German electricity overcapacity will be cut from 2015 - BNetzA

21 February 2014 16:57 Source:ICIS

Germany could be set for a net loss of 5.6GW in electricity generation capacity between 2014 and 2018, according to data published by energy regulator BNetzA on Friday.

This includes a combined 2.2GW of planned closures dogged by uncertainty and new plants. A factor of uncertainty remains utility Enervie’s intention to shut down 1.1GW of capacity ( see EDEM 30 September 2013 ). The plants need to be confirmed as not system relevant before Enervie can close them. The utility is still talking with the relevant grid operator and the energy regulator, a spokesman for the utility said on Friday. These plants could come on top 11.9GW of planned capacity reductions over the coming five years.

Over the same period, a total of 8.7GW is expected to be added, including the 1.1GW Datteln 4 hard coal plant by E.ON where construction has been stalled by public opposition ( see EDEM 6 December 2013 ).

Excluding the potential closures by Enervie, Germany is expected to see a net power generation capacity loss of at least 3.4GW, about 1GW more than what BNetzA published in October last year. German utility E.ON drove the increase after it announced several closures of hard coal and fuel oil plants in December ( see EDEM 23 December 2013 ).

For 2014, the expected closures are more than made up for by the 4.8GW of new hard coal capacity due to start commercial operations over the course of this year.

In 2015 the balance shifts to net capacity losses as Germany will lose the 1.3GW Grafenrheinfeld nuclear unit on 31 December of that year. Another 1.3GW nuclear unit, Grundremmingen B, is due to be close on 31 December 2017. According to RWE, Germany could experience a capacity shortage by 2018 ( see EDEM 4 February 2014 ). Martin Degen

By Martin Degen