As Snow Blankets Europe, EnBW Power Company Builds Giant Solar Panel Farm In Germany

Although Germany sees about as many hours of sunshine as Alaska, the country is pushing for ever larger solar farms. 

Germany business daily Handelsblatt here reports that power company EnBW is currently building a 500 MW solar panel park in Brandenburg, 30 km east of Berlin. It reported that it will be able to provide power for 130,000 households.

400 hectares

It will consist of three separate parks, which combined, the Handelsblatt writes, “will cover an area of 400 hectares. This corresponds to around 550 soccer fields.”

Vast solar field claimed to provide as much energy as one large coal-fired power plant. Photo: EnBW

“In total, the energy company plans to invest about a quarter of a billion euros in the region.”

EnBW says that the project “will operate without any subsidies” when finished and that it demonstrates that projects of this scale make sense. According to EnBW manager Dirk Güsewell: “Solar energy has become economical.”

70 billion euros in subsidies

Formerly solar energy in Germany was driven by massive subsidies via the renewable energies feed-in act (EEG). So far German electricity consumers have had to pay over 70 billion euros for the expansion of solar energy. Now the industry says that solar modules have become so low-priced that parks can be constructed and operated without subsidies.

Since 2015 the price of 1 kilowatt-hour of solar power has fallen from 9 cents to just over 4 cents, according to the Handelsblatt. Market experts expect electricity prices to stabilize at around five cents per kilowatt hour over the long term.

Investors are also confident that there still remains still plenty of space to install large solar fields, especially in the eastern part of Germany.

According to the Handelsblatt: “For the energy group, formerly known for its nuclear power plants, solar energy is becoming an important pillar of the ‘EnBW 2025’ strategy, with which the southern German company is completely aligning itself with the transition to green energies. ‘Solar energy is to become our third major pillar in power generation alongside onshore and offshore wind energy,’ says Güsewell.”

Concerning where all the power will come from during windless, cloudy periods in the dead of winter, no details are given.


16 responses to “As Snow Blankets Europe, EnBW Power Company Builds Giant Solar Panel Farm In Germany”

  1. Chris Hanley

    At the same time the German Government is intent on closing down perfectly safe operating nuclear power plants.
    What is going on in Germany and elsewhere is bizarre, even comical.
    The utter absurdity of solar PV in locations of moderate insolation like Germany is discussed here:
    I guess people must learn the hard way.

    1. Chris Hanley

      “… Since 2015 the price of 1 kilowatt-hour of solar power has fallen from 9 cents to just over 4 cents, according to the Handelsblatt …’.
      It’s not about cost, it’s about the lifetime energy returned as a ratio of the lifetime energy produced.
      As Euan Mearns puts it: “.. At the point where ERoEI reaches 1, everyone is engaged in gathering energy and society as we know it collapses! …”.

      1. Chris Hanley

        No: … it’s about the lifetime energy used as a ratio of the lifetime energy produced.

  2. tom0mason

    “It reported that it will be able to provide power for 130,000 households.”

    If this is so the all government official and bureaucrats, academic believes in AGW and this technology should be made to suffer by having their dwellings ONLY powered by this technology!
    I am of the firm idea that these wannabe elitists should be first to live under the regulations and technology that they would seek to impose on others ( for at least 6 months) . As these politician, bureaucrats, and academics are now the guinea pigs for the technology they should be intensively monitored! I’m sure that if such a regime were to be enacted Europe-wide then more sensible decisions would be made. Money wasting schemes such as this would be rightly shelved for all eternity.

    1. Ben Vorlich

      6 Months is far too short a period, they need at least two winters of misery.

  3. John F Hultquist

    I note they still use the euphemism of “parks.”

    “Euphemism is a figure of speech commonly used to replace a word or phrase that is related to a concept which might make others uncomfortable.” From Literary Devices dot net.
    And . . .
    “Euphemism derives from the Greek word euphēmos, which means “auspicious” or “sounding good.” From Merriam-Webster.

    Thus it is that a near complete ground covering (nature destroying) energy facility is claimed to be a park.

    From Wikipedia: “A park is an area of natural, semi-natural or planted space set aside for human enjoyment and recreation or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats.

    A park it is not, nor a farm

  4. It doesn't add up...

    I’m surprised they didn’t announce a PtG hydrogen facility with storage alongside it.

    Well, not really, since it would operate far too intermittently to make any kind of sense – who would buy hydrogen at the silly cost involved? A 10% average capacity factor is not enticing, except to the green unicorn industry. You might also think that the reduction of solar output in the UK from 12TWh in 2019 to just 10TWh in 2020 was a warning about how unreliable solar is even from one year to the next on average, making it difficult to plan for storage or the capacity you need.

  5. The Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D.

    More proof that all of this is a religious cult.

    And a crackpot paleolithic one at that.

    Nietzsche said that once Man had killed off God, he would then go looking for him everywhere. The green-‘n’-climate stuff is just what they have “found” for now…

  6. Ziane

    Nice topic

  7. drumphish

    Bee keepers discovered the land, soils, under solar installations returned to the original natural state, nobody doing anything to the land underneath, Mother Nature steps in a does her job. As a result, honey bees are kept under solar panels so the bees can obtain nectar from native flowering plants that will grow under the solar panels.

    Simpler solution would be to just return the 550 hectares to its natural state and not place any solar panels there at all, place bee boxes all around the 1400 acres and let the land be a native plant conservatory.

    A conservation reserve program of productive farmland instead of a solar park that will need constant maintenance for the entire time it remains there is going to be more desirable and beneficial.

    Move the solar panel installations to rooftops across all of Germany, problem solved.

    Got to be plenty of buildings in Munich to install solar panels, better use of the infrastructure.

    Forget your foolish ‘green’ pride and turn on the nuclear power plants, you’ll be glad you did. Problem solved.

    Problem solving and completion at work, how it does get done.

  8. garboard

    everywhere on earth receives the same number of hours of sunlite per year (not factoring in clouds or refraction } . it’s the low angle of sunlite that makes higher latitude sunlite less energetic per square unit .

  9. Joe Brehm

    Of course, that 5 cents is not including critical storage. I can’t believe the misinformative manner in which renewables are being presented.

    For every 100 units of renewable generation you build to satisfy increased demand, you also have to build 100 units of reliable on-demand back-up. Germany found that out the hard way and is now somewhat scrambling for coal and NG. I don’t see how constructing 150 – 200% (or more) capacity to supply a given demand will ever be efficient.

  10. oebele bruinsma

    Despite all the drawbacks of such endeavours, EnBW forsees a sunny future. The rest of us will grow hungry and cold of course.

  11. Lasse
    Many are trying .
    This from Arizona where they tried to capture the sun in a central tower.

  12. Hva er problemet med solkraft? |

    […] Handelsblatt skriver at selskapet EnBW skal bygge et «gigantisk» solkraftverk med en installert effekt på nesten 500 megawatt i Brandenburg, 3 kilometer utenfor Berlin. […]

  13. Solkraft: Lover mye, men holder lite. - Derimot

    […] Handelsblatt skriver at selskapet EnBW skal bygge et «gigantisk» solkraftverk med en installert effekt på nesten 500 megawatt i Brandenburg, 3 kilometer utenfor Berlin.  […]

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. More information at our Data Privacy Policy