Library filed under Energy Policy from Germany
Siemens has warned its plans to eventually export wind turbine blades from the UK will have to be put on hold because of last week’s Brexit vote.
In a speech introducing the reforms, Energy and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, vice-chancellor and leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party, described the move as a "paradigm shift" in energy policy. Germany would be leaving behind a system of government-mandated prices, and moving toward a more free-market pricing system, he said.
Speaking to reporters early on Wednesday morning, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the talks had "come a long way." Under the planned reforms, Berlin has agreed to limit the expansion of onshore wind at 2.8 gigawatts in capacity per year, which equates to around 1,000 wind turbines.
"We've got into an absurd situation," Gabriel said. "We produce cheap electricity in the North [of Germany] and cannot bring it to the South [because of insufficient transmission capacity], then we buy the electricity a second time from other [fossil-fuelled] power generators as a result, and then offload the redispatch costs onto end-consumers."
Clean energy has squeezed margins at coal and gas plants while driving up costs for consumers in Europe’s biggest power market. The increased flows of clean energy have also put pressure on the grid to the point that the country is considering excluding certain regions from future onshore wind power auctions.
All of this—the job losses, the unreliable power supply, the astonishing amounts of spending that could top €1 trillion over the coming decades, and the rising coal emissions to boot—amounts to one of the more monumental blunders of modern governance.
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.
Germany’s massive push into renewable energy has a dark side. As green policies drive up the cost of power, entire industries are shrinking. ...The losers include once-stalwart utility giants like E.ON and RWE that are struggling with rising debt and falling shares. Manufacturing companies, from chemicals maker BASF to carbon fiber producer SGL Carbon, have shifted investments abroad, where energy costs are often a fraction of Germany’s.
Michael Fuchs, deputy chairman of the Christian Democrat party, joined fellow lawmakers in calling on the government to employ flexibility as early as this year in setting targets for clean energy growth, according to a three-page note dated Jan. 18 and sent to the chancellery.
Rich Western countries are more culpable than they think. They have transformed their rural landscapes with wind farms and pushed up electricity prices for consumers, yet have managed to drive surprisingly little carbon out of the energy system. The record would look even worse if Western countries had not simultaneously exported much of their heavy industry, and thus much of their pollution, to China and other emerging countries.
A surcharge levied on German consumers to support renewable power will rise 3 percent next year, despite government efforts to scale back support for green power, a statement from the country's network operators (TSOs) showed on Thursday. ...A household using 3,500 kWh per year would have to pay 222.39 euros towards the EEG alone in 2016, 3 percent more than this year, retail portal Toptarif said.
To put an end to the often unexpected power flows from Germany — so-called loop flows — the countries are taking the matter into their own hands. Concerned about the stability of their own grids, additional costs and the ability to export their own power, the Czechs, for example, are installing devices to block the power from 2016 onwards.
The output of DOE's models are easy to promote but reality paints a very different picture. DOE's Vision assumes 7 GW of wind built per year between 2014 and 2020, followed by 12 gigawatts per year between 2020 and 2030, and 17 GW every year after until 2050. The Agency points to the progress since 2009 as proof that a more aggressive wind roll-out is possible. But in many ways, the success of U.S. wind in those years is the very reason wind development will not grow, but continue to slow.
With the share of electricity generated by renewables rising, Berlin must work out how to safeguard permanent electricity supply to avert blackouts when there is a lull in variable wind or solar energy. ...But government members have spoken out against what they call "aid" for power plants, requesting prices should be allowed to peak wildly at times of real scarcity.
But at the same time, the flood of solar and wind energy on the grid has caused wholesale electricity prices to collapse — all while retail rates have skyrocketed. But the collapse in wholesale prices are cutting into the profitability of coal and gas plant operators that don’t get the generous subsidies that green energy does.
A German energy industry association survey found that 53% of investors in power plants scheduled to come online in the next decade had frozen their involvement in the projects because of political uncertainty. “If politicians carry on as they do now then there will be no new, modern power stations. There are no incentives whatsoever for investments, despite politicians emphasising all the time that they aim to change this. It is also likely that further closures will follow.”
Power companies in Germany are increasingly questioning whether to construction new power plants because of the energy revolution. Roughly half of the planned facilities now lack a concrete investment commitment, said Hildegard Müller, General Manager of the current lobby group BDEW on Monday at the Hannover Messe.
In a growing spat that is undermining the European Union’s 150 billion euro ($160 billion) program to strengthen the bloc’s electricity links, leaders in Bavaria and other German regions are turning down wind power from the north. Their biggest objection is the aesthetics of it all: New transmission lines would have to be put up across centuries-old German towns to bring in more of the electricity.
German taxpayers could end up spending billions of euros to help close the country's nuclear plants as current funding plans involving utilities risk falling short, a report commissioned by the government and seen by Reuters showed on Friday.
The government is working towards a way to safeguard permanent electricity supply, with cash for loss-making plants at one end of the spectrum of possible solutions and letting markets decide with price spikes in low supply periods the other. Utilities argue the latter solution could cause more mass closures and leave the market under-invested too long.