Published on December 20th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan1
Increasing Wind Energy in Germany Pricing Out Natural Gas Plants
Renewable energy critics are convinced that Germany is going to see skyrocketing electricity prices due to it dropping both coal and nuclear. Well, anyone who looks at the long-term economics of all these options knows that clean, renewable energy is a winner (don’t be a hater, it’s just how it is). Now, natural gas is the newly adored fossil fuel, due to its relatively cheap prices right now (many claim it’s the cheapest electricity option these days), and it’s less-several environmental costs (compared to coal). But something I’ve been writing for quite awhile now is that wind is cheaper than natural gas in many (perhaps most) locations. Recent news out of Germany confirms that is the case there.
Due to surging wind power capacity in northern Germany (and its low price), Statkraft AS is looking to possibly shut down two gas-fired power plants totaling 1 gigawatt (yes, GW) of capacity.
Increased wind power capacity in the region has led to the gas power plants operating for a few hundred hours a year, from 1000-2000 a year previously.
Source: Bloomberg (via friendly CleanTechnica reader)
Northern Germany wind turbines via shutterstock