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German Revolt against Solar

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by rolosrevenge, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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  2. Eberhard

    Eberhard #421 Model S #S32

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    Its not all true and mainly a part of a campain of the recent election for the "bundestag" to put discredit on the "green" party. The true is: the power from my PV installted on my roof cost less then half price then from the local utility company. I try to charge my Model S or Roadster direct from PV.
     
  3. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    I've heard similar rumblings at IEEE PES conferences. German Utility rates are actually higher than any other EU country save Cyprus (and island, expected) and Denmark (more renewables than any other country per capita)
     
  4. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Renewables are just starting to provide (legitimate) grief for utilities. As grids become more reliant on things like solar and wind, the intermittent nature of the resource makes it hard to dispatch, and we're starting to see a lot of gas plants being built so they can be fired up quickly when the wind stops blowing or the sun stops shining. At the residential level, there can be problems too. The grid was built out "heavy" at the top (generation/transmission) and "light" down at the residential utilization areas. If a lot of rooftop solar is feeding back into the residential distribution system (say, during the day when everyone's at work and demand is low) that can be a problem too.

    All of these things can and will be dealt with over time, but let's not start throwing around political excuses for technical problems.
     
  5. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    I don't think there is a wider degree of disagreement in any other area... Depending on your source Solar PV costs anywhere from >$0.70/kWh to <$0.10/kWh; And Germanys epic push for it is both its salvation and destruction.

    Merit order effect of PV in Germany - News - Renewables International
    Stop Subsidizing Solar Power! - The Experts - WSJ

    Many of these cost numbers mystify me; I have 10.7 kWp on my roof which before any subsidies cost ~$20k. Even assuming ~1% degradation/yr this system will produce ~300000 kWh over 20 years. $20k / 300000 = $0.067/kWh and that assumes worst-case 20 year life. A 40 year life is much more plausible, so assuming I have to buy another inverter and the system continues to degrade at 1% per year you get ~550000 kWh. So $23k/550000= $0.042/kWh.
     
  6. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    Is part of the problem in Germany that they installed a lot of capacity back when solar prices were more expensive? I understand that prices for panels have declined dramatically in recent years, but Germany was installing a lot of this back during the higher priced days and locking in those high costs.

    Or am I completely off base with that line of thinking?
     
  7. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    A large percentage of the embedded cost of PV in Germany is due to the fact that they were installing GWs/yr when PV was still >$5/w. It's also somewhat paradoxical since we're enjoying PV cost <$2/w BECAUSE Germany installed so much when it was expensive. We've driven down costs via economies of scale. It's dishonest at best for critics to use the cost of solar 5 years ago in an attempt to show that it's too costly today...
     
  8. J1mbo

    J1mbo Member

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    It's simple economics - renewables push down demand for the traditional generators, but the traditional generators still have running costs that need to be paid for somehow. The intermittent nature of renewables means that the traditional generators cannot be decommissioned to reduce costs, without the possibility of a deficit in generating capacity on cloudy days where there is no wind. IIRC, Germany are also starting to decommission their nuclear plants, which also has to be paid for somehow.

    This will be a problem until systems like this one from SustainX become more mainstream.
     
  9. Eberhard

    Eberhard #421 Model S #S32

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    and do not forget, 45% of the german price for electricity are duties and taxes. The kWh price at the eex is traded around 4.5cent, but the enduser has to pay up to 30cent per kWk including the monthly fee for the meter.
     
  10. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    Another problem with German solar, is that Germany actually has a pretty horrible solar profile so they have to significantly over build capacity. In southern CA, the solar performs much, much better.
     
  11. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    In former times, when members of German political class outlived their usefulness, they could count to switch from office to a well funded job in the energy sector. Power companies handed out cash to political parties and got protection from EU regulation in turn.

    this no more.

    Renewable energy generation and shutting down nuclear plants cut deeply into profits of the power companies in the last few years. Fear is that they will disrupt the established business model altogether. An unprecedented campaign has erupted since then, with voices from departments of energy & environment, press, industry associations, consumer protection organizations (!). Trying to blame renewables for latest price increases for residential electricity and raising fears of imminent power outages ("so what if it's night and no wind blows?").

    It requires effort to gather information across multiple channels and piece together the real picture
    - power costs for industrial clients have dropped to a lever lower than ever before
    - net stability is in jeopardy by gambling of operators
    - price increases for residential customers stem from taxes, grid transfer fees, and a renewable power subsidy scheme which is a disguise for money transfer to the industrial sector (where 75% of all electricity is used).
    - renewables are not a source of unforeseeable power fluctuations.

    Instead, Germany's most powerful power plant outputs 4.4GW and is fed by 100% renewable energy:
    Deutschlands größtes Kraftwerk ist grün

    Thanks to our friends from Statkraft, Norway!
     
  12. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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    Germany may have a horrible solar profile so I was surprised to find this article. Even though it is more than a year old still pretty impressive.

    "Germany sets new solar power record, institute says"
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/26/us-climate-germany-solar-idUSBRE84P0FI20120526
    "Europe’s ‘economic powerhouse’ can add solar to its epithet. Germany’s solar power plants reached a generation milestone of 22 GW of electricity per hours. That is the same as 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity"
     
  13. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    And now they hit 20GW+ fairly regularly. I believe this summer's record was around 23.9GW peak.

    Updated for 2013...

    Edit: And checking one of their transparency websites, it looks like they were topping 24GW in early August. I looked at the first week and they hit 24.2GW on Aug 2nd. That's a lot.
     

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