Clean Energy Debacle Pollutes Germany's Climate Efforts

A plan to power Germany entirely on renewable energy is Chancellor Angela Merkel's "most ambitious domestic project". But rising costs to the state, businesses and consumers are straining support for the $735 billion effort.
September 19, 2013, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Two years into a multi-decade effort to shift Germany entirely to renewable energy sources, "problems in execution" are eroding support for "one of the most sweeping energy transformation efforts undertaken by an industrialized country," report Melissa Eddy and Stanley Reed.

"German families are being hit by rapidly increasing electricity rates, to the point where growing numbers of them can no longer afford to pay the bill. Businesses are more and more worried that their energy costs will put them at a disadvantage to competitors in nations with lower energy costs, and some energy-intensive industries have begun to shun the country because they fear steeper costs ahead."

"Newly constructed offshore wind farms churn unconnected to an energy grid still in need of expansion," they add. "And despite all the costs, carbon emissions actually rose last year as reserve coal-burning plants were fired up to close gaps in energy supplies."

In light of the troubles Germany has had with its “Energiewende” (or “energy revolution”), Stan Alcorn suggests the United States would be wise to look elsewhere (Sweden, in particular) for guidance in developing a carbon-neutral economy.

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Published on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 in The New York Times
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