Czechs, Poles to Keep German Green Energy Out

A German electricity transmission power, February 2, 2009

A German electricity transmission power, February 2, 2009 (Martin Lang)

The Czech Republic and Poland intend to build switches on their borders to keep German energy off their nets. Hopes of achieving a pan-European electricity market are undermined by Germany’s embrace of unreliable green energy production.

Germany wants to meet 80 percent of its energy needs by renewable production in 2050. To achieve the goal, it has doled out huge subsidies to encourage local green energy production and forces consumers to buy it. As a result, electricity prices have sharply increased. But the biggest problem is that intermittent wind and solar energy are causing Germany’s power grid to fluctuate.

Such fluctuations hit neighboring countries, tied in to the same net. Indeed, the Czech Republic and Poland alleviate the Germans of their electricity burden as their infrastructures absorb the fluctuations. No more though.

The conservative newspaper Die Welt has little sympathize for its government, arguing that Germany’s neighbors cannot be blamed for acting in “self-defense.”

The blocking of electricity at the borders fragments the single European energy market. It makes Germany the electric island in the European energy network with the consequences for the security of supply yet uncertain.

The newspaper concludes that the government’s energy policy was shortsighted and it’s only fair that it’s now presented with the bill.

But it’s the German consumer who will have to foot it. Companies that are affected by energy fluctuations and are forced to shut down operations for fear of a blackout are financially compensated at the taxpayers’ expense. Such a compensation can run up to €20,000 per megawatt per year when analysts say €2,000 would have been a more appropriate figure.