Tag Archives: germany

The European Blackout Risk

At 2000 hours Central European Time on February 8, 2012 combined electricity demand in the UK, France and Germany peaked at a historic high of 231GW during a winter cold snap. This caused no serious problems at the time, but the UK, France and Germany could have a combined total of as little as 210GW of capacity on-line this winter, and if another 231GW demand peak coincides with 210GW of available capacity, demand management will undoubtedly come into effect somewhere. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , | 66 Comments

An update on the Energiewende

Germany is still pursuing its goal of shutting down its nuclear plants but refuses to shut down its lignite plants. It is slashing renewable energy subsidies and replacing them with an auction/quota system. Public opposition is delaying the construction of the power lines that are needed to distribute Germany’s renewables generation efficiently. Renewables investment has fallen to levels insufficient to build enough new capacity to meet Germany’s 2020 emissions reduction target. There is also no evidence that renewables are having a detectable impact on Germany’s emissions, which have not decreased since 2009 despite a doubling of renewables penetration in the electricity sector. It now seems certain that Germany will miss its 2020 emissions reduction target, quite possibly by a wide margin. In short, the Energiewende is starting to unravel. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , | 152 Comments

Blowout week 104

In a departure from the normal format I’m kicking off today with a few stories from Germany. Else where there is news of renewables subsidies being cut everywhere, nuclear power expansion everywhere bar Europe, oil price woes, concentrating solar power in Chile, the marijuana harvest straining the US grid and France opts for cheese power over nuclear power. Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

Wind Blowing Nowhere – Again

The central question lies in the wisdom of distributed power generation. Generating your own wind power down on the farm or solar power on your two bedroom semi’s roof may sound like a great back to nature green solution to electricity production. That is until the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine and your dependency is shifted to the owner of the 3000 mile long, 200 GW HVDC power line to Saudi Arabia. Is it not better to be dependent upon the 100 mile long, 1 GW power line to your local nuclear or gas fired power station? Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Blowout week 93

The spotlight in this week’s Bumper Blowout falls on coal. Vattenfall wants to sell its German lignite plants and lignite mines and Greenpeace wants to buy them – no prizes for guessing why. Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Blowout Week 90

The oil wars are coming down to the wire. More on the travails of US shale oil below the fold, plus a looming shortage of US natural gas, the forthcoming uranium boom, China burning more coal than thought, nuclear plant decommissioning problems in Germany, more threats to the UK grid, Scotland’s SMAUG anti-fracking group, Australia’s greens unhappy with Turnbull, Ireland missing its renewables target, the Paris climate talks, climate scientists demand that skeptics be prosecuted, killer germs from melting Arctic Ice and mutant fish from Fukushima. Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Inter Connectors – who needs them?

In this short post I want to draw attention to a news item (in Danish) I received courtesy of Hugh Sharman detailing a complaint that the Danes have with their German neighbours. The Germans are blocking electricity exports from Denmark, evidently in contravention of EU free trade rules.

“According to latest data from the Energy Watchdog, the inter connector between Denmark and Germany is just available for Danish exports for 14% of the time.” Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , , | 35 Comments

The German Grid and the Recent Solar Eclipse

The solar eclipse of March 20th, 2015 and the havoc it threatened to wreak on the German grid generated a lot of portentous web coverage before it happened.

But was the eclipse really an “extreme challenge” that “stressed the power system”? And what does it tell us, if anything, about the Energiewende? Let us examine the data. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Blowout Week 64

This week we feature Germany, which has successfully weathered the recent solar eclipse that threatened to play havoc with the German grid:

More stories below the fold, including OPEC and its victims, Longannet, Superstorm Sandy and sea level rise, progess at Fukushima, Scots want more wind power, the coming wave of bankruptcies in coal, the Royal Society’s pronouncements on climate change challenged, Norwegian pension funds and how Al Gore wants to put a price on climate denial.

Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Cycling Coal to Balance Electricity Grids

And so the question is if a coal fired power station is “switched off” when demand for coal fired electricity goes down are the furnaces extinguished thus eliminating CO2 emissions or are they kept burning, perhaps at reduced levels?

I have always felt the best way to tackle both emissions and energy scarcity was to improve energy efficiency at every level of society. The current strategy appears to be taking us in the opposite direction. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

German Power 2013

The reality remains that, according to these statistics, the capacity factor of wind and PV in Germany is ummmm…pretty awful (Hugh Sharman) Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

Germany – the rural power station

We drove about 1000 kms through southern Bavaria and the Bavarian Alps and in that time we saw only 1 wind turbine, and that was just outside off Munich airport. The Bavarians have by and large protected their beautiful rural landscape from the ravages of the Energiewende. There is a lesson for Alex Salmond to learn here. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Large scale grid integration of solar power – many problems, few solutions

It would be roughly three times cheaper for Germany to add low-carbon generation capacity by building nuclear rather than CSP plants, and nuclear delivers power at a steady rate without the need for storage and whether the sun is shining or not. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , , | 137 Comments

Blowout week 29

Wind power is very much in the news again from flaming turbines to loss making wind investments. I kick off with the half yearly report from Prof Bruno Burger at the Frauhhofer Institue. Germany’s electricity exports are growing, a clear sign that they cannot consume all they produce. What will happen if this is replicated throughout Europe? Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ as a model for Australian climate policy?

Guest Post by Graham Palmer. Graham recently published the book “Energy in Australia: Peak Oil, Solar Power, and Asia’s Economic Growth” (“Springer Briefs in Energy” series). Cross posted from Bravenewclimate GERMANY’S ENERGIEWENDE AS A MODEL FOR AUSTRALIAN CLIMATE POLICY? A CRITICAL REVIEW. Graham Palmer, June … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Blowout week 23 – bumper issue

In this bumper Blowout with 36 articles the main theme (if there is one) is Europe backtracking on failed policies and pursuing the America fracking dream while America decides to throw itself off the European energy cliff into the abyss of low carbon high cost electricity generation. Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Merkel Snubs Global Warming And Dumps The Solar Industry

This is a guest post by Andrew McKillop. Andrew has held posts in national, international and European Commission energy, and energy policy divisions and agencies. An extended bio is given at the end of the post. Mutter and Stutter Germany’s Angela Merkel, … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Germany: energiewende kaput?

The penetration of wind energy in 2012 was 3.4% and solar 2.1% of total energy consumed and I would judge that this is too low a level of penetration from which to draw any conclusion about the success or failure of the energiewende. This in itself is a problem. Huge investment and publicity so far has produced rather little in return. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Blowout week 20

Warren Buffet: “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

The efficiency of wind power

The “global” wind power load factor is estimated to be 22.7% for 2012. This is based on an analysis of installed wind capacity and electricity production data for 17 countries published by BP [1]. This estimate is subject to the veracity of the data and methodology applied. The average load factor for the last 9 years is estimated to be 22.5±0.4% (1SD). Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments