Germany, Spain Set To Pull The Plug On Green Energy

Tyler Durden's picture

Over ten years ago, when Europe was a bright and shining example of experimental monetarist "brilliance", and when the money was flowing, the continent decided to do the ethical thing and actively promote the pursuit and development of renewable energy through countless government subsidies. As a result, Germany and Spain became the undisputed leaders in the race for a green future, and both created similar laws to encourage the development of renewable energy. There were two problems: i) green energy, while noble in theory, is about the worst idea possible when it comes to profitability and capital self-sustainability and constantly needs governmental subsidies, and ii) it was the end consumers who would pay for the government's generosity, in the form of a surcharge on electric bills. In Germany, for example, as the industry grew (in size, and thus in losses) demand for the subsidy increased, driving the surcharge higher. In January, the surcharge, which amounts to about 14% of electricity prices, nearly doubled to 5.28 euro cents per kilowatt hour.

And, as the WSJ so deftly explains, "that means ordinary consumers shoulder the lion's share of the costs for what the German government calls its "energy revolution." And here is where a third problem comes into play, because while German and Spanish consumers were happy to pay a surcharge in the golden days of a Dr. Jekyll Europe when everything was great, soon Europe become a doomed Mr. Hyde-ian Frankenstein monster, with imploding economies, 60%+ youth unemployment and resurgent neo-nazi powers. In short: the German and Spanish consumers have had it with funding an infinite money drain (even bigger than Greece), when cash flow is scarce and getting worse, and have just said "Basta" and "Nein", respectively.

Which means it is now a political issue in Spain, where the scandal ridden Rajoy has never been more unpopular, and certainly in Germany where Merkel faces an election in September and can't allow the public opinion to shift against her. As a result "with Spain in the grips of recession, the government wants to lower consumers' light bills. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel faces an election in September and hopes to win points with voters by putting a stop to rising electricity bills."  Specifically, "Ms. Merkel's government on Thursday proposed putting a cap on the green-energy surcharge until the end of 2014 and then restricting any rise in the surcharge after that to no more than 2.5% a year. The government also plans to tighten exemptions, which would force more companies to pay, and achieve a cut in green subsidies of €1.8 billion ($2.42 billion). The plan is a quick fix pending comprehensive reform after the election, government officials said."

Spain is not far behind:

The Spanish parliament took a similar step on Thursday, passing a law that aims to curb rising household electricity costs by cutting aid to the renewable-energy industry.


Renewable-energy producers "are going to receive less revenue, but these measures are better for consumers" said Energy Minister José Manuel Soria.


Among the changes in the Spanish system, the new law indexes certain subsidies and compensation to an inflation estimate that strips out the effects of energy, food commodities, and tax changes.

Naturally the response from the subsidized industries has been swift and damning:

Renewable-energy companies said that the government was backing away from previous promises that it would ensure them a reasonable return on their investments.


"Spain's government is trying to smash the renewable-energy sector through legislative modifications," said José Miguel Villarig, chairman of the country´s Association of Renewable-Energy Producers.

Actually all the Spanish government is thing to do is stay in power, and in order to do so, it must stop demanding that its people pay for the development of financial black hole industries.

The immediate result of these steps will be a widespread collapse in the alternative energy space in Europe, which is barely sustainable on an "as is" basis (see Solyndra) with ongoing government funding, and will melt as fast as a snowball in the Iceland thermal when the money is even modestly cut off.

Because like all truly money losing government ventures, one can't mothball a project that by definition has to lose money in hope one day it will be a new money-winning paradigm, especially since the imminent deleveraging wave which will hit the world once Chinese inflation wakes from its slumber, will mean conventional energy costs will once again have no choice but to drop (see: "On This Day In History.... Gas Prices Have Never Been Higher").

Yet all this means is that the government will merely have to find other, more creative ways to lose money now that the alternative energy fad is virtually dead. Luckily, spending money with absolutely nothing to show for it is one thing that every government in the current insolvent global regime, has a peculiar knack for. It also means that thousands of former government workers with no real marketable skills are about to hit the streets demanding more handouts from the nanny state, and lead to yet another wave of European civil unrest just as the 'other people's money' is about to run out.

