @02:05PM (#41933829)

          what they tend to do here (least the places i've lived) instead is you pay the normal rate for juice, however its made locally. and then if you want it from a "green source" cause youre "environmentally conscious", you can pay extra for electricy that comes from a green source...cause it's somehow different from normal electricity. and there was a big scandal recently cause someone found out they were paying the premium and it couldnt be determined just how much of their juice was from the regular old power plant down the road, cause the systems arent seperate.

          Since it's all one big grid, you don't need to know where *your* electricity is generated to know that you're taking advantage of "green" energy. If people are paying for 1MWh of "green" power and some green plant somewhere is injecting 1MWh of green energy into the grid, then they are getting what they are paying for.

          It doesn't matter if most of the power to your house comes from the coal plant down the street and most of the power from the green goes to the industrial plant next door to the "green" plant. Your higher "green" rates are paying for that "green" generator to be hooked into the grid and generating power, reducing demand from non-green sources.

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          It's called "voting with your wallet." There's only one power carrying wire going into your house, and it's owned and operated by one company. But that company can still offer you the choice of supporting renewable or more environmentally friendly sources. If they aren't balancing their energy purchases accordingly it's fraud and should be punished.

          The situation is the same as buying a domestically made product. There's probably nothing really different other than the price, but you might do it to supp

      • by DJRumpy (1345787)

        I keep my house at 74 in Texas, which ranges to 100+ (Fahrenheit) in the summer, and I rarely ever go above 3500. Are you sure you're 3 person house is lower than the average here in the U.S.?

        As to whether or not it's worth it, the value is realized when oil availability decreases. Any new investments will have a very large up-front cost, as well as a higher cost for any new technologies (solar is a good example here where the ROI is rather low).

        Wind is a different story though, and solar is rapidly changin

        • by similar_name (1164087) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:36PM (#41932879)
          You're way under the average for the U.S. then. In 2010, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 11,496 kWh [eia.gov]
          • by joh (27088) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:14PM (#41933273)

            You're way under the average for the U.S. then. In 2010, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 11,496 kWh [eia.gov]

            Wow! I just got my yearly bill yesterday, my consumption in the last 12 months was 959 kWh. (I'm in Germany, this is electricity from pure renewable sources (mostly hydroelectric), I'm paying 22 Euro a month). OK, no AC here, no electrical heating either (except for water). I've been fairly power-conscient since moving last year though, mostly LED lighting, hardly any standby power for anything and I got rid of nearly all electrically powered kitchen utilities etc.

          • Germany has a very high standard of living, and is a fairly cold climate. Every time someone mentions the future of energy some American always says that no matter what the only acceptable option is the only that does not involve them reducing energy consumption at all because somehow watts = quality of life.

            The US needs to get its act together on energy efficiency and catch up with the rest of the world. Maybe then people will take energy policy suggestions from the US seriously.

        • by jonbryce (703250)

          European houses tend to be much better insulated than American houses. Certainly in the UK, very few people have air conditioning. In southern Europe it is probably more common, but I don't think it is that common in Germany.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Solandri (704621)

        rates in 2011 were (on average) approx. 0.25 â/kWh (= 0.31 US $ / kWh) [corrected]. 0.036 â of this (0.045 US $) goes to renewable energy sources (mostly wind and solar), which is subsidized by the electricity consumers (NOT by the goverment, as some seem to think). In total, around 45% of the price is taxes and subsidies.

        By way of comparison, average retail electricity rate in the U.S. is about 0.11 USD / kWh. It varies by region but that's the national average,

        • Average production cost for coal
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      1) As far as I know the average is 25 cent/kWh now in total, including all taxes. The official cost for renewable energies (EEG-Umlage) is 3.59 ct/kWh in 2012 and 5.28 ct/kWh in 2012.
      2) I did not hear about any problems.
      3) No, there will not be a shortage in Germany. Companies are required by law to have enough reserves. That is the reason why Germany is exporting so much power overall, and it is increasing the cost of power. Also, last winter showed that it is France who will get in trouble first, sinc
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > How are your rates?
      ~ 0.22 Euro-cents/kWh
      > How hard is it to get a 3-phase drop for your new business?
      3-phase is standard, every home has it.
      >Are you really going to have a shortage this winter?
      I don't thinks so. The grid here is rock-stable and there are reserves in the European grid.

      > Do the tax dollars you've put into this feel like they were decently spent?
      The government is not spening, the bill is payed by the (private) consumers.

    • by Ozan (176854) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:29PM (#41932801) Homepage

      Rates: on average €0.25/kWh
      3-phase drop: is standard for every premise, even a 1-bedroom apartment has it
      shortage in winter: no, Germany has been a net exporter of electricity for ages. Talks about shortages are usually corporate FUD.

      To clarify: there is no tax euro spent on the electrical infrastructure. The conversion to renewable energy is financed by payment guarantees, which in turn are financed by the consumer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Renewable_Energy_Act [wikipedia.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      3-phase question -> funny . In Slovakia (old east block - 150miles from GER) you get 3-phase to 95% of apartments/houses so its no isue( germany will be propably the same)
      I see you are from US by your question. US power is mess as your Internet and Telecom providers. (blakout in NYC-dowtown - single point of failure.14th st)
      Our power distribution is different then yours. We dont have transformers for every house, but only for bigger areas transformers owned by power company and therefore by default its

      • I'm not intimate with all the details of US power distribution, but my understanding is that the norm is that the long-distance lines operate very high voltage from the generating plants to the local substations, the local substations step it down to high voltage and distribute it to neighbourhoods, and the neighbourhoods have multiple transformers that step down to consumer voltage, with 1 local transformer per every 10 houses (give or take). No transformers on the house, just split-phase to provide 110 an

  • ...usage rates compare with other nations?
    How much usage do they have compared to what's generated?

    • by pesho (843750)
      Excellent point. I have lived in Germany for several years and I can attest that they have invested heavily in energy efficiency.
      • by dywolf (2673597)

        Actually I wasnt making a point per se. Just the first thing my engineer brain latched onto cause thats how I analyze things: how to quantify the statements in relation to others. For all I knew they could be generating trillions of watts and using none cause everyone uses coal. I know thats not really the case, but just saying, having never been to Germany I have no idea, though I am told europe in general uses far less energy per household than we in the US do.

        Two usage examples I know of off top my head:

        • by bfandreas (603438) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:07PM (#41933211)
          You don't need an AC in Germany. We have mild summers and mild winters. So there goes one major factor.

          But there is also the cultural factor. For instance every fridge, washing machine, anything that remotely uses power has a big fat sticker with the energy efficiency class on its side. Nobody likes to buy something with a B on it when you can spend a bit more that says A.
          This goes even further. We use so little water that lakc of water seriously threatens our drains. So the utilities started to flush them.
          Most of the cars you see in the inner cities are quite small. And a lot of them are highly fuel efficient. Bigger cars used for commuting are diesel powered. You'll see a lot of Blue Motion Volkswagen that are so fuel efficient they put a Prius to shame.

          The head of our government is a physicist. That propably also helps. They tend not to be that easily bullshittable. She can do the maths herself. Also one of our states is governed by the Green party.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Ask, and the internet provides:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_energy_consumption_per_capita

  • by fast turtle (1118037) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:00PM (#41932501) Journal

    which has exceeded 3 trillion dollars. I'd gladly trade the money spent on war for a stable power grid that doesn't go down at the drop of a leaf

    • which has exceeded 3 trillion dollars. I'd gladly trade the money spent on war for a stable power grid that doesn't go down at the drop of a leaf

      Source? Last I saw it was just under $1.4 trillion cumulative for the last 11 years...

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:01PM (#41932515) Homepage

    Hundreds of billions for something that you can sell and gives the country a renewable supply of energy?

    That's a bargain compared to all the wars, bailouts, pork projects, mansions for the few, etc. the rest of the world is "buying" with it's tax money.

    • by ScentCone (795499)

      mansions for the few

      What makes you think that spending hundreds of billions of dollars on something won't involve at least some real success stories among the thousands of businesses with whom that money is spent? Why do you not want people to be successful in an industry that everyone says they wish was more attractive?

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Actually, most of the European bailouts is paid by Germany. Also, total costs are not comparable, only per capita ones.

