McClaughry: Germany’s coming electricity shortfall

By John McClaughry

Here’s  an important headline from Die Welt, a leading German newspaper.  “Energy Transition Farce Continues in Germany: Regulators, fearing power outages, announce plans to ration power for environmentally friendly, state-promoted electric vehicles and heat pump.”

The story goes on to explain that the German government’s Energiewende, or energy path, has showered subsidies on renewable energy such as wind turbines  and electric home heat pumps, and subsidizing replacing internal combustion vehicles with electric vehicles. The Germans have concurrently phased down their nuclear plants, which is rather ridiculous since the nuclear plants don’t emit any carbon dioxide like fossil fuel heating of homes and businesses. The nuclear electricity shortfall is now being covered by a small amount of undependable renewables and a lot of dirty coal. Solar electricity is not a viable option.

This should be relevant to Vermonters since that is exactly what our Climate Council is rushing full speed to implement here – subsidized heat pumps and subsidized electric vehicles and their needed infrastructure. Where are Vermonters, whose enviro extremists have already driven out our dependable Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, going to get enough electricity to run 120,000 electric cars by 2030, not to mention hundreds of thousands of electric heat pumps.?

In the article the German energy group Eugyppius put it very clearly: “You can have intermittent windmill power, or you can put everyone in a battery-powered car, but you can’t do both.” More likely we can’t do either.

The author, a Kirby resident, is founder and vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute. To read all EAI news and commentary, go to

Categories: Commentary

1 reply »

  1. I agree with John’s take on Germany’s illogical foolishness, and Vermont’s deceptive push to attain the same progressive ‘utopia’. However, the last paragraph of his commentary quotes a German advocacy group that is promoting outright falsehoods. It is true that Germany can have intermittent wind turbine electricity if it chooses. But it is demonstrably false that all Germans can have electric-powered cars. There is not now, nor will there be in any rational economic scenario, sufficient mining and processing of rare earth minerals required for batteries and motors. Don’t believe me, listen to Chris Keefer’s ‘Decouple’ podcast of 6 Feb with Dr. Simon Michaux, geometallurgist at Finland’s Geologic Survey. A tour-de-force of science and engineering logic that has escaped our policy-makers unfortunately.