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Old 10-09-2015   #641
Firn
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@Firn

as far I understand the situation, the wholesale price of electricity is quite irrelevant for the consumers: a lower wholesale price leads to higher RE tax. Electricity will very likely cost almost the same in the next 15 years, maybe slightly more around 2023 due to more (expensive) offshore wind until 2020. Around 2030 we as consumers can expect a sharp drop of the RE payments as a lot of expensive PV falls out of the FIT.

For energy intensive industry the situation is quite good as these guys do not pay any RE tax, i.e. the Germany energy intensive industry will improve its relative competitiveness on the global market in the years to come.
This matches my perhaps more limited understanding of the current German situation. In short the German citziens pay more, stimulating overall energy supply, so that the energy intensive industries can pay less...

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For utilities this means that NO new conventional power plant is able to make money in a energy only market. You have to privide other services or switch to REs.
It must be quite depressing to be in the convential part of the business and you feel for those guys if you read the reports of RWE or E.ON. With so little return, if any, it is no surprise that capital flows into other areas even with investments overall being curtailed. Some Services will be quite competitive as they seem to be on of the few places to make money which will make making money more difficult.

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As German and Austrian utilities have excess capacity only until 2019, I expect a higher wholesale price then. Or from a different POV: The Austrian Verbund assumes that their mothballed NG power plants are able to make money in 2019 again.
Interestingly the Verbund did mouthballed it's coal plant Duernroh, see the intermin report, despite the lower costs thanks to the Co2 certificate issues and the supply glut of it's fuel. Only in 2009 a teleheating pipeline to the Laender capital, more capital down the drain...

Quote:
Generation from thermal power plants increased by 54.4%. The main reason for the rise was the increased use of coal in order to reduce inventories at the Duernrohr power plant prior to its closure and greater use of bottleneck management during the first quarter.

On the other hand, the German Net Agency and some other people expect an increasing NET export of German electricity even after 2019, therefore, I may miss something. (I would expect lower net exports as more electricty is then generated from expensive NG, which not longer has the advantages coal has today.)
I think it is impossible to predict what we will see in 2019, although you make good points. So much depends on fossil fuel prices, renewable energy growth and their cost structure, grid investment and politics. Some
prices spikes are rather likely to happen and it won't be easy for the utilities to chose what to do with their plants.

The German trends will have obviously on a big impact on the Austrian market. My personal guess is that increasing net export growth is quite likey due to current incentive structure in the German market. In that case it's citiziens will also help others industries to pay less.

BTW there is justly much talk about the relative unpredicitable nature of renewable power generation however little, maybe because it is seen as given, on the unpredictable nature of power generation costs of conventional fossil fuel plants. I think the last years, especially in regard to NG, are a good reminder of that.
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Old 10-09-2015   #642
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Default Energiewende

Firn,

found today this on the Agora Energiewende site:

http://www.agora-energiewende.de/fil...ergiewende.pdf

It explains nicely the issues with wholesale price and RE tax and their projections until 2035. I was quite correct with my assumptions.


Common electricity market comprising Germany and Austria may end (for a few years) in 2019, if the "war games" of the German Net Agency come true.

IMHO it is only a shot across the bow of the Austrians, who admitted that they are greatly benefitting from the market without costs. The Austrians understood this, too, and suggest constructive alternatives.

http://diepresse.com/home/wirtschaft....intern.portal
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Old 12-06-2015   #643
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I completely missed your response, thanks for the links. I may come back later to the first one but I will comment on the second.

1) A great influx of cheap wind energy does pose a challenge to the grid as it can, as pointed out, currently not matched to demand due to a lack of grid integration and storage. Cheap German energy exports means of course overall cheaper electric prices for the Polish market however less profit and more challengers for the Polish utilities and it's providers.

Poland gets powered by coal which is also mined by a fairly large amount of people.

Coal plants tend to compete with wind as base load so suffer often especially if cheap wind pushes the (upper) rest of the supply/cost curve towards the right. So there is certainly a lot of specific political interest to keep cheap energy out.

2) The Verbund will also suffer from the wind competition with it's plants along the Danube for example, however I guess that they hope for more business for their investment into the grid and their pump storage plants. They also divested fossil fuel lately as it was mostly not competitive under current condidtions.

Of course the Austrian consumer should be happy - just like the Polish one - about German electricity lowering his bill.
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Old 12-21-2015   #644
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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Security researcher Brian Wallace was on the trail of hackers who had snatched a California university’s housing files when he stumbled onto a larger nightmare: Cyberattackers had opened a pathway into networks running the United States power grid.

Digital clues pointed to Iranian hackers. And Wallace found that they had already taken passwords, as well as engineering drawings of dozens of power plants, at least one with the title ‘‘Mission Critical.’’



