‘Manager Magazin’ Reports How Renewable Electricity Is Taking Germany On A Wild Ride

It’s the paradox of the German Energiewende (transition to green energy): power exchange market prices are lower than ever before, yet consumers are paying the highest prices ever – with no stop in the increases in sight. Moreover, the more green electricity that is fed into the grid, the more coal that gets burned.

Communist-quality state planning

If today’s German power grid sounds like a horror story of communist state-planned management, it is because it is in fact so. And unsurprisingly the whole industry is well on its way to a Soviet style meltdown.

For this we have former East German communist Angela Merkel to thank, in part, along with her spineless West German CDU cohorts, many of whom eagerly hopped on the gravy train and let the country be taken for a wild ride.

Today German Manager Magazin here brings us up to date on the country’s “greening” power grid — taking a look at the control center of grid operating company Tennet. Manager Magazin calls it the heart of the German Energiewende. Here a team of engineers decide how much gets fed into the various grids and which windparks are allowed to feed in and which aren’t.

Balancing act

Today the task has become a challenging balancing act. According to Manager Magazin, facility manager Volker Weinreich says “we have to intervene more often than ever to keep the power grid stable. We are getting closer and closer to the limit.”

The reason for the grid instability: the growing amount of erratic renewable energy being fed in, foremost wind and sun. Manager Magazin writes that there are always four workers monitoring the frequency at the Tennet control center, just outside Hannover, making sure that it stays near 50 Hz. Too much instability would mean a the “worst imaginable disaster: grid collapse and blackout“.

More price hikes in the pipeline

Manager Magazin reports Germany now has a huge oversupply of power flooding into the grid and thus causing prices on the electricity exchanges to plummet to levels never seen before. Yet, renewable electricity producers are guaranteed, in most cases over a period of 20 years, exorbitant high prices for their energy. This means power companies have to purchase at a high price, yet can get only very little for it on the exchange markets.

The German business magazine then writes that once again consumers will be getting the serious shaft, as the feed-in subsidy consumers are forced to pay will climb another 0.53 cents-euro in 2017, bringing the total feed in tariff for power consumers to 6.88 cents-euro for every kilowatt hour they consume.

Bavaria faces Industrial power blackout

Another huge problem is that by 2022 Germany will be shutting down the remaining nuclear power plants, a source that much of Germany’s industrial south relies on. In the meantime, the necessary transmission lines to transport wind power from the North Sea to the south are not getting built due to protests and permitting bottlenecks. This puts Bavaria’s heavy industry at risk. manager writes that the transmission lines are not expected to be completed by 2025!

In Part 3 of its report, manager Magazin reports that operating a power grid has become more complex and costly, due to the renewable power, and that the Energiewende has turned into “ecological foolishness“.  Weinreich describes how on stormy days wind parks are forced to shut down to keep the grid from frying. And the more wind turbines that come online, the more often wind parks need to be shut down. This makes them even more inefficient.

Not only do wind and solar feed in their power on a part-time basis, but now so do the conventional power plants as well — all according to the whims of the weather. An d too often they run at levels well below peak efficiency. The costs of all the inefficiencies get passed on to the consumers. Tens of thousands have been forced into “energy poverty”.

1400 interventions

Weinreich reports that the grid is so unstable that in 2015 it was necessary for Tennet to intervene some 1400 times. In the old conventional power days, it used to be only “a few times a year“.

In Part 4, Manager Magazin reports that all the intervention and shutdowns of runaway wind parks are “costing billions” for the consumers. Alone in 2017 Tennet says grid operating fees will rise 80%, translating to 30 euros more burden each year for each household. The money of course ends up flowing from poor consumers and into the pockets of wealthy solar and wind park operators and investors.

Little wonder that many experts call the German Energiewende the greatest bottom to top wealth distribution scheme ever created.

 

33 responses to “‘Manager Magazin’ Reports How Renewable Electricity Is Taking Germany On A Wild Ride”

  1. Mervyn

    About the statement “… the more green electricity that is fed into the grid, the more coal that gets burned.”

