Germany’s green tech forces 400x increase in power rates

cost development for consumers from the EEG feed-in tariff, from 2003 to 2014, (eeg-kwk.net)

Cost development for consumers from the EEG feed-in tariff (eeg-kwk.net)

The price of a stabilized green power grid is very steep, one could say it is like a “hockey stick”

Story submitted by Eric Worrall  (h/t John Droz)

Coal and gas electricity companies are being paid up to 400x times the wholesale price of power, in return for helping to stabilize the German electricity grid.

According to Bloomberg, “Germany’s push toward renewable energy is causing so many drops and surges from wind and solar power that the government is paying more utilities than ever to help stabilize the country’s electricity grid.”

“At the beginning, this market counted for only a small portion of our earnings,” said Hartmuth Fenn, the head of intraday, market access and dispatch at Vattenfall AB, Sweden’s biggest utility. “Today, we earn 10 percent of our plant profits in the balancing market”.

Full story http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-24/german-utilities-bail-out-electric-grid-at-wind-s-mercy.html

Given that lignite coal plants are also playing this game, according to Bloomberg, and lignite plants are famously inflexible, you have to wonder exactly how fossil fuel plants are providing the required flexibility.

One interesting possibility is that the CO2 belching fossil fuel utility companies are spinning their generators up to full power, and are simply discarding vast amounts of excess energy, until solar or wind output drops – so they can be ready to dump extra capacity onto the grid at a moment’s notice.

At 400x wholesale rate, they could afford to burn away gigawatts of power as waste heat, and still make a handsome profit from the “balancing” fee for whatever energy they actually supply to the grid.


The graph above is from this article at No Tricks Zone, which is reporting on the effects on consumers in Germany.

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97 thoughts on “Germany’s green tech forces 400x increase in power rates

  1. I am sure that is exactly what they are doing, spinning their turbines and dumping the energy. In order to be ble to deliver the enrgy required, this may be the only way. And the economics will support and drive the practice. Its a no-brainer.

  2. The secret might be in how coal plant emissions are calculated, on the basis of delivered power or coal consumed. If the former then there is a good chance these power plants are burning at full power but not delivering it all to the grid, thus allowing the illusion of a green energy mix.

  3. One interesting possibility is that the CO2 belching fossil fuel utility companies are spinning their generators up to full power, and are simply discarding vast amounts of excess energy, until solar or wind output drops – so they can be ready to dump extra capacity onto the grid at a moment’s notice.

    A very telling note in the Bloomberg article:

    “Back in the days, our lignite plants were inflexible, produced power around the clock and were always earning money,” Hartmann in Bergheim, Germany, said in a July 9 interview. “Now they are as flexible as gas plants.”

    I’d like to see a coal plant be that responsive. Maybe if involved coal gasification and a feed in to a gaseous fuel turbine….

  4. I was wondering when WUWT was going to highlight the farce that’s going on in Germany as the result of the wind and solar mandates.

    You’re looking at a preview of coming attractions in the U.K. and in California.

    Meanwhile, German consumers are paying 40% more for their electricity than the EU average.

  5. Ric said, quote “I’d like to see a coal plant be that responsive. Maybe if involved coal gasification and a feed in to a gaseous fuel turbine….”

    They discovered that producing heat or electricity is not much different. So they run flat out 24/7 delivering one or the other.

    It means all the market players, in the backup business can be wiped out at leisure. The big 24/7 mass generator wins every time. Plus all the co2/fossil fuel figures mean exactly nothing. Its all fake.

    LOL

  6. The analogy between the ‘power grid’ and other situations where discrete quantities interact with each other is obvious to me as a physical chemist.
    I recently watched a program on “optimization of the airline boarding process” in which they compared a fully micromanaged process in which passengers were pre-segregated into 16 groups (based on their assigned seating) and boarded under strict protocols with a process based on open seating and passengers boarding ad libidum – “like ants” was the description used in the program.
    The UNcontrolled boarding process, relying on individuals making personal decisions in the interest of their own convenience, was neary 25% FASTER than the micromanaged process. There is a MUCH broader lesson for would-be micromanagers of any process applying to a statistically significant number of similar ‘entities’ – a priori controls typically degrade system performance in comparison to a system allowed to regulated itself internally using local conditions and options.
    One of the grestest scientific breakthroughs of chemistry in the 19th century was the development of “statistical mechanics” – a branch of physics that treated fluids as large ensembles of independent entities (molecules) rather than as a single, manageable object (a bulk of fluid).
    In the words of Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut, “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.”

  7. Wind power is not new. It is one of the oldest forms of energy generation and it was abandoned on purpose.

  8. My dad always said the Germans were the smartest. Global warming is pseudoscience. Maybe they are running out of beer and started taking stupid pills.

  9. The new lignite plants are all base load. Utility load balancing (peak load, and renewable fluctuation) in Germany comes from four main sources. Peak load gas turbines (the newest can ramp at an incredible rate of 40-50 MW per minute, with over 600 MW max output). Spinning reserves, usually older smaller coal stations running something like 35% output, that with increased firing can ramp over half an hour to an hour to full output. Imports from grid interconnect. France exports nuclear electricity to both Germany and the UK to help those nations cope with their renewable foolishness. Finally there is some industrial load shedding such as is being proposed for the UK and is done on weak grid interconnects in the US.
    In the US, gas peaker electricity is about 2x coal or gas CCGT base load, according to the EIA 2013 generating cost report. Germany is probably not that different in a relative sense.

  10. Historically peaking power, necessary to balance the unreliable solar and wind sources, has been more expensive than less flexible base load sources. If the magnitude of unreliable “green” power is too high for available peaking plants to balance, more wasteful methods, such as described, may be resorted to.

    Make no mistake, conventional utilities are being FORCED to subsidize “green” energy by balancing these unreliable sources.

  11. Rud, thats sensible economic operation. Here a lignite plant is run at near 100% but only producing heat. When power is required its just literally switched to electric mode and money rolls in. Four hours a day of paying generation will more than cover 24 hours fuel burn.

  12. Germans are stupid all over. They toss aside nuclear power as “too dangerous.” Apparently the Germans never bother themselves with statistics (or reality) : those “safe” coal power plants have been, in actuality, responsible for 40 times more fatalities, not counting emission related deaths,per gigawatthour of power produced. Wind power has been 20 times more deadly than nuclear (not counting the bird/bat killings). Natural gas 10 times more deadly. Hydro 100 times more deadly and LP gas a whopping 450 times more deadly tha nuclear. The article gave some details – a lignite power plant spent a ton of money to provide itself with the ability to pour 30 megawatts onto the grid within one minute. Obviously they store the energy , probably in the form of heat, and then when power is needed , inject water into contact with the stored heat and produce steam to drive the turbines. Normally one would use an Open Cycle Gas Generator (OCGG) to get power quickly. They use more fuel (twice as much) than a closed cycle gas generator (which heats water to make steam) but operate more or less like a jet engine. Why the Germans don’t use natural gas for this may be due to their dependency upon Russia as supplier.
    There are now some large nuclear plant designs that allow for a certain amount of load following (5% more/less power per minute or so) but some small modular reactors can ramp their power up/down very quickly and actually function as peak power generators – for smallish communities they are the only power generator required. I don’t remember the capacity of that particular design, but it certainly would be well in excess of 30 megawatts. Anything under 350 MW is generally considered a small modular reactor.

