Germany’s energy transition (“Energiewende”) from fossil fuels for power and electricity to renewables, particularly wind turbines, has caused the highest electricity prices in the world. Electrical grid instability for Europe is now a reality, and the same thing will happen to California. These policies have led to electrical output reductions triggering serious implications for how effectively Germany can ward off COVID-19. While California doesn’t have 25 million infections it has thousands that can mainly be fought with reliable energy and electricity.
This global pandemic is leading to economic depressions in Germany and possibly California; the State’s grid better return to fossil fuels. The world is moving in that direction through the use of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals that have their origins in the over 6,000 products that come from a barrel of crude oil.
Otherwise Germany’s energy policies, which a 2019 McKinsey & Company report said “pose(s) a significant threat to the nation’s economy and energy supply,” will devastate their country, the EU, and western-aligned nations battling the Chinese virus unleashed on the world. There doesn’t seem to be a compromise between climate change enthusiasts who embrace renewables, and opponents of both actions in the Merkel and Newsome governments.
Chancellor Merkel has vowed to fight undefined climate change by spending 50 billion euros on top of the 580 billion euros already spent on Energiewende. Merkel also wants to tax productive German industries who emit carbon, and dot the German countryside with expansive, land-grabbing wind turbine farms for energy to electricity that do not work as advertised. California is following the same path with the passage of Senate Bill 100, “requiring renewable energy and zero-carbon resources supply 100 percent of electric retail sales to end-use customers by 2045.”
This is a dangerous proposition relying primarily on renewable – instead of zero-carbon nuclear energy to electricity – that famed documentary filmmaker Michael Moore – has excoriated in his new film Planet of the Humans.
Policy proposals that deem anthropogenic global warming is an existential threat to mankind based on the fear that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels causes irreversible destruction. This “existential threat” is “highly questionable according to many scientists,” here, here, here, and here.
Berlin’s embrace of the proposed 11 trillion euro, European Green New Deal similar to the American Green New Deal embraced by California policymakers would “finance the transition away from fossil fuels to decarbonizing Europe’s economy.” Merkel nor Governor Newsome have explained how both economies would transition from the thousands of products Germany and California use daily that come from a barrel of crude oil.
This drive for decarbonization, and riddance of zero-carbon nuclear power (New York is also closing down nuclear plants during the coronavirus crisis) has consequences when Berlin and Sacramento wholeheartedly uses renewables. By eliminating coal-fired and natural-gas fired power plants this requires:
“Literally millions of wind turbines, billions of solar panels, and several billion batteries like the half-ton power sources used in Tesla vehicles.”
Both governments would then be propelling a gargantuan increase in mining for “lithium, cobalt, copper, iron, aluminum, and numerous other raw materials.” This drive for renewables is fueled by earth-moving transportation largely run off fossil fuel. The world still uses fossil fuels for over 80 percent of all energy needs.
Add the need for precious minerals that supply computers, smartphones, and electric vehicles (whose sales have plummeted during coronavirus) will mean California and Germany are financing environmental destruction. Mining operations take place in failed nation-states such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and duplicitous China.
Expanding mining to meet European and American New Deal requirements for solar panels and wind turbines will:
“Impose substantial harm on the men, women, and children who work in battery – and renewable energy-related mines, processing plants and factories in other countries.”
These energy policies will promulgate environmental degradation, wildlife de-placement and destruction; and human misery without achieving emission reduction, or working towards alleviating the coronavirus outbreak. In actuality since billions have been spent – German emissions have increased the past ten years – and with COVID-19 attacking respiratory systems – this is a major problem. Environmentalists in Germany, and California interested in renewables are also seeking bailout money that should be going to small business owners, and blue- collar workers.
The larger issue coinciding with poor German energy policy is the collapse of U.S. oil prices called West Texas Intermediate (WTI). Energy jobs in the U.S. are being lost. U.S. power demand has now fallen to 16-year lows. German and EU security depends on America “maintaining energy dominance.” The North Slope in Alaska had a major oil discovery earlier this year that is now put on hold whereas Brent Crude hasn’t collapsed since it is based out of the North Sea, and still has plenty of storage. This means the EU can fall under Russian energy sway. All these issues have economic and national security ramifications for California.
Recently, New York and Virginia following Berlin and Sacramento’s lead have banned fracking and gone all-in for global warming-led energy policies favoring chaotically intermittent renewables. These choices create a security dilemma – with Russia and other Middle Eastern dictatorships – waiting to fulfill European energy, and electrical generation needs.
The pandemic has revealed flawed environmental policies. For example, California counties and cities who have banned plastic bags now reverse course when it was found reusable bags spread COVID-19, instead of using plastic bags that end up in a landfill.
Use critical thinking to reopen Californian and German energy markets, and global economies as well, which both are dependent on for their growth. Stop giving taxpayer handouts to wind and solar firms leading to energy poverty.
The world has returned to fossil fuels, because renewables are intermittent whereas fossil fuels and nuclear are abundant, scalable, affordable, reliable, and flexible. If the technologically sound Germans haven’t figured out how to store and transmit energy when the sun doesn’t shine, or the wind doesn’t blow, it’s doubtful California will during this pandemic.