Two-thirds of the electricity in southern Saxony-Anhalt comes from renewable sources


Whereas 17 percent of electricity production in Germany currently comes from these types of energy and the federal government has specified a goal of 30 percent by 2020, the percentage in southern Saxony-Anhalt is already 66 percent today, according to Ulf Matthes, responsible department manager at envia Verteilnetz GmbH.


Since 2002 Ulf Matthes has been manager of the enviaM subsidiary in Halle (Saale), which is responsible for the network. His department registers all facilities which feed electricity generated from wind, water, biomass, landfill gas or photovoltaic energy into the envia Verteilnetz GmbH network in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Thuringia. Municipal utilities are not included. Matthes has witnessed how the installed output of renewable energies in the enviaM network area in Saxony-Anhalt has nearly quadrupled. Whereas it amounted to about 500 megawatts in 2001, it added up to well over 2,000 megawatts by the end of 2010. This power increase is above all due to wind power, explains Matthes. It contributes more than three-fourths of the output in this field with nearly 1,700 megawatts. This energy sector is followed by solar energy with 250 megawatts in second place ahead of biomass (77.1 MW), water (10.7) and landfill/sewage gas (10.1).

The rise of regenerative energies in the enviaM network area can be read even more clearly in the amounts with which its production has been compensated. Whereas the generators yielded 133 million euros in 2001, this figure was already 829 million euros in the past year. This amount will continue to increase, since the subvention runs over the course of 20 years, the number of facilities is increasing and building up more and more as a result, explains the 44 year-old graduate engineer. The compensation turned out to be slightly less in 2010 with regard to wind energy. “There was less wind. We never had as less wind as in 2010”, says Matthes in explaining this dent. In his words, the greatest increases are observable with regard to the compensation rendered by solar electricity. It has respectively doubled annually in the past three years. It reached 183 million euros in 2010. Many applications for new facilities have once again arrived up to now in 2011, since the subvention was supposed to be reduced by 1 July but will now be continued until 31 December. A reduction of subventions will only come about thereafter. That is why Matthes reckons with a certain pull-forward effect this year in order to secure the higher rate of subvention. According to the native of Merseburg, electricity derived from landfill gas is virtually negligible. Generation is stagnating. Hydroelectric power also plays a merely subordinate role. More than 1,000 wind turbines are turning in Saxony-Anhalt. According to Matthes, the currently worldwide largest facility near Osterfeld at the A9 motorway has a rated output of 6,000 kW, a hub height of 135 m and a rotor diameter of 126 m. The gondola produced by the Magdeburg company Enercon features a diameter of twelve metres and a length of 24 metres, and weighs 800 tonnes, including the hub with rotor blades.

When seen in geographical terms, the generation of electricity from wind power is tailor-made for the state. “It is flat and lies in a corridor with a wind flow from the North Sea in the direction of southern Brandenburg”, says Matthes. These favourable conditions for the production of electricity from renewable electricity sources have led to a reversal in the direction of electricity in Saxony-Anhalt. “We have much wind, but due to a certain degree of industrial weakness relatively little electricity demand. We produce a surplus of electricity.” Whereas electricity had been brought in for the inhabitants years ago, electricity that has been produced in Saxony-Anhalt is now supplied to other areas in Germany. According to the viewpoint of energy experts, this trend will continue. They predict that the production of wind energy in the coming ten years in the enviaM network area will more than double from today’s 4.4 megawatts to ten megawatts, and the production of solar electricity will quadruple. “Wind energy remains by far the most important regenerative energy source”, says Matthes. According to that, solar energy will make the greatest leap forward. The potentials of biomass will be exhausted and hydroelectric power will grow cautiously. These prospects necessitate a robust expansion of electricity networks. Matthes says: “We are coming closer and closer to our limits or have already reached these in some regions. We must build new lines.” According to the network specialist, 1.1 billion euros are necessary for the corresponding expansion in the enviaM network area by 2020.


envia Verteilnetz GmbH

Magdeburger Str. 36

D-06112 Halle (Saale)

T: +49 (0=345 216 3570


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