SPIEGEL: 29 German Fossil Fuel Power Plants to Retire

SPIEGEL just reported on an unpublished study by the German State Nordrhein-Westfalen’s government on the lack of economic viability for 29 of the States’ 75 fossil fuel power plants. They may need to shut down as early as 2014.

The reason is the well known fact that fossil fuel power plants get much lower capacity factors because renewable energy at 26% of the market eats their lunch and dinner.

In the long run, that is exactly what is supposed to happen. We want of course renewable energy to replace fossil fuel and push them out of the market.

But we would like to have enough hydrogen from wind and Zuhausekraftwerk small scale basement power plants to fill the capacity hole that these power plants retiring would leave.

In the short term, the easiest solution would seem to be to have them just bid on the wholesale market whatever they need to cover their fixed and marginal costs over the year. If there are rules against bidding more than marginal costs, these rules need to be changed, since the market has changed radically as well.

That would have the added benefit of raising wholesale market costs, which in turn would reduce the feed-in tariff costs, and help with energy efficiency.

Related post: The Weird World of Electricity Pricing

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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