Fritz Vahrenholt was een van de grondleggers van de milieubeweging in Duitsland. Van huis uit is hij chemicus. Hij is sinds 1969 lid van de SPD. Van 1976 tot 1979 vervulde hij verschillende functies bij officiële milieuorganisaties. Ook was hij adjunct milieuminister en senator van de stad Hamburg. In 2001 stichtte hij het windenergiebedrijf REPower en was hij directeur van RWE’s hernieuwbare energiedivisie Innogy. In 2012 publiceerde hij samen met Sebastian Lüning ‘Die kalte Sonne’, dat tot een felle discussie leidde over het dogmatisme in de klimaatwetenschap.

In een recent artikel onder de titel, ‘Germany Faces An Energy-Political Fiasco’, waarschuwt Vahrenholt voor een fiasco van het Duitse energiebeleid. Dat is des te opmerkelijker omdat Vahrenholt oorspronkelijk uit de milieuhoek komt.

Ik pik er een aantal elementen uit.

If the loss of German competitiveness becomes clearly palpable, and the destruction of nature turns into a leading political issue, then voters and citizens could bring about a change in politics.

The German government aims to increase the share of renewable energies in electric power consumption from 30% today to 45% by 2025. Using a decarbonization plan, the aim is to crank up the share by renewable energies to 80%. No other country in the world is currently undertaking such a Harakiri course, one that will drive electricity prices to skyrocketing levels never seen before. Renewable energies are two to three times more expensive in their generation when compared to the existing conventional plants. The cost difference now towers at the astonishing figure of 25 billion euros annually which are not only being paid by the citizens via their power bills, but also by business and industry. In the end it burdens industrial competitiveness, costs jobs, and represents a social transfer from bottom to top of immense dimensions. Investors in solar, wind and biogas receive double-digit returns over 20 years through state-guaranteed fixed prices. These returns are being paid by power consumers, and the poor among them who are unable to afford them.

Already today Germany has the second highest electricity price (after Denmark) in Europe. According to estimates from Berlin-based think-tank AGORA, the so-called renewable energy feed-in tariff will rise from 6.35 €ct/kwh today to an astounding 7.3 €ct/kwh in 2017. Competitive electricity prices are crucial in keeping Germany’s energy intensive industries, such as the productions of copper, steel, silicon or aluminum, or the raw chemicals or the production of engineering gases such as oxygen, hydrogen, chlorine or ammonia. Currently energy intensive plants are paying only 15% of the energy apportionment. Should this exemption be repealed, the vertically integrated value creation chain of the metal processing, electrical and chemical industries would collapse. Indeed already today electricity costs for German industry are around 26% above the EU average. Compared to the USA the difference is now near 150%. Germany still has an industrial share that is 23% of the gross value added, and allowed us to overcome the deep 2008/2009 economic crisis better than most nations. However the creeping process of deindustrialization has already begun. The benefactors of our job losses will be the USA and the Far East. …

Vahrenholt stelt vervolgens dat de invloed van CO2 op de gemiddelde wereldtemperatuur sterk overschat is door het VN-klimaatpanel (IPCC), terwijl het de rol van natuurlijke factoren heeft onderschat. Ondanks stijgende CO2-concentratie in de atmosfeer is de temperatuur de afgelopen 17 jaar niet significant gestegen. Klimaatmodellen weten hiermee geen raad. Daarna wijst hij op de groeiende maatschappelijke weerstand tegen de plaatsing van windturbines.

In the meantime, some 500 citizens’ initiatives are fighting against the further construction of wind energy. It doesn’t take a leap of the imagination to see that this movement is well organized, well informed, capable of handling conflict and able to take on the German Parliament. Here a huge amount of expertise from thousands of minds is coalescing, and no longer bowing to the whims of mayors and state councils. The mood of the citizens has tipped. …

And to make matters worse, a further expansion of renewables will not save a single tonne of CO2 because the traded CO2 certificates in this country will only lead again to correspondingly more CO2 emissions in Europe. …

Several factors of influence are needed to cause a fundamental course correction. If global temperatures do not rise, the loss of German competitiveness becomes clearly palpable, and the destruction of nature turns into a leading political issue, then voters and citizens could bring about a change in politics. This process will accelerate if the grid failures become more frequent and supply instability increases. …

Aldus Fritz Vahrenholt.

Lees verder hier.

Of dit zal gebeuren? De toekomst zal het leren.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hierhier, hier, hier en hier.