German Media Report: Power Grids In Distress…Highly Unstable Due To Wind And Sun Power!

Recently German SAT1 television broadcast a documentary on the state of the European and German increasingly green power grid: “How secure are our power grids?” Due to the volatile and unpredictable supply of wind and solar energy, the grid has become far more unstable, the documentary warns. The news is not good.

At best: the consumers are getting a far lousier product at a much higher price.

At the 17-minute mark, Bernd Benser of GridLab-Berlin tells viewers that while grid operator Tennet had to intervene only 3 times in 2002 to avert grid instability, last year he says the number was “over 1000” times — or “three times daily”.

These intervention actions, known as redispatching, cost the consumer about a billion euros last year alone, says Benser.  The SAT 1 voice-over warns that more power transmission lines are urgently needed if the Energiewende is to avoid “becoming a sinking ship“. However over the years acceptance by citizens has swung from a generally warm welcome to ferocious opposition. Politicians need to start noting that green energies have overstayed their welcome.

Major grid instability

And as wind and solar power capacity gets added to the grid without expanding transmission capability to offset the ever more wild fluctuations, grid operators are now constantly scrambling to keep the grid from spiraling out of control. At the 21-minute mark, Klaus Kaschnitz of the operations management of Austrian Power Grid remarks:

These fluctuations in the system that we now see have increased dramatically and are ultimately a product of weather events.”

The fluctuations are having a profound impact, Kaschnitz explains. It is especially difficult to keep the grid at 50 Hz frequency, which makes keeping the grid from collapsing harder and the powering of modern industrial systems highly challenging. At the 25-minute mark, the report then switches the focus to the grids’ vulnerability to hackers.

Swiss daily: “danger of a blackout rising”

Also the Swiss online Baseler Zeitung (BaZ) here reports on major power grid woes in Switzerland, warning: “The danger of a blackout is rising” and that power grid operator Swissgrid “must intervene increasingly more often in the power grid“.

According to the BAZ, in 2011 Swissgrid had to intervene only twice over the entire year. But since then the grid has become far more unstable, and that at the current rate it will be necessary to intervene 400 times in 2017!

In summary, the green energies have resulted in two outcomes for citizens: 1) a supply that is now far more unstable and 2) power that is far more expensive. In a nutshell: Far less quality for a lot more money.

That’s the expected result whenever you have the wrong people (activists and politicians) deciding how to run complex technical systems.


14 responses to “German Media Report: Power Grids In Distress…Highly Unstable Due To Wind And Sun Power!”

  1. Marilyn

    When are people going to realize that all this so called green energy really isn’t that green and at what cost to the consumer. This whole climate scare is all about transference of wealth and when the governments stop subsidizing this so called green energy it cannot function. The whole world is experiencing energy poverty, its like going back in time not forward. Eat or heat is becoming the reality for many homes.

  2. Bitter&twisted

    More power transmission lines are not what is needed.
    What is needed are fewer windmills and solar subsidy farms.
    CCGTs and nuclear are the reliable and sustainable way forward.


    The eco nutters will not be satisfied until we are living in damp mud huts on a diet of raw carrots and water .

    1. Jeff

      Maybe that’s Mutti Merkel’s secret plan to solve the refauxgee crisis: with those conditions, no “eco-tourists” will want to move here, as we’ll be worse than the lands they’re supposedly fleeing…..

      Between Draghi, Energiewende, ever-rising costs, and the perpetual (according to Test) danger of mineral oil in Adventskalendern, we have nowhere to turn.

      Poland, here we come….. (sorry, just kidding !!!!!)

  4. Graeme No.3

    Welcome to South Australia with the world’s highest electricity prices and frequent blackouts. Admitedly this year so far the blackouts have been less that 3.5 hours and not Statewide as last year. That improvement has been won by running the gas fired plants flat out and restricting the output of the 42% capacity generated by wind to the remaining market, including what can be transmitted to Victoria.
    How are the phase switching transformers being installed by Poland and the Czech Republic, and France and the Netherlands going? Once they are all working then flat out wind generation will guarantee blackouts in Germany.

    1. RickWill

      My understanding is that the phase shifting transformers just increase the impedance of the connection into other countries to prevent Germany making use of their transmission infrastructure to transport power from northern Germany to southern Germany.

      Germany is building HVDC links from north to south to cope with the variable and dispersed generation from wind. That should improve stability of the German grid so they will be less dependent on power flows via networks in adjacent countries. I am not sure of the progress on these links. It appears some land owners are not keen on big transmission towers being sited on or near their land.

  5. yonason

    One thing you can always count on with wind – it is VERY erratic.

    1. tom0mason


  6. Asmilwho

    The link in the post is called SAT1 but leads to the 3Sat website.

    These are two different stations, Sat1 is part of the ProSiebenSat1 group, 3Sat is a public service broadcaster.

  7. Senex

    Here is a link to the public reports of the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). I am awaiting a response from them to clarify whether these reports represent the same types of incidents as discussed in this article, but it appears so to me. If I interpret these reports correctly, they show over 3,000 redispatching events every month in Ontario. I have also asked the IESO if any historical data is available from before 2016, so that I can compare with the situation before the present state of the “Green Energy Transformation” was reached.

    1. Senex

      Here is the link to all of the IESO’s public reports:

  8. Bitter&twisted

    I suspect that you think high energy prices are “a good thing”?
    After all they will help keep the poor cold and thin out the ranks of the “deplorables”.

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