dohboi wrote:My understanding is that wind generation in the north of the country is quite robust, but that it is hard to get all that power down to the southern cities because of lack of grid infrastructure, which should have been developed long ago, but is way behind schedule for various reasons. Is that your understanding, too?
Yes that was my understanding till about Summer of 2015 too till i heard a speech of a german professor for economics, Lorenz Jarass:„Welchen Stromnetzausbau erfordert die Energiewende?“ - Vortrag von Prof. Dr. Lorenz Jarass
(Wich amount of grid extension is needed for the Energiewende? Speech of Prof. Dr. Lorenz Jarass) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osh-TbC89VQ
He says that this, in the moment, planned grid extension in Germany is far too big, far bigger than needed.
1. The problems in some winters didn't happen because of a lack of electricity infrastructure but because of a lack of trade barriers at the EEX. In Winter 2012/13 brokers in Frankfurt sold a lot of wind energy to Italy at the EEX (European Energy Exchange operated by European Energy Exchange AG) which couldn't be produced as forecasted. So these brokers had to balance their short sellings at high prices. There were enough operable backup power plants in Germany but their operating costs are higher than for example backup power plants in Austria so power plants in Austria were started to fill the gap. Afterwards it was broadcasted that we at least in Germany were near a catastrophe/blackout because of the Energiewende.
2. The future grid extension in Germany is planned on the basis of transporting at the same time the power of coal fired power plants in East Germany as well as in the region of Cologne at full load together with wind energy produced while a stormfront is passing by.
3. It is possible and since decades a standard that e.g. anthracite coal fired plants are driven up or curbed along a daily load curve. So it is also in the future possible to curb certain power plants to allow wind turbine or even wind farms to feed in their produced electricity. That would be a lot cheaper than to build long massive power lines (a lot of regulatory work during several years to get everyone pleased).
4. The laws renewed and created for the Energiewende are supporting the fossil fuel industry as well(!) as the renewable energy industry at the disadvantage of the consumer (higher tariffs).
5. Nevertheless we need about 3-4 GW of flexible power plants (in combination with more power plants driven by renewable energy) in the South of Germany to replace nuclear plants which will all be shut down till 2022.
Once source in english with some statements of Professor Jarass:
http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/soz/oi/publ ... cities.pdf
SOI Discussion Paper 2012-02
Adaptive Capacities, Path Creation and Variants of Sectoral Change
The Case of the Transformation of the German Energy Supply System
Jarass (2010) criticizes the oversized grid extension proposed in these studies. He expects that a large share of the planned extension is to be used to secure the profit ability of new coal power plants Jarass/Obermair 2009). According to Hohmeyer et al. (2011) , there is no need for any grid extension prior to 2015.
Jarass, Lorenz (2010): Windenergiebedingter Netzausbau – nicht zu viel und nicht zu wenig! In: Energiewirtschaftliche Tagesfragen, 60(10), p. 22 – 27.
Jarass, Lorenz/Obermair, Gustav M., 2009: Mehr Übertragungsleistung in Höchstspannungsnetzen. Optimierung geht vor Verstärkung und Neubau – Dena - Netzstudie I ist überholt. In: Energy 2.0, 2009(Februar), p. 53 – 55.
My own opinion:
We could harvest a lot of that excess wind energy and produce heat out of that. That's power-to-heat and was at least in Germany used also since decades (night-storage heater powered by chep nuclear energy in the night, managed by so-called ripple controls).
At least in big buildings this would be a quite easy, cheap, scalable and fast to install technique:
http://www.renewablesinternational.net/ ... 537/88373/
Power to heat gets going in Germany
The city of Münster plans to use excess electricity on the grid to generate heat, which can be easily stored.
The local municipal utility is investing 1.7 million euros in a hot water storage tank that will be charged with electric heaters reacting to price signals on the power market. Symbolically, the heat storage facility is located in an old coal bunker in the town’s port.
Examples in Denmark:
https://www.agora-energiewende.de/filea ... 092015.pdf
The role of power to heat – Heat pumps, electrical heat boilers and heat storage
Lessons from Denmark
The opposite (Power to cool) is used since several years in different utilities in Europe:
http://cordis.europa.eu/documents/docum ... 181EN6.pdf
Project acronym: Night Wind
Night Wind: Storage of wind energy in cold stores
First Period (1st july 2006 – 30th june 2007), Date of preparation: Feb. 12th, 2009
Final Activity Report – Night Wind - summary