Wind Power News: Germany
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
Germany’s green energy drive is proving surprisingly good for dirty brown coal as utilities squeezed by rival renewables and low wholesale gas prices use more of it. East Germany was a huge user of brown coal, or lignite, and Germany remains the world’s biggest producer, but its use poses a problem for Berlin’s environmental plans. Limiting brown coal use is politically difficult, however, with 20,000 mining and utilities jobs involved and any move that could raise already high energy bills . . .
Czech grid operator CEPS has backed a plan to build transformers to guard against excess flows of German wind-produced electricity which threaten neighbouring transmission systems, a CEPS official said on Wednesday. The move could complicate efforts to find a regional solution to the problem of surges of renewable electricity from Germany. CEPS Supervisory Board Chairman Tomas Huener told Reuters that the board approved a plan to install phase-shifters, or transformers, which will protect the Czech grid and could be built . . .
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s sweeping plan to transform Germany into a green-energy giant almost destroyed Nordseewerke GmbH, one of the country’s leading makers of wind-turbine foundations. Nordseewerke, which produces Statue of Liberty-sized foundations, ramped up its manufacturing capacity and head count in 2011 after Merkel declared that Germany would begin a massive project to install 25,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2030. More than two years later, the chancellor’s wind farms have been slow to appear, stymied by the difficulty . . .
Chancellor Angela Merkel is losing support from her two biggest allies in the utilities industry as their mounting debt prompts a retreat from renewable-power expansion, undermining her $700 billion program to reshape Germany’s energy market. EON SE (EOAN) and RWE AG (RWE) are reducing clean-power spending for the first time since 2009 to cut a combined 69 billion euros ($88 billion) in debt and curb costs. That limits funds for offshore wind energy, the centerpiece of Merkel’s plan to replace . . .
Often hailed as the showpiece of German efforts to promote renewable energy, until recently there was general approval for the country’s offshore wind farms. Now, however, the policy is falling out of favor. German electricity is to become greener. That’s the official stance of the government since its decision two years ago to go for an “energy turnaround” – opting to shut down all nuclear plants by 2022 and boost electricity from renewable sources. It’s a decision that has sparked . . .
BERLIN — For British entrepreneur Timothy Porter and millions of other Europeans who get generous financial incentives for solar panels, the sun has been very lucrative. Not only does the government pay Porter for producing solar energy he produces, at far higher than the market rate for electricity, but he can also use what he generates for himself. “It’s fantastic,” he said, admiring the solar panel he installed on the roof of his home in the English West Midlands two . . .
Powerblades, the offshore-turbine blade manufacturing subsidiary of Repower Systems, is allowing contracts with around 400 temporary staff to expire, as revealed in December. The job losses are due to delays in investment decisions for offshore projects in Germany and the resulting lack of follow-up orders. Some 120 temporary employees left PowerBlades by the beginning of March, while the others are staying with the company until about the end of July, Repower Systems said. Around 300 permanent staff continue in work. . . .
The German government is carrying out a rapid expansion of renewable energies like wind, solar and biogas, yet the process is taking a toll on nature conservation. The issue is causing a rift in the environmental movement, pitting “green energy” supporters against ecologists. The Bagpipe, a woody knoll in northern Hesse, can only be recommended to hikers with reservations. This here is lumberjack country. Broad, clear-cut lanes crisscross the area. The tracks of heavy vehicles can be seen in the . . .
Germany’s Siemens has had to postpone the link-up of another wind power park off the German North Sea coast, it said on Wednesday, after similar difficulties caused hefty charges and weighed on company profits in 2012. “The transformer platform for the wind farm Sylwin 1 off the coast of the island of Sylt will be delayed by roughly half a year,” a spokesman said. Soil tests had surprisingly revealed soft layers which would make a deeper mooring necessary, he said. . . .
German scientists are working to prevent the noise from building oceanic wind parks from damaging the hearing of whales and dolphins, after it emerged that the noise could be deadly for sea mammals. Anja Gallus, from the German Oceanic Museum in Stralsund, said the noise created by hydraulic hammers used to ram the steel base pipes into the sea bed, could kill in particular porpoises in the area. “Damage to hearing means the loss of their navigation and thus the . . .