Germany Aims To “Throttle” Wind Energy To Avert Grid Overloading …Branch In Uncertainty

Germany’s national business daily Wirtschaftswoche here reports that the country’s Economic Minister/Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel aims implement a plan that will throttle the expansion of north Germany’s onshore wind parks — due to the fact that rapid building is “overloading the power grid”.

Windpark Niedersachsen

Photo: wind park in Lower Saxony, Philip May, CC BY-SA 3.0.

This will impact the northern states of Schleswig Holstein, Mecklenburg Western Pomerania and northern Lower Saxony.

Wirtschaftswoche writes that the planned scale-back will profoundly hit the three northern states because they will receive support for only 902 megawatts of power capacity each year– far below the 1300 MW installed just in Schleswig-Holstein in 2014.

This limitation will be a major blow to the German wind industry, which is already reeling from uncertainty in the branch.

The measure is part of this year’s reforms to the German EEG renewable energy feed in act and will be enacted without needing Parliamentary approval, Weltwoche writes. According to the draft measure:

Power grid expansion is not keeping pace with the growth in renewable energies.”

In northern Germany wind parks are often shut down because there still does not exist enough grid power transmission capacity to deliver the power to the industrial markets to the south where demand is big.

The measure is expected to go into effect on March 1, 2017 and stay in effect until the end of 2020 – a period of four years.

The Weltwoche writes that the German greens and renewable energy lobbyists are angered by the upcoming move, claiming that the German government is putting climate protection in doubt and that it should focus on preventing coal and nuclear power from clogging up the power grid.

While Germany expresses bold intentions to make a rapid transition to renewable energies, it is in fact scaling them back.


34 responses to “Germany Aims To “Throttle” Wind Energy To Avert Grid Overloading …Branch In Uncertainty”

  1. Svend Ferdinandsen

    A ban is not needed. If they want to build more they can just do it and try to sell the energy on normal conditions.
    The wind lobby tells us again and again that it is the cheapest form of energy. Now they have a golden opportunity to prove it.

    1. AndyG55

      Waiting for sop to come in and tell us that subsidies and mandated usage and payment not to be so unreliable and erratic, must be maintained to keep it cheap.

      1. Graeme No.3

        No, he will explain that the problem is the limited access to the South so his solution will be to chop down the Black Forest and build several transmission lines on the now vacant land. I can be certain that he will ‘rationalise’ this as saving the environment.
        No doubt he will call for the army to be used to suppress opposition from those who object to his stupidity.

    2. sod

      “The wind lobby tells us again and again that it is the cheapest form of energy. Now they have a golden opportunity to prove it.2

      I should not have to repeat this over and over again.

      new wind power is cheaper than new coal. That does not automatically mean that it can enter markets run by 40 year old coal plants.

      1. Alan the Brit

        I doubt that it is cheaper, seeing as all renewables, aprt from hydro, require fossil fuel power as a back-up for when the wind doesn’t blow & the sign doesn’t shine!

        1. sod

          “I doubt that it is cheaper, seeing as all renewables, aprt from hydro, require fossil fuel power as a back-up for when the wind doesn’t blow & the sign doesn’t shine!”

          you can not simply invent rules for renewables. If you want to factor in backup., you also have to factor it in for nuclear or coal.

          1. AndyG55

            Coal and nuclear have never, and will never, REQUIRE back up from wind or solar.

      2. Walter Schneider

        Poor sod, if “new wind power is cheaper than new coal,” why are electricity rates in Germany now so high, the second-highest in Europe, indeed, of all developed nations in the world?

    3. Analitik

      Agreed. There is no need to discriminate against renewables.

      Day ahead market bids for capacity with fines for failure to deliver as contracted would be enough to keep renewable generation from interfering with grid operation. The subsidies required to cover the fines and still provide some returns on the wind/solar farms would be so ridiculously huge that the scam would be recognized by anyone who could add 1 + 1 and not get 97 as the answer.

      1. sod

        “Agreed. There is no need to discriminate against renewables.

