Germany facing power blackouts, struggles as a result of shift to renewable energy; cuts solar-power subsidies

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    Oct 15, 2012 7:22 PM GMT
    To quote another who believed that Germany's quest towards renewable energy and its unsustainable level of subsidies was justified: "Of course this can't happen here in the U.S., where corporations basically control our government through massive donations/bribes, so our energy "policy" remains strangled by fossil fuel interests. Still, it's great that other countries are leading the way -- too bad it's not us."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/9609777/Germany-facing-power-blackouts.html

    Philipp Rosler said Germany is faced with a repeat of the power shortages experienced last year that threatened to plunge parts of the country into darkness.

    "Last winter we had a pretty tense situation, and this year we could see the same again, and perhaps even next year as well," he said in an interview with the newspaper Passauer Neue Presse.

    The move away from old forms of energy production has become one of Chancellor Angel Merkel's key policies, and the government wants four fifths of German energy produced by renewable sources by 2050. To achieve this it has begun to take old fossil fuel power stations offline, and has also committed itself to phasing out nuclear energy by 2022.

    Filling the void left by fossil fuels and nuclear power however has already placed a strain on existing capacity in the national grid. During a cold snap in February last year the pressure on electricity capacity in the Hamburg region pushed the grid to breaking point and forced some heavy industry plants to shut down.

    Despite significant investment in wind and solar power Germany still faces an energy shortfall, and is also hamstrung by a lack of north-south power lines shifting electricity generated in North Sea wind farms to the industrial centres in the south.
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    Oct 15, 2012 11:35 PM GMT
    Gimme an old fashioned steam plant any day.....
  • Webster666

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    Oct 16, 2012 12:12 AM GMT
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  • KissTheSky

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    Oct 16, 2012 12:28 AM GMT
    The article you linked to a piece of garbage, journalistically speaking. Despite the breathless title, the non-news in this "news" story is that blackouts ALMOST happened in Germany last winter, and they MAY occur in Germany sometime this winter.

    Doesn't every country experience periodic blackouts and/or strains to their power grid? Here in the US, blackouts are not uncommon.. and we are relying on your beloved fossil-fuel power sources. In parts of the DC metro area we have days-long power failures every time there is a major storm. So fossil fuels are not the solution, sorry.




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    Oct 16, 2012 12:55 AM GMT
    KissTheSky saidThe article you linked to a piece of garbage, journalistically speaking. Despite the breathless title, the non-news in this "news" story is that blackouts ALMOST happened in Germany last winter, and they MAY occur in Germany sometime this winter.

    Doesn't every country experience periodic blackouts and/or strains to their power grid? Here in the US, blackouts are not uncommon.. and we are relying on your beloved fossil-fuel power sources. In parts of the DC metro area we have days-long power failures every time there is a major storm. So fossil fuels are not the solution, sorry.


    And yet, the issue in Germany is only getting worse despite the billions they've spent on subsidies. Blackouts are uncommon in the US relatively speaking - and they are almost always regional and the result of regional policies/weather. In the case of Germany, this is self inflicted but also predictable.
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    Oct 16, 2012 1:14 AM GMT
    The problem was isolated to the Hamburg region and only very temporarily affected some heavy industry. They have lots of power generation but a lack of infrastructure in the grid going North to South.

    And in before riddler starts screaming about the poor german consumer. They are paying 3.6 cents per kilowatt hour.

    Here in BC we pay over 60 cents, and thanks to our far right gov't if you go over 1350 kilowatt hours in a 2 month cycle, the additional hours are over a dollar per.
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    Oct 16, 2012 2:36 AM GMT
    Bullshit bullshit bullshit

    The black out was not caused by under supply due to phasing out of fossil fuel reactors but due to intentional forecast miscalculations by the energy suppliers to maximize profits. So plain old greed caused the blackouts.

    Riddler, take your agenda and shove it up your ass!
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    Oct 16, 2012 4:19 AM GMT
    meninlove said The problem was isolated to the Hamburg region and only very temporarily affected some heavy industry. They have lots of power generation but a lack of infrastructure in the grid going North to South.

