• Germany's news in English

Germany faced with winter power shortage

The Local · 16 Jul 2011, 11:51

Published: 16 Jul 2011 11:51 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Germany's recent decision to go nuclear-free means that eight nuclear power stations have already been taken off the grid permanently. Now companies are casting around for alternative sources.

But according to financial magazine Wirtschaftswoche, energy providers have told the Economics Ministry their reserve power plants can only provide 500 megawatts of power before the autumn sets in, leaving a shortage of another 500 megawatts.

Other reserve power plants cannot be operated profitably or will need a preparation time of between one and three years before they can be fully operational, the energy companies have warned.

The companies are therefore arguing that one of the defunct nuclear reactors be kept operational in reserve in case of shortages later this year.

The opposition Green party, meanwhile, argues that bio-fuel power plants that were shut down should be reactivated instead.

Following a Green party request, the German Environment Ministry revealed that hundreds of such plants are currently lying dormant in Germany.

The Green party claims that these plants are not being used because plant oil is currently too expensive. The environmentalist party is therefore calling for a change in the law that would allow these plants to be driven with diesel or natural gas in the event of a power shortage.

Story continues below…


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:10 July 16, 2011 by pepsionice
Hmmm...it would sound like that you'd buy lots of nuclear power from Russia, France or the Ukraine....at a higher cost than you'd like to pay. So figure an extra 150 Euro spent these winter months for your buddy who has no issues with nuclear power. Knee-jerk reactions....often have consequences.
12:44 July 16, 2011 by Englishted
The greens are right start up the plants and run them on the fuel that we motorists will not put in our cars because it is rubbish.

Sowed the wind guess what is coming back,stupid government.

By the way I was being ironic about the greens.
12:55 July 16, 2011 by 23Dan
Wait, the green party wants to run biofuel plants on diesel? Sounds pretty green to me...

In other news, power companies lay the groundwork for price rises later in the year. I'm completely shocked, that almost never happens.
16:00 July 16, 2011 by harcourt
I don't want to say I told you so but " I told you so "
10:50 July 17, 2011 by frankiep
That whole bit of hysteria against any and all forms of nuclear energy which led to the knee jerk reaction of deciding to close down all plants in Germany? Well maybe, just maybe, it would have been a better idea to postpone closing all of those nuclear plants until AFTER a suitable replacement could be put into place. I just can't believe that the Greens would be so reactionary*

23Dan #3

Basic economics. When you drastically reduce the supply of something, in this case energy, the result is that the price of that something will rise accordingly.

Addendum: When you increase the demand for something - for example, using diesel to run power plants - you will increase the costs for everyone else who is already using that particular something - in this case, well nearly everyone.

As I said, it's basic economics and has very little, if anything, to do with the big bad power companies conspiring to "lay the groundwork" for price rises.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd