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HomeGerman FinanceGermany gives away electricity abroad (DESPITE RECORD PRICES FOR CONSUMERS)

Germany gives away electricity abroad (DESPITE RECORD PRICES FOR CONSUMERS)

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While consumers have to pay the highest electricity price (32 cents / kilowatt hour) of all time, electricity is repeatedly given away abroad because the networks are overloaded here.

Electricity gifts from the government to EU countries such as Austria, Poland and the Netherlands cost consumers up to half a billion euros. They are due if the grids are overloaded, for example in periods of storms, and electricity has to be “dumped” abroad at zero cost or even with additional payment (“negative prices”).

Does Germany have an imperfect electricity grid?

▶ Absurd: At the same time, owners of wind turbines received a total of 761 million euros in reimbursements in 2020 for electricity that they had neither produced nor supplied (“phantom electricity”).

Reason: Your wind turbines were at a standstill due to network overload. Even then, money flows to them, according to the EEG (Renewable Energy Sources Act), which is supposed to drive the energy transition.

As long as there are insufficient lines and storage facilities, the expansion of wind energy will only lead to more shutdowns and costs. And when the wind is calm, we import expensive nuclear and coal power from abroad.

German corporations such as Bayer or Daimler with the help of “top government circles” have for years avoided paying the EEG surcharge of up to 10 billion euros – also at the expense of electricity customers.

What is the EEG (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz) surcharge?

The EEG surcharge (renewables surcharge) finances the expansion of renewables. It provides the money to pay for the funding of electricity from wind, solar and biomass. It has made the rapid expansion of renewables possible by providing a reliable financial base for more than 15 years.

Under the Renewable Energy Sources Act in German, power plant operators receive remuneration rates set for 20 years for renewable power that they generate and feed into the grid.

What the hell are negative electricity prices?

Negative electricity prices have been permitted on the electricity exchange since September 2008. 

If, on a stormy and sunny day with low demand, the electricity from the wind farms and photovoltaic systems pushes into the grids, the conventional power plants cannot be shut down quickly enough to make room for electricity from renewable sources. 

▶ Some power plant operators do not even want to shut down their systems because they have to meet delivery obligations that have a stronger effect than the price signals from electricity wholesalers.

However, conventional power plants cannot be shut down at will. The criticism put forward in particular by the renewables industry that the conventional systems are not flexible enough and thus block the networks is therefore rejected by experts. They point out that conventional power plants must remain connected to the grid in order to influence fluctuations in the frequency in the grid. In this respect, they act as a “network support” and keep the network at a frequency of 50 Hertz. So far, only large power plants have been able to do this.

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