‘Die Welt’ Commentary: “Europe Can’t Bail Out The German Power Supply”…Calls Strategy “A Dangerous Miscalculation”

Germany has seriously overestimated how much its neighboring countries are able to help out in the event wind and solar energy fail to deliver, thus putting it’s power supply at risk.

One of Germany’s strategies for making its energy supply renewable is to rely on its neighbors to step up when green energies fail to deliver.

As the country adds more volatile wind and solar energy to the grid, Germany hopes that neighboring countries will cooperate in helping to stabilize the power grid in the event the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine — especially after the country shuts down its remaining nuclear power plants and starts to shut down old coal plants. Nuclear and coal power make up the lion’s share of Germany’s stable baseload power supply.

“A dangerous miscalculation”

However, it appears German officials have made a major miscalculation: citing a recent study, journalist Daniel Wetzel at Die Welt writes: “Europe cannot bail out the German power supply. This is so because “hardly a neighboring country has any remaining extra power plant capacity.” The Die Welt economics journalist then calls the German strategy “a dangerous miscalculation.”

In 2014 the German Ministry of Economics assumed the country could rely on 60 gigawatts of over-capacity in related adjacent markets in Europe, but it turns out that the figure was overstated by a factor of 3 to 4. Consequently on windless and sunless days, Germany could end up missing considerable amounts of power.

Wetzel writes:

As a result, soon all over Europe power stations with ‘secured power’ that can produce independently of current wind and sun conditions will be missing.”

He also adds that as every European country strives to add more wind and solar capacity, more of their baseload capacity plants are being shut down as well, which only makes the situation increasingly worse when sun and wind do not show up. The point is rapidly coming where there will not be sufficient baseload capacity to keep the grid stable.

One solution, Wetzel suggests, would be to install gas-fired power generators so that they could be fired up in times of low wind and solar output: “However, new gas-fired plants are being built nowhere because refinancing under the conditions of the Energiewende appears as being too risky,” Wetzel reports.

In a nutshell, as Europe expands its wind and solar capacity, more baseload capacity will be needed. But instead of adding it, Europe is reducing it, and thus making the supply and grid stability worse.

As for Germany, it is increasingly dawning on politicians that designing energy infrastructure is best left technical and electrical engineering experts, and not to climate -catastrophe obsessed politicians and green activists who seem to think such complex systems can be built up ad hoc as you go.

The price of this slipshod politicized approach could wind up being very painful in the midterm future.

43 responses to “‘Die Welt’ Commentary: “Europe Can’t Bail Out The German Power Supply”…Calls Strategy “A Dangerous Miscalculation””

  1. Kurt in Switzerland

    Of course any rational individual sees that this path is doomed to failure..

    But our friend seb will continue to promote solar and wind.

    1. SebastianH

      Your friend seb will point out that he has a full name and that what the “veteran journalist” Wetzel writes has no weight at all.

      Pierre correctly writes that Wetzel writes and suggests and everyone can do that freely in this country.

      Your friend seb will also point out that the following conclusion is nonsense:

      In a nutshell, as Europe expands its wind and solar capacity, more baseload capacity will be needed.

      New gas fired power plants are needed, not baseload capacity.

      designing energy infrastructure is best left technical and electrical engineering experts

      Exactly! And bloggers and veteran journalists can add their remarks, but shouldn’t be the ones deciding what is best either 😉

      The price of this slipshod politicized approach could wind up being very painful in the midterm future.

      The price of putting out more and more CO2 will be much more painful in the future. You don’t believe this is and will be the case and that’s fine. But since you suggested to leave stuff to experts, maybe it’s time for you to stop this “realist”, pseudoskeptic charade and accept the science brought to you by actual experts.

      Have nice day

      1. spike55

        Gas from Russia.. roflmao !!!

        “The price of putting out more and more CO2 will be much more painful in the future”

        What a load of SCIENTIFICALLY UNSUPPORTABBLE BS

        There is ZERO PRICE on putting more CO2 into the atmosphere, seb

        It is TOTALLY and ABSOLUTELY BENEFICIAL to all life on Earth.

        You have been TOTALLY UNABLE to provide one single piece of empirical evidence for enhanced atmospheric CO2 causing anything except enhanced plant growth

        Come on your deceitful, lying little troll

        Put up or shut up…

        Q1. In what way has the climate changed in the last 40 years, that can be scientifically attributable to human CO2 ?

        Q2. Do you have ANY EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE at all that humans have changed the global climate in ANYWAY WHATSOEVER?

        1. SebastianH

          Gas from Russia.. roflmao !!!

          Question for you Mr. evidence-man: how much gas (percentage) is Germany importing from Russia?