    And in before riddler starts screaming about the poor german consumer. They are paying 3.6 cents per kilowatt hour.

    Here in BC we pay over 60 cents, and thanks to our far right gov't if you go over 1350 kilowatt hours in a 2 month cycle, the additional hours are over a dollar per.


    Damn, and in natural gas-rich PA I'm still paying 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour, plus all kinds of distribution costs. icon_eek.gif
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    Oct 16, 2012 12:07 PM GMT
    meninlove said The problem was isolated to the Hamburg region and only very temporarily affected some heavy industry. They have lots of power generation but a lack of infrastructure in the grid going North to South.

    And in before riddler starts screaming about the poor german consumer. They are paying 3.6 cents per kilowatt hour.

    Here in BC we pay over 60 cents, and thanks to our far right gov't if you go over 1350 kilowatt hours in a 2 month cycle, the additional hours are over a dollar per.


    Er.... try again. "Germany € 0.2541/kWh" - data as of May 2012
    http://www.energy.eu/#domestic

    And in BC? Data is *currrent*
    http://www.bchydro.com/youraccount/content/residential_rates.jsp
    "Under the Residential Conservation Rate, customers pay 6.80 cents per kWh for the first 1,350 kWh they use over an average two-month billing period. Above that amount, customers pay 10.19 cents per kWh for the balance of the electricity used during the billing period."

    Do you have better data? If so, do please link. Unless you enjoy making yourself look like an idiot, me thinks you misread the numbers by a *factor of ten* icon_wink.gif
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    Oct 16, 2012 12:08 PM GMT
    bhp91126 saidBullshit bullshit bullshit

    The black out was not caused by under supply due to phasing out of fossil fuel reactors but due to intentional forecast miscalculations by the energy suppliers to maximize profits. So plain old greed caused the blackouts.

    Riddler, take your agenda and shove it up your ass!


    You do understand what central planning is...? Well, apparently not.
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    Oct 16, 2012 12:15 PM GMT
    More here: "Germany Rethinks Path to Green Future"
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/problems-prompt-germany-to-rethink-energy-revolution-a-852815.html

    Germany's energy revolution is the government's only major project -- but the problems keep piling up. The pace of grid expansion is sluggish, and electricity costs for consumers are rising. The environment minister wants to fundamentally alter the way green energy is subsidized, but will it mean putting the brakes on the entire project? [...]

    The Renewable Energy Act (EEG) is the biggest cost factor in Germany's energy reorientation. The rules for the subsidies are quite simple: Operators of wind farms, solar arrays and biogas plants get a guaranteed, fixed feed-in price for all electricity they generate over a period of many years. Power companies are required to purchase this energy, but at a price much higher than what they get for it on the market. The difference is paid for by consumers through their electricity bill.

    The EEG both guarantees big profits to anyone who invests in renewable-energy plants and makes the construction of such plants attractive. More than a fifth of the electricity produced in Germany already comes from renewable sources. Not surprisingly, this has led 65 countries worldwide to try to copy the German model.


    It's ironic that there's someone here who claims it's the greedy industrialists who are the cause of the power shortages - again, these are self inflicted wounds. Sure you have some cronies who have participated in renewables - just look at the spectacular failures during the Obama Administration... (Solyndra anyone?)
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    Oct 16, 2012 12:38 PM GMT
    More here -

    "Goodnight Sunshine: Germany is cutting solar-power subsidies because they are expensive and inefficient."
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/project_syndicate/2012/02/why_germany_is_phasing_out_its_solar_power_subsidies_.html
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    Oct 16, 2012 3:49 PM GMT

    lol, that was intentional riddler. You always calI us stupid, so we thought for a change we'd grant your wish. *killing myself laughing*
    I also wanted YOU to do some homework, so decided to be as accurate as you sometimes are. icon_lol.gif

    Yes, I was trolling you.

    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif


    ...you keep forgetting that we've told you numerous times we've learned you can't be taken seriously. Should you ever grow up and realize all societal problems can't be solved, as HottJoe put it, with a math equation, then perhaps our opinion of you will change.

