Deutschland uber allis! Germany would be the vanguard of environmentalism.
Ten years later, the data indicated that renewable electricity generation had grown by more than 300%. But, so did the cost of electricity. In 2010, Germany had the most expensive electricity in Europe.
But, what the heck? Why shouldn't all of the Joseph and Josephine Schlubs of Germany pay more for renewable electricity, especially since it is promised to preserve the fragile ecosystem?
Research conducted by Vaclav Smil indicates that, in 2010, Germany also boasted higher carbon emissions! Why? To meet the nation's energy demands, Germany had to use the most inexpensive alternatives, such as lignite and coal, because importing natural gas into Germany would cost 300% more than the U.S. price. Consequently, carbon dioxide emissions didn't decrease or remain neutral but increased.
And guess who is most affected? According to Smil:
- Home ownership in the U.S. is ~65%, similar to the U.K but lower than the 80% rates in Spain and Italy. In Germany, only 43% of families own a home.
- In the U.S., almost 90% of households in the highest quartile own their homes and 50% in the lowest quartile are homeowners. But in Germany, the numbers are 60% and 20%.
Those who don't own homes (read: the poor) are affected the worst by Germany's confiscatory electricity rates. Those who own homes can place solar panels on their roofs, taking advantage of those generous state subsidies that can help to offset the high electricity rates. But, those higher rates are passed directly on to renters--the Joseph and Josephine Schlubs of Germany--who don't have the financial means to offset those costs by installing solar panels and, then, receive their generous state subsidy.
All of that doesn't matter to those who worship at the altar of environmentalism, however. Gaia demands fealty, even if it's at the price of making the poor poorer.
That was four years ago.
One would think the U.S. Congress would have studied Germany's experience before making the same mistake. But, Congress didn't. So, today,the Environmental Protection Agency is busy writing and implementing regulations that will negatively impact Joseph and Josephine Schlubs of the United States. And, again, Congress does nothing, confident that Joseph and Josephine Schlub won't care enough to vote their members of Congress out of office.
Sadly, for the nation, those politicians may just be accurate in their assessment.
Let the discussion begin...
To read Vaclav Smil's research, click on the following link:
"Germany's Energy Goals Backfire."