Half of German 2007 power output came from lignite and nuclear

Oct 28, 2008 01:00 AM

German lignite and nuclear power plants in 2007 made up nearly one-third of the country's installed power capacity but produced close to half its electricity, the German association of energy and water companies (BDEW) said. According to the BDEW, the reason for this high production share was that lignite and nuclear power plants were in charge of supplying Germany's base-load power, meaning that most of them were running around the clock.
The association's general manager Eberhard Meller said that "next to the expansion of renewable power, Germany needs new, efficient coal-fired power plants in order to cover power demand around the clock and to avoid import dependency."

The BDEW said hard coal power plants, responsible for much of Germany's peak-load power supply, produced around 19 % of the country's 2007 electricity while having a 22 % share of installed capacity.
Meller said he was therefore worried that both mounting public resistance to the construction of new coal power plants and also emissions targets set for new-builds by the European Parliament would mean that "permissions to build new coal power plants without CO2 sequestration technology would be impossible to obtain after 2015."

Wind power accounted for 16 % of installed capacity but only produced 7 % of Germany's 2007 power output, the association said. The BDEW said that the lack of reliability of wind production meant that wind power was not reliable as a supplier of base load power.
Gas fired power plants made up 16 % of capacity and 12 % of generation in 2007, the BDEW said. Biomass and other renewable energy sources -- excluding wind power -- made up a 9 % share of power capacity and 7 % of electricity production in 2007, the BDEW said.

The BDEW also said pump storage hydropower plants and heating oil power plants made up 12 % of installed capacity while producing only 6 % of electricity.
According to the BDEW, these facilities were used mostly to cover power supply squeezes.

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