• 6 minutes Corporations Are Buying More Renewables Than Ever
  • 17 minutes WTI @ 67.50, charts show $62.50 next
  • 23 minutes Starvation, horror in Venezuela
  • 2 hours Permian already crested the productivity bell curve - downward now to Tier 2 geological locations
  • 2 days The Discount Airline Model Is Coming for Europe’s Railways
  • 1 day Desperate Call or... Erdogan Says Turkey Will Boycott U.S. Electronics
  • 1 day Renewable Energy Could "Effectively Be Free" by 2030
  • 1 day Saudi Fund Wants to Take Tesla Private?
  • 2 days Pakistan: "Heart" Of Terrorism and Global Threat
  • 2 days Venezuela set to raise gasoline prices to international levels.
  • 1 day Mike Shellman's musings on "Cartoon of the Week"
  • 1 hour Hey Oil Bulls - How Long Till Increasing Oil Prices and Strengthening Dollar Start Killing Demand in Developing Countries?
  • 1 hour China goes against US natural gas
  • 2 days Are Trump's steel tariffs working? Seems they are!
  • 2 days Scottish Battery ‘Breakthrough’ Could Charge Electric Cars In Seconds
  • 19 hours Why hydrogen economics does not work
Iran’s Latest Tactic To Save Market Share

Iran’s Latest Tactic To Save Market Share

Iran cut oil prices for…

What Happens Next To China’s Crude Imports?

What Happens Next To China’s Crude Imports?

Crude oil flows to Chinese…

Germany's Renewable Energy Problems Serve as a Warning to the UK

On the 14th of September 2012 the 3,500 wind turbines that exist around the UK managed to produce just over four gigawatts of power to the national grid; a record. The same day Germany also set its own production record, although its 23,000 turbines and millions of solar panels managed to create 31GW.

It is interesting to note that the two records were received very differently. Maria McCaffery, the CEO of RenewableUK, said that “the record high shows that wind energy is providing a reliable, secure supply of electricity to an ever-growing number of British homes and businesses;” whereas the Germans dismayed at their surge in electricity production.

 Germany has a very advanced renewable energy sector, having invested billions over several years to try and encourage as many renewable energy installations as possible. It is a path that the UK government wants to take, and therefore they must quickly heed the warnings and note the problems that Germany is already experiencing.

Related Articles: Europe Rejects Proposal to Ban Hydraulic Fracking

The problems generally stem from the fact that solar and wind is not a steady source of energy. This means that it is very difficult to maintain a steady supply to the grid, and as a result traditional fossil fuel plants must be kept on standby, ready to produce energy whenever the wind dies too much.

Keeping a fossil fuel plant on standby in such a way is actually very inefficient, and leads to far more emissions than if the plant were just running normally all the time.

The more Germany installs renewable energy sources, the more problems it encounters. The whole plan to generate 32% of renewables by 2020 is turning out to be a disaster, and the UK really should take note so that they can try to avoid making the same mistakes as best they could.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Ian on November 26 2012 said:
    Many thanks for the first half of an article, how about a conclusion that offers a positive solution? Perhaps;
    1) As energy source diversity increases intermittency becomes less of a problem.
    2) While they may be costly now, as uptake grows these investments will provide generations of clean energy.
    3) With no fuel costs, these plants will provide a stable energy price far below projections for conventional fuels.
  • Mel Tisdale on November 25 2012 said:
    Shock, Horror! The wind does not blow all the time! Who would have thought it?
  • Evan Stuber on November 25 2012 said:
    Can someone please explain how a generator in standby produces more emissions than one running constantly?

    I understand that efficiency would drop, however it would use significantly less fuel in standby than running at full effiency and output.

    This is the surely the important point about renewables, they are allowing us to consume less of our precious fossil fuels.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News