        Day ahead market bids for capacity with fines for failure to deliver as contracted would be enough to keep renewable generation from interfering with grid operation.”

        i am totally fine with that. And coal pits have to pay the full price for all the land they use and have to pay the full damages that their pollution causes.

        And nuclear in Japan is paying for all the elctricity that was not delivered since fukushima….

        1. Josh

          Since so-called renewable energies embed the need for coal, should operators of these useless toys also bear the costs of the land impact of coal?

          Re Fukushima. It’s a cheap trick to be using a freak isolated occurrence (brought about by an unbelievable combination of natural disasters) as a case against all forms of nuclear energy.

          The shutdown of 40+ operable reactors in that country was unnecessary and has not helped the Japanese.

          1. Walter Schneider

            Re: “cheap trick”
            I can’t recall any arguments by sod that were not cheap tricks.
            Cheap tricks are sod’s SOP.

  2. AlecM

    No ruinables’ subsidies, of any kind.

    After all, there is no CO2-AGW of any significance – it’s pure science fraud dating from 1976; easily proved by any professional scientist.

  3. sod

    Gabriel is currently fighting against renewables. This has many reasons, SPD ties to RWE and to coal. Also the idea to position “centrists” as Merkel could actually be beaten in the election next year.

    germany has reached a pretty high penetration of renewables (over 30%) so adjustments and careful thinking about regional strategies makes sense.

    What Gabriel does is plain out stupid though.

    1. tom0mason

      No sod, they have realized that applying too much unreliable power, power that is not readily, or predictably, dispatchable to a grid system does not work.

      Ruinable power destroys the reliability of grid connected systems.
      Unless everyone can live on averaged power production, as you sod foolishly seem to think.

      Unfortunately ‘Instant Customer Demand = Instant Total Generated Power’ still applies.
      Reality has Trumped theory again.

    2. Mark M

      With 30% renewables, at what percentage will Germany prevent it’s first drought?

    3. stan stendera

      Shakespeare said it best: “What fools ye mortals be” You “sod” prove him right.

  4. DirkH

    Given the track record of the green SPD-CDU government my guess is: Subsidy sum will continue to grow with exactly 15% per year, from the current 35 bn EUR a year on; until the Green regime is obliterated.

    Election 2017 will see the formation of a Linke-Greens-SPD-CDU coalition to cling on to power for the Green regime.

    1. DirkH

      As SPD + CDU are no longer strong enough and will need to get other greenleft factions into the boat.

      1. yonason
  5. tom0mason

    The usual rule of supplying electric power to the consumer via a grid is :-
    customer demand = total generated power;
    no more no less.
    Customers’ demand dictates how much power is required.
    Of course that only works as long as you do not make customers an optional connection to the grid.

    That is the main problem with all this unreliable power; customers’ requirements become subservient to the problems of generation.

  6. gnome

    Ah but tomomason- I’ve noticed over the years that there’s nothing so disruptive to the orderly running of a business as customers. They’re always coming around wanting stuff and expecting service when it suits them. Very demanding. It’s all about them!

    Socialism was so much more orderly. You produce what it is convenient for you to produce, and the customers are happy to get what is convenient for you to provide. A well-tested model for the renewable energy industry.

  7. sod

    Tesla just announcing an island running on solar and batteries.

    the world is changing fast.

    1. tom0mason

      Another off-topic distraction from sod.
      Amazing that anyone with any capability to think has the idea that Elon Musk’s US government funded toys are worthy of any notice.

      More rich-boy toys, proving that if you pour enough public money down a hole, soon or later there’s a result. A tiny insignificant result. A wasted opportunity to use those same funds to better the lives of the many. Another Musk inspired pipe-dream.

    2. yonason

      Somewhere around 800 people for $9,000,000 (**).

      Total number of people in world ~ 7.5 billion

      7.5 billion/800 = 9,375,000

      9,375,000*$9,000,000 = $8.4375e+13 (optimal cost to power whole world with solar and batteries if they lived near the equator, and if there were enough batteries and solar panels, which there aren’t). Incidentally, that’s the amount Obama has raised America’s debt.