  • So I read the articles and I didn't see much reference to the EU's target of all member countries having 20% renewable energy in use by 2020. That date is fast approaching and I'm going to go out on a limb here and posit that Germany was (and still is due to the economic crisis) the country to pay up for this expensive infrastructure. Meanwhile neighboring countries like France, Poland, Czech Republic, etc are unable to build massive solar panel fields and instead might be trying to meet their own interme
    • Actually, Germany is somewhere in the middle of the pack in terms of the percentage of renewable sources in the electricity mix. The problem is that they also consume a lot of electricity (industry and population), so their consumption really matters in absolute terms. That's why it is an important country -- if they can pull it off, it means that other large industrial producers like France and the UK also can.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_the_European_Union

      Keep in mind that that report

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:18PM (#41932671)

    This is not a victory for renewables, but for democracy. German citizens want to go renewable enough that they are willing to swallow the costs. Germany is a rich enough country to do that, and rich countries can accomplish amazing things when they have the will to do so. That doesn't mean renewable became any more viable economically, or that other poorer countries have any chance of replicating this feat.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Renewables are economically viable, compared to other energy sources like nuclear. The tired old claim that they are not is just FUD, unless you are willing to state that in fact nuclear and perhaps coal (if you include healthcare costs) are as well.

    • by Mike_EE_U_of_I (1493783) on Friday November 09, 2012 @02:27PM (#41934057)

      This is not a victory for renewables, but for democracy. German citizens want to go renewable enough that they are willing to swallow the costs. Germany is a rich enough country to do that, and rich countries can accomplish amazing things when they have the will to do so. That doesn't mean renewable became any more viable economically, or that other poorer countries have any chance of replicating this feat.

      I agree with the first part of what you wrote, but not the second. Germany has purchased so much solar PV that it has pushed the PV industry far down the experience curve. This results in far lower PV prices for everyone else.

          I've been saying for years now that basically the entire world should be sending a Christmas card to Germany every year. The Germans took a HUGE economic hit that wound up making solar PV much more cost effective for everyone.

  • Germany will have to invest billions in (HVDC) power lines to carry all that volatile electricity around. Windmills are mostly in the north, solar in the south etc. Guess who will complain when they get an ugly power line in their backyard? The same people who protested the nuclear powerplants of course.
    And by the way: lot of nukes are closed in europe because they found small fractures in the reactors. In Belgium even the government starts talking about brownouts this winter.
  • by JWW (79176)

    No, they are not an example of good, forward looking policy. They are a horrible example.

    They are replacing established, 0 carbon emission, nuclear power plants with other sources that have either higher emissions because of their construction (wind, solar) or with sources that just plain have carbon emissions from their operation (natural gas). I know natural gas is way better than coal, but they're replacing nuclear with gas which increases carbon emissions.

    If we want to impact global warming we have to

    • by should_be_linear (779431) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:40PM (#41932917)
      it will take a loooooong road of building for them to even come close to replacing other forms of electricity generation.

      This article is about Germany where it is obvious, that road is not that long, as everyone (especially nuclear lobbyists) was saying. In 2011, 3% of German electricity was produced by solar, in 2012 it will be over 5%, which is amazing 2% per single year only on solar energy. Wind energy is about 7% and is also growing at least >= 1% per year. Add to this new (wind) mega-turbines (>= 10MW per one turbine), and you see that pretty soon Germany will turn on non-renewable sources only in still more rare situations.
    • Wind = Gas (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AwaxSlashdot (600672)

      Wind power is the best thing ever happened to Gas powerstations manufacturers.
      For every wind farm, you need a gas powerstation of the same size to compensate when the wind is not blowing.

      So, over one year, wind power rejects more CO2 than a nuclear plant of same capacity.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        "For every wind farm, you need a gas powerstation of the same size to compensate when the wind is not blowing.
        that's a complete lack of understanding energy distribution.

        I mean, it's simply..stupid.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:49PM (#41933011)

      Wind and solar don't have the capacity and it will take a loooooong road of building for them to even come close to replacing other forms of electricity generation.

      That's exactly what we are trying to disprove. Yes, there are immense engineering challenges, but germany has a long and distiguished history of great engineers and I believe we can do it. It's like the moon landing in the 60s for the US, the goal is distant and we're not exactly sure how we are going to reach it, but the fact that the target stands is inspiring a whole generation of engineers to do what seems impossible. Now, the political challenges are a completly different topic...

