Monday, September 28, 2020

"Old green power plants seek to regenerate as Germany turns off subsidies"

From Reuters, September 22:
Wilfried Haas owns a 3 kilowatt solar system which has been running as a micro power station since 1992, helping Germany, Europe’s largest economy, curb its dependence on coal and nuclear power. All that might be about to change.

Together with thousands of other pioneer investors, Haas is considering whether he can continue his micro-generation without the subsidy scheme that helped to give Germany the highest level of installed renewable capacity in Europe.

After the scheme begins to wind down at the start of next year, Germany in the worst case scenario would lose wind and solar energy equivalent to four nuclear power plants in 2021 alone, industry figures show. For now, it is unclear how any gap will be filled.

Lobby groups on all sides are bickering as Berlin thrashes out an updated version of its renewable energy law. The government will discuss the latest draft on Wednesday.

The legislation is needed because when policymakers limited German subsidies to 20 years in 2000, the country had yet to decide on its Energiewende - or shift from coal and nuclear power to renewable energy.

Haas, 62, began his career in renewable generation before the government’s big policy change. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 prompted him to leave his job in industry and he set up a renewable project company GEDEA-Ingelheim in Ingelheim, west of Frankfurt.

Once they became law, Haas benefited from the subsidies, known as feed-in tariffs, for selling renewable energy to the grid at about 50 cents per kilowatt hour.

Without them, he faces earning no more than the wholesale power price of around of 2-4 cents.
Protecting the environment was central, Haas said, and he hoped to continue operating his micro generation but it may cease to be economic if at any stage he faces a major repair bill.

“In that case the financial burden would become too great, meaning that in the current regulatory framework continuing to operate it likely won’t pay off,” he said....

You don't hear much about Feed-in Tariffs (FiT) these days but a decade ago, oh those were jolly times.
January 2010 
"Germany moves toward trimming solar power incentives" and "France Cuts Solar Tariffs by 24%" (FSLR)
Investors must bear in mind that solar is less a business than it is a subsidy conduit....
February 2011 
Italy's Solar Orgy (FSLR; SPWRA; STP; TSL; YGE)
The SEO consultants say that words like 'orgy' in the headline are good for pageviews.
Personally I think it just leads to confused [and disappointed -ed] visitors....

There was a reason for the choice of our first recipient of the Climateer "Our Hero" award back in 2007.

The 26th Secretary of War, the Democrat and Republican (!) Senator from Pennsylvania, Simon Cameron:
Our Hero
Simon Cameron
"The honest politician is one who 
when he is bought, will stay bought."