By Jane Edwards.
It’s nearly three years since panic set in over the destruction of the Fukushima nuclear reactors by the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. The tsunami claimed 16,000 lives. The reactor disaster killed nobody. But panic set in world-wide, with Britain delaying even further a decision of whether or not to proceed with the latest design nuclear power station at Hinckley Point.
Although, true to form, Britain dithered, Germany, unusually, panicked. With an eye on the next election and particularly the strength of the Greens in Germany, Angela Merkel made the closure of nuclear power stations and a massive switch to renewable energy her flagship policy. Well, two years later it gave her the electoral reward, but such is the mess-up over; energy that Germany’s well known economic effectiveness is now seriously threatened. This is how; it happened.
In March 2011 Germany switched off eight of its 17 nuclear reactors. The other nine will be phased out from 2015 to 2022. Meanwhile, under its new policy of energiewende (energy transition) a massive campaign of building wind along its North Sea and Baltic coasts saw wind farms growing like mushrooms. To complete the main renewable energy weapons, field after field stopped growing crops as they were carpeted with solar panels.
The irony of it all is that this pursuit of renewables as a means of saving the world from climate change has, in fact, increased Germany’s CO2 emissions. Two thirds of the resulting electricity price increase are due to new government surcharges and taxes to subsidise renewable energy – exactly as is being enacted in Britain. While electricity prices have rocketed and the middle classes receive handouts to put solar panels on their houses, pensions and wages have not kept up, hitting Germany’s poorest the hardest. Sounds familiar?
According to Nature, the international science magazine, this year German consumers will be forced to pay £17bn to subsidise electricity from solar, wind and biogas plants, which combined give power worth only £3bn in real market prices. To pay for this power economics strategy straight out of the Green Party handbook, surcharges on electricity for households have increased by 47% or £13bn in the past year alone. German consumers already pay the highest electricity prices in Europe. Before long the average three-person household will spend around £80 a month for electricity, almost twice that of year 2000. Currently, more than 300,000 German households a year are seeing their power shut off because of unpaid bills. I can’t find the UK figures but I suspect they are heading the same way.
Supporting an Energy Mix
There were two key issues that led to my support for the British Democratic Party. One was its opposition to further immigration whilst helping those already here who wanted to stay to assimilate. The second is its support for a mix of renewables (which could include tidal power and wave power), nuclear power and latest clean-coal technology in its energy policy.
This does not mean that I am necessarily one of those proclaiming that there is no such thing as climate change. There always has been climate change, with several ice-ages, including when mankind did not exist. Now that the world has seven billion people upon it (plus ever-growing herds of cattle and sheep passing methane and CO2 laden wind into the atmosphere) part of this modern climate change can be contributed to being man-made. But it is only part and is quite small compared to the changes caused by volcanic activity plus the sun itself. The effects upon the earth of its eleven-year cycles of sunspot activity and the changing elliptical distance from the earth must surely have a greater effect.
In regard to the saga of the new 16bn nuclear energy plant planned for Hinckley Point in Somerset, its future has again been thrown into doubt by the European Commission publishing a damning critique last week stating that the deal with France’s EDF may constitute “illegal state aid”. One more reason in a growing list of why we should withdraw from the Socialist bureaucrat dominated EU. What would they do in response? Invade us?