  13. I believe 400x is not the top. As more and more alternative power sources come on line prices will continue to rise for the consumer.

    Power bills for consumers in the CONUS are getting close to a surging point is my feeling. As more alternatives come on line electric prices will continue to rise and rise and rise for those with no solar or alternative power source on their home/business. One would think otherwise but the power companies that manage the grids( very expensive to maintain aging grids) are going to have to start really jacking up rates if they want to stay in business in time.

    I will make a prediction now, within about 10 tp 20 years you are going to see most large electric companies going bankrupt.

  14. Meanwhile in England we have just demolished the cooling towers of Didcot coal-fired power station as it is sacrificed to appease the great green goddess. To make up the expected shortfall in power entrepreneurs from around the globe are flocking here to buy up English fields and fill them with hundreds of diesel generators which the government gives subsidies for, plus a very decent unit rate when they are are called on as back up because the white elephants, sorry I mean windmills aren’t turning.

    You couldn’t make it up. No, people would think you were mad if you proposed such a crazed scenario. Or they might think you a witless/crooked/incompetent politician.

  15. I forgot to add, my prediction will only happen if power companies don’t make a New Monthly Grid Access Fee.
    If you have solar or alternative power source on your home or business and do not purchase much energy from the grid or feed energy in the grid. A monthly Grid Fee would be added if the owners of the property would want to still be connected to the grid.

  16. Couldn’t happen to a nicer people. Just because the Germans are good engineers doesn’t mean that they are also deep thinkers.

  17. The hilarity of Germany’s economic suicide march is captured in two Facts.

    1. Germany’s electricity generated carbon footprint in 2013 was up 1.5% over 2012, and authorities now admit due to the increased use of intermittent renewable power, carbon footprint Goals for 2020 and 2030 will be widely missed.

    http://www.rtcc.org/2014/03/10/germanys-carbon-targets-in-doubt-as-emissions-rise-in-2013/

    2. Electricity for German consumers and businesses now (2014) costs +50% more over 2004 price per KWH.

  18. And what has happened to co2 emissions in Germany since going strongly green? That’s right, they are still increasing. What a bloody joke.

    Responding To Climate Change – 12 March 2014
    Germany’s carbon targets in doubt as emissions rise in 2013
    New lignite-fired power stations prompt rise in Germany’s CO2 emissions, tarnishing the country’s green revolution
    ………Last year Germany emitted 951 million tonnes of greenhouse gases, up 1.2% than 2012, while CO2 from energy rose 1.5% according to German government calculations obtained by news agency Deutsche Presse Agentur………

    http://www.rtcc.org/2014/03/10/germanys-carbon-targets-in-doubt-as-emissions-rise-in-2013/

    =====================

    Daily Caller – 9 April 2014
    CO2 emissions have increased since 2011 despite Germany’s $140 billion green energy plan
    Carbon dioxide levels in Germany have been increasing in the last three years despite the government spending nearly $140 billion (100 billion euros) on a green energy since 2005.

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/09/germanys-140-billion-green-energy-plan-increased-co2-emissions/

  19. >>Caleb says:
    July 28, 2014 at 9:51 am
    It is hard to believe Germans can be so impractical.<<

    The explanation for this amazing stupidity can be found in history: Germans are very prone to simple ideologies with an easy scapegoat, and when they have embraced a new ideology – in this case: Climate-Alarmism because of "evil" CO2 – they can't help themselves and must serve that ideology to the bitter end…

    It's a pity, but that's their national psychology.

  20. “…One interesting possibility is that the CO2 belching fossil fuel utility companies are spinning their generators up to full power, and are simply discarding vast amounts of excess energy, until solar or wind output drops – so they can be ready to dump extra capacity onto the grid at a moment’s notice….”

    That is not possible. Generator cannot generate electricity and dump it on a “dump site”.
    What is done is that there is a excess capacity in the grid running as “spinning reserve”.

    The spinnig reserve condition requires that the entire power plant is running, boiler at full pressure, turbine at full speed synchronised but at zero power produced and exported to the grid. This stand by condition consumes about 20% of coal at full power.

    Power plant can be loaded from spinning reserve to full load in the matter of minutes. Basically what is needed to increase of the coal flow.

    (just an engineer’s take on it)

  21. Pierre Gosselin (No tricks Zone) posted this 10 months ago. What you are observing is the absolute power of the market. It is now ( in Germany) profitable for “fossil fuel” generators to withhold their products from the market until the (inevitable) failure of the ” renewables” to deliver
    raises the price. They are reaching the point at which it is cheaper to “waste” the renewable input altogether at the feed in tariff as the price of grid stability exceeds the contract price of the renewables. This was always inevitable and marks the point at which “mitigation” becomes impossible without the cost becoming transparent to all. This actually is ” the beginning of the end” for the CAGW narrative.

  22. In reply to:
    >>Caleb says:
    July 28, 2014 at 9:51 am
    It is hard to believe Germans can be so impractical.<<

    1) Why Germany has the option to waste money on green scams
    The Germans have the short term option of irrational actions due to their export surplus to the their idiotic EU partners. When Germany had their own currency an export surplus created a currency imbalance which made Germany goods more expensive which worked to stop the imbalance. The EU common currency is the reason why Spain has 25.6% unemployment and Germany 5.1%.

    2) Limitation of intermediate energy sources
    The green scams are scams as energy storage is required to enable intermittent power sources to provide power 24/7. Without energy storage wind and solar energy can only reduce CO2 emissions by roughly 10% to 20%. Power storage increases the cost of intermittent power sources by 5 to 6 times. Siemens for example has a cartoon picture showing solar energy used to convert water and CO2 to methane and then the methane is burned in turbines. That is absurdity more expensive than a nuclear power plant.

    It should be noted that the high energy goods and materials are now supplied to the EU from the US and Asia which in part explains the EU CO2 reduction.

    3) Total cost and political/policy implications to significantly reduce CO2 emissions.
    It is interesting that green parties have not discussed what is required to significantly reduce world CO2 emissions.

    To reduce CO2 emissions below around 50% requires a complete change to nuclear power (all countries) and war like restrictions on life in every country, such as the banning of air travel, banning of recreation houses, and population control/reduction. That is not going to happen.