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MrX's picture

mo monay mo problems

schoolsout's picture

"green" energy is viable...and profitable.  Unfortunately, because of the insane expansion of credit, people have this idea that they are entitled to driving 50 miles in a day, eating whatever it is they want, doing whatever it is they want to do....when they want to do it.


And before anyone "junks" me, I'm a guy that burns 300 gallons of diesel to fish for a day...

cynicalskeptic's picture

At least government support for green energy has a positive effective on the planet as a whole - unlike the trillions fed to the financial sector squid.  I've got no problems spending more for electricity that's not dumping thousands of tons more of CO2 into the atmosphere.  I am NOT happy at all providing subsidies to JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.   And while we're at it, I'm none too happy with funding drone attacks that kill civilians all over the world who are no therea to the US - creating generations of people who hate the US with a passion.

ACP's picture

It might have had a positive impact on the planet, if the processes were more refined, but at this point in time, the waste dumped into the environment (Edit: during manufacturing) FAR outweighs the positive impact on the environment.

For now, it is simply a cash cow used by cronies all over the world to extract even more tax dollars from the public.

Why do you think it is that Feinstain pushed this so much...hmmm...maybe so her husband could profit from government contracts with URS years ago?

It's all bullshit until it has a NET POSITIVE impact.

Kitler's picture

"Germany, Spain Set To Pull The Plug On Green Energy"

 Pull it!

~ Larry Silverstein

toys for tits's picture



That amount of a German subisdy is ridiculous.  It equals to $.07 per kwh, which is more than half of the average US residential KWH rate of 12 cents.

SoundMoney45's picture

Don't lose sight of the fact that Nuclear is subsidized much much more.  Did you ever see an accrual for future cleanups?  No, cleanup costs will always be socialized. However, as Nuclear is centrallized, it fits very very well with central planning.  That pesky decentralized solar simply doesn't fit with central planning.

Freewheelin Franklin's picture

The future of nuclear is GenIV reactors. Liquid metal cooled and thorium fueled self-contained systems.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

"However, as Nuclear is centralized, it fits very very well with central planning.  That pesky decentralized solar simply doesn't fit with central planning."

Absolutely correct.  Solar and wind power only work when it is decentralized.  Decentralized green energy means getting off of the oil/coal/nuclear merry-go-round and all the bullshit associated with it.  Decentralized green energy would establish a strong upper bound on the prices for oil/coal/nuclear.

And that, my friends, is too much power to the people.  It is way too much democracy for TPTB.  You plebs will remain on the merry-go-round for your own good.

daxtonbrown's picture

"Did you ever see an accrual for future cleanups?  No, cleanup costs will always be socialized."


That's not true, the Nuclear Waste Fund already exists. It hasn't been spent because of green commies like Harry Reid blocking every rational attempt to finish Yucca Mountain. And yes I said commie.

I wrote not only the only biography off Harryy Reid, (107,000 words) and a 200,000 word history of the radical protest at Yucca Mountain (to be released this spring), so don't give me crap about what I know. Go Nuclear bitchez.

The hidden costs of nuclear are mostly the hidden costs of letting radical greens hobble our ability to improve nuclear technology and move on to cheaper, safer and more efficient designs. Our plants are thirty, forty years old.

Bicycle Repairman's picture


Fukushima, baby.  Was there enough money in the trust fund to clean up northern Japan?  The Pacific ocean?  To pay for all the coming cancer deaths?


Piranhanoia's picture

Oil companies and producing nations speak through the mouth of Germany and Spain.  Germany trades their stuff for a lot of oil, and makes weapons for oily nations.  Spain can't get enough money in their people's hands to buy solar panels on the houses the government is evicting them from any more than the folks here can. Can't buy electric cars with no work, even when they have the weather to power them up.    Solar is still more efficient than gas if you can convert the power, because the source is free and clean.   But you can give a combustion engine a sunburn and it isn't going to go anywhere.   Big Oil likes this story,  the folks that have to breathe, not so much.

rupertq's picture

And from what source is that electricity generated and delivered to you?

