Managing Germany's Decentralized Power
Berlin - The greatest challenge facing the energy companies in Germany right now is not making sure that sufficient power is produced, but rather directing that energy efficiently.
This, and other related topics, will be discussed at the SMART GRIDS summit from January 28-30 in Berlin, where Germany Trade & Invest will be advising on the industry developments in Germany.
"Distribution System Operators (DSO) and energy companies are working feverishly on various new models and technologies to ensure the right amounts of energy get to the right places at the right times, as well as attempting to pre-empt looming new questions," said Tobias Rothacher, Senior Manager of Renewable Energies and Resources at Germany Trade & Invest. The electric cars of the future will present a whole host of new riddles in power availability that will need answering, as will eventual turns to electric forms of heating and/or cooling.
Renewable energy is now provided by a huge number of decentralized sources, with photovoltaic energy in Germany increasing particularly. Renewable energies – including windpower, photovoltaic and water – contributed 23% to the German gross energy consumption in 2012 and produced 9.3% more energy compared to 2011. A whopping 47.7% more photovoltaic energy was produced in 2012 than in 2011, with an overall potential of around 285,000 hectares of photovoltaic sites (400GWp of capacity) available.
"During summertime in 2011, Germany covered most of peak load with PV - at 27GWp of installed PV-capacity," explained Rothacher.
"Going to 52 GWp in a few years, PV will displace non-renewable base load capacities more and more, increasing the daily volatility of electricity prices and thus opening business cases for the implementation of storage, smart-grid and demand side management technologies."