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February 6, 2012
By: Craig Morris

German power exports to France increasing

Though the day is short, PV power production is still peaking at an impressive level during the current cold spell in Germany. Source: EEX

The current cold spell in Europe is having an effect on international power exports. On the one hand, demand for heat has skyrocketed, but the clear skies also ensure that photovoltaics reaches relatively high peaks for the winter around noon.


As Renewables International has reported, the switching off of Germany's nuclear power plants last spring has led to a sort of stress test for the German grid. But as the country's neighbors to the east complain about unexpected power flows, something else is happening to the West between France and Germany.


Because France has so much nuclear power, the country has an inordinate number of electric heating systems. And because France has not added on enough additional capacity over the past decade, the country's current nuclear plants are starting to have trouble meeting demand, especially when it gets very cold in the winter.


As a result, power exports from Germany to France reached 4 to 5 gigawatts – the equivalent of around four nuclear power plants – last Friday morning according to German journalist Bernward Janzing. It was not exactly a time of low consumption in Germany either at 70 gigawatts around noon on Friday, but Janzing nonetheless reports that the grid operators said everything was under control, and the country's emergency reserves were not being tapped. On the contrary, he reports that a spokesperson for transit grid operator Amprion told him that "photovoltaics in southern Germany is currently helping us a lot."       [Read More]


Source: Renewables International Magazine

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