  23. “At the beginning, this market counted for only a small portion of our earnings,” said Hartmuth Fenn, the head of intraday, market access and dispatch at Vattenfall AB, Sweden’s biggest utility. “Today, we earn 10 percent of our plant profits in the balancing market” in Germany, he said by phone from Hamburg July 22.

    The trough is too big. The insanity cannot be stopped as long as we continue to slop the hogs. -GAH-

  24. janus:

    I think your choice of alias is honest in that your post at July 28, 2014 at 12:01 pm is two-faced.

    You say

    The spinnig reserve condition requires that the entire power plant is running, boiler at full pressure, turbine at full speed synchronised but at zero power produced and exported to the grid. This stand by condition consumes about 20% of coal at full power.

    Power plant can be loaded from spinning reserve to full load in the matter of minutes. Basically what is needed to increase of the coal flow.

    Really? You think that?
    Then perhaps you can explain this example from Western Power. It says

    1.3 Operating Costs of Providing Spinning Reserve
    The following are the major operating costs associated with holding spinning reserve which translate in to additional fuel consumption or can be represented as a system percentage efficiency reduction:

    It explains why there is “additional fuel consumption” and how that is costed.

    Thanking you in anticipation of your clarification.

    Richard

  25. Not sure where you got the 400x (400% ?) from. From your link to ‘No Tricks Zone’ it appears the price of electricity has ‘only’ increased by 67% since 1998 (about 100% since 2000 when the price was lowest). The price of EEG (backup to ‘renewables’) has increased from 0.68 cents per kW-h in 2004 to 6.24 cents per kW-h, nearly 1000%, and that’s the price added to each kW-h of electricity, not just the backup.

  26. J. Swift says:
    July 28, 2014 at 11:11 am
    ” Meanwhile in England we have just demolished the cooling towers of Didcot coal-fired power station as it is sacrificed to appease the great green goddess”.
    ————-
    There is a greater irony in that story . The fields, hedgerows and footpaths around Didcot ( a misfit of a small industrial town in the largely rural Thames Valley thanks to Brunel’s choice of it as a railway centre) were once full of majestic elm trees – I remember them well . All gone now because of Dutch elm disease , a fungal disease vectored by beetles and introduced into England on imported American logs .
    Didcot coal fired power station is being replaced as a power source by the use of wood fired power stations elsewhere in England – using wood imported from the USA.
    There are other newly observed diseases affecting british trees : ash , oak and chestnut , attributed also to imports of diseased timber.
    So we are going to rely for power on importing a huge tonnage of , probably uninspected, timber of dubious origin in order to satisfy the fantasies of the environmentalists who appear to have no interest in preserving our own natural habitat.
    Meanwhile, I believe that the ships carrying this cargo to our shores will be passed mid Atlantic by similar ships taking Norwegian wood chips to Canadian biomass power stations.
    “Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.”

  27. Green windpower at work.

    NTZ – 27 July 2014
    Developers To Clear 850,000 Sq M Of Virgin Forests On UNESCO Nature Reserve To Make Way For 700-Foot Turbines

    http://notrickszone.com/2014/07/27/developers-to-clear-85000-sq-km-of-virgin-forests-on-unesco-nature-reserve-to-make-way-for-700-foot-turbines/

    Green windpower not at work.

    NTZ – 28 July 2014
    Engineering Magazine: “Underestimated Danger: Every Month Ten Wind Turbines Get Destroyed by Fire”!

    http://notrickszone.com/2014/07/28/engineering-magazine-underestimated-danger-every-month-ten-wind-turbines-destroyed-by-fire/

    It’s worse than we thought!

  28. Fortunately the problem of unequal input from wind and solar that is causing current problems will be resolved naturally in a couple of months as the solar panels will in effect stop working as autumn approaches and light levels drop away sharply.

    Tonyb

  29. @Joseph Murphy says: July 28, 2014 at 10:28 am

    +100 , those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, those who do are doomed to watch those who don’t on the six o’clock green energy MSM news (or something like that).

  30. @David Larsen says: July 28, 2014 at 10:37 am

    -100, those two world wars, I don’t associate with the smartest.

  31. ERCOT, the primary grid regulatory agency agency in Texas is doing the same thing. What surprises me is the reason; older steam units being retired over the next few years and not because of wind or solar. Typical grid costs for 1 megawatt of electricity varies between $25 (1 AM) and $57 (5 PM). But starting this year ERCOT will pay peaker plant operators up to $5000 per megawatt if the grid reaches over 90% of available capacity, that’s almost 100 times the base rate, Starting next rear the price rises to $9000 or about 160 times the base rate.
    From FuelFix.com

    http://fuelfix.com/blog/2014/07/10/new-peaking-power-units-coming-to-texas/

    “the grid gets electricity from a “significant number of old steam plants that are 40-plus years old. About 8 percent of the total capacity to the grid is expected to be retired by 2019.
    In early June, the Public Utility Commission gave electricity generators more incentive to build when it raised the wholesale electricity price cap to $7,000 per megawatt hour. The cap is the highest price at which power can be sold into the market at times of peak demand.
    The cap is scheduled to go to $9,000 per megawatt hour in 2015.”

    At least one energy provider is looking at the problem in a different way. Rather than pay 100+ times more for electricity during peak demand periods they are trying a new market based solution called Ambit Energy Power Payback. Under the program, customers in Texas who have Smart Meters will receive advance notification of an impending period of extreme electricity demand. They then have the opportunity to cut back on their electricity use during the specified time. If their electricity usage during this time is lower than their average from the same time period over the previous five weekdays, they receive a bill credit of $1.00 for every kilowatt-hour saved.

    http://www.heraldonline.com/2014/07/28/6180161/ambit-energy-introduces-power.html?sp=/100/773/385/

  32. According to this story, the northeast U.S. is in for some tough times as politicians and activists have been attacking the generation of electricity:

    http://spectator.org/articles/60007/get-ready-new-england-power-shortage

    … So what is likely to happen? Another cold winter is certain to bring skyrocketing prices and possible brownouts. New Englanders already pay 45 percent higher electric bills than the rest of the country and that figure can only grow. The first region of the country to industrialize is about the drive away the last of its blue-collar workshops. …

    According to William Tucker, It looks like this winter will be the one where we all see what green policies in the US have done.

  33. 400 PERCENT, not 400X’s. Minor error, but worth fixing. (Of course the big error is the “renewable push” causing a 4′s increase in 10 years.)

    Again, I hate to be a cynic, but this is a country that brought you: (Drum roll..) TWO, count them TWO World Wars! A country which, after being completely rebuilt by the good old USA, produces a bunch of whiney, self centered children who can only drink beer and complain about the “cowboys” in the USA, while we foot the bill for holding “Ivan” at bay (big mistake, that..)

