Germany at the Crossroads

For more than 10 years Germany has been the poster child for the development of renewable energy sources – principally Photo-Voltaic (PV) solar and wind.

The Germans have stoically endured ever-increasing electricity rates that cannot do anything but continue to go up because of guaranteed Feed-In-Tariffs (FITs) for systems being installed each month. They have heard the dire warnings from their utilities who can no longer operate base load thermal plants profitably. And they fear for the future of German industry and the millions of jobs its supports as wholesale electricity rates have climbed rapidly from being well below to well above the European average.

September 22 may change all of that even if Chancellor Merkel is re-elected. A new or renewed government is bound to take a serious look at all the issues related to the Energiewende. I discuss the possible outcomes at length in a new blog posting.

One Response to Germany at the Crossroads

  1. Stelios Papastratos September 26, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    I found your article and the relevant manifesto very interesting.

    I understand the limitations of solar energy in a country like germany where in general sun exposure is much less than in other european countries (Spain, South france, South Italy, Greece).

    Do you have any quantitative information on how solar location is affecting its reliability. Would that make sense to produce solar electicity in one place and consume it in a different place? The extreme of that would be to install solar panels in Africa and transfer from there. Will that make tecnilca and economical sense?

    Stelios Papastratos
    Principal Simulation Engineer at Invensys Inc.