    Are German politicians mad? Do they have any common sense? Are they just plain stupid? What is wrong with these politicians?

    1. sod

      “About the statement “… the more green electricity that is fed into the grid, the more coal that gets burned.”

      Are German politicians mad?”

      yes, they are.

      They simply need to shut some of those dirty coal plants.

      What happens at the moment is this:

      Wind and solar are driving prices down, this is making coal competitive for other countries. So Germany is exporting more electricity, a lot of it being coal.

      1. DirkH

        “Are German politicians mad?”

        yes, they are.

        They simply need to shut some of those dirty coal plants. ”

        You have obviously learned your Electrical Engineering from Das Kapital.

        1. yonason

          He just never shuts up. Hmmmm.

          All right, who keeps feeding sod the crackers?
          http://l7.alamy.com/zooms/8796e76b883e4e96869257173e94487a/green-parrot-perched-on-a-swing-e4hkbt.jpg

          “SQUACK! We’re all gonna die. SQUACK!”

  2. sod

    Manager magazin hates renewables. No surprise.

    Look at tennet and the region it is delivering electricity to:

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Regelzonen_mit_%C3%9Cbertragungsnetzbetreiber_in_Deutschland.png

    And they complain, that they have too few power lines. Hypocrisy at its best.

    He is naming the problem though:

    “Obwohl also Strom in Hülle und Fülle zur Verfügung steht, wird er für den Verbraucher teurer. “Das kann man den Menschen nur sehr schwer erklären”, sagt Weinreich. Zumal Unternehmen, die besonders viel Strom verbrauchen, von dieser Umlage befreit sind.”

    Electricity is getting cheaper for companies, but more expenisve for private customers. The powerwall will hit them really hard.

    Any article about the german grid, which does not mention that it is the most stable in the world, is total garbage. This is the beginner stage of fake news. a pro-business paper writing a scare article that fails to mention the most important fact.

    https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-electricity-grid-stable-amid-energy-transition

    1. yonason

      I agree, sod, the best way to make energy cheaper is to make it greener.

      Just look at S.Australia. Why it’s practically free there.
      https://climatism.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/south-australia-blackout-report-green-energy-failure/

      Get nothing, pay nothing. Such a bargain!

      Just don’t pay attention to how much that useless lunacy cost the Aussies to install, otherwise you might find out how expensive that “nothing” really is.

    2. David Johnson

      Fake news, the latest leftie “buzzword”. Definition: Any fact that a leftie doesn’t believe in

    3. Newminster

      If the German grid is the most stable in the world why is Tennet having to intervene to maintain stability on average four times a day whereas a few years ago it was “a few times a year”?

      And if you close all the coal-fired stations what happens when the wind isn’t blowing?

      If you can answer these questions sensibly, sod, I think Herr Weinreich would be be keen to hear from you. As, indeed, would the rest of us.

  3. StewGreen

    The powerwall is little more that a few car batteries mountted in an arty box. It’s not ground breaking technology.

    1. John F. Hultquist
  4. Fred Streeter

    Clean Energy Wire admits that the grid is unstable, if it were stable, why would:

    “[G]rid operators in Germany have to go to great lengths to balance asymmetric production of green electricity across their networks.”

    They also admit that it is unecessarily expensive:

    “The amount of so-called ‘re-dispatch measures’ has risen strongly.

    Redispatch is when the grid operator forces a power station to lower production in a region with oversupply, and directs another plant in a low-production region to higher output.

    The cost is passed on to consumers.

    A fleet of costly backup power plants has also been put in place.”

    Rather than portraying the Grid as being in robust health, they raise an image of a Grid in Intensive Care; closely monitored by a Rapid Intervention Team ready to attend immediately to any signs of impending systemic failure.

    “Large disruptions or blackouts because of the rising green power share have so far been successfully avoided.”

    “[T]he German grid … is the most stable in the world”

    So far.

    Beep, Beep, Beep, Beeeeeeeeeeee……. .

    1. sod

      “Clean Energy Wire admits that the grid is unstable, if it were stable, why would:”

      they have to interfere more, because wind and solar make adjustments necessary.

