Library filed under Energy Policy from Germany
With wind and solar farms sprouting up in more areas -- and their power getting priority to feed into the grid in many places -- the amount of electricity being generated is outstripping demand during certain hours of the day. The result: power prices are slipping to zero or even below more often in more jurisdictions.
The environment ministry blamed three main factors for the slower progress: overestimates of how much CO2 would be saved under existing plans, faster-than-expected economic growth and a faster-growing population than forecast.
Government plans to end advantage for bids from citizen groups; Commercial developers complained unfunded bidders had an edge
Baake, a Green Party politician whose appointment by then economy minister Sigmar Gabriel was a surprise at the time, criticised the new government’s energy and climate plans in a resignation letter ...The plans for the energy transition (Energiewende) in the new coalition agreement were a “bitter disappointment”, Baake wrote to incoming energy and economy minister Peter Altmaier.
Unreliable solar and wind power in Germany cause more and higher electricity costs for the power grid.
In the year that ended, electricity was more expensive than ever before - and at the beginning of the year prices are still rising, according to the "Handelsblatt" newspaper. The newspaper relied on a recent analysis of the consumer porta, Verivox.
Meanwhile, the renewables are causing an environmental disaster as well as an economic one. The wind farms kill thousands of rare birds of prey every year, the biogas plants cause run-off and soil erosion, while the solar farms industrialise and denature the land. Many soi-disant ‘environmentalists’ are shamefully silent.
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.
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.
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.
Germany's dirty secret underscores the inevitable conclusion that renewables are alone not enough to beat global warming.
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 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.
Onshore wind in the production figures accounted for 10% of Germany’s electricity output in 2016, down from 11% in 2015, while offshore wind expanded to 2% of production, up from 1% a year earlier. Wind on land shrank despite a continued rapid addition of new capacity due to weaker winds this year.
European clean power group led by Peter Terium has big plans to invest in the country Donald Trump’s election will have no effect on the growth in US renewables despite his claim that global warming is a “hoax” and his opposition to the Paris climate accord, says the boss of one of Europe’s biggest clean power companies.
Experts in China, India, Russia and America praise climate policy in Germany, but before they imitate Germany' spolicy they should be warned. Does Germany need to reorient itself?
The levy German power consumers pay on their electricity bills to finance the build-up of renewables (EEG surcharge) next year will jump by 8.3% to €0.0688 ($0.0758) per kilowatt hour of electricity consumed, re-igniting a heated debate on the cost of the country’s energy transition.
Germany is taking steps to curb its booming windfarm sector in what it claims is a necessary move to stop the renewables revolution from undermining its own success.