The German electricity grid faces instability because of too much solar power, an expert said.
Thanks to a generous feed-in tariff, the installation of rooftop solar panels and large-scale photovoltaic plants has exploded in Germany.
Stephan Kohler, chairman of the DENA agency, an energy adviser to the government, has warned that the green boom could turn into a disaster for Germany’s aging power grid.
“The network is facing a congestion due to solar power,” Kohler told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper. “That’s why the expansion of solar power has to be cut back quickly and drastically.”
Experts have long called for an overhaul of the European power grid to integrate the fluctuating renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.
Experts forecast between 8 gigawatts and 10 GW of solar power capacity to be installed this year — the equivalent of roughly 10 large coal-fired power plants. In 2009, only 4 GW were installed.
Well aware that the industry is maturing more quickly than anticipated, Berlin this year agreed to reduce subsidies for rooftop panels by 16 percent.
It’s nice to get confirmation that solar power is far more effective than it’s made out to be in the U.S. But decentralized sources are more of a strain on the German grid than a few centralized sources? Perhaps the real problem is a loss of revenue for the coal industry that helps subsidize German politicians’ re-elections.
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