When politicians propose a new policy, such as Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s plans to outlaw one third of US CO2 emissions in the next 15 years, it is always worth asking: Has this been tried before? And what happened when it was?
The answer is: a much, much milder version of the Obama-Clinton plan has been tried in Germany—and it has already impoverished millions.
Over the last decade, Germany has pursued the popular ideal of replacing reliable fossil FOSL +0.00% fuel energy with unreliable energy from solar and wind. Since unreliable energy can’t be relied upon—as Germany’s own data show below—they have to be propped up by reliable energy.
What kind of reliable energy is providing the life support? Most of the time, it’s fossil fuel energy: energy harnessed from the Earth’s copious, untapped supplies of ancient, dead plants in the form of coal, oil, and natural gas.
Thus, while Germany has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on solar panels and wind turbines, they provide only an unreliable 15% of its electricity and 3% of total energy. Consumers pay a fortune for that unreliable energy; the average German pays 3 times more for electricity than the average American. It’s so bad that Germans have had to add a new term to the language: “energy poverty.”
Source: Alex Epstein, http://www.forbes.com