The Hilarious Green Irony
How did Germany manage this winter to avert a recession brought on by an energy shortage? As the WSJ editors explain, give thanks to evil coal.
Data released Thursday show coal’s role in electricity generation growing in Germany for the second year running.
Coal, which accounted for 33.3% of electricity production in 2022, picked up some of the slack from natural gas. Natural gas’s share of electricity production dropped to 11.4% as a halt of gas imports from Russia forced Germany to use other fuels.
In actuality, coal’s resurgence started in 2020, before the Ukraine war triggered fears of a gas crisis.
Blame renewables and the politicians who love them, continues the WSJ.
The renewable share of Germany’s electricity generation grew to 46.3% from 42.3% in 2022, the data point Berlin will want to highlight. But wind and solar don’t work when the winds are still or the skies are cloudy.
Utilities require cheap and easy alternative sources of power to match supply with demand in an advanced industrial economy when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Cheap and easy means coal, which is why coal’s share of German electricity increased even as the overall share of conventional sources of energy declined to 53.7% from 57.7%.
Political Hostility to Nuclear
Resurgence in coal also can be blamed on the political hostility of Germany’s green left to nuclear power,
… share of electricity production fell to 6.4% from 12.6% as three reactors were shut, leaving only three left to limp along this spring. Germany could tap its shale-gas reserves for a cleaner-burning alternative to coal, but that option is politically toxic too. So in an hilarious green irony, coal is keeping the lights on.
Will the U.S. Surpass Germany’s Stupid Index
Berlin still plans to ban coal by 2030, warns the WSJ.
Maybe before that day arrives politicians in Berlin will catch up to what the market already knows: Fossil fuels remain indispensable for powering modern economies.
Reality Meets Practicality
Also notable is the absence in the WSJ article of statistics on how coal or wind are contributing.
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