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.
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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.
SSE chief executive Ian Marchant said: "The wind farm developers have said they cannot pay that so they have not signed their connection agreement that would give the financial guarantees. No wind farm developer will commit so there is no guarantee to build the link."
Leader of East Lindsey District Council, Coun Doreen Stephenson, has described the prospect of this happening as ‘catastrophic' - adding it could affect tourism to market towns such as Horncastle. "It is not acceptable for multi-national companies to overpower small communities by forcing their plans upon them," she said.
Electricity experts have moved to allay fears that huge pylons may be about to cut a swathe through the picturesque Lincolnshire Wolds. The National Grid is in the very early stages of working out how to link wind farms, such as those off the county coast, and other major renewable sources up to Britain's energy network.
Billions have been spent installing wind farms across Europe over the last decade in an effort to reduce energy sector emissions of climate-warming carbon, with Denmark and Spain already producing over half of their power at times from it. Much slower progress has been made on building the infrastructure needed to share the green power around because there is no incentive for grid operators run by power generators to open doors to competitors.
At first glance, approval for the Beauly Denny power line through the Highlands of Scotland looks like a victory in the battle against climate change. ...Renewable energy investors may be relieved, but this decision by Scottish ministers is a needless and myopic act of vandalism. Climate change campaigners can mock the 18,000 people who objected as nimbys. But in trampling over ordinary people's love of wild landscapes, a depressing split has been opened in the Scottish environmental lobby.
Rupert Soames, the chief executive of Aggreko, the FTSE 250 emergency power generator, says the UK must prepare seriously for the danger of being hit by similar blackouts within the next decade. "It has happened before in developed countries and we should not kid ourselves that it cannot happen here," he said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph. "The UK has an unacceptably high risk of interrupted power supply." ...sceptics worry that a so-called "intelligent grid" could also be used to ration consumers in the event of insufficient capacity.
Energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband today unveiled new proposals to tackle delays to grid connection. Hold-ups have left some UK wind farm projects facing waits of up to 14 years before they can start delivering power to the grid. Under the current system, new energy projects are given a connection date on a first come, first served basis, which has resulted in about 200 projects with more than 60GW of generation capacity awaiting connection.