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Sat Apr 27, 2013, 10:40 PM

Remember all the pronuclear-antirenewable BS about industrial power prices in Germany?

Last edited Mon Apr 29, 2013, 03:29 PM - Edit history (1)

You know, the flood of stories that said the cost of closing the nuclear plants and building renewables would run industry out of Germany?

Yep, it was yet another lie in a long string of similar lies...

German industry power prices up 3.7% since 2008

In February, German environmental organization Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) held a press conference on how German industry is faring under the switch to renewables – against the backdrop of charges that higher power prices will scare away energy-intensive industry. Today, we sum up the findings, which have not yet been widely distributed in English.

Since 2011, critics of Germany's energy transition have argued that the country is going to scare away its energy-intensive firms. In its Fact Check (see this PDF in German), the DUH addresses some well-known concerns: power prices for industry are "around 40 percent more expensive" in Germany than in France and the Netherlands and nearly 15 percent higher than the EU average.

First, the organization found that the price difference between Germany and the EU-27 has actually not changed significantly over the past five years and has even dropped since rising slightly in the second half of 2011. The price gap therefore predates the sudden nuclear phaseout of March 2011.

Likewise, French industry power prices have been consistently lower than those in Germany in recent years, and the gap has been wider than it currently is. The DUH comments, "The question is why the difference in price between Germany and France is now suddenly an indicator for the effects of the energy transition."

The organization also found that the price difference between the ...


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Reply Remember all the pronuclear-antirenewable BS about industrial power prices in Germany? (Original post)
kristopher Apr 2013 OP
FBaggins Apr 2013 #1
Iterate Apr 2013 #2
kristopher Apr 2013 #5
kristopher Apr 2013 #10
Iterate Apr 2013 #11
quadrature Apr 2013 #3
ConcernedCanuk Apr 2013 #4
Yo_Mama Apr 2013 #6
kristopher Apr 2013 #7
FBaggins Apr 2013 #8
kristopher Apr 2013 #9

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 06:55 AM

1. Lousy strawman... and bad link


You've complained more than once that the reason why consumer prices in Germany have grown so rapidly is because they've intentionally sheltered their industrial users from the price increases/surcharges...

... yet now you pretend that it wasn't the result of intentional action in response to those earlier concerns?

Does it always have to be a cherry-picking shell game?

Let's not look at electricity prices overall... let's look at wholesale markets when the sun is shining. Let's not look at price changed and the cost of incentives... let's look only at the prices that are holding steady because of the lobbying that industrial groups performed and pretend that they're just market prices. Let's not look at the need to dump power to neighbors for next-to-nothing at some points and import expensive generation at other points... let's combine the two weaknesses and claim that Germany is still a net exporter of electricity. Let's not look at days with almost no solar/wind... let's look at specific days when they provided the highest portion of national demand.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 06:58 AM

2. This is the correct link:


Although I have to say the wrong one was good too.

Historically, the cost of production in Germany has not been significantly different from the EU average, not even France. It's slightly higher, but then everything is slightly higher.

One factor I haven't seen included in these comparisons is the amortized cost of construction. All but a few French plants went online from 1979 to 1994, but the cost of production is compared to German output, much of which has been built or updated since reunification was underway. People assume it's included in the pricing, fair enough, but then take the leap of illogic to assume it applies to new construction.

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Response to Iterate (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 12:06 PM

5. That's a good point.

I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere. If you come across some solid information on the extent to which they've rebuilt their infrastructure since reunification I'd love to see it.

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Response to Iterate (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 29, 2013, 03:31 PM

10. Link corrected, thanks.

I hope you read the comments. They add a lot of information to the article.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 29, 2013, 08:07 PM

11. thx. Plenty of good comments on many articles there.

It's too bad this idiocy surrounding the Great Energiewende Proxy War is such a distraction, as there are many other interesting things happening here.

One you might be interested in is a law taking effect at the end of next year(I think, soon anyway), that mandates a fairly serious efficiency standard for heating boilers. Almost all German buildings are heated by circulated hot water, and a big share of them are being upgraded. It's expensive (like 15k expensive for a house), so it impacts how much transition can be put on property owners at any one time.

