Clean Power

Published on July 12th, 2016 | by Joshua S Hill

101

Germany Confirms End To Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariffs

July 12th, 2016 by  


Germany’s parliament has approved a plan that will end renewable energy feed-in tariffs in favor of competitive auctions and clear volumes for wind energy development.

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany 2005 – present – cc by 2.0, en wikipediaIt was revealed in early June that Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel had hammered out a new agreement with state leaders to restrict onshore wind expansion to 2.8 GW per year, putting a clear cap on the volume of wind energy development. It is expected that the limit for onshore wind will increase after 2020 to 2.9 GW per year, while the offshore cap (applicable from 2021 to 2030) will vary from year to year to ensure that Germany reaches its 15 GW wind energy target by 2030.

The new reforms, which also include repowering older turbines, is expected to come into effect in January 2017.

“For onshore wind, the reforms set out clear volumes for wind energy deployment toward 2020 and beyond,” said Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope. “This gives the industry a degree of certainty on investments and the opportunity to plan into the future.

“The same cannot be said for offshore where there is a lack of stability in the volumes. The buildout rate after 2020 will be uneven as the auctions vary in size from year to year. The volumes are also less ambitious than other Member States such as the UK, which has committed to 1GW a year to 2030 and the Netherlands, which will tender 1.4GW this year and then a further 700MW each year to 2020.”

This move was confirmed by the country’s parliament this week, in addition to ending feed-in tariffs for renewable energy technology, in favor of competitive auctions — a trend being seen played out across Europe.

“The shift from feed-in tariffs to tenders is a trend we are seeing across Europe,” added Dickson. “Germany’s move was to be expected as Member States bring their support schemes into line with the European Commission’s state aid guidelines.”






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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.



  • neroden

    This is deliberate hostility to renewable energy and is an absolutely evil action.

    It’s all very well to eliminate the feed-in tarriff.

    But putting a CAP on the development of wind turbines is completely malicious and insane.

    • globi

      Exactly, and this is a cap, which means they could also install much less than that.

  • globi

    Germany currently consumes about 500 TWh of electricity.

    If the entire energy sector is electrified and this electricity is mostly produced with wind and solar it might need between 1000 TWh and 1500 TWh (depending on efficiency measures).

    2.8 GW at a capacity factor of 35% delivers about 8.6 TWh per year. So, for instance, in order to produce 1000 TWh with wind energy, it will take over 100 years.

    Unfortunately, people keep on forgetting that the utilities which own all the existing coal and nuclear power plants don’t want to get rid of BaU. Besides, the heating and transportation sector doesn’t really care too much about electrification.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I think you’ve got an error in your first two paragraphs. Germany would consume the same amount of electricity regardless of the source. If they consume 500 TWh now they wouldn’t increase their consumption if the were 100% wind or solar.

      I’m seeing 631.4 TWh consumption in 2013. It would take more GW of capacity to provide that if the source was wind or solar rather than fossil fuels due to lower capacity factors.

      • globi

        No, 631.4 TWh is not consumption that’s total production which also includes export and powering of the lignite diggers, cooling pumps etc. (Wind turbines and PV power plants will not need to power lignite diggers.)

        Germany would increase electricity consumption, if Germany would electrify the heating, hot water and transportation sector.

        A 100% renewable grid and 90% fossil fuel consumption in the heating, hot water and transportation sector would unfortunately not be sensible at all. Or what don’t you understand?

        • Bob_Wallace

          Sorry, I misread. I thought you were saying that Germany would need to produce 3x as much electricity if it moved to RE.

      • globi

        Electrifying the hot water and heating sector (e.g. replacing fossil furnaces with heat pumps) is just as important as electrifying the transportation sector.
        Actually, one could say it’s even more important, because it’s easier and faster as affordable solutions are already readily available.
        Unfortunately it doesn’t get the necessary attention because a water heater or a heating system with a heat pump is obviously not sexy (as opposed to a Tesla).

        • Jenny Sommer

          There is actually a lot more potential even in already electrified sectors.

