You can imagine my frustration when I read the other day that a pump storage hydro power station (PSHPS) planned in the south of the Black Forest near Atdorf may not be built. The reason is that due to the present overproduction of electricity even the 30 existing PSHPSs with their total potential power of 7 gigawatts are no longer profitable in Germany. As an example a written-off PSHPS near Dresden from 1926 is mentioned. In 2009 the unit generated power during 2800 hours whereas in 2012 the number of operating hours was only 280. No wonder the electricity company has no interest in necessary and urgent renovations of the installation. Under these circumstances it is obvious too that private electricity companies do not want to invest 1.7 billion euros in a new PSHPS at Atdorf.
|Europe's biggest existing PSHPS, the Schluchseewerk, with a power of 1800 megawatts|
is located in the Black Forest (©BZ).
This is why many consider the energy policy of the present government short-sighted at the least, some would even call it chaotic. PSHPSs may turn the pumped up water masses into electricity without delay. In addition most experts claim that these installations are more eco-friendly than power-to-gas solutions where abundant renewable electricity is used to produce hydrogen or methane that in turn is fed into the existing gas grid.
|The argument that the PSHPS Atdorf will fill the pockets of electricity companies|
no longer holds (©BZ)
The unexpected decision of the electricity company to withdraw from the PSHPS project left both supporters and opponents greatly perturbed. The local Greens suspect a deceptive maneuver and cite Günter Eich: Schlaft nicht, wenn die Geschäftigen der Welt mit eurer Schläfrigkeit rechnen (Don't sleep when the busy people of this world count on your sleepiness).