Articles from Germany
This horrible, upsetting picture shows a white stork whose beak was chopped off by a wind turbine in Germany. It subsequently had to be “euthanised” by a vet. Though I’ve given him a name – Stefan – I think we can safely predict that his ugly and entirely unnecessary demise won’t generate nearly the same level of public outrage as did Cecil the Lion‘s. Or even Finsly the Tiger Shark’s.
To put an end to the often unexpected power flows from Germany — so-called loop flows — the countries are taking the matter into their own hands. Concerned about the stability of their own grids, additional costs and the ability to export their own power, the Czechs, for example, are installing devices to block the power from 2016 onwards.
RWE Innogy has temporarily shut down its 295MW Nordsee Ost wind farm in the German North Sea last Friday after a blade broke on one of the project’s 48 Senvion 6.2M126 turbines. ...Nordsee Ost blades are 61.5 metres long and weigh around 22 tonnes.
The plan to impose penalties on the oldest and most polluting power plants has been dropped ...The move illustrates the challenge Berlin faces as it attempts to meet its ambitious targets to combat climate change while safeguarding jobs. Despite a shift towards renewable energy, Germany still generates 44 per cent of its electricity from coal.
The new law has been in effect since November 2014, The law established a a minimum distance of ten times turbine height to the nearest resudence. So a 200-meter high wind turbine must be 2000 meters from the nearest residential house.
The resistance is developing into a major headache for Merkel. It is dividing her coalition, undermining her most ambitious domestic policy, creating uncertainty for some of Germany's biggest companies, and threatening the goal of producing nearly half of all power from renewable sources by 2025 while remaining Europe's economic powerhouse.
With the share of electricity generated by renewables rising, Berlin must work out how to safeguard permanent electricity supply to avert blackouts when there is a lull in variable wind or solar energy. ...But government members have spoken out against what they call "aid" for power plants, requesting prices should be allowed to peak wildly at times of real scarcity.
The “parliament” of Germany’s medical profession has called on its leaders to support a halt to further wind farm developments near housing until more research has been undertaken into the possible health impacts of low-frequency noise from wind turbines.
But at the same time, the flood of solar and wind energy on the grid has caused wholesale electricity prices to collapse — all while retail rates have skyrocketed. But the collapse in wholesale prices are cutting into the profitability of coal and gas plant operators that don’t get the generous subsidies that green energy does.
A German energy industry association survey found that 53% of investors in power plants scheduled to come online in the next decade had frozen their involvement in the projects because of political uncertainty. “If politicians carry on as they do now then there will be no new, modern power stations. There are no incentives whatsoever for investments, despite politicians emphasising all the time that they aim to change this. It is also likely that further closures will follow.”
Power companies in Germany are increasingly questioning whether to construction new power plants because of the energy revolution. Roughly half of the planned facilities now lack a concrete investment commitment, said Hildegard Müller, General Manager of the current lobby group BDEW on Monday at the Hannover Messe.
In a growing spat that is undermining the European Union’s 150 billion euro ($160 billion) program to strengthen the bloc’s electricity links, leaders in Bavaria and other German regions are turning down wind power from the north. Their biggest objection is the aesthetics of it all: New transmission lines would have to be put up across centuries-old German towns to bring in more of the electricity.
Heinz Schwarze, the head of the newly formed committee, suspects that Germany’s booming wind power industry may have been involved. Wind farms are prohibited in areas where protected species nest.
German taxpayers could end up spending billions of euros to help close the country's nuclear plants as current funding plans involving utilities risk falling short, a report commissioned by the government and seen by Reuters showed on Friday.
How dangerous is wind power for animals and humans? This question is the construction of wind turbines in Denmark almost stopped as the "Welt am Sonntag" reported. Also in Germany there is growing skepticism about wind power projects.
How close can wind turbines be sited near back in inhabited localities? Reports of adverse health noise emissions from wind turbines in Denmark already have led to a dramatic slowdown in the pace of expansion.
More than two-thirds of bats being killed by wind turbines on German ground are migrants on their way between summer and winter habitats. Due to its geographical location in Europe, Germany has consequently a central responsibility for the conservation of migratory bats, experts say.
After years of stop-start progress, the industrialisation of offshore wind is gaining momentum, but has many hurdles lying ahead. Screwing down the cost of technology, construction and operation of wind farms to a levelised cost of energy (LCoE) under €100 ($116) per MWh — at deeper-water, far-from-shore projects — would put fresh winds in the sails.
The government is working towards a way to safeguard permanent electricity supply, with cash for loss-making plants at one end of the spectrum of possible solutions and letting markets decide with price spikes in low supply periods the other. Utilities argue the latter solution could cause more mass closures and leave the market under-invested too long.
RWE Innogy is slashing investment in renewable energies to €1 billion over the three years 2015-2017 ...RWE spent the same amount on renewables in 2014 alone. With parent company RWE weighed down by heavy debts, RWE Innogy continues to pursue the strategy it begun in 2014.