So much for Germany’s transformation to “green” energies.
Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway) is the federal authority overseeing and regulating the German electrical power grid, among other networks.
At its site it has a link to an expert assessment report that analyzes the needs of and risks to the German power grid for the coming 2014/15 winter.
The name of the report: “Examinations for the winter of 2014/15 with respect to risks for system security and the necessity for reserve power plants”.
The 102-page highly technical assessment examines a variety of scenarios in order to see how well Germany’s electrical power grid will hold up this winter. Looking at the report’s conclusion, one can only conclude that the power grid is more unstable and prone to a collapse than at any time in Germany’s post-war period. It’s a debacle knocking at the door.
In the summary on page 97 for example it writes (link added):
Scenarios were parameterized on the basis of historical data and realistically form expected critical situations, but do not necessarily show the worst-case scenario.
Considered scenarios show massive threats to the security and reliability of the electric power supply system which are not manageable without a substantial intervention by the ÜNB and the use of a secured redispatch-potential.
There are no safety reserves for managing additional critical or unexpected situations.”
On page 98 the report re-emphasizes.
In critical situations a substantial threat to system security is to be feared.”
The report’s summary adds: “Ssecure management of the expected critical situations requires comprehensive measures.”
This all means that on a cold winter day, Germany’s power grid could could very well collapse and citizens be left in the cold and dark for hours or even days. Parts of the report have been blacked out, which is hardly reassuring to the reader.
So why has Germany’s power grid, once one of the world’s most stable, become so vulnerable? An editorial piece at the Financial Times sums it nicely. It writes: “Merkel’s decision to phase out nuclear power has been a huge mistake.”
The FT piece writes that Germany has added a huge amount of intermittent wind and solar energy. Not only does this energy act to destabilize the power grid, but it also is costing German citizens and the economy a bundle. What a bargain: Poor quality for high cost! The FT writes that the Energiewende is “designed to make the economy predominantly dependent on renewable sources such as wind and solar power“, and adds that these are “burdens on households and businesses“, something that “Germany can ill afford”, the FT writes.
What’s worse for clean-energy-minded Germans is that the elimination of nuclear energy has led to an increase in coal burning. In the end, Germany’s power system is now dirtier, more unstable than ever, and now costs consumers far more. Does that sound like a great deal? Sounds to me like a monumental mismanagement.
Those of us living in Germany may want to consider installing a wood-burning stove in the weeks ahead as winter quickly approaches.
Hat-tip: 2 readers
26 responses to “German Federal Analysis Sees “Massive Threats To Security And Reliability Of Electric Power Supply System”!”
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In Norway, all the “besserwissers” considered worthy of speaking in public media, are telling us that Germany is the number one success country with their wind and solar supply. “Norway should do as the germans do.”
Well the German media tell the same story.
Most of what is not the massive state media here is owned by Bertelsmann, a giant tax-evading foundation. They own most weekly magazines including 25% of Der Spiegel, and private TV network RTL. They have an ideology of dissolving nation states and homogenizing the globe for easier business operations. In other words, they are Pan-Europeans.
They have lots of international subsidiaries. For instance they own Random House, 2nd biggest book publisher in US. Check what they own in Norway.
Germany held up as example of all that is great about wind power here in UK too. What a load of rubbish!
Hey, you better realize that Norway already produces 99% of electricity from dams, you don’t need at all the wandering wind/solar sources. Wake up, Germany Energiewende is THE Thing not to do, as already labelled world wide.
The same could be said of the UK
When you move away from a market economy, the cost and risk go up. Command economies do not work. End of story.
“Parts of the report have been blacked out, which is hardly reassuring to the reader.”
It sounds like those detail the vulnerabilities and readers could figure out how to make the grid fail. Hope you guys haven’t been annoying ISIS very much!
“Those of us living in Germany may want to consider installing a wood-burning stove in the weeks ahead as winter quickly approaches.”
I suspect that for many people wood stoves are not an option.
When the source of heat is gone, one of the first things to happen is for the poor and poorly educated to bring a charcoal grill inside. One of the first hits on a search is from 1985:
But, it happens every year. The City of Seattle now, routinely, sends out the message:
Keeping population illiterate about energy is unthinkable is democracy, BUT this occurred in Germany and many other stupid european countries.
