Articles from Germany
A number of wind park operators in the northern German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein have filed an action for damages with the district court in the town of Itzehoe against the power grid operator E.ON Netz. They are accusing the company of using superficial or specious technical difficulties as an excuse for preventing the use of wind-generated electricity, which is unpopular with energy utilities.
However, some observers are now questioning whether all the investment in wind power makes economic sense....Alsleben's new wind farm is designed to supply electricity to 30,000 homes, but when the wind stops blowing, the blades stop turning and the power output falls to zero. Critics say this underlines one essential drawback: you can't depend on wind for energy. Even if you build wind farms you still need conventional power plants in case the wind fails.
But before anyone starts building windmills and sun collectors across the country, the coal mines should be given a second chance, while Germany's nuclear powers stations should run for as long as they're still safe. It's all a question of getting the balance right.
If wind energy really is the energy of the future, as the developers claim, it must prove itself in the market without government subsidies. This has not yet happened anywhere; the projections are all based on artificial models with hidden costs -- costs for you and me, the taxpayers and consumers.
FRANKFURT - Germany has approved a second offshore wind energy project in the Baltic Sea with 330 megawatt (MW) capacity, the relevant authority BSH said on Wednesday.
Dr Johannes Teyssen and Martin Fuchs, authors of a 2005 report into wind energy in Germany, also uncovered some disturbing truths. There are three points that resoundingly debunk the myth that wind energy is efficient and practical. First, the more wind farms Germany installs, the less effective it becomes in displacing other generators. Second, there are massive subsidy costs, extensive new power lines, back-up and cost requirements. Third, comments that 48,000 megawatts of wind energy will only effectively replace 2000 megawatts of conventional generators.
The subsidies for wind are a misuse of public money. The "benefits" from industrial wind are a fantasy and an escape from our energy problems. For me, believing that industrial wind will solve our energy problems is a little like believing the Tooth Fairy will pay my heating bills this winter.
"In order to guarantee reliable electricity supplies when wind farms produce little or no power,e.g. during periods of calm or storm-related shutdowns, traditional power station capacities must be available as a reserve. This means that wind farms can only replace traditional power station capacities to a limited degree."
Despite Germany's changing political landscape, interest remains strong in its government to support the country's renewable energy policies.
"This latest addition to our growing wind power portfolio is further evidence of our commitment to the European renewable energy market," said Andrew Marsden, managing director of GE Energy Financial Services' European operations.
FRANKFURT, Nov 14 (Reuters ) - German wind power lobby BWE said on Monday support for renewable energy in the new coalition deal would unleash huge investments but conventional producers said they were disappointed the status quo was left unaltered.
According to the study, a further financial and technical strong-arm effort would be required in order to be able to even input the quantity of green electricity planned by the federal government into the German electricity network by the year 2015.
They call him the Don Quixote of the Uckermark. But unlike the Spanish literary figure, Hans-Joachim Mengel, a professor of political science at Berlin's Free University, isn't attacking imaginary "giants" in the Iberian hinterland. Rather, he is taking aim at the 400-foot windmills that blanket the German countryside. Mr. Mengel is not alone. Hundreds of citizens' groups have sprung up in Germany to battle "Verspargelung der Landschaft" - a new phrase in the German lexicon - meaning "the transformation of the German landscape into an asparagus field."
They introduced the world to "environmentally friendly" energy, but now some of Europe's "greenest" countries are under pressure to backtrack on wind farms as public anger grows over their impact on the countryside.
In conclusion, this study has shown that in many countries deregulation is having the expected effect of increased competition leading to price reduction. However, it is evident that pricing in markets depends not just on the status of deregulation, but also on the broader aspects of competition. Key factors here include the balance of supply and demand, generation fuel costs, the learning process that new markets go through, competition within different market segments and the costs of access to transmission and distribution networks. Deregulation is a long-term process that requires sustained attention.