Articles from Germany
Government and industry today began talks about what to do with 16GW of onshore wind capacity due to exit Germany's old support scheme by 2025
The Nordlink cable between Norway and Germany is scheduled to be put into trial operation in December, while testing of IT and trading solutions will start as early as September. Both Statnett and the government are therefore working to reach a solution with the German energy authorities. But why will Germany not use a cable that they themselves have helped to build? They want to use the opposite route and export power to Norway when they have negative prices.
Berlin Olaf Lies expects the worst. Lower Saxony's energy and environment minister, together with the consulting firm Windguard, had the experts at his company determine the extent to which wind farms could go offline in the coming years because the subsidies for the systems according to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) will end. From the point of view of the SPD politician, the results are alarming: "We are heading for a catastrophe," Lies told the Handelsblatt.
The construction of wind farms in Norway is booming. And German investors are behind many projects. Sami interests are ignored.
“The lull in wind energy continues. Not even half of the volume on offer could even be successful,” said Julia Verlinden, energy policy spokeswoman at the opposition Green Party in parliament. Most German onshore wind auctions this year and last have been heavily undersubscribed amid an ongoing permitting malaise.
Giles Dickson, chief executive officer of the industry group WindEurope, says it’s important for developers to reach out early to people who live near the proposed wind farm before a design is finalized. Wind farms usually pay out a portion of their revenue to local communities. They also bring jobs, sometimes to remote places that struggle to attract employers, Dickson notes. WindEurope is calling for permitting systems to be streamlined.
The amendment approved today also stipulates that in the case of zero bids, one or more subsequent auctioning rounds would take place at future German offshore wind tenders. This so-called ‘dynamic bidding procedure’ would determine zero-subsidy bidders’ so-called ‘ability to pay’ in order to find out how much a future operator must pay in grid fees to transmission system operators (TSOs). Successful bidders will also need to pay the government for preliminary investigations of potential offshore wind sites.
Germany’s grand coalition of Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) on Monday (18 May) agreed on the abolition of the solar cap and an “opt-out solution” for a standard distance for wind turbines. This is a decisive milestone for the expansion of renewable energy in Germany, EURACTIV Germany reports.
London-listed The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) said on Friday it has completed the acquisition of a 36% stake in a 396 megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm in the German North Sea...TRIG also said it has exited from a Swedish onshore wind project being developed by Enercon due to construction delays.
Prices often drop below zero when there is excess wind and solar generation in the market, but fossil and nuclear power plants fail to throttle their output even though their generation costs are higher and renewables have priority grid access. This may be because a complete shutdown of conventional generation plants followed by a restart would cost operators more than continuing production at negative prices, or continued operation is required to supply district heating.
Those who continue to demand pricing of CO2 emissions will intensify the recession and torpedo the planned stimulus package. The shutdown gives us an impression of what deindustrialization means. The aim now is to prevent mass unemployment ...at some point [Merkel] has to explain that the climate protection plans drawn up during full employment no longer exist.
The Bundesrat’s bill, adopted on 14 February, aimed at suspending penalties for wind turbines that do not meet completion deadlines. According to Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), wind farm promoters must pay penalties if the project won in a tender is not completed within two years. The fine applies regardless of the reason for the delay,
The new closures take the number of idled wind power factories on the continent to 19, all in Spain and Italy, the European countries worst hit by the pandemic. This figure also includes sites run by General Electric unit LM Wind Power.
The growing mismatch between Germany’s renewables capacity and the strength of its electricity network is leading to curtailment, crazy pricing and challenges for neighboring nations. Although Germany is generating record amounts of clean energy in the north, its grid is too weak to transport all the power down to load centers in the south — a longstanding challenge for the country that's only getting worse.
The renewables industry is demanding Chancellor Angela Merkel ends an impasse over a damaging planned distance rule for onshore wind and a cap on support for solar power. Both issues were supposed to be tacked at a meeting today with the premiers of Germany’s 16 states, but energy issues were adjourned due to pressing discussions on the Coronavirus.
“The damage done to the earth by wind parks is irreversible,” announced Waltraud Plarre, an unofficial group leader of this citizens’ initiative, named “Save Brandenburg” after the state in which Schwielowsee lies. Later, Ms. Plarre pointed out that Germany exports most wind power produced, even as energy prices for the consumer have skyrocketed. “It’s insanity.”
According to a proposal from the German authorities, the new Nordlink cable (1,400 MW) can have zero minimum capacity throughout 2021, which could result in a sharp restriction on exports from Norway to Germany for long periods. Statnett believes this is completely unacceptable.
“The industry estimates that, given that power demand is growing, an expansion (of onshore wind) by 5,000 MW per year is essential in order to reach the 65% target by 2030,” they said in a joint statement. Their data showed operators installed only 1,078 megawatts (MW) of new onshore capacity in 2019.
Power prices in Germany are among the highest in Europe, not least due to the costs arising from the launch of renewable energy sources – but many customers continue to support the country's energy transition regardless. While wholesale electricity prices on average have been in decline in recent years, surcharges, taxes, and grid fees raise the bill for Germany's private households and small businesses. However, market observers say that power costs are often not even high enough for customers to look for cheaper alternatives.
A fire in a wind turbine in Germany’s Lower Saxony on January 18 prompted warnings from local authorities to keep windows and doors closed in nearby areas while authorities tackled the blaze.