          Einsparpotenzial bei Eco-Design-Directive, nur Standards für Wasserboiler & -erhitzer, brauchen EU 1584 TWh/a, Einsparpotenzial 391 TWh ~ 67 alte Atom-Raktoren (entspricht 11 Mal den 6 Fukushima-Reaktoren/35 TWh/a)
          “Coolproducts” Studie von ECOFYS,
          Basis Effizienzstandards für energieverbrauchende Produkte (z. B. Wasserboiler, PCs, Staubsauger, Klimageräte: Sparpotenzial 600 TWhel/a [von 887,8 TWh ist das 67,58 % der Reaktoren EU!]
          & gleich hohe Menge an Heizenergie könnten eingespart werden
          entspricht = 110 Fukushima-Reaktoren & 400 Mio. t CO2

  • Bob_Wallace

    Germany has limited area for onshore wind installation. That’s the reason they started taking down smaller, but not that old, turbines some time back and replacing them with much larger turbines. And why Germany is installing a lot of offshore wind.

    Germany can get it done. Germany is full of very competent people.

  • ROBwithaB

    In the long run, the only economic model that makes sense is real-time auctions.

    • JamesWimberley

      Why put spot markets on a pedestal? Instantaneous prices – not by auction – are needed by grid operators to establish a merit order for despatch. But an exclusively short-term focus reflects a weakness in fossil generation, that costs can’t be known long in advance. That is something that renewables, with very low and predictable running costs, can offer, along with nuclear. Long-term price certainty is valuable, not only the short-term allocative efficiency that obsesses Brussels.

      • ROBwithaB

        When I say “auction” I’m essentially referring to an open, supply-and-demand based market system, with visible pricing signals.
        In practice there are a multitude of “bids”, on either side, all the time.
        So yes, I suppose “spot market” would indeed be a better term…

        Spot prices are very useful in flattening the peaks of both demand and supply, by providing incentives to shift loads, to curtail production, and to store excess production.
        Spot prices provide an exploitable opportunity for the most flexible generators (and users) and thus make it easier (and cheaper) to guarantee long-term supply.
        Clearly, there are many consumers for whom it would make sense to secure future supply, and similarly many producers for whom it would make sense to secure future customers at a known price. Of course these people should be allowed to contract with each other.

        I’m suggesting that the basis for an efficient system is an open, transparent, competitive market with the greatest possible number of participants, and the shortest possible reaction time. Almost tautological in its simplicity, but difficult to implement in an environment of regulated monopoly utilities.
        In my view, the distribution and transmission infrastructure would need to be publicly owned, and ALL generators and consumers would have access to the spot market. (In practice, it would make sense for many to simply stick to a fixed price system. But the mere fact that they COULD exploit the spot market if TOU prices became significantly skewed would be enough to keep things honest. And should be enough to incentivise the optimum allocation of resources within an integrated system.)

        I suspect that the spot market is going to be the key to the integration of significant amounts of storage.

        • JamesWimberley

          How is your model different from current practice in Germany, Texas and the UK? India, China, Chile etc. have also split generation from transmission, to create efficient and competitive markets. The silo monopoly utility model of half the USA is a quaint survival.

          • neroden

            Indeed, only half the USA. New York and much of New England have also split generation from transmission.

    • globi

      That would only work if at the same time a heavy tax on carbon would be introduced.
      New power plants (renewable or not) could never compete against existing amortized power plants and thus would not be built in a country which is flooded with power capacity.

  • JamesWimberley

    Huge headline fail. The first paragraph clearly states that the plan is to phase out FITs for wind electricity, and says nothing about solar. The smallest sensible wind farm is one turbine of 2 MW, which is three orders of magnitude larger than the smallest sensible home solar installation, around 2 kW. Previous policy changes have ring-fenced the popular residential solar FITs and it would be a great surprise if this were to change. The big lizsrs from an all-aucton policy for wind and utility solar are the community cooperatives. The German government is actively hostile to the energy democracy movement that got the Energuewende going – see Craig Morris’ blog.

