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October 22, 2010

Solar Power Threatens German Power Grid

Posted by Dave Blount at October 22, 2010 12:47 PM

The best thing about Europe is that being so thoroughly under the heel of a moonbat ruling class, it tries out truly stupid ideas first, so that we can learn from its mistakes without making these mistakes ourselves. Take attempting to rely on solar power, for example:

The German electricity grid faces instability because of too much solar power, an expert said.
Thanks to a generous feed-in tariff, the installation of rooftop solar panels and large-scale photovoltaic plants has exploded in Germany.
Stephan Kohler, chairman of the DENA agency, an energy adviser to the government, has warned that the green boom could turn into a disaster for Germany's aging power grid.
"The network is facing a congestion due to solar power," Kohler told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper. "That's why the expansion of solar power has to be cut back quickly and drastically."

The problem is that inefficient but politically correct energy sources like solar and wind are unreliable, and result in wildly fluctuating energy flow.

Not to worry, German bureaucrats are on top of it:

Well aware that the industry is maturing more quickly than anticipated, Berlin this year agreed to reduce subsidies for rooftop panels by 16 percent.

Good thing Big Government is fixing everything with its characteristic insignificant gestures, because Kohler says that the 50 GW of solar power capacity expected by 2013 if current trends continue would be "a catastrophe for the grids." Instead of slightly reducing the subsidy, he wants a cap on new solar panels.

Who is it that pays people to use inefficient power sources that could bring down the power grid? The always generous taxpayers, off course.

The German government through the Renewable Energy Law, or EEG, regulates the feed-in-tariff aimed at boosting power production from renewable energy sources. Paid by German taxpayers via their electricity bill and guaranteed for 20 years, the levies vary from 21 cents per kilowatt-hour for offshore wind turbines to 46 cents per kw/h for roof-mounted solar panels.
Berlin has vowed to gradually reduce subsidies but EEG-related costs will nevertheless rise significantly over the coming years, experts have warned.

Unfortunately, our rulers show no inclination whatsoever to learn from Europe's mistakes.

The good news is that when we finally outgrow the environmentalism fad, the reduced drag on the world economy could boost us out of recession for years to come.

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Solar panels: yet another green energy boondoggle kept alive only by subsidies.

On a tip from Oiao.