    SO, now they want to destroy themselves? My concern is where???

  34. The solution for the Germans is to simply run the base load plants all the time and supply 100% of the electricity to satisfy the market. Pay for any green electricity from wind turbines of photovoltaic sources and dump it. It will be cheaper in the long run considering power grid damage from fluctuations and economic loss from power outages.

  35. Richardscourteney – you are being unfair to Janus and may have misunderstood him. Janus and Jud have it perfectly correct. Minute to minute imbalances on an electric grid are dealt with by spinning reserves ( interconnected generators running but not fully loaded) as they both explain. The A.C. grid is synchronous so the generators must be running at full speed (synchronised) with temperatures and pressures at operating levels to quickly “ramp” and preserve system frequency when the renewables reduce thier output or drop off the system. This costs in terms of capital, operation and maintenance and some significant fuel burn for a thermal unit. Not “full load” but perhaps as much as 20% depending on the unit – exactly as Janus stated. This is all part of the large hidden cost of interconnecting renewables – and the reason that the claimed CO2 savings are illusory. No green policy advocate will ever talk about this reality of system integration ( possibly because they have no idea of what it takes to run an electric system).

    Richard

  36. Germany has the advantage in a single monetary system, the Euro. Germany is also building more coal plants, while using the EU directives to shut down coal and nuclear in the rest of Europe. Germany appoints interim governments in bankrupt countries receiving bail-outs. Germany appointed Mr. Juncker, the new President of the European Commission.

    Now did we not fight two world wars to prevent a German-dominated Europe?

  37. richardscourtney says:
    July 28, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I, too, fail to understand your objection to Janus’ post. He highlights that spinning reserve, while in reserve mode, is burning significant fuel (20% of full, he says) with no power output. That’s 0% efficiency in that period. Even if converted quickly to full power mode at peak efficiency, the average efficiency will be significantly lowered.

  38. Richard:

    At July 28, 2014 at 1:43 pm you say to me

    Richardscourteney – you are being unfair to Janus and may have misunderstood him.

    NO! Absolutely not! Janus was economical with the truth.

    If the effect of spinning reserve were to reduce fuel (i.e. coal) usage (Janus said by 80%) then the resulting reduction to CO2 emissions would be the justification for the costly ‘renewables’. But the net effect of spinning reserve is to INCREASE the fuel used and, thus, the CO2 emissions.

    I quoted Janus verbatim, then cited, linked and quoted an example of a report from a power operator which explains that the spinning reserve increases fuel usage, then I asked him/her/them to resolve the issue.

    This link jumps to my post so people can assess the matter for themselves.

    Richard

  39. What’s sad is that the energy cost increase was foreseeable. Solar panels are covered in snow (it can still snow in March) and the days are shorter in the winter (when ou need energy the most), the wind don’t blow steadily and all of the above has maintenance costs like any other energy producing system. Ahem the sun and wind ain’t as free as advertised.

    Do you really need to be a scientist and run projection models on super computers to see the obvious?

  40. “At the beginning, this market counted for only a small portion of our earnings …Today, we earn 10 percent of our plant profits in the balancing market” in Germany”

    There is nothing new in the above statement.

    The newest power stations are usually the most efficient on the system (setting aside the distortion of gov’t policy and subsidy for a moment).

    The condition of the newest power stations means better technical performance on measures like maximum capacity, thermal efficiency, and operating reliability. Investors may delay design features for flexible operation, and there may be a smaller staff compliment. It should be no surprise that a young power station may not be particularly flexible, and earns little from flexible services.

    As a power station ages, technical degradation reduces thermal efficiency, maximum capacity and reliability. Competitive advantage is steadily lost to the latest crop of younger, more efficient power stations.

    Not all power stations can enjoy life in the base load segment of the market: demand fluctuates and somebody has to respond (or the system would collapse on over-frequency). Let’s say 50% of the power station have to respond.

    The market can thrash-out who stays in the base load market using price differentials. High prices when demand is highest, and low prices in off-peak periods. For many generators, the low prices in the off-peak periods will be loss-making (otherwise the market would not give anybody the incentive to do respond – and the system would collapse). The least efficient power stations (highest cost per unit) are least able to suffer the off-peak losses.

    There comes a stage in a power station’s life when it has enjoyed life in the base load market, but the losses in the off-peak are increasing and the operator faces a choice: either adapt to a flexible operating regime (avoid those losses), or close

    Unless there are particular reasons to prevent flexible operation, will be able to increase profit through flexible operation. This will usually involve capital investments for flexibility (such addtional automation) and a period of training/learning as plant managers figure out how to deliver flexible services reliably.

    To conclude – there is nothing new in power stations earning income from flexibility when previously they enjoyed base load operation. It is a natural progression in the station’s life and the market striving to minimise cost/maximise the utility of the assets.

  41. Curt:

    re your post at July 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm.

    The issue was and is fuel usage. You have introduced the ‘red herring’ of efficiency.

    Richard

  42. Or, perhaps Germany is selling the back-up power to the neighboring European countries, who are following European Union legislation from Brussels to reduce emissions, by installing countless worthless wind turbines on the lovely countryside and sea coasts.

  43. Jordan:

    Your post at July 28, 2014 at 2:05 pm is disingenuous and misleading. The subject of this thread is the effect of Germany’s adoption of intermittent renewables. Your post makes no mention of the adoption.

    Intermittent renewables cannot provide baseload.

    Richard

  44. Neither the problems of balancing the grid, nor the costs of doing so are ever properly addressed by Politicians, and the public is on the dark on these issues.

    Sometime ago, Christopher Booker wrote a number of articles on STOR (a scheme of diesel generators used for backup/grid balancing), See, for example, http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/stor-scandal-the-establishment-conspiracy-to-fleece-energy-customers-by-design/

    he notes that the current wholesal market rate for coventionally generated electricty in the UK is £50 per Mega Watt hour, Onshore wind is £100, and off-shore wind is £150.

    However, energy provided under the emergency diesel generating scheme require for balancing the grid due to the unreliable and variable nature of wind (and solar) is on average some £225 per Mega Watt hour, and in some cases up to £400 per Mega Watt hour. But the cost is even worse than that since we pay the owners of the generator £22,000 per Mega Watt hour of capacity. So say the owners of the generators build a 100 Mega Watt hour generator pack, they get a one off payment of £2.2 million, and then they get the feed in tarrif which on average is £225 per Mega Watt hour. We have already paid the owners of these generators £75 million to cover their investment costs, and now we are paying them a further £25 per Mega Watt hour of emergency power provided to the grid when the grid calls for rebalancing!

    Of course, the irony is that diesel from small generators produces more CO2 then either gas or coal so this does nothing to reduce CO2 emissions.

