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Germany secures 2.5GW of winter reserve electricity capacity

05 Nov 2012 17:59:36 | edem


Germany's grid operators have secured 2.5GW of reserve electricity plant capacity for the coming winter, according to the country's energy regulator the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA).

The latest figures mark an increase from last winter's reserve capacity of 2GW which was sourced from four German and three Austrian plants. However, the 202MW Mannheim Grosskraftwerk block 3, included in the winter reserve, will not be available until January 2013 (see EDEM 31 October 2012).

In contrast to regulator's earlier recommendation, E.ON's 293MW Staudinger block 3 is not needed for the winter reserve and will consequently be shut down at the end of the year. "The required winter reserve capacity is available without Staudinger block 3," a BNetzA spokeswoman said on Friday.

Since the loss of 8.4GW of nuclear power plant capacity in March last year, the tight grid situation in certain areas of Germany has been a cause of concern. The regulator now fears that an emergency situation could arise in case of a large power plant outage on a cold working day, when demand is high. In addition, large fluctuations in renewable power generation can put the grid under additional pressure.

The lack of investments in new plants and the potential accelerated shut down of old plants because they are unprofitable to run has sparked a national debate over the future design of the German wholesale electricity market (see EDEM 16 August 2012). The government aims to come up with a proposal on how to ensure the security of supply in future by spring 2013 (see EDEM 2 November 2012). MD

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