Thursday, July 20, 2017

Germany's Green Energy Regulations Have Raised Rates But U.S. Fracking Has Helped

See Germany Should Say Danke for U.S. Oil: Angela Merkel’s slaps at Trump don’t help her country’s cause. America’s frackers do by Isaac Orr in the WSJ. He is a research fellow at the Heartland Institute. Excerpts:
"Of all the energy used in Germany in 2016, 34% came from oil, 23.6% from coal, 22.7% from natural gas, 7.3% from biomass, 6.9% from nuclear, 2.1% from wind power, and 1.2% from solar. Waste, geothermal and hydropower accounted for the remaining 2%."

"All told, Germany derived more than 80% of its total energy consumption from fossil fuels. That’s bad news for a country that depends on imports. About 97% of the oil, 88% of the natural gas and 87% of the hard coal Germans consume are imported."

"Germans spent $73.5 billion on imported oil in 2013, when the price of Brent crude averaged approximately $108 a barrel. Since then, the U.S. embrace of hydraulic fracturing—also known as “fracking”—has resulted in a surge of U.S. crude oil on the world market, causing global oil prices to fall to about $47 per barrel. Some back-of-the-envelope math suggests Germans may now pay $41.5 billion less per year for their oil imports, constituting an average savings of around $1,107 (at current exchange rates) for each of Germany’s 37.5 million households.

Ms. Merkel’s climate and energy policies have caused residential electricity prices in Germany to spike by approximately 47% since 2006, costing the average German household about $380 more a year. The higher prices are largely due to a 10-fold increase in renewable-energy surcharges that guarantee returns for the wind and solar-power industries. These surcharges now make up 23% of German residential electric bills."

"Since 2009, when Germany began to pursue renewables aggressively, annual CO 2 emissions are down a negligible 0.1%.

Meanwhile, the U.S. experienced year-over-year reductions in CO 2 emissions in 2015 and 2016, and CO 2 emissions have fallen a dramatic 14% since 2005. This has mostly been made possible by fracking—a practice banned in Germany." 

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