Articles filed under Energy Policy from Germany
As UCTE communicated yesterday, a UCTE Investigation Committee was set up this morning and placed under the chairmanship of Gerard A. Maas (as Chairman of the UCTE Steering Committee) who will be assisted by three convenors (corresponding to the 3-fold split in the system). The task of the UCTE investigation Committee is to clarify the causes of the incident and identify possible additional measures to be taken to prevent such disturbances to occur again. Due to the fact that the disturbance had an impact on all UCTE TSOs, all UCTE members will participate in the investigation. The preliminary results of this investigation will be available by the end of November.
The German distributor E.ON admitted it caused the blackouts, by switching off a power cable across the River Ems to allow a cruise ship to pass. This meant areas to the west were left with a power deficit, while cables in the east were overloaded. Supplies cut out in Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Croatia and Italy. The EU's Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs has called for the European Transmission System Operators (ETSO) to identify the problem urgently and ensure that such a blackout does not happen again.
Power cuts have struck several countries in Western Europe, leaving millions of people without electricity. Power companies said the outage started in Germany with a surge in demand prompted by cold weather, and then spread to other parts of Europe. Some five million people in France lost power, mainly in the east of the country and including parts of Paris. "We weren't very far from a European blackout," a senior director with French power company RTE said.
German utility E.ON said reports of the cuts began to emerge not long after it shut down a high voltage line over a river in northwestern Germany to let a ship pass through in safety, and that this may have been linked to the power loss. "In the past, these operations were often performed without any problems arising," the firm said, adding that the precise cause behind the loss in supply was still being investigated........In Spain, the fall in tension caused 2,800 megawatts of wind energy and one gas-fired power station to be cut off and interrupted the flow of electricity to Morocco, it added.
The German energy company RWE said the blackouts were caused by surging electricity demand Saturday evening due to a plunge in temperatures to the freezing point. Insufficient electricity supply first triggered blackouts in parts of western Germany, particularly in Cologne, and then across France as the French electricity company EDF tried to fulfill the surging demand but could not.
Parts of Europe were hit by electricity cuts late Saturday with a chain-reaction effect blamed on a surge in German demand causing power losses as far south as Spain.
Most shocking of all is new evidence that the need to switch on and off base load fossil fuel power plants, to provide back up for unreliable wind turbines, actually gives off more carbon emissions than keeping them running continuously, thus negating any carbon savings from wind. Alas, only when our governments have allowed thousands more turbines to disfigure Britain’s countryside, not least by their grotesque bending of the planning rules, will the futility of the ‘great Wind Scam’ finally be recognised.
However, some observers are now questioning whether all the investment in wind power makes economic sense....Alsleben's new wind farm is designed to supply electricity to 30,000 homes, but when the wind stops blowing, the blades stop turning and the power output falls to zero. Critics say this underlines one essential drawback: you can't depend on wind for energy. Even if you build wind farms you still need conventional power plants in case the wind fails.
But before anyone starts building windmills and sun collectors across the country, the coal mines should be given a second chance, while Germany's nuclear powers stations should run for as long as they're still safe. It's all a question of getting the balance right.
FRANKFURT - Germany has approved a second offshore wind energy project in the Baltic Sea with 330 megawatt (MW) capacity, the relevant authority BSH said on Wednesday.
Dr Johannes Teyssen and Martin Fuchs, authors of a 2005 report into wind energy in Germany, also uncovered some disturbing truths. There are three points that resoundingly debunk the myth that wind energy is efficient and practical. First, the more wind farms Germany installs, the less effective it becomes in displacing other generators. Second, there are massive subsidy costs, extensive new power lines, back-up and cost requirements. Third, comments that 48,000 megawatts of wind energy will only effectively replace 2000 megawatts of conventional generators.
The subsidies for wind are a misuse of public money. The "benefits" from industrial wind are a fantasy and an escape from our energy problems. For me, believing that industrial wind will solve our energy problems is a little like believing the Tooth Fairy will pay my heating bills this winter.
"In order to guarantee reliable electricity supplies when wind farms produce little or no power,e.g. during periods of calm or storm-related shutdowns, traditional power station capacities must be available as a reserve. This means that wind farms can only replace traditional power station capacities to a limited degree."
Despite Germany's changing political landscape, interest remains strong in its government to support the country's renewable energy policies.
FRANKFURT, Nov 14 (Reuters ) - German wind power lobby BWE said on Monday support for renewable energy in the new coalition deal would unleash huge investments but conventional producers said they were disappointed the status quo was left unaltered.
According to the study, a further financial and technical strong-arm effort would be required in order to be able to even input the quantity of green electricity planned by the federal government into the German electricity network by the year 2015.
They introduced the world to "environmentally friendly" energy, but now some of Europe's "greenest" countries are under pressure to backtrack on wind farms as public anger grows over their impact on the countryside.
In conclusion, this study has shown that in many countries deregulation is having the expected effect of increased competition leading to price reduction. However, it is evident that pricing in markets depends not just on the status of deregulation, but also on the broader aspects of competition. Key factors here include the balance of supply and demand, generation fuel costs, the learning process that new markets go through, competition within different market segments and the costs of access to transmission and distribution networks. Deregulation is a long-term process that requires sustained attention.