Europe To Pay Companies To NOT Produce Power, Wants To Stop Green Energy Blackouts

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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European Union regulators told Reuters that they’ll soon start paying power companies not to generate electricity to create safeguards against green energy blackouts.

Reuters reports the European Commission will publish a draft law Wednesday to pay for extra power supply, which can be used during periods of peak demand to prop up green energy. Regulators told Reuters that the subsidies would be restricted mainly to additional green energy or extremely efficient natural gas plants.

“If the EU is serious about getting rid of market distortions that undermine reliable sources of generation, it should end all subsidies and priority access for intermittent sources such as wind and solar,” Travis Fisher, an economist at the free-market Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Europe has poured $1.2 trillion into the green energy industry to fight global warming, but its carbon dixoide (CO2) emissions and power bills just keep rising. The German government estimates that it will spend over $1.1 trillion financially supporting wind power, even though building wind turbines hasn’t achieved the government’s goal of actually reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to slow global warming.

“Further, member nations should resist the politically-motivated shutdown of existing nuclear facilities,” Fisher continued. “For instance, Germany’s knee jerk reaction to shut down nuclear plants following the Fukushima accident led to higher electricity prices and put grid reliability at risk.”

Germany created lucrative subsidies and tax benefits for wind power in 2011 after it decided to abandon nuclear power entirely by 2022 following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.

Germany has already paid wind farms $548 million to switch off last year to prevent damage to the country’s electricity grid, according to a survey of power companies by the German newspaper Wirtschaftswoche. Germany’s wind and solar power systems have provided too much power at unpredictable times, which damaged the power grid and made the system vulnerable to blackouts.

To fix the problem, grid operators paid the company Tennet $376 million to shut down wind turbines in 2015, which is 2.5 times more than it did in 2014. Other major power companies such as 50Hertz, Amprion and EnBW revived a combined $172 million.

Wind and solar also run the risk of producing too much power at unpredictable times, which can overload and fry the power grid. This is why electrical companies will occasionally pay consumers to take electricity since demand for energy must exactly match supply for the grid to function.

Since the output of solar and wind plants cannot be predicted with high accuracy by forecasts, grid operators have to keep excess conventional power reserves running just in case. Power demand is relatively predictable and conventional power plans, like nuclear plants and natural gas, can adjust output accordingly. Solar and wind power, however, cannot easily adjust output and place extra stress on the grid, which can lead to brownouts or blackouts.

Due to the damaging effects of its green energy policies, the German government plans to cap the total amount of wind energy at 40 to 45 percent of national capacity, according to a report published earlier this month by the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung. Germany will get rid of 6,000 megawatts of wind power capacity by 2019.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is currently investigating how green energy undermines the reliability of the electrical grid. FERC officials believe there is a “significant risk” of electricity in the United States becoming unreliable because “wind and solar don’t offer the services the shuttered coal plants provided.” Environmental regulations could make operating conventional coal or natural gas power plants unprofitable, which could compromise the reliability of the American power grid.

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