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    Oct 16, 2012 4:20 PM GMT
    I believe that some 20 years ago Germany restructured its economy, including workers taking pay cuts, so that now they are not suffering the consequences that other European countries are. Could it be that this energy restructuring that they are doing now may cause some current headaches, but in the long run they will be sitting pretty and mostly energy self-sufficient while other countries are hurting?
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    Oct 16, 2012 7:54 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    lol, that was intentional riddler. You always calI us stupid, so we thought for a change we'd grant your wish. *killing myself laughing*
    I also wanted YOU to do some homework, so decided to be as accurate as you sometimes are. icon_lol.gif

    Yes, I was trolling you.

    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif


    ...you keep forgetting that we've told you numerous times we've learned you can't be taken seriously. Should you ever grow up and realize all societal problems can't be solved, as HottJoe put it, with a math equation, then perhaps our opinion of you will change.




    Heh - too bad you fooled everyone else with your stupidity. Good for you icon_lol.gif
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    Oct 16, 2012 9:57 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    bhp91126 saidBullshit bullshit bullshit

    The black out was not caused by under supply due to phasing out of fossil fuel reactors but due to intentional forecast miscalculations by the energy suppliers to maximize profits. So plain old greed caused the blackouts.

    Riddler, take your agenda and shove it up your ass!


    You do understand what central planning is...? Well, apparently not.

    Obviously you still think Germany is a Communist country that plans stuff like Energy Consumption ahead.

    I maintain those blackout were due to greed and the rising Energy prices were what caused the Energy-providers to miscalculate the energy need short term, to avoid paying higher prices.

    Oh and btw, I think Germany phasing out nuclear energy is really stupid. I don't have cronies at alternate energy companies unlike you who seem to be a rank and file tea party bottom dweller.
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:11 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    meninlove said
    lol, that was intentional riddler. You always calI us stupid, so we thought for a change we'd grant your wish. *killing myself laughing*
    I also wanted YOU to do some homework, so decided to be as accurate as you sometimes are. icon_lol.gif

    Yes, I was trolling you.

    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif


    ...you keep forgetting that we've told you numerous times we've learned you can't be taken seriously. Should you ever grow up and realize all societal problems can't be solved, as HottJoe put it, with a math equation, then perhaps our opinion of you will change.




    Heh - too bad you fooled everyone else with your stupidity. Good for you icon_lol.gif


    Too bad you haven't checked the other forum where I mentioned this. icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:12 PM GMT
    bhp91126 said
    riddler78 said
    bhp91126 saidBullshit bullshit bullshit

    The black out was not caused by under supply due to phasing out of fossil fuel reactors but due to intentional forecast miscalculations by the energy suppliers to maximize profits. So plain old greed caused the blackouts.

    Riddler, take your agenda and shove it up your ass!


    You do understand what central planning is...? Well, apparently not.

    Obviously you still think Germany is a Communist country that plans stuff like Energy Consumption ahead.

    I maintain those blackout were due to greed and the rising Energy prices were what caused the Energy-providers to miscalculate the energy need short term, to avoid paying higher prices.

    Oh and btw, I think Germany phasing out nuclear energy is really stupid. I don't have cronies at alternate energy companies unlike you who seem to be a rank and file tea party bottom dweller.


    Central planning happens in all sorts of economies including democracies - but it tends to happen less and less. People - and consequently markets, respond to incentives. When governments pay high tariffs for certain forms of energy, what do you suppose happens? Why do you suppose capital gets reallocated because of it?

    Certainly you could claim that greed has to do with with it - but that would happen anyway - the cause was the incentives the German governments placed - and policies that were copied elsewhere. If you're looking to cast aspersions on people/tea partiers, etc, it's sad that you support policies that do support cronies at alternate energy companies and would overlook the corruption. Bottom dweller? I make no claim to class, but you clearly have none.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:12 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    riddler78 said
    meninlove said
    lol, that was intentional riddler. You always calI us stupid, so we thought for a change we'd grant your wish. *killing myself laughing*
    I also wanted YOU to do some homework, so decided to be as accurate as you sometimes are. icon_lol.gif

    Yes, I was trolling you.

