Power Brawl: German Power Prices Rocket As Excess Wind & Solar Dumped On Neighbours

German energy policy is a fiasco; the so-called energy transition is a debacle. Germans suffer the highest power prices in Europe, all thanks to an obsession with intermittent wind and solar.

When the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in, Germany is forced to import huge volumes of power from its neighbours, particularly nuclear-powered France and coal-fired Poland.

Then, when the sun’s up and breezes return, awash with power it cannot possibly consume, Germany slashes its prices and dumps the stuff on its neighbours.

The result is power market chaos, as No Tricks Zone reports.

German Electricity Imports Hit New Record, Rise 43.3 Percent in First Half Of 2020!
No Tricks Zone
Pierre Gosselin
16 September 2020

You would think that with all the added wind and solar energy in Germany, along with all the conventional power plants on standby, all totaling up to huge unneeded capacity, there would be no need to import any power at all. Well, think again.

The German epochtimes.de here reports that German imports of electricity in fact: “rose by 43.3 percent to 25.7 billion kilowatt hours in the first half of 2020 compared with the first half of 2019.”

The epochtimes.de explains further:

One reason for this was the declining share of domestic feed-in from base-load-capable, mostly conventionally operated power plants, which mainly use coal, nuclear energy and natural gas. As a result, electricity was imported to cover the demand for electricity, especially when there was no wind or darkness. The main import country for electricity was France with 8.7 billion kilowatt hours.

Overall, however, more electricity was still exported from Germany.”

What the article does not mention, however, is the reason for the rise in export from Germany. On windy and sunshine-plenty days, Germany produces more electricity than needed, and so is forced to dump the excess power into neighboring foreign markets – often at negative prices. The negative prices, in combination with the mandatory feed-in tariffs and excess production capacity, all means higher costs for consumers.

Little wonder that at close to 35 US cents per kwh, Germany’s electricity prices are among the highest in the world.
No Tricks Zone

Not only is Germany cannibalising Europe’s power market, its offshore wind farms are cannibalising each other. More from No Tricks Zone.

New Study Shows German Offshore Wind Turbines May Cannibalize Each Other When Improperly Sited
No Tricks Zone
Pierre Gosselin
15 September 2020

According to a new study, the expansion of offshore wind energy planned to date could lead to less electricity actually being produced at higher costs because, according to current planning, wind farms are taking the wind away from each other.

The researchers from the Technical University of Denmark in Roskilde and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany have investigated the topic. The study entitled “Making the Most of Offshore Wind” was commissioned by the Agora Energiewende and Agora Verkehrswende think tanks.

The report looks at that the question whether energy models used today by wind farm planners and investors can adequately capture the interaction effects between turbines stemming from very large areas covered with offshore wind farms at high installed capacity density.

Among the study’s key findings:

Offshore wind power needs sufficient space, as the full load operating time may otherwise shrink from currently around 4,000 hours per year to between 3,000 and 3,300 hours. The more turbines are installed in a region, the less efficient offshore wind production becomes due to a lack of wind recovery. If Germany were to install 50 to 70 GW solely in the German Bight, the number of full-load hours achieved by offshore wind farms would decrease considerably.”

Countries on the North and Baltic Seas should cooperate with a view to maximizing the wind yield and full-load hours of their offshore wind farms. In order to maximize the efficiency and potential of offshore wind, the planning and development of wind farms – as well as broader maritime spatial planning – should be intelligently coordinated across national borders. This finding is relevant to both the North and Baltic Seas. In addition, floating offshore wind farms could enable the creative integration of deep waters into wind farm planning.”

More unexpected costs, inefficiency
In a nutshell: a central pillar of the German and European transition to green energies threatens to become even more inefficient and more expensive than planned.
No Tricks Zone

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Graeme No.3 says:

    Germany is hampered in its efforts to dump excess electricity onto its neighbours by those neighbours installing phase shifting transformers at their borders, led by Poland and Czechia not wanting the disruption to their own grid. That also benefitted Austria. I have heard that France and the Netherlands have/are doing the same. That leaves Denmark (who pass on surges to) Norway and Sweden with their hydro schemes.
    The result is that the selling price is far lower than any buying cost for the Germans, one of the reasons for their very high electrcity prices.

  2. Neil Dellaca says:

    If wind has a moderating effect on temperature isn’t it likely temperatures will rise in future (in Europe and other renewables obsessed areas) as these large industrial scale turbines steal that tempering influence. While this may well cause the global warming dystopia the obsessives are fixated upon I also wonder what other genuinely upsetting or disturbing influences it may have on the natural world.

    • Crispin bpm says:

      I have also been curious about this issue Neil Dellaca. There appears to have been a rise in freak weather events around the globe over the last decade that rather intriguingly seem to align with the rollout of industrial scale wind turbines. From what little I have read on the subject, it appears to be the fact the turbines are tall structures that were not there before. Skyscrapers in the city can have the same effect. For example, the Brisbane CBD can alter the intensity of a storm. I lived there for many years and witnessed this first hand. When the storms hit the CBD from the west, the tall buildings in the city would often appear to exacerbate the intensity of the storm by pushing the hot humid air upwards into the colder air above, creating heavy rain, large hail stones and lightning. I imagine wind turbines may be doing the same thing, as well as blending and mixing cold and hot air currents. There are now over 300,000 wind turbines around the world that simply were not there before. If this is happening, it would certainly bring new meaning to the term ‘man-made climate change!’

      Can I prove this is happening?

      No.

      Do I suspect it?

      Bloody Oath!

      • Peter Pronczak says:

        Go for a fly in a light plane. Summer or winter makes no difference over a small city rising heat will create lift. In a 1,500-3,000ft limit it can be quite difficult to stay within that height range. The same happens over even quite small quarries. So there is no doubt that man-made structures in addition to the likes of mountain ranges, water courses and valleys affect weather. To what extent over the long term isn’t really known.
        I argue weather related erosion is the climate change process – what happened to everything from the Grand Canyon? – eventually there’s nowhere for displacement to go other than the ocean. As our weather comes from the west, how much solid matter has been deposited from the Indian Ocean onto WA? Or with the southern states predominant south-westerlies how much has been added to their land mass.
        Coastal currents continually move sand but few places experience any large ‘permanently’ deposited mass.

        It’s not my area just years of observation. But I do believe in an expanding Earth under constant mass bombardment. Along with continental drift toward reunification, spontaneous subduction to reveal new undersea areas while maintaining a static size that doesn’t account for increased mass, doesn’t seem to make sense.

        Measurements since 1880 appear to confirm sea level rise. As ice floats, the effect would be an exacerbation.

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