Articles filed under General from Germany

Windmill boom curbs electric power prices for RWE

After years of getting government incentives to install windmills, operators in Europe may have become their own worst enemy, reducing the total price paid for electricity in Germany, Europe's biggest power market, by as much as 5 billion euros some years, according to a study this week by Poeyry, a Helsinki-based industry consultant. ..."Wind is playing an important role in spot-price volatility because it's very difficult to predict when more power is coming on line," said Ruxandra Haradau-Doeser, an analyst at Bankhaus Metzler in Frankfurt.
24 Apr 2010

Germany's $143 billion wind farms jeopardized by tight funding

As much as 100 billion euros ($143 billion) in planned investments in German offshore wind farms are at risk as developers struggle to get funding, jeopardizing the deepest emissions cuts in the European Union. Bochum's municipal utility expects its first wind park to be delayed by up to two years, Managing Director Bernd Wilmert said. HEAG Suedhessische Energie AG, a regional energy supplier known as HSE, had to go to twice as many banks as it would have needed last year to finance a 1.3 billion-euro North Sea wind farm, Chief Executive Officer Albert Filbert said.
3 Jun 2009

Germany seeks to solve key problem with wind power

German chancellor Angela Merkel has laid the foundation for a "milestone" renewable energy plant that answers the big question surrounding wind energy: what happens when it isn't windy? ...Some renewable energy experts have expressed doubts that the electrolysis will be as effective as planned and warn that the technology is a long way from being market-ready. ..."The technology is very elaborate and very expensive," says Dr Peter Schäfer of the Jülich research centre, which operated a similar hydrogen storage system powered by solar cells.
27 Apr 2009

Offshore Wind-Energy Parks in Europe Lose Appeal, Banker Says

Offshore wind-energy installations in Northern Europe have lost appeal among financiers because of increased costs and difficulties in building and running equipment miles at sea, a German banker said. Many lenders have stopped providing credit for installations that are anchored to the ocean floor, said Thiess Harder-Heun, a director at Deutsche Kreditbank AG, which has financed construction of about 700 wind turbines over the past decade.
12 Feb 2009

Lifeline for renewable power

To make use of this clean [renewable] energy, we'll need more transmission lines that can transport power from one region to another and connect energy-­hungry cities with the remote areas where much of our renewable power is likely to be generated. We'll also need far smarter controls throughout the distribution system--technologies that can store extra electricity from wind farms in the batteries of plug-in hybrid cars, for example, or remotely turn power-hungry appliances on and off as the energy supply rises and falls. If these grid upgrades don't happen, new renewable-power projects could be stalled, because they would place unacceptable stresses on existing electrical systems.
22 Dec 2008

Germans to scale back offshore wind-energy plans, report says

"Many of these engineering problems have been known for years, but when it comes to putting them into practice developers have encountered difficulties, especially when far offshore and when the weather is bad," said Heiko Stohlmeyer, a renewable-energy financing consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, in an interview. "Enormous" challenges in getting equipment to areas of the sea where windfarms are being built and then servicing the equipment are presenting obstacles for the projects, Stohlmeyer said.
4 Dec 2008

Work to start on first German offshore wind farm

Building work for Germany's first offshore wind power park, Alpha Ventus in the North Sea, will start within a week, the project developer said on Friday. DOTI -- a joint venture owned in equal shares by utilities E.ON, Vattenfall Europe and EWE -- said the 180 million euro ($282.6 million) project got official permission to earlier this month. "Having received the go-ahead, we will start with building work out at sea by the end of next week," a company spokesman said.
25 Jul 2008

Siemens to cut 17,200 jobs

Conglomerate Siemens AG, wracked by a wide-ranging corruption scandal, will cut up to 4 percent of its work force worldwide, or about 17,200 jobs, a pair of newspapers reported Saturday. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that the Munich-based company was set to shed the jobs -- mostly white-collar and administrative -- without citing any sources. ...The warning was a surprise for the conglomerate, whose diverse products include trams, turbines and telecommunications equipment, given that it had said in January that sales were expected to double the pace of the global economy.
29 Jun 2008

Germany falls behind in wind turbine installations

Germany was replaced by the United States as the world's No.1 market for newly installed wind turbines last year due to falling subsidies, the German wind energy federation BWE said on Tuesday. While new installation of wind turbines worldwide rose about 31 percent overall to 20,076 megawatt (MW), new installations in Germany slumped 25 percent to 1,667 MW last year, the association said in a statement.
22 Apr 2008

German utilities warn of power bottlenecks due to wind integration - report

German utilities are warning the government of bottlenecks in power transmission grids due to the difficulties of integrating higher shares of wind energy, Handelsblatt reported. The paper cited reports on the state of transmission networks German utilities are required to submit to the German grid regulator by tomorrow. The number of incidents has risen significantly over the past two years, the report said. Vattenfall Europe AG's transmission unit recorded 155 days where the situation was critical on grids last year, and 28 out of 29 days so far this year.
31 Jan 2008

