The following is based on a story that pogge has been commenting on for some time now....
Not long ago Mr. Gwyn Morgan, wrote a piece in the Globe and Mail belittling solar power efforts generally, and Germany's efforts specifically, noting that the latter country only generates a miniscule 0.3% of its power from the sun. The title of Mr. Morgan's piece was "The Sorry Lessons Of Green Power Subsidies" and much of it was based on information gleaned from a 'study' from a 'scholar' of the Fraser Institute, upon which he, Mr. Morgan, sits as a director.
Here is the lede from Mr. Morgan's Globe piece that was published on April 29th of this year:
A recent study, co-authored by Fraser Institute energy economist Gerry Angevine, found that Ontario residents will pay an average of $285-million more for electricity each year for the next 20 years as a result of subsidies to renewable energy companies....
And here is the paragraph on Germany:
But here's the thing...
It turns out that, with that Mr. Morgan's '0.3%' figure for Germany was off by more than an order of magnitude (ie. more than ten times).
On the low side.
Eric Kirschbaum of Reuters has the goods in the backstory to a recent solar power success story from Germany:
German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity per hour - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity - through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.
The German government decided to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, closing eight plants immediately and shutting down the remaining nine by 2022....
Germany has nearly as much installed solar power generation capacity as the rest of the world combined and gets about four percent of its overall annual electricity needs from the sun alone...."
Please note, that 4% number is the real deal as it is based on 'overall annual' electricity needs, sans cherry-picking.
So, using fourth grade math.... 4.0/0.3 X100% = 1,333.3%.
Which is pretty far wrong don't you think?
And then if you go the cherry-picker route (which we did not in our header)...
Again from the Reuters piece:
"...(T)he 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour fed into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50 percent of the (German) nation's midday electricity needs."...
Well, if take that 50% number, and reverse cherry-pick without context the way certain, oh I dunno, 'scholars' at vested interest-funded think-tanks sometimes do accidentally, but never, of course, on purpose, well....
Some might say that the good Mr. Morgan was actually off, at least in the singular moment it was happening (eg. at midday, on the weekend when overall consumption is low), by more than...
The real issue here is that the story from Reuters strongly suggests, based on real, actual data with hard production numbers them behind them, that Germany's green subsidy programs are really and truly making it possible for that country to start powering-up alternatively.
And, ya, that kind of thing does cost money.
But, I for one, am willing to spend more (see Mr. Morgan's lede at the top of the post) on something that helps gets us off the teats of the greenhouse-gas emitters that are cooking our world to a crisp for no good reason at all.
Now, given all that.
Perhaps this is the time for readers, not to mention editors, of The Globe everywhere to ask themselves the following:
Does the good Mr. Morgan himself have any vested interest in keeping us suckling at the pig whose soft economic underbelly houses all those noxious teats?
Again, just asking.