Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Wind energy surplus threatens Eastern German power grid

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

German Economics Minister Rainer Bruderle warned recently, that Germany faces power outages often, since too much "green electricity" on the grid is pumped.

While this is a problem all four Germany have great river network operators with a time or another, Belgian Australian company 50 Hertz transmission is particularly affected. It took over the monitoring and the protection of the Eastern German power - grid which is home to more than 8,000 windmills - Swedish company Vattenfall last year and the threat of power outages much more frequently than his colleagues.

Hans-Peter Erbring, head of systems control and security at 50HertzCaption: view of the image with the caption: Hans-Peter Erbring head is systems of control and security for 50HertzThe situation tends to be especially critical of public holidays, 50 Hertz systems control and Security Chief Hans-Peter Erbring, Deutsche Welle said. Which has for the inhabitants and companies in Eastern Germany use based on significantly less power than usual - but the wind of course often blows regardless.

In extreme cases, three produce wind turbines and conventional power plants in East Germany until four times the total amount of electricity actually used. This surplus is a heavy burden on Eastern German "Super power" - a 10,000 km of "electric highway", which transfers to distribute energy from offshore wind farms and large power plants, high voltage networks.

Graphic element showing the structure of Germany's energy transmission networkCaption:

Too much energy, not enough demand

50 Hertz engineers monitor the super power of the five eastern Lander and the city of Hamburg from a yellow building on the outskirts of Berlin. The company's control center you will see a team of highly specialized engineers a big screen, various power plants are exactly as much electricity feeding into the grid and coordinate to prevent changes under 1,500 institutions, indicating that the system collapse.

In 2006, as few and far between wind farms were, coal, gas and nuclear power plants produced only the amount of energy in East Germany at the time, but also created large amounts of nuclear waste and carbon dioxide emissions. The system has been relatively stable. An average engineers took action to stabilize the Eastern German grid about 80 times per year.

Today, as the amount of electricity by 8,000 wind turbines in the region and is after hours, engineers have to intervene to prevent network stability every second day.

The global wind energy Council (forecasts) reported that in the year 2010, approximately 40 percent of Germany's wind power production, or 6 percent of world - came from East Germany. This number will increase dramatically as "Baltic 1", a huge new offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, operation this month occurs. Other 13 projects are planned for the next few years.

Grapahic element showing wind energy exports from Eastern GermanyCaption:

Electricity ' export highways '

With no technical means to store this excess energy, the Eastern German grid management protects 50 Hertz production and export of electricity in other regions.

In 2009, exports to the Czech Republic, Germany and Poland reached neighbouring 6.5 gigawatt days with strong winds. As more new wind farms online, Erbring said go, exports are bound to increase even further.

"We then by 80 percent to transport than we in 2009, more from our control panel", he said. While 50 Hertz to a whopping 11.7 gigawatt electricity, southern Germany and the Rhineland industrial channel, there is no infrastructure links committed.

High voltage power linesCaption: view of the image with the caption: experts say Germany's electical super power network other FlexibleIn theory must be, the control then can individual wind farms, which now live off the grid during strong wind Center or 50 Hertz. But this is in fact a rare exception as 50 Hertz of German energy law is bound, suggesting that makes 'green' in the grid must have always a priority.

As a result, coal, gas, and at any time nuclear facilities should they avoid offline the turbines will be shut down, but operators say this from wind, that it makes based on traditional power plants to a consistently high to produce.

Network expansion

A study 2005 German Energy Agency noted that 850 km of freeways "Electricity" are necessary to the Eastern super power-improving 90, the kilometres of which finally installed. Five years later, in its recent study in the year 2010, which said the Agency expected to increase demand quadrupled over the next 10 years.

One of the projects pending is the so-called southwest of cross-border transmission capacity required, to prevent the collapse of the Eastern super power. Without the connection between the Thuringian forest and Upper Franconia - a project that massive opposition from civil society groups can faces - flow no electricity from the East to the South.

50 Hertz security researcher Hans-Peter Erbring it warned a tense situation is: "East Germany of kept grid stability problems have, if not the links in place within the next few years."

Author: Richard Fuchs / DB
Editor: Sam Edmonds

View the original article here

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