Europe has too much wind power

The development of alternative energy has to go hand in hand with a reinforcement of the electrical grid, otherwise the latter will eventually become so busy and will cap the production to its capacity. Such is the case with Germany’s grid, which is an example of an imbalanced structure of solar and wind energy harvesters on one hand and the outdated grid, on the other.

Following a report from published in the NY Times, we find out the opinion of Oxford University economist Dieter Helm, who stated that “basically, governments have allowed the buildup of wind without thinking through the grid consequences. There are two responses: Stop wasting so much on the rapid development of wind and its questionable economics.

In most cases, the proliferation of alternative energy is done by government subsidies, but these are made without taking into consideration that it’s also necessary to invest in the grid. Up to 100 billion euros ($138 billion) are necessary to upgrade the grid over the next decade.

The projected production capacity, the one that’s been heavily invested in, is not always working at maximum parameters, but when that happens, the companies managing the grid need to put a hold on everything, because there’s too much energy to cope with. For example, when wind blew harder in Germany recently, their usual 5 GW reached 20 GW, and cross-border connection with grids in neighboring countries had to be shut down because they couldn’t handle the spike.


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Posted by Jarrod M March 11, 2011 at 3:54 PM under Alternative Energy Environment News and Events

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