Skip to comments.Green German gov battles to keep fossil powerplants running
Posted on 08/20/2013 10:59:19 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
The German government is engaged in increasingly heated negotiations with energy companies in an effort to stop them closing carbon-emitting power plants which have been rendered unprofitable by the national renewables policies.
Last week power giant RWE grumbled that many of its coal and gas power stations "are no longer profitable to operate", and said it would be closing some of them down. Its rival E.ON also said that it had plants "working for nothing", and announced plant shutdowns.
The problem for the fossil-fuel powerplants is the rise of renewables, particularly in Germany, and the fact that government policies mean that whenever a renewable plant generates any power it will take priority on the grid. This means that fossil plants get to sell less electricity, and also that their costs rise due to being turned on and off all the time.
Unfortunately German renewables still generate just 25 per cent of the country's electricity requirement over time, and worse, they aren't controllable: they produce power when the wind blows and the sun shines, not when the grid needs it. There is still no way to store electricity on the scales demanded by a major national grid, so the fossil powerplants are still completely essential if Germany is to keep its lights on.
But the government's renewable policies have meant that you can't make a profit running a fossil powerplant, and left to themselves the energy firms would now like to close so many plants as to lead to power cuts in southern Germany (where solar installations are especially widespread).
According to newswire AFP, reporting on the energy firms' plans:
The networks agency has warned that it is loath to approve many closures in the south of Germany.
But the German government cannot, ultimately, force the private sector to run plants at a loss. It is already paying E.ON to keep open a new gas plant in Bavaria which it had intended to shut, and it would seem that if the lights are to stay on - and the renewables boom is not to be halted or reversed - bigger and bigger incentives for the fossil sector will be needed, on top of the colossal handouts that have driven the renewables to the point they are at.
As German consumers are already charged some of the highest electricity prices in the world, there may soon come a point at which even green Germany will turn against its solar panels and windfarms, especially given current plans - resulting from the global panic following tsunami damage to the Fukushima plant in Japan during 2011 - for complete shutdown of Germany's nuclear power stations (even though Fukushima is actually set to cause no measurable radiation health effects at all). ®
The power companies woke up this year and finally realized how to play the game. Cooperate and shut down operations as quickly as possible. The country is unprepared for the era ahead. So when lacking power occurs, you go to countries with abundant power and easy rules on operation, and you pay roughly 150-percent of what you should be paying for electricity.
If you ask me....power costs over the next five years will shock Germans greatly, and they will question how all this started, and how it can be fixed. The green political players? They are in for a rude reality over the next couple of years.
Ich bin ein Burnligner
Our coal plants in this country should all go on strike or shut down too. Many are going out of business this very moment because of Obama and his regime’s newly imposed rules and regulations. Let’s see how far the approximately 1 percent of electricity generated by solar/wind in this country will get us. Fools everywhere.
TRANSLATION: We can make a lot more money collecting subsidies on green energy sources that produce no energy than we can by selling the energy produced by sources that actually produce energy but are subject to the carbon taxes that subsidize green energy.
“Our coal plants in this country should all go on strike or shut down too.”
They don’t need to go on strike and as far as shutting down O Dumbo and his EPA are doing a damn fine job of doing that right now. The German people aren’t the only ones that will wake up shocked one day to see their outrageous utility bills. Remember we Americans can’t continue to have our A.C. and T.V. and all our goodies at the expense of the other people in the world. Obama, determined to drag America down to the lowest common denominator.
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Ich bin ein malingerer.
The only way wind and solar work is close to load and with its own backup generation and storage. Distributed generation. Only the rich will have it leaving the poor to use old system. Then the government takes over and we socialize all energy so we can soak the tax payers to oblivion.
And in the meantime, cronies of the leftists in office make money off of government subsidies.
Good luck to the Germans. Maybe it's time to throw the Green idiots out of office.
How can you keep the lights on in Germany? Don’t go begging to the power companies. Just get rid of the renewables program, carbon taxes and carbon permits. Easy-peasy.
There is still no way to store electricity on the scales demanded by a major national grid, so the fossil powerplants are still completely essential if Germany is to keep its lights on....
As German consumers are already charged some of the highest electricity prices in the world...
And any drive through the (formally) gorgeous German countryside is greeted with: