Green Progress: World’s Most Efficient Gas-Fired Turbines To Get Shut Down Due To “Energiewende”!

With a whopping efficiency of up to 60.75%, it is considered the world’s most efficient gas-fired power plant; it’s the ultimate when it comes to turbine engineering (see following promo video).

“Answer to climate protection” to be mothballed! World’s most efficient gas-fired power generation plant to shut down as a consequence of a run-amok “Energiewende”.

No other conventional power plant on earth is able to extract as much energy from what gets put into it. And because it burns natural gas, the 1400-megawatt Irsching gas-fired Siemens SGT5-8000H power generating units emit relatively low amounts of CO2 and pollutants.

Yet its operators, among them energy giant E.on, are aiming to mothball the recently installed modern gas-fired facility for good. The reason? It’s losing money because Germany’s renewable energy feed-in act, which allows conventional plants to operate only when the wind and sun aren’t putting out.

Hat-tip: EIKE here.

The Irsching gas-fired power generators are unable to operate at a profit because the facility has to yield to wind and solar energy, which are mandated to be fed first into the grid by law. The result: the modern gas turbines are forced to operate intermittently when the sun and wind are AWOL, which means they are unable to cover their high operating costs. The dirtier coal power plants have lower operating costs, and so they are making a comeback. Result: the green energy revolution is leading to more CO2 emissions, and not less.

According to FOCUS magazine, the Irsching gas-fired plant located near Ingolstadt in southern Germany has become “the symbol of the faulty development of the Energiewende” – Germany’s ongoing transition to green energies.

Industry association leader Hans-Joachim Reck, complains: “It’s the paradox of the Energiewende that now the cleanest and most efficient power plants in Germany, the gas-fired power plants, cannot earn money.”

The gas-fired Irsching facility isn’t the only one that risks being shut down because they are prevented from operating at their capacities and efficiencies. FOCUS writes: “approximately 50 applications to shut down similar plants have been submitted across Germany“. As more and more erratic solar and wind power come online, the less efficiently gas-fired plants operate. As a result, Germany’s stable component of its power grid is eroding rapidly.

So how bad has Germany’s energy policy become, outsiders may ask? At EIKE economist Dr. Klaus Peter Krause tells us:

What the political leadership has inflicted with its ‘Energiewende’ and continues to inflict is a ‘farce to the tenth power’. When it comes to the financial burden for Germans and the entire [German] economy, it will surpass the also ruinous euro bailout policy.”

That’s awfully ruinous.

The shutting down of gas-fired plants has already put the south German power supply stability at risk. Already the federal government has intervened and forbidden the mothballing of several gas power plants. This of course will only serve to further burden the power utilities with even more costs. Eventually those too will get passed on to German consumers, who are already paying the second highest electricity rates in the world. Little wonder 600,000 households can no longer afford it.

So far only about a quarter of Germany’s power is supplied by renewables. The target is 90% by 2050. Little wonder many experts think the whole system is going to collapse well before that.

34 responses to “Green Progress: World’s Most Efficient Gas-Fired Turbines To Get Shut Down Due To “Energiewende”!”

  1. Mikky

    “Energy Storage Technology” has been established to debunk this attack from the fossil lobby, it comes up in Google searches, so must exist. Battery acid is now acceptable to environmentalists.

    1. Mikky

      Flywheels is the most hilarious of the storage technologies (which really do exist, various representatives of companies have had many meetings with potential customers), every wind turbine can have its own wheel.

      Except its not funny, they take it seriously.

      1. DirkH

        If you think flywheels are the record holders in hilarity you have never heard of this
        http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natronlokomotive
        (A sodium-hydroxide driven locomotive. Heat was produced by adding water to the sodium hydroxide, driving a steam engine.)

      2. Graeme No.3

        Mikky,
        given the capacity of flywheels is much the same as standard batteries, it would take more than one per turbine. More like 7,100 of them. No problem, just build another platform alongside each to hold the storage devices.

  2. Stephen Richards

    Sadly, I think they were counting on french nuclear to balance the grid but the french socialists are closing their nuclear plant over the next ten years. One can see a cross-over point in the future where baseload acress europe can no longer balance the green load. BANG. Politicians hanging from lamposts in Brussells.

  3. Kurt in Switzerland

    Good article from the NZZ on the market distortions which brought this about:

    http://www.nzz.ch/meinung/kommentare/energiepolitik-bitte-wenden-1.18451262

    And the problem will only get worse with additional wind & solar capacity!

    Anyone attempting to emulate Germany’s “success” should pay attention.

  4. Kurt in Switzerland

    It should be plain to anyone with average intelligence that the “Energiewende” is not economically sustainable. Therefore, it is not sustainable over the long term.

    The policy has been to increase the “renewables” share of electrical energy delivered, at the expense of all else. Politicians and voters alike have bought into the charade. Now it is time to push back.

    Greens celebrate the low price for solar energy (on a hot summer day) or the low price for wind energy (on a windy autumn day), but fail to address the fact that both are AWOL more often than not. They also celebrate the economic difficulties of traditional energy providers (as though this is proof of a new, improved paradigm), forgetting that the largest renewable energy utilities are also heavily involved in traditional sources (fossil fuels, nuclear and hydro).

    All this will result in higher prices in the years ahead. The policy itself has created a quandary: the more “successful” it is (in increasing the % of renewables), the more expensive and less stable the system becomes.

    More people need to be informed about the devastating consequences of such misguided policy.

  5. Mervyn

    It puzzles me how Germany has had such a highly intelligent people who have produced great scientists and inventions… yet today’s German politicians would allow stupidity to become the order of the day when it comes to fossil fuel energy use.

    Why would a German government tolerate the decommissioning of the most efficient gas-fired turbines just because of a belief that the human activity contribution of 0.11 of 1% to the greenhouse heat effect is causing catastrophic global warming (which it is not) and is the key driver of climate change (for which no evidence exists)?

    1. Kurt in Switzerland

      Mervyn,

      It’s not about whether it “makes sense” in the big picture (nor about what the Germany government would like to “tolerate”) — the power companies are losing money today as a result of the Renewable Energy Law; so it costs them LESS to decommission the modern gas turbines than it does to keep running the things – and burn lignite instead (or purchase the power from somewhere else – like Poland or Czechia).

      Simple economics.

      1. DirkH

        Mervyn’s question is justified. How could the political class of Germany be so stupid as to willingly destroy the energy market of 15 years, and pretend not to see the destructive effects of the market rigging they’ve been doing for 15 years, when history is FULL of examples of the consequences of price-fixing. This question can and must be asked.

        I think the answer is two-fold
        a) It was a higher priority for them to play to the eco loon electorate , in order to stay in power. Things like this gas turbine decommissioning are LESS important to them.

        b) As bizarre as some of the consequences of their actions are, these are not the absolute worst politicians you can get. They mostly avoided wars during their time in office.

        1. Kurt in Switzerland

          Dirk / Mervyn:

          Regarding the “big picture” I couldn’t agree with you more. What matters now is how best to educate the general public of the folly.

          Politicians don’t seem willing – nor does the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (or is anyone aware of this problem being seriously addressed by the Bundestag or the Bundesministerium?)

          The Energiewende is paved with good intentions, yet the true consequences have been ignored for far too long. By paying lip-service to the “good” of installing ever more “renewable” (but intermittent) capacity while not pointing out the underlying problems, largely silent industry leaders have been complicit in this debacle.

          Time for the electorate to drive sanity back into Berlin (and Bern).

          Kurt in Switzerland

    2. dc

      Absolutely agree. In any idealised scenario, capable brains could’ve and would’ve increasingly lowered energy costs – for all. Instead, as successive pan-European and wider governments and aided parasitical lobbyists have sought, it was always designed as a blatant gouging behemoth.

      CO2 and global weather was always the Trojan Horse, aided by the Green puppetries.

      This is very deliberate unfettered macropolitic enabled, ironically, thro’ an increasingly disenfranchised electorate.

      ps. according to Siemens, it’s 400MW (not 1400)- not quite Rocketdyne F-1, yet 🙂

      Some great slo-mo visuals and soundtrack of them here

      http://old.noob.us/miscellaneous/slow-motion-rocket-launch/

  6. Alex B

    “….emit relatively low amounts of CO2 and other pollutants.” Me thinketh the word “other” should be left out in this scentence.

  7. sod

    The real problem her is a problem, that environmentalists have been pointing out for years now:

    External costs, like pollution are not factored into the price of electricity. This is the reason, why cleaner gas can not compete with dirty coal.

    but the good news is, the times are changing. Even in Texas the utility of a whole town is changing to 100% alternative power.

    And they do so, not because they are “green lunatics” but because they look for cheap power (and obviously solar and wind were cheaper than other sources) and because they want to reduce a direct strain on the environment, in this case water usage.

    https://news.georgetown.org/2015/03/18/georgetown-utility-to-be-powered-by-solar-and-wind-energy-by-2017/

    They have picked clever locations and power sources, so that this is not just “100% on paper” but really covering a significant part of their real demand.

    1. dc

      Sod, that’s about as blinkered an understanding as I’m aware of. There is now a wholescale top down infested elitist system currently functioning and designed specifically to rip costs from genuinely productive economies. Instead of even having equality thro’ proven responsibility, we have increasing built in politically-mandated subsidisation against a putative hypered non-event.

      Every energy producing entity is now increasingly rigged in to shaft as much gov-mandated subsidisation as possible. UK’s initially formerly declared ‘greenest gov ever’ leader, recently on record as saying ‘let’s cut the green crap’, is now sitting down holding talks for a proposed Welsh tidal scheme looking for a guaranteed £168/MWh – for 35 frickin years in a so-called flagship initiative, whilst meantime, my local Longannet PS has been churning out day in and out for much less than a third that ransom without subsidy – and is threatened via EU LCPD and grid costs with possible closure next year whilst Scotland so-called ‘de-carbonises’ it’s economy despite proven admitted recent net CO2 emission target increase due to ‘increased consumer demand’ for imported goods. Imagine that, eh?

      No. This is beyond any parody but I’d hope for folks’ sake we’re getting somewhere near the incontrovertible truth.

    2. Kurt in Switzerland

      Sod,

      (Are you aware of the meaning of your moniker?) 🙂

      You (apparently) completely missed the point here.

      Solar & Wind are not ready for prime time – for the simple reason that they are highly intermittent. Backup power MUST be provided to prevent grid instability — unless you are aware of a reliable storage (+ re-generation) technology which costs less than backup power plants.

      Since the electrical power market has been so hopelessly distorted (through the good intentions of politicians promoting “renewable” / “sustainable” power), the most modern, efficient and clean combined-cycle industrial gas turbines are better switched off! The E.ONs, RWEs and Vattenfalls of Europe prefer to burn Lignite, instead. Crazy.

      Utilities are losing billions, even as Berlin, Bern and Vienna shower “clean tech companies” with billions in subsidies, underwritten by taxpayers & ratepayers.

      Your solution would be what – to slap a supplementary tax on coal combustion (to compensate for the “environmental damage” thereby caused)? Go ahead, but first you have to remove all the incentives & subsidies for PV, Wind and Biomass. Kill all the feed-in tariffs (retroactively). Good luck getting that through Parliament.

      Kurt in Switzerland

    3. Graeme No.3

      sod:
      If Georgetown got the price being offered by solar PV producers in Texas then they got a bargain. Of course a 55% subsidy of the construction costs may have helped the solar producer deliver at a surprisingly low price (about 2/3 that for coal).

      The capacity factor necessary for the wind farms to deliver the contracted amount is 23.4% and each house will have to pay only $US 800 p.a. for electricity. The life of the panels is an optimistic one and that for the turbines quite unrealistic.

      So all they need is for solar to work when the wind doesn’t and vice versa; and for the supply companies to maintain their equipment in tip top condition and to stay in business for the whole time. Personally I think that the citizens of Georgetown are going to learn the hard way about the “reliability” of renewables, and be faced by a need to renegotiate the price within 2-3 years under threat of no supply.

      1. sod

        Texas does not seem to have significant subsidies on solar. Can you explain what you mean?

        http://www.solarpowerrocks.com/texas/

        1. DirkH

          Tell the guy from solarpowerrocks that he lives under a rock. We normal people use google.
          http://www.dasolar.com/energytaxcredit-rebates-grants/texas

        2. sod

          your link is saying exactly what my link does. No special programm in Texas (apart from property tax).

          all other proramms on that list are from utilies and are of no use, when an utility is building/buying solar.

          I was answering to a 55% subsidy claim. I just can not see anything even vaguely that high!

        3. DirkH

          I think you don’t understand the American concept of tax CREDIT.

          That’s because it’s a different name for FREE CASH. A GIFT.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_credit

        4. Graeme No.3

          For starters I wrote about “renewables” i.e. solar AND wind. Why query only solar?
          The subsidies for solar in Texas might seem limited to 30% FEDERAL tax deduction, but there are plus low interest loans, ability to deduct interest payments etc. On top of that you get a rebate from the Utility Co. which they wouldn’t be handing out if they weren’t being forced to do so to get solar power.

          For all the moaning about how much more the Texas should be doing for solarpowerrocks, it is obvious that it doesn’t charge for home value gains which, if solarpowerrocks is to be believed (ha!), is worth a good deal although unquantified. It also FORCES the electricity distributor to take your excess output and pay you about twice what electricity from other sources would cost.

          I didn’t see that particular site but their figures add up to 52.5% off the cost. I saw a $26,000 starting price elsewhere when I calculated the figure but didn’t bother to save the reference.

