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Murks in Germany: Energiewende droht zu scheitern  

Credit:  Von Frank Dohmen, Alexander Jung, Stefan Schultz, Gerald Traufetter - 03. Mai 2019 - spiegel.de ~~

[Botched in Germany: Energy transition facing failure]

Für den Umbau des deutschen Energiesystems fehlen Kraftwerke, Netze und Speicher. Der Staat hat Milliardensummen vergeudet.

Es ist eine fantastische Idee, die Idee einer Energiewelt von morgen. 675 Bedienstete der Bundesrepublik Deutschland arbeiten täglich an ihrem Gelingen, in Bundesministerien und nachgeordneten Behörden, in Gremien und Referaten, in Ausschüssen und Unterausschüssen. Sie arbeiten an einer Welt, die in all ihrer Schönheit an einem Tag nicht nur Idee geblieben, sondern bereits Wirklichkeit geworden ist. Bei uns, in Deutschland. Es war der 22. April, der Ostermontag.

An diesem Tag schien die Sonne von morgens bis abends, der Wind trieb die Windmühlen im gesamten Land zur vollen Leistung, und als die Sonne unterging, waren, ohne dass dazu auch nur ein Wölkchen giftiger Gase aufsteigen musste, die erneuerbaren Energien auf 56 Gigawatt gekommen, was fast den gesamten Bedarf der viertgrößten Industrienation der Welt deckte. Es war ein Zauber, das perfekte Zusammenspiel aus Natur und moderner Technik. Leider hielt er nur für diesen einen Tag.

Die Wirklichkeit der vielen anderen Tage ist schmutzig und …

[rest of article available by subscription at source]

Paul Langrock / Zenit / Laif

===========================

From (computer-generated) English translation:

CO₂ emissions have declined only insignificantly during this decade. …

There is a central mistake made by the federal government when it decided the end of the nuclear age in Germany eight years ago: it opted to abandon nuclear power but at the same time failed to take its leave of the coal.

Wind turbines and solar panels were erected, and the coal miners continued to run happily. The government put a dirty system next to the dirty one. Why? Just to hurt no one, no company, no citizen. …

More than ten years ago, the Federal Government decided to build the transmission lines quickly, with around 7,700 kilometers now considered necessary. Of these exist so far 950 kilometers. In 2017, 30 kilometers were completed nationwide. …

Because almost everywhere, where a new route or a large wind turbine to be built, the authorities encounter resistance. …

Nationwide, the number of new construction projects has plummeted, 743 wind turbines went to the grid last year, a good 1000 less than in the previous year. In 2018, eight plants were installed throughout Bavaria. The wind power boom is over for now, the manufacturers are suffering. Enercon and Nordex are cutting hundreds of jobs. Senvion, known as “Repower Systems” until 2014, has filed for bankruptcy. The industry is afraid that a descent is imminent, as the German solar industry has already suffered. …

Even with the expansion of the marine wind parks Germany misses the original goals. Last year, capacities of less than one gigawatt were added in the North and Baltic Seas, 23 percent less than in the previous year. Chancellor Merkel inaugurated the wind farm “Arkona” in the middle of April off the island of Rügen. The pretty pictures of people who blew colorful toy windmills at the party can not hide the fact that even offshore is no longer a real growth industry. …

The green-power crisis is exacerbated by the fact that 20 years after the introduction of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the first wind turbines, photovoltaic or biogas plants will be phased out in the coming year. Those who installed a solar system at that time, often farmers and homeowners, sometimes collect up to 50 cents per kilowatt hour fed in, but today only 5 cents are needed for larger systems.

The state has redistributed gigantic sums of money. The operators receive more than 25 billion euros a year via the EEG for renewable electricity. Without the money in the future, the operation of wind turbines or solar parks will be hard on many owners. As is so often the case with subsidies, they create an artificial upswing, a straw fire that burns quickly and leaves only ashes. …

[A]s the number of wind turbines continues to increase, it becomes more and more common for operators to shut down the plants because the grid is over-supplied. For the failure, they get a compensation. In 2017, a sum of more than half a billion euros was incurred. Before so much money is wasted, utilities could just as well use and store the excess power. Then they could produce methane and hydrogen, which they feed into the natural gas grid, the lines are 500,000 kilometers long. It’s a kind of giant battery that could also serve as a buffer against dark skies.

Another possibility would be to turn the wind into methane or hydrogen and then into fuel, so-called e-fuels. Here one could also take advantage of the already existing infrastructure: the fuel storage facilities, pipelines or filling stations of the petroleum industry.

Economically, the whole thing does not pay. A large part of the energy used is lost, the efficiency is below 40 percent, when wind is first converted into electricity and electricity into hydrogen and hydrogen into methane. So far no viable business model can be developed from this.

Source:  Von Frank Dohmen, Alexander Jung, Stefan Schultz, Gerald Traufetter - 03. Mai 2019 - spiegel.de

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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