A Quarter Billion Euros For Nothing! Poor Consumers Forced To Pay Phantom (Never Produced) Electricity!

Online daily Die Welt here reports on how German consumers are being forced to pay huge sums of money to wind park and solar plant operators who are ordered to stop feeding electricity into the grid, but yet get paid anyway!

As volatile green electricity increasingly gets fed into an ever more unstable German power grid, wind parks and solar energy producers are being asked ever more frequently to switch off their plants to prevent grid overloads. Yet, they still receive money for the power they would have produced. It’s one of the nutty peculiarities of Germany’s wacky green energy feed-in act.

Die Welt calls this never-produced power “phantom electricity”. But it is costing consumers real cash.

One reason wind parks are unable to feed into the power grid at times is because the transmission lines needed to carry away the excess power are too inadequate to handle the frequent overloads, or they just don’t exist. Die Welt reports:

Because power lines are missing, wind parks have to be switched off more and more often. Yet wind entrepreneurs get paid for not producing. The costs for this are rising rapidly.”

Making money (and doing so with absolutely no risk) has never been easier!

Naturally this is causing electricity bills for German consumers to jump yet again. Die Welt reports that just the green electricity feed-in surcharge levied on consumers will reach “a record value of 6.35 cents per kilowatt-hour” next year. Now consumers will also have to pay even more money for power that never gets produced.

Already this year it is expected that a quarter billion euros will be added to electricity bills for the green kilowatt-hours which were never produced.”

This, Die Welt writes, is based on calculations by the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur). The reason the estimated 1580 gigawatt-hours of electricity were never produced (but still paid for): “…because there was not enough powerline capacity to deliver the power to consumers.”

Consequently: green power producers and investors get off scot-free; consumers get the shaft.

The quarter-billion-euro amount is three times higher than the 82.6 million euros from a year earlier.
Die Welt reports that this warped market situation will only worsen in the future. As more volatile wind and solar energy come online, Germany tries to unload the excess power from it’s overloaded grid by dumping it into neighboring foreign markets such as in Poland or the Czech Republic, sometimes even at negative prices.

However these eastern neighbors are refusing to allow all the excess electricity to flood into their national grids unhindered. Die Welt reports: “Beginning next year Poland and the Czech Republic want to prevent German green power from coming into neighboring countries by employing power blockers at their borders, so-called phase shifters.”

So, on windy and sunny days, excess German green power will have no place to go, and thus this will necessitate the shutting down of even more wind parks and solar plants. That means the tab for the never-produced (phantom) electricity will continue it’s upward spiral. The result: even more money flooding up from the poor to the coffers of the rich.

No wonder the German model has become an export hit to countries with greedy green energy developers and investors! Making money has never been easier.

Die Welt summarizes:

Thus in the foreseeable future the German domestic power grid will be so massively loaded that there will be hardly any alternative to more frequent shutdowns of expensive wind and solar parks in Germany.”

That means more costs for consumers – for nothing in return.


15 responses to “A Quarter Billion Euros For Nothing! Poor Consumers Forced To Pay Phantom (Never Produced) Electricity!”

  1. DirkH

    And as all of this is subject to the arbitrary decisions of Merkels CDU, nobody can risk to invest – as market forces do not work, only political decisions count.

    (Greens and SPD are RELIABLY collectivist. CDU is unpredictable since they shed all convictions – you never know to which extent they will emulate the arch-collectivists next)

  2. Walter H. Schneider

    Insufficient power-line capacity is without a doubt one reason for cutting back on power generation and feed-in to the grid, but even more certain is a reason that the article does not mention, and that is insufficient demand.

    1. Bob in Castlemaine

      Walter, the funding of power transmission lines is like the funding of any other piece of public infrastructure, it’s based on the expected rate of return on the investment and unless of course the project is the recipient of post normal science justified free subsidy money, real world bankers would invariably conclude that a transmission line which with the most optimistic “rose coloured glasses” assessment might carry its design load capacity for about 15% of the time is simply not economically viable.
      But then that’s in the real world!

  3. John F. Hultquist

    Is it safe to say the negotiators for the wind and solar folks were smarter than those for the government?

  4. sod

    Sometimes i wonder whether you really understand alternative power. There will be a spill over of wind and solar power at some times. That is not a problem.

    It will give a huge boost to storage technology and could often be avoided by better grids and more flexible fossil plants.

    Do you folks really worry about these numbers and prefer to keep sponsoring the places that sponsor the terror in Paris?

    1. oeman50

      You obviously know nothing about running a reliable power grid. The “spillover” you dismiss so handily requires Germany’s neighbors to supply the generation flexibly they have retained by not adopting the German power plan. And storage technology? It has a place, but is also a way to have to pay twice for the same power. It works when the power storage is inexpensive, like nuclear power at night. Storing the most expensive power and taking the efficiency and transmission losses twice is ludicrous.

      And “sponsoring the places that sponsor the terror in Paris?” Very little power supplied to the grid comes from oil. So solar and wind do nothing to abate the flow of money to the middle east. You do more to “sponsor” them when you drive your car.

  5. sod

    Let us put things into perspective. Chiha has more and more idle coal plants.

    Basically they are wasting half of their capacity:

    “Coal plants now operate well below full capacity, with the average number of operating hours on the decline, the Greenpeace report said. Last year, thermal power plants, mostly coal-fired, operated 4,706 hours on average, 314 hours less than in 2013, according to the National Energy Administration. “At any given moment, more than half of capacity is idle,” Mr. Myllyvirta said.”


    The only difference being, that those wasted money does not immediately show up on a power bill. But it will of course in the future.

    1. DirkH

      Greenpeace, sod? Are ye serious? How is a warmunist political pressure group in any way shape or form knowledgable about objective reality? They are utopian fanatics, spinmeisters and propaganda experts.

  6. Loodt Pretorius

    Russia and now India know how to deal with cancer that is Greenpeace.

  7. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #205 | Watts Up With That?
  8. Mervyn

    It saddens me to see a country of great achievements now suffering in this way, all because certain powers that be decided to adopt the ‘green dream’ at any cost, even ignoring genuine scientific data that shows their ‘green dream’ is not compatible with reality of the real world observational data on climate.

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