German Public Media Finally Acknowledge Country’s Power Grid Now More Unstable Than Ever

It seems that the woes besetting the German Energiewende (transition the green energies) and the country’s power grids are finally beginning to hit home at the mainstream German media.

For example German HR public radio here writes “increasingly large problems have besieged power grid operator Tennet” and that the company often “has to act at lightning speed to prevent blackouts“. That illustrates just how unstable Germany’s power grid has gotten since the Energiewende started in earnest some 15 years ago.

During windy and stormy conditions, the Tennet operated power grid often cannot accept wind energy, and thus control center workers have to force the wind parks to shut down to avert overloading the grid. And conventional gas and coal plant must always be on standby and ready to spring into action at a minute’s notice should wind and sun drop off, as is often the case on cloudy and windless days.

“More than 1000 interventions a year”

Whenever the grid threatens to fly out of control, Tennet grid operators need to move fast and intervene. Years ago before the wind and solar energy were fed in to the grid in significant volumes, operators intervened to avert a black out maybe “up to five times per year“.  But today “we are up to 1000 – 1500 interventions per year,” says Volker Weinreich, Director of the Hanover grid control center.

The HR reports further: “The Energiewende means more and more work for the men and women at the control center in Hanover.” And they “must always be alert.” According to Weinreich, the grid “no longer functions without the daily interventions by these employees“.

And according to HR, the situation will stay that way for many years, which is how long it is expected to take to revamp the grid enough to handle the instability. In the meantime, control center workers will have to keep up their full court press to prevent the Tennet-operated power grid from blacking out.

15 responses to “German Public Media Finally Acknowledge Country’s Power Grid Now More Unstable Than Ever”

  1. Joseph Toomey

    One can observe the level of offshore wind energy curtailment by looking at TenneT’s feed-in data. Rarely do operators allow more than 2,500 mW of flow onto the grid even as onshore wind patterns spike very high. The onshore spikes are matched by offshore flat-lines. Have a look at January 2016. There you can see a 6-day period where the offshore feed-in pattern is flat as a Kansas horizon even as onshore feed-in is wildly fluctuating with erratic weather conditions. http://tinyurl.com/yc7tcuwl

  2. Bitter&twisted

    So this is what green jobs look like.
    Disaster prevention.
    But it’s all for the greater good, so Sebastian will be happy.

  3. RickWill

    Germany’s grid is a model of consistency compared with the situation in Australia. Both Victoria and South Australia are heading for power prices in excess of AUD10,000/MWh during the evening peak:
    30/11/2017 15:00 $654.08 8,847.24 7,919.20 212.13 -694.58 Forecast
    30/11/2017 15:30 $14,000.00 9,076.93 8,035.36 203.41 -813.74 Forecast
    30/11/2017 16:00 $14,200.00 9,236.66 8,261.65 191.85 -759.96 Forecast
    30/11/2017 16:30 $14,200.00 9,287.98 8,264.65 189.32 -811.79 Forecast
    30/11/2017 17:00 $14,200.00 9,241.27 8,242.65 204.47 -770.72 Forecast
    30/11/2017 17:30 $14,000.00 9,073.00 7,972.93 221.56 -855.17 Forecast

    https://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-dashboard

    Yesterday SA power price reached AUD2036/MWh.

    If the northerly wind moderates and the rain stays away there is a good chance of load shedding in Australia today. That is despite the big battery, purchase of gas turbines and purchase of diesel generators. It takes a lot of plant to replace a single coal fired power station.

    1. yonason

      You just aren’t thinking “sustainably,” Rick. I mean, if we can’t sustain the folly, how can we sustain the corruption?

      1. AlecM

        Make it plain to the voters that green politicians talk shyte about climte change, and do so to con the public as they mug the poor for profit.

        Round these politicians up and make them operate treadmills to add to power from their debilitated Grid.

        1. Akatsukami

          That would, in principle, be dispatchable power.

  4. John F. Hultquist

    Every time you run one of these wind power posts, I have a look at my own region.

    At about 3 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, in Washington and Oregon, the local turbines when parasitic. Currently, wind speed is 3 mph.

    1. Robert Christopher

      Look on the bright side, at least electricity isn’t having to be offloaded at a loss.

  5. ClimateOtter

    Having a bit of trouble dissing this one, seb?

  6. Bill Marsh

    ” conventional gas and coal plant must always be on standby ”

    That’s the ‘dirty little secret’ of ‘green energy’. I wonder how many people in Germany understand what ‘on standby’ actually means.

    1. Graeme No.3

      No, they are still wondering why emissions from electricity generation haven’t dropped in 10 years.

  7. Bruce

    The good news: The Operators are getting lots of practice.

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    […] German Public Media Finally Acknowledge Country’s Power Grid Now More Unstable Than Ever […]

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