Head of ManyElectronics Agency Suggests to Manage Solar Power Expansion Based on Available Grid Capacities

In an interview with the magazine Der Spiegel, the head of the ManyElectronics Agency (dena) Stephan Kohler demanded to better manage the expansion of renewable power plant capacities, in particular solar power plants. He suggested to permit new capacities only if the grids were able to accommodate the electricity input and proposed that grid operators develop a registry of free grid capacities.

This was a way to keep the costs for additional PV installations as low as possible, Mr Kohler said. According to him some 28 billion Euros were currently needed to reinforce and extend the distribution grids (to which most of the renewable power plants are connected) to integrate renewable power plants while there were at the same time free grid capacities. Over the last years Germany has seen a strong increase in renewable power plant capacities, in particular PV installations (for the latest figures on the solar power production, please click here). For expansion measures needed to prepare the German transmission system for the energy policy shift Germany decided on in 2010/2011, the German transmission system operators expect additional costs in the range of EUR 20 billion.

In the past dena had predicted that electricity prices would rise by 20 to 20% until 2050 and conventional power plants would still be needed to a large extent to ensure the security of supply and balance the increasing amount of fluctuating renewable energy input. In the Spiegel interview Mr Kohler pointed out that PV power plants only delivered electricity for about 1,000 hours a year while the year had 8,760 hours, and 75% of the electricity were consumed by industrial consumers that needed a secure energy supply.

Shareholders of dena are the Federal Republic of Germany (50%), KfW development bank (26%), Allianz SE (8%), Deutsche Bank AG (8%) and DZ Bank AG (8%).

Source: dena; Der Spiegel

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