Frankfurt -- If the plans of the Federal Government are implemented for the promotion of renewables, the expansion of wind energy on land will soon come to a standstill. We explain how it could go on until the year 2025.
What about wind power?
It is a success story: According to the figures of the Federal Network Agency, plants with a net output of just over 3600 megawatts were installed in the twelve months between February 2015 and January 2016 - the shut-down wind turbines have already been taken into account. The 3600 megawatts correspond to about three locomotives.
What is the secret of success?
Technical progress has led to the fact that wind power on land is by far the most popular type of renewable energy - at a cost of six to a maximum of nine cents per kilowatt hour. New coal-fired power plants can not produce electricity either. Added to this is the fact that modern rotors and generators mean that modern windmills are also being built at locations where wind is blowing.
What is the future development?
This depends entirely on the political guidelines. At the beginning of March, Minister Sigmar Gabriel presented a draft amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). This paragraph regulates the promotion of green electricity. The new provisions will be decided in the coming months. The paper stipulates, among other things, that the amount of electricity from renewable energies is limited to 40 to 45 per cent of electricity consumption in 2025. At the end of last year, it was almost 33 percent.
What does this mean for the expansion of wind energy?
According to a study by the consulting office ERA on behalf of the Green Group, the expansion of wind energy will soon break down as a result. If the 45 percent is targeted, only 1,500 megawatts of wind can be installed annually, according to the paper. This is less than half the average production of the past five days.
How does this affect the amount of electricity generated?
The 1500 megawatts were not even enough to replace older windmills for modern windmills by 2025, the ERA authors write. This means that the production capacity is shrinking. "This will lead to a stagnation of electricity generation from wind energy already in the 2020s", states the study. From 2022 onwards, the quantity of the wind generation which would be fed into the networks would shrink. With the 1500 megawatts, the government would undermine its own targets. It has defined a so-called expansion corridor between 2400 and 2600 megawatts.
What would the 40 percent cover mean?
According to ERA, this level would completely stop the construction of new plants after 2019. All in all, the wind-onshore output would drop by almost 6000 megawatts towards the end of 2015 and results in a massive slump in wind power generation of 18 terawatt hours.
What does this mean for companies that build the plants?
"The home market of many manufacturers is collapsing," says Julia Verlinden, spokesperson for energy policy in the Green Bundestag Fraction. "With its project, the Federal Government is removing the wind farm from its wind farm." Wind energy is a cost-effective technology to replace nuclear and coal-fired power plants.
What interests play a role here?
Allegedly, Gabriel wanted to "protect the old, fossil power station of future competitors". There is a lot to that argument. It is about the plants of the large energy groups RWE, Eon, EnBW and Vattenfall. All four companies have been hit hard because they have spent too much time on coal and nuclear power. Therefore there are massive job cuts. Trade unionists are putting pressure on companies to support them. Moreover, the role of the quartet is to bear the cost of demolition of nuclear power plants and the final disposal of nuclear waste.
What are the plans for the Energiewende?
"With the planned amendment to the EEG, Sigmar Gabriel intends to finally set a monument as a demolition bulb of the Energiewende," says Greens Group vice president Oliver Krischer. While the rest of the world was putting on the sun and the wind, the federal government had set the reverse - at a time when the renewables had become cheap.
How could an alternative look like?
The simplest way would be to set a new target for the green electricity share in 2025 when reforming the EEG. This is exactly what Georg Müller, CEO of the Mannheim Energy Group MVV Energie, demanded at the beginning of February: "The goal for the expansion of renewable energies by 2025 can and must be increased to 55 percent in the federal electricity mix," he said. The drive to expand renewables should not be lost.
Translationfrom German to English assisted through Google Translate