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The real lesson about the end of nuclear in Germany The end of baseload is coming  | by Jérôme à Paris |

The end of baseload is coming

Is that what you usually hear? That replacing nuclear (a lot of it) by (a lot of) renewables will actually reduce fossil fuel use in the power sector?

And yet it is the main lesson here. Lignite will be phased out in the next 10 years, and Germany will thus soon become a baseload-free system, dominated by renewables (which will then be well above 50% penetration, probably close to 60%).

And do you hear about how German is a larger exporter of power than France? And, even more significantly, that its exports are at a higher price than France's (ie that they produce more at times that are better correlated to demand than France)? And that it is imports from Germany that allow France to go through peaks of high demand, because baseload cannot produce more than what it usually produces (that's the whole point of baseload)?

Germany exports wind when it can, and flexible generation otherwise. Upward flexibility can only come from flexible plants that are switched off a lot of the time, and turned on only in times of need. So yes, Germany has a lot of gas-fired plants, and a lot of coal-fired plants, but they are actually used very little - only when demand (including from France) is very high and renewables supply is very low - which does happen, but not that often anymore. Fossil fuel power plants are relatively cheap (and made in Europe), and if they are used rarely they don't emit a lot of carbon dioxide.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Apr 26th, 2023 at 12:46:39 PM EST

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