Energy Transition has a look at the German "Energy Transition" to renewable energy and some of the misconceptions spread about it by its critics - Angst… that the Energiewende will work.
Unlike the Swedes and Italians, the Germans knew how to replace nuclear back in 2002 – and they have even replaced all of the lost nuclear power since 2011. The IER charges the opposite:
“Germans have turned to coal to back up their intermittent renewable technologies and to ensure that they have adequate power to satisfy electricity demand.”
This claim is based on a previous paper published by the IER itself (PDF). But as we demonstrate in our study German Coal Conundrum, the growth of renewables since 2011 has already outstripped the reduction in nuclear. And as regular readers of this blog know, demand from foreign countries for German power (the main two being the Netherlands and France in 2013) directly increases the residual load served by conventional plants; specifically, if we zero-out Germany’s record level of net exports in 2013, coal power and carbon emissions drop by around 2.5 percent. If anything, foreign countries have turned to German coal power at a record level; Germany does not need so much electricity from coal to meet its own demand.
We shouldn’t stop counting at the end of 2013, either. The roundup of changes by TWh in the first half of 2014 is in the chart below. Get ready for reports of Germany lowering its emissions this year.