At some point there will be a resurgence in (modular) renewable, nuclear energy (fuel recycling) regional plants and ways to store power generate by wind, wave and solar power. Right now, pouring too much time and money into today's technology is a huge mistake. Read articles by Swedish ecologist, Bjorn Lomborg for his take on large-scale energy conversions. (Search this blog and the internet.) America (and Oregon) doesn't need to follow German down an economically destructive rathole.
Unfortunately, some extreme greens in Oregon, Oregon cities and the USA continue to push for increasingly steep and expensive carbon reductions and GHG, and restrict automobile use.
NOTE: USC is all for carbon reductions wherever they are realistic, beneficial on a large scale, and do not harm middle and low-income families. A great idea has been the CAFE standards for cars and light trucks. Today, with more cars on the road and more vehicle miles driven than ever, the total amount of carbon-based fuel used is lower than in 1995. Increasing CAFE standards will continue to improve gas consumption in the future as cars achieve better MPG, and more people use electric cars. Some regular gas cars can now equal the 40+ MPG I get from my Prius. A bad idea is requiring ethanol be used in winter gas. We turn American fields into gas farms, use coal and oil-based energy creating the biofuel, and take farmland out of food production. give farmers government subsidies to grow indelible corn, and it's crummy gas! My mileage goes way down with the ethanol mix - rather counterproductive. Bad ideas are not exclusive to Germany; however Germany's virtuous extremism should be a warning.
Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2017
REVIEW AND OUTLOOK
Germany’s Green Energy Meltdown
Voters promised a virtuous revolution get coal and high prices instead.
American climate-change activists point to Europe, and especially Germany, as the paragon of green energy virtue. But they ought to look closer at Angela Merkel’s political struggles as she tries to form a new government in Berlin amid the economic fallout from the Chancellor’s failing energy revolution.
Berlin last month conceded it will miss its 2020 carbon emissions-reduction goal, having cut emsions by just under 30% compared with 1990 instead of the 40% that Mrs. Merkel promised. The goal of 55% by 2030 is almost surely out of reach.
Mrs. Merkel’s failure comes despite astronomical costs. By one estimate, businesses and households paid an extra €125 billion in increased electricity bills between 2000 and 2015 to subsidize renewables, on top of billions more in other handouts. Germans join Danes in paying the highest household electricity rates in Europe, and German companies pay near the top among industrial users. This is a big reason Mrs. Merkel under-performed in September’s election.
Berlin has heavily subsidized renewable energy since 2000, primarily via feed-in tariffs requiring utilities to buy electricity from renewable generators at above-market rates. Mrs. Merkel put that effort into overdrive in 2010 when she introduced the Energiewende, or energy revolution.
Energiewende enthusiasts say the policy is racking up successes despite the problems. That’s true only in the sense that if you throw enough money at something, some of the cash has to stick. In electric generating capacity, for instance, renewables are now running almost even with traditional fuel sources.
Yet much of that capacity is wasted—only one-third of Germany’s electricity is actually generated by renewables. Berlin has invested heavily in wind and solar power that is easiest to generate in parts of Germany that need the power the least, especially the north. Berlin will need to spend another huge sum building transmission lines to the industrial south.
The other costs relate to providing electricity when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, which is often in Germany. The traditional plants needed to fill in the gaps are overwhelmingly fired by coal, on which Germany still relies for roughly 40% of its power.
No wonder voters are in revolt. Surveys say that in theory Germans like being green, but polls about household energy costs say otherwise. The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) won a surprising 13% vote share in part on a promise to end the Energiewende immediately. A new study from the RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research finds that 61% of Germans wouldn’t want to pay even one eurocent more per kilowatt-hour of electricity to fund more renewables.