75% Of International Experts View Germany’s Energiewende As A Threat To European Power Supply Stability!

For some renewable energy proponents, it simply doesn’t matter what hard facts showing wind and solar make little sense get put on the table, they’ll religiously insist that it’s the best thing ever in energy technology.

Germany for example has invested massively in wind and solar energy in an attempt to replace its coal and nuclear plants, which environmentally fell out of the public’s favor during the end of the last century and early 21st century. Unfortunately Germany’s mad rush into wind and sun dubbed the Energiewende) (transition to renewable energy) is not paying off.

Today Germany’s online FOCUS reports on a new survey of international experts concerning the success of the German Energiewende: “World Energy Council warns: German Energiewende threatens Europe’s power supply reliability / Experts: no “export hit“. FOCUS writes:

International experts are harboring huge doubt over the success of the German Energiewende. This is the result of a survey by the World Energy Council… […]. Three quarters of those surveyed see a threat from the Energiewende to the supply stability of power in Europe. Two thirds believe the Energiewende will weaken the German economy over the short and mid-term. Only three percent believe Germany will accomplish its transition to renewable energies within the prescribed timeframe.”

FOCUS explains how the World Energy Council is an international association of the energy industry and that it surveys its members on a regular basis. “The current survey questioned experts in 35 countries, 20 of which were from Europe.”

The World Energy Council writes at its site here that about 60% of the experts who were surveyed say that industrial customers in their countries reject higher electricity prices, also even if they contribute to protecting the climate. About 50% of the experts believe that private households would accept slightly higher energy prices.

On whether the German model is feasible in other countries, 82% do not see the economic and technical conditions being at hand for a German-type Energiewende in their own countries.

FOCUS cites the President of the German Committee of the World Energy Council, Uwe Franke:

Foremost the fear of a considerable worsening in supply stability is worrisome. ‘We have to take the fears of our neighbors very seriously,’ Franke demands. ‘The supply reliability for electricity depends foremeost on the quality of the technical infrastructure.’“

Right now as it is, the quality of the renewable energy supply infrastructure is gravely lacking, as there exists no national transmission line to take power from Germany’s offshore wind parks to industry located inland in southern Germany. Moreover no economical technology exists for storing surplus energy nor is any in sight.

 

23 responses to “7523 Of International Experts View Germany’s Energiewende As A Threat To European Power Supply Stability!”

  1. Week in review | Climate Etc.

    […] 75% Of International Experts View Germany’s Energiewende As A Threat To European Power Supply Stability [link] […]

  2. John F. Hultquist

    Pierre,
    From the last paragraph:
    “… no national transmission line to take power from Germany’s offshore wind parks to …

    On 2014/09/11 you had a post about the BARD Offshore 1 project. One of the many issues was getting the power from 120 km (?) off-shore to a land station. There were some tech-savvy comments regarding AC versus DC; Hugo Bloemers @ 10:57 being one of many.
    Also, legal issues were raised and Bernd Felsche suggested “All of the A’s in the BARD debacle left the room a long time ago.

    If you have posted on this project since September I have missed it. Seems there are 3 issues: from sea to land; from N to S Germany; and who is paying for cleaning up the mess?
    Can you point to an update, if there is one. Thanks.

  3. Fred Harwood

    Thanks, Pierre. I, too, have been trying to get updated on BARD Offshore 1, but can’t find a thing since late last year.

  4. crosspatch

    It is my opinion that Germany’s economy (and likely that of Europe’s) will not significantly recover until the nuclear reactors are re-started.

  5. Graeme No.3

    “… no national transmission line to take power from Germany’s offshore wind parks to …” and with Poland and the Czech Republic building phase shifting transformers to stop surges of wind electricity disrupting their grids, that Baltic wind power isn’t going south.

    And with the Norwegians and Swedes wanting to charge rather than pay for wind electricity, Baltic wind isn’t going to go too far north either. That means blackouts for Germany.

  6. sod

    Pierre, i like the concpet of this blog, because i think that it is very important to translate and provide informations from countries to a wide global public.
    So i hae respect for what you are doing, even though I disagree with nearly every single point you make.

    But in this case aghain, i think that readers of your blog will draw false conclusions.

    The “world energy council” is a club of the big power producers.

