Library from Germany
On Thursday, a wind turbine burned in Lathen (Emsland). The total loss, according to police was about 500,000 euros. The fire was believed to have been caused by a defective gearbox casing. Firefighters were at the site in the morning but the situation was not under control until afternoon. By the time they arrived the nacelle and the rotor blades were already in flames.
Germany plans to cap the expansion of offshore wind power at the start of the next decade to ensure the future growth of renewables keeps step with the construction of new power lines.
GERMANY: The German government's insistence that renewable-energy projects must deliver all their electricity into the wholesale market to qualify for support risks cutting off some of the more innovative uses of wind power currently under development.
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.
Potential for growth of wind energy in the state will be decimated by Bavaria's constitutional court backing the ruling that the minimum distance between a wind turbine and the nearest buildings must be ten times the height of the turbine.
The Bavarian Constitutional Court today decided that the controversial 10h minimum distance requirement for wind power plants in Bavaria is in line with the constitution. Pursuant to the so called 10h-regulation (10H-Regelung) contained in the revised Bavarian Building Code, wind power plants have to maintain a minimum distance from residential housing of ten times the total height of the wind power plant.
Green, SPD and CDU, and also the wind power industry described the decision as a "black day not only for wind power, but for the transformation of energy in total." Meanwhile, the Bavarian government feels strengthened in its position. "The decision provides legal certainty," said Minister Ilse Aigner. The law "makes a public welfare an acceptable balance between our energy policy goals and local interests".
The Bavarian Constitutional Court dismissed actions against the Bavarian wind power distance law. The controversial 10H-rule has been declared constitutional.
The Supreme Court of Bavaria has upheld a controversial state wind distance rule that has already drastically reduced the number of permits for new wind farms in Germany's biggest state. ...In late 2014, the state government enacted legislation stipulating that wind parks need to be built at a minimum distance to the nearest housing of ten times the turbine height (measured from the tower base to the tip of the blade).
Early morning, last Saturday a windmill near Brandenburg an der Havel lost a blade. The failure occurred after having operated for just 14 years. The life expectancy was at least double that number of years. The citizens' group "Save Brandenburg" warns of the dangers of wind turbines.
Because the power grid is overloaded, more wind wheels must always be limited. This costs the network operators hundreds of millions of euros.
For a year, Germans could hope for decreasing, or at least stable electricity prices. But now they know their expectations will not met. Quite the opposite: A recent analysis of price comparisons by TopTarif reveals that consumers are currently paying as much for their electricity than ever before.
The plan to impose a minimum distance of up to 1,100 metres (in the case of large turbines) between new wind developments and the nearest housing comes as a concession in the coalition contract for a new state government to the Free Democrats (FDP) which are entering the government after elections in March. The FDP had campaigned against the rapid expansion of wind power in the southern German state.
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.
Already over 300 citizens initiatives have formed to resist the construction of new parks across the country. Moreover, recent reports tell us the German government is poised to scale back on renewable energies, aiming to cap it at 40 – 45% of total energy supply by 2025, according to the Berliner Zeitung.