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Comment: Re:This just illustrates (Score 1) 365

by DemoLiter3 (#47341797) Attached to: Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet
The key word is "critical". Meaning - you don't have the comfort of using electricity as you like. There are devices in my household that are capable of running on a single AAA battery for several years, but it's definitely not my refridgerator, not my stove and not my computer. What do YOU do consider "critical"?

Comment: Re:This just illustrates (Score 3, Interesting) 365

by DemoLiter3 (#47340091) Attached to: Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet
I have bad news for you (sorry, not much found online except in German language): http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/ww... http://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/... It's a literally giant installation, cost: 6 million euro (1.3million subventioned from the state), capacity: 5MWh, that's 250 euro worth of electricity stored. Life span - certainly not "decades", 10 years at most.

Comment: Re:This just illustrates (Score 5, Insightful) 365

by DemoLiter3 (#47339759) Attached to: Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet
Great idea, but it has too many mistakes:
1. Most people in Germany do not have their own house, but live in rented apartments. They have no possibility to install any kind of power generator, renewable or not.
2. Even if you have your own house, you cannot install for example a wind turbine or a biogas tank - these are only allowed at a minimum distance to living areas.
3. So, the only option is the solar power, but its output is fluctuating, so you need capabilities to equalize it, either:
- keep a connection to the grid (which brings you back all kinds of taxes and fees back, also see the next point)
- have a battery storage - for a househould it would require a battery the size of a shipping container and cost 1-2 million euros and wear out within few years. Remember, you need a storage capacity to last through the winter, where there is barely any solar output.
- have a backup generator running on diesel or gas - possible to combine with a heating boiler, there are solutions on the market like that, but then again you will need to pay additional taxes for electricity generation from gas, pay for gas, deal with the waste heat when you don't need it and I don't think any solution will readily run without grid connection
4. Starting from this year, the regenerative energy produced for self-consumption will be also subject to the EEG surcharge (the money that goes to the subventioning the renewable energy production) in Germany.
When you realize that it's cheaper for you to live off the grid you will realize that it's cheaper not to live here at all.

Comment: Re:This just illustrates (Score 2) 365

by DemoLiter3 (#47339597) Attached to: Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet
All suppliers in Germany are abided by law to add taxation to the end-user prices. Taxes and fees, most prominently the renewables subvention fee were rising rapidly in the last years, while raw electricity price on the bill was slowly decreasing. Yes, all suppliers in Germany will be raising or at least holding prices, and the only criminal cartel involved here is the govenrment. Good luck investigating those guys.

Comment: Re:This just illustrates (Score 5, Informative) 365

by DemoLiter3 (#47339575) Attached to: Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet

The average household electricity prices in Germany were at ~29 eurocents per kWh in 2013 and they are rapidly rising 5-10% per year. The "price drop" the article describes is the drop in the electricity exchange market (EEX) prices, which indeed went down from something like 5.5 cents to 3.75 cents in the last years. The reason is the massive influx of highly subventioned solar, wind and biogas-generated electricity. At times when the renewables production spikes, the electricity is "sold" at negative prices - i.e. whoever takes it, gets paid.

For the end user, the falling market prices are pretty much irrelevant, since the end price contains the averaged difference fee ("EEG-Umlage") between the subventioned price and the market price - the lower the market price, the more the end users have to pay to get the subventioned price to the level defined by law. The more renewable energy is produced, the more they have to pay in total.

The other side of the issue is that the commercially operated conventional power plants cannot competitively operate against prices deflated by subventions, so many operators announced to scale down their capacity and close many power plants. In many cases, brand-new gas-fired plants with very high efficiency are affected, of all things, because of the rising gas prices. This however plays against the renewable energy plans, since exactly these gas-fired plants are direly needed to keep the grid stable in presence of highly fluctuating renewable inputs. Currently there are talks about introducing subventions for the conventional gas- and coal-fired powerplants in order to maintain their generation capacity. The subventions of course will be forwarded to the end user.

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