I know of no German who doesn’t know about the dangers of carbon monoxide; but a quarter of the people living in Germany are no Germans. Many of those don’t even speak German.
So tough luck for them.
Compared to gas fired generation in Germany:
Solar is 10.0% effective and costs about 38 times as much
Wind power is 17.6% effective and costs about 17 times as much
Installed nameplate renewable electrical generation is a nominal ~ 70 Gigawatts of an essential installed capacity of ~66 Gigawatts however this nameplate capacity produces at best only about 16% of Germany’s power requirements on an unsatisfactory intermittent basis. This is achieved for ~25 times the cost of conventional gas fired generation.
There are of course additional capital and maintenance costs associated with Renewable Energy sources not factored into these calculations.
This short paper does a simple assessment the capital costs (overnight capital costs) and capacity effectiveness of Renewable Energy in the USA Germany and the UK>
It is incredible the pragmatic and engineering oriented Germans could have persisted so long with this economy damaging folly.
“It is incredible the pragmatic and engineering oriented Germans could have persisted so long with this economy damaging folly.”
The pragmatists and engineers got paid to build the systems.
The order was given by the non-pragmatic, non-engineering part of the population – the statist caste. That caste also looted the population to pay the engineers.
This looks very much like Soviet-style central planning, trying heroically to force a round reality into a square hole.
Wood stoves? Well, good luck with the firewod, maybe I’ll drop by with a sack or two of birch wood, to help out when icicles grow indoors. Norwegian Wood at market price, which I expect to be high.
Oh BTW. Did you notice, the report doesn’t mention a cut off of Russian gas supplies but ominously talks about a worst case which they DIDN’t model.
Similarly today all German media talk about dramatic decline in German exports but none of them mentions the Russian countersanctions (banning EU food imports).
So. The state and the media dare not mention reality anymore. They dare not talk about what is currently happening already. This is very bizarre. News have become news from a fantasy world. State reports have become reports from a fantasy world.
Expect a swift hard kick in the nuts by Putin in mid February just as a gentle reminder. Let’s call it unplanned urgent maintenance of the pipelines.
Not sure if a Russian gas supply shut-off would hurt that much. Germany has built a number of large underground gas caverns and so they have a pretty good buffer. Probably depends on the severity of the winter. So far I really haven’t seen any reports warning of a harsh European winter.
Germany might just limp along; but I doubt the broke parts of the EU will.
Given the choice between sitting in darkness during a freezing winter and supposedly saving the planet for generations yet to be born, my money’s on people saying bugger CO2.
Blackouts in winter in Germany would serve a good purpose. They would help focus the minds of voters on how they take energy from coal, natural gas or nuclear for granted. It would boost appreciation of fossil fuels and spell the end of green screams.
The entirely crazy new minority government in Sweden will enforce a collapse of the EU. Not satisfied with blocking Lignite mining expansion in Germany, they have now decided to go all anti semit.
@Dirk: “Oh BTW. Did you notice, the report doesn’t mention a cut off of Russian gas supplies but ominously talks about a worst case which they DIDN’t model.”
Of course not. If you look at the bottom line, you will notice that the report was finished on April 29, 2014. I have no doubt that things will have improved dramatically by the time August or September come around…
Well, USA stole the 40 tons of Ukraine Gold in March, the NATO putsch was in February. Things were well on their way.
Where in Germany (and the UK) are the hazardous waste landfills sites that will soon be required to dispose of the millions of solar panels now reaching the end of their life cycle, and the many thousands that fail and must be replaced? Recycling is a farce, there is little if anything that can economically be reclaimed from a bare solar panel. Storing the hazards waste material underground will require more land area than nuclear, and will requiring the same level of long term maintenance.
Will not amount to much volume in a toxic waste dump. Doesn’t radiate.
Biggest problem will be the Cadmium-containing thin film cells, not the silicon cells. Cadmium is outlawed all over the EU, but an exemption was given for Cadmium Telluride thin film cells, because solar cells were so important to save the planet.
A bigger problem by volume are the used dilapidated wings of wind turbines, they are a polymer glas fiber mix that can be shredded, but not recycled, and there’s a growing pile of waste. Researchers try to figure methods to recycle the junk.
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Stupid voters get the kind of disaster they voted for. Stupid is its own reward.