Archived Story

Electricity shouldn’t be luxury

Published 9:55am Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Germans pay 34 cents a kilowatt hour in comparison to the U.S. average of 12 cents. They have the highest electricity prices in Europe.

In addition, the transition to intermittent green energy is causing havoc with Germany’s electric grid and that of its neighbors. Poland and the Czech Republic are building switches to turn off their connection with Germany at their borders.

Destabilization of the electric grids can cause blackouts, weakening voltage and causing damage to industrial equipment.

BDI, Germany’s powerful industry federation, said it can no longer remain silent as green romanticism plays havoc with the German power supply.

High electricity costs have caused widespread hardship across Germany. More than 600,000 households had their power switched off in 2012 and 800,000 German households can’t afford their electricity bills.

The political world is wedged between the green-energy lobby, masquerading as saviors of the world, and electric utilities, with their warnings of supply problems and job losses.

The United States needs to look at the green energy situation objectively. Just because something can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done, especially when the collateral damage to the citizens and the economy is ignored.

The politically correct green-energy crowd likes to hold Europe up as the example America should follow in designing our renewable energy program.

What the proponents of this strategy are missing is that you need to get your baseload power from somewhere. Intermittent renewable electric power is not a reliable source of baseload power. Coal and/or nuclear are the only reliable options at this time.

A lesson we can learn from Europe is you keep the lights on with coal.

Electricity is becoming a luxury in Germany; we don’t want that to happen in the United States.


Joseph P. Smith is the owner of Pyro-Chem Corporation in South Point and has worked in the energy industry for more than three decades. He can be reached by email at

  • mikehaney

    Thanks Joseph P. Smith, for a darn good article. Keep em coming.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    I almost forgot, today, April 22nd is Earth Day. LOVE YOUR MOTHER EARTH! Along with God, it is she who sustains you.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    I must say, I look forward to these articles by Joseph P. Smith, it is comparable to reading the funnies although it is not funny. I presume tit for tat is fair play, so here goes. Nuclear first; Japan is a primary example of the disastrous effects the use of Nuclear power can have on humanity and the environment. Next, Coal; China is a perfect example of the disastrous effects the use of Coal as a source of energy can have on the people and the environment. When it comes to Coal, we can also look in our own backyard, the mountains of West Virginia and Kentucky and see the detrimental effect the use of Coal has had on the environment and its peoples. The primary concern of those who lobby for the Coal industry is their own pocketbooks, not the people or environment.

    (Report comment)

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