December 8th, 2020 | 10:26 CET
BMW, BYD, Daimler, Tesla, Volkswagen: Battery cars threaten a forced shutdown
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"[...] Nickel, therefore, benefits twice: firstly from its growing importance within batteries and secondly from the generally growing demand for such storage. [...]" Terry Lynch, CEO, Power Nickel
Born and raised in Hannover, Lower Saxony follows social and economic developments around the globe. As a passionate entrepreneur and columnist he explains and compares the most diverse business models as well as markets for interested stock traders.
Ecological ghost ride
When Elon Musk pointed out during his recent visit to Germany that electric mobility requires nuclear power in addition to solar and wind energy, he probably got the German eco-fraction among his supporters on the wrong foot. "Where there is no danger of natural disasters such as earthquakes, the risk of nuclear energy is minimal," the Tesla boss said. This announcement was certainly not well received by the Chancellor's Office. After going it alone in 2011, Angela Merkel has transferred high double-digit billion sums from the taxpayers to the energy suppliers so that they can take the nuclear power plants off the grid in the coming years.
Market economy out of force
The criticism from the industry is becoming increasingly harsh. A functioning economy finances the state. Under Chancellor Merkel, this order was reversed. The state intervenes more and more often with the taxpayers' money in the cycle and causes severe changes and dependencies. The effects of the energy turnaround have become a heavy burden for citizens and industries. Germany is now the front-runner in terms of electricity costs. The planned shutdown of nuclear and coal-fired power plants will further worsen the national situation because today, only about 45% of the energy mix consists of renewable energies. Experts warn that electric mobility in Germany will double power consumption. However, the exciting question is already unanswered: Who will close the supply gap after nuclear and coal-fired power is phased out?
Utilities demand forced shutdown
How serious the situation is now is described in the latest demand from the energy suppliers. Due to the expected bottlenecks in the storage and supply of electricity, German energy suppliers are demanding that the power supply to the charging stations be switched off. In concrete terms, they are demanding from the legislator that they be allowed to switch off the power supply for up to two hours a day - German citizens are threatened by conditions similar to those in South Africa.
Waste of tax money
Although it is already foreseeable that the power supply will not be sufficient to guarantee a nationwide infrastructure for charging batteries, the state pays a premium for the installation of charging points. Against the backdrop that one million charging points will likely be needed for electric mobility with battery-powered cars, this project appears to be a pure waste of taxes. By comparison, an infrastructure with hydrogen for vehicles with fuel cells would only require about 14,000 filling stations. It is hardly imaginable that this information is not available at the Chancellor's Office.
Environmental damage and obligations
The innovation that users do not accept without subsidies also has considerable consequences for the environment. The production of batteries is raw material and energy-intensive. Furthermore, most users are not yet aware of the complex and costly disposal of used batteries. Making spent batteries available for power supply in poorer countries sounds like an unscrupulous and hypocritical disposal strategy to us - out of sight, out of mind. The cabling of the charging stations will create additional demand on the copper market and pollute the environment in the mining areas. Holistic environmental protection goes beyond the national borders.
There is an alternative
For the manufacturers of battery-powered cars such as BMW, BYD, Daimler, Tesla and Volkswagen, the German government's grip on the tax coffers is a blessing. However, this action has little to do with environmental protection, and every user must be aware of this. It is merely a state-organized redistribution of tax money for a politically motivated incentive to buy a technology without added value. On the other hand, if you want to protect the environment, you should look into dynaCERT's hydrogen technology, which can be retrofitted to existing diesel engines. This innovation promises higher combustion efficiency, reduced consumption and significantly lower emissions of pollutants. A further significant advantage is that the existing vehicle is not to be replaced and can continue to be used.
Return to a free market economy
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made momentous decisions during her term of office. Great challenges and difficult choices await her successor. Whether the next German Chancellor will succeed in regaining public acceptance for nuclear energy is currently hardly imaginable and will certainly depend on the frequency of power failures and the level of future electricity prices. The return to a free market economy and less planned economy will already lead to relief for the citizens. Experts predict that electric mobility will have no positive impact on global CO2 emissions. In fact, they believe that it could even increase rather than decrease over the next 20 years (Source: ARTE report).
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