      You can not compare an interference into the old grid (“ouch, we just lost 3 GW of coal and need replacement fast”) to interference today (2looks like the wind is a little stronger, please ask the coal plant to go back to 70%”)

      1. Fred Streeter

        they have to interfere more, because wind and solar make adjustments necessary

        I.E., the Grid is unstable.

        You can not compare an interference into the old grid (“ouch, we just lost 3 GW of coal and need replacement fast”) to interference today (2looks like the wind is a little stronger, please ask the coal plant to go back to 70%”)

        Why not? Wind can lose 3 GW, it can lose 30 GW. Coal plant has to make up the difference.

        Wind Power is economically unsound, ecologically unsound, and (except for the wind itself) is in no way ‘renewable’.

        1. sod

          “I.E., the Grid is unstable.”

          No, it is not. Instability shows up as blackouts. But those have been reduced in number, while renewables were increasing.

          “Why not? Wind can lose 3 GW, it can lose 30 GW. ”

          No. A coal plant goes down in seconds. Wind power does not.

          “Wind Power is economically unsound, ecologically unsound, and (except for the wind itself) is in no way ‘renewable’.”

          All three points are false and everyone knows that. Wind is cheaper than every other source of new electricity basically everywhere.

          1. DirkH

            sod 28. December 2016 at 11:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

            “No. A coal plant goes down in seconds. Wind power does not. ”

            I take it that you have been a wind power fanatic all these years and NEVER learned that wind turbines shut down and rotate their blades into the wind the moment a critical wind speed is exceeded.

            You. Never. Knew. That.

            Amazing. Talking out of your ass for all those years.

          2. DirkH

            “Wind is cheaper than every other source of new electricity basically everywhere.”

            You are probably really a complete moron. If wind power were cheaper than other forms of power it would not need subsidies.

            Maybe you’re such a world class moron that something really big like Das Kapital lies within you, just waiting to take the worlds’ idiots by storm.

          3. David Appell

            Wind needs subsidies. Since fossil fuels do. (~$5 trillion/yr worldwide).

          4. sod

            “I take it that you have been a wind power fanatic all these years and NEVER learned that wind turbines shut down and rotate their blades into the wind the moment a critical wind speed is exceeded.”

            yeah. and you will know when this will happen, because storms of that type do not show up out of nowhere and also not everywhere at the same time.

            Now you tell me, how a coal plants announces its sudden malfunction hours ahead?!?

          5. sod

            “You are probably really a complete moron. If wind power were cheaper than other forms of power it would not need subsidies.”

            wind power is not competing with other NEW power generation. It is competing with 30 year old coal and nuclear plants.

            “reading” is not your strength, is it? i wrote “NEW” electricity there, just for you!

      2. DirkH

        sod, now, we all know you know exactly nothing about anything.

        So why don’t you tell us what you are. My guess is, a genderism student hoping to one day become a genderism assistant professX.

        Am I right?

        1. David Appell

          Dirk, when you post such irrelevant childish personal drivel, all it shows is that you can’t participate in the scientific debate, and those who can should (and do) ignore you.

  5. sod

    “The powerwall is little more that a few car batteries mountted in an arty box. It’s not ground breaking technology.”

    sure. that is, why it is so much cheaper than all competitors.

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/graph-of-the-day-tesla-powerwall-2-way-ahead-of-competition-on-price-62928/

    But i am all with you. So i would like to buy two of your systems, at the price of the power wall, under the same conditions. Deal?

    1. Nigel S

      ‘Finn Peacock is Founder & CEO at SolarQuotes’

      “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! The Great Oz has spoken”

  6. sod
    1. Nigel S

      ‘Renewables’ are about 10% of total UK energy consumption in 2016. Good luck renewing the offshore windmills with only 100% ‘unreliables’ available.

    2. David Johnson

      25% of which 9% is tree destroying biomass and 2% is hydro, which Greens do not count as sustainable energy anymore

      1. Nigel S

        Thanks for adding that, so it’s ‘worse than we thought’; only about 6% unreliables. Thank God for my Honda generator, Tilley lamp, Valor Packaway stove and Primus blowlamp.