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Energy_Council

    They are an extremly biased source, as their business is really threatened by alternative power (which can be build fast and on a small scale)

    So their conclusion on the topic is no surprise. But it is nearly worthless.

    and so is the summary, which you linked above:

    http://www.weltenergierat.de/publikationen/studien/

    A look at the full poll result shows a completely different and really suprising result:

    http://www.weltenergierat.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Energiewende-Umfrage-deutsch-final.pdf

    the most important reusult is on page 6: 61% of the experts think, that electricity could come to nearly 100% from alternative power sources in 2050!

  7. Graeme No.3

    sod:
    please read Pierre’s first 2 paragraphs.

    It is not a matter of alternative power, it is the delivery grid. This can only operate with a balance between power demand and input. The 2 MUST be kept the same every fraction of a second. Since there is a base load always required every second of the year this is supplied by large (cheaper) sources running at maximum capacity. Indeed they have little flexibility. In addition there are units which are more flexible, but more expensive to run, which are started to supply increased demand or shut down if demand drops.

    Alternative sources are intermittent, variable and unpredictable. A small amount can be tolerated as the grid is designed to be flexible, but there are limits to this flexibility. Sudden large surges of power are hard to handle, as are sudden drops in supply. The higher the capacity of ‘alternative’ sources the bigger these changes, and the more likely there will be a momentary imbalance – which means a blackout.

    The best way of stabilising the fluctuations is to extend the grid to more and more users as this tends to flatten the usage curve, and gain more flexibility from the installed variable supply e.g. hydro-electric plants. But if you read the post and comments you will see that the available flexibility is shrinking not expanding. In other words, there WILL be blackouts which will affect industry, employment, taxes paid so public servants lose their jobs etc.
    It is not just a matter of “solar good, coal bad”.

    1. sod

      I am sorry, but the source linked in the original post is contradicting your position.

      http://www.weltenergierat.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Energiewende-Umfrage-deutsch-final.pdf

      on page 6 the question is (in short): Do you expect your country to be able to copy parts of the german concept?

      and 61% of the experts say: yes, we can have near 100% alternative power in the electricity market in my country in 2050.

      the experts also think (39%), that primary energy consoumption can be cut to 50% till 2050.

      ————————–

      even more interesting (economic impact, page 10):

      while a majority sees a short timew negative economic impact, a majority of 54% of the experts expect to see a positive economic impact of the German Program in the long term (which already starts in 2020).

      again: the experts agree that 100% alternative power is possible in a gheneration and that the economic impact on Germany will be POSITIVE!

      1. Graeme No.3

        sod:
        alternative energy sources such as wind and solar are intermittent, variable and unpredictable. That means you get electricity some of the time, not all of the time. You cannot have an electricity grid with 100% of those methods. People don’t want no electricity for 3 days. No refrigerator, stove, lights, TV, computer etc. In winter your heating may well depend on an electric pump or control.

        You either have to abandon the grid or install enormous storage capacity. The ‘cheapest’ large scale storage method is pumped storage, usually connected with hydro. You lose approx. 25% of the power so the cost of wind goes from 120 to 160. Already Norway and Sweden are complaining about the effect of alternatives on their hydro schemes.

        I expect you will claim that batteries will do the bridging; but they won’t not with currently available types and the expense would be enormous. The ordinary person will not be able to afford electricity. For a start the cost of alternatives is 4-7 times that of coal fired, and at least twice that of nuclear. If you add on the cost of storage the price will beyond the reach of all but the rich. And industry won’t pay the price, they will go out of business or move to other countries.

        Please don’t try to claim that alternatives are cheap – where are they used without subsidies. Nor will they suddenly become cheap; look up energy density.

        You obviously don’t pay the electricity bill where you live.

        1. DirkH

          Maybe the Soviet Of Energy wants lavish German subsidies the world over. Easy way to get more of the buying power of consumers, and you can always blame the politicians.