    When assessing the emissions form windfarms, one should take account of the CO2 produced by conventionally powered backup generation (which is required on average 755 of the time and because of the ramp up/shut down mode of operation, it runs less efficiently than would be the case if it was used to produce 100% base load) PLUS the CO2 from the diesel generators used for grid balancing. When proper account is taken, there is no CO2 reduction at all!

  45. richardscourtney: “But the net effect of spinning reserve is to INCREASE the fuel used and, thus, the CO2 emissions.”

    Yes.

    And there are different reasons why system operators maintain operating reserve. One is referred to as “Single In-feed Loss” in the terminology of the GB market. It is like an insurance policy against the risk of a single generating unit tripping-off unexpectedly – the reserve plant has to “catch” the frequency before the excursion drops below a specified value when load would be shed.

    Single In-feed Loss is determined by the largest single generating unit on the system. In GB, this is the Sizewell PWR power station, and means a holding circa 1300MW in reserve.

    If newer nuclear designs are commissioned in GB, the Single In-feed Loss reserve could rise to as much as 1,800MW. Consider the extra CO2 emissions for a fleet of part-loaded fossil-fired generating stations which can find 1,800MW within a matter of minutes.

    One in the eye for those who suggest nuclear generation is CO2-free generation.

  46. Jordan:

    Having failed to side-track this thread with irrelevance in your post at July 28, 2014 at 2:05 pm, you attempt to side-track the thread with another irrelevance in your post at July 28, 2014 at 2:28 pm.

    Technically, Single In-feed Loss applies not only to possible outage of a power station but also to possible loss of grid connection to the power station.

    But such points don’t matter. The subject of this thread is effect of adding intermittent renewables to the German grid supply and what lessons that provides. The subject is not the fact that nuclear power provides baseload in the UK.

    Richard

  47. richardscourtney says: “Your post at July 28, 2014 at 2:05 pm is disingenuous and misleading. The subject of this thread is the effect of Germany’s adoption of intermittent renewables. Your post makes no mention of the adoption.”

    Cough, splutter! Richard – please calm yourself.

    I only addressed a quotation taken directly from the story at the top of the thread and a couple of response in the comments.

    The purpose of my explanation was to help people to understand the natural progression of operation of a power station. I remember when Rugeley B power station was the most efficient coal fired power station in the CEGB merit order. Its managers insisted that it was a “base loader” and it could not flex. However, the reality of modern CCGT investments in the 1990;s dash-for-gas pretty much changed Rugely B as I described above.

  48. richardscourtney says: “Having failed to side-track this thread with irrelevance in your post at July 28, 2014 at 2:05 pm, you attempt to side-track the thread with another irrelevance in your post at July 28, 2014 at 2:28 pm.

    Technically, Single In-feed Loss applies not only to possible outage of a power station but also to possible loss of grid connection to the power station.”

    Cough, splutter! Richard, why so angry? Why so intolerant?

    The point you raise is moot: a 1300MW power station could be lost because of the shutdown of the power station or its grid connection. They both have the same effect, and they both result from the fact that there is 1300MW single point of failure.

    I only want to help people understand that these are complex issues and some of them are subtle. If people go all guns blazing into the attack on an issue, the subtleties might come back to bite their backsides.

    Forewarned is….

  49. Jordan:

    At July 28, 2014 at 2:45 pm you ask me

    Richard, why so angry? Why so intolerant?

    I answer, because I despise anonymous trolls whose clear intent is to inhibit discussion of a subject by side-tracking a thread onto irrelevance.

    And such trolls ALWAYS turn up when windpower is discussed.

    Are you being employed to troll this thread?

    Richard

  50. Richard

    With regard to the quality of the discussion, it is not helped by angry Richard lashing out at people.

    So just try to calm yourself down and you might find yourself engaging in reasoned dialogue with people who’d like to help increase the sum total of knowledge.

  51. richardscourtney – Cool it a little.

    Everyone on this thread has agreed (or not opposed) that:

    ☻Wind is not base load
    ☻Spinning reserve increases emissions by at least 20% to cover wind (and other renewables)
    ☻Germany is not supported in its wisdom.

    My advice is that you take time out – reread -and keep your powder dry for the big battles.
    And, yes, it is my place to give you advice.

  52. M Courtney:

    re your post at July 28, 2014 at 3:06 pm, no it is not true that

    “Everyone on this thread has agreed (or not opposed) that:

    ☻Spinning reserve increases emissions by at least 20% to cover wind (and other renewables)”

    On the contrary. Janus claimed that spinning reserve reduces fuel usage – so reduces emissions – by 80% and he/she/they was supported by Richard and Curt.

    When I refuted that falsehood with a reference and a link then Jordan started his campaign of side-tracking the thread with a series of irrelevancies, and when I refuted his side-tracks he claimed to be a victim seeking rational discussion.

    Richard

  53. There is an easy way to make a nuclear plant (or any power plant for that matter) load following. Use any power not needed by the electric grid to power a desalination plant. Construct the desalination plant so that you can switch the power to the boilers in small steps. You make most of the fresh water at night when you can use most, or all, of the power produced, but water is easily stored.

  54. RichardSCourtney I think you got hold of the wrong end of the stick. I dont think Janus or anyone else in this thread is suggesting that intermittent renewables such as windpower reduce CO2 emissions by any significant factor. What Janus was pointing out is that unpredictable system imbalances caused by intermittent operation of renewables require the provision of unloaded or partially loaded operating reserves. Reserve generators do not consume fuel at the same level as a fully loaded plant ( the 20% versus 100%). He is not claiming that the renewable resource has “saved” 80% at all. Policy makers who insist that renewables can replace fossil fuels (and nuclear) clearly do not understand how an electric system actually works – such as the requirement for reserves to cover contingencies, and the “ramping” that must balance changes in variable load and output. The net effect is that renewables can displace some fossil fueled generation in the dispatch of the entire system BUT also rely on system reserves to continually back them up (likely 30% capacity factor for wind and 15% for solar). As partially loaded plants have a much lower efficiency ( higher “heat rate” in industry terms) and burn more fuel per MWh when paretially loaded the net effect is that intermittent renewables have little effect on overall CO2 emissions and may even increase them under some circumstances. (Think town mileage vs highway mileage for a car). In other words the claimed CO2 reductions of renewables are illusory – or at least highly exaggerated. If the politicians are as daft as the current crop of German ones and try to replace base-load nuclear with renewables, then the only possible outcome is an increase in CO2 emissions.

    The placis Richard ( ex-CEGB)

  55. So what we are saying here is that businesses will suck up the easiest profit no matter where it comes from. So governing bodies across the world handed out a subsidy carrot quickly identified as easy profit, and business bit the carrot. Problem is, in reality that bite came out of the common rank and file’s ass. I was wondering how I got that bite on my back side.

    The more serious matter is this: It is yet another manifestation of a bubble. And it will eventually burst, leaving us to the task of rebuilding the mothballed fossil fuel industry. Do we even need governing bodies? They seem more trouble then they are worth.

  56. One interesting possibility is that the CO2 belching fossil fuel utility companies are spinning their generators up to full power, and are simply discarding vast amounts of excess energy, until solar or wind output drops – so they can be ready to dump extra capacity onto the grid at a moment’s notice.

    Perhaps, but, probably not. Most likely they’re being utilized to simply provide base load. One can only dump so much energy.

  57. Re: Caleb’s logical comment about Germans at 9:51am today…

    Yes, Germans are generally strong-minded and tend to rationally pick the most cost-effective solutions…

    HOWEVER,

    Germans (as a group, individuals vary, of course) also have a weakness: they have a genetic tendency (not all, not all, but, a historically demonstrated tendency among them as a group) to obey authority figures. “One shall rule” is still in their psyche. Thus, many of them will follow their Green Leaders (largely controlled by their “silent partners,” the Enviroprofiteers) — to the death.

    Also, being largely a non-religious culture now…

    many Germans have eagerly signed onto the Cult of Environmentalism.

    Humans need a religion. If they do not find it in Judeo-Christianity or Buddhism or other moral traditions, they will scoop it up out of the manure heap of ideas and proudly wave their befouled hands at everyone they pass in the street.

    Of COURSE, us truth-in-science people can smell the Envirocultists from a kilometer away….

    but, they’ve become inured.

    (Dirk (my German ally for truth) — I would be interested in hearing your perspective on this…)

    *************************************************
    JUST IN CASE YOU COME BACK…

    Pamela Gray! #(:))

    Any “news”?…… (you know….. — smile).

  58. 28 July: The Hill: Timothy Cama: Power outage forces EPA to move climate hearing
    Opponents of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rules to reduce power plant carbon emissions are mocking the agency after power outages caused a hearing on the rules to be moved.
    The EPA announced late Friday that its two-day hearing scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at Atlanta’s major federal office building would be moved to a hotel due to “a large scale power outage” at the building…
    “This significant power outage is either cruel irony or a glimpse of a coming cruel reality if the Obama administration and the EPA are successful in their quest to end the use of affordable, reliable coal,” Laura Sheehan, a spokeswoman for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, said in a statement.
    The coal group accused the Obama administration of “regulating American coal-based electricity out of existence,” and said officials should instead work to encourage technology that makes coal use cleaner.
    In a blog post about the power outages, the Chamber of Commerce warned that the news wasn’t satire: “This is not a story from The Onion…
    The EPA said it was moving the hearing as a precaution and the outages at the federal building had nothing to do with the electrical grid…
    An electrical problem caused power outages in the Atlanta federal building, which spurred officials to close the structure for most of last week, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It reopened Monday morning…

    http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/213485-climate-rule-opponents-mock-epa-after-atlanta-hearing-moved

    27 July: ;Tribune Review: David Conti: Observers mixed on grid backup amid carbon rules, natural gas uncertainty
    If the electrical grid that powers the United States encounters a supply problem, the easiest solution takes five years.
    That’s the minimum time it takes to build a large, natural gas-fired generation station, from siting to lining up investors, permitting and constructing…
    Some leaders and observers worry that a spike in demand, accelerated retirements of coal-fired plants pinched by new carbon rules, and the shuttering of more nuclear reactors could lead to grid failures and expensive utility bills in the next five to 10 years.
    “There is a coming storm as demand keeps going up,” said David Holt, president of the Houston-based Consumer Energy Alliance, which advocates for energy users.
    Some of the disagreement about what should power the grid comes from economic and regulatory uncertainties. Experts assume more coal plants will close — and almost none will be built — because of Environmental Protection Agency emissions rules such as those opening to public comment this week in Pittsburgh…
    “A lot of challenges” await the grid, including the integration of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, Moniz said. The Energy Information Administration predicts a big increase in that sector, but its low efficiency means it can’t be a baseload provider.
    “Wind and solar aren’t there yet,” Holt said…
    Protecting the grid
    That leaves coal as the most reliable source, Murphy and others say. He said the United States should invest more money in finding ways to burn it more efficiently to meet emissions standards.
    The Energy Information Administration predicts reliance on coal to produce electricity will decrease about 16 percent by 2020, but it will remain the dominant fuel until at least 2034…

    http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/6486014-74/grid-energy-gas#axzz38rPpiYId

  59. 28 July: JournalReview: AP: Not in my backyard: US sending dirty coal abroad
    By 2020, coal will no longer be burned at the 38-year-old power plant (Boardman Coal Plant, Oregon), replaced by cleaner-burning natural gas…
    But 12 miles north, a port on the Columbia River could represent the region’s coal future.
    If all goes according to plan for global energy conglomerate Ambre Energy Ltd., coal mined from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming will still arrive in Boardman by train car. But instead of feeding the coal plant, it would be shipped to Asia, where an energy-hungry populace is reliant on coal as a cheap power source…
    This town in the Columbia Gorge is a real-life example of the gulf between Obama’s grand strategy to reduce coal emissions and the reality behind that policy: As the U.S. reduces its own carbon pollution, it is exporting more of it abroad.
    Built in 1976, the Boardman Coal Plant burns about 3 million tons of coal each year. The Port of Morrow terminal would ship three times more — nearly 9 million tons — out of the country.
    Those extra 6 million tons of thermal coal will generate energy somewhere, its carbon emissions joining the same atmosphere…
    Over the last five years, as the U.S. has cut coal consumption by 195 million tons, about 20 percent of that coal has been shipped overseas, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of Energy Department data. That proportion is expected to get larger as the U.S. continues to clean up its power plants, boost energy efficiency and move to more pollution-free sources of energy such as wind and solar.
    For the Northwest, proposed coal terminals would export more than 100 million tons of coal to Asia per year, far exceeding the total consumption for all plants that feed coal-fired power to the region, including Oregon, and doubling U.S. exports.
    “If we’re trying to address carbon and we’re creating a whole new export industry, I think that is problematic,” said Citizens Utility Board of Oregon executive director Bob Jenks. “There’s a fundamental disconnect between trying to reduce carbon emissions and creating new industries around coal.”…
    Despite requests from Oregon’s Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber to evaluate the full environmental consequences of the export terminal proposed here, including the emissions released in Asia from U.S. coal, the Obama administration has decided to analyze only the carbon released in the U.S…
    Meanwhile, the coal exported will result in nearly 51 million tons of emissions…

    http://www.journalreview.com/news/article_13a40e40-c2e1-5a8f-896d-6c5035f347a0.html

  60. “Power plant can be loaded from spinning reserve to full load in the matter of minutes. Basically what is needed to increase of the coal flow.”

