Marks: Germany’s Energy Quandary Can Teach the U.S. Lessons

Writing in Inside Sources’ DC Journal, Ret. Major General Spider Marks reflects on the lessons America can learn from Germany’s energy situation that has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Germany is a case study of an overreliance on foreign sources of energy, specifically hostile nations that can leverage energy as a weapon of war, as Russia has done.

Marks writes, “for Germany, overreliance on Russian-sourced energy coupled with an ambitious renewable energy agenda has come at a heavy price.” When the West laid sanctions against the Russian state, Germany’s energy sector was quickly exposed for their reliance on imports from the Kremlin, as well as a transition to green energy stuck in neutral. Supply was not the only issue, either. The economic toll of Germany’s’ misguided policies was overwhelming.

As part of their transition, Germany planned to replace traditional heating systems with ‘climate-friendly’ pumps which are estimated to cost up to $14,000 per household.  Marks notes the increased costs for Germans, writing, “the country is paying 40 percent more for energy in 2023 than in 2021 — an increase that is undoubtedly passed on to consumers and impedes the German economy.

Instead of following Germany down the path of shunning traditional fuels, such as oil and gas, in favor of technologies that are not yet fully reliable or widely deployable, the U.S. must invest and support an all-of-the-above strategy. Marks write, “Diversity of energy options is critical. With its availability, adaptability and low carbon footprint, natural gas has allowed significant emission reductions while keeping energy costs down.” If we are to continue reducing emissions while maintaining a secure energy source, natural gas offers us the best opportunity to do both.

Read more from Retired Major General James ‘Spider’ Marks here: Inside Sources

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