    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif


    ...you keep forgetting that we've told you numerous times we've learned you can't be taken seriously. Should you ever grow up and realize all societal problems can't be solved, as HottJoe put it, with a math equation, then perhaps our opinion of you will change.




    Heh - too bad you fooled everyone else with your stupidity. Good for you icon_lol.gif


    Too bad you haven't checked the other forum where I mentioned this. icon_lol.gif


    Heh - that you are so deluded that I really care enough to read what you post elsewhere is well... funny. icon_razz.gif
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:20 PM GMT

    Oh, it's not my post you'd be reading; it's other posts.

    Never mind.

    (PS didn't it occur to you seeing we'd evenly made our figures all the same [X 10] that you were being trolled?)


    The point was to show you what you look like on here with your 'facts'. So we immitated you.

    btw Caslon left you a link about Harper wanting more poor Canadians on the Ryan dish washing topic. Best go look.

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    Oct 16, 2012 10:26 PM GMT
    Relevant -

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-lane-liberals-green-energy-contradictions/2012/10/15/8c251ba2-16e6-11e2-8792-cf5305eddf60_story.html

    Green energy is not cost-competitive with traditional energy and won’t be for years. So it can’t work without either taxpayer subsidies, much of which accrue to ‘entrepreneurs’ such as Gore, or higher prices for fossil energy — the brunt of which is borne by people of modest means.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:28 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    Oh, it's not my post you'd be reading; it's other posts.

    Never mind.

    (PS didn't it occur to you seeing we'd evenly made our figures all the same [X 10] that you were being trolled?)


    The point was to show you what you look like on here with your 'facts'. So we immitated you.

    btw Caslon left you a link about Harper wanting more poor Canadians on the Ryan dish washing topic. Best go look.



    Heh you seem to think that you're making a fool of me when you're the one who looks like an idiot. No I don't have enough faith that you can divide by ten or multiply by it either. And yes, when it comes to you, it requires considerable faith that you have knowledge of any of the topics you claim to have knowledge of icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:29 PM GMT


    This is working better than we'd hoped. icon_lol.gif

    If you notice, we've managed to take you completely off topic. icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    Now run along and play. It's fun to watch.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 16, 2012 10:32 PM GMT
    meninlove said

    This is working better than we'd hoped. icon_lol.gif

    If you notice, we've managed to take you completely off topic. icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    Now run along and play. It's fun to watch.


    And yet as it turns out, both our objectives have (apparently) been met icon_lol.gif
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    Oct 16, 2012 11:03 PM GMT
    Meeting energy demands is not so simple. There are benefits and drawbacks to every form of production imaginable. I think renewable sources are great, but people often overlook the negatives. Take wind and solar for example.

    First, they only produce when their respective sources are present, i.e. if the wind isn't blowing or the sun isn't shining, you get no energy. Furthermore, there is a limit to the amount of energy that one can collect from any one source.

    Take solar for example. The sun puts approximately 1.36 kW per square meter (the solar constant) to the earth's surface. This is a bit misleading, and when you take into account that at any time only half the earth receives sunlight, the actual amount of energy received is roughly 360 W per square meter. Compounding the issue is that even the best solar panels are, liberally, 60% efficient. This means that in full sun a good solar panel can produce about 220 W/m^2, so one square meter (about 1 square yard) can power three and a half 60 watt light bulbs. In other words, a large area for a small power output.

    Second, infrastructure. Assuming infinite turbine and panel production capabilities, there still needs to be a way to store energy accumulated during high output for use when output is low or zero or when demand is exceptionally high. This issue is currently solved with peeking stations, but in world where renewables are the only source of energy, the answer must be battery stations (this would prove to be technically difficult and very expensive).

    Third, how green are green sources of energy? Quite often the production of biomass, biodiesel, ethanol, etc. requires more energy than can be gained from burning it. Many toxic chemicals and heavy metals are used in the production of solar panels. Wind turbines require steel manufacture. Do the benefits of these sources outweigh their disbenefits?

    I feel like I'm rambling, so I'm going to stop. My point was that there is no good or easy solution, and that relying solely on renewable sources is not viable. Therefore, we shouldn't be so quick to legislate away any form of energy production.