The word from Germany – renewables are coming
Electricity production is not simple. There are myriad factors which affect price, fuel choice, local versus remote generation, feed-in-tariffs and more. But there are some things we do know by watching what is happening in the major European power producers.
As i mentioned in an earlier post, the closure of 8 reactors in Germany has already lead to renewable energy and especially solar taking up the slack and especially on hot days producing over 50% of the countries electricity.
What pro-nuclear critics have historically pointed out is that Germany has the highest electricity prices in Europe, driven in large part by taxes and government regulations. Turns out this is no longer true. France (often touted as the nuclear model for the world) now has higher baseload electricity prices, Please remember baseload is what nuclear is supposed to be good at.
But what is more interesting, is that the market is expecting German electricity prices to continue to decrease, because of the high renenwables component and for the near term French prices to rise because of reactor outages.
What is also happening, even with 8 of 19 German reactors closed post Fukushima, is that renewables are already displacing coal fired energy production in Germany based on price. This is especially important for Japan where the MSM (mainstream media) insists that closed reactors means burning more fossil fuels and thus worsening climate change. This is the same MSM which is ignoring that over 100K Japanese showed up at PM Noda’s house to protest the restart of the Oi reactors. Japan has very few street protests, this is definitely not part of their culture. And if the nuclear utility influences media has its way, you wont hear much about it.
If you have Adobe Flash, you can watch solar contribute to the German grid in realtime.