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Renewable energies and base load power plants: Are they compatible?
The expansion of renewable energies changes the structures of power plants. Instead of constant running base load power stations, fluctuating wind power and solar energy are fed into the grid and provide more and more of the electricity needed. Scientist of all well-known research institutes support this fact, but the consequences differ in their recent studies: Researchers from the Institute for Energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy (IER) are convinced that nuclear power plants will not stop the development of renewable energies, despite the fact the they can only throttle back their power by 50% of their capacity. On the other hand, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) forcasted that the so-called "residual load" - the electricity produced by conventional power plants - will be halved by 2020. In this case, the extension of the nuclear power phase-out as well as the construction of new coal-fired power plants will be unnecessary, if not counter-productive.
This technical conflict raises many questions: How economically are these new power plants? What are the effects on electricity prices and climate protection, if the nuclear power phase-out will be extended?
This Renews Special will answer all of the above questions and analyses all the research results on this topic.