      (**) – That CAN’T be the true cost. Someone other than the island’s inhabitants is paying for it. It’s just a publicity stunt to impress weak minds like watermelon sod

      1. yonason

        “The project was funded by the American Samoa Economic Development Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Interior”

        We had “Obama phones,” and now we have “Obama electricity.”

        Neither are sustainable.

    3. AndyG55


      600 people on a tropical island that produce absolutely nothing.

      No heating needed, no cooling needed. Just TV’s for the tourists.

      I notice they don’t mention the cost anywhere on the web site.

      NICHE as best. All renewables ever can be.

      1. yonason

        Elsewhere the cost was given as $9 million, which seems WAY too low to me. Also, elsewhere the population was given around 800. Still not impressive.

        The batteries allegedly have a 5,000 cycle lifespan, but nowhere do we see what an expected cycle length is.

        Lets just hope that equipment is cyclone proof. The eye of Cat 5 Olaf missed them by just 15 miles, so they are clearly in range.

    4. DirkH

      sod 24. November 2016 at 10:02 PM | Permalink | Reply
      “Tesla just announcing an island running on solar and batteries.”

      Wake me up when Musk has built a “Hyperloop” steel tube train to that Island.

    5. Walter Schneider

      Poor sod, re: “The world is changing fast.”

      American Samoa
      Population: 790 (in 2010)

      Until 2016, being a small and isolated island, the populace relied on costly and *environmentally unfriendly* diesel generators to supply their energy. *However*, with the construction of a solar array, battery storage system and microgrid the island’s power is provided *virtually 100%* from the sun.[1][2] This solar array was constructed by SolarCity, and now includes sixty Tesla Powerpacks. The system *should be a more reliable source of energy*, and *was designed* to power the entire island for three days without sunlight and fully recharge in seven hours.[3]”

      Reading between the lines,

      1.) An island that has a population of 790 or so, an area of 44.31 km2 (17.11 sq mi), and is thousands of miles aways from the closest source of conventional, reliable energy is a good candidate for a system of electricity generation from alternative sources. It is not a good example for what will or should happen in the rest of the world and it other 7 billion-plus people. To project from American Samoa to the rest of the world is the equivalent of calculationg a trend with only a single data point.

      2.) “Environmentally unfriendly” is not exactly an objective assessment of the quality of diesel generators when the environmental impact of producing, operating and maintaining Tesla’s energy system is not mentioned at all.

      3.) “Should be a more reliable source of energy” and “was designed” relate to little more than speculation. It remains to be seen whether the design parameters “to power the entire island for three days without sunlight and fully recharge in seven hours,” reflect reality to the extent that American Samoa’s diesel generators can be removed and sold.

      It seems to me that it will be a wise move to keep the diesel generators around for a few years, well fueled up and maintained, so that they can be fired up when required.

      1. Graeme No.3

        They have bought 3 new diesel generators.

  8. Svend Ferdinandsen

    You could also ask who owns the problem with too small transmission capacity. The problem exists only for the wind turbines, there was no problem before.
    Some forgot to realise what they wanted and the costs.

  9. gnomish

    you will find that you are unable to substantiate this claim:
    “During the frigid winter of 2014, the number of “excess winter deaths” reached 49,260, of which about 14,780 were due to people living in cold homes that they couldn’t afford to heat.”
    Even tropical countries have ‘excess winter deaths’.
    the statistics do not automatically imply death from cold temperatures.
    in fact, when you (if you do) bother to examine the details of those deaths you find they really can’t be attributed directly to temperatures at all.
    it seems, instead, that old folks on their last legs who are about to die anyway do it during the holiday season.

    1. DirkH

      Well that is called the harvest effect.
      On the other hand, the warmunists use it the same way to get their “6,000 deaths in France due to CO2-caused heatwave”.

      What’s good for the warmunist is good for the taxpayer.

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