Germany Struggles With Extra Renewable Energy
Posted on: 02/09/2015

Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011, there has been increased international discussion as to whether older nuclear stations should be closed and equal political pressures of limiting future installations in favor of lower impact and sustainable forms of power generation. Whilst France and Italy taking positive steps in support of this vision, Germany have spearheaded the initiative by closing 9 nuclear units over the past 4 years.

This move had the potential to reduce Germany's power output ability to approximately 20 Million Homes. The counter balance was to invest heavily in renewable energy production during this time. In fact, their nuclear power contribution for 2015 has decreased to 16% whilst renewable energy has grown by over 30% with peaks of 70% creating an oversupply dilemma.

Germany doesn’t currently have the right level of infrastructure and storage to support all of the extra electricity. The excess electricity that is being produced is now reaching nearby countries such as Poland, Austria and Czech Republic. Whilst there are financial benefits for the countries involved, (as they are investing almost $180 million to support their own grids from the German overspillage) it does heighten the chance of wide scale blackouts if there were to be a sudden supply disruption on the German side.

Currently, neighboring countries are able to access this extra (relatively cheap) electricity and sell it at its usual higher cost. Although this approach is now coming under scrutiny many still find it makes financial sense to acquire Germany’s cheaper electricity. To give an idea of its cheaper price, it costs around 18% less than the typical Wholesale price available in Poland.

Germany's next hurdle is to invest in its energy infrastructure in order to maintain its continual increase in renewable energies. By doing this, it would be able to support the extra energy being produced, and allow Germany to stabilise Energy economics in central Europe.

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