Library filed under Transmission from Germany
Because the power grid is overloaded, more wind wheels must always be limited. This costs the network operators hundreds of millions of euros.
Michael Fuchs, deputy chairman of the Christian Democrat party, joined fellow lawmakers in calling on the government to employ flexibility as early as this year in setting targets for clean energy growth, according to a three-page note dated Jan. 18 and sent to the chancellery.
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.
Werner Dietrich, mayor of Grossenlüder, said his tolerance was running out. During the information meeting in his town, he drew on a traditional German expression to explain his frustration with the stream of energy projects. “Every few years we are chasing another pig through the village,” Mr. Dietrich said, to resounding applause.
Renewables already added a 47 percent surcharge to electric bills at the beginning of this year. Now we're going to see something worse. The big, power-consuming manufacturers have been exempted from these charges so they can stay competitive with the rest of the world, but everyone else is going to bear the brunt.
Germany considers itself the environmental conscience of the world: with its nuclear phase-out and its green energy transition, the federal government wanted to give the world a model to follow. However, blinded by its own halo Germany overlooked that others have to pay for this green image boost and are suffering as a result.
Sudden fluctuations in Germany's power grid are causing major damage to a number of industrial companies. While many of them have responded by getting their own power generators and regulators to help minimize the risks, they warn that companies might be forced to leave if the government doesn't deal with the issues fast.
Germany's revolutionary switch to renewable energies is stalling and the country's new environment minister has now admitted as much by casting doubt on the ambitious goals set last year. Media commentators say that he and the rest of Chancellor Merkel's government must do more.
A spokesman for RWE Innogy--the company's renewable energies unit--said that the company has been notified by grid operators TenneT TSO GmbH that there will be additional, unquantified, delays, and that its planned Nordsee Ost wind farm now faces delays of considerably over 12 months.
Germany's energy revolution has hardly begun, but it's already running out of steam. There is a lack of political decisiveness and companies are complaining of a dearth of incentives to invest billions in necessary infrastructure. Progress or no progress, taxpayers continue footing the bill.
Grid operators are not given sufficient financial incentives to connect wind farms to the grid. There is a lack of co-ordination among the authorities as to who is responsible for what. ..."I'm pessimistic for the time after 2015 if nothing changes. No one will go on investing if the grid link is as uncertain as it is now, neither E.on nor others."
Long new lines would carry wind power across the nation to industrial and population centers along the Rhine River from existing wind power farms in the former East Germany and proposed offshore wind turbine clusters. Other direct-current (DC) connections may run under the North Sea.
Germany's dream of converting to renewable power generation requires the construction of unsightly new overland power lines carried by masts 80 meters tall. Citizens' groups and local authorities are resisting the projects in a campaign that poses risks for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.
Europe's energy consumers must pay 20 cents per kWh generated, plus an additional 5 cents per kWh for transmission costs. They must pay this regardless of whether they need the electricity at the moment, and despite the fact that a kWh of wind electricity is worth less than 3 cents on the Leipzig Power Exchange, due to the intermittent and highly variable nature of wind.