          It also has been shown that a 100% renewable German power-grid with a reasonable sized battery would not need more gas to back it up than is used today. The already existing gas reserves are enough for such a scenario.

          There is ZERO PRICE on putting more CO2 into the atmosphere, seb

          Yep, and that’s the problem. If we would have to pay for the externality, nobody would be suggesting to increase fossil fuel usage.

          It is TOTALLY and ABSOLUTELY BENEFICIAL to all life on Earth.

          Now that is – in your own words – “a load of SCIENTIFICALLY UNSUPPORTABBLE BS”.

          You have been TOTALLY UNABLE to provide one single piece of empirical evidence for enhanced atmospheric CO2 causing anything except enhanced plant growth

          And writing stuff like this is what lazy trolls do. You can’t be this ignorant in real life.

          Come on your deceitful, lying little troll

          Very classy, spike55.

          Put up or shut up…

          I choose shut up and I’ll append an exclamation mark!

          You really need to change your behaviour and your manners … this is aweful.

          1. spike55

            Your PATHETIC INABILITY to support the CO2 warming L:IE is again noted.

            In what way is enhanced atmospheric CO2 in any PROVABLE WAY harmful to life on Earth

            Just run away and avoid answering again, seb;’ Is the ONLY thing you are capable of.

            “A reasonable size battery” .. seb veers off into FANTASY-LAND yet again.. so funny. !!

            Russian gas.. oh dear.. seb shows his ignorance yet again

            https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-russia-gas/friendship-no-more-how-russian-gas-is-a-problem-for-germany-idUSKBN1KR0HH

            Run away from answering again seb

            Its HILARIOUS to watch your desperate headless chook replies. 🙂

            Q1. In what way has the climate changed in the last 40 years, that can be scientifically attributable to human CO2 ?

            Q2. Do you have ANY EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE at all that humans have changed the global climate in ANYWAY WHATSOEVER?

          2. SebastianH

            In what way is enhanced atmospheric CO2 in any PROVABLE WAY harmful to life on Earth

            Just run away and avoid answering again, seb;’ Is the ONLY thing you are capable of.

            I wont answer to a child screaming that I should show how 1 + 1 is not 3 … I am not your teacher. If you can’t figure that out own your own you have to find yourself someone who is willing to put up with you.

            Russian gas.. oh dear.. seb shows his ignorance yet again

            https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-russia-gas/friendship-no-more-how-russian-gas-is-a-problem-for-germany-idUSKBN1KR0HH

            Run away from answering again seb

            The only one running away from answering here is you. What is the percentage of Russian gas in the amount of gas that Germany imports?

            This is hilarious indeed. You really need to drop that clown act … or continue to be the proof that “your side” consists only of loud guys like you with zero substance.

          3. spike55

            Poor seb

            RUNNING AWAY,,

            DESPERATE in avoidance and distraction

            So HILARIOUS. !!!

            Q1. In what way has the climate changed in the last 40 years, that can be scientifically attributable to human CO2 ?

            Q2. Do you have ANY EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE at all that humans have changed the global climate in ANYWAY WHATSOEVER?

          4. spike55

            This week, Russian state-run gas giant Gazprom announced its latest export figures – and one number was of particular interest. The company revealed that Russia’s natural gas exports to Germany increased 12.2% (3.5 billion cubic metres – bcm) in the first half of 2018, compared to the first half of last year.

            The increase follows record years for Gazprom exports to Germany in 2016 and 2017, with the country receiving 53.4 bcm last year alone. Germany is the largest buyer of Russian natural gas, and makes up 27.5% of Gazprom’s total exports in 2017.

            But in 2015 Germany imported 35% of its gas from Russia. About the same amount, 34%, came from Norway. 29% came from The Netherlands”

            2017

            “TABLE-Germany’s 2017 gas imports up 15 pct, cost up 27 pct”

            https://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL8N1QD53G

            Russia’s Gazprom said on Jan. 3 that it had shipped 53.4 billion cubic metres to Germany. Converted to terajoules that
            would constitute 39.3 percent of the total.

            .. and that % will go even higher over the next few years.

            So if Russia cuts its gas to Germany.. where will that 40% come from??

            Same place the mythical electricity will come from once nuclear and coal have been forced out ???

            NEVER-NEVER-LAND .. obviously !!

            You live in a weird FANTASY world, seb-troll, where you think these things will just “magically” appear

            Yours mind has the comprehension ability of a peanut !!

      2. spike55

        “science brought to you by actual experts.”

        We have been waiting for an ABSOLUTE AGE for you to provide any actual “science”, seb

        You are totally and utterly DEVOID of it.

