A few days ago, he went on Fox News to justify his vote. And boy, did he justify it. Vermont Yankee may provide 30% of Vermont's power, but....Germany gets 30% of its power from solar! Yes, my friends, he said this howler on national TV. To quote ABC news on the subject
"Germany right now is producing 30% of their juice from solar," said Shumlin during the FOX Business interview.
The host of the show later pointed out Germany gets 1%, not 30%, of its power from solar. Our call to Shumlin for comment was not returned.
The local blog Vermont Tiger had a very funny post on this, including a shot from Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart explains himself to Claude Rains: "I was misinformed."
The link in the Vermont Tiger post seems to be broken, so I decided to include some links on German electricity. The best diagram I have found is here. It is IEA/OECD data at a website (GENI) devoted to renewable energy. Similarly, the European Nuclear Society website has the same data presented in a slightly different format. Despite different philosophies, the two websites agree on the facts. Shumlin should have checked.
Rod Adams checked Germany's solar figures today, and did a careful explanation in his post. We're all citing our sources because during the video clip, Shumlin is informed that Wikipedia says that Germany gets one percent of its electricity from solar. He dismisses it as "well, that's Wikipedia." Mr. Shumlin, Wikipedia was right.
Sadly, I think Shumlin actually believed what he was saying. He has no idea about where electricity comes from. He believed that Germany gets lots and lots of electricity from solar, and Vermont can do the same, no problem.
It's been several days since this incident, and Shumlin still hasn't explained how he thought Germany got 30% of its electricity from solar when it gets less than 1%. I think it would hurt his bid for governor to own up to a mistake, and he won't do it.
Prove me wrong, Mr. Shumlin. Explain yourself.
Image of a solar panel on the Autobahn, from Wikimedia.