Library from Germany
Siemens Gamesa (SGREN.MC) said on Monday it plans to cut as many as 6,000 jobs worldwide as it braces for sales to plunge by as much as a fifth next year. The job cut would amount to more than 20 percent of the company’s total workforce of around 26,000.
Wind power is the most important building block for the energy transition, but the phasing out of subsidies threatens countless wind turbines. In three years, a large part of the network could be taken out of service.
Electricity production from German wind turbines is expected to tumble further on Tuesday by almost 6 gigawatts (GW) to 10 GW from nearly 40 GW on Saturday, which pushed prices into negative territory.
Move over, Ponzi; forget Bernie Madoff; ignore Enron; and dismiss collateralised debt obligations associated with subprime mortgages. Without a doubt, the biggest scam perpetrated against taxpayers and consumers is renewable energy. And if you think this scam is just an Australian phenomenon, think again. With very few exceptions, governments all over the world have fallen into the trap of paying renewable energy scammers on the basis that it is necessary, at least politically, to be seen to be doing something about climate change.
Germany has spent an estimated 189 billion euros, or about $222 billion, since 2000 on renewable energy subsidies. But emissions have been stuck at roughly 2009 levels, and rose last year, as coal-fired plants fill a void left by Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power. That has raised questions — and anger — over a program meant to make the country’s power sector greener.
German wind developer Wpd has filed a complaint to Germany’s constitutional court against the Wind Energy at Sea Act (WindSeeG) after its far-offshore project Kaikas in the North Sea was excluded from future offshore wind tenders without compensation to the developer.
The Nordex Group has adopted a cost-cutting programme to respond to the continuing decline in demand and the sharp change in market conditions in its core market Germany as well as in other European countries, as already announced before.
Producers blame the decline on a loophole in a new law which seeks to minimize the amount of subsidy for new wind projects. New projects are approved in an auction with the lowest bidder getting the nod – at least theoretically. But lawmakers carved out special rules for the so-called “citizens’ energy companies” – cooperative-like entities that allow local communities to own new facilities.
Although well over 20 billion euros are spent each year to boost Germany's green energy sector, coal still accounts for 40 percent of energy generation, down just 10 points from 2000. To avoid disruption in the power and manufacturing sectors, coal imports and mines must keep running, say industry lobbies, despite the switch to fossil-free energy.
The citizens-energy projects – which took 96% of the capacity available in the tender, Germany’s first onshore round under a competitive process – do not need permits and have 54 months to build their wind farm, rather than the two years that is standard in the market, Nordex said. ...“Manufacturers that do not have any business outside Germany have now been largely left high and dry."
Germany's dirty secret underscores the inevitable conclusion that renewables are alone not enough to beat global warming.
A lorry driver in Germany survived with minor injuries after a crash with a 62m-long turbine blade being transported to a wind facility. Autobahn 33 near Bielefeld was blocked for hours as the blade landed across the road.
The blade was knocked across the entire width of the autobahn when another lorry ran into the back of one of the transporter’s escort vehicles.
The giant blade of a wind turbine fell from the truck that was transporting it on Tuesday morning, squashing the cabin of another truck and completely shutting down traffic on a busy motorway.
Representatives of the wind power sector have complained of a lack of acceptance for this form of energy production in Thuringia. The four dialogue forums, organized by the state government in 2016, were too little to reduce reservations about projects, said Michael Heinrich of plant engineer Enercon on Monday at a meeting in Gotha. Any known planning for a wind farm results in a citizens' initiative being formed.
In January, green power plants in Germany were almost completely turned off as energy suppliers for weeks. A so-called dark tone was responsible. A high pressure area provides still winds and fog, while at the same time the electricity demand in Germany is increasing strongly, also because it is so cold.
The reason for the crash and the identity of the pilot both remained unclear by Thursday afternoon. But the plane reportedly hit the wind turbine at a height of 40 metres in relatively clear air.
The audit office points to a risk that Energiewende costs could increase more and more, laments a lack of co-operation between the federal and state governments that leads to a doubling up of efforts, and notes that the government hasn’t succeeded in building up functioning cost-control mechanisms.
The prominent German economist Heiner Flassbeck has challenged fundamental assumptions of the Energiewende at his blog site makroskop.eu. According to Flassbeck, the former Director of Macroeconomics and Development at the UNCTAD in Geneva and a former State Secretary of Finance, a recent period of extremely low solar and wind power generation shows that Germany will never be able to rely on renewable energy, regardless of how much new capacity will be built.
In the past four weeks, four giant power-generating wind turbines in Germany have either toppled over or experienced broken rotary blades. Now the question is: How safe are wind turbines really?