Monthly Archives: January 2022

A “skewed” distribution: the overlooked consequence of decommissioning nuclear power

In previous post, I detailed the contradiction of Belgium wanting to profit from German cheap import while employing the exact same balancing strategy as Germany. I illustrated this by comparing German electricity export and prices on days of the lowest, highest and median output of solar and wind. This showed that when Germany exports its excess electricity, prices are generally low, but at that time Belgium is also busy exporting its excess electricity. And vice versa.

Now you could object that this is not a good representation of the argument of our Green Minister of Energy. Her argument is that nuclear power stands in the way because it can’t modulate its output (enough) to follow the intermittency of solar and wind, sometimes leading to wind power being curtailed and/or exported at times when Germany is exporting abundant and cheap electricity. The goal of the Minister is to get rid of nuclear power generation so Belgium doesn’t need to curtail its own production when it is sunny and windy, while also being ready to profit from cheap electricity from Germany. Ka-ching!

That is true, decommissioning nuclear will allow for more cheap import from Germany, but this will only be temporary and lead to an even bigger problem…

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