Recently German SAT1 television broadcast a documentary on the state of the European and German increasingly green power grid: “How secure are our power grids?” Due to the volatile and unpredictable supply of wind and solar energy, the grid has become far more unstable, the documentary warns. The news is not good.
At best: the consumers are getting a far lousier product at a much higher price.
At the 17-minute mark, Bernd Benser of GridLab-Berlin tells viewers that while grid operator Tennet had to intervene only 3 times in 2002 to avert grid instability, last year he says the number was “over 1000” times — or “three times daily”.
These intervention actions, known as redispatching, cost the consumer about a billion euros last year alone, says Benser. The SAT 1 voice-over warns that more power transmission lines are urgently needed if the Energiewende is to avoid “becoming a sinking ship“. However over the years acceptance by citizens has swung from a generally warm welcome to ferocious opposition. Politicians need to start noting that green energies have overstayed their welcome.
Major grid instability
And as wind and solar power capacity gets added to the grid without expanding transmission capability to offset the ever more wild fluctuations, grid operators are now constantly scrambling to keep the grid from spiraling out of control. At the 21-minute mark, Klaus Kaschnitz of the operations management of Austrian Power Grid remarks:
These fluctuations in the system that we now see have increased dramatically and are ultimately a product of weather events.”
The fluctuations are having a profound impact, Kaschnitz explains. It is especially difficult to keep the grid at 50 Hz frequency, which makes keeping the grid from collapsing harder and the powering of modern industrial systems highly challenging. At the 25-minute mark, the report then switches the focus to the grids’ vulnerability to hackers.
Swiss daily: “danger of a blackout rising”
Also the Swiss online Baseler Zeitung (BaZ) here reports on major power grid woes in Switzerland, warning: “The danger of a blackout is rising” and that power grid operator Swissgrid “must intervene increasingly more often in the power grid“.
According to the BAZ, in 2011 Swissgrid had to intervene only twice over the entire year. But since then the grid has become far more unstable, and that at the current rate it will be necessary to intervene 400 times in 2017!
In summary, the green energies have resulted in two outcomes for citizens: 1) a supply that is now far more unstable and 2) power that is far more expensive. In a nutshell: Far less quality for a lot more money.
That’s the expected result whenever you have the wrong people (activists and politicians) deciding how to run complex technical systems.