A Nanny Moose's picture

Rainbow color unicorn fecal matter?

F22's picture

The fantasy that's been foisted upon you and the public is that CO2 is dangerous.... CO2 is the very gas we exhale. Plants and animals have evolved over millenia and have a symbiotic relationship based on this gas.  There is no evidence that CO2 causes any harm to the environment or has anything to do with "global warming".  There are actual pollutants formed by incomplete burning of impure hydrocarbons--sulfer dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide-- that have been shown to cause smog, acid rain or water pollution and those can and should be controlled and have been successfully regulated.....Just compare air quality today to that of LA in the 70s..... CO2 is not a pollutant however.

schoolsout's picture

Honest question....


Do you think "man" has had an impact on our environment?


Put it like this...most here bitch about fiat money.  Something that is abused and caused things to get out of balance.  That fiat money and credit expansion has led to an explosion of "growth" leading to using massive amounts of resources.  We live in a finite resource world that seems to find a certain equilibrium point...

Can you honestly say we are at the equilibrium point regarding the resources we use/squander?

Haus-Targaryen's picture

To be completely frank - the primary reason many people take issue with environmentalism is it requires the "wealthy" to abandon their standard of living and quality of life.  It asks nothing of the poor (the South Americans who strip-clear the rain forest, or African Tribes who destroy thousand year old Oasis' to get water).  If everyone had to suffer equally, it would be a much more appealing argument than the status-quo where only the industrialiyed countries have a duty to save the planet. 

Moreover, the biggest contributor to CO2 emisisons world wide is the ever increasing population.  First world countries' populations are shrinking ... we are already doing our part.  Its the 3rd world that is over-populating the planet.  This is a reason why many of us look at the Green movement is nothing more than a political argument to go after the wealth(ier) establishment.   

Vagabond's picture

"the biggest contributor to CO2 emisisons world wide is the ever increasing population." Wrong.

The biggest contributor to CO2 emissions world wide is volcanos.  Wildfires, and decaying plants and animals cause more emissions than humans breathing as well.  The methane emissions from the massive amount of cattle we raise to eat absurd amounts of meat are doing far more harm than the rising human population.

The reason why we're seeing much higher than normal CO2 in the atmosphere is because we've cut down a large portion of earth's natural carbon filter: forests.  This doesn't imply impending doom doom, but we probably should let some of these cattle farms return to natural forests.

theprofromdover's picture


If every local, state national government planted a couple of trees every 100ft along the roadsides, we could suck up all this 'damaging' CO2, and get some lumber out of it too.

thisandthat's picture

Doesn't matter, CO2 isn't dangerous, it's beneficial: the higher concentration, the higher the crop yields are (several fold increases in production, by pumping CO2 into greenhouses). OTOH, low CO2 levels (at levels defended in UN green documents) will just starve/kill plants. In fact, intensive farming fast growing industrial crops can deplete all CO2 in the air up to a meter high, in a matter of hours. On top of that, CO2 levels in the atmosphere follow air temperature, not the other way around, so it can't be a cause for any climate changes, and, at most, could be a consequence. More important, CO2 is not a greenhouse gas, as it's spectrogram shows (unlike water vapor, which (is not a gas, but) blocks infrared light, as you can tell by the huge clear sky variations in day/night temperatures, in deserts, as opposed to when weather is cloudy/dusty/smoky) AND, as was proven scientifically, global scale greenhouse effect, itself, does not exist, nor can it exist.

But, go tell that to the "green" puppets and their financial/ideological master puppeteers behind the curtains (at the World Wilderness Conferences, Club of Rome, etc.), which is who promoted and have an (un)veiled interest in all this humongous mystification.

zapdude's picture

Ding - Ding - Ding!  We have a winner! 

VOLCANOES are a huge source of CO2 'emissions'.  We could 'green' all of our energy sources back to the Stone Age for the purpose of massively reducing our CO2 footprint, but then a volcanoe could erupt and completely reverse all the CO2 reduction / abatement over a period of many years in a matter of just a few minutes.

So this begs the obvious question -- how does the Kyoto protocol intend to regulate volcanoes?

