Everything Is Possible: Germany’s Coal Plants May Be Converted to Giant Batteries

Germany’s dirtiest power plants may avoid the scrap heap in the nation’s coal exit by getting refashioned as giant batteries for storing wind and solar power. The Energy Ministry proposal is being weighed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition to help ease the phaseout of coal-fired generation in two regions where the fossil fuel is a major prop to the economy and jobs. Her administration promised in February some 40 billion euros ($45 billion) in aid to smooth coal’s 18-year wind down that starts next year. The Rhine lignite belt in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia and Lusatia in Brandenburg and Saxony host eight big power plants owned by RWE AG and LEAG GmbH. The plants and mining operations support thousands of jobs and Merkel is seeking a smooth transition to a clean-energy economy for both areas. The storage units “could be converted from the mid-2020s to innovative, long-term power plants storing surplus wind and solar power,” the Economy and Energy Ministry said in its 32-page report on coal phaseout planning. No particular storage technology has been selected for the switch yet, according to the April 4 report.

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Germany is planning to shutter all its coal power plants by 2038 to cut greenhouse gas emissions and help the country reach its reduction targets. 

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It will be a difficult process. Latest 30 years all the industry was developed around coal and diesel. The cost for the economy in next years will be huge.

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But, don't forget that is Germany the only country in Europe where diesel cars increased.

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We need a policy based on science. Only this approach can allow the transition process in this field.

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1 hour ago, 50 shades of black said:

We need a policy based on science. Only this approach can allow the transition process in this field.

It's based on science all right, Political Science

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(edited)

On the same sequester Carbon thread ..   Compost vid with following take away's.:
-  25 % of carbon, presumably USA, is output form farms.. - that's got to be man made #
-  composting really is awesome..   I've sen this up close on peoples land where they've done this..  It really does put valuable nutrients back into the soil and land with out stays dead except aggressive things like weeds. 

Win Win.  less chemicals, far better dirt, more crops..   but I wonder what does come out of compost during cook time.    It's likely far better than leafs and trees mo..  Any case.  Interesting and I'd swear by taking plant waste back into the ground.   Charcoal was used by ancient people of south america.  The special places have 10x or better crop output.   https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=399263787560820    image.png.d17cc54480fea1d2813195a44d44e015.png

 

 

Edited by mad-trader
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7 hours ago, damirUSBiH said:

Germany is planning to shutter all its coal power plants by 2038 to cut greenhouse gas emissions and help the country reach its reduction targets. 

Seems very slow to me.

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8 hours ago, pinto said:

Germany’s dirtiest power plants may avoid the scrap heap in the nation’s coal exit by getting refashioned as giant batteries for storing wind and solar power. The Energy Ministry proposal is being weighed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition to help ease the phaseout of coal-fired generation in two regions where the fossil fuel is a major prop to the economy and jobs.

The battery thing is a proposal and the country has obvious problems at the moment with its energy mix. The official figures are for wind and solar accounting for 25 per cent of electricity in 2017, plus another 12 per cent for hydro and biomass.. However as I've pointed out before when lots of wind and solar come onto the grid the Germans don't dare shut down their brown coal plants (they take too long to start again), so they dump the excess on Poland and Czech Republic and claim the renewable part powers their network.

That said, if Germany does not want nuclear and does phase out coal then it can call on neighbouring countries for power, such as France (nuclear) and Poland (coal fired plants are a major industry in Poland) to name two. If those other also want to go down this hard renewables route then that's a problem. Among other difficulties is a European weather phenomenon known as a winter low were the weather gets real cold and wind dies away over a large area. It can continue for weeks. No wind, little solar (although the skies remain clear, you have to brush snow off the PV panels) and everybody turning on heaters (even the gas heaters will have fans remember) - not so good for grids using renewables and never mind wild talk of turning coal plants into batteries.  

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(edited)

STILL haven't learned. As. Extreme. A. Religious. Dogma. As. Any.

The countless, paaainful lessons that one would think is too impossibly clear/punitive to ignore ... TEN years ago  https://thorkilsoee.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/12-9/

Edited by A Kang

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On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 1:25 AM, markslawson said:

The battery thing is a proposal and the country has obvious problems at the moment with its energy mix. The official figures are for wind and solar accounting for 25 per cent of electricity in 2017, plus another 12 per cent for hydro and biomass.. However as I've pointed out before when lots of wind and solar come onto the grid the Germans don't dare shut down their brown coal plants (they take too long to start again), so they dump the excess on Poland and Czech Republic and claim the renewable part powers their network.

