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Germany limits expansion of windfarm sector

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

On some days, windfarms in the northern part of Germany are producing so much electricity that they have to be switched off to prevent electrical grid congestion. For the resulting downtime, the state compensates operators. In 2015, 4100 GWh of excess electricity was produced, which is three times more than in 2014 and enough to provide a million households with energy for a whole year. During last year, Germany paid 1 billion Euros for system security measures to protect the national electrical grind from such imbalances. The federal network agency argues that these costs could rise to a total 4 billion Euros by 2022 should the situation not improve.

Germany’s initial plan was to feed its southern states with energy from the north. However, the execution of this plan turned out to be problematic as, for instance, the German public demonstrated heavily against the gigantic transmission towers that would have to be installed to strengthen the north-south connection. The alternativ...

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