Some people will try to put it off as long as possible of course, but the law is enforced both by the required safety inspections, until finally suppliers are prohibited from refilling your oil tank or gas suppliers cut you off. People tend to have large on-site storage, and since whole communities and districts often pool their buys to get a better price, it can distort markets and apparent consumption figures. I'll see if I can find english language article about it.

And while I'm thinking about property, one thing to consider concerning on-site electricity storage is that the size of apartments and homes is small enough that often there simply isn't room for it. That's a good thing that so many people are happy with 25 to 50 sq. meters for a single, but it doesn't leave much room for a battery pack.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 08:18 AM

3. I give up. uncle. what are the real prices?


I give up .
what are the real prices?.

nobody gives you real prices except me

electricity prices
Bloomberg spot on peak Ercot
look halfway down the page.
USD 38.31 per megawatt-hour


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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 08:33 AM

4. You posted text from the link in the first response.



Text from YOUR link in the OP reads as follows:

Let's assume that I do not have a solar roof but my neighbor does. Nonetheless, I would like to help out in the energy transition; after all, I switched to a provider of 100 percent renewable electricity a decade ago. But maybe my roof is not suitable for solar for whatever reason. My neighbor can benefit from this bonus for battery systems; after all, it is based on the array size. But since I have no array, the bonus for me is zero euros.

The goal in storing solar power is to take up larger amounts of solar in the grid. But what does the grid care whether the power is stored underneath the array or next door? Not much.

Solar is sexy in Germany, but how do you show your neighbors that you have switched to a provider of 100 percent green power? If the Germans really wanted to switch to renewables, why haven't they already done so by switching providers?
So why is Germany focusing on bonuses for solar homeowners? Because they are taking the path of least resistance. You see, people who install solar are interested and have something at stake; the rest sometimes just want to be left alone. Everyone focuses on how popular the energy transition is over here. Just yesterday, German solar organization BSW published a press release which found that 76 percent of those surveyed want to get involved in the Energiewende themselves – and the number was 81 percent for homeowners.

But here's another figure for you: Germany could already have switched to renewables if more Germans had switched to a provider of 100 percent green power, but few have done so. In a country of some 41 million households, an estimated 8 million have switched – roughly 20 percent, up from eight percent in 2010. And 12 percent of Germans have invested in renewables.


More at link . .



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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 04:40 PM

6. The big industrials are shielded by law from the increased costs

So this doesn't mean anything.

There is an ongoing political and legal fight going on in Germany on just who has to pay for what, and what businesses qualify for the exemption.

German power prices keep going up, and the increase is largely because of the renewables. There was another increase this year, which isn't reflected yet in the official stats you will find here:

Again, this graph shows prices last year, not this year with the increase. But there are two things obvious from this graph. Denmark and Germany are hauling ahead of the pack with consumer pricing largely because of the cost of renewable subsidies. When this graph is updated for 2013, it will look worse for Germany.

The same (also for 2012) graph for industrial consumers shows that Denmark also has to shield its heavy users from the costs, or they would be losing jobs:

You are making a ridiculous argument here, Kristopher. Of course if government shields industry from the increased power costs, the price they pay for power won't increase.

The reality is that the shares of generation from renewables continues to increase in Germany, and as it does, the cost continues to rise:
It remains to be seen how the increasing amount of renewable energy generation will affect the EEG surcharge for 2014. Some reports suggest that it may again considerably increase from currently 5.277 ct/kWh, with 7 ct/kWh 2014 being at the high end of figures currently being floated.

More info, unfortunately in German:

Google translate version:

The bottom line here is that it is an election year in Germany and halting the steady increases in the various renewables subsidies is being discussed, but even that discussion is stopping investment in windparks, because they will be completely unprofitable without subsidies.

I don't know how it will end up for Germany, because developing the offshore windparks appears essential to meet their goals. But it is clear that the ability and will of the German consumer to pay the bills is expiring, and large German industrials have made it clear that they will either build their own electricity plants or shut down their factories if their power costs increase much. With growth in the economy threatened, Germany will not do that.