That said, if Germany does not want nuclear and does phase out coal then it can call on neighbouring countries for power, such as France (nuclear) and Poland (coal fired plants are a major industry in Poland) to name two. If those other also want to go down this hard renewables route then that's a problem. Among other difficulties is a European weather phenomenon known as a winter low were the weather gets real cold and wind dies away over a large area. It can continue for weeks. No wind, little solar (although the skies remain clear, you have to brush snow off the PV panels) and everybody turning on heaters (even the gas heaters will have fans remember) - not so good for grids using renewables and never mind wild talk of turning coal plants into batteries.  

That issue was largely resolved 3-4 years ago. That old chestnut is getting very mouldy.

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12 hours ago, NickW said:

That issue was largely resolved 3-4 years ago. That old chestnut is getting very mouldy.

If it has been resolved recently then I'd certainly like to hear about it. Here is an article of two years ago, a reprint of a Wall Street Journal article which gives both sides and spells out the problem in more detail   https://www.thegwpf.com/germanys-renewables-revolution-threatens-neighbours-with-grid-collapse/

That kills of your 3-4 years comment, but if you have anything more recent then let's see the link. I write about this stuff so I'm always happy to be updated. 

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On 4/17/2019 at 1:20 AM, markslawson said:

If it has been resolved recently then I'd certainly like to hear about it. Here is an article of two years ago, a reprint of a Wall Street Journal article which gives both sides and spells out the problem in more detail   https://www.thegwpf.com/germanys-renewables-revolution-threatens-neighbours-with-grid-collapse/

That kills of your 3-4 years comment, but if you have anything more recent then let's see the link. I write about this stuff so I'm always happy to be updated. 

Well that article you post is over two years old and its reporting on something that has happened in the past. I haven't heard of any issues arising over the past few years so it would be reasonable to assume that this issue has now been largely resolved.

One of the Ironies of this is that it is driving Poland and Czech to update their antiquated grids. 

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11 hours ago, NickW said:

Well that article you post is over two years old and its reporting on something that has happened in the past. I haven't heard of any issues arising over the past few years so it would be reasonable to assume that this issue has now been largely resolved.

One of the Ironies of this is that it is driving Poland and Czech to update their antiquated grids. 

In other words you simply asserted the issue has been resolved three and more years ago, as you stated in your initial post, and hoped that I wouldn't check it. Yes, the article is over two years old but I can't find anything more recent on the issue. However, if you play around with this graph https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm?source=ligniteAll&year=2019&month=3

you will see that in March, for example, the bulk of Germany's brown coal power was exported - the major variations you see are probably when they decided to officially "take" more renewable power .. Leave it with you but this thread is over as far as I'm concerned. You should do better than simply make hopeful assertions.

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On 4/10/2019 at 5:47 PM, ronwagn said:

Seems very slow to me.

Yup.  They're probably retiring old coal plants on schedule and replacing them with non-coal, which is the correct way to implement change.  It also makes some economic sense given how cheap natural gas and *some* renewables are. 

They're also keeping the process slow enough that they can reverse course should the public stop caring about global warming.  In the beginning stages of the transition, the oldest, least-efficient coal plants will be retired.  The non-coal that replaces them will be a relatively small fraction of energy markets, which minimizes their impact on energy prices.  If Germany manages to slow-roll this for 5-10 years, they could end up changing course before significant damage is done. 

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On 4/26/2019 at 12:11 PM, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

Yup.  They're probably retiring old coal plants on schedule and replacing them with non-coal, which is the correct way to implement change.  It also makes some economic sense given how cheap natural gas and *some* renewables are. 

They're also keeping the process slow enough that they can reverse course should the public stop caring about global warming.  In the beginning stages of the transition, the oldest, least-efficient coal plants will be retired.  The non-coal that replaces them will be a relatively small fraction of energy markets, which minimizes their impact on energy prices.  If Germany manages to slow-roll this for 5-10 years, they could end up changing course before significant damage is done. 

Illinois still running mainly on coal thanks to political subsidies. We have natural gas available. Nothing to see here they say. 

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