        You are TOTALLY UNABLE to support the most basic fallacy , CO2 warming, with anything even remotely resembling empirical science.

  2. BobW in NC

    How awful for the people affected by the climate change guru’s policies.

  3. Brian G Valentine

    It isn’t going to change until 2021 when Angela is up for reelection, and she is never going to admit a colossal mistake. I hope Germany can weather this until then.

    I was surprised to learn that Germany has 100% excess electric capacity – and this accounts for the capacity factors of wind and solar!

  4. eric

    In the USA, California is making the same mistake.

    1. SebastianH

      The mistake of setting a path to 100% renewable power?

      http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB100

      1. sunsettommy

        They will have NO stability in the grid at all then.

        1. SebastianH

          Hmm, how does Portugal do it then with 100% renewables for an entire month earlier this year?

          Batteries are very fast compared to conventional power plants that are used to stabilize the frequency. You’ll see, everything is fine and your feared doomsday scenarios will not happen, no matter how badly you want them to happen.

          1. spike55

            Of which 55% came from HYDRO.

            How much does Germany get from Hydro, seb.?

            About 3% isn’t it, little troll.

            Aren’t Portugal so lucky to have a good solid BASELOAD source available for the 55% of the time when wind isn’t providing enough. 🙂

            You are FOOLING ONLY YOURSELF, yet again.

          2. K. Pool

            Sebastian, you wrote :

            “Batteries are very fast compared to conventional power plants that are used to stabilize the frequency. You’ll see, everything is fine”

            Batteries (or anything behind an inverter) are participating in primary regulation but they don’t supply inertial frequency response. That is the domain of conventional power plants with rotating mass.

            Nice try, though

  5. spike55

    “could wind up being very painful in the midterm future.”

    It needs to happen sooner than later.

    A major collapse of electricity supply in Germany and the EU would “maybe” wake people up to the TOTAL IDIOCY of using UNRELIABLE power supplies in a system that required a solid baseload 24/7/52.

    Some people, especially far-left AGW cultists and socialist/green politicians, are extremely hard to WAKE UP, though.

    1. SebastianH

      So you are wishing for a major blackout just to “show us”? That’s classy, spike55.

      Since you mention “far-left” all the time, why is this even a “left/right” problem? Are far-rights automatically against science? Or is it just a general aversion against change that informs these strange opinions?

      1. spike55

        Poor seb

        EVIDENCE FREE as always you poor little troll.

        You have ZERO SCIENCE to support the AGW CO2 warming LIE, and you know it.

        The sort of change that wind and solar bring is totally unsustainable.
        You KNOW that.

        You KNOW it requires 100% back-up from RELIABLE electricity sources, but those sources are being forced out due to mandates and subsides.

        When they are gone.. there is no back-up.

        I wish Germany best of luck as they edge, like a frog in slowly boiling water, to the precipice of total system collapse.

        1. spike55

          No seb,

          The answer is there in the links.

          It is YOU that is incapable of answering even two simple questions.

          Your DESPERATION at your utter ineptitude is quite HILARIOUS.

      2. spike55

        “why is this even a “left/right” problem?”

        Oh dear, you really don’t keep up with the AGENDA do you seb.

        Your wilful BLINDMESS is no excuse for downright ignorance of your cult’s main aims and objectives, seb.

        https://s19.postimg.cc/s5eqnxsfn/endenhofer.png

        https://s19.postimg.cc/h4qhxvt2b/Figueres.png

      3. SebastianH

        Thank you for these non-answers, spike55.

  6. posa

    Having the whole energy grid crash and remain destabilized for years will be a great teaching moment for the Germans and the rest of the world. A couple of seasons of Freeze in the dark should do the trick. No sympathy for the arrant stupidity and arrogance.

    1. SebastianH

      Why would that ever happen? I don’t know where you are coming from, but the German grid is super stable and there is zero sign that it will ever fail in the spectacular doomsday way you pseudoskeptics seem to have hopes for.

      1. spike55

        And the seb fantasies continue.

        So hilarious to watch you as you spin your desperate LIES and MISINFORMATION.

        Great for a laugh.

      2. spike55
        1. SebastianH

          The enormous cost, right … how many cents per kWh does this equate to? Give us your best estimate! Come on! You have the numbers, do you?

          1. spike55

            BILLIONS in subsidies,

            Highest electricity costs in the world.

            STOP your manic DENIAL OF FACTS, seb.

  7. John Brown

    It is worse than that, renewables might even be able to change the climate if you read careful what is written here:
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6406/1019

    The amount of renewables Germany would have to install, could have a profound effect on temperature. Who would have thought?

