Library from Germany
Germany’s grand coalition of Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) on Monday (18 May) agreed on the abolition of the solar cap and an “opt-out solution” for a standard distance for wind turbines. This is a decisive milestone for the expansion of renewable energy in Germany, EURACTIV Germany reports.
London-listed The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) said on Friday it has completed the acquisition of a 36% stake in a 396 megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm in the German North Sea...TRIG also said it has exited from a Swedish onshore wind project being developed by Enercon due to construction delays.
Prices often drop below zero when there is excess wind and solar generation in the market, but fossil and nuclear power plants fail to throttle their output even though their generation costs are higher and renewables have priority grid access. This may be because a complete shutdown of conventional generation plants followed by a restart would cost operators more than continuing production at negative prices, or continued operation is required to supply district heating.
Those who continue to demand pricing of CO2 emissions will intensify the recession and torpedo the planned stimulus package. The shutdown gives us an impression of what deindustrialization means. The aim now is to prevent mass unemployment ...at some point [Merkel] has to explain that the climate protection plans drawn up during full employment no longer exist.
The Bundesrat’s bill, adopted on 14 February, aimed at suspending penalties for wind turbines that do not meet completion deadlines. According to Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), wind farm promoters must pay penalties if the project won in a tender is not completed within two years. The fine applies regardless of the reason for the delay,
The new closures take the number of idled wind power factories on the continent to 19, all in Spain and Italy, the European countries worst hit by the pandemic. This figure also includes sites run by General Electric unit LM Wind Power.
The growing mismatch between Germany’s renewables capacity and the strength of its electricity network is leading to curtailment, crazy pricing and challenges for neighboring nations. Although Germany is generating record amounts of clean energy in the north, its grid is too weak to transport all the power down to load centers in the south — a longstanding challenge for the country that's only getting worse.
The renewables industry is demanding Chancellor Angela Merkel ends an impasse over a damaging planned distance rule for onshore wind and a cap on support for solar power. Both issues were supposed to be tacked at a meeting today with the premiers of Germany’s 16 states, but energy issues were adjourned due to pressing discussions on the Coronavirus.
“The damage done to the earth by wind parks is irreversible,” announced Waltraud Plarre, an unofficial group leader of this citizens’ initiative, named “Save Brandenburg” after the state in which Schwielowsee lies. Later, Ms. Plarre pointed out that Germany exports most wind power produced, even as energy prices for the consumer have skyrocketed. “It’s insanity.”
“The industry estimates that, given that power demand is growing, an expansion (of onshore wind) by 5,000 MW per year is essential in order to reach the 65% target by 2030,” they said in a joint statement. Their data showed operators installed only 1,078 megawatts (MW) of new onshore capacity in 2019.
Power prices in Germany are among the highest in Europe, not least due to the costs arising from the launch of renewable energy sources – but many customers continue to support the country's energy transition regardless. While wholesale electricity prices on average have been in decline in recent years, surcharges, taxes, and grid fees raise the bill for Germany's private households and small businesses. However, market observers say that power costs are often not even high enough for customers to look for cheaper alternatives.
A fire in a wind turbine in Germany’s Lower Saxony on January 18 prompted warnings from local authorities to keep windows and doors closed in nearby areas while authorities tackled the blaze.
Skeptics fear that the country is on a risky path. Sufficient renewable energy sources might not be available in time to compensate for the loss of fossil and nuclear power. Though renewables account for around 40 percent of Germany’s electricity supply, there are limits to further expansion ...In some rural parts of Germany, people are fed up with ever growing “wind parks”; more citizens are protesting new — and often taller — wind turbines in their neighborhoods. And there is growing resistance to the new paths needed to transport electricity from coasts to industrial centers.
“Overall, the renewables expansion is not sufficiently rapid to meet Germany’s generation targets for 2030,” Berlin-based Agora said in an annual analysis. The slower installation partly reflects delays to the planning and permissioning of onshore turbines applications because of objections to their construction. Disagreements over financing and general inertia by authorities have also slowed down related grid expansion to transport wind power north to south.
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) has proposed a new answer to people complaining about wind farms in Germany: offering money to those willing to live near them. "Those people who accept windmills in their neighborhood, and so make the expansion of renewable energy possible, should be rewarded," SPD environment spokesman Matthias Miersch told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper.
The acquisition of sole control over certain assets belonging to Senvion of Germany by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy of Spain complies with EU Merger Regulation, the European Commission has said.
He and his neighbors demanded the operators shut down their turbines from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. He also joined a 500-strong protest group that stopped the wind farm from being replaced by taller, more modern turbines. Still, the 69-year-old feels the wind farm is keeping him from enjoying his retirement in peace. Depending on where the sun is positioned, the shade of one of the rotating turbines falls on his house. He says it is very unsettling.
German wind turbine maker Nordex (NDXG.DE) fell further into the red in January-September, it said on Wednesday, while its negative free cash flow nearly doubled due to increased investments in rotor blade production in Mexico and Spain.
But the days when Germany was the largest market for wind turbines in Europe are over. Now there is a slowdown in the industry. In the first half of 2019, the expansion of wind power on land almost came to a standstill. Only about 150 wind turbines were newly built, about 80 percent less than last year.
It’s good to know that wind turbine blades are a bird’s best friend, or something like that. I’m citing “fun facts” on the website of Synergy, Western Australia’s state-owned electricity generator. Synergy operations include half a dozen WA wind farms, mostly coastal. Synergy claims, correctly, that its fun facts “may blow your mind.” Fun Fact No. 9 is illustrated with a pic of Sesame Street’s Big Bird, pop-eyed with delight about wind turbines’ blade-and-splatter prospects. The caption reads (author’s emphasis)