Friday, March 25, 2011

Germany's Grid Expansion Studied

The German Energy Blog's latest entry begins:
"On Tuesday the Federal Association of the Electricity and Water Industry (BDEW) presented a study on the need for the expansion of the German distribution networks and the costs thereof in view of the integration of the expected new PV and wind power capacity until 2020."

Apparently green energy supply is subject to the law of diminishing returns.

Investments were calculated on the basis of forecasts by the government for new PV and wind power installations until 2020.
However, a definitive cost estimate could not be made as the government used two different sets of figures, BDEW said. One the one hand, the government’s Energy Concept calculated with an installed capacity of 33.3 GW in 2020. If one took this estimate as a basis, some 195,000 km of power lines in the distribution network had to be built at a cost of up to EUR 13 billion.
In its 2010 reference scenario (BMU-Leitszenario), the Federal Environment Ministry, however, expected additional wind power and PV capacity of 51.8 GW. Based on this estimate, some 380,000 km of new distribution network power lines were needed, resulting in costs of up to EUR 27 billion.

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