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Germany's energy poverty.

Post in 'The Green Room' started by jackatc1, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. jackatc1

    jackatc1 Burning Hunk

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  2. arbutus

    arbutus Burning Hunk

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    I flew over Germany a couple years ago. We landed once for fuel. It was daytime and I was struck by the number of windmills. Everywhere.
  3. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Interesting. I will cross post this to the nuke thread where wind is the answer for the greenies...
  4. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Actually I'm a greenie who is for 'all of the above'. And I think the der siegel article is sensationalist noise.
  5. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    After reading the article, it sounds to me like Germany has a management problem, not an energy crisis.

    "If there is too much power coming from the grid, wind turbines have to be shut down. Nevertheless, consumers are still paying for the "phantom electricity" the turbines are theoretically generating. Occasionally, Germany has to pay fees to dump already subsidized green energy, creating what experts refer to as "negative electricity prices."
  6. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    The volk over there that are the most horrified are the utilities. Wind is killing a lot of their profits by tamping down the peak price. If they can pass on their costs, the consumer will scream. If they made poor conventional investments during the renewable rollout, though, it is hardly the fault of or inherent to renewable energy per se.
    firebroad likes this.
  7. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Without the guarantee that power would be paid for regardless of need they would not have been built. Coal and nukes don't get the same deal, which would completely change their cost structure if they were paid for plants on idle. That's not management ,that's poor policy. $.26/kWh in Germany vs $.14 kWh for France.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    And that is exactly the reason we (USA) need to get off our butts and start working on a viable energy policy. The vast amounts of extracted energy from our land simply goes into the "market". Makes for lots of wealthy people, but it ain't doing a whole lot for the future.
    firebroad likes this.
  9. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    France is a whole nuther fustercluck. The 'cheap' nukes there are no doubt well amortized at this point, and had a lot of public support (including guarantees) 30 years ago. In 20 years we'll reprise the thread, and germany's 20 yr old wind/solar fleet will have 'cheap' power relative to the the next (expensive) replacement fleet in france.
  10. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Whether the electricity is expensive only depends on the yardstick you are using. I think 26 cents per kWh is not a luxury but dirt cheap. A human needs to work for about 10 hours to produce that kind of energy. That would be a wage of 2.6 cents per hour. It just shows in what convenient times we are living.
    vinny11950 and woodgeek like this.
  11. pdf27

    pdf27 Member

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    German energy policy is umm... interesting. Essentially they're busy replacing one very low CO2 source of power (Nuclear) with two more (Solar and Wind). Solar also happens to produce the most power at times when the spot energy prices are at their highest, which is nice for consumers if not necessarily energy companies. However, a worrying amount of the new power plants being built are brown coal fired rather than gas.
    The net result is that Germany is spending rather a lot more on green energy subsidies than the UK, and getting much less for the money. The wind and solar appear to be displacing nuclear and gas (at rather high prices), while the coal plant carries on as before. But for the Fukushima-inspired nuclear phaseout, I suspect they'd be doing rather well.
  12. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    Germany's electricity prices have always been very high (~30-35 cents/kWh)...natural gas prices as well. When I visit there I always take a warm sweater to wear everywhere since I am not used to inside heat being kept at what feels like 64 degrees F.

    Here is the counterargument for that Der Spiegel article...
    http://www.renewablesinternational....72&ARTICLES.COMMENTS.ACTION=doComment#comment

    And this shows just how big a break industry gets in relation to the average homeowner
    http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/st.../Electricity_and_natural_gas_price_statistics
  13. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    My state to a lesser degree will be following in Germany's footsteps. Although electricity is relatively cheap here, We have just authorized to have off-shore wind farms put in place. The bill is being footed by BGE and other suppliers, and the cost will be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher rates. So, in order to have a more sustainable source of energy, we will be digging deeper into our pockets.
  14. Doug MacIVER

    Doug MacIVER Feeling the Heat

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    Massachusetts as well with Cape wind.
  15. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Two major hurdles with offshore wind. The first is the transmission lines, which can account for 50% of the project. Its a lot of money but when you consider the quality of the resource its worth it. The second is its harder to build them on water than on land. Between the weather and lack of specialized equipment cost quickly spiral out of control.

    So on the construction side of it that's what we need: An industry. Ireland has recently re-purposed a shipyard port for offshore windmill construction. You build as much as you can on land to keep the costs down, then ferry it out into place. No nimbys no zoning no bridges or highways to traverse and they can make them as tall and loud as they want.

    The oil industry didn't start out by drilling in 2 miles of open ocean. But when you consider wind power is a function of speed cubed it makes sense to go after the richest resource.
    woodgeek and firebroad like this.
  16. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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