Library filed under General from Germany
Germany is dumping electricity on its unwilling neighbors and by wintertime the feud should come to a head. Central and Eastern European countries are moving to disconnect their power lines from Germany's during the windiest days. That's when they get flooded with energy, echoing struggles seen from China to Texas over accommodating the world's 200,000 windmills.
Worldwide, the blogosphere pulses with indignation about solar subsidies. But the peculiar thing about all this wrath is how rarely it is directed at what is becoming a remarkably destructive aspect of renewable energy: its ability to drive down wholesale electricity prices.
TenneT TSO, whose Dutch parent bought E.ON's German high voltage grid in 2009, has come under political and financial pressure over delays in linking offshore wind farms to Germany's onshore grid, as part of the country's hurried shift toward renewable energy.
Lulls in wind power in winter especially coincide with anticyclones bringing clear skies and cold weather when power demand is also high, revealing an Achilles heel for renewables, when sunlight is still relatively weak and the wind drops.
On days when there is a lot of wind, the sun is shining and consumption is low, market prices on the power exchange can sometimes drop to zero. There is even such a thing as negative costs. ...Under current conditions, even the most modern and efficient combined steam and gas power plants are not recovering billions in investment costs.
The problem is that the southern states are not particularly excited about receiving electricity from the wind farms in northern Germany. Bavarian Governor Seehofer talks about self-sufficiency and investing billions in the regional energy supply, including solar, hydroelectric and biofuel plants. ...RWE and the other large electric utilities now believe that the first north-south lines may not even be needed anymore when they go into service in a decade.
Fuhrlaender AG, a German maker of wind turbines, filed for insolvency at a Rhineland court, citing delayed projects and postponed payments from customers.
Germany wants to pepper its northern seas with offshore wind turbines as part of its ambitious energy revolution. But strict laws, technology problems and multiple delays are turning the massive enterprise into an expensive fiasco. Investors and the public are losing patience.
Wow, this coal plant is flexible indeed. ...It can ramp up and down within minutes to meet renewable's intermittency. And at $3.4 billion, it's a steal. Thanks to their Renewable Energy Act (EEG) and the shutting of their nuclear plants, the country's energy costs are skyrocketing and driving German manufacturing out of business or off-shore
RWE AG, Germany's second-biggest utility, is seeking compensation from the federal government as its offshore wind farm project faces "further massive delays," Der Spiegel reported on Sunday, citing the company's new CEO. Efforts to link RWE's so-called Nordsee Ost wind farm in northwestern Germany to the main electricity network keep running behind schedule.
German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex made a first-quarter net loss of €14m ($18m) - widening the €1.8m deficit it recorded in the first three months of 2011. Nordex sales rose by 8.3% to €198.3m, while order intake reached €312m compared to €154m in the same quarter last year.
In light of these major challenges, can Germany keep its offshore wind programme on track? While there are no fixed dates as to when the administration will act, Mr. Wesselink is adamant that swift action is essential for Germany's offshore wind programme to succeed. "Only when the new legislation has been drafted in line with our plans, will it be possible [for Germany to meet its offshore wind target]".
Germany's plans for a radical expansion in offshore wind power generation are at risk of failure because of delays in hooking the wind farms up to the power grid, German power company E.on warned on Tuesday.
"In terms of the good, the bad and the ugly wind projects from a moneymaking point of view, many in Germany and Italy have been bad. "There has been persistent overestimation of wind speeds in Germany and Italy. Developers and turbine manufacturers want to record high wind speeds to get projects off the ground. But now investors are wising up."
Controversial German wind turbine maker Bard has pulled out of a project to build the Netherlands' biggest offshore wind park, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Wednesday. Bard beat Dutch energy firms Nuon and Eneco to the contract to build the wind park off the coast.
The Netherlands and Germany are embroiled in a dispute over the placing of wind turbines at sea off the coast of the Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog, the Telegraaf reports on Thursday.
Rochdale council could face significant legal costs if it moves to block the construction of a windfarm on the hills above Watergrove reservoir. That was the stark warning given to Rochdale Township planning sub-committee this week by a senior planning officer.
More than one third of Germany's 21,500 wind turbines are located in the nation's east. This concentration of generating capacity regularly overloads the region's electricity grid, threatening blackouts. ...In 2009, exports to western Germany, neighboring Poland and the Czech Republic reached 6.5 gigawatts on days with strong winds. As more new wind farms go online, Erbring said, exports are bound to increase even further.
Germany's Federal Agency for Nature Conservation has stopped a planned 500 million-euro ($690 million) wind farm in the North Sea because of concerns about its impact on the environment and bird life, Die Zeit reported, without saying where it obtained the information.
Electricity consumers will pay an extra 3.53 euro cents (5 U.S. cents) per kilowatt-hour of consumed power in 2011 to subsidize renewable-energy generation, the country's four high- voltage power grid operators said today in an e-mailed statement. That compares with 2.05 euro cents this year.