'Green' energy up in Germany but future clouding: producers

Federation president Johannes Lackmann said investment in renewable energy sources turbines had actually fallen in 2007 and called on the German government to do more to stimulate its growth. "The government's current provisions are insufficient to continue the successful course of recent years," he said. Tax breaks and other subsidies that renewable energy sources receive in Germany are due to be gradually phased out over the next few years, which "green" producers say will erode their already weak competitiveness compared to traditional energy sources such as coal and nuclear power.
8 Jan 2008

Wind power sets sail from crowded Germany

"The next big phase of development in places like Germany and Holland will be offshore, where the resources are so much better." ...In Britain, where around 1.5 percent of electricity is produced by wind, opposition to 50 metre-tall turbines near homes has meant companies are also looking out to sea. "The land-grab has happened," said John-Marc Bunce, alternative energy analyst at broker Ambrian Partners. "In places like the UK there was never really enough land anyway and the government was crazy thinking anyone would want to have a wind turbine next to their house." ...But offshore wind is not without drawbacks, and over the longer term, it could be upstaged by other sources. "It costs a lot more and it's a lot more difficult. The development of offshore technology is in the same place that onshore wind industry was eight, 10 years ago," said Sawyer at the Global Wind Energy Council.
3 Dec 2007

An ill wind blows across Germany

... while German power companies export 61 per cent of the wind generators they produce, the number of new wind turbines installed in Germany fell by more than 25 per cent in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2006. "This is evidence that the fundamental conditions for wind power utilisation are no longer favourable in Germany," said Germany's Wind Energy Federation president Hermann Albers. ...These days news that a wind park is planned normally results in a local residents' campaign to raise concerns that the wind generators risk spoiling the countryside, driving away tourists and leading to sleepless nights for those living close to the turbines because of the infrasound - sound with a frequency too low to be detected by the human ear - caused by the whirling blades. Each year German courts hear 600-700 cases mounted by opponents of plans to build wind turbines in their local communities.
13 Oct 2007

The Dangers of Wind Power

After the industry's recent boom years, wind power providers and experts are now concerned. The facilities may not be as reliable and durable as producers claim. Indeed, with thousands of mishaps, breakdowns and accidents having been reported in recent years, the difficulties seem to be mounting. Gearboxes hiding inside the casings perched on top of the towering masts have short shelf lives, often crapping out before even five years is up. In some cases, fractures form along the rotors, or even in the foundation, after only limited operation. Short circuits or overheated propellers have been known to cause fires. All this despite manufacturers' promises that the turbines would last at least 20 years.
24 Aug 2007

Weighing the Risks

DER SPIEGEL spoke to German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel and to Utz Claassen, the CEO of Germany's third largest energy provider, EnBW, about whether nuclear energy can provide a way out of the climate crisis.......Claassen: It may be true that we would have made more progress in the area of renewable energy sources. But most renewable energy sources do not have the capacity to provide the base load. SPIEGEL: "Base load" is the term for the output constantly required by the electricity grid. Claassen: Without nuclear energy, we would have to cover the base load almost exclusively by means of fossil fuels, namely black coal and brown coal, meaning that we would have emitted more CO2 today, not less, even if it had proven possible to develop renewable energy source technologies more quickly. A study by the German Energy Agency (DENA) -- not a study by the energy industry, that is, but one by the center of competence for energy efficiency in Germany -- came to the following conclusion: When 37,000 megawatts of wind power capacity have been installed, that will make 6 percent of those fossil fuel or nuclear plant capacities that can provide the base load obsolete. So 2,300 conventional megawatt blocks of coal or nuclear energy could then be abandoned.
23 Jul 2007

German govt to cut subsidies for solar power, pay more for wind power

Subsidies for Germany's solar industry will be cut back more than previously announced to free up funds for offshore wind power plants, sources close to the German environment ministry said. The government plans to increase the maximum subsidy for wind power to 0.11-0.14 eur per kilowatt hour from currently 0.09 eur, the sources said. The changes will also force solar power firms to increase the profitability of their facilities if subsidies are cut. German environment minister Sigmar Gabriel is expected to make a statement on the Renewable Energies Law today.
5 Jul 2007

European wind power seen doubling by 2015

Europe's wind power market will more than double by 2015 as Spain remains the biggest producer, a study said. Europe's installed generating capacity for electricity produced by wind turbines will expand an average nine gigawatts a year to 130.8 gigawatts in 2015, from 48.5 gigawatts at the end of 2006, according to the study by Emerging Energy Research, based in Cambridge, Mass. Spain and Germany will account for more than half of the expansion over the next eight years, though east European markets will grow rapidly as 2015 approaches, it said. Utilities in northern Europe are likely to dominate the growing market for offshore wind power.
4 Jul 2007

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