    • by w_dragon (1802458) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:08PM (#41933221)
      You're counting the cost of construction of renewables, and ignoring the cost of mining and processing the uranium for the nukes. Unless you know of some 0-carbon mining process the idea that nuclear creates 0 carbon is BS. Wind and solar are actually 0-carbon once built. This is +5 interesting why?
    • by evilviper (135110) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:10PM (#41933243) Journal

      If we want to impact global warming we have to use nuclear power. Wind and solar don't have the capacity and it will take a loooooong road of building for them to even come close to replacing other forms of electricity generation.

      This is utterly wrong. Solar is one of the ONLY technologies that will make it possible to continue energy usage trends for the next century. We couldn't practically build nuclear power plants fast enough to keep up with growing demand. Wind is also a very good option, which should be exploited as much as possible.

      While I support nuclear power plants in general, I'm not so sure Germany made the wrong decision. They made the decision in the wake of the Fukishima disaster, and *if* their investigation determined their own nuclear plants are vulnerable to some natural disaster or another, shutting them down BEFORE a disaster happens is ideal. Waiting until AFTER a disaster happens, and only *then* shutting them down, is the worst possible outcome for everyone.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@world3AAA.net minus threevowels> on Friday November 09, 2012 @02:03PM (#41933811) Homepage

        The decision was not just because of Fukushima, it was for economic reasons as well. Nuclear is expensive. It costs a lot to build, a lot to operate safely, a lot to insure, a lot to decommission and a lot to deal with the waste. You can argue that it shouldn't cost that much but the fact is it does. I don't know the history in Germany but the UK government tried to sell the fully functional nuclear plants it built in the early 80s and no one would buy them. In the end they couldn't give them away, they actually had to pay companies to take them and agree to pay all the decommissioning and clean-up costs too.

        There is also the opportunity to get ahead with renewables. The market is rapidly expanding and Germany wants to be one of the big players. High end engineering is their thing.

        With regards to Fukushima the issue is not so much that German plants are vulnerable to large earthquakes or tsunami, it is that even in a modern first world country you just can't trust the guys running the plants. They will grow complacent after decades of safe operation, and they will put profit before safety, and they will probably screw up their handling of a disaster as well.

  • by aaarrrgggh (9205) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:22PM (#41932723)

    Exporting all those MWh is great, but are they just importing it back at night?

  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:26PM (#41932773) Journal

    1) Based on the summary numbers, Germany basically has the equivalent of 1.4 Gigawatts of spare capacity. Likely more as I'm sure they don't sell 100% of their excess capacity. This works out to enough to power about 1 million American homes.
    2) The cost of the renewable energy looks like it will cost less than the war in Iraq did for the United States.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  • by tp1024 (2409684) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:28PM (#41932793)

    What are those exports? It's the solar power and wind power that can't be used for lack of domestic power transmission and simple lack of demand in the areas where it is generated. This power must be exported, because it cannot be consumed. Despite all that, wind turbines still have be shut down at peak generation - leading to a steady decline in actual capacity factors of wind turbines. (Don't worry about you money, of course feed-in tariffs are still being paid when turbines are shut down ...)

    The most important question on those exports is hidden by the phrasing of those propaganda news: How much did germany get in return for those exports and how much did it cost to produce them? It doesn't take much in the way of imagination to conclude that it isn't much at all. Domestic power prices regularly drop to a fraction of the feed-in tariffs being paid for wind and solar power (occasionally dropping into negative territory) and exports are unlikely to offer better rates.

    The result of all that? Germans will pay an average of 0.28 Euro - or about $0.40 per kWh next year, up from 0.25 Euro this year. With a clear trend upwards, as more and more wind turbines and solar cells that produce useless electricity come online. With the recent push for off-shore wind generation that will be 50-100% more expensive than solar power (depending on the scale of the solar power plant), this will only rise. Germany will catch up with the very highest electricity prices in Europe next year (Danemark) and is set to surpass them right thereafter.

    Meanwhile, the need for transmission lines is still seen as a conspiracy of the electricity utilities by most "greens" in Germany. The need for serious storage capacity, which is already rather giant, is still not recognized.

    This is what you call a bubble - worth on the order of $350bn and rising - paid by electricity consumers through their bills. The only people who profit from it are those who have enough money to pay for solar cells or wind turbines and the more money they spend on them, the more they get. A classic transfer of money from the poor to the richest of our society - all brought to you by massive lobbying of the Green party.