    The other takeaway is that unlike FITs, auctions try to control volumes. The government’s position here makes little sense. What us the payoff from a slow decline in coal rather than a fast one? To protect the coal sector, they would have to stop renewables and the Wende entirely, which is not happening.

    Fortunately, the attempt to restore technocratic control of events will break down in the next few years as costs of wind and solar fall to the point where it becomes profitable to build plants on a merchant or tied-wire PPA basis outside any incentive scheme. Governments could try to stop this, but I fancy such efforts would fall foul of EU competition law.

    • ROBwithaB

      “… a merchant or tied-wire PPA basis… ”
      Please explain, for us slow kids at the back of the class.

      • JamesWimberley

        As I understand it, a merchant generating plant sells its output into a spot wholesale market with fluctuating prices. Day-ahead counts as spot. A PPA contract is a long-term supply deal (typically 20 or 25 years) with an offtaker, such as a municipal utility or a large firm like Google. A tied-wire PPA is one where the plant is physically connected by a supply cable to the offtaker. British developer Lightsource have signed such a deal with Belfast Airport. Such deals need much less cooperatjon from the grid operator and regulators tban a PPA relying on the grid for transmission. I’m not sure whether the latter are feasible in the UK or Germany.

        • ROBwithaB

          Thanks.

    • nakedChimp

      Yep, my feeling as well.. the incumbents wanted in on this (if you can’t beat it – join it) and they now rigged the system to get a big piece of the pie.
      Deutschland AG.

    • globi

      The big losers from an all-auction policy for wind and utility solar
      are the community cooperatives. The German government is actively
      hostile to the energy democracy movement that got the Energiewende going
      – see Craig Morris’ blog.

      Yes, that and the fact that the installation rate can be controlled.
      There are two things the utilities want:
      1. As little additional capacity as possible.
      2. That additional capacity has to be owned by the big players.
      (Keep in mind over 99% of all current solar power does not belong to the 4 big German utilities.)

    • neroden

      Germany is explicitly trying to prevent merchant wind plants with this attack. This actually might succeed within Germany, but it will fail outside Germany as they end up importing cheap wind energy from outside Germany…

  • Brunel

    Which was the first nation to have solar power auctions?

    • Bob_Wallace

      From Wiki –

      “(Jigar Shah) founded SunEdison in 2003. The company simplified solar as a service through the implementation of the power purchase agreement (PPA) business model. That model changed the status quo, allowing organizations to purchase solar energy services under long-term predictably priced contracts and avoid the significant capital costs of ownership and operation of solar energy systems. The SunEdison business model is a recognized[vague] catalyst that helped turn solar PV into a multi-billion[citation needed] dollar industry worldwide.”

      PPAs were used prior to their extension to solar.

      • Brunel

        Innovative firm.

        But what I mean is, which federal or state government was the first.

        We read of UAE and India doing solar power auctions.

        • ROBwithaB

          South Africa was certainly one of the first. Our REIPPP was seen as very innovative at the time that it was launched.
          Dunno who else was earlier.

          • Brunel

            So when did RSA have an auction.

          • ROBwithaB

            “In August 2011, an initial Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued, and a compulsory bidder’s conference was held with over 300 organizations attending. By November 2011, 53 bids for 2128 MW of power generating capacity were received. Ultimately 28 preferred bidders were selected offering 1416 MW for a total investment of close to US$6 billion. Major contractual agreements were signed on November 5, 2012, with most projects reaching full financial close shortly thereafter. Construction on all of these projects has commenced with the first project coming on line in November 2013.”

            We had a brief FIT program before that, but it was soon realised that feed-in-tariffs were not the best way to achieve the desired outcome.

          • ROBwithaB

            Interesting to see how quickly the prices dropped in each of the subsequent bidding windows.
            Here’s a summary of the first few rounds of the process, including lessons learned:
            http://www.gsb.uct.ac.za/files/ppiafreport.pdf

      • JamesWimberley

        Brazil has been using auctions for a decade. They started with reserved auctions for wind, but it doesn’t need the fence any more and wins against thermal every time. They are following the same path with solar.