The drawings were so detailed that experts say skilled attackers could have used them, along with other tools and malicious code, to knock out electricity flowing to millions of homes. The breach involved Calpine Corp., a power producer with 82 plants operating in 18 states and Canada.


http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nati...ed_ArticleText
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Old 12-22-2015   #645
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Power generation is already slowly becoming more and more decentralized. If, and a big if at that, battery prices continue come down storage should also become increasing so. Such a structure is obviously far harder to physically knock out.

Smart grid, large scale grid integration in general and long range UHV ultra high voltage transmission could make the grid on the other hand more vulnerable to physical and cyberattacks.

I'm curious how this plays out in the long run, although with adequate investments even the direct energy security the ups outhweigh the downs in my humble guess.
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Old 12-23-2015   #646
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....
Poland gets powered by coal which is also mined by a fairly large amount of people.

Coal plants tend to compete with wind as base load so suffer often especially if cheap wind pushes the (upper) rest of the supply/cost curve towards the right. So there is certainly a lot of specific political interest to keep cheap energy out.

2) The Verbund will also suffer from the wind competition with it's plants along the Danube for example, however I guess that they hope for more business for their investment into the grid and their pump storage plants. They also divested fossil fuel lately as it was mostly not competitive under current condidtions.

Of course the Austrian consumer should be happy - just like the Polish one - about German electricity lowering his bill.
I think the issue is that German utilities have often spare coal capacity at peak demand times due to the REs, hence, they can export when there is demand in neighbour countries and kill NG and (older) coal capacity there. France and Poland do not have these cheap excess peak capacities, i.e. they buy more expensive than they export.

Yes, the Austrian Verbund will suffer a little bit, however, some of their problems are unsound investments in fossil energy (Italy) in the past. IMHO they are in a much better position than their German counterparts due to the high RE share, which is to a large extend written off, their German competitors have nothing.

IIRC the Verbund hopes to bring on-line their (open turbine) NG power plants, these are peakers, when the excess fossil capacity is reduced in Germany, this will be around 2018/19.
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Old 12-23-2015   #647
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Originally Posted by Firn View Post
Power generation is already slowly becoming more and more decentralized. If, and a big if at that, battery prices continue come down storage should also become increasing so. Such a structure is obviously far harder to physically knock out.

Smart grid, large scale grid integration in general and long range UHV ultra high voltage transmission could make the grid on the other hand more vulnerable to physical and cyberattacks.

I'm curious how this plays out in the long run, although with adequate investments even the direct energy security the ups outhweigh the downs in my humble guess.
From a purly economic and physical POV better transmission grid integration is the most useful solution. Wind power is, when we talk in European scale, not correlated, this means you can get a base-load like situation on most days simply by more transmission capacity, therefore, no huge amount of short term storage is needed.

Long-term storage needs could be covered by Norway/Sweden, again, more transmission is needed. A wind heavy scenario in northern Europe plus PV in the south would my path to go.

The basics are nicly described in the dissertation of Gregor Czisch.
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Old 12-23-2015   #648
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An Iranian hactivist group has claimed responsibility for a cyberattack that gave it access to the control system for a dam in the suburbs of New York — and intrusion that one official said may be "just the tip of the iceberg."

The group, SOBH Cyber Jihad, sent a message through another Iran-linked hacker outfit, Parastoo, promising that it would release the technical information that proves it was behind the 2013 breach, according to Flashpoint Intelligence.

The hackers claimed they kept quiet about the attack for two years because of a "state-level" warning not to go public with it "for the greater good."
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/...rk-dam-n484611
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Old 02-06-2016   #649
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Default Mohave Desert 1st, now on a larger scale in the Sahara

After a short delay in Morocco:
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The Noor I power plant is located near the town of Ouarzazate, on the edge of the Sahara. It's capable of generating up to 160 megawatts of power and covers thousands of acres of desert, making the first stage alone one of the world's biggest solar thermal power plants.
Link:http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/04/465568055/morocco-unveils-a-massive-solar-power-plant-in-the-sahara?

Interesting that this is funded by the World Bank, to reduce Morocco's dependence on external sources of power.
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Old 12-11-2017   #650
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Default Threat multipliers: the changing energy landscape, climate change, and water stress

A recent IISS event on these issues 'Threat multipliers: the changing energy landscape, climate change, and water stress' with a recording (63 mins); the introduction:
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Over the last decade an advisory group of retired admirals and generals has come together to examine the intersection of national security, the changing energy landscape and climate change. In this panel discussion members of the CNA Military Advisory Board addressed changing energy and water security as potential threat multipliers for fragile regions of the world.
Link:http://www.iiss.org/en/events/arunde...te-change-af78

There are other threads on climate change and water supply.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #651
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I'm now more confident then ever that Energy Security can be achieved a rather low costs and within a not so long time frame. This is of course very unspecific but at the core the matter is very clear.

----

I also want to thank all the participants of this thread as it helped me a lot to clarify some thoughts and to gain personally. Without it I would not have achieved the mental conviction and discipline in certain key matters...
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