May 4, 2021

DER UNTERGANG: Joe Biden’s German Green Deal.

In any case, the American Energiewende is doomed to remain a fantasy within the timetable proposed by the White House. Biden has declared that all U.S. electricity must be from carbon neutral sources by 2035, 14 years from now. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, renewable energy in 2019, before the pandemic-induced economic crisis, made up only 11% of all U.S. primary energy—with wind only 2.64% of primary energy and solar power only 0.99%. Renewables make up a higher share of electricity than of primary energy generation, estimated by the EIA to be 21% in 2020. But the EIA believes that renewables from all sources, including hydro and biomass, will be only 42% in 2050, 15 years after Biden’s unrealistic deadline.

Absent dictatorial mobilization of the U.S. economy for the next three decades, a Green New Deal is not going to happen in any incarnation—certainly not with the Biden plan’s relatively limited spending, spread over eight years and accompanied by tax credits designed to “crowd in” voluntary private sector investment. Even if the American carbon copy of Germany’s decarbonizing energy transition were to succeed, the impact on the earth’s climate would be small: The U.S. is responsible for only 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Reducing greenhouse gas isn’t the goal — maximizing graft is.

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