It’s fair to say that almost everyone would be in favor of energy that costs less and is better for the environment. This is precisely why so many businesses and countries have tried to do just that.
The problem is, many have failed, and until there’s a truly effective alternative, it’s
important that we take note of these failures and avoid them at all costs.
Case in point: Germany. In the past 20 years, Germany has undergone a drastic energy transformation, investing heavily in solar and wind energy with the goal of eliminating as much reliance as possible on fossil fuels.
If you do a quick internet search, you’ll see statistics that seemingly support Germany’s decision and suggest success. But what these statistics don’t show are the numbers just below the surface, and what’s actually going on in the country now, as a result of their $412 billion investment in renewables. These below-the-surface numbers include:
- German households now pay the second highest electricity rates in the EU
- Over the past ten years, Germans’ electricity rates have doubled
- By 2022, the $412 billion investment could grow to $884 billion
- Between 2000 and 2013, the electricity rate increased 107% while inflation over that period was 22%
- The renewable energy subsidy—the reason for such significant rate increases—now costs the average German household over $320 a year
- Over 300,000 German households lose electricity each year because they can’t afford to pay their bill
The facts are the facts, and they glaringly show that the plan is not working as hoped. This article, from which the above statistics come, states that “far from being a success, Germany’s rush into renewable energy has crushed households, taxpayers, and utilities.” Of course the intentions were good, but good intentions don’t pay bills.
This serves as a reminder that 1) Not all statistics are cut and dry—further facts must be considered; and 2) Investing heavily in alternative energy sources, before knowing the true costs, can be very dangerous. The hope is that Germany’s unfortunate circumstances can serve as a lesson for other countries.