  8. mwhite

    There’s also the cost

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/11426748/Swansea-Bay-tidal-lagoon-appalling-value-for-money-says-Citizens-Advice.html

    “Electricity from world-first tidal lagoon would be more expensive than that from any other major UK green energy project to date, consumer charity warns ”

    Gas and coal are coming in at around £50 per MWhr, the cheapest renewables are twice that.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24604218

    The more renewables the more the cost

  9. Val Martin

    The problem with wind energy is that they need so much grid electricity to survive and they compete with other areas of the economy for electricity driving up emissions and price.They are digging coal out of the ground to power them

    1. sod

      that is just plain out false.

      please look at the poll with energy experts, page 6:

      http://www.weltenergierat.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Energiewende-Umfrage-deutsch-final.pdf

      61% of the experts agree, that by 2050 electricity will “nearly completely” (nahezu vollstaendig) be produced by renewable energy. that means ZERO coal!

      and these are the experts close to coal companies!

      1. DirkH

        sod 22. February 2015 at 17:05 | Permalink | Reply
        “61% of the experts agree, that by 2050 electricity will “nearly completely” (nahezu vollstaendig) be produced by renewable energy.”

        Given the ongoing destruction of the energy market by SPD/CDU politics that is indeed very likely.
        Also, it won’t be MUCH energy, and not at all times of day.

        1. sod

          “Also, it won’t be MUCH energy, and not at all times of day.”

          Please check the source!

          http://www.weltenergierat.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Energiewende-Umfrage-deutsch-final.pdf

          they expect (nearly) all the power to come from renewables by 2050. That is not little energy, but (nearly) ALL.

          And it also is all times of the day, beacuse (check page 10) they expect a positive longterm effect on economics (rolling blackouts would not be a positive effect).

          The report just plain out contradicts your position and it is not my report and it are not my chosen experts, but those of the coal lobby!

          1. DirkH

            Sod, I don’t care what THEY say when I give you MY advice.

            It was Pierre who linked to the report of the World Energy Council. Council is the English word for Soviet, and I have a low opinion of ANY organisation that calls itself a Soviet.

            Even under the CRAZY energy politics of the Green preachers Merkel and Gabriel wealthy people will still have electricity (for instance by moving into a redidential area with its own Natgas cogeneration facility) so I am personally completely unmoved by their craziness. I will also not be impressed by ANY London-based Soviet, be it this one, or GLOBE international, or the Fabian society.

          2. DirkH

            …ah, the Fabians. You know they won the power from Churchill after WW 2… and instantly did to England what Churchill did to Germany – completely destroy it.

            Einmal waren die Fabians wirklich vortrefflich.

  10. Sky H.

    What some people think the future may look like does not make it reality.

    The issue here is the “energy base” – the amount that must be produced reliably without fail, to keep the grid up.

    Let’s say there is 260mw coming from a large wind on a particular day, with total consumption of 1000mw. So the other 740mw is provided by nat gas, nuke or coal, which typically uses hot water/steam to turn generators.

    The next day the wind system is down to 40mw, a loss of 220mw. If the nuke/gas/coal system is not ‘spun up’ quickly as the wind dies, there is a major hole in the electric supply which causes brown or blackouts.

    A couple of years ago this exact thing happened in Texas, and the base generation facilities were just barely able to cover the several-day incident. If the sample ‘system’ above were not able to buy power from other producers *and* have the transmission lines available to sell the power, then the system can go down.

    The only way you can get to 100% renewables is if there is some way to store the excess energy trapped during higher winds and solar energy from the daytime. This has to cover the night periods. And you’d need a LOT of excess solar/wind capacity to make it work, and monster-sized new ‘batteries’ to store the excess; and those technologies are coming along but not at anywhere near the size of the need.

    ==
    So as I said, 100% renewables would have huge challenges to overcome; people can hope they will be, but that does NOT make it a reality or a possibility regardless of how optimistic survey respondents are.

    (Worked for a power utility for several years – seen the raw data from renewables fluctuate as the wind speeds change. Wind, even in areas where it is consistent constantly fluctuates, as does the energy draw as people turn on and off appliances, lights, etc. Pretty dynamic. Amazing it works as well as it does!)

    1. sod

      sorry, but me and the experts disagree.

      http://www.weltenergierat.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Energiewende-Umfrage-deutsch-final.pdf

      Look at the german case. on this you can see planned and real power production. There are no “surprise swings”. The most of it is planned on the previous day!

      1. sod

        sorry, forgot the link to the EEX paghe:

        http://www.eex-transparency.com/homepage/power/germany

        graph at the bottom right.