      2. sod

        “25% of which 9% is tree destroying biomass and 2% is hydro, which Greens do not count as sustainable energy anymore”

        no, we count everything. It is “sceptics” who always want to remove hydro, to make numbers look smaller.

        You can not face the simple truth: wind and solar are growing. Coal is basically dead in the UK and everyone agrees that Hinkley point is a financial disaster.

  7. edmh

    Realise that nations with heavy Green policy commitments to weather dependent Renewables, particularly the UK and perhaps to a lesser extent Germany, already face existential National Emergencies in that their electricity generating margins for winter loads are virtually non-existent.

    So it is a race to the bottom, whose grid will fail first the UK or Germany but there will not be any realisation of the immediate danger posed to civilisation in Western Europe until a real grid failure occurs.

    When it occurs it will be a self-inflicted National Emergency and the generating resources needed to rectify the grid failure will not be the there, destroyed by adverse Green oriented policy decisions taken ostensibly “to save the planet”.

    Green policy making fails to understand the scale of the real catastrophe that will arise with failure of the electricity generating system in Europe that will have been induced by the ill-considered reliance on weather dependent Renewables.

    Understand that the chaos and vast damage that a will arise from a UK power outage of just a day or so will be hugely destructive to lives, livelihoods and investor / business confidence. If an outage goes on for more than a day absolute anarchy will result, like the riots of 2011 but much worse

    Realise also that the UK has already lost its ability for self-sufficiency in consistent electricity generation.

    This risky situation has been worsened firstly by the current outage for maintenance of about 30% of the French nuclear capability and secondly by storm damage to the French-UK interconnector. Overall ~6% of UK power is already imported at times of peak need from France, this is a major national risk in itself.

    Those overseas power sources should be urgently replaced by in-country power generation.

    If the French are experiencing shortages themselves at winter peak times they will certainly not be exporting their power in support of the UK.

  8. David Appell

    Kenneth wrote:
    “A paper by Wei et al. (2015) published a year ago in the Journal of Geophysical Research effectively illustrates the vacuousness of the ocean “acidification” paradigm.”

    Absurd. A lie.

    I’ll ignore the rest of your Gish Gallop in order to show precisely how you’re so often wrong.

    Here is the beginning of the paper you cite (not the abstractd — the paper):

    “The rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations as a result of post-Industrial era anthropogenic emissions
    has increased CO2 dissolution in oceanic surface waters, resulting in a reduction in seawater pH [Caldeira
    and Wickett, 2003; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes, 2007]”

    The authors are NOT in disagreement with ocean acidification — they’re studying how it varies in space and time. That’s a very good question and a very worthwhile study.

    But they’re not saying anythink like what you you claim you said. You made that part up.

    1. Kenneth Richard

      The authors are NOT in disagreement with ocean acidification

      David, it looks as though you’re posting this in the wrong thread again. How does this happen?

      But of course the authors agree with the paradigm that says anthropogenic CO2 emissions drive ocean “acidification”. I never claimed they didn’t agree with it. As clearly explained in the article, this illustrative reference was to expose the vacuousness of their (and your) beliefs, as they’ve (you’ve) believed that an “acidification” trend of -0.1 pH over 150-200 years is more deleterious to sea-living organisms than a -0.2 to -0.5 pH drop (“acidification”) in a matter of a decade.

      I assume that other readers will be able to understand that this is an inherent flaw in the paradigm you and Wei et al. (2015) believe in. You’ve completely misunderstood the reason why I included Wei et al. (2015).

      I’ll ignore the rest of your Gish Gallop

      It’s understandable that you’ll be ignoring scientific papers that do not conform to your beliefs, David.

  9. StewGreen

    Leisnig, Saxony wind turbine collapse
    The Times pg 36 Photo of 95m turbine lying across fields.
    Maybe a news blackout cos nothing on Google.

  10. StewGreen

    The December electricity generation from Germany for December highlights both the variability and unreliability of so called renewables.
    Check Germany December graph here
    https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm