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A new study demonstrates the high costs of in terms of dollars spent and economic competitiveness of multiple German ruling parties’ commitments to renewable power to fight climate change. The Global Warming Policy Foundation has translated an Institute for Competition Economics at the University of Dusseldorf report calculating the total cost of Germany’s green energy policies. The result: By 2025, an estimated €520 billion euros will be spent. A family of four will pay more than 25,000 euros for the Energiewende.
Despite these high costs and the futile nature of the German government’s attempt to control the climate, it seems the German parliament is intent on doubling down on its climate initiatives. Germany, the country where the modern internal combustion engine was born and the country with the fourth largest auto industry in the world, may soon ban non-electric vehicles as part of its effort to meet its Paris climate agreement commitments.
The Bundesrat, the legislative body representing Germany’s 16 federal states at the national level, passed a resolution on October 8 to ban the sale of non-electric vehicles beginning in 2030. More steps remain before the resolution becomes law. Germany is pushing for a similar law to be considered for the entire European Union (EU), and it has some support: The Dutch and Norwegian governments are considering banning non-electric car sales by 2025, and other EU members are considering imposing significant taxes on fossil fuel-powered car sales to encourage a switch to electric vehicles. The October 8 resolution also says Germany may raise taxes on traditional vehicles in order to encourage manufacturers to transition to electric cars and trucks early.
This plan shows little recognition that moving to an all electric fleet, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the tail pipe, will simply shift them to the electric power sector. To maintain reliable, sufficient electric power in the face of a virtual ban on fracking, and the closure of its nuclear power plants in a misguided response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Germany is adding new coal power to its electric power supply. Coal emits higher carbon dioxide emissions per unit of output than any other fossil fuel, thus the electric car push will increase carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector. In addition, the shift to electric power will require a substantial individual, corporate and government investment in vehicle charging infrastructure. These costs should be added to the already high costs noted above of Germany’s wholesale embrace of climate alarmism.
Even if the ban becomes law in Germany and across the EU, because many cars with internal combustion engines will be sold right up to the deadline, it could be another 20 years before those cars are off the road.
In contrast to Germany, the Australian government is taking a different lesson from its commitment to renewable energy, the lesson being, the country has gone to far in its embrace of renewable power.
Bloomberg reports Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Labor Party-run state governments, in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions and thus fight climate change, have put too much emphasis on wind-generated electricity, putting Australia’s energy security at risk. The Liberal Party-led National government called a meeting of state energy ministers in early October after fierce storms in the last week of September knocked down transmission towers in South Australia, causing blackouts in a state that gets 41 percent of its power from renewables. Concerning the blackouts, Turnbull told a radio show, “This has been very much a Labor obsession, to set these heroic renewable energy targets. They assume that they can change the composition of the energy mix and that energy security will always be there and the lights will stay on, and that has been brought into question.”
Former Labor Party Resources Minister Martin Ferguson shared Turnbull’s concern, telling Bloomberg squabbling over energy policies was hurting consumers. “We need to stop political grandstanding that ‘my renewable target is bigger than yours and I don’t give a damn about consumers.’”