Tag Archive | Germany

“How to Make Electricity in a Disused Coal Mine”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-17/german-coal-mine-to-be-reborn-as-giant-pumped-hydropower-battery

Germany’s decision to turn a coal mine into a pumped-hydro-storage station may solve two of the most intractable challenges created by its shift to clean power. On a local level, it provides new economic activity in a region where generations of workers have relied on fossil fuel for their livelihoods. On a regional level, it catalyzes the expansion of renewable energy by helping to maintain electric capacity even when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine.

“Chinese, Germans Seek to Turn Chernobyl Wasteland to Solar Park”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-13/chinese-germans-seek-to-turn-chernobyl-wasteland-to-solar-park

Chinese and Germans are among dozens of investors taking Ukraine up on its offer to turn the grounds of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters into a massive solar park.

Thirteen international investors are among the 39 groups seeking Ukraine permission to install about 2 gigawatts of solar panels inside the radioactive exclusion zone surrounding the defunct Chernobyl nuclear plant, according to Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Ostap Semerak. Two gigawatts is almost the capacity of two modern nuclear reactors, although atomic power unlike solar works day and night.

“Rising German Coal Use Imperils European Emissions Deal”

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-19/rising-german-coal-use-imperils-european-emissions-deal.html

The European Union’s attempt to cap greenhouse-gas emissions over the next 16 years is threatened again as rising pollution from the bloc’s biggest economies shows even developed nations want to burn cheap coal.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, boosted consumption of the fuel by 13 percent in the past four years, while use in Britain, No. 3 in the region economically, rose 22 percent, statistics from oil company BP Plc show. While Germany pledged to cut heat-trapping gases 55 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels, it’s managed 25 percent so far and is moving in the wrong direction, according to the European Environment Agency.

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The need for cheap energy is still a higher priority than the environment.

“Renewables Meet Record 27 Percent of German Electricity Demand”

germancleanenergy

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-09/renewables-meet-record-27-percent-of-german-electricity-demand.html

Clean-energy sources such as solar and wind met a record 27 percent of demand in Germany in the first quarter

Germany, Europe’s biggest clean-energy market, seeks to increase the share of renewables to at least 80 percent by 2050 to replace atomic reactors shuttered by 2022.

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Germany’s renewable energy performance is impressive, but its target is even more impressive.

“This Is What the Utility Death Spiral Looks Like”

AliceFallingDarkness

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/this-is-what-the-utility-death-spiral-looks-like

In Germany, utility revenues are spiraling down the rabbit hole. Will American power companies follow?

The German mega-utility RWE provided another dismal reminder today of the painful transition European power companies are undergoing.

According to 2013 financial results, the utility lost more than $3.8 billion last year as it cycled down unprofitable fossil fuel plants due to sliding wholesale prices. The yearly loss is actually quite historic; it’s RWE’s first since 1949 when the German Republic was formed.

This follows poor earnings news from Vattenfall, a Swedish utility with the second-biggest generation portfolio in Germany, which saw $2.3 billion in losses in 2013 due to this same “fundamental structural change” in the electricity market.

The problem is well documented: high penetrations of renewables with legal priority over fossil fuels are driving down wholesale market prices — sometimes causing them to go negative — and quickly eroding the value of coal and natural gas plants. At the same time, Germany’s energy consumption continues to fall while renewable energy development rises.

RWE’s CEO Peter Terium called it “the worst structural crisis in the history of energy supply.”

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Investors are not the only ones missing the renewable opportunity. European utility companies that have failed to change are also suffering and so are their investors.

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Q: Why don’t British consumers switch to German energy providers?

A: If they do, they should switch to providers that have a mix of renewables and gas; to be sure that their supplier does not go bust!!!

“Germany Tax on Own Use of Renewables Is First in Europe”

euros

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-24/germany-tax-on-own-use-of-renewables-is-first-in-europe.html

Germany is set to become the first nation in Europe to charge owners of renewable energy plants for their own use of electricity, part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s effort to contain rising power bills.

Germany would be the first European country to penalize the self-consumption of solar energy, something only Arizona has done so far. Spain is also working on a similar plan to ensure small solar power generators, which reduce total grid users, help pay for network costs. As many as a dozen U.S. states are also considering charges for solar rooftop owners.

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Germany’s “Energiewende” economic policy aims to make clean energy pay its way, in terms of helping to balance the budget, rather than to just live off taxpayer-funded subsidies. There is no free-lunch for clean energy providers in Germany.

 

The “Beautiful Alliance”

hollande

http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/uk_sidelined_as_french_president_calls_for_airbus_approach_for_solar_indust

France’s President Francois Hollande has called for an ‘Airbus’ style model of collaboration for the European solar industry.

On Tuesday, Hollande said collaboration with Germany in the energy sector would be a “beautiful alliance”.

“Germany has a head-start in renewables, but we have our vanguard in energy storage and power grids,” he said.

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Combining Germany’s competitive advantage in renewables with France’s competitive advantage in storage and transmission could be a game changer. It may also be the thing that stops Europe from  falling apart politically and economically.

“Dirtiest Coal’s Rebirth in Europe Flattens Medieval Towns”

dirtycoal

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-06/dirtiest-coal-s-rebirth-in-europe-flattens-medieval-towns.html

Europe’s appetite for cheaper electricity is reviving mines that produce the dirtiest type of coal, threatening to boost pollution and raze villages that have survived since medieval times.

Across the continent’s mining belt, from Germany to Poland and the Czech Republic, utilities such as Vattenfall AB, CEZ AS and PGE SA are expanding open-pit mines that produce lignite. The moist, brown form of the fossil fuel packs less energy and more carbon than more frequently burned hard coal.

The projects go against the grain of European Union rules limiting emissions and pushing cleaner energy. Alarmed at power prices about double U.S. levels, policy makers are allowing the expansion of coal mines that were scaled back in the past two decades, stirring a backlash in the targeted communities.

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The dark side of the “Energiewende” is to be found in the former Communist regions which also have the worst economic growth problems.

“Energiewende” is German Economic Policy December 31st 2013

germancleanenergy

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-30/merkel-says-balanced-budget-energy-take-priority-in-third-term.html

Merkel Says Balanced Budget, Energy Take Priority in Third Term

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Germany is committed to “Energiewende“. The policy must pay for itself by being budget neutral. This is the most radical economic policy of the 21st Century by any major global advanced economy. If Germany can achieve its objectives it will have solved the major economic challenge facing advanced industrial nations.

Good luck Germany!!!

“Merkel Embraces Coal as Rookie Lawmaker Makes Mark on Policy”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-11/merkel-embraces-coal-as-rookie-spd-lawmaker-makes-mark-on-policy.html

“For a first-time lawmaker, coal promoter Ulrich Freese made the most of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pledge to counter rising power prices.”

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“Choose your poison”

 

Germany’s commitment to phase out nuclear power, after Fukushima, makes energy prices so much higher that “dirty” Lignite Coal is now being considered as a substitute. Beggars can’t be choosers!!