    • globi

      Feed-in tariffs are actually much more effective than auctions, because they warrant that everyone installs renewable power (no body participates at an auction with PV on roofs) and the administrative hurdles are significantly reduced.
      Unfortunately with solar power auctions, the installation rate of renewable power drops significantly. The solar power auction in Germany amounts to about 10% of the PV installation rate Germany used to have 5 years ago.

      • Brunel

        In the past, Feed in tariffs only helped the rich who could afford solar panels.

        Those that had a spare $8,000 to spend on solar PV.

        Even today, electrons from solar farms are cheaper than electrons from rooftop solar.

        It would have been better to build solar farms instead of having FITs.

        • globi

          Actually auctions only help the rich, because they primarily own the corporations that are large enough to participate.

          Financing a solar system has thanks to FIT (0% down) actually been much easier than financing even a cheap car.

          Besides, many more solar farms were built thanks to FIT than thanks to auctions, because the administrative hurdles were simply far smaller.

          • Brunel

            It is cheaper to build a solar farm than a traditional 4000MW power station – that is the domain of large firms.

            I think India do not have FITs but solar power auctions instead.

            Rooftop solar almost never has tracking. While solar farms do – thus they can catch more sunlight daily.

            And again, solar farms sell electrons for a lower price than rooftop solar.

            Do we want cheaper power or more costly power?

            Also, many people live in apartments, so they cannot have rooftop solar.

          • globi

            5 years ago Germany installed over 7 GW of PV power thanks to FIT.
            If India had FITs like Germany, it would be at 100 GW of PV per year.

            Solar auctions lead to higher prices than the FIT would have been last year in Germany: http://www.pv-magazine.de/nachrichten/details/beitrag/bezuschlagte-photovoltaik-projekte-zwischen-8-48-und-9-43-cent-je-kilowattstunde_100019086/

            Fixed east-west arranged solar farms catch more sunlight per m^2 than solar farms with tracking modules (because they don’t need to take into account shading).

            Rooftop solar has many advantages over centralized solar farms:
            1. They create more and more local jobs.
            2. They increase the installation rate of renewable power.
            3. Rooftop solar doesn’t require any new space. The rooftop available per capita in the developed countries is huge and corresponds to about 200m^2 or 30 kW per persons. With one billion people that’s approximately 30’000 GW of PV.
            4. Rooftop solar reduces the load on the grid.
            5. Rooftop solar enables the crucial electrification of the hot water sector without costly reinforcement of the grid.

          • Brunel

            Solar farms can have robots to clean panels.

            Barren land is cheap.

            SolarCity sell electrons from rooftop solar for 15c/kWh. While solar power from farms is less than half that price.

            There is a risk that a cricket ball lands on the roof and damages the panels. Or that the panels get stolen.

            Or that people cut trees to install rooftop solar.

            But I do agree that rooftop solar, perhaps protected by a replaceable sheet of glass, would be good for off-grid villages.

          • globi

            Besides, that FITs used to be in place for both farms and rooftops: FITs in foggy Germany are lower than what SolarCIty charges in sunny California (which says more about SolarCity than anything else).
            Also, solar farms compete at whole sale while rooftops compete at end-user pricing.

            I’m not against solar farms but I’m against not using millions of shade-free rooftops already available.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Solar panels are pretty tough.

          • neroden

            Solar on roofs is going to be pure self-consumption, quite soon. Spain has attempted to ban and tax that, but nobody will tolerate a “tax on the sun” for long.

          • Jenny Sommer

            There is no way of hiding a solar panel. They also tax pools.

          • globi

            Well, let’s hope so.

  • Mallu

    With the maximum cap for Renewables between 40-45% in 2025 and the complete nuclear phaseout by 2022 it easy to calculate that in the best case scenario Germany will achieve mimimal CHG reductions in the electricty production by then. 14,1% of Co2 free production will leave and that has to be replaced first. So that means that no change in coal usage will happen and lignite burning continues with no end in sight. Germany also scrapped all coal phaseout plans, its funny you can shut a NPP anytime but when it comes shutting down coal then suddenly you have to be careful since you dont want rush things along. Then again even the Energiewende people themselves admitted that this has never been about the climate.

    • Harry Johnson

      Yep, the only hope for Germany, and the rest of the world, is that current renewable energy policies will be deemed completely insufficient in the coming years. Perhaps by 2025, everyone will finally realize we need to stop burning crap as soon as possible.

      • Mallu

        Ha ha haaa, not even remotely close for 2 reasons. Firstly as long as the traditional enviromental movement pits Renewables against Nuclear the the coal and gas lobby keeps laughing their ass off on the way to the bank. Secondly energy cosumption is on the rise globally and the rate we are building renewables it is not even enough to cover the increased use of energy let alone replace fossil fuels. The world increases. Also the major problem with all RE scenarios are that globally energy cosumption msut deacrease between 30-70%, at the same time the global population will increase to 9 Billion in 2050, so firslty we need to cut nergy consumption by massive amounts and at the same time find energy to 2 billion more people to consume, this eqvation makes perfect sense.

        • sault

          In my experience, it’s always the nuclear power supporters that barge into lots of conversations about renewable energy just to spread FUD and troll the thread. In the real world, nuclear power has sucked up the vast majority of government support and left little for renewable energy. And given nuclear power’s spectacular failures over the past few decades, this was throwing good money after bad and depleting the government’s ability to foster real energy solution like renewables. And given that lots of major utilities own both nuclear and fossil power plants, they aren’t opposed to one another like you suggest. If anything, given nuclear power supporters’ penchant for spreading climate denial propaganda when trashing renewables, it looks as if fossil and nuclear power interests are on the same team against renewable energy.

          As for your second point, you’re conflating primary energy consumption with actual energy services used. Primary energy consumption can be cut a great deal just by switching to renewable energy. For example, even an advanced coal power plant throws away 60% of the energy from the coal it burns as waste heat. We don’t need to replace these BTUs of waste heat with renewable energy, we just need to continue supplying the 40% of usable electrical energy the coal plant generates with clean energy. For petroleum-powered cars, switching to EVs saves 80% on the energy used per mile. So when you take fuel-switching into account, the amount of energy we need to generate falls considerably. In addition, the total potential of energy efficiency has hardly been tapped so far. I’m not saying there won’t have to be lifestyle and structural economic changes as well, but the situation is not as dire as you make it out to be. And specifically in Germany, energy consumption has been falling for years, so your point isn’t even applicable to what was covered in the article.

          • Mallu

            The exlapin to me why developing worlds in all these scenarios get 1/4 of the allocated energy that industrialised countries get when total energy is converted to PJ?

          • Patricia9652

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          • Ulenspiegel

            Again, do you understand how primary energy and final energy is calculated for different generators? Where are the inconsistencies? Is primary energy a useful number?

          • Wanda8571

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          • Bob_Wallace

            Here’s a good way to understand the difference between primary and final energy. This graph is for the US in 2014.

            Primary energy on the left. On the right is final energy and wasted energy.

            .

          • Brunel

            On Greentech Media, a lot of astroturfers from the nuclear industry comment under articles.

            It is pathetic of GTM to not block them trolls.

          • Mallu

            I’m sorry for even daring to question things. I am sorry for not being ideologically pure, I will try to be ideologically pure from now on. This dosent change the fact that Germany will burn lignite for decades to come we shall ignore this fact.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Germany will continue to burn some coal for decades. Germany does not have a source of natural gas and will need to keep using some coal as they grow their renewable sourcing.

          • Russia! Which flies in stark contrast with Germany’s goal to be energy independent.

          • JamesWimberley

            That is why German natural gas power plants have been mothballed.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I meant domestic source. Left out some words.

          • Larmion

            Germany does produce quite a bit of NG domestically. About 10-15% of consumption has historically come from domestic production, and that excludes biogas (which now has a not inconsiderable share in NG-based electricity production).

            Granted, 15% still isn’t much. But it’s worth mentioning, I think. Fracking could potentially increase domestic NG production even more, but that’s neither politically nor economically viable atm. Conventional gas production has fallen even faster than gas consumption in recent years.

            http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/germanyoss.pdf

          • Brunel

            You never know what will happen in decades – apart from the fact that batteries will be much cheaper then.