    There is no end to the madness!

    John Brown

    1. SebastianH

      The amount of renewables Germany would have to install, could have a profound effect on temperature. Who would have thought?

      Is it anywhere near those 3+79 TW (average) power output that are used in the paper you linked to?

      That 718 PWh of generated electricity per year. That’s 34 times the 2012 world electricity consumption 😉

      1. John Brown

        SebH very smart, he knows numbers. Today he says is enough only Germany needs decarbonisation. No need to change climate to decarbonise all the globe energy produce.
        John agrees. No need world all energy produce in Sahara, no need change climate for it either. No need make stupid study in the first place???

        The hubris is showing in the study! SebH cares not to see?

        1. SebastianH

          What are you trying to say? It’s very hard to understand you, John.

          1. John Brown

            SebH needs read what is in link, not what John says.

            So what is hard to understand is why you do not read what is being talked about.

            Here easy question for Sebh:

            SebH thinks that study makes any sense and why?

  8. Stuart Lynne

    What the advocates of renewables ignore is the externalities of their solution.

    If someone else, provides the backup baseload, renewables might be affordable.

    But when you factor in the cost of building and leaving idle baseload suppliers that can provide the same power at the same price, renewables come up very short.

    If the renewables suppliers are required to guarantee supply (perhaps with a contract from the otherwise idle baseload providers) the cost vastly exceeds anything anyone is willing to payl.

    1. SebastianH

      What the advocates of renewables ignore is the externalities of their solution.

      Ehm, ignoring externalities is exactly what fossil fuel advocates are doing.

      If someone else, provides the backup baseload, renewables might be affordable.

      Let me phrase it this way, if you’d need a car only from time to time and your neighbor has one and is willing to let you use it, would you buy a car of your own as the first step instead of using the neighbor’s car?

      It doesn’t make sense to start with renewables and construct those power plants as if there were no “neighbors”.

      If the renewables suppliers are required to guarantee supply (perhaps with a contract from the otherwise idle baseload providers) the cost vastly exceeds anything anyone is willing to payl.

      Sure, as will the cost of any nuclear power plant increase drasticly if you require them to follow the actual load. Why would you want to criple a technology with that much potential in its infancy when those things are only necessary in a near full renewable power grid?

      Or in other words, are baseload power plants contracted to provide the additional power during peaks from somewhere else? Why not?

      1. spike55

        Evidence fre seb

        Do you get paid to rant mindlessly about the non-benefits of wind and solar ??

        NEITHER can exist without 100% back-up from REAL RELIABLE electricity supplies. The system becomes UNSUSTAINABLE.

        I suspect you KNOW that to be the case and are just playing the fool as part of your very being..

        You STILL are totally unable to grasp the economics of base-load power only being allowed to operate at peak efficiency when the there is no wind or sun… DUMB !!!

        You are INCAPABLE of rational thought or comprehension.

        1. SebastianH

          Evidence fre seb

          Please provide the locations of said evidence in any of your posts or the OP’s comment. Thank you.

          You STILL are totally unable to grasp the economics of base-load power only being allowed to operate at peak efficiency when the there is no wind or sun… DUMB !!!

          Calm down tiger and don’t try to speak like Trump!

          I understand the economics. Baseload power isn’t influenced by wind/solar in Germany, only on a few weekends per year some lignite/coal power plants have to limit their output. When you don’t know what you are talking about it is best to just stay quiet unknowning friend.

          You are INCAPABLE of rational thought or comprehension.

          I’d say this claim is completely evidence free, it’s rather evidence for your insanity.

          Have a nice day spike55-troll.

          1. spike55

            You remain EVIDENCE FREE. and have a mental issue with TDS, poor seb.

            And you have proven you are totally unable to grasp the effect of forcing RELIABLE electricity supplies out of the market

            That’s just DUMB.

            NO-ONE is going to build new gas-fired power stations in the current AGW agenda driven economic instability..

            As I said.. and you keep proving

            Your grasp of economic REALITY is tenuous to non-existent, and you are INCAPABLE of rational thought or comprehension.

  9. Bitter&twisted

    Green fantasy has a long overdue meeting with reality.

  10. bonbon

    Look how everyone has forgotten Desertec, the Great solar bailout. To add political instability to fidget current (Zappelstrom) made investors skittish.

  11. Reasonable Skeptic

    Umm, I knew this as soon as I learned how energy systems were managed. They must have known it as well.

  12. Bitter&twisted

    Remember Do Not Converse WithThe Russian Troll (DNCWTRT).
    It probably gets paid to write its nonsense.
    Unlike the majority of contributors here who give up their time to properly gather the facts to support their arguments, without payment.

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