    Although I am not intimately involved in coal fired power plants I am quite aware of large refining and chemical process units, hydrogen generating furnaces, etc; and no unit goes from 20% to even 70 % production in “minutes”
    When you say minutes are you talking about 5 minutes or 50?
    Normally when someone say “ready in a matter of minutes” one thinks several which I suspect is impossible to achieve with a moderately large coal fired plant. I suspect that feed of coal via blowers and increased steam production cannot be achieved in minutes and load distributed to te grid without burning out the “tubes”

    When I studied Mechanical Engineering in university we ran rather large steam turbines from which we took data to measure efficiency, etc. We dumped the generated electricity via a large bank of resistors (heat). I suspect that something is used like that to start up plants and increase and control production in advance of a predicted load. Check this URL

    http://www.kingislandrenewableenergy.com.au/history/dynamic-resistive-frequency-control

    Surely someone on this site more familiar with the grid and power plants than I could clarify and explain how we increase output from idle in “minutes”.

  61. Sam Hall offered the interesting suggestion that nukes could be used for load balancing if the excess power was used to run a desalination plant in the off peak.

    That works, but the economics are interesting. Desalination is inherently a very energy intensive process. Thus, large scale fresh water production by desalination will NEVER be practical unless a very cheap source of energy is introduced. Nuclear might be it, if we could restrain the silliness of the enviros, but what are the odds of that happening.

    One can illustrate the fundamentally energy intensive nature of desalination by noting that the osmotic difference between salt and freshwater can be run the other direction to PRODUCE electricity. The gadget is an osmotic engine and it operates by the same thermodynamic logic as heat engines. I know because I’ve built one! In theory, one could supply all the electricity needs of the U.S. by redirecting the major rivers through osmotic engine plants where they meet the oceans. The technical challenges are huge, but theoretically it is simple.

  62. 400 X instead of 400% is not a minor error, it’s a factor of 100 (or 80 depending on how you calculate it). If that was in a warmist post you’d be all over it for outrageous innumeracy.

  63. Sigh, its nothing to do with efficiency or base load design. They have realised that the market is rigged and open to exploitation. For the cost of a small modification, they run their base load plant at full power but generate/supply no electricity to the grid. The cost of this is U.S.D. 40 per MWHr.

    Now they have all the market data, weather data etc and know when the demand ramps up, as well as knowing when the wind and solar ramps down. Using this simple good management and simple maths, they kick in supplies when the price is right. at usd 400 per mwHr, they soon make a profit for the day.

    End result, no fuel saved, no co2 emissions saved but the plant owner makes a profit.

    How they do it? Does it matter

  64. All they need to do is set up a supercomputer array. When the grid needs power, shunt it to the grid. When the grid doesn’t need power, shunt it to the supercomputer array and mine bitcoins…

  65. Post War analyses of Germany’s attempts to the A bomb in WW2, led by Werner Heisenberg and other brilliant German physicists would never have succeeded in theirbdesigns to create a military deliverable super critical cores.

    The US Manhattan Project, with its core cadre of German Jewish physicists who departed Germany in 1933 when Hitler attained full dictatorialpower, of course succeeded. Hitler, like the liberals today, sacrificed science for political correctness.

    Germans do make huge mistakes. Big ones. Climate Change economic destruction may well be another one of those epic mistakes.

  66. I don’t see anything in this article or the linked articles that supports “400x increase in power rates.” I see a graph up there that looks like a 10x increase in rates. Is “400x” a typo of “400%” (4x)?

  67. I think that the 400x/400% issue needs to be cleared up but in reality it makes no difference.

    The big lignite producers have found a way to game the system and they are doing so. They have so much margin, the economics and efficiency matters not a jot. Simply because wind and solar on the grid does not nor cannot work.

    Market forces will overcome all stupidity.

  68. market forces are wonderful things. The simplest and cheapest and quickest way to send the EPA packing is to do what they want. No lengthy expensive legal battles. No giving them free publicity. Just give them what they want, starting in DC, close the nearest coal fired power station, for maintenance, then the next nearest and so on, till they are gone. Then turn the lights back on again.

    Same is happening in Germany. So much free energy but no reduction in coal use????????????????? Same result, slightly different way of doing it.

  69. The great tragedy about all of this is that the main stream media refuse to get hold of the problem and point out the facts being hidden by governments across the world. Why?

  70. Interesting bit here http://bit.ly/1uD5Uc5 on how spinning reserve and other sources were used to cover the sudden loss of 1GW after storm breaks wires (overhead cables!):
    Dungeness nuclear power station shuts down following hurricane-strength winds

    The bulk is instantly (12 seconds spec) supplied by pumped storage. Even coal sees a quick ramp up and a few 10s MW from OCGT. But no power outage caused. It would be interesting to know what happened to the power being generated when the line went down – it’s not easy damping down a nuke (see Fukushima problems)

  71. Janice Moore says:
    July 28, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    You have no idea how deeply ingrained & Mainstream the Green Mantras have become in Germany. As is usual with ideologies, these consist of unconnected bits and slogans: no inkling, e.g., that supposed benefits may incur costs (indeed, MUST), or any economic factors at all. The whole show runs on pure belief: if something is Deemed Good, according to the green dogma, it must, a priori, be good. If things turn out otherwise, it has not been implemented forcefully enough, or been sabotaged by Hidebound Reactionaries, or Vested Interests. For those who remember the mindset of the socialists, it`s déjá vu all over again.

    Add to it a widespread ignorance in matters scientific or mathematical. By now, it is the rule even for a Professor at a University to be unable to add or subtract two 2-digit numbers without having to ask one of his (or hers) students where to find “this calculator thingie” on his computer.

  72. This is why the Germany (when it comes to energy) are called “sick man of Europe”:

    “… the changes needed to accommodate large amounts of variable renewable energy on the grid, in particular thousands of kilometers of new power lines and the ramping up of energy storage, are not happening quickly enough.”

    “However, another concern is the rising cost of the Fits scheme that has driven Germany’s huge renewable roll out: it now costs bill payers €14bn a year. An official at the economic ministry, which uneasily shares responsibility with environment for energy policy, warns that a tipping point will come when CONSUMERS WILL REFUSE to pay more for new renewables.”
    (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/may/30/germany-renewable-energy-revolution)

    “ He cautioned, however, that his Federal Network Agency’s assessment shows that more and swifter investment is needed to upgrade the electricity grid to cope with the influx of UNSTABLE and geographically DISPERSED renewable energies.”

    “…it derives most of its wind power from the country’s north, but demand is highest in the strongly industrialized south.”

