Germany, and by extension a Europe of followers, went hell for leather for renewable energy. The result has been escalating energy prices and slower growth, a strategy that works well enough if you’re wealthy enough to afford it but is escalating the gap between rich and poor. The desperate need for space for renewable energy sources such as wind farms has meant the devastation of beautiful tracts of previously untouched moorland and now they're busy cluttering the sea. They haven't solved the inherent energy storage problems. The social cost has been and will continue to be huge.
The German government established a feed-in tariff (FIT) incentive system, which guarantees long-term fixed tariffs per unit of renewable power produced. Germany underestimated the ultimate cost of the FIT, which to date is $412 billion, including guaranteed and grated rates that have not yet been paid. By 2022, the estimated cost of the FIT program will reach $884 billion, according to German Minister of the Environment Peter Altmaier, and the country will pay $31.1 billion in 2014 alone.
Though the FIT program has succeeded in bringing a large amount of renewables onto the grid in a short amount of time, the report states that consumers have suffered as a result. Electricity prices in Germany have doubled from $.18/kWh in 2000 to $.38/kWh in 2013.
Grid interventions have increased significantly as operators have to intervene and switch off or start plants that are not programmed to run following market-based dispatching. It is higher amounts of renewables with low full load hours relative to the total portfolio of power production that creates greater variability and strains on the grid. In the case of Germany, it is the large-scale deployment of both wind and solar that has impacted the entire system…… the consequences of its transition, which include high electricity prices, subsidy debts, grid instability, and costly grid upgrades.
In additional to extra work in running a more complicated grid, as more renewables are introduced Germany must also invest in energy storage technologies. Germany not only has to deal with grid stabalization, it must also invest in expanding grid infrastructure to reach onshore and offshore wind projects. According to the report, these projects are estimated to cost around $52 billion over the next 10 years.
A significant investor in Windflow are or were the Greens. In 2001 they announced:
Green Party energy spokesperson and co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons, and the Green Party’s Superannuation Fund have joined the growing list of investors in local wind power company Windflow Technology. …
“Our superannuation fund has a policy of ethical investing. Windflow Technology fits with our policy because it brings together local manufacturing and sustainable energy. As such, it is quite a unique investment opportunity in New Zealand and we are pleased to be able to invest at this early stage.”
British environmentalist and investor, Teddy Goldsmith, is the company’s largest investor so far.
Windflow Technology is offering two million shares at $1.50 each. The offer closes 1st June.
So the shares have lost 96% of their value. No wonder the Greens keep pushing policies to favour wind power.