          If I might add a word of caution – the advertising on the 2 sites reeks of rip off. Why is the price of the solar panels so high? What sort of quality are the panels (and more importantly the inverter)? What is the cost +installation fee for the mandatory meter? How is it that the solar panels are going to generate the same amount of power every year for 25 years?

          Look sod, I can see that you are young and gullible but just because something appears on the internet doesn’t make it true, and just because you think something is a good idea doesn’t mean that it will happen.

    4. Herve

      Sod, your statement “(and obviously solar and wind were cheaper than other sources)” is completely wrong and You DO know it already, so many publications and even green acknowledgments are pupping out from InterNet !! By this false statement you devalorize your entire message, even some parts which are true !!
      Propaganda can dazzle unaware populations for a while but hard facts like extreme overcosts (and soon net unstability) strike back eventually: This already in german population’s mind with earthquake effects for 2017 polls…

      1. sod

        That is not what i say, it is what that town in Texas is saying:

        “Georgetown Utility Systems doesn’t own power plants; it agrees to buy the output of power plants for fixed prices over long periods of time. But contrary to renewable energy’s reputation as a luxury good, the new deals come at a discount to what Georgetown was paying for fossil fuel electricity. “The new renewable power contracts signed by Georgetown provide electricity at a lower overall cost than its previous wholesale power contracts,” the city notes. That’s a sign that as the wind and solar industries gain scale, one of the biggest arguments against renewables—their higher comparative cost—is evaporating. As the New York Times reported last fall, other utilities in Texas and Oklahoma have reduced costs by signing deals for renewable energy.”

        http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_juice/2015/03/georgetown_texas_goes_renewable_why_the_town_is_dropping_fossil_fuels_for.html

        You can complain about subsidies (but then please only about those that they really get) or about coal getting punished for being dirty (finally, that is!). But please do not ignore the main message of this move: Alternative power can be cheaper than new fossil plants.

        —————

        in the uS, the EIA is currently seeing wind as a cheaper source than new coal for 2019: (scroll down 2 pages, to the table)

        http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

        1. DirkH

          Well, we should punish solar power for not contributing CO2 to the biosphere.

  8. Killing Killingholme: Gas-Fired Power Station No Longer Economical | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

    […] see also: World’s Most Efficient Gas-Fired Turbines To Get Shut Down Due To “Energiewende” […]

  9. L Michael Hohmann

    Who needs to worry about CO2 anyway? It is neither a concern of the IPPC, to wit:
    “To leave no doubt, in an interview published in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on 14 November 2010, Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III, said “The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War…. one must say clearly that de facto we redistribute the world’s wealth by climate policy…. One has to rid oneself of the illusion that international climate politics have anything to do with environmental concerns.”
    Nor will an elementary look at the zeroth law of thermodynamics lead to any other conclusion: “On this day, and the next day, and every day, a scarcely conceivable 4000 trillion kilowatt hours of energy reached the top of the earth’s atmosphere as sunshine… And over the course of the day, that energy served to turn hundreds of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into food and living tissue. And as a result the world stayed alive. That’s what really happened today.” Further detail on these two points, and more, at http://tinyurl.com/naexuho

    1. dc

      Even he titular head itself freely admitted on Feb 5th.

      The United Nation’s climate chief says that reordering the global economy to fight climate change is the “most difficult” task the international body has ever undertaken.

      “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history,” Christiana Figueres, who heads up the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, told reporters […]http://dailycaller.com/2015/02/05/climate-chief-world-economy/

      h/t

  10. dc

    Behind the scenes this was always a bank job. The various international players that occupy the World Bank and IMF – the so-called ‘wealth’ owners – get allowed to screw smaller banks guaranteed as proven by state ie,taxpayer funding. So-called banks have been very deliberataly enabled so that when the whole lot goes kapoosh again, guess who’s been enlisted into taking the haircuts. Guarantees, as proven over Greece, etc., are worthless but you know who’s next.

  11. jaydubvee60

    So the waste is to be potentially a lot of aluminum. Hope they’ve got a lot of crushed beverage cans to put to use, as aluminum is typically extracted from bauxite ore at a cost in electrical energy that is astronomical!

  12. jaydubvee60

    On the topic of meat eaters emitting copious amounts of “greenhouse gasses”, well, maybe there’s something to that.

  13. jaydubvee60

    Since putting him on the meat rich diet he so desperately craves, he’s been farting like a fog horn and the daily mean temperature here in Phoenix Arizona is up a bit over last year.

  14. jaydubvee60

    Oh, sorry! I’m talking about my cat! Guess I better be a good global citizen and teach him to eat alfalfa sprouts and wheat grass!