Germany’s once highly promoted “Energiewende” (transition to green energies) and the country’s feed-in act have been given a grade of “F” by one of the country’s top economists, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hans-Werner Sinn.
Just days ago the renowned economics professor gave a presentation dubbed “How much volatile power can the power grid take?” before a packed audience in Munich:
Top German economist Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hans-Werner Sinn says supplying Germany’s energy needs with wind and sun is “disillusionment”.
The basis of his presentation is a recent paper appearing in the European Economic Review: Buffering volatility, A study on the limits of Germany’s energy revolution.
Green energy “disillusionment”
In summary, Sinn claims it is unrealistic to believe that Germany can power itself with only wind and sun due to their immense supply volatility and that it is already a huge challenge in itself just to replace coal, oil and gas for producing electricity. Coal, oil and gas for electricity make up only a puny 12.8% of German total energy demand (chart 6:25-mark). He says:
“As far as the rest, you can dream about it, but you cannot do it. […] It was disillusionment from the very start, and it’s important that this be made very clear.” […]
Sinn’s results are a major blow to the proponents of the German Energiewende and to the notion it is clean, cheap and reliable. As the numbers and results come in, it becoming increasingly clear that the German mega green project is turning into an embarrassing fiasco.
Sinn rhetorically asks whether it’s maybe possible to smooth the supply, i.e. using a variety of strategies such pump-storage and power-to-gas, in order to make the supply more steady, reliable and efficient. His answer is an emphatic no, saying: “It’s an Energiewende to nowhere.”