This is what the green future looks like

Anticipated investments in new power plants, storage and electricity networks by 2031 in billion euros

Sit up and take notice James Shaw, Megan Woods and friends.?This is the likely result of Cindy’s Captain’s Call Policy (CCCP).

In Germany, they called it the “Switch to the Future”??Energiewende. (Energy transition). If ruthless German efficiency cannot make the technology work then what hope does New Zealand have?

Germany has led the world (where have we heard that phrase recently?) and bullied the EU into climate change targets. They have set milestones and targets just like “Zero Carbon 2050” and it seems that it has not been a ripping success.? They had their ‘once in a generation’ solution, just like we are having Ardern’s generation’s “nuclear-free moment”.

This from the GWFP who translated the report from German. Quote.

Germany?s Federal Audit Office has accused the federal government of having largely failed to manage the transformation of Germany?s energy systems.

The expenditure for the ecological restructuring of the energy supply is in a ?blatant disproportion to the hitherto poor yield?, said President of the Court of Audit Kay Scheller in Berlin: ?The Federal Government is at risk to fail with its once in a generation project of the Energiewende?.

A little more than a year before Germany?s climate-policy ?milestone 2020?, the auditing body has concluded a catastrophic assessment of the government?s energy policy. Germany would miss its targets for both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy consumption as well as for increasing energy productivity and the share of renewable energy in transport. At the same time, policy makers had burdened the nation with enormous costs.

?Over the past five years alone, at least 160 billion euros have been spent on the transformation of the energy system,? the report states: ?If the costs of energy system transformation continue to rise and its targets continue to be missed, there is a risk of a loss of confidence in the ability of government action.?

As early as 2016, the Federal Audit Office had certified that the federal government had no overview of the costs of the energy system transformation. In the current report, the criticism is even harder because it suggests a general loss of control. End of quote.

Doesn’t this all sound too frighteningly familiar? Woods had no clues on costs when challenged in Parliament. Quote.

According to Federal Audit Office data, the Energiewende has cost around 34 billion euros in 2017 alone. In addition to the federal government?s expenditure of almost 8 billion euros, this also includes the burdens on end consumers, in particular due to the renewable energy levy (EEG). ?The Federal Government, incidentally, does not have an overall grasp of the costs or any transparency in this respect.?

The wastage of resources to implement the Energiewende was ?unprecedented?. Last year, the federal ministries and subordinate authorities employed around 675 full-time staff, 300 of them in the Federal Ministry of Economics alone, divided into 34 departments and four divisions. In addition, there are at least 45 committees at federal-state level dealing with the green energy transition. The effort being expended here is in itself almost contradictory to one of the main objectives of the energy system transformation: the economical and efficient use of scarce resources. […] End of quote.

I suggest that the CoL sets up a working group to ensure that New Zealand does not create a massive new bureaucracy like this.? Three or four fact-finding missions to Germany should be sufficient for this working group to establish the framework for a committee to oversee the formation of a commission to control this.? As someone interested in this area, I am available for the role of chairperson of the working group, the committee and commission when established. Quote.

The federal government rejected the assessment. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, headed by Peter Altmaier (CDU), responded in a rather surprising way: ?The government considers the Energiewende to be ?effectively and efficiently coordinated? and sees ?no need for action?. However, the ministry did not address the fact that the Energiewende has largely missed its targets.

Astonishingly, the Federal Ministry of Economics also stated that the multi-billion levy under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) should not be counted as a costs of the green energy transition. Until now the EEG levy for subsidising renewable energy was always considered as the actual pillar of the Energiewende. According to the government, even the billions of euros in relief payments for the German industry to compensate for higher energy costs are ?measures of industrial policy and not Energiewende measures, which thus cannot be attributed to the Energiewende?.

The Federal Government explained its refusal to conduct a transparent cost-benefit analysis of the Energiewende by saying that these costs could only be compared with a ?counterfactual scenario?. Because electricity grids and power plants would have had to be renewed even without the Energiewende, only a comparison of a world with and a world without the Energiewende would be meaningful. However, such a comparison could not be made because of the large number of uncertain basic assumptions.

The Federal Audit Office, however, does not consider these replies to be tenable. ?It is conspicuous that the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology has not commented on the missed targets some of which are quite considerable,? the Federal Audit Office states. […]

Scheller said it was ?regrettable? that Germany had lost its self-propagated international pioneering role: ?Germany had made a strong start and is now doing comparatively poorly internationally.? The President of the Court of Audit referred to the ranking of the World Economic Forum: According to the ranking, Germany is no longer represented on the list of the ten most successful energy transition countries in Europe. Internationally, Germany occupies only the 16th place.

Overall, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is trying ?to give the impression that the current coordination and control of the energy transition is essentially designed at optimal level,? the auditors conclude. ?Failing that, the German and international public could get the impression that Germany is simply incapable of successfully shaping and implementing the Energiewende that is planned society-wide and for the long term.? End of quote.

With the current bunch in control it is pretty clear that a few years from now, analysts will be saying about New Zealand, “The public could get the impression that New Zealand is simply incapable of successfully shaping and implementing the Zero Carbon Act and the end of oil and gas exploration that was planned society-wide and for the long term.”