By Paul Homewood
h/t Dennis Ambler
The German grid regulator and Green-led ministry of economy and climate action aim to construct up to 21,000 MW worth of additional combined-cycle, gas-turbine power plants, CCGTs, to guarantee a stable and reliable grid, according to internal documents.
By 2030, the German government wants the country to run on 80% renewable electricity and fully phase out coal. CCGTs are expected to cover the remaining 20%, and to provide backup power when wind and sun are low, and to provide power when peak demands occur, usually late-afternoon/early-evening
“Investments in CCGTs […] continue to make economic and operational sense, provided corresponding LNG [liquified natural gas] capacities are created and prices normalize,” reads a ministry document.
In total, while German gas consumption is expected to go down due to the electrifying of heating, CCGTs are expected to almost double in capacity. In November 2022, gas power plant capacity amounted to 27.5 Gigawatts (GW).
Going forward, the regulators note 17,000 to 21,000 MW of additional CCGTs will be built, for the periods of 2025 through 2030, per their bi-annual grid stability report.
This would be the most cost-effective approach, the regulator adds.
The government took ownership of this suggestion, confirming Germany’s path has hardly diverged, despite the fact its largest gas supplier (as LNG) will become Dubai and others
In October 2021, Markus Krebber, CEO of energy company RWE, predicted similar figures. “We need about 20,000 to 30,000 MW of new CCGTs in Germany,” he told WirtschaftsWoche.
To ensure enough gas is available, the government is strongly committing to LNG. “The import capacities of LNG are to be further increased in Germany,” the document adds.
The power loaded onto the German HV grid, at peak periods, needs to be at least 60,000 MW.
This plan will take gas power close to 50,000 MW, which is needed as standby/backup, when wind and solar are minimal.
How else would Germans charge EVs, heat pumps, operate electric appliances, trains, buses, industrial and process plants, etc., unless Germany had highly reliable, electric service, 24/7/365?
Coal power plant capacity, including lignite (low-quality, brown coal), is currently 36,000 MW, so the closure of most of these plants will be largely offset by the new CCGT capacity.
Germany did not make a big future commitment to large-scale battery systems, because they were deemed too expensive.