Sailing close to the wind: Germany’s future power supply ‘not financially viable’

Posted: April 14, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, Politics
Tags: ,

A dying breed?

A dying breed?

How obvious does it have to be before supposed leaders notice the dire energy generation mess they’re creating with relentless subsidy of renewables and forced closure of some thermal power plants? Breitbart comments:

The future of Germany’s base load power supply is now in doubt as non-renewable energy sources cannot compete against subsidies, Reuters reports.

German energy industry association BDEW has stated that the planned new-build coal and gas fired power stations are potentially unprofitable and investors are nervous as a result. They will compete not only against the subsidies regime that benefits the renewables sector but also harsh restrictions on carbon emissions.

The construction of up to 39 planned stations may now be in doubt, meaning Germany will face supply bottlenecks soon especially as its nuclear power will be completely phased out by 2022. BDEW estimates a loss of 16.7 gigawatts in base load supply by this date.

This adds to problems previously reported by Breitbart with renewable power sources causing instability in the German grid.

The UK energy industry has already experienced similar problems and offers a preview of what Germany will go through in the near future. The massive Longannet coal fired plant in Fife, is set to close early next year. It can currently supply up to two thirds of Scotland’s energy needs. However, it is now too costly to run, being hit from multiple angles by both the eco-lobby and eco-legislation.

Government carbon taxes are only one of the additional payments faced by the station. Labour also introduced a location-based transmission charging methodology in 2005 that now amounts to an extra £40 million cost. The mortal blow was struck however by the plant failing to win the contract to supply back-up for Scotland’s ever-growing fleet of wind turbines. The insanity of the UK’s energy policy is nowhere better illustrated.

Other first world nations, however, continue to push ahead with more sensible energy policies to ensure the lights stay on. Poland is adding another 4.6 gigawatts of coal-fired supply over the next four years. This is in spite of the EU’s Industrial Emissions Directive, the implementation of which had been delayed by Poland from 2016 to 2020. Japan meanwhile continues to embrace coal, pushing ahead with 43 projects in defiance of Kyoto protocol targets for emissions.

With competing nations such as Poland, Japan and India taking more realistic and longer views, perhaps it is time for both the UK and Germany to have a rethink.

Report: Petard, Hoist: Germany’s Future Power Supply Not Financially Viable Because of Renewables – Breitbart.

  1. Graeme No.3 says:

    The Poles and the Czechs are building phase transfer transformers on their inter-connectors to prevent variable wind output destabilising their stable generators (black coal or nuclear).
    The norwegians are charging (at times) to take electricity onto their hydro scheme, and at all times pay far less for wind energy that it costs to produce. They won’t welcome any talk of damming their fjords to increase pumped storage capacity.
    The swedes plan to shut their (reliable, consistent) nuclear plants and replace them with wind turbines; that eliminates another sink for excess wind production.

    Germany is already having (minor) blackouts due to sudden bursts of wind electricity. When the above moves happen, there are going to be more and longer blackouts in Germany. This will lead to a rapid re-evaluation of the energiewende and the costs of fluctuating supply. It is likely at that point the need for a reliable electricity supply will lead to cancellation (or severe cuts) to ‘renewables’, which will make them non viable, and those new power stations will suddenly be seen as saviours and become quite valuable. As I am sure the power companies building them have foreseen.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    I lived through the stupidity of our Progressive Democrats in Califonia screwing around with electicity production rules under Gov. Grey (out) Davis. took a few years, but after lots of rolling blackouts (and buying and using generators) he was recalled. Rare in US politics… clarified a few minds for a few years.

    I still have one of my generators (kept the Honda) but power has been stable since.

    Now the Green Machine are driving rates up via subsidy schemes and such. I now have a kerosene stove that is cheaper than my electric kitchen… but camp cooking on the patio is not ideal… Still, it is now both cheaper and more fun here to cook over wood fires or charcoal in the small BBQ.

    Yes, I try to burn wood or kerosene rather than use clean electricity… this is better for the environment how, exactly?

    Now if only stupidity made heat when it burns….

    My reccomendation is to get a 300 Watt inverter to plug into the car and a nice Honda generator for large needs like appliances. Add a good camp stove using your cheapest local fuel and you ought to be set. A battery box, large ( 2 to 4 kW) inverter and float charger might make sense if outages are frequent but short. I bought the supplies to build mine, but we fired the Gov. instead 🙂

  3. oldbrew says:

    E.M.: That’s another thing the politicos don’t seem to get – as soon as power supplies become unreliable, the voters will throw them out.

    It happened in the UK after the miners went on strike in the 1970s. Solution then: pay the miners more. It’s a different problem this time – lack of base load.

  4. AlecM says:

    Götterdammerung is proceeding as planned….:o)

  5. oldbrew says:

    Jo Nova: The German electricity crisis – twice the price, but everyone’s going broke

    When the Germans mess something up, they do it properly

    After years of subsidizing green energy production, Germany may be on the brink of an imminent “energy crisis,” reports German Mittelstand News.

    “Every second power plant planned in Germany is about to fold,” Mittelstand News reports. “The willingness to invest is decreasing rapidly as even the most efficient gas-fired power plants can no longer be operated profitably.”