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View Diary: Fossil Fuel Uncompetitive in Germany; Plants to Shut Down (255 comments)

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  •  I really wonder why people in one country (9+ / 0-)

    care at all about what people in a different country pay for anything? I have lived in Germany as an expat for years, and if the prices were too high, believe me, I would know about it, especially since I live in the area where the people are traditionally very frugal. As it happens, the people are WILLING to pay more for renewable energy than for fossil fuels, if that means it is replaced faster. It really helps to have some kind of grip on the cultural realities of the country you are bashing, and you do it constantly. You cannot measure any other country with your own country's yardstick and profess to understand what's going on without having spent years exposed to its culture.

    And by the way, baseload is passé:

    „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

    by translatorpro on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:24:51 PM PDT

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    •  There are sites where the cost of living can (9+ / 0-)

      be compared in various cities.  Interestingly, many outside the highest cost cities are roughly comparable.

      One may have higher housing costs, but cheaper utilities and food costs. Another may have high transportation costs, but cheaper housing costs. etc. etc. etc.

      Selecting one item:  Germany pays 10x more for blueberries! doesn't really tell us the whole picture.

      For example, let's just say that every light bulb in Germany is an LED bulb rather than an incandescent bulb (Americans have been hoarding them to avoid being forced to buy "Commie bulbs").  So, at 11 watts instead of 60 watts, their cost of lighting a room is roughly 1/5 as much as the US.

      So, 1/5  times triple per kwh charge still equals only 3/5ths the electric bill.

      Now, include all the conservation methods Germany has supported, the fact that their housing is generally more dense and built to last centuries instead of 30 years, that their industries have also moved massively into conservation and innovation mode, and you can see how the cost per watt is simply irrelevant.

      They still pay less to accomplish the same things that we do regardless of the per watt cost --> their whole society is more efficient.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:41:52 PM PDT

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      •  Exactly. And it so happens, incandescent bulbs (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citisven, YucatanMan, JesseCW, llywrch

        are no longer sold in Germany at all, so your example is actually quite accurate. They were phased out a year or two ago, but it's an EU-wide ruling, not just Germany.

        Here is an addition to my point about Germans being willing to pay for higher energy costs, in spite of their inherent penchant for being savers rather than big spenders. However, quality beats quantity, even if it costs more at first.

        But for most Germans, the price of the energy transition has been worth it. Polls since 2011 have continuously shown that a majority of Germans still support the program, despite the cost.
        Read more:
        My bolding.

        They also think more long-term and don't need instant gratification. They're in this energy transition business for the long haul and had the foresight to start before it became a major problem. That there would be growing pains and obstacles were a given.

        „Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.“ - Bertolt Brecht

        by translatorpro on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:24:29 AM PDT

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    •  Biggest impact of electric power price is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      where electricity intensive industry and jobs are located.  Electricity intensive businesses include computer server farms, aluminum, steel from recycling, and some factories for manufactured goods.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:54:14 PM PDT

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