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German Solar Power Covers Energy Deficit of France's Nuclear Sector

By Peter Sinclair | Mon, 20 February 2012 23:35 | 2

Remember last year when Germany decided to speed up its phasing out of nuclear power and switch to clean energy and everyone (not in the clean energy industry) got freaked out about how German electricity prices would rise and the country would just start importing electricity from France’s nuclear power plants?

Well, as I just wrote, it seems pretty clear that solar photovoltaics are bringing down the cost of electricity in Germany. Additionally, German electricity exports to France have been increasing!

“Because France has so much nuclear power, the country has an inordinate number of electric heating systems. And because France has not added on enough additional capacity over the past decade, the country’s current nuclear plants are starting to have trouble meeting demand, especially when it gets very cold in the winter,” Craig Morris of Renewables International writes.

And, with relatively sunny skies above, guess who’s coming to the rescue—good old solar power from Germany.

“As a result, power exports from Germany to France reached 4 to 5 gigawatts – the equivalent of around four nuclear power plants – last Friday morning according to German journalist Bernward Janzing. It was not exactly a time of low consumption in Germany either at 70 gigawatts around noon on Friday, but Janzing nonetheless reports that the grid operators said everything was under control, and the country’s emergency reserves were not being tapped. On the contrary, he reports that a spokesperson for transit grid operator Amprion told him that ‘photovoltaics in southern Germany is currently helping us a lot.’”

German Solar Power Production
Solar power production peaking at about 10 GW, 40% of capacity, lately. (Source: EEX, via Renewables International) Source: Clean Technica

Hmm, a bit of cognitive dissonance for solar power haters with breakfast this morning.

Power prices in Germany also seem fine, indicating no lack of power. However, due to its challenges, electricity prices in France have been up about 50% and the country has had to ask its citizens to reduce their electricity consumption.

Also, as you can see in the chart above, Germany’s electricity from solar has been peaking at about 10 gigawatts lately, or about 40% of its 25 gigawatts of capacity. I have a feeling citizens opposed to Germany’s nuclear shut down and clean energy revolution are keeping quiet at the moment.

By. Peter Sinclair

Source: Climate Crocks

Leave a comment

  • Fred Banks on February 21 2012 said:
    Well imagine that. How could I have been so dumb. In my forthcoming energy economics textbook, and the lectures I have prepared for a short energy economics course in Spain, I say that the German nuclear retreat is stupidity on stilts, and it will bring an increased level of misery to central Europe if it goes through as planned.

    As for power prices in Germany remaining "fine", I can believe that. I told the morons in this country (SWEDEN) that if electricity were deregulated and wires were strung between Sweden and Germany, we would lose and Germany would gain. That happened, and now it is worse than ever. Moreover, a gentleman from Belgium, which is closer to Germany than Sweden, said that a German nuclear retreat would result in Belgium having to ration electricity.

    Conclusion, everybody has an agenda of one sort or another, but the agenda this author finds promising is bad for everyone (except the rich) in Germany as well as countries near Germany.
  • ne11y on February 22 2012 said:
    The Fourth Reich is going to arrive in solar-powered Mercedes?

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