Green Dream Arrives In Germany! But Repowering Obstacles Pose “Imminent Catastrophe” For Wind Power

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The  green dream, with all its scenic beauty and nature conservation, has arrived in northern Germany. But now that green dream faces more obstacles. 


All is not so wunderbar when it comes to Germany’s wind power outlook.

Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act, passed in 2000, was intended to ensure the generation of “green” electricity. Operators of wind turbines were guaranteed subsidies for a period of twenty years  – with the hopes the technology would develop to such an extent that it would operate economically without subsidies.

20 years later, the wind turbines are still not competitive reports trendsderzukunft.de here.

Plagued by high costs

The first problem with the old turbines? The costs. They require comparatively frequent maintenance. “This drives up the costs, which is why operation is not economical in many cases.” reports trendsderzukunft.de. “A study has shown that at an electricity price of 3.375 cents euro per kilowatt-hour, only 23 percent of the old plants can be operated without subsidies.”

Feed-in requirement running out

The second problem: “The Feed-in priority” law which forced power grid operators to purchase wind electricity. “However, it is unclear whether this regulation will continue to apply despite the expiration of subsidies,” says trendsderzukunft.de. “This question will probably have to be cleared up by the courts in the end. However, many operators will probably not wait for this and prefer to shut down the old wind turbines instead.”

Sites will have to be abandoned

Trendderzukunft.de. adds: “By 2025, there is a risk of losing 2,300 to 2,400 megawatts of capacity every year.”

Moreover, legal hurdles prevent repowering, which involves “replacing several old turbines with one new and larger one.” The problem, reports trendsderzukunft.de  is that at many existing locations “there is a height limit for wind turbines. The installation of the latest generation of wind turbines is therefore not possible there. However, smaller turbines are no longer available on the market. In many cases, therefore, the sites simply have to be abandoned.”

“Imminent catastrophe”

For that reason, around 1,000 of 1691 wind turbine sites are affected in Lower Saxony alone and are currently not available for so-called repowering. “Lower Saxony’s Minister of Energy and Environment, Olaf Lies (SPD), speaks of an imminent ‘catastrophe’ for wind power in Germany,” writes trendsderzukunft.de.




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10 responses to “Green Dream Arrives In Germany! But Repowering Obstacles Pose “Imminent Catastrophe” For Wind Power”

  1. tom0mason

    Yep, the massive industrialisation of the countryside can now be seen for what it is — ugly and just about useless.
    Vast areas of crucifixes for a Green nightmare stand mocking German technological prowess.
    However if proper engineering rationality were to govern, the German people could have a more reliable electricity grid system with one (maybe two) nuclear power plants.
    Nuclear power plants that could have done the same job more effectively and overall considerably cheaper.
    Nuclear power plants that would not vent CO2 (as if that means anything), and with that acknowledged German engineering excellence would probably last 60 years or more.
    But it was not to be —
    German Engineering Rationality: 0, Germany Green Madness: 1.
    Very sad!

  2. Timo soren

    Some hope…

  3. John F Hultquist

    No one saw this coming, right?

  4. Henning Nielsen

    I look forward to the “liberation” of the North German landscape! But now that German politicians are threatening Russia with closing the NordStream II, where will they get energy from? Oh well, our Norwegian gas can of course come to the rescue, at double price or something 🙂 Moralism is not for free.

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    […] “Imminent catastrophe”For that reason, around 1,000 of 1,691 wind turbine sites are affected in Lower Saxony alone and are currently not available for so-called repowering. “Lower Saxony’s Minister of Energy and Environment, Olaf Lies (SPD), speaks of an imminent ‘catastrophe’ for wind power in Germany,” writes trendsderzukunft.de.No Tricks Zone […]

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