    “To cope with that challenge, the agency estimates that Germany needs to build another 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) of high voltage lines — at an estimated cost of some €20 billion ($26 billion).”
    (http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-10-29/german-official-renewable-energy-beats-forecasts)

    “At issue is the German Renewable Energy Act, which requires power companies to buy wind and solar energy from producers at fixed prices, which are much higher than electricity produced by traditional methods such as coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. At the same time, power-hungry industries receive generous subsidies – the country’s largest industrial consumers use some 18 percent of the electricity produced but pay only 0.3 percent of the extra costs generated by the mandated feed-in tariffs. German consumers have to COUGH UP the difference.”

    “ … – particularly the offshore windparks being built in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea off the country’s north coast. Many of those projects are at A STANDSTILL, WITH NO WAY TO DELIVER THE POWER …” “…but again it will be German consumers who will ultimately suffer.”
    (http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-addresses-problems-with-renewable-energy-subsidy-system-a-852549.html)

  73. Guys! I was arguing with this:

    `…One interesting possibility is that the CO2 belching fossil fuel utility companies are spinning their generators up to full power, and are simply discarding vast amounts of excess energy, until solar or wind output drops – so they can be ready to dump extra capacity onto the grid at a moment’s notice….`

    The spinning reserve is the way to keep the system stability, not be running the generators at full power (thermal power plant boiler at full steam output and dumping the steam through by-pass, or having a huge load bank at the generator terminals, or whatever discarding vast amount of excess energy“ actually means) Spinning reserve fuel consumption (in a simple scenario of having one plant on standby, synchronised but at no load) is about 20% of the full load consumption of the thermal coal based plant. If somebody has better figures please correct me, but it is not 100% that is certain.

    Spinning reserve results in extra capital costs and operating costs (including extra fuel and extra CO2 emissions). Renewables require extra spinning reserve (over and beyond the regular requirements) in the system due to their inherent unreliability.

    Richard, nice paper you referenced. However I did not find anything in there which would contradict my statement.

    P.S.: I will not argue this point anymore. Have better things to do. Cheers.

  74. Catcracking says:
    July 28, 2014 at 6:38 pm
    “Power plant can be loaded from spinning reserve to full load in the matter of minutes. Basically what is needed to increase of the coal flow.”

    Although I am not intimately involved in coal fired power plants I am quite aware of large refining and chemical process units, hydrogen generating furnaces, etc; and no unit goes from 20% to even 70 % production in “minutes”
    When you say minutes are you talking about 5 minutes or 50?
    Normally when someone say “ready in a matter of minutes” one thinks several which I suspect is impossible to achieve with a moderately large coal fired plant. I suspect that feed of coal via blowers and increased steam production cannot be achieved in minutes and load distributed to te grid without burning out the “tubes”

    Definition of spinning reserve:

    Spinning reserve`class one` …. frequency controller. response time 1 to 5 seconds
    Spinning reserve `class two`……. load variation controller response time 10 minutes.

    The same as before: I will not argue this point anymore. Cheers.

  75. Spinning reserve not relevant. they run the lignite plant at 100%. install a bleed line to condenser. this just takes excess steam , so that power is not generated. As power is required they close the bypass line. instant power on call. add in four small hydraulic coupled alternators and they can virtually ramp in any amount of power as required.

  76. “Coal and gas electricity companies are being paid up to 400x times the wholesale price of power…”

    Plain wrong.

    Sometimes, “the wholesale price of power” is zero, or even negative. Thanks the renewables. Try to calculate then “what they pay”.

    [show a link or references, otherwise your claim is just that, a claim .mod]

  77. I think we can blame the deterioration of German intellect on 2 factors:
    a) Chasing away the Askenazim.
    b) 70 years of relentless propaganda by the Nazi broadcasting system which had been repurposed after WW 2 by SHAEF. And which today is still forcibly financed by a household fee collecting 8 bn EUR / year – think of the BCC, only much much worse.

  78. In NJ the electricity companies that deliver to your home are required to include a significant % of green renewable energy which significantly increases our electricity cost. See below:
    SREC trade data for prior months and Reporting/Energy Years is available on the page below and includes all SREC trade data from SREC trading inception on 08.14.04 through the present month.

    http://www.njcleanenergy.com/srecpricing

    Note that the average purchase price for mandated renewable energy has been around 18 cents per kwh whereas the maximum that was paid was 62 cents/kwh in MAY 2014.

    Wonder why our electricity costs are going up? In the near future NJ will be shutting down one Nuclear plant and several coal fired plants. .

  79. David Larsen says:
    July 28, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Nah, the Germans have been that stupid all along. Their propensity to abstract thinking makes them vulnerable to all of the ideologies of whatever age one happens to be in. We had Kaiser Wilhelm and his batty foreign policy and aggressive expansion, based upon his quasi-social-Darwinism; we had Hitler and his scapegoating of Jews and his robbing Peter to pay Paul welfare state, designed to buy the support of the average German during the worst period of military and strategic decision-making. Now, the Germans have fallen lock-stock and barrel for the Greens’ view of the world (which in Germany, has its roots in the Nazi views on environment and nature). So this is nothing new – German stupidity has been both a blessing and a curse to the rest of the world.

  80. janus says:
    July 29, 2014 at 6:51 am
    Sorry I did not see any reference that you provided that indicates that a coal fired plant can go from 20% to full load in minutes without using the technique mentioned by Grey Lensman which is neither clean re CO2 emissions or an efficient use of fuel. One of the messages of the original post made that point. Your reference of “Spinning reserve `class two`……. load variation controller response time 10 minutes” is an objective and in no way proves that a lignite coal fired plant can achieve it. A better reference is welcome. I believe that gas turbines can probably achieve the objective but someone might prove me wrong.

    The following comes from Wiki ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Demand_(electric_power)
    also confirms the wasteful of most “spinning reserve).
    “The power utilities are able to predict to a reasonable accuracy (generally to within one or two percent) the demand pattern throughout any particular day. This means that the free market in electricity is able to schedule just enough base load in advance. Any remaining imbalance would then be due either to inaccuracies in the prediction, or unscheduled changes in supply (such as a power station fault) and/or demand. Such imbalances are removed by requesting generators to operate in so called frequency response mode (also called frequency control mode), altering their output continuously to keep the frequency near the required value.
    The grid frequency is a system-wide indicator of overall power imbalance. For example, it will drop if there is too much demand because generators will start to slow down slightly. A generator in frequency-response mode will, under nominal conditions, run at reduced output in order to maintain a buffer of spare capacity. It will then continually alter its output on a second-to-second basis to the needs of the grid with droop speed control.
    This spinning reserve is a significant expense to the power utilities as often fuel must be burned or potential power sales lost to maintain it. The kind of generation used for fast response is usually fossil fuel powered which produces emissions of between 0.48 and 1.3 tonnes of CO2 equivalent for every megawatt hour (MWh) generated. Thus a significant environmental burden, in the form of increased greenhouse gas emissions, is associated with this imbalance.”

  81. This might also help to explain why German electricity is three times the price of American, they are paying for three system producers.

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