    • When the wind is not blowing, either you need to activate a CO2 generating natural gas power plant (with increasing price of natural gas) or import from other countries that would gladly charge you top money for this energy you need and can't produce.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        And...?

        it's STILL less CO2.
        Of course, this assume they aren't using a water reservoir to maintain a balanced load. Some location in the world are always windy.

        AND just becasue it isn't windy where you farms happen to be, doesn't mean it isn't windy ion other places that could sell you their surplus from wind.

        I'm not a big fan of wind as a base load supply for several reason, but what you list is simply short sighted and ignorant.

    • France: 0.12 Euro per kWh.

  • "Hundreds of Billions" over 20 years? That seems to be pretty inexpensive.

    Also think of all the jobs for installing/servicing/billing that are being created.

    With more adoption of solar/wind/tidal generation, the initial price of the equipment should go down, once
    the Chinese market undercutting is "fixed"

  • "it still relies on imports for its natural gas needs"

    There is a limited supply of natural gas (I'm not talking about stocks and how long we could sustain on reserves of natural gas but on the limited bandwidth of existing and soon to be activated pipelines).

    Natural gas is used for 2 usages in Europe: electricy production and home heating.
    Germany is currently at the end of majors pipelines coming from Russia, the largery biggest provider of natural gas to Europe. So Germany can prioritized its own usages of

  • Totally bogus (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The country's rapid expansion into renewable energy is credited with the growth.

    That is so bogus. Germany relies on coal. It's replacing its nuclear generators with coal powered generators. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Germany The thing about renewable generation is mostly a lie.

  • by putaro (235078) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:36PM (#41932881) Journal

    Well, according to this article [bloomberg.com], the neighbors don't want that exported electricity and it's causing problems with their grids.

  • When Germany need all of their power is during the winter, when temperature is well below zero degrees. During this period they will not export a single watt of energy out of Germany.

    12.3 Twh = 12 300 Gwh = 12 300 000 Mwh.

    12 300 000 Mwh / 273 days / 24 hours = 1 877 Mw per hour.

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      Why would we need that much more electric energy in the winter? Sure, it's a lot darker outside and we might play more Angry Birds. But I can't see how this should have an impact of more than +20%. Also I fail to see what your arithmetic gymastics are supposed to achieve?
  • by TrumpetPower! (190615) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:40PM (#41932919) Homepage

    ...just wait until you see how much those non-renewable alternatives like tar sands and coal-to-gas will cost you. And that's before you figure in the cost to clean up the mess they make.

    Remember: deepwater horizon had a wellhead as far beneath the waves as Denver is above them, and the oil itself was farther below the seafloor than the peak of Everest is above sea level. Loooooooong gone are the days when you had to be careful with a pickaxe in Texas lest you set off a gusher.

    Oh -- and it's petroleum that fertilizes our crops and powers our transportation infrastructure, and we've already burned up half of the planet's total reserves. The easy-to-get-to and high-quality half, of course.

    Like it or not, the days of cheap energy are done and gone with. If we're smart, we'll bootstrap ourselves to a solar-based energy system, which won't be cheap, but it will give us more power than any of us can imagine. There's enough insolation just on America's residential rooftops to power the entire planet, for example. If we invest wisely, as Germany is doing, we'll sacrifice a little bit of short-term comfort for a lifetime of luxury. If we invest poorly, as Obama will have us do with his "Drill, baby! Drill!" energy plan... ...well, if we actually follow through with that, we're well and truly fucked.

    Cheers,

    b&

  • Wrong title (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495)
    I know the author was trying to tout renewable energy, but the fact of the matter is they turned off their nuclear plants, and ramped up how much coal their burning. Now, you might not like Nuclear, and I could argue with you on that... but coal is far far worse than Nuclear will ever be. This is a net loss for the environment. We need to turn off the coal, turn on the nuclear, and develop the renewable. Nuclear wont last forever, but it's the cleanest fuel we have for now.
    • by ledow (319597)

      I have a friend who works in a German power plant, in the back end handling coal orders, deliveries, etc.

      Never been so busy, apparently.

  • by jeti (105266) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:49PM (#41933013) Homepage

    There's a lot of talk about wind energy in Germany, but in truth most of our energy stems from coal and natural gas plants. And that's not going to change in the foreseeable future. Check out the up-to-date statistics on power production in Germany [eex.com] that eex provides.

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