Germans Face Pain As Power Prices Surge To “Record Levels”, Renewables Go “Almost AWOL”

German electrical power analyst Verivox here issued a press release announcing that electricity will be more expensive in the coming months for many German households: 75 primary utilities are increasing their electricity prices by an average of 3.4% in February alone – this according to a study by Verivox experts.

For a family of four with an annual consumption of 4000 kWh, that means extra costs of 42 euros per year. Already tens of thousands of households are living in energy poverty.

At the start of the year some 354 power utilities cranked up the prices. This means that about half of all utilities have increased their power prices during the first months of 2017.

Rising feed-in charges, grid fees and costs

One reason for the increased prices is the higher renewable energy feed-in charges, reports Verivox. At the start of the year they climbed to a record 6.88 cents per kilowatt-hour. Verivox writes that the prices for power are now at “record levels”.

Wind and solar power disappeared in January

Meanwhile the online Die Welt N24 here reports how wind and solar power practically completely disappeared over a period of weeks during the dead of winter in Germany — as a high pressure system with fog and windless days persisted over much of central Europe — and “brought Germany’s power supply at the limit“.

The German site writes that renewable energy lobbyists prefer to be silent during the long and dark winter months, adding: “In January the German green energy systems as power suppliers went almost totally AWOL weeks long“:

Chart above shows Germany’s total power consumption in January (upper curve) compared to solar (yellow) and wind (blue) energy. From January 16 to January 26 wind and solar power almost disappeared entirely. Chart source: Agora here.

Over the past years Germany has taken a number of conventional power plants offline, and now officials worry that there is no longer sufficient steady base load available, and that there thus needs to be an incentive to install new gas power plants. Currently no power companies are investing in such new plants, and are in fact taking more and more offline due to a lack of profitability. This is increasingly putting the grid at risk. The consequences? Die Welt N24 reports:

The lack of controllable power plants put the grid operators during the January doldrums already under heavy stress.”

According to Stefan Kapferer, Head Director of the BDEW German Association for Energy and Water Management: “The German government itself sees that that the current market system is not adequate to guarantee supply security. Otherwise it would not be keeping different power plant reserves on the market and adding new ones.

In summary, Germany is still taking more conventional power plants offline, but ordering them to remain on standby (at a loss) as reserves for cases like those we saw last month. Policymakers are playing Russian Roulette with Germany’s power grid.

 

10 responses to “Germans Face Pain As Power Prices Surge To “Record Levels”, Renewables Go “Almost AWOL””

  1. Graeme No.3

    Welcome to the same mess as South Australia.
    Stupid and gullible politicians believe an unlikely scare and set about raising electricity prices yet destroying the profitability of the reliable sources.

    Now the same stupid and gullible politicians are going to “fix” the system.
    It would be quicker and cheaper to change your politicians.

  2. DirkH

    “Policymakers are playing Russian Roulette with Germany’s power grid.”

    Not Russian Roulette, but Soviet Economics…

  3. AndyG55

    To be economical, coal and gas need to be able to provide as they were designed and what is NEEDED…..

    24/365.25 at or near their rated output.

    Making them shut down when wind or solar just happen to be producing puts an enormous strain of the equipment. and make it in-economical to run. so they shut down.

    That means that are not available on the many occasions when wind decides to have time off.

    Its a ridiculously stupid situation brought on by an unsupportable scare based on the fallacy that CO2 causes warming, when it demonstrably DOES NOT.

  4. Curious George

    Ronald Reagan’s maxim on How Governments Handle Economy:
    It it moves, tax it. If it still moves, regulate it. When it stops moving, subsidize it.

  5. crosspatch

    Germany must re-start the nuclear power infrastructure. Until they do, they are not being serious. They will never replace that power production with wind and solar and they know it.

  6. SebastianH

    And the comment system is again eating comments … one more try.

    What is P Gosselin’s motivation to post something like this and not mention the real situation? The linked article even mentions that these are the prices of “Grundversorger” (if you move somewhere that’s the utility who is providing you with electricity). You are free to chose a different provider however … and with those you’d save a considerable amount of money. The often quoted 0,30 € / kWh simply doesn’t exist. You’ll always end up with a provider offering 0,23-0,25 € / kWh depending on location.

    About energy poverty: I am not sure why you call it this way. If someone can’t pay the electric bill there are different problems at work than high electricity prices, don’t you think? How is this person paying for the rest of life’s expenses?

    And last but not least: you’d be surprised how a fully build out solar/wind power grid would look like and how much/little backup is needed. This study from 2012 (in German, sorry) should give a quick overview: https://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/content/dam/ise/de/documents/publications/studies/studie-100-erneuerbare-energien-fuer-strom-und-waerme-in-deutschland.pdf

    1. AndyG55

      “not mention the real situation?’

      He HAS mentioned the ral situation

      You are BLINDED by your far-left anti-CO2 agenda

      You are NOTHING but an irksome trolling, anti-truth, anti-science NON-ENTITY.

      And pretending that high electricity prices don’t hurt low-income people….

      You truly are the lowest of the AGW scum.

      So PATHETIC that you cannot even support the very basis of you putrid AGW religion, that hurts people world-wide.

      Disgusting !!

    2. Flavio B

      your last link is totally out of the reality. I worked at the Forschungszentrum in Ka, and we laughed a lot about it – at the Fraunhofer they are concentrated too much on making money instead of making “real science”.

      Just a couple of thoughts:
      Batteriespeicher – do you have an idea of the dimentions?!? most likely there is not even enough rough material to build such (conventional) batteries. They will not last for that amount of cycles, also because there is a degradation cycle by cycle of the storage capacity, which is not constant though.

      Wärmespeicher (and Solarthermie) – do you have in mind the example of the solar power station Ivanpah in the States? you will always need a considerable supply of gas to keep it “hot” enough.

      Wärmepumpe – ahahaha….do you really think you can install them everywhere?!??! you really have no idea then…just to mention the issue relative to water pollution….

      Not to mention the huge complexity of such a system in order to balance the energy request from the grid….considering that in Germany you still cannot send enough energy from the north to the south….

  7. Dave Ward

    And how long before “sod” says that increased prices won’t be a problem because customers will simply use less energy…