Germany’s power grid almost collapsed in January due to poor performance from wind turbines and solar panels, according to data from a major trade union.
Wind and solar power plants under-performed in January, 2017, because of cloudy weather with little or no wind, setting the stage for massive blackouts.
A major blackout almost occurred Jan. 24 and was only prevented when German energy suppliers “also took the last reserve power plant,” Michael Vassiliadis, head of the union which represents power plants IG Bergbauchemie Energie, told reporters. The country’s power grid was strained to the absolute limit and could have gone offline entirely, triggering a national blackout, if just one power plant had gone offline, according to Vassiliadis.
“The renewables could not even offer five percent [of total power demand.] Coal, gas and nuclear power kept the country almost in the first place under the electric current,” Vassiliadis said.
Germany was forced to recommission coal power plants to simply keep the lights on. The country’s green energy plans calls for the shut down of 30 such power plants by 2019.
Green energy approaches failed to meet Germany’s stated energy goals, even after spending over $1.1 trillion. The country’s “Energiewende” plan to boost wind and solar production to fight global warming hasn’t significantly reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and may have actually caused them to go up.
As a result of green energy’s rampant unreliability, Germany plans to cap the total amount of wind energy at 40 to 45 percent of national capacity, according to a report published by the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung. Germany will get rid of 6,000 megawatts of wind power capacity by 2019.
The country’s trendy and ineffective energy policy already forced payments to wind farms in the amount of $548 million last year to switch off, which prevented additional damage to the electric grid, according to a survey of power companies by the German newspaper Wirtschaftswoche.
Due to the inherent unreliable performance of wind power and political opposition to nuclear power plants, Germany has been forced to return to coal to generate electricity. Coal now provides 44 percent of Germany’s power, This shift caused Germany’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to actually rise by 28 million tons each year following the policy shift.
All of Germany’s subsidies and support for green energy have sharply increased power prices, with the average German paying 39 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity. The average American only spends 10.4 cents per kilowatt-hour by comparison.
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