Wind subsidies make coal cheaper than gas in Germany

The Financial Times reports:

Costs associated with the renewable energy levy are expected to jump this year from €14.1bn to €20.4bn, according to the BDEW association of energy and water industries. The rapid expansion of solar and wind power means coal- and gas-fired plants are left with little to do on sunny and windy days and are increasingly unprofitable to operate.

Utilities are therefore considering shutting down modern and highly efficient gas-fired plants, which were originally envisaged as a bridging fuel in the Energiewende.

Bernhard Guenther, RWE’s chief financial officer, described the situation in conventional power generation as “the biggest crisis since ages . . . Unprofitable power stations cannot be kept open in the long run.”
Although the Energiewende’s goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Germany’s CO2 emissions rose last year as coal-fired power plants became cheaper to operate than gas.

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