When the Nevada Legislature passed Senate Bill 123, everyone was so thrilled about shutting down all that dirty coal-fired power plants and building millions of dollars worth of bright new clean energy solar and wind farms.
Perhaps, they should’ve asked the German electricity customers how saving the planet is working out for them.
According to Der Spiegel, Germans this year will be forced to pay $26 billion for electricity from solar, wind and biogas plants — electricity with a market price of just more than $4 billion.
And about that saving the planet, the magazine notes:
“On the other hand, when the wind suddenly stops blowing, and in particular during the cold season, supply becomes scarce. That’s when heavy oil and coal power plants have to be fired up to close the gap, which is why Germany’s energy producers in 2012 actually released more climate-damaging carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than in 2011.”
Soon the average three-person household in Germany will be paying about $120 a month for electricity, twice the price in 2000 and with two-thirds of the increase due to new government fees, surcharges and taxes. “But despite those price hikes, government pensions and social welfare payments have not been adjusted,” Der Spiegel says. “As a result, every new fee becomes a threat to low-income consumers.”
And if the solar and wind policy continues in place, the story says, electricity in 2020 will cost more than 50 cents per kilowatt-hour, up 40 percent from today’s price. Nevada residential customers currently pay less than 12 cents per kWh, but with SB123 in place don’t expect that to last long.