Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Incidentally, the linked article on the E.on plans to close three gas plants (by German-language renewables news site IWR) includes an interesting tidbit on the supposed need to import balancing power from neighbours to cope with intermittency.

The root of this claim is a couple of much-reported occurrences during the last winter, when wind and solar power were low and an oil-fired power plant in Austria was asked for help. As IWR reports, the actual power loss event during this day that called for the extra peak power was not a fluctuation of wind or solar power, but the unplanned shutdown of a nuclear reactor in southwest Germany (due to the discovery of leaking fuel rods). And the fun fact: the three gas-fired power plants which E.on wants to close, all of which are much closer to the closed nuclear plant than the Austrian peaker plant, stayed on cold reserve during the period!

IWR speculates that this may indicate the unfitness of (older) gas-fired power plants to be on reserve. But there seems to be a much better explanation, something IWR reported in the past, too (a news I linked in a Salon): the federal grid agency found that during one of these electricity shortage periods, speculative traders hoping for higher prices were holding back capacity en masse (reminding of the Enron blackouts).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jul 31st, 2012 at 07:32:54 AM EST
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