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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 28, 2013, 07:25 PM

7. The origin of the Bullshit is the nuclear industry and it's rightwing cohorts

Thanks again for sharing the corporate point of view (spin) but the claims are being made - and they are being made by those who favor keeping control of the energy supply in the hands of the 1%.
Yes they are false - that's the entire f&*^%ing point.

Merkel's Switch to Renewables: Rising Energy Prices Endanger German Industry
By Frank Dohmen and Alexander Neubacher
February 24, 2012

Last spring, Chancellor Angela Merkel set Germany on course to eliminate nuclear power in favor of renewable energy sources. Now, though, several industries are suffering as electricity prices rapidly rise. Many companies are having to close factories or move abroad.

German industry warns could lose edge through high energy costs
Thu Nov 8, 2012
By Henning Gloystein

LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - German industrials are concerned they will lose a competitive edge against U.S. rivals where a boom in unconventional shale gas production has led to a sharp drop in industrial energy costs, the country's industry lobby group BDI said on Thursday.

German energy costs, by contrast, are rising as its government has decided to exit nuclear power generation, invest billions of euros into expanding the renewable generation sector while largely relying on imports to meet its natural gas demand...

Rising electricity costs could drive industry away from Germany
Electricity costs are on the rise in Germany. They could threaten the international competitiveness of German companies and push them to move their operations abroad.

As to your claim that people aren't supporting the transition, there is no evidence of that unless you count the same kind of corporatist journalism that spawned the lie pointed out in the OP.

Learning From The German Transition To Renewable Energy


Should households pay less?

Minister Altmaier claims that rising electricity bills are the biggest barrier to the Energiewende because they undermine public approval. He aims to prevent future price increases by addressing the EEG Apportionment (EEG Umlage) that finances the feed-in tariff scheme. He therefore proposes the “Strompreisbremse” (electricity price emergency brake – this word has caught on surprisingly well in German media) to freeze the apportionment, claiming to thus prevent a 10% increases in electricity prices this fall.

The apportionment is a surcharge on the electricity price that (most) consumers pay to finance the FIT. The money collected from the apportionment is used to guarantee renewable energy producers a profitable price for 20 years — based on the costs of the particular renewable technology, regardless of the market price (this system is called Advanced Renewable Tariff). This Advanced Renewable Tariff system is the newest and most sophisticated version of FITs that incentivizes renewable energy deployment even at small scale. For example, in 2010, 51 percent of renewable energy capacity built under the FIT was owned by individuals and farmers, coining the term democratization of energy supply in Germany.

In fact, the apportionment in 2013 will only be 19 percent of an average household electricity bill, and was 3.5 percent of the energy bill in 2012. Meanwhile, the EEG Apportionment is only 1 of 6 other taxes and dues on electricity that together make up half of the electricity price – a situation Germans have accepted so far, despite a current electricity price of $0.37 per KWh – more than three times that of the US.

Should industry pay more?
The second part of Minister Altmaier’s proposal concerns energy intensive industries that faces international competition. Currently, an exception rule (Ausgleichsregelung) largely frees such industries from paying the apportionment to prevent migration of these industries to other countries with lower costs. But the exception has become the norm: In 2013 49% of Germany’s electricity will be consumed by industry that is required to pay only 1 percent or less of the reallocation charge. Thus Minister Altmaier wants to include fewer industries under this exception, generating €500 million to benefit the consumers. The SPD (Social Democratic Party — center-left) thinks this goes too far, while the Green Party wants this number to be €4 billion.


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Response to kristopher (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 29, 2013, 07:00 AM

8. How convenient.

Industry complains about the impact of rising prices, so government bends over and kicks them >$5Billion from the pockets of consumers and smaller businesses to keep prices stable...

... and you show up and try to pretend that it meant that the prices were never going to increase in the first place?

And what of those billions? I suppose they don't exist either?

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 29, 2013, 02:03 PM

9. Industry is and has been exempt from those rising prices.

The claims they made were false.

It isn't fair, but it is certainly the position they have enjoyed while they screaming of doom and gloom.

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