            Along with solar panels.

            You are obviously a troll.

          • Jenny Sommer

            P2G is also moving along. Just read about some houses today that will be totally independent with Solar+P2G.

          • super390

            And Britain will bankrupt itself and the French nuclear construction monopoly trying to finish Hinkley Point C instead of buying more wind and solar. You don’t dare to question the stupidity of that because you are an ideologically pure nuclear cultist.

          • JamesWimberley

            What motive does Hollande now have for exposing EDF’s balance sheet and the pensions of its workers to the huge risks of Hinkley C? The project is a dead man walking.

          • Ross

            We won’t ignore it. It all has to go.

          • sault

            The page views from the constant back-and-forth from both sides probably doesn’t bother them. Not saying it’s right, but it happens.

          • Brunel

            But the pro-nuclear commenters get away with anything.

            After being caught with his radioactive pants down, one said to me “blah, blah, blah, sky is blue therefore nuclear is bad”

            What a moron!

          • neroden

            I read less and less GTM because they don’t moderate their comment sections. Which is lazy of them and shows that there’s no point in giving them page views.

      • Ross

        We’ll be two reviews into the COP process by then. Support for more action is likely to steadily increase every year. The renewable energy transition has the wind on its back and its future looks sunny.

    • sault

      “Then again even the Energiewende people themselves admitted that this has never been about the climate.”

      Citation?

      • Mallu

        Craig Morris and Aarne Jungjohann wrote a book about the energiewende, Morris wrote on twitter the following. “Benefit of energy transition: energy democracy. Cobenefit: climate change mitigation.” So it was never about the climate in the first place. Aarne said on twitter when he was in charge of the energiewende twitter account the following. So you see it has never been about the climate and never will be.

        • Bob_Wallace

          There was significant pressure to close nuclear plants in Germany before pressure to combat climate change grew.

          Germany’s goal now is to both close nuclear plants and fossil fuel plants. Would it have been easier to eliminate CO2 if the nuclear plants were allowed to stay in operation? Sure. But that’s not going to happen so suck it up and face reality.

          Now this page is about renewable energy. Let’s have no more off-topic nuclear stuff.

          • Mallu

            Well I wish Germany good luck in their plan. They have managed to cut 40mt Co2 from energy production since 2003. It is now at 340MT from 380MT Co2 in 2003. At this rate it will take 110 years to decarbonise electricity production, not to mention transport or industry.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Germany will miss their short term CO2 goal slightly. Or possibly not. They should meet their 2050 goal of being CO2 free.

            The short term problem is a result of the Fukushima meltdown which caused a speedup of the nuclear shutdown schedule. It stalled things out for about three years.

            I would suggest you not attempt to paint Germans as idiots. You’re likely to end up eating crow.

          • Mallu

            Well loking at the results so far one does get the impression that they are not really doing anyting, now If the Germans would just say publically that they want to shut down nuclear and dont care about the climate I would be fine with it. Now they say we care more about the climate than anyone else…………..but we also are going to shut down a major source of Co2 free production and leave on the biggest air pollutioner for decades to come because we are Germany. That is pure hypocrisy. and I have a very low tolerance for hypocrites. As I said for renewable suporters Germany better succeed in their decarbonisation and fast.

          • super390

            A hypocrite is someone who probably refuses to even look at studies that take into account the amount of CO2 created due to concrete for building new nuclear reactors. I wish coal cultists and nuclear cultists would just join rival militias in Syria where they could express their feelings honestly with bombs and swords and leave the rest of us to have actual negotiations to save the actual world.

          • Mallu

            Aah you meen the great study by Jan Willem Storm Van Leeuwen were he got the energy usage of the uranium mine in Namibia to consume 2x more energy than the entire country consumed primary energy and 69x more than the mine itself said they used. He also calculated that the construction of Forsmark NPP consumed 240PJ of energy when the Swedish Goverments own calculations only came o a result of 8PJ, In other words it took 3x more energy to construct the NPP than Sweden had available to them and they were building 4 others during that same time period. Sure that is totally plausible.

          • Bob_Wallace

            ” If the Germans would just say publically that they want to shut down nuclear and dont care about the climate I would be fine with it”

            Be feeling fine. Germany has said that it intends to shut down nuclear and deal with climate change. Sleep well tonight.

            Now, let’s see how Germany is doing.

            Fossil fuel use for electricity? Down.

            CO2 emissions? Down. (See that small increase for 2011, 2012 and 2013? Fukushima.)

          • 33% renewable is worth talking about. Emission reductions can come after the fact but having alternate generation is the largest step that must happen first in any scenario.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            I’m not sure what is going on in Germany. On the surface it seems they are self-destructing. However I think I’m missing something. Perhaps wind and solar have reached a threshold where government support is not needed? That after a hiccup it’s low price will be all that is needed to quickly replace all fossil-fuels? I hope so.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Put simply, the government feels that wind and solar are now cheap enough that they no longer need subsidies.

            I assume they’ve mapped it out to see if there would continue to be installations at a high enough rate to replace coal and nuclear on whatever timeline they’ve adopted.

            I also assume that if installations don’t go as fast as they want the government will implement some sort of catalyst.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            It’s impossible to install at a high enough rate. They’ve got a good thing going and they are now messin with it.

          • nakedChimp

            The incumbents want in, so they finally got it set up so that they can have a part in this.
            It took them what.. 5 years?

          • globi

            No new power plant can be built without some sort of support.
            Germany has more than enough amortized power capacity on tap and the electricity consumption is shrinking.
            Which is also why the German utilities (as all the other utilities in the EU) who own most of the capacity, made sure that the feed-in tariffs has been reduced and will be stopped entirely and that a solar tax was introduced:
            http://www.pv-tech.org/news/germany_approves_solar_self_consumption_levy

          • Brunel

            After looking at his comments, I think he is a troll.

          • Bob_Wallace

            More likely a nuclear advocate. Someone who believes in something that facts don’t support.

          • Mallu

            I care about getting rid of Co2, and if decide to pit 2 carbon free sources against each other we will gain nothing only the fossil fuel industry will win. Also to Bob France managed in 15 years to decarbonise their electricty production….by accident. Germany started the Energiewende in 2000 and they aren’t even close to reach decarbonisation.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Your concern has been noted. Further off topic posts will be removed. And if you can’t demonstrate self-control you will be as well.

          • Germany is attacking both CO2 and nuclear at the same time. All the more impressive than what France achieved.

          • nakedChimp

            Mallu is a nuke-boy. Has been one since he first posted on CT.

          • Brunel

            Ban him from further comments.

          • Mallu

            I like your style

          • Ross

            He should just become a fan boy of the scientific research done at CERN and other research labs and forget about the dalliance with it as a power source and nuclear bomb material production source.

          • super390

            Considering that Germany was one of the countries least hurt by the ’08 crash, and its economy has continued to grow through all that – unlike the parts of Europe crushed by Germany’s wealthy banks – it wasn’t easy to reduce energy consumption. However, you must also consider that Germany’s population is now so damn old that it might actually shrink through dying off, the way Japan’s population is. There might be a lot fewer Germans using electricity in a generation.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            A shrinking population is probably a good thing.

          • Bob_Wallace

            In general, yes. Just not at too fast a rate and not for the wrong reason.
            We need to get the global fertility rate below 2.1 in order to hit peak population and start a downsizing. We’re right now around 2.4. It’s best to not downsize too rapidly in order to keep from becoming top heavy with old folks.

            I’d like to see us get below 2.1 and drift down to less than 3 billion people, perhaps 2 billion. We could return major parts of the land to other species and stop crowding ourselves.

          • That will never happen.

            If we use a sustainable model, the Earth can easily support 10 billion people. Much good work has been done on this by the UNDP and the UNSDSN and by some prestigious universities.

            By 2060, we will be at 10 billion.

            Whether it will be in the form of a sustainable economy/environmental model, is as yet, unknown.

