The online Die Welt here reports that storm “Herwart” which swept across Germany late last month – with wind gusts of up to 140 kilometers per hour – led to a wholesale electricity “price collapse” and thus “exposed the madness of the Energiewende“.
As storm Herwart waged, wind parks across Germany over-flooded electricity grids with power that was not needed, and thus forced electricity prices on the exchange to go deep into negative levels within just minutes. In a nutshell: grid operators were forced to pay to get rid of the surplus power. But that payment won’t go to consumers, as Die Welt writes:
The consumers get no benefit from this. For them it will even be more expensive.”
This is because as grid operators are forced to pay large buyers to accept the power that no one needs or wants, they will incur added costs, which of course will be passed on to the regular German consumers. Germans are already saddled with almost the highest rates in the world. This is despite the preposterous comments made by some media outlets suggesting that German consumers could even get paid for the disposal of waste power.
Market forces disabled
Die Welt presents a chart depicting wholesale power prices. It shows the price falling to -52.11 euros per megawatt hour. Moreover, the chart shows that these extreme negative prices have become more frequent over the past 18 months. Die Welt comments:
‘Herwart’ shows in a sobering manner the astounding design deficiency of the German Energiewende [transition to green energies]. “
Die Welt blames Germany’s Energiewende and the green energy feed-in act, which “systematically disable market forces”.
Thousands Of Older Wind Turbines To Be Dismantled
On another note, the Kiel, German-based Kieler Nachrichten (KN) reports “thousands of wind turbines will be supposedly dismantled over the coming decade because the state subsidies will run out“. “And according to the Berlin-based specialty company Energy Brainpool, these turbines will not be replaced if energy prices do not increase.
Subsidies running out
Economists of the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research also expect a decommissioning of a considerable number of older turbines. The 2020s could be a decade where Germany may start to see the end of the wind energy madness. It all depends on the price of electricity in beginning in 2021. Wind turbines originally were guaranteed fixed feed-in rates for a period of 20 years. Now that these early systems are approaching that lifetime and the feed-in tariffs expire, it is questionable that they will continue to operate.
Too expensive to keep in operation
Many old turbines are likely to be put out of commission because they require greats amounts of costly maintenance and repairs, and so likely will not be profitable to operate. The KN writes:
The current wholesale electricity price of 3 euro-cents per kilowatt-hour will not be enough to keep the turbines in operation…”.
The KN cites the Bundesverband Windenergie (German Association for Wind Energy) which estimates that some 14,000 MW of installed capacity face being shut down by 2023. “That would be more than a quarter of the currently installed onshore wind energy capacity getting removed.”
A monument to an industrial folly
The question that remains is what will happen to these thousands of shut down turbines. Will they be abandoned and thus leave the country’s idyllic landscape a mass junkyard – a monument to one of the greatest industrial follies man has ever witnessed?