Monday, November 25, 2013

German wind power hits turbulence

My previous post noted some of the grief Germany's electricity sector activities have caused its neighbours; the Financial Times now shows some of the concerns it's brought Germans.

German wind power hits turbulence -
Before Germany’s big shift to renewable energy, electricity for industry was produced where it was needed; near the manufacturing heartlands of the Ruhr and greater Stuttgart.
But now that nuclear reactors are being switched off, and renewables are taking priority over energy generated from fossil fuels, the country’s energy is being generated a long way from its heavy industry.

From wind farms mainly in the north, more than 4,500km of additional extra-high-voltage lines will snake across the country by the end of this decade, to supply the areas of highest demand.
Germany’s lengthy planning process and lack of co-ordination between the federal states has snarled up the line building programme. Of the 1,900km designated by law as priority projects, less than 300km is built.
Lex Hartman, a member of the management board at Tennet, Germany’s biggest high-voltage grid operator, says that in some cases it has taken up to a decade to secure a licence to build power lines.
Plans for the Rheinland to build a giant converter station at Osterath, near Düsseldorf, have provoked an outcry from residents who fear exposure to noise, traffic and electromagnetic radiation. Under Germany’s energy plans, Osterath will be a vital junction in an “electricity autobahn” linking north and south. Tennet is hosting hundreds of meetings to win over the public. “I think that building infrastructural projects such as grids is only possible with the agreement of the people...”

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