            Let’s hope it is a sustainable model.

            Note: As you know, we can’t suddenly ‘swoop in’ at the 2059 mark and magically switch to a sustainable model.

            We must plan to be at 100% renewable energy by 2050 at the latest, which means at the very least, that all new primary energy generation must be of the renewable kind — every year after 2020.

            (Rough calculation) In the 30 years from 2020 to 2050 if all new primary generation is renewable from 2020-onwards, that means that most, or all, of presently-existing primary fossil fuel generation will have been decommissioned due to retirement. (Especially with a bit of regulatory help)

            Therefore, by default, 100% of all primary power generation in 2051 will be renewable energy.

            But only if we act now.

            “The future has not been written. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.” — T3

            Cheers, JBS

          • No way

            “But What is Our Focus?

            Technology-wise, our focus is solar power, clean transport, wind power, energy efficiency, and energy storage. However, we also get into many other topics — geothermal, hydropower, nuclear power, climate change, etc.”

            Source: Cleantechnica.com’s About page

            This site is not only about renewable energy, it’s about clean tech and that is a category which fits nuclear perfectly.

            I know that your personal bias prefers fossil fuels ahead of nuclear, but can you please stop pushing your agenda onto the site?
            Nuclear has had and will have an important role in the environmental fight for a long time to come, so suck it up and face reality.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You don’t know my stance on nuclear, clearly. Let me tell you what it is.

            1) New nuclear is too expensive to even consider adding any more. The money used for nuclear could supply much more power if spent on renewable technology and those systems would come online years sooner and let us cut fossil fuel use much sooner.

            2) Old, paid off, nuclear is affordable. At least some of it is. We should use it if we’re able to assure ourselves of the individual plant’s safety.

            3) If we did not have affordable renewable technology then we should bite the bullet and pay the extra premium for nuclear produced electricity in order to avoid extreme climate change.

            Along with the cost of nuclear comes the external costs of radioactive wastes and potential meltdowns, but even adding them in we’d be better off with nuclear than with extreme climate change.

            OK, understand my position now?

            Now, let’s look at nuclear’s place in the world. In the early 1990s nuclear provided 17.5% of global electricity but has fallen fairly constantly since. Nuclear is now down under 11% and shows every sign of dropping further.

            Nuclear’s time has come and passed.

            .

          • globi

            Actually, the “Energiewende-law” says nothing about nuclear power.
            https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz#Ziele.2C_Prinzip_und_Struktur

            It’s goals are:
            * Development of sustainable energy sources
            * Reduction of the external costs of the energy sector
            ” Reduction of fossil fuel consumption
            * Support the development of renewable energy sources

            Which doesn’t mean that the majority of the Germans don’t want nuclear energy, but this is unrelated to the “Energiewende” or German Renewable Energy Sources Act.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “The term Energiewende was contained in the title of a 1980 publication by the German Öko-Institut, calling for the complete abandonment of nuclear and petroleum energy.[11] On 16 February 1980, the German Federal Ministry of the Environment also hosted a symposium in Berlin, called Energiewende – Atomausstieg und Klimaschutz (Energy Transition: Nuclear Phase-Out and Climate Protection). ”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_transition_in_Germany

            “The anti-nuclear movement in Germany has a long history dating back to the early 1970s when large demonstrations prevented the construction of a nuclear plant at Wyhl.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-nuclear_movement_in_Germany

          • globi

            I showed the legal ramifications regarding the “Energiewende” as this is what really matters.

            If the phrase “Energiewende” was coined 1980, then it most probably wasn’t about climate change but partially indeed about nuclear.

            1980 people (who cared were primarily worried about smog, acid rain, reduction of ozone layer, peak oil, nuclear waste, nuclear meltdowns and pollution in general and not really about climate change.)

        • JamesWimberley

          Your citation disproves your assertion. Is the word “cobenefit” too hard for you?

    • JamesWimberley

      Your last sentence is baseless. The original motivation for the Energiewende was clearly getting rid of nuclear, but equally the goal has always been a full transition to renewable energy.

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