Part of Telegraph Article Makes Sense

Sep 17 2013 Published by under European and German energy law

That’s worth a headline. One doesn’t expect them to get anything right. I mean, they deny climate change on a regular basis. I wonder if Justus Haucap, who just linked to them on Twitter, even is aware of that.

The article in question is titled “Romantic Germany risks economic decline as green dream spoils”. It is the usual collection of anti-renewable and anti-German talking points. Nothing remarkable or worth discussing here.

Except for this paragraph:

As a solar enthusiast, I am grateful to the Germans for their altruism. Roughly €100bn of their money has gone up in smoke – one way or another – developing solar technologies that have helped drive down costs to near “grid parity” in low latitudes. The great prize of market-based solar is within grasp. Sadly for German citizens, they will see no special benefit.

That’s actually true. German money has brought down the price of solar. And it’s remarkable that the author of this propaganda piece actually notes this.

I am a German citizen. I see nothing sad in the fact that bringing solar prices down benefits everyone on the planet. On the contrary. I am proud of that fact, and I think that Germany had a special moral obligation to go ahead with its solar feed-in tariff.

This is the most important success of the German feed-in tariff. And someone like that Telegraph author is right in being grateful, and has no business whatsoever to worry about Germans being unable to pay for this.

But for anyone who is worried that Germany will “lose its economic halo” because of installing some solar panels, let’s just note again that until 2040 Germany is expected to save one trillion Euro by switching from costly fossil fuel to basically free solar and wind energy. Even if you only think about costs (as opposed to thinking about climate change, something that can’t be expected of an Telegraph journalist), investing in solar and wind is much cheaper in the long run than to keep paying for oil, gas, and coal.

One response so far

  • Andrew DeWit says:

    Great comment. Note also that the US military is emphasizing renewables (US Navy target is 50% by 2020) for precisely the reason you illustrate: saving money in the long run, as well as avoiding the uncertainty of volatile price shifts and the havoc it wreaks on budgets.

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