Jim Conca recently published a blog on Forbes titled European Economic Stability Threatened By Renewable Energy Subsidies. One of the earliest comments in the growing thread on that blog provided an interesting point of view about Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear energy in favor of unreliable power sources backed up by flexible lignite, coal and natural gas plants. Here is the quoted comment:
You can be assured Germans consulted extensively (government works hand and hand with industry) to calculate costs and risks of shutting down nuclear. The difficulties in absorbing renewables was part of the consultations. Nuclear was not a growth industry for Germans; renewables is. Adjustment will not take long. In 3-5 years this problesm will be distant memories with Germans exporting and utilizing German technology. Worry more about the car industry.
That comment gave me the opportunity to share my own theory about the way that the consultations behind Energiewende might have progressed. My summary be an over simplification, but I think it may be close to the fundamental truth about how the seemingly irrational decisions were made. If you take issue with my use of the word “irrational”, please help me to find another word that describes a decision to close ultra low emission nuclear, build massive quantities of unreliables, and keep burning fossil fuels when the publicized energy supply system goal was supposedly to slow and eventually halt CO2 emissions.
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