Keywords: wind power, resource saving, energy availability, power curve, Germany, wind energy, electricity generation, renewable energy, gas turbines, carbon dioxide emissions, air pollution, energy economics
The economics of wind energy within the generation mix
With more than 15,000 plants of different capacity ranges, Germany has become the world's No. 1 in generating electricity from wind power, covering around 4% of the electricity requirements at home. This is due on the one hand to the successful promotion by the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) and, on the other hand, to the tax breaks from loss allocation and depreciation. During low-load periods, load dispatchers today already have to balance power gradients of more than 10% of the respective network load per minute, which are increasingly covered by the provision of balancing power from conventional power plants. The legally fixed permanent subsidy burden of the electricity industry due to the high compensation fee for wind power alone currently amounts to euro 1.4 billion a year. If base load capacity from nuclear power plants is replaced in the medium term, this will not reduce but rather increase CO2 emissions as generation from gas turbines will have to be increased temporarily in times of flagging winds.