Parrotile's picture

Don't forget the "invisible" undersea volcanoes too - there are a lot more of these than those we know of on dry land.

Add in the CO2 releases from the mid-oceanic ridges, and there's a lot of recycled CO2 entering the seas. Some of this will be bound as carbonate rocks / minerals (animal shells, skeletons etc), but a fraction will diffuse from the sea surface into the atmosphere, where there exists a balance.

This has been happening from well before our remotest ancestors arrived on the scene, and we're still (mostly) OK (but having a panic!)

First it was Global Cooling (late 1970's) then Global Warming (1990's), now "Climate Change" (one way or the other - not quite sure, so let's cover our bets!).

What's the next "Big Panic"? Global "No Change at all"?? I'm betting on yet another Ice Age (as WILL happen), maybe triggered by a supervolcano event (Yellowstone seems overdue), or failure of the Atlantic Conveyor system (Gulf Stream), again, as has happened in the past, many times.

Once the Big Chill sets in, it'll be most entertaining to observe the reaction of the Global Warmists (and the rushed development of  Gen 4 Nuclear as our only short-term option!)

Element's picture



Something that is abused and caused things to get out of balance.

Get it straight, humans are natural, we are NOT artificial and we are NOT aliens.  We are evolutionarily optimized to do one thing, to live on this planet in this environment. This is why we are so at home on this planet.

We are! We 100% belong as much as any fucking rare spotted possum. There's no reason whatsoever to be goaded into contrived guilt via the deliberately selective language of the parasitic 'green'-lobby propagandists, and their preferred terms and reference points for an ever unattainable imaginary idealistic stable environmentally-balanced 'reality' ... that has never existed.

So before couching such questions in terms of 'abuse' of the 'environment', how about facing the fact that States deliberately fan, and CONTINUE TO FAN, the excessive human behaviors that create the features you think are un-natural or abusive.

Who's the abuser?

Who's the destroyer?

Who's whipping our backs every damn day to keep doing it more and more?

Then comes at us with all this crap about how damaging we are.

Who keeps up the pernicious ENDLESS psychological advertising barrage, to fan more and maaaaawW!!!!!!!!! ... of trivial wasteful shit that no one actually needs ... all that pre-junk.

The State and aligned Corporatism + MSM

It's the Nation-Statist kulture.

BigInJapan's picture

Check out how much CO2 is pumped out by a single major volcanic eruption and get back to me with the point of your questions.

steve from virginia's picture




The fantasy that's been foisted upon you and the public is that CO2 is dangerous....


The dumbest, stupid-est remark on Zero Hedge ... next to von Mises bullshit.



Haus-Targaryen's picture

No sir, that honor belongs to your anti-freedom of movement rants.


Lore's picture

Steve doesn't know about Agenda 21.  Switch "Weapons of Mass Destruction" with "Unnatural Global Warming."  Carbon tax is the tribute for good harvest. Get it?  YOU HAVE BEEN PRANKED!

Lore's picture

Addendum, for those who are still waking up: 

When you tell a lie, tell big lies... In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility... In the primitive simplicity of [the mind of the masses] they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1926, p. 472

frenchie's picture

methinks he was talking about the jews

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

As long as the Koran is taught, hate filled people will be in great supply. When your g-d says it is fine to kill other people who do not follow your g-d then hate always finds it way to other countries.

When a Sunni Muslim kills a Shia Muslim ... drones have nothing to do with it. But the Koran has everything to do with it.

JOYFUL's picture

and unfortunately nothing at all to do with the topic at hand...

please wait for your cue - that sparkling insight needs be inserted into a thread discussing "hate-filled books" a la old testaments, talmud texts, and other apochrypha of hegemonist religious cults...

hold fire!

eatthebanksters's picture

Why don't you try co-generation with your own methane?

schoolsout's picture

German built electric outboards.....I've had the pleasure of operating one of the smaller ones when they first hit the market and it is pretty neat.  Now, they are offering a fairly high horsepower model.  I'd say it's a step in a better direction.  Is it for everyone?  Nope...but nonetheless, a good move and product.

horseman's picture

Gov't shouldn't be doing either.  Gov't job should be to put meaningful business rules in place to control fraud and other criminal business practices and then enforce the rules.  After that, they should stay out of the game like a good referee.


