1. I wonder how this compares to their actual energy consumption. I have to imagine the US is much more of an energy hog than Germany, so are they even further ahead of the game in generating green energy for their own needs than this chart would indicate?

  2. What is the cost to Germans of this green energy (per KWh)? The average cost of U.S. energy is $0.09 /KWh with a low of $0.025 for coal generated electricity.

    Also, are Germans short on coal and oil and so are driven to other sources of energy as the French are (lots of nuclear energy in France).

  3. Eric –

    Click through and read the article. Answers a lot of your questions.

    Mikey –

    Most recent numbers I can find are 2004, but they ought to be in the ballpark:
    Germany – 7,442 kwh per year per capita
    US – 14,240
    Chad – 11 (“eleven” – not a typo)

  4. Eli –

    The graph from the same source showing wind power only, and including Denmark. Perhaps you could elaborate on your point, as it wasn’t clear what you were getting at.

  5. These are good graphics for altrenative power infrastructure marketers but not as measures of the advance of the respective societies into wind power.

    For the latter purpose, at the very least they should be scaled by population to yield per capita wind production. Also (and likely to make the US position look even less impressive) as others have mentioned, they should be scaled by total energy usage to yield a percentage from wind.

    And of course, I would guess that the US biomass is almost all corn ethanol, so 100% of the implied renewability of that slice is wasted if you listen to some people, or (!) worse than 100% if you listen to others.

  6. What I thought was interesting about this graph and the Economist story is the fact that Germany, which in January was the world’s largest exporting nation, has such an aggressive solar and wind effort. Doesn’t seem to have hurt their international competitiveness much.

  7. Coal fired electricity in the U.S. – $0.025/ kwh
    Natural gas fired peak electricity in the U.S. – $0.10 / kwh
    Coal or nuclear electricity in Germany – $0.10/ kwh
    Solar power in Germany – $0.70/kwh

    German wealth relative to U.S. states – about the same as Mississippi.


  8. Eli,
    I know that Germany is not Mississippi. The study was on the buying power of an average salary not on the appearance of buildings. One example from the study was that Swedes do not go out for lunch because a McDonald’s meal that costs $6 in the U.S. costs $35 in Sweden. The study focuses on how many hours of work it takes to buy any of one hundred standard items. The comparisons are made on the number of hours of work that it takes to buy these items in various places.

    Does this explanation make things clearer? It takes as many hours of work to buy the same item in Germany and Missiissippi and fewer hours of work to buy that item in Connecticut.

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