Monday, November 19, 2012

Germany abandons Nuclear: Bloomberg abandons reporting

Bloomberg Businessweek has reproduced an Inside Climate News article - the quality is poor.

Germany Abandons Nuclear Power and Lives to Talk About It - Businessweek:
Some analysts suggested that Germany's carbon emissions—which declined by 2 percent in 2011—could have dropped even further if Merkel hadn't acted so precipitously. Even with the Merkel shutdown, however, Germany's old coal plants are being decommissioned faster than new ones—which were ordered years before the Fukushima disaster—are coming online.
Planned additions/removals of capacity (BNetzA .xls)
Aside from the emissions reduction not being in the electricity generation sector, and one mild year not being a test, more coal plants are planned to come online than go offline.

There have been no blackouts since Merkel's announcement. On the contrary, Germany's grid, which was already the most reliable in Europe, experienced a total of just 15 minutes and 31 seconds of brownouts in 2011, an improvement over 2010. (The comparable figure for the United States is measured in hours.) The wholesale price of electricity has gone down, not up. The electricity-intensive German manufacturing sector is still thriving.
While not literally false, the problems of the German grid have grown, and neighbours are taking steps to protect their grids from Germany's.   The problem is not blackouts; the issues the grid is increasingly experiencing is brief fluctuations in power, as Spiegel Online noted in Grid Instability Has Industry Scrambling for Solutions.  The "wholesale" price is down because of excess generation, with retail rates for customers not exempt from paying for renewable energy increasing - the EEG, renewable surcharge, will increase over 47%, to 5.3 euro cents/kWh, in 2013.

 'Data provided by ENTSO-E' - Graphed by Scott
The German Energy Agency (dena) predicts that in 2050 the system will still require coal/gas to provide 60% of secure capacity, and the most current figures from ENTSO-E indicate that even after 12-month totals for nuclear production stabilizing  year after the 7 units were removed from service, generation with fossil fuel sources continues to climb.

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