MaxMax's picture

Oh Yah?  Well, I have a 50 foot boat with 3 x 750HP motors that burns a gallon of 91 octane every 45 seconds at 70 MPH.  Sure the gas costs a bit, but the gas bill is the least of the costs.  Try blowing a drive, rebuilding a motor, making new headers or any of the other countless costs.  I wish my only costs for the season were fuel.

schoolsout's picture

I wish only costs for fishing was fuel, too....


Let's see....$550/mo dock fee

                 10 Gallons oil change every 5 or so trips


                 Genset maintenance

                 Bait (easy $100/day)

                 Rods/Reels (one time cost except for low maintenance/new line)  $10,000+ not counting electric gear

                 I can go on, but I think you get it by now. 


By the way, replaced one motor that blew a few years back....$30,000 to do it.  

Mentaliusanything's picture


B ring

O ut

A nother

T housand

If it flies or floats, has tits or tyres - your going to pay baby

NoDebt's picture

So you are the only one who burns fuel because you need to?  Everyone else burning fuel is just out joy-riding?

I sympathize with your situation, but please don't fall into the trap of believing your use of fuel is required while others just do it for kicks.

And can I just say, you get to do something WAY more fun than me as your job?  My family used to run the head boat, 2 of them actually, at one point- a full day and a half day boat- out of Indian River, DE for a little while (about 30 years) and several charter boats out to the "canyons" on overnight marlin fishing trips after that.  I was mate on a couple of those boats for a few years when I was younger.  Don't let the bastards drive you out of that, if you can possibly avoid it.  Once you're out it's tough to get back in.  I know the money situation is tight in that world, but if you love being on the water..... just trust me, don't leave it.  You won't be happy being away from the water if you're born to it.


schoolsout's picture

I'm saying that until people, including myself, realize that our way of life, as we know it, needs to "come back down to Earth," green energy won't be viable.

Also, I don't fish for a living, only for fun.  Could never picture myself mating, either...I like to drink beer and pick my calm(er) days.  Had buddies that have traveled the world fishing on some insane boats (one was 130'...started in Charleston and ended up in New Zealand)

Don't go as much these days as I'm spending all free time getting a hobby farm up and running on some family land.  Toning the lifestyle down, so to say.  


You do have it right,'s a great lifestyle if it fits.

Freddie's picture

You are probably Tricky Dave from Wicked Tuna and you fish on other guys numbers. Freaking Googin.

schoolsout's picture

Yep, you got me.  What's funny is very rarely do I drive the boat...or decide where the boat fishes.  After seeing your comment a little lower on this thread, it is apparent you have no idea what it is you are talking about.  I fish the stream mostly....every now and again, I will bottom fish and those do require numbers, but nothing is a secret any longer.  The stream do the pelagic fish.  


If you'd like me to learn you some knowledge in this area, I'd be more than happy to oblige.  Until then, sit on your hands before you decide to type again.

eatthebanksters's picture

If it fly's, floats or fucks, rent it...don't own it!

Urban Roman's picture

So, umm, all those solar panels in Germany suddenly went dark? 

How did they turn off the Sun? 

The banksters just hate solar, because it does not increase their centralized control. Better to burn coal in gigantic plants, and then make everybody get a meter and pay them. That's the ticket!

booboo's picture

Oh horse shit, the bankers love it because they are paid just the same, it's just paid up front. There is no reason why it should cost 45,000 bucks to install solar on the average fucking residential home, unless of course...wait for it, bankers sucking subsidies out of the government. Constructing huge 4 million s.f. buildings, hiring 1 secretary and 10 line guys, having Inaction Jackson do a photo op and looting the fuck out of the company as the dipshit makes his way back to AF1.

Get the fucking government OUT OF IT and it can be an affordable reality everyone could be happy with, as it is now, greenies want my unborn grandchildren to fund their wet dreams. I just want to get off the grid.

thisandthat's picture

Exactly, that's what happened in Portugal - banks got all the (subsidized) contracts for solar energy, leaving private citizens out.