You would think that with all the added wind and solar energy in Germany, along with all the conventional power plants on standby, all totaling up to huge unneeded capacity, there would be no need to import any power at all. Well, think again.
Photo: P. Gosselin
The German epochtimes.de here reports that German imports of electricity in fact: “rose by 43.3 percent to 25.7 billion kilowatt hours in the first half of 2020 compared with the first half of 2019.”
The epochtimes.de explains further:
One reason for this was the declining share of domestic feed-in from base-load-capable, mostly conventionally operated power plants, which mainly use coal, nuclear energy and natural gas. As a result, electricity was imported to cover the demand for electricity, especially when there was no wind or darkness. The main import country for electricity was France with 8.7 billion kilowatt hours.
Overall, however, more electricity was still exported from Germany.”
What the article does not mention, however, is the reason for the rise in export from Germany. On windy and sunshine-plenty days, Germany produces more electricity than needed, and so is forced to dump the excess power into neighboring foreign markets – often at negative prices. The negative prices, in combination with the mandatory feed-in tariffs and excess production capacity, all means higher costs for consumers.
Little wonder that at close to 35 US cents per kwh, Germany’s electricity prices are among the highest in the world.