German Grid Seen Stable Even With Renewables-Only Supply

Germany’s grid would be stable even if renewables were the only sources of energy, a clean-power group said.

A research project that combined wind, solar and biogas plants into one virtual 80-megawatt power station showed the grid would be able to maintain a constant flow of electricity, the Renewable Energies Agency said today in a statement.

Germany is seeking to get 80 percent of its power from renewables by 2050 from about 23 percent now, helping to counter a decline in electricity supply as nuclear reactors close following the Fukushima disaster in Japan. The shift to clean energy has raised concern that the intermittent power provided by wind and solar parks would destabilize the grid.

“Renewables will, together with storage units, be able to meet demand at any time and ensure a stable frequency and voltage if linked and steered via combined-cycle power plants,” said Kurt Rohrig, deputy head of Germany’s Fraunhofer IWES science center, which took part in the research project.

The Renewable Energies Agency is funded by clean-energy companies and two federal ministries. Siemens AG, SMA Solar Technology AG and Solarworld AG were also participants in the three-year research program.

Germany’s future energy mix is a key topic in talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc and the Social